Movie Review
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Don’t frack with America: The unofficial premiere of Dear President Obama

When Jon Bowermaster’s Oceans 8 Films released the documentary Dear Governor Cuomo in 2012, its aim was to raise public consciousness about the dangers of hydrofracking, drawing on the scary experiences of our…

Maggie Smith in The Lady In The Van

Maggie Smith is the neighbor from Hell

As rude, benighted and uncivilized a culture as we are, America doesn’t designate and venerate people as Living National Treasures the way Japan does, or Australia. And even if we did, we couldn’t…

Wherever he goes, interviewing factory workers, schoolteachers, law enforcement officers, business owners, politicians and students, Moore encounters people shaking their heads in disbelief that Americans are willing to live without the advantages that they take for granted.

Michael Moore mines world’s best ideas in Where to Invade Next

For folks on or near the right wing of the political spectrum, the concept of “American Exceptionalism” is an article of faith. Tea Party members and Fox News pundits feel free to lambaste…

Scarlett Johansson in Hail, Caesar!

Hail, Caesar! is the Coens’ trick bouquet to old Hollywood

Funny how the “Golden Age” of Hollywood is a construct more real in our collective cultural consciousness than it is onscreen. We see some contemporary movie or other that annoys us, and then…

Casey Affleck in The Finest Hours

Expert craftsmanship keeps The Finest Hours afloat

At its peaks, cinema can push artistic boundaries, grapple with profound philosophical questions, comment lucidly on politics and culture, shine new lights on history, question our assumptions, make us think, make us feel,…

Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson in Room

Room is a powerfully acted ode to human resilience

One of the bummers of winter, once the holidays are over, is the fact that film production companies are no longer in a rush to get their Oscar contenders out into the theaters…

Leonardo DiCaprio (center) in The Revenant

The Revenant is stark and simple, gorgeous and grueling

In 1908, Jack London wrote a short story that became an oft-anthologized classic, titled “To Build a Fire.” A grim account of the last day in the life of a prospector in the…

Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl

Acting, cinematography are The Danish Girl’s strong suits

With The Danish Girl, the art-film world has effected a small breach into one of Western society’s last standing social and human-rights barriers by delivering a decorous, sympathetic portrait of a transgendered person:…

The Big Short, featuring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.

The Big Short is long on laughs

Considering that the labyrinthine complexity deliberately cloaked in arcane jargon that is high finance these days is the sort of subject that makes a lot of people’s eyes glaze over when someone actually…

Daisy Ridley plays the savvy scrap-metal scavenger Rey, who has unspecified mysterious origins, mystical and mechanical talents and a whole lot of attitude.

Star Wars franchise shakes off those prequel blues with The Force Awakens

Last Thursday evening, did you feel a great disturbance in the Force, like a collective exhalation from millions and millions of Star Wars fans? That was a sigh of relief, prompted by the…

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