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Movie Reviews

‘BIRDS’ PREYS ON CIVILIZED MOVIEMAKING

3817
What price girl-power? Does the positive energy of a female-centric comic book movie—made by women—compensate for the nihilistic, super-violent nature of its content? Is this really a step forward for women, behind the camera and in the audience? That’s…

DOWNHILL: A SMART COMEDY/DRAMA FOR GROWNUPS

2026
If you’re among the relative handful of people who saw Ruben Östland’s wry Swedish film Force Majeure you’ll know the story of this remake, about an upscale couple on a European ski vacation which puts their relationship to a critical…

UNCUT GEMS: CONTROLLED CHAOS

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Everything you may have heard or read about Uncut Gems is true: it’s tough to watch, especially at the start. In-your-face filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie throw a lot at us in the opening sequence, which establishes the tone of their…

MY TOP FILMS OF THE YEAR

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People love lists because they stimulate discussion and debate. I don’t enjoy compiling them because they are so arbitrary, but who am I do sit out this year-end ritual? I can’t call this a “top ten” because I couldn’t…

1917: A WARTIME EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER

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1917 wastes no time establishing its premise and introducing us to its leading characters, two young British soldiers (newcomers George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman) who are handed a perilous assignment: deliver an urgent message that will stop thousands of troops…

WHAT SHE SAID: A VALUABLE DOC ABOUT PAULINE KAEL

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Believe it or not, there was a time when film critics were widely discussed and debated, none more so than Pauline Kael during her long tenure at The New Yorker. Equal parts essayist, crusader and provocateur, she famously championed emerging…

LITTLE WOMEN: AS GOOD AS IT GETS

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I love the 1994 version of Little Women written by Robin Swicord and directed by Gillian Armstrong, and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the 1933 adaptation directed by George Cukor and starring Katharine Hepburn. I didn’t…

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