Archives

Wonderstruck Review

Graceful and quite literally quiet, “Wonderstruck” makes for an unconventional (or at least uncommercial) family film, but one worth enduring thanks to director Todd Haynes, the cast and composer Carter Burwell. 

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The 10 Best Movies You Probably Didn’t See in 2017

In 2012, I was at the peak of my film-watching powers and saw all kinds of smaller movies that critics loved but audiences generally didn’t find. This past year wasn’t a total return to movie-watching form, but I saw way more movies in 2017 than any of the previous four years to be sure (current […]

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Win It All Review

Chicago-centric writer/director Joe Swanberg has teamed up yet again with Netflix and his favorite everyman actor, Jake Johnson, for another straight-shooting comedic drama in “Win It All.” Although Swanberg bets once more on his honest-to-goodness, real people living everyday life approach to storytelling, this film has a much stronger narrative focus, marking another step forward […]

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Lucky Review

“Lucky” puts us squarely into the boots of a nonagenarian — the routine, the attitude and the unknown. We follow Lucky (Harry Dean Stanton) as he goes about his day in the tiny desert town where he lives and his interactions with everyone from the employees at his favorite diner to the convenience store clerk […]

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Black Panther Review

Since it was announced, “Black Panther” has held the promise of something different from Marvel Studios. It’s been 10 years since the Marvel journey began with “Iron Man” and the narratives, spectacles and formula are in perpetual danger of wearing thin. Co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”), “Black Panther” writes its own […]

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Oscars 2018 Predictions

Tonight is the night! As per usual, I wait until the last minute to make my predictions (just some of the major categories this year), and as per usual, you’ll see percentages of the chance each nominee has to win based on various factors, some of which is based on previous awards won, and some […]

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Why the Oscar for Best Picture is Harder to Predict than Ever

The Academy Award for Best Picture has slowly taken on a life of its own, and anyone who confidently thinks they know who’ll win it in 2018 is a fraud.

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The Top 10 Films of 2017

My work is never done getting to all the most buzzed-about films in a given year, which is why I allow myself until right before the Oscars to publish this list each year, and even then I didn’t get to some in time (“Call Me By Your Name,” “Phantom Thread,” “Coco,” “I, Tonya,” “The Post”) […]

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The Florida Project Review

We normally associate Orlando, Florida with the vibrant commercialism and magic of Walt Disney World and the Universal Studios theme parks, but in the shadow of Cinderella’s castle lie motels like the Magic Castle, where indie filmmaker Sean Baker invites us to journey in “The Florida Project.”

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Raw Review

A veterinary school freshman (Garance Marillier) develops a taste for raw flesh in the feature debut of French filmmaker Julia Ducournau. Part horror film, part coming-of-age drama, “Raw” is a visceral gut-punch of a film both in story and visuals, to the point that it is not recommended for the squeamish. That said, it’s gore […]

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Wind River Review

Taylor Sheridan makes his case for being one of the best working screenwriters today with “Wind River,” his third script to make it to the screen in three years and the first of the three that he’s directed.

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The Cloverfield Paradox Review

Netflix’s huge swoop up and surprise Super Bowl release of the newest film in the “Cloverfield” film universe should prove to be a daring stroke of movie-distributing genius – if for no other reason than it should help generate big ratings for a film that would’ve otherwise been killed by bad word of mouth.

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The Shape of Water Review

Guillermo del Toro already showed he could make a film like “The Shape of Water” before. His gift for turning historical fiction into fairy tales was abundantly clear in the stunning 2006 film “Pan’s Labyrinth” – it’s just a shame we had to wait so long for him to enchant us again.

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Mudbound Review

A racially tense southern-set period drama, “Mudbound” has a familiar tone and perspective, a vibe reminiscent of a more traditional era of cinematic storytelling. Yet that’s not to diminish the work of Dee Rees, whose feature follow-up to 2011’s “Pariah” is beautifully shot and firmly grounded in honest reality and modest hope.

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Lady Macbeth Review

Within minutes, “Lady Macbeth” sets a familiar period romance stage: a very young woman in 19th century rural England is sold into marriage to a cold fish husband and an even nastier father-in-law and in her isolation begins an affair with the stable groom on the family estate. We immediately sympathize with Katherine (Florence Pugh) […]

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