The White Cliffs Of Dover

BBB (out of 5) Irene Dunne is lovely in this fifteen-hankie tragedy, which begins with her as an aging nurse helping out with injured World War II soldiers and hoping that her son won’t… Continue reading

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Night Watch

BB.5 (out of 5) The closest Elizabeth Taylor ever came to starring in a horror movie was her appearance in this quickie thriller that has only a few brief chill-worthy moments.  She is recovering… Continue reading

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The Blue Bird

B (out of 5) The first Soviet-American co-production, meant to outwit the political battles of the Cold War by showing the unifying nature of art; the effort was something of a failure since… Continue reading

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The Awakening

BB.5 (out of 5) With so many dead and so many mourning after the end of the Great War, Europe sees a rising interest in the occult thanks to people’s desire to communicate… Continue reading

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Fifty Shades Darker

BB.5 (out of 5) You didn’t think she could stay away from all that light spanking forever, did you?  Having now gotten her dream job in publishing as assistant to a handsome editor,… Continue reading

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The Beguiled (2017)

BB.5 (out of 5) A little girl collecting mushrooms just beyond the grounds of her plantation in Civil War-ravaged Virginia discovers a severely injured Irish mercenary turned Yankee soldier (Colin Farrell) lying in… Continue reading

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Black Eagle

BB (out of 5) An American plane carrying a nuclear device crashes into the Mediterranean and two superpowers are competing to retrieve it.  The C.I.A. has its best man (Shô Kosugi) on the… Continue reading

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Like You Mean It

BB.5 (out of 5) Philipp Karner, who also writes and directs, plays a struggling actor in Los Angeles whose stressful professional life is weighing heavily on his private one.  He has been with… Continue reading

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Below Sea Level

BBBB (out of 5) Approximately two hundred miles outside of Los Angeles is a barren landscape where people have to come to live a lawless existence, sleeping in their cars or trailers and… Continue reading

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Fifty Shades of Grey

BB (out of 5) Inexplicable success in bookstores led to this inevitable big screen adaptation of the first of E.L. James’ trilogy of books, about a love affair between a young college student… Continue reading

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The Mummy (2017)

BB.5 (out of 5) The reboot that no one needed, this adventure film is never scary and is not particularly smart, but it’s easy enough to sit through.  A miscast Tom Cruise and… Continue reading

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Older Brother, Younger sister (Ani Imoto)

BBBB (out of 5) Yoshiko Kuga is excellent as a young woman in a remote village who cannot marry her sweetheart because her elder sister (played by megastar Machiko Kyô) has a bad reputation… Continue reading

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The Wind

BBBB (out of 5) Lillian Gish heads west from her native Virginia to live with a male cousin and his careworn wife, but before long her beauty and instant rapport with their children… Continue reading

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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

BBBB (out of 5) Dav Pilkey’s popular children’s books are brought to the big screen with their winsome humour and charming sass fully intact.  Harold and George, voiced with joyful appeal by Thomas… Continue reading

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Rough Night

B (out of 5) All the elements should combine into something that works and yet very little in this comedy does.  Take the common plot of a Boys Will Be Boys indulgence (bachelor… Continue reading

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My Cousin Rachel (1952)

BBBB (out of 5) Daphne Du Maurier’s captivating mystery was barely on the shelves for a year when this big screen adaptation was released, introducing mass audiences to the talent of Richard Burton in… Continue reading

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Beatriz At Dinner

B.5 (out of 5) Salma Hayek is magnificent as a masseuse and healer who drives to Connie Britton‘s mansion to give her a massage before a dinner party and then, when her car won’t… Continue reading

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A Coffee In Berlin (Oh Boy)

BBBB (out of 5) Niko’s day gets off to a bad start and only gets weirder as the hours progress:  following an immature cop-out with his girlfriend, he meets with a court officer… Continue reading

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Wasp (2015)

BB (out of 5) Olivier and James are going on for a minibreak to Olivier’s summer home in the south of France and have brought along a last minute addition: James ran into… Continue reading

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My Cousin Rachel (2017)

BBBB (out of 5) Orphaned Sam Claflin was raised by his loving, older cousin (also played by Claflin) who, once his ward has arrived at adulthood, spends his last few years in southern Europe… Continue reading

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The Surface

BB (out of 5) Evan is finishing school and living with his boyfriend and, judging by the waifish manner with which he carries himself in every situation, is uncertain of his goals or… Continue reading

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Graduation (Bacalaureat)

BBBB (out of 5) Just before writing her final exams, Eliza is assaulted on the street by an unseen attacker; her father Romeo, a doctor who deals with his estranged marriage from his… Continue reading

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Alice Sweet Alice (Communion)

BB (out of 5) A wonderful plot is ruined by terrible direction in this cultish curiousity, one whose initial release was saved from complete obscurity by the fact that it features the film… Continue reading

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A Very Sordid Wedding

BBB (out of 5) Del Shores has been treating audiences to the lives and loves of his quirky, campy characters for so long that he has their details down pat , and this… Continue reading

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Paris Can Wait

BB.5 (out of 5) Diane Lane has accompanied movie producer husband Alec Baldwin to the Cannes Film Festival and is now about to fly with him to the location of a film he… Continue reading

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Wonder Woman

BBBB (out of 5) On the enchanted island of Themyscira, a race of godlike Amazons train for battle in their female-only paradise, led by an awe-inspiring Connie Nielsen, placed there by Zeus as… Continue reading

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Center of My World (Die Mitte der Welt)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Phil has a grown up in the German countryside since his mother (whom he calls “Glass”) gave birth to him and his twin sister after running away from their father in… Continue reading

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Handsome Devil

BBB (out of 5) With his father and stepmother living in Dubai, Ned has been left behind to attend a posh boarding school in his native Ireland and couldn’t possibly be more miserable:… Continue reading

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I Dream In Another Language (Sueno en Otro Idioma)

BBBB (out of 5) A mesmerizing experience that casts a spell from its opening shot.   Martin, a Mexico City university student studying linguistics, heads to a rural village looking to speak to the last two living… Continue reading

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Their Finest

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Gemma Arterton rules this tribute to the spirit of British filmmaking and the spirit of Britain itself during World War II.  She plays a newspaper copy editor who is advanced… Continue reading

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Baywatch

B (out of 5) Eleven seasons on television saving lives, stopping crime and running on the sand in slow motion was an impressive feat for a show written off as an excuse to ogle… Continue reading

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Dreams of a Life

BB (out of 5) Authorities pounding on the door of Joyce Vincent’s flat were determined to get into her apartment and demand the rent she had not paid in three years.  What they found… Continue reading

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge)

B.5 (out of 5) At this point it feels like Johnny Depp whips this franchise out whenever he needs to renovate his house, which at least explains the soulless nature of this fifth… Continue reading

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Miss Sloane

BBBB (out of 5) Political lobbying is a cutthroat business in Washington, a job that involves winning at all costs and Jessica Chastain is proud doing just that with impressive consistency.  When the firm… Continue reading

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Ill Met By Moonlight

BBB.5 (out of 5) True story of the kidnapping of Germany’s General Kreipe (played here by Marius Goring) by British soldiers stationed on the Greek island of Crete.  Patrick Leigh Fermor, later to become… Continue reading

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Thoroughly Modern Millie

BBB (out of 5) Julie Andrews is a jazz baby who is determined to be the very definition of “modern”: it’s the roaring twenties and women have a freedom and equality to men that… Continue reading

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

BBB (out of 5) Guy Ritchie’s surprisingly energetic and inventive action film is never light or fun enough to make up for the fact that it is completely unimportant.   After the noble Uther… Continue reading

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Alien: Covenant

BB (out of 5) We move ten years past the events of Prometheus and find ourselves aboard the Covenant, a vessel carrying colonists to a distant planet where they will create a new civilization.  A series of circumstances… Continue reading

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The Expendables 2

BB.5 (out of 5) The wonderful multipack of eighties action stars that made up The Expendables was too irrepressibly fun a concept to be denied a sequel, and their return is a most welcome… Continue reading

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Sons And Lovers

BBBB (out of 5) Adaptation of the second half of D.H. Lawrence’s masterful novel that takes liberties with dramatization but has at its core the same essential focus, a relationship between mother and… Continue reading

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Snatched

BB.5 (out of 5) Amy Schumer‘s life is at an all-time low: she’s just been fired from her crappy retail job, and her boyfriend has dumped her and left her with two tickets… Continue reading

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The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (Mad Wednesday)

BB (out of 5) It’s as if the war ended and took Preston Sturges’ career with it, this failed comedy following the miscalculated drama The Great Moment before it.  Sturges coaxes silent film star Harold Lloyd out… Continue reading

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

BBB (out of 5) The gang is back and still travelling the galaxy in aid of whatever mess they come across or, more often, create, beginning with a visit to a planet of… Continue reading

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Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures

BBB.5 (out of 5) This film is reviewed at Magenta Magazine.  Click here to be redirected. USA/Germany, 2016 Directed by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato Cinematography by Mario Panagiotopoulos, Huy Truong Produced by Fenton Bailey,… Continue reading

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A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

BB (out of 5) Budgets low and profits high means there’s a sequel no matter what happened to the bad guy in the last one.  This unusual anomaly in the Elm Street series… Continue reading

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Madness (Vacanze Per Un Massacro)

BB (out of 5) Made during Joe Dallesandro’s run of Italian productions following the Paul Morrissey horror movies he shot there, this one unfortunately shows director Fernando Di Leo past the prime of his… Continue reading

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Girl 27

BB.5 (out of 5) In the days when all of Hollywood was run by a handful of studios that operated as kingdoms of entertainment, MGM was the biggest and brightest, turning Louis B. Mayer into… Continue reading

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Red Planet Mars

0.5 (out of 5) A scientist and his wife discover a method by which they can communicate with Mars and the project yields results: Martians begin communicating with Earth!  Unfortunately, their information is devastating,… Continue reading

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Worlds Apart (Enas Allos Kosmos)

BBB (out of 5) A emotional roller coaster that reaches for epic status in three stories:  in the first, an Athenian girl (Niki Vakali) is nearly raped in an alley before a Syrian refugee… Continue reading

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