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Laura Leon

Laura Leon

Are We Related?

by Laura Leon September 25, 2014

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  Based on the popular (or so I’m told) novel by screenwriter Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You is one of those movies whose preview has garnered a lot of buzz. I can’t tell ...

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Minimal Rescue

by Laura Leon September 18, 2014

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  Soaking in the atmosphere of old bars where the leather seats are taped over and there are decades-old ghost vapors of thousands of cigarettes smoked, The Drop transports screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s usual milieu to Brooklyn, ...

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The Thrill is Gone

by Laura Leon September 4, 2014

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  I love thrillers in which you can’t tell who’s really the bad guy, and where there are suspenseful chase scenes, although, admittedly, my tastes kind of run the gamut from Charade to The Bank Job, ...

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And Then We Grow Up

by Laura Leon August 21, 2014

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  By now, anybody with a modicum of interest in cinema knows that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was filmed over the course of a few days every year for 12 years. What seems rather gimmicky on the ...

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Without a Roadmap

by Laura Leon August 14, 2014

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While on a layover in Baltimore, I picked up a copy of Michael and Jane Stern's Roadfood, a coast-to-coast guide to off-the-beaten path places to eat. I had been speaking with a colleague from California ...

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Starship Enterprise

by Laura Leon August 7, 2014

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  When the first Star Wars came out—and by that, I mean the real first one with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill—my sister and her then-boyfriend insisted that I see it. “You’ll love it,” they exclaimed. ...

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Shadows Enthrall

by Laura Leon July 31, 2014

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  Out of the roiling murk of a river in Hamburg emerges Issa (Grigoriy Dobrygin), a bearded mess of Chechen humanity seeking asylum. Through the kindness of a Turkish family, he is put in touch with ...

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Killers on the Road

by Laura Leon June 26, 2014

GUY PEARCE AND ROBERT PATTINSON,
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  “Not everything has to be about something,” remarks Eric (Guy Pearce), a gaunt loner intent on recovering his stolen car amid the devastatingly bleak backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Australia. He’s speaking to Rey (Robert Pattinson), ...

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Let’s Do It Again

by Laura Leon June 19, 2014

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  “Nobody cared about the Jump Street reboot,” intones Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) to officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), but because it somehow worked, Dickson goes on to explain that the department has ...

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Tasty

by Laura Leon May 30, 2014

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  When Chef Carl Casper’s (Jon Favreau) ballistic tirade against a pompous, and critical, food blogger (Oliver Platt) goes viral, it’s clear the former culinary wunderkind needs a change of pace. He’s been successfully delivering a ...

The Lady Charms

by Laura Leon May 30, 2014

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  Not to be confused with the Disney heroine of Beauty and the Beast, the title character in Amma Asante’s period drama is a graceful, opinionated woman of color, living in Georgian-era England, raised a lady ...

The Party’s Over

by Laura Leon May 15, 2014

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  Animal House meets Thirtysomething: Neighbors is a comedic shambles of a movie that only occasionally hits paydirt, even as it somehow manages to deliver a cogent message about the fear of aging and taking on ...

Payback Sisters

by Laura Leon May 1, 2014

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  A wobbly hybrid of Bridesmaids and The First Wives Club, The Other Woman seeks to give modern-day women a reason to feel emboldened, even if that is by way of giving a two-timing husband diarrhea ...

Smarter Than Your Average Documentary

by Laura Leon April 24, 2014

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  When I was a kid there were nature films showing at the theater a few times a year. These were horrid events, very dry and hardly entertaining, unless you were a budding veterinarian. (I was ...

Game On

by Laura Leon April 17, 2014

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  Kind of like Moneyball for the professional football, Draft Day manages to find suspense, drama and, of course, humor—it’s directed by Ivan Reitman—in the inner machinations that make the annual NFL college draft so compelling ...

All American Hero

by Laura Leon April 10, 2014

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  I know what big-budget movie I’m going to see again this year, and that would be Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And get this—neither my 8- nor 11-year-old accompanied me the first time. Sure, it ...

There Is No Cure

by Laura Leon March 20, 2014

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  Sam Rockwell can make just about any movie that much better than it ought to be. He has the uncanny ability to be sort of handsome, sort of goofy and sort of dangerous—all at once—with ...

A Dog and His Boy

by Laura Leon March 12, 2014

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  Saturday mornings growing up were nothing to my brother and me without the adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle and their assorted friends, especially Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The improbable adoption of a boy by an ...

Still the Greatest

by Laura Leon March 6, 2014

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  Last year, the enormous success of the miniseries The Bible stunned those who don’t really interest themselves much in matters of Christian faith, or think it’s something largely confined to fly-over states and a once-a-year ...

Inescapable

by Laura Leon February 27, 2014

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  The Past isn’t just the title of Asghar Farhadi’s latest film, a worthy follow-up to A Separation, but a character in and of itself. Like in DuMaurier’s Rebecca, the past is ever present, encircling the ...

Alive

by Laura Leon February 19, 2014

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  It’s a rare thing indeed to see women onscreen doing the mundane things that real-life women do every day: vacuuming the car, waxing, taking yoga classes, working. Rarer still is to see women “of a ...

Missed Adventure

by Laura Leon February 13, 2014

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  Near the end of World War II, President Roosevelt commissioned a few middle-aged artists, sculptors and architects to go behind enemy lines on a special mission: to rescue the great artworks of Western civilization, which ...

The Real Thing

by Laura Leon February 13, 2014

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  We were talking recently about how some kids just out of high school don’t know how to do certain things we used to take as givens when it came to holding a job—things like making ...

Love is Strange

by Laura Leon February 10, 2014

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  Set in 1987 over the course of a long, hot weekend, Labor Day tells the melodramatic tale of a socially stunted woman, Adele (Kate Winslet), whose life, and that of her son Henry (Gattlin Griffith), ...

Tested, Found Wanting

by Laura Leon January 23, 2014

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  The fifth edition of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is meant to be the start of something new. It’s a combination origin story-reboot (because writers in Hollywood can’t seem to dig ...