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Movie & TV Reviews

Movie review: ‘Whiplash’

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Sony Pictures Classics

Actor J.K. Simmons is unforgettable in this drama about a dictatorial school band leader and his headstrong student. Read more

Movie review: ‘Birdman’

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Fox Searchlight

At the beginning of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton’s brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn’t that wh... Read more

Movie review: ‘John Wick’

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Lionsgate

Ever since The Matrix, Keanu Reeves has tried to reinvent himself as a full-tilt, face-smashing, spine-stomping action star who can kick backside as much any rival from Asia. He comes closest to his goal in John Wick, a martial-arts and au... Read more

Movie review: ‘Dear White People’

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Roadside Attractions

Justin Simien’s Dear White People has made a big splash since hitting the festival circuit earlier this year. Even though racial polarization has been in the news, it’s not something that movies have had the nerve to touch. Read more

Movie review: ‘23 Blast’

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Ocean Avenue Entertainment

23 Blast tells a fact-based story about a star high school football player in Kentucky who gets a killer infection and ends up, in a matter of hours, completely and irreversibly blind. It’s about a kid without a care in the world, whose entire sense of himself ... Read more

Movie review: ‘Ouija’

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Ouija is a dead teenager movie aimed squarely at a teen audience. Read more

Movie review: ‘Last Days in Vietnam’

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Kim Ki Sam

Sometimes the stories we think we know, the stories where we don’t want to hear another word, turn out to be the most involving of all, the ones we in fact know the least about. So it is with Last Days in Vietnam. Read more

Movie review: ‘Exists’

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Lionsgate

It comes as no surprise that some of the folks who made The Blair Witch Project, the definitive “found footage” horror film, do a solid job with Exists, a found-footage Bigfoot thriller. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Blue Room’

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Sundance Selects

Like a corpse about to be autopsied, the mystery that is laid bare by The Blue Room hardly requires even the economical 76 minutes that director Mathieu Amalric expends on it. Two naked philanderers, played by Amalric and his real-life partner, Stéphanie Clé... Read more

Movie review: ‘Listen Up Philip’

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Tribeca Film

Listen Up Philip is a frustrating and shallow film, which is ultimately fitting since the title character so personifies these qualities to the point you want to punch him in the face — or strangle yourself for watching this unlikeable doofus for 108 minutes. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Book of Life’

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Twentieth Century Fox & Reel FX

Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead may seem like a somber celebration as the focal point of a children’s animated film. However, the roots of the Mexican holiday that typically spans from Halloween through All Saints’ Day revolve around the essence of what brings familie... Read more

Movie review: ‘Fury’

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Sony Pictures

The relentless barrage of heavy-handedness in David Ayer’s World War II tank drama Fury begins immediately. A lone horseman approaches on the grim horizon of a foggy, corpse-strewn battlefield. Out of the muck leaps a man who pulls the rider down and savagely b... Read more

Movie review: ‘St. Vincent’

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The Weinstein Co.

If we were going to be curmudgeonly about it — and St. Vincent is, after all, a movie about a curmudgeon — we’d focus on the one major flaw in the film, and not on its pleasures. Read more

Movie review: ‘Art and Craft’

Is Mark Landis the only art forger who puts his paintings into Wal-Mart frames? That may be the least of his eccentricities, as we learn in Art and Craft, a droll documentary that may remind you of Errol Morris’ work. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Best of Me’

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Best of Me Productions

For an hour or so, Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden gamely swim against the current, fighting the torpid tide of tripe that romance novelist Nicholas Sparks sends their way in his latest. Read more

Movie review: ‘The Judge’

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Warner Bros./Village Roadshow

The Judge, a drama about family dysfunction and coming together under hard circumstances, pulls at the heartstrings so hard and so long that it feels more like a tug-of-war. Read more

Movie review: ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

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Disney

Life for a pre-teen has always been rough, and the perennial refrain of “parents just don’t understand” gets louder and more consistent during the teenage years. Read more

Movie review: ‘Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead’

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Well Go USA

Five years ago, a little Scandinavian zombie movie made waves among horror fans: Dead Snow, in which defrosted yet still undead German soldiers from World War II terrorize a group on a ski vacation in contemporary Norway. It essentially ripped pages from Read more

Movie review: ‘Kill the Messenger’

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Focus Features

Kill the Messenger, the film about journalist Gary Webb’s shocking newspaper stories that connected the Reagan-era CIA to America’s crack epidemic, shows just how hard it is to film investigative journalism as a drama, and get it right. Read more

Movie review: ‘Pride’

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Nicola Dove

If you think unions are the scourge of the working world, you will not be happy at Pride, which begins with the unmistakable sound of Pete Seeger singing Solidarity Forever and goes on from there. Read more

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