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Movie Reviews

'Downhill': It's all Relative
"Downhill," an Americanized adaptation of Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund's "Force Majeure," a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, doubtlessly lost something in the translation. Indeed, this variation on a comedy-drama about a family on an Alpine ski vacation evokes a smidgen of its
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'Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn': With a Title Like That, Who Needs a Subhead?
Director Cathy Yan's "Birds of Prey," an exuberant exercise in over-the-top, slickly anarchic filmmaking starring Margot Robbie as the girl you bring home to Mom only during an LSD trip, jogged my memory of a sociologically provocative scene in "Diner" (1982).    Mickey Rourke's Boogie, a city
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'Oscar & The Greatest Movie that Might Never get Made'
Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, my landlady lo these many years, knocked on my door. "Telephone downstairs for you, Mr. Goldberger. I think it's that same nasty man who called you last year at Oscar time. Oh, 'tis a bad business, I fear."    Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, who prided herself on only letting her rooms to
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'Dolittle': Physician, Heal Thy Self
It was early in director Stephan Gaghan's "Dolittle," the umpteenth permutation derived of Hugh Lofting's 1920 novel, "The Story of Doctor Dolittle," when I began to bemoan my choice of occupation. Little on the screen could dissuade me from the self-pity. So, I resorted to fantasizing. What would have been so
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'1917': Mistaken Destiny
Anyone with half a brain knows that there's no such thing as a war movie … that there are only antiwar movies, of which director-writer Sam Mendes' "1917" is an iconic example. They also know that this harrowing, R-deserving delve into the bowels of humankind destroying each other with whatever new, technological device
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'Little Women': The Halberstadter Excuse
The seventh film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," exquisitely chiseled to fully expected, classic standards by director-writer Greta Gerwig, jogged my memory. I specifically remember the exact day in Dr. Halberstadter's class at Olde Ivy Film Criticism College when the good professor warned us that upon
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'Uncut Gems': Frenetic: [fruh-net-ik] Filled With Excitement, Activity, or Confusion: Wild or Frantic
Adam Sandler's partially tour de force and indubitably frenetic portrayal of New York Diamond District jeweler/gambler Howard Ratner in "Uncut Gems" is a wildly disturbing adventure yarn, the purpose of which I'm still trying to figure out. Neither a comprehensive character study of its anxiety-ridden, addictive personality
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'Richard Jewell': All That Sparkles …
"Richard Jewell," director Clint Eastwood's skillfully told account of how a hero was turned into a scapegoat following the murderous bombing at the 1996 Olympics, stokes that greatest fear upon which our judicial system is based: that an innocent soul might be convicted of a crime.   It is everything in a true
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'Dark Waters': 'They Were All My Sons'
"They were all my sons." — Joe, in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons"   Pogo's Walt Kelly capsulized man's inhumanity to man when he coined a cynical variation on U.S. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's 1813 missive to Army General William Henry Harrison, informing, after the victory at Lake Erie,
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'The Irishman': At 3 Hours & 29 Minutes, it all Depends
"Fuhgeddaboudit" was the advice from those who decided against climbing the movie mountain that is Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman," all 3 hours and 29 minutes of it. Dilemmas presented themselves. How many times will I have to go to the bathroom? Should we skip breakfast, have dinner now, pack a picnic lunch, or maybe
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