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Movie Reviews

'Battle of the Sexes': We've Come a Long Way, Baby
Watching Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's "Battle of the Sexes," about the events leading up to the famous gender war/tennis match on Sept. 20, 1973, between woman's champion Billie Jean King and former great Bobby Riggs, I tried to remember what I thought at the time. I like to think I applauded the dispelling of
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'Brad's Status': What's It All About, Alfie?
In "Brad's Status," Brad Sloan nearly drives us crazy with his unremitting regret and self-doubt as he accompanies his son, Troy, played by Austin Abrams, to look at colleges in Boston. Oh, we all do it. That's how we keep score. It's just that Brad, portrayed by Ben Stiller, is especially effective in showing us how
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'Mother!': Oh, Brother!
Fearing that I might be scarred for life after seeing Darren Aronofsky's "Mother!" I am happy to relate that slowly but surely the grotesque concepts and visions of this postmodern horror film are dissipating from my fragile and offended psyche. I mean, I am safe, aren't I? Hopefully it's not part of a grander
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'The Good Catholic': It's a Matter of Faith
Filmmaker Paul Shoulberg's "The Good Catholic" is a convenient, pocket-sized edition of ruminations just right for the soul in search of a quick philosophical challenge. While there's nothing new about this tale of temptation and the emotional tumult it sets in motion, the general quality of the human beings it brings to the
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'Tulip Fever': When Speculation Was in Bloom
A fascinating backdrop for an intricate if not convoluted, seriocomic love story that could have very well been written by Nöel Coward gives director Justin Chadwick's "Tulip Fever" an arthouse cachet. But while patience is a virtue, the esoteric appeal of this costumed affair set in 17th-century Holland may require more
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'Wind River': Opens the Floodgates of Indignation
Writer-director Taylor Sheridan's "Wind River," a murder-mystery inspired by true events, deserves plaudits not only because it is a skilled piece of filmmaking, but also owing to its eye-opening exposé of the disgraceful socioeconomic conditions on Native American reservations.   While the majority of
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'The Only Living Boy in New York': What This World Needs Now
Call me a hopeless romantic. It's my excuse for liking and recommending to kindred spirits director Marc Webb's decidedly imperfect, melodramatic and oft soap-operatic "The Only Living Boy in New York."    My justification is in service to the rather dire straits in which our nation currently finds itself.
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'Menashe': The Child is Father of the Man
While director Joshua Z. Weinstein's "Menashe" is on first blush a touching look into a child custody battle being waged by Menashe, a Hasidic grocery clerk in Borough Park, Brooklyn, further reflection reveals a much larger, equal opportunity meditation about the human condition.   Therefore, just as with the much
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'The Dark Tower': Fighting Horror with Horror
At best, director Nikolaj Arcel's "The Dark Tower," a sci-fi, fantasy western gleaned from Stephen King's best-selling, eight-volume series, might serve as a vicarious mitigation of the horror currently befalling America. The film is clearly about the war between good and evil, albeit related only coincidentally to the
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'A Ghost Story': Lacks Spirit
Faced with reviewing writer-director David Lowery's supernaturally obscure "A Ghost Story," my first inclination is to ask myself, 'Why didn't I just see some nice, old-fashioned cowboy movie?' Y'know ... something about the waning days of the Wild West, where there's nothing more symbolic to scrutinize than
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