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Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Movie reviews

By Mark Sommer » Thursday, May 26, 2016

A brother and sister living in Palestine’s Gaza Strip dream of attaining musical success in “The Idol,” a sweet and sometimes rousing film that suffers from flat notes along the way.The film is set in two parts – in 2005, when we meet Mohammed (Kais Attalah), 10, and his sister Nour (Hiba Attalah), 12, and 2012,... Read More

By Christopher Schobert » Thursday, May 26, 2016

Question: Is the exhausting, utterly uninvolving “Alice Through the Looking Glass” somehow worse than Tim Burton’s execrable “Alice in Wonderland”? Answer: Probably. While the two are cinematically on par – that’s not a compliment – the sequel to Burton’s Lewis Carroll adaptation is certainly more... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, May 26, 2016

“A Bigger Splash” is a triumph of flavor.Imagine a simple but always tasty dish – an omelette, say. And then imagine what a master chef and a creative sous chef might be able to do with it.The film is loosely based on Jacques Deray’s “La Piscine” (“The Swimming Pool”), a 1969 film starring Alain Delon,... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, May 26, 2016

In “Following the Equator,” Mark Twain wrote of encountering a library from which books by Jane Austen were entirely absent. “Just that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn’t a book in it,” he concluded. To a friend, he once elaborated with brutal excess: “Every time I... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, May 19, 2016

Something rather quietly wonderful is happening in the wretchedly titled movie “The Meddler.” The best and most important thing it does is continue a development begun in the Blythe Danner movie “I’ll See You In My Dreams.” Both movies give beautiful and wonderful 70-something actresses rich and lovable films... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, May 19, 2016

There is a moment in “The Nice Guys” where I decided to forgive the film for just about anything – any anachronistic ’80s film leering and foolishness, any unfunny cynicism, you name it. It’s like this: Ryan Gosling is a fellow whose precocious 13-year-old daughter tells him he is “the worst private eye in... Read More

By Christopher Schobert » Thursday, May 19, 2016

“How many actors can say that they’ve got their own action figure?” That’s one of the first lines of the Kickstarter-funded documentary “Elstree 1976,” and that concept, more than any other, captures what makes the film unique. Charming if occasionally dull, somewhat sad but also frequently moving, director... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Friday, May 13, 2016

Here are a couple of things that “Money Monster” most definitely is NOT: 1. The cliched, TV-style hostage drama that it seems to be in the TV ads. Any reluctance to show this film to large squadrons of critics was foolish. The TV ads are efficient at selling its star value but bad at conveying all the things that... Read More

By Christopher Schobert » Thursday, May 12, 2016

There is a gloriously original, emotionally satisfying, rip-roaring fantasy treat now playing in cinemas, but its main characters are not Captain America or Iron Man. No, the leads in the French-language animated delight “April and the Extraordinary World” are scientists. How refreshing is that? The latest release... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, May 12, 2016

He wears night goggles in the car’s back seat and reads comic books by flashlight. There’s a reason for that. In that car, they can only travel by night. No matter how much of a sweet 8-year-old boy he is, daylight punishes his eyes. And too, he’s capable of shooting murderous rays of light through them. And causing... Read More

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