Citizenfour

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Filmmaker Laura Poitras’ career of politically incendiary films had already made her a target for government watch lists when she began work on a film examining the change in practices of the intelligence community post-9/11. Early in pre-production she begins to receive encrypted emails from a source insisting that they meet … More Citizenfour

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Whiplash (2014)

DAMIEN CHAZELLE Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 2014.  Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions, Right of Way Films.  Screenplay by Damien Chazelle.  Cinematography by Sharone Meir.  Produced by Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak.  Music by Justin Hurwitz.  Production Design by Melanie Jones.  Costume Design by Lisa Norcia.  Film Editing by Tom Cross.  Academy Awards 2014.  Golden Globe Awards 2014.  Gotham Awards 2014. Independent Spirit … More Whiplash (2014)

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A Most Violent Year

BBBBB (out of 5) New York City:  if you can make it there you can make it anywhere, and if you can get through 1981 when the rates of crime were at their highest ever in history, you’ve probably got an angel on your shoulder.  The darkness of the city’s corruption enfolds aspiring business tycoon … More A Most Violent Year

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Obvious Child

BBB (out of 5) Jenny Slate is excellent as a stand-up comedian whose life goes into a tailspin when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes up with her friend, and then the bookstore that she works at to make ends meet announces that it is closing.  Within seconds she is indulging in bad habits … More Obvious Child

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Blue Ruin (2013)

JEREMY SAULNIER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/France, 2013.  The Lab of Madness, Film Science, Neighborhood Watch, Paradise City.  Screenplay by Jeremy Saulnier.  Cinematography by Jeremy Saulnier.  Produced by Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani.  Music by Brooke Blair, Will Blair.  Production Design by Kaet McAnneny.  Costume Design by Brooke Bennett.  Film Editing by Julia Bloch.  Gotham Awards 2014.  Independent Spirit Awards 2014.  Toronto International … More Blue Ruin (2013)

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Foxcatcher

BBBB (out of 5) The true story of wrestling champions Mark and David Schultz is brought to the screen by Bennett Miller, reuniting with Capote writer Dan Futterman (here sharing credit with E. Max Frye) for another grisly fact-based crime film told with unnerving simplicity.  The brothers were both Olympic gold medalists at the 1984 … More Foxcatcher

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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

BBBB (out of 5) Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu recovers from the bloated mess of Biutiful with a big movie in a small space, an eccentric and deliciously funny look at the mad world of live theatre.  Michael Keaton does a wryly charismatic riff on his own career as a has-been movie star whose success as a film … More Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

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