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Movie Reviews

'Parasite': For Richer or Poorer
  "You see, sir, rich people and theorists, who are usually rich people, think of poverty in the negative, as the lack of riches, as disease might be called the lack of health. But it isn't, sir. Poverty is not the lack of anything, but a positive plague, virulent in itself, contagious as cholera, with filth, criminality,
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'Motherless Brooklyn': Yes, Collusion
Borrowing a smidgen of wiseacre snazziness from "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) and an acidic splash of scandal from "Chinatown" (1974), Edward Norton writes, directs and stars in the best film noir detective yarn to come down the cinema pike since "The Usual Suspects" (1995). And in the process, he probably puts
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'Judy': As Illustrated by Renée
Years ago, as I walked on Bleecker Street in The Village, a fellow weekend hippie in a granny dress ran up to me and excitedly exclaimed, "Chuck Berry is at So and So's apartment playing for donations." I didn't go, so I don't know if it was true. But I was gratified several years later during the Oldies Revival when a
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'Pain & Glory': Regret & Joy
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent," said the poet, John Donne. But Antonio Banderas' Salvador Mallo, the famed director whose poetic sensibilities are woven throughout Pedro Almodóvar's expertly crafted "Pain & Glory," sure tries to prove him
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'Joker': Doesn't Kid Around
If van Gogh were alive today and dabbling in film, I expect that he might create something as artistically maddening as Todd Phillips' "Joker." But we must tread carefully. The controversy is there for the taking.    Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck, who will ultimately evolve into his alter ego, the Joker,
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'Ad Astra': Stellar Search for Self
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." — Shakespeare   While I don't love director James Gray's "Ad Astra," a space cowboy adventure about an accomplished astronaut's (Brad Pitt) mission to locate his legendary astronaut dad (Tommy Lee Jones), previously presumed dead
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'Downton Abbey': King of the Soap Operas
Director Michael Engler's "Downton Abbey," a feature film continuation of the TV series that eluded me in its entirety during its very successful run, is full up with the stuff of royalty. I shouldn't laugh at the silliness of the outmoded form of government, which is truly my first inclination, big democrat that I am. But
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'Hustlers': The Tacky Laps of Luxury
Am I that naïve? I sat there aghast as some took in stride the vengeance being meted out by former strip club employees upon their predominantly Wall Street clients in director Lorene Scafaria's "Hustlers," a scathing dramatization of Jessica Pressler's New York Magazine expose.   Said financiers are assembly
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'Before You Know It': Wherein the Critic Bemoans ...
Wherein the Critic Bemoans the Vanishing of Local Moviehouses, Extolls the Virtues of Independent Films, Makes the World Safe for Democracy and Sings an Homage to the Family "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." — Leo Tolstoy, "Anna Karenina."   This quote came
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'Luce': Enlightening
"It's complicated."   Thus spake Luce Edgar, heretofore the brilliant and handsome apple of every teacher's eye at his high school in Arlington, Va., when the senior's stellar reputation suddenly comes into question. Guilty or not of the swirling accusations, rumors and innuendoes, Kelvin Harrison Jr.'s
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