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 Powell’s gorgeous daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) and they fall in lust.  She is convinced that he’s the right future for her and drops…

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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 mind kept under control by tranquilizers to prevent the dangerous events that occur when he suffers a seizure.  He’s being looked after by…

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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 gold ore.  She heads to Manhattan where she shacks up with a shy, awkward undertaker (Forest Whitaker) and tries to lay low until…

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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 number of building projects including one he commissions of his designer Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts).  Unable to complete the project himself, Le…

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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 he writes down in his notebook.  At night he goes home to his delightful, artistic girlfriend (Golshifteh Farahani) and then takes his…

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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 his jokes and expect him to do famous catchphrases from the sitcom that made him a household name decades earlier.  Things hit a…

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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 a man who has vowed, thanks to the violence he witnessed in childhood, to never pick up a weapon for the purpose…

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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 the bar where his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) slings drinks and back to the glory of the days when his father (Craig…

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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 a Farsi translation of Miller’s Death Of A Salesman at night while he supplements their income by teaching during the day have to find a new…

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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 the intrusion of a bat in their bedroom.  When his next conquest, Jennifer Beals, bites him on the neck, he begins to…

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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 is a sympathetic ally against the evils of Nazi oppression, their socialist society presented as a noble idea and their struggle against…

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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 is surrounded while the man we presume is the killer (Jean Gabin) holes up in his room and recalls the days that…

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