Category Archives: Movies

Review: Stan & Ollie

Jon S. Baird’s loving tribute to the legacy of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy falls into a trap common to biopics of performers. The film focuses on an episode in the comedians’ career that occurred late in life, thus allowing … Continue reading

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Review: Shusenjo

In the press synopsis for his documentary, American director Miki Dezaki calls the comfort women issue “perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary,” which is true to an extent but misleading in terms of scale. The issue of the comfort … Continue reading

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Review: Beautiful Boy

Kudos to director Felix Van Groeningen for managing to fuse two different memoirs about the same topic into a movie that doesn’t become a mine field of conflicting points-of-view. The true story of Nic Sheff’s decade-plus battle with drug addiction … Continue reading

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Review: Lean On Pete

It’s tempting to imagine that the British director Andrew Haigh is encountering the milieu of his latest film with the same kind of fresh awareness that the audience encounters it as it watches his movie. There’s something about this depiction … Continue reading

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Review: First Reformed

Though I rarely acknowledge such matters, Paul Schrader was royally screwed last February when he failed to receive the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his latest film. It was bad enough that Ethan Hawke, who won all sorts of awards … Continue reading

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Review: Vice

The comic challenge for Adam McKay, who made his name with Will Ferrell vehicles, in depicting the life of former Vice President Dick Cheney is not that no amount of satire could make the George W. Bush administration seem more … Continue reading

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Review: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

The time frame of Paul McGuigan’s slice-of-life biopic of actress Gloria Grahame isn’t specifically stated, though the first scene takes place in a rundown dressing room in Liverpool in 1981 as Grahame (Annette Bening), long washed-up as a film actress, … Continue reading

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