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Taking aim at the best and worst of movies and television.

Furor or no, ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ is only adorable but forgettable



Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky said there are two kinds of scenes in screenplays: “the Pet the Dog scene and the Kick the Dog scene.” Canine love letter A Dog’s Purpose manages to work in both. Read more

‘Gold’ doesn’t dazzle quite like it should


Lewis Jacobs

Somewhere in the universe there may be a dimension where The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Inherent Vice or even The Founder don’t exist. In that world, Read more

‘Things to Come’ offers a heady mix of intellectualism and everyday heartache


Sundance Selects

In Things to Come, Isabelle Huppert plays a chic, sophisticated Frenchwoman who must re-examine her life and identity when she is confronted with pivotal setbacks. It is a story that could be played for flustered comedy or hysterically pitched melodrama, but in Hupper... Read more

‘Paterson’ finds poetic beauty in ordinary life


Mary Cybulski

Paterson is the title of the new movie by writer-director Jim Jarmusch. The story is set in the town of Paterson, N.J. The central character is also named Paterson (Adam Driver). He is a bus driver. He gets up every morning around 6:15, has breakfast and goes to work.... Read more

‘Neruda’ revives the world of ’40s repression in Chile


The Orchard

Directors Damien Chazelle ( La La Land) and Barry Jenkins ( Moonlight) have received a ton of attention for their films this year, but there’s another director who has had an equally newsworthy movie season but has flown under many mo... Read more

‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is kind of a kick


Well Go USA

The new Jackie Chan film, Kung Fu Yoga, has two things going for it. Read more

And the name of the new Star Wars film is...

Cue the John Williams theme. The title for Episode VIII is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Read more

Why is ‘This Is Us’ so popular?



Compared to other TV shows, the grammatically challenged This is Us should not be a hit. In a landscape cluttered with network, cable and streaming series that feature flying dragons, killer zombies, graphic nudity, massively staged period pieces and glitzy gimmicks f... Read more

‘Julieta’ is Pedro Almodóvar at his best


Manolo Pavón

Awash in color, feminine psychodrama and heightened emotion, Julieta is a classic Pedro Almodóvar film — or, more accurately, a classicized version of the Almodóvar films his fans have come to adore. Read more

‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ is way stupid fun

Vin Diesel & Deepika Padukone Stills from xXx: The Return of Xan

Paramount Pictures

Film scholar Tom Gunning coined the phrase “cinema of attractions” to describe the earliest, exhibitionist impulses of filmmaking, bits of spectacle that called attention to their own visibility and technological craft. Pure spectacle has since been subsumed into narrative filmmakin... Read more

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