Girlfriends

BBB.5 (out of 5) Melanie Mayron‘s starring debut was this low-key charmer that made impressive waves on the late seventies indie scene, including winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto film festival.  She and… Continue reading

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Get Out

BBB.5 (out of 5) Daniel Kaluuya is heading to the country with girlfriend Allison Williams to meet her parents and is more than a little bit nervous.  Her upper middle class family doesn’t know that he’s black… Continue reading

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Beware The Slenderman

BBBB (out of 5) On a Saturday morning in May 2014, in the middle class suburban town of Waukesha, Wisconsin, a pre-teen named Payton Leutner, known as Bella, crawled her way to medical… Continue reading

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Battlestar Galactica

B (out of 5) Universal responded to the success of Star Wars with their own space opera the next year, reediting the original three hour pilot of a television series into a theatrical release that appeared… Continue reading

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Kong: Skull Island

BBB.5 (out of 5) Monkey trouble doesn’t even begin to describe what a scientific expedition and ists military escort experience when the assessment of the geological properties of an uncharted island reveals the place to have more… Continue reading

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Fast Five (Fast & Furious 5)

BB (out of 5) With the heartfelt (not really) reunion out of the way in the last one, it’s time to enjoy the rush with this action packed if dimwitted fourth sequel.  After an amazing prison… Continue reading

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Escape From L.A.

BB.5 (out of 5) John Carpenter returns to his early eighties cult classic with virtually the same plot on a higher budget. Kurt Russell is in fine form (especially his hair) in his second… Continue reading

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I Am Not Your Negro

BBBBB (out of 5) Celebrated author and civil rights activist James Baldwin worked on a book meant to cover the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.,… Continue reading

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The Girl Who Had Everything

BB.5 (out of 5) After a Washington attorney (William Powell) succeeds in getting a gangster (Fernando Lamas) acquitted of illegal gaming charges, he invites him over to his house where the hood spots… Continue reading

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Logan

BBBB (out of 5) We move about twenty-odd years beyond the present and things aren’t looking so slick for a couple of X-Men.  Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is in his nineties and mentally degenerating, his… Continue reading

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Wake Island

BBBB (out of 5) Fact-based account of the American servicemen stationed on Wake Island, a small oasis in the Pacific ocean.  The soldiers are barely kept in line by their commander (Brian Donlevy) while a… Continue reading

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What’s The Matter With Helen?

BBB.5 (out of 5) Delightfully campy indulgence in horror stars Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters as two complete opposites united by their sons; it’s the 1930s and at the beginning of this film both men… Continue reading

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Alone In Berlin

BB (out of 5) After losing their son in battle, a Berlin couple decide that Nazi ideology is not worth believing in if the cost is to be so high.  He (Brendan Gleeson) continues his work… Continue reading

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Juha

BBBB (out of 5) Aki Kaurismaki films a Postman Always Rings Twice-type story in the vein of a Dreyer silent in this richly enjoyable melodrama. His favourite leading lady Kati Outinen plays the wife of a hulking… Continue reading

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Calamari Union

BB (out of 5) A group of men named Frank (and one non-Finnish speaker who is not) band together, united by their mutual desire to make their way to an island paradise far… Continue reading

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A Rage In Harlem

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A magnificent shoot-out in mid-fifties Mississippi ends with dead bodies everywhere, the one survivor a gorgeous femme fatale (Robin Givens) who makes away with the loot, a trunk full of… Continue reading

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A Little Chaos

BB.5 (out of 5) Louis XIV (Alan Rickman, who also directed) is moving his court to Versailles to appease France’s nervous aristocracy, turning the former hunting lodge into a glorious palace with a… Continue reading

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Hell’s House

BB.5 (out of 5) A teenager (Junior Durkin) loses his mother in a ridiculous traffic accident (a car mows her down in front of her farmhouse), so he goes to live in the big… Continue reading

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Desert Victory

BBB.5 (out of 5) The Allied effort against Rommel in North Africa is documented in this terrific collection of footage taken during World War II.   Most documentaries made in the early forties were in… Continue reading

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Captain Fantastic

BBB (out of 5) Viggo Mortensen is raising his children in the wilderness and giving them the skills that lost in the mainstream world: they can hunt their own dinner and till their own soil,… Continue reading

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RoboCop 3

 BB.5 (out of 5) Our cyberhero keeps blowing stuff up but Detroit is no closer to being free of crime.  The corruption is once again coming from the top when real estate developers want to… Continue reading

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Paterson

BBBB (out of 5) Adam Driver plays a New Jersey bus driver whose name matches his route, his days spent traveling the same roads again and again but his mind occupied with the poetry that… Continue reading

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Chicks Dig Gay Guys

0 (out of 5) Tired of striking out with girls at clubs, Scooter overhears a group of pretty ladies chatting with their gay friend and realizes the foolproof way for getting close with the ladies.  He… Continue reading

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Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (Bang Gang (une histoire d’amour moderne))

BBB.5 (out of 5) Laetitia is a teenager on the verge of adulthood whose concerned father keeps her to a curfew; if he knew what she and her best girlfriend George were actually up… Continue reading

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Life, Animated

BBB.5 (out of 5) Owen Suskind was diagnosed with autism as a small child, his parents given little hope that their son would develop reasonably successful communication skills in his adult life.  Disheartened but unwilling… Continue reading

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Tanna

BBBB (out of 5) Members of the Yakel tribe of Vanuatu perform the story of this film entirely in the Nauvhal language, the story set on the lush Pacific island upon which they… Continue reading

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A Man Called Ove (En Man Som Heter Ove)

BBBB (out of 5) A peaceful suburban community has a resident grump in its midst, the irascible and quick-tempered Ove (Rolf Lassgård), who makes sure cars don’t drive through the neighbourhood’s small roads and screams… Continue reading

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The Comedian

BB (out of 5) A once-famous comic (Robert De Niro) has to settle for the crummy gigs his devoted agent (Edie Falco) gets for him, divey bars outside the city where crowds mostly ignore… Continue reading

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Hacksaw Ridge

BBB (out of 5) Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) does not want to stay home when all his friends are leaving to fight in World War II, but enlistment is also a problem for… Continue reading

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Fire At Sea (Fuocoammare)

BBBB (out of 5) The Mediterranean island of Lampedusa gets a high number of distress calls from boats crossing the sea from Africa, with thousands of desperate refugees risking life and limb in the hope… Continue reading

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Rings

BB (out of 5) A young man disappears soon after leaving for college and causes great concern for his girlfriend, who is sure that something bad has happened and he hasn’t just forgotten about… Continue reading

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Other People

BBBB (out of 5) Aspiring television writer Jesse Plemons has returned home to be with his mother (Molly Shannon) for what will turn out to be the last year of her life after she has… Continue reading

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A Human Condition (Human, Too Human) (Humain, trop Humain)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Louis Malle trains his documentary camera on a Citroen factory for soothing, captivating results.  There’s very little spoken dialogue in the film, it is mostly observations of the workers operating… Continue reading

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King Cobra

BBBB (out of 5) Handsome young Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton) shows up at the house of an independent porn producer (Christian Slater) and after filming a few scenes very quickly becomes an internet sensation.  Slater quickly… Continue reading

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Gold

BB.5 (out of 5) With the recession of the early eighties driving his commodities business into the ground, Matthew McConaughey is looking for the redemption that will get him out of making calls from… Continue reading

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The Salesman (Forushande)

BBBBB (out of 5) The stunning opening sequence of this absorbing drama sets the tension right away as an apartment building is threatening to collapse and forces its tenants to evacuate immediately.  A couple who are performing in… Continue reading

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Eaux Profondes

BBBB (out of 5) Jean-Louis Trintignant is married to gorgeous young Isabelle Huppert, their passionless marriage held together by an unspoken agreement to let her play around with other men.  She has a tendency… Continue reading

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Vampire’s Kiss

BB (out of 5) Nicolas Cage plays a literary agent with a bad attitude towards everyone except his kindly and understanding therapist.  He cats around with Kasi Lemmons until their fun times are interrupted by… Continue reading

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Scarlet Street

BBB.5 (out of 5) Fritz Lang remakes Jean Renoir’s La Chienne as a reunion for the stars of his Woman In The Window the year before.  Edward G. Robinson plays a timid insurance clerk with a shrew of a… Continue reading

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Jacquot de Nantes

BBBB (out of 5) Jacques Demy originally intended to make a film based on his own memories of childhood but, with his illness becoming more serious, his wife Agnes Varda stepped in and… Continue reading

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Trouble Every Day

BBB.5 (out of 5) Claire Denis makes her way into the world of horror with his moody, sexy drama. Vincent Gallo and Tricia Vessey have arrived in Paris for their honeymoon, but their bliss is… Continue reading

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The Battle of Russia

BBBB (out of 5) Exemplary entry in the Why We Fight series, and one of the longest, this is among many World War II documentaries that act as a fascinating record of a time long gone by: Russia… Continue reading

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The Black Hole

BB (out of 5) Disney enters the space race after the success of Star Wars has studios scrambling to get their own intergalactic projects into theatres and take advantage of the genre’s popularity.  A crew aboard… Continue reading

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Le Jour Se Leve (Daybreak)

BBBB (out of 5) A shot is heard, a man stumbles out an apartment door and falls dead down a flight of stairs; the neighbours are upset, the police arrive and pretty soon the building… Continue reading

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Triple Agent

BBB (out of 5) Eric Rohmer investigates the true story of a man trying to remain apolitical in highly political times.  Russian-born Fyodor lives in Paris with his Greek-born wife, retired from the… Continue reading

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The Holy Mountain (La Montana Sagrada)

BBBB (out of 5) A Christlike thief traverses a strange landscape until coming into the presence of an alchemist, who then introduces him to seven figures representing planets of the solar system.  They tell… Continue reading

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Manderlay

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier’s proposed trilogy of observations of American society starts out strong with Dogville but moves on to a much less interesting second chapter (the third has yet to be… Continue reading

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The Founder

BB.5 (out of 5) A traveling salesman who has peddled everything possible is tired and disillusioned, trying to get drive-in burger joints to buy his multi-milkshake machine and getting nowhere until a phone call… Continue reading

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Patriots Day

BB.5 (out of 5) The bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon is the subject of this action drama starring Mark Wahlberg as the police officer at the centre of the action.  Recovering from a knee… Continue reading

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