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Sunday, February 14, 2016

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Movie reviews

By Robbie-Ann McPherson » Friday, February 12, 2016

A good chick flick delivers both escape and empathy to its target female audience – the movie star version of you gets dumped (by a movie star version of the last guy who dumped you), then your movie star version does some soul-searching or gets a makeover and “you” learn some important things, and end up happily... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, February 11, 2016

Maggie Smith cannot be stopped. But then who on earth would want her to be?At the age of 81, she is the star and drawing card of “The Lady in the Van,” which gives her the exact kind of flamboyant “old lady” role you hope actresses of her gifts can find at her age.And she’s no fool. She knows it. She has already... Read More

By Mark Sommer » Thursday, February 11, 2016

Schoolchildren in France are served meals that wouldn’t look out of place at Rue Franklin.Employees in Italy get eight weeks of paid vacation – and extra pay to enjoy them.College debt? Not in Slovenia, where even students from other countries enjoy free higher education.Oh, and in Finland, the best educational results... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, February 11, 2016

There is an OMG moment in the middle of Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years” that changes everything. You learn something you didn’t suspect. Everything afterward is colored by what you know. The rest of the film becomes a slow-burning fuse. You know that an explosion of some sort is more than possible. What you get... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, February 4, 2016

Eddie Mannix (1891-1963) was very real. The last time a Hollywood film tried to tell us about the most famous “fixer” in its history was “Hollywoodland,” an investigation into the suicide of George Reeves who played Superman on 1950’s TV. Among the commonplace speculations from a town where stories and scenarios... Read More

By Jeff Simon » Thursday, February 4, 2016

My favorite Janis Joplin moment on record is silly really – just a tiny sliver of her personality captured in a couple of seconds of recording time. It’s on her best record by far, the posthumous “Pearl.” She sings a little joke song she and a couple poet friends wrote after first announcing it sarcastically as... Read More

By Christopher Schobert » Thursday, February 4, 2016

Say what you will about the ludicrously overextended James Franco, but never deny his ambition. What other young male actor would star in a re-creation of the sexually explicit deleted scenes from 1980’s “Cruising,” play himself in the “Veronica Mars” feature, and direct a movie about the creation of Tommy... Read More

By Mark Sommer » Thursday, January 28, 2016

The title of “Mustang” refers to five free-spirited sisters in a rural Turkish village, who are first seen coltishly frolicking in the Black Sea. It’s the last day of school, and the girls are are engaging in chicken fights with their male classmates. “One month we were fine, then everything went to s--t,”... Read More

By Christopher Schobert » Thursday, January 28, 2016

It is the exclamation point in the title of “Aferim!” that seems to illustrate its creators’ intentions. A harsh, unflinching Romanian drama set in the 19th century, the film is – against all odds – very, very funny. (The title means “Bravo,” and, the Wiktionary tells us, it often has an ironic... Read More

By Christopher Schobert » Thursday, January 28, 2016

Audiences might feel the urge to clap as Coast Guard drama “The Finest Hours” draws to a close, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The story of a daring rescue attempt after an oil tanker split in half during a blizzard in 1952 certainly warrants such a reaction. But make no mistake, you are clapping for the... Read More

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