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

Sumptuous, seductive ‘The Handmaiden’ delights


Amazon Studios

There comes a point in The Handmaiden, a tantalizing triple-decker entertainment from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, when a book of lurid Japanese erotica opens up to reveal a drawing of an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a woman’s nude body. Read more

‘American Pastoral’ grazes on the grim things in life



Give Ewan McGregor credit for not starting small. Read more

‘Miss Hokusai’ puts Japanese animation on exquisite display



The year is 1814 and a demure kimono-clad young woman walks across a crowded bridge in Japan’s capital city of Edo. Have we heard, she asks us, about “a nutty old man” who creates enormous paper canvases and also paints two sparrows on a grain of rice? Read more

Unoriginal ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ has chills


Universal Pictures

For a horror sequel built on a foundation of genre trends, Ouija: Origin of Evil contains far more goofy-spooky fun than one might expect. This prequel to 2014’s Ouija takes the retro approach that has made the “Conjuring... Read more

‘In a Valley of Violence’ more entertaining than violent



Observers could be excused for thinking the combination of the title In a Valley of Violence with the involvement of producer Jason Blum ( The Purge, Insidious, Ouija) and director/writer Ti West ( The House of the Devi... Read more

‘Oasis: Supersonic’ chronicles British band’s meteoric rise


Jill Furmanovsky

The Mat Whitecross-directed documentary, showing in theaters Oct. 26 and Oct. 28, is annoyingly incomplete. Read more

‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ is on Cruise control

Film Review - Jack Reacher: Never Go Back


Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) will use a gun if the situation calls for it, but he prefers to use his fists. His punches in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back don’t so much land as explode like cannon shots, decimating car windows, cement walls and the faces of his enemie... Read more

It’s not worth ‘Keeping Up With the Joneses’


Twentieth Century Fox

A wise person once claimed “Comparison is the thief of joy” — words to keep in mind when impossibly perfect, gorgeous, worldly new neighbors move into the cul-de-sac, as they do in the action-comedy Keeping Up With the Joneses. But those Joneses (... Read more

Kevin Hart stands tall in latest stand-up film, ‘What Now?’



Comedy juggernaut Kevin Hart isn’t content to merely share the screen in buddy comedies like Ride Along and Central Intelligence. He wants to own the screen, as he does in his latest stand up comedy film, Kevin... Read more

Review: ‘American Honey’ finds love in a hopeless place



Many years ago, in California, I overheard a cellphone conversation from a man with a plummy, Royal Family accent. He was letting all of us mere mortals in the general vicinity know that his work was forcing him to travel to “one of those square states where the square people live.” Read more

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