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Film Review

Endured, Not Enjoyed

by John Rodat July 30, 2015

TRAINWRECK - 2015 FILM STILL - Pictured: Amy (AMY SCHUMER) chats it up with LEBRON JAMES as himself - Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski

© 2015 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  Comedian Amy Schumer has been on a roll, recently. Her sketch-comedy show Inside Amy Schumer is both popular and highly acclaimed. Even her professional peers—perhaps the pettiest, bitchiest profession on the planet—heap praise upon it, ...

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Hearts Beat Faintly

by Ann Morrow July 16, 2015

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Adapted from Vera Brittain’s much-admired, best-selling memoir of World War I, Testament of Youth should be better than it is. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander plays Vera with a flawless British accent and impeccable, lip-trembling emotion, ...

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Love Among the Floribundas

by Ann Morrow July 9, 2015

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  Louis XIV, the Sun King, who made absolute monarchy a divine right, is getting older. And his new palace at Versailles has been under construction for ages, and still isn’t worthy of his absolute divineness. ...

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Life Lessons

by Shawn Stone July 2, 2015

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  Spoiler alert: The “girl” dies. The “me” in the title Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), an awkward high school senior wracked by self-loathing who has worked really hard to ...

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Live and Let Laugh

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) ist eine ganz besondere Agentin. Foto: 2015 Twentieth Century Fox

  The latest Melissa McCarthy comedy is a shrewd, funny send-up of spy films, complete with a Bond-style theme song, a smashing opening set piece and enough world travel to give Daniel Craig jet lag. McCarthy ...

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Candy-Colored Despair

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015

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  The hitmakers at Pixar—led by Pete Docter, director of Up and one of the key writers on the Toy Story series—take us literally into the mind of a girl on the cusp of childhood’s end ...

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Meaner, Faster, Smarter

by Shawn Stone June 17, 2015

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  Nothing brings out my inner misanthrope quite like the Spielbergian approach to children and families. The children in his films are uniformly unbearable. (OK, maybe not Drew Barrymore in E.T.) That’s why the crushing disappointment ...

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All About Yves

by Ann Morrow June 11, 2015

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  Yves Saint Laurent was one of the brightest stars of fashion for most of the 1970s; among his era-defining designs were the Mondrian dress and safari suit. The glamour of his high fashion demi-monde makes ...

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Fractured Fairy Tale

by Shawn Stone June 11, 2015

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There are few more fascinating stories in 1960s rock & roll than the Beach Boys. They became superstars when they were little more than kids; three of the members were brothers (and another a cousin); ...

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It’s No Game

by Shawn Stone June 6, 2015

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  This French thriller begins with the return of a prodigal. Twenty-something Agnes (Adele Haenel) is returning home after the failure of her marriage. When she’s met at the terminal by her mother’s lawyer, Maurice Agnelet ...

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Pretty, Lifeless

by Ann Morrow May 28, 2015

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  In Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s staid take on Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From the Madding Crowd, farmer Oak, the sheepherder who falls in love with willful Bathsheba Everdene, does not utter his famous lines of ...

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Maxed Out

by Ann Morrow May 21, 2015

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  Take out the Mad Max part of the title and Mad Max: Fury Road might not be so infuriating. In this feverishly crazed reboot, there is a character named Max but he’s a wan facsimile ...

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Shout, Sister, Shout

by Shawn Stone May 21, 2015

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  Looser, less serious and considerably crasser than Pitch Perfect, this sequel is a lot more of the same dazzling and unutterably goofy a capella singing madness that made the original a cult hit—and so oddly ...

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Project: Rock and Roll

by Shawn Stone May 21, 2015

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  Who knew? The Who’s rise to fame and fortune began as a film project. This fascinating documentary fills in the gaps in the history of the legendary rock band by telling the story from the point ...

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Thespians

by Shawn Stone May 14, 2015

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  This beguiling, textured comedy-drama about actors, fame and the inevitability of, well, death, is the story of Maria (Juliette Binoche), a 40-something movie star and her relationships—with her managers, her accountant, her (estranged) husband, her ...

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Snake Oil Salesmen

by Ann Morrow May 14, 2015

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  The moniker “spin doctor” is a completely inadequate a term for the brazen deceit of the wielders of press and publicity in Merchants of Doubt, a documentary on how (and why) corporations misinform the American ...

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Lumbering Toward Destiny

by Shawn Stone May 7, 2015

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  Age of Ultron is generally more enjoyable than the first Avengers movie. Ultron (voiced by James Spader), as a colleague pointed out, is not as interesting a villain as Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) brother Loki (Tom ...

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Ex Machina

by Shawn Stone May 1, 2015

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  This is turning out to be a great year for artificial intelligence at the movies. Neill Blomkamp’s terrific Chappie may have may have primarily an action flick with a surfeit of human grotesques, but it ...

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Going, Going . . .

by Shawn Stone February 20, 2015

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  Julianne Moore’s performance in the title role is the only reason to see Still Alice, an often-wrenching drama about someone struck down in the prime of life by early onset Alzheimer’s. Her portrait of a ...

Lust for Light

by Ann Morrow February 12, 2015

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  Mr. Turner, about the brilliant marine painter J. M.W. Turner, is a Mike Leigh film, and as such it focuses on social realism and the working class as much as on the Royal Academy, where ...

Gray Areas

by Laura Leon February 5, 2015

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  Set in 1981 Manhattan, a time when crime in that city was at an all-time high, A Most Violent Year recalls the glory years of ’70s cinema, notably the films of Sydney Lumet and Alan ...

Left Out in the Rain

by Laura Leon January 29, 2015

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  Jennifer Aniston’s quest to be taken seriously as a “real” actress continues with Cake, a movie about a profoundly scarred (both physically and emotionally) woman addicted to pain killers. I hate the use of air ...

In Harm’s Way

by Laura Leon January 22, 2015

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  As I set out to write this review, the talking heads of the media are reveling in the war of words dispatched by Michael Moore, Seth Rogen and their ilk, re: the nature of anybody ...

Hippie Noir

by Shawn Stone January 15, 2015

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  The likelihood of any novel by Thomas Pynchon being adapted for the big screen has always seemed remote, owing to the difficulties in adapting the material and the elusiveness of the author. Yet here is ...

Righteous Might

by Shawn Stone January 15, 2015

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  In this drama about the 1965 showdown in Selma, Ala., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement he led attempted to force President Lyndon Johnson to move voting rights to the top of ...

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