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Movie & TV Reviews

Movie review: ‘The Better Angels’

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Sundance Institute

The Better Angels has bursts of life — moving, poetic moments of a kind that you won’t find in any other film this year — but it can’t honestly be described as a success. A movie can’t be a success if it makes the audience wish it we... Read more

Movie review: ‘Mr. Turner’

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Sony Pictures Classics

There’s a painstaking perfectionism in the stunning landscapes of England’s J.M.W. Turner, and in Mr. Turner, England’s greatest filmmaker in the field of grumpy eccentrics, Mike Leigh, gives us a portrait of the artist as a misanthropic genius. Read more

Movie review: ‘Selma’

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Paramount

There are moments in Selma, director Ava DuVernay’s powerful staging of the months leading up to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed 1965 march for voting rights in Alabama, that feel as if they could have been pulled from today’s TV news. Only the hemlines ... Read more

Movie review: ‘Inherent Vice’

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Warner Bros.

Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson’s trippy, trenchant satire, is very much a creature of Thomas Pynchon’s biting deconstruction of the final daze of peace, love and understanding that gives the film its inspiration and its name. Read more

Movie review: ‘The World Made Straight’

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Millennium Entertainment

The World Made Straight, the feature debut from director David Burris, is made with such a sense of sincerity and care that it’s a shame that it’s not nearly as involving as its set-up indicates. Read more

Movie review: ‘Predestination’

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Sony Picgtures

Predestination is a clever, quotable twist on that age-old sci-fi trope, “time travel.” This Spierig Brothers adaptation of a Robert A. Heinlein story touches on love, death and morality as it ventures back and forth with a time traveling Ethan Hawke. Read more

Movie review: ‘American Sniper’

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Warner Bros.

Arriving in theaters just over 22 months after Chris Kyle’s untimely death at a shooting range near Glen Rose, American Sniper often has a sorrowful immediacy. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Interview’

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Sony Pictures

The Interview will go down as the satire that provoked an authoritarian dictatorship, roiled Sony Pictures in a massive hacking attack and prompted new questions of cyber warfare, corporate self-censorship and comedic audacity. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Homesman’

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Roadside Attractions

Tommy Lee Jones has crafted in The Homesman an painfully honest assault on the standard trappings of a Western. Read more

Movie review: ‘Pelican Dreams’

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Shadow Distribution

Whatever you think you know about pelicans, Pelican Dreams will surprise you. Read more

Movie review: ‘Panic 5 Bravo’

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Videocine

There’s a good movie hidden inside Panic 5 Bravo, the directing debut from Mexican actor Kuno Becker, best known in the U.S. for roles on the TV shows Dallas and CSI: Miami. In fact, the first 20 minutes... Read more

Movie review: ‘Wild’

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AP

Nearly 10 years ago, Reese Witherspoon won a Best Actress Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in Walk the Line; it was the kind of Oscar win you could predict without even seeing the movie, because the Academy loves few things more than a starlet who shows that she has... Read more

Movie review: ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

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Twentieth Century Fox

There are scenes in Ridley Scott’s biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings when a viewer might be forgiven for thinking God parted the waters near the Sydney Opera House, not the Red Sea. Two of the main characters, the pharoah Ramses and conniving high-ranking Eg... Read more

Movie review: ‘Top Five’

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Paramount

With all the timely cultural commentary Chris Rock has been making about Ferguson, Staten Island, police chokeholds and the like while doing interviews ostensibly promoting his new film, it’s actually a relief that Top Five is pretty good. More than two decades i... Read more

Movie review: 'Annie'

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Sony Pictures

In the opening scene of the latest theater-to-screen adaptation of the musical Annie, we’re introduced to the spunky “Annie P.,” who recites her history lesson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal with a Read more

Movie review: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

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MGM

Peter Jackson’s “Just Give the People What They Want,” aka The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, sends this not-really-a-trilogy off in style. That means stuffing in everything the fans want, or that Jackson thinks the fans want out of these ... Read more

Movie review: ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’

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Twentieth Century Fox

The “Night at the Museum” trilogy ends with less than a bang in the franchise’s new release, subtitled Secret of the Tomb. Despite a few good jokes and sight gags and some amusing cameos, you get the feeling that the series is played out. Read more

Movie review: ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’

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Music Box Films

Every year, several thousand people prove their intestinal fortitude by taking jobs at the research stations in Antarctica. Even more remarkable are the handful of workers who gut it out through the long winters in one of the most hostile environments on Earth. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Babadook’

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IFC Films

More moody than bloody and more unsettling than shocking, The Babadook — which has been generating loud buzz since hitting the festival circuit earlier this year — is a throwback to old-school horror filmmaking, where much of ... Read more

Movie review: ‘Diplomacy’

It’s an unimaginably chilling sequence of events. First, 33 bridges over the Seine were to be detonated. Followed by Notre Dame, the Louvre, L’Opera, and then, with four submarine torpedoes attached to each leg, the Eiffel Tower. Paris as we know it was to be destroyed. Read more

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