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Movie Reviews

'A Quiet Passion': Rhyme and Reason
Digging into my trove of words rarely used to describe most movies, but certainly apt in the case of director Terence Davies' biopic of the American poet Emily Dickinson, "A Quiet Passion," I have located and here employ the term, highbrowed. Truth be told, though I spent much of my formative years at institutions of higher
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'The Circle': The Shape of Things to Come?
Do you find yourself peering endlessly into your smartphone, hoping to make connections, seeking information, wiling away the time, looking for the secret of life and maybe even G-d? It has become your crystal ball and indeed, if we take the cue from director James Ponsoldt's "The Circle," it may show the way to a very creepy
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'Born in China': Animal Magnetism
One of the key joys of seeing "Born in China," a splendidly picturesque documentary about snow leopard Dawa and her two cubs; Tao Tao, a young snub-nosed monkey; and a giant panda Ya Ya and her daughter, Mei Mei, was worth listening to the kids in the audience emoting. Normally, I would rail at the ragamuffins' commentary
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'Gifted': The Long and Short of It
"Saw 'Gifted.' Little girl genius. Enjoyed it. Intellectual and emotional ... homage to brainpower. Good acting. Won't play the hinterlands."   Thus read my text to Hesh, my longtime movie sidekick who, absent from my viewing of director Marc Webb's touching but predictable tale about the trials and
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'Going in Style': Bank Heist Steals Your Heart
  My first inclination when hearing that Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman would star in director Zach Braff's remake of 1979's "Going in Style," which featured George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was to scream "Sacrilege!" But I was at a funeral and, fearing the outburst might be
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'Ghost in the Shell': Machine Politics
Viewing director Rupert Sanders' highly imaginative "Ghost in the Shell," based on Shirow Masamune's Japanese comic series, it occurred to me: How do I know I'm not a cyborg, installed by some great Machiavellian organization to surreptitiously spread their deceptions through my film criticisms? It can't be .. I'm
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'Life': No Bowl of Cherries
I'm tempted to give away the ending of director Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an extremely tense but run-of-the-mill outer space adventure that was heading for an only so-so rating even before its curiously misanthropic finish. I'd be doing you a favor. Sure to be shocked, the viewer is left wondering why Espinosa,
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'Beauty and the Beast': The Fairy Tale as Civics Lesson
"Beauty and the Beast" is much more than "escapist entertainment," a term I rail at. I couldn't slip into a theater for a few thrills, spills and worse yet, laughter, when I know outside Rome is burning. That's just the kind of hairpin I am. I believe society should be fashioned in a manner so enlightened that there
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'Kong: Skull Island': Serious Monkey Business
While director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' "Kong: Skull Island" asserts independence from the original, 1933 legend, as well as the 1976 and 2005 remakes, it is all the same, a throwback, a good old adventure yarn. To quote an eloquent teen in the theater lobby who ruminated it afterward with his pals, "That was a most satisfying
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'Logan': Makes Some Sharp Points
Judged solely on its surface value, director James Mangold's "Logan," the third and reputedly final escapade of the Wolverine/Marvel Comics/superhero/X-Men series, rates a six on my excitement scale. However, bear in mind that loyal adherents of this franchise evaluate their cherished, alternate world of right, wrong and not so
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