Category: New Releases

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The Rise of Skywalker: No real end to never-ending saga

Millions upon millions of dollars have been poured into a series of Flash Gordon-esque movies about the unseen “Force” around us for the better part of a half-century. Many millions more have been poured into the bank accounts of Disney execs by casual and ardent fans of the acclaimed “Star Wars” franchise that reached its summation this weekend with director JJ Abrams’ second turn … Read More The Rise of Skywalker: No real end to never-ending saga

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Richard Jewell: The measure of a man

The parallels are far too clear and distinct, so it’s best to just get them out of the way. “Richard Jewell,” the latest docudrama from director Clint Eastwood, is a striking indictment of law enforcement officials too quick to judge and trigger-happy media outlets trying to scoop each other before confirming all the facts. In very unsubtle terms, “Jewell” is a microcosm defense of … Read More Richard Jewell: The measure of a man

Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

We’ve been told there’s two sides to every story. Often it feels as if it’s as simple as the truth and then anything other than the truth. But what happens when both sides of the story are true but conflict, or worse yet, outright contradict one another? Writer/director Noah Baumbach explores this complex duality through the structure of a fractured relationship in his latest … Read More Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: The measure of a man

What is the impact that one person can have on another? How is that one life can intensely, irreversibly be altered by coming into contact with someone? It’s a common theme in modern cinema, but rarely told as simply and unapologetically in a PG-rated film as director Marielle Heller’s latest film. “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” is not a biopic. It’s a wonderfully … Read More A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: The measure of a man

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The Report: Setting the record straight

There’s a brief moment in “The Report,” a new docudrama about the U.S. Senate investigation into prisoner torture, that name drops its cinematic cousin, the Oscar-nominated 2012 drama about the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, “Zero Dark Thirty.” “The Report” goes out of its way to make this reference, accusing that film of furthering the idea that a tortured prisoner gave up actionable intelligence … Read More The Report: Setting the record straight

The Irishman: Legacy of a cinematic Don

At the end of the day, what’s it all about? It’s a question that continuously lingers under the surface of celebrated auteur Martin Scorsese’s latest feature, a melancholy retrospective that acts almost like a career summation filled with riddles of bullets and dynamically vulgar dialogue. For the premier filmmaker in the gangster genre, Scorsese’s “The Irishman” definitively closes the book on how crime dramas … Read More The Irishman: Legacy of a cinematic Don

Jojo Rabbit: A funny thing about Adolf Hitler

Comedy is the ultimate playground for escapism, for letting the worries and cares of daily life fade away in order to decompress and unwind. The best comedies, though, usually have unexpectedly a little bit more to say on their minds than first glance might suggest. There’s a hysterical new comedy hitting theaters this fall that combines a stellar, side-splitting screenplay and award-worthy performances. It’s … Read More Jojo Rabbit: A funny thing about Adolf Hitler

Parasite: South Korean masterpiece one of decade’s best films

Spoiler alert: The best film of 2019 doesn’t star Leonardo DiCaprio and isn’t directed by Martin Scorsese. Average American audiences probably haven’t heard of filmmaker Bong Joon Ho or his frequent collaborator Kang-ho Song, but their latest feature together is the best South Korean film of all time and a top five movie of the last decade by any measure. “Parasite,” a haunting and … Read More Parasite: South Korean masterpiece one of decade’s best films

Dolemite Is My Name: Return of a comedy legend

From the moment he begins a verbal diatribe that drowns out Marvin Gaye, it’s apparent that Eddie Murphy has a special passion for his latest role. It’s evident in the way he carries himself, in the timbre of his voice and the cadence with which he recite lyrical tongue-twisters with effortless repetition. Murphy melts into his homage to one of his mentors and heroes, … Read More Dolemite Is My Name: Return of a comedy legend

The Laundromat: The muddled world of international finance

Taking risks in filmmaking can be a bold way to put a unique spin on stories we already know well. Biopics and other movies about historical events and figures are often chronological and stale, though recent efforts to infuse life into the genre have proven to be a welcome change. Since writer/director Todd McKay’s darkly comic take on the financial crisis of 2008 won … Read More The Laundromat: The muddled world of international finance

Judy: There’s only one true Garland

When the term “Oscar bait” gets thrown around in film criticism, it’s usually in reference to a film like “Judy.” Typically a movie with one central performance based on true events featuring showy, clip-worthy monologues destined for an awards season reel, “Oscar bait” is a film cliché used to describe movies that wouldn’t exist if studios couldn’t buy their way to winning accolades. The … Read More Judy: There’s only one true Garland

Joker: Origins of psychosis and villainy

It can be said that there’s no true originality left in cinema. Everything seems pulled from pieces of movie history, homages or outright rip-offs of films gone by. Audacious and transgressive, Todd Phillips’ “Joker” is clearly influenced by the work of cinematic legend Martin Scorsese, particularly his 1976 classic “Taxi Driver” and the 1983 cult of celebrity dramedy “The King of Comedy.” It also … Read More Joker: Origins of psychosis and villainy