The Post (2017)

STEVEN SPIELBERG Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.  United Kingdom/USA, 2017.  Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks, Participant Media, Pascal Pictures, Star Thrower Entertainment, River Road Entertainment.  Screenplay by Liz Hannah, Josh Singer.  Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski.  Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg.  Music by John Williams.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by Ann Roth.  Film Editing by Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn.  Academy Awards 2017.  Golden…

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The Girl On The Train

BB.5 (out of 5) After her alcoholism destroys her marriage, Emily Blunt continues her downward spiral while on her daily commute, staring out the window of her train and into the home of a seemingly perfect couple (Luke Evans, Haley Bennett) who live two doors down from her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) and his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson)….

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The Day Of The Locust

BBB (out of 5) William Atherton begins to work as an art director at a movie studio during the Golden Age of Hollywood, taking up residence at a crummy apartment complex. The San Bernardino Arms (or “San Berdoo”) also houses a peroxided blond (Karen Black) who hopes to be a star, her faded vaudevillian father…

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Only When I Laugh

BBBB (out of 5) Stunning characterizations highlight this excellent drama, one of the richest examples of Neil Simon’s writing ever adapted to the screen. Marsha Mason is fantastic as a Broadway actress who has just been released from twelve weeks of drying out in rehab, determined to face the world without alcohol, hoping to put her…

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Ricki And The Flash

BB (out of 5) Years after she walked out on her husband and three kids to pursue a career as a rock star, Meryl Streep is playing dive bars in Tarzana and about to file bankruptcy, so muddled about her relationship with her guitarist boyfriend (Rick Springfield) that she can barely keep from humiliating him onstage…

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While We’re Young (2014)

NOAH BAUMBACH Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2014.  Scott Rudin Productions.  Screenplay by Noah Baumbach.  Cinematography by Sam Levy.  Produced by Noah Baumbach, Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub.  Music by James Murphy.  Production Design by Adam Stockhausen.  Costume Design by Ann Roth.  Film Editing by Jennifer Lame.  Toronto International Film Festival 2014.   Ben Stiller is a documentary filmmaker who has been working on the same unfinished…

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Guarding Tess

BBB (out of 5) Secret Service Agent Nicolas Cage is given his worst nightmare of an assignment when he is instructed to keep a close eye on a former president’s wife (Shirley MacLaine) who is involved in an important upcoming function. It seems boring enough considering that she isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a hot political…

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The Out-Of-Towners

BB.5 (out of 5) Remarkably unremarkable comedy that should have been better considering the talent involved; on the other hand, Neil Simon’s original script didn’t exactly turn heads when it was first filmed in 1969, so why on earth would doing it again make it any better?  Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin ably fill in for Jack…

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Last Night (2010)

B.5 (out of 5) Well, who wouldn’t want to sit through the troubled love story of an overwrought lollipop and an untalented troll? Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington make a horrendous onscreen pair as a couple who have been married four years and, following a dinner party, have a major tiff over a minor incident: he admits…

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The Village

B (out of 5) This chapter in M. Night Shyamalan’s trove of scary tales is one of the most pretentiously idiotic pieces of tripe that you’ll ever see. It takes place in the 1890s, with citizens of a tiny village living in peaceful idyll away from the cares of the bustling towns near them. Surrounding…

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Signs

BBB.5 (out of 5) Farmer and former priest Mel Gibson is startled awake one morning to find mysteriously-shaped crop circles in the cornfields adjoining his house. He is further disturbed by news reports that detail similar events happening around the world, but refrains from reporting his own as he believes it to be an elaborate hoax…

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Doubt

BBBB (out of 5) Tradition clashes with modern thinking at a Catholic school run by nuns in 1960s New York City. Priest Philip Seymour Hoffman gives sermons that capture and stir the emotions of his parishioners with their tolerance for scepticism and fluidity in Catholic belief, raising a flag in the mind of the hard-edged,…

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