The Mule (2018)

CLINT EASTWOOD Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  USA, 2018.  Warner Bros., Imperative Entertainment, Bron Creative, The Malpaso Company, Bron Studios.  Screenplay by Nick Schenk, inspired by the New York Times article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick.  Cinematography by Yves Belanger.  Produced by Clint Eastwood, Dan Friedkin, Jessica Meier, Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera, Bradley Thomas.  Music…

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The Amazing Spider-Man

BBBB (out of 5) Deja vu is a disconcerting feeling in this reboot of the superhero franchise, a mere decade after it was originally launched by Sam Raimi with Tobey Maguire in the lead; here we follow the same plot (more or less) with the same goal of setting Peter Parker up in his new…

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Cadillac Records

BB.5 (out of 5) The story of the origins of rock ‘n’ roll, except without much historical accuracy or even skillfully fanciful storytelling. Adrien Brody plays Leonard Chess, the man who teams up with Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright) to start up Chess Records and, according to this movie, invents a musical genre. Waters’ star begins to…

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The Women (2008)

BB.5 (out of 5) Years in development, this Meg Ryan vehicle is a remake of George Cukor’s perennial classic of the same title, based on the play by Clare Booth Luce. In both versions not a single male appears from beginning to end, even among extras in the crowd scenes (okay, in this one there’s a…

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Garden State

BBB (out of 5) Zach Braff directs and stars as a struggling Los Angeles actor who flies home to New Jersey to attend his mother’s funeral. He hooks up with an old friend (Peter Sarsgaard) and meets an off-the-wall girl (Natalie Portman) with whom he finds a connection in the midst of a mini-breakdown. Visually…

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