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Movie Reviews

NOMADLAND: WORTH WAITING FOR

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Filmmaker Chloé Zhao opens Nomadland on a tight closeup of Fern’s face—a woman we might chance to meet any day of the week.  Because she is played by Frances McDormand there is no better way to establish a connection between her…

COLLECTIVE: A RIVETING DOCU-THRILLER

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When a so-called documentary has you gasping at one moment and on the edge of your seat the next, you know it’s exceptional. Alexander Nanau’s Collective, from Romania, is just such a film. The title comes from the name…

TEAM MARCO: A SENTIMENTAL SLEEPER

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I am a relative latecomer to Team Marco, which has played at 54 film festivals around the globe and won the Audience Award as Favorite Family Film in Mill Valley. It becomes available on digital platforms this weekend. Julio Vincent…

MANK: MOSTLY AUTHENTIC BUT EMPTY

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If you’ve read even a few volumes of Hollywood history you’ve probably encountered Herman J. Mankiewicz, whose well-earned reputation as a wit rests on a handful of oft-told anecdotes. All of them are dutifully included in David Fincher’s ambitious…

OVER THE MOON: A BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY

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First, full disclosure: I wrote the text for this movie’s coffee-table tie-in volume, which comes out next week from Titan Books. I agreed to do it only after watching a rough cut of the film, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Over…

THE DONUT KING: AN IRRESISTIBLE HUMAN INTEREST STORY

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I’ll admit I never gave much thought to the fact that here in Southern Californians we have a disproportionately high number of donut shops, almost all of them owned and operated by Cambodians. Nor did I realize that one…

ON THE ROCKS: ESCAPISM AT ITS BEST

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Bill Murray is in the enviable position of having talented filmmakers writing scripts with him in mind. Sofia Coppola struck gold with him some years ago with Lost in Translation and has come through with another appealing vehicle, On the Rocks. Murray…

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