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Movie Reviews

'Beatriz at Dinner': Manifesto Under Glass
There isn't any doubt what writer Mike White had in mind when he penned "Beatriz at Dinner."   His insightful parable, brought to life by Miguel Arteta's skillful direction and a superb cast starring Salma Hayek in the title role, takes place at the very crux of humanity's social ills.   Expect
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'My Cousin Rachel': Relatively Mysterious
I kept thinking, "It can't be that ... it's too obvious." Thus were my incredulous musings while trying to figure if Rachel Weisz's title character in director Roger Michell's "My Cousin Rachel" was the husband-murderer her newest suitor initially thought she was. You see, I'm terrible at unraveling
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'Wonder Woman': You Go Girl
With Gal Gadot's depiction of the title character in director Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman," we at long last have a superhero who is, well, really super. The beauty breathes revivifying life into a genre that has of late become contrived, overburdened with character minutiae only zealots care about, and saddled with storylines
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'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales': Many Asleep in the Deep
I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to over-analyze "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." I do that whenever I can't fathom for the love of me why someone would want to see the second-rate movie in question. After all, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's rambling, rambunctious and
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'Alien: Covenant': All's Lousy That Ends Lousy
Director Ridley Scott's "Alien: Covenant," the sixth in the franchise with no relief in sight, has spawned a horror in and of itself. We now might press for escape to another planet not because good old Earth can no longer sustain human life, but because we simply don't want to live in a society that normalizes the
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'A Quiet Passion': Rhyme and Reason
Digging into my trove of words rarely used to describe most movies, but certainly apt in the case of director Terence Davies' biopic of the American poet Emily Dickinson, "A Quiet Passion," I have located and here employ the term, highbrowed. Truth be told, though I spent much of my formative years at institutions of higher
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'The Circle': The Shape of Things to Come?
Do you find yourself peering endlessly into your smartphone, hoping to make connections, seeking information, wiling away the time, looking for the secret of life and maybe even G-d? It has become your crystal ball and indeed, if we take the cue from director James Ponsoldt's "The Circle," it may show the way to a very creepy
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'Born in China': Animal Magnetism
One of the key joys of seeing "Born in China," a splendidly picturesque documentary about snow leopard Dawa and her two cubs; Tao Tao, a young snub-nosed monkey; and a giant panda Ya Ya and her daughter, Mei Mei, was worth listening to the kids in the audience emoting. Normally, I would rail at the ragamuffins' commentary
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'Gifted': The Long and Short of It
"Saw 'Gifted.' Little girl genius. Enjoyed it. Intellectual and emotional ... homage to brainpower. Good acting. Won't play the hinterlands."   Thus read my text to Hesh, my longtime movie sidekick who, absent from my viewing of director Marc Webb's touching but predictable tale about the trials and
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'Going in Style': Bank Heist Steals Your Heart
  My first inclination when hearing that Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman would star in director Zach Braff's remake of 1979's "Going in Style," which featured George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was to scream "Sacrilege!" But I was at a funeral and, fearing the outburst might be
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