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

‘Manchester By the Sea’ swells with emotion


Amazon Studios

It’s hard to overstate the magnificence of Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By the Sea. His third feature following You Can Count on Me and Margaret is one that swells with the spectrum of human emot... Read more

HBO films document rights battles in Cuba



The Cuban revolution took place almost 60 years ago, but the island nation is in the midst of another period of great change. This one may not result in the overthrow of the current regime, but as two new HBO documentaries make clear, the potential for radical change is just as great as it was in... Read more

Isabelle Huppert takes ‘Elle’ to the next level


Sony Pictures Classics

Isabelle Huppert makes lots of movies — two or three a year — but even with that deluge of output, Elle is something rare. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Elle melds together two artistic worlds, the highly sexualized and rich atmosp... Read more

‘The Eagle Huntress’ soars


Sony Pictures Classics

For centuries, nomadic huntsmen high in the cold Mongolian mountains of Altai would climb steep crags, gingerly approach an eagle’s nest, capture a baby eaglet and train it to kill foxes for fur and food. For seven years the bird would serve its master and then be released back to the wild. Read more

‘Rules Don’t Apply’ is an unruly mess


Francois Duhamel

What better way to round out the month of November than with a hectic, over-stuffed biopic about an eccentric billionaire despot who uses his inherited wealth to make a giant mess of things in both the entertainment industry and federal government? Read more

‘Bad Santa 2’ more sad than anything


Jan Thijs

In calling Bad Santa 2 the feel-bad movie of the season, let me be clear: I don’t mean that it revives the rude-and-crude fun of the original hit, which turned the traditional Christmas film on its head. Read more

‘Allied’ finds common cause with older films



It takes either moxie or madness to make a WWII-era romantic thriller partially set in Casablanca because of the obvious parallels to, well, Casablanca. With the handsome and elegant Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as spies... Read more

‘Nocturnal Animals’ is a dreamy thriller


Focus Features

Art can make us squirm. That’s the theme of Nocturnal Animals, a theme telegraphed with almost sadistic clarity as we watch, under the opening credits, a series of obese naked women shimmying in slow motion, their folds of voluminous flesh wielded like weapons. Read more

‘The Take’ doesn’t have much to give


Studio Canal

The Take, a steady if unspectacular action thriller, pairs an American pickpocket with a lone-wolf CIA agent, unlikely allies in the pursuit of a gang behind a deadly bombing in Paris. Read more

Boxing drama ‘Bleed for This’ has its moments but lacks punch


Seacia Pavao

It doesn’t seem likely that filmmakers will ever grow tired of making boxing films, or that they’ll run out of inspiring athletes to make them about. Read more

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