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Film Reviews

Here you’ll find all film reviews.

Review: ‘Jackie’ (★★★★)

Natalie Portman in Jackie

In his first English-language film, Chilean director Pablo Larraín (Neruda, the Oscar-nominated No) has given us a bracingly original take on one of the most documented moments in American history, the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but this time solely from the point of view of the First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Even though the framework of ...

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Review: ‘Moonlight’ (★★★★)

Moonlight was the big winner with LA Film Critics, taking Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor and Cinematography

Like most people I love going to the movies to be entertained. But I also use movies as my portal to worlds I don’t know. I’m not a football fan, for example, but I love the movie Friday Night Lights. I love almost any good sports movie because it’s my ‘in’ to that world. At the same time I also ...

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Review: ‘La La Land’ (★★★★)

La La Land

La La Land is a film that often fights and challenges itself. It complains about Hollywood as much as it adores it (a line from Ryan Gosling that L.A. “worships everything and values nothing” is especially on point) and that paradox is only part of why it’s just a great film. It’s almost impossibly romantic and hopeful and wistful (like ...

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Telluride Review Roundup: Moonlight, Bleed for This, Manchester by the Sea


Three major Oscar contenders hit Telluride this weekend; Moonlight, Bleed for This and Manchester by the Sea. The first two were seen for the first time, Manchester debuted earlier this year at Sundance. To say the reviews for A24’s Moonlight are rapturous would be an understatement. As of this writing, the film holds on to a perfect 100 score on ...

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Venice Review Roundup: La La Land, Arrival and Nocturnal Animals


Three of Oscar season’s biggest titles made their debuts in Venice this week and the reviews so far have been pretty stellar. Sometimes a Venice launch of a highly anticipated film ends up with a decidedly muted response (like The Danish Girl last year) but not this year. These three Oscar hopefuls, which includes an Amy Adams 1-2 punch, are finding tanto ...

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Frameline 40: 5 Films You Must Watch


Frameline 40 is about to kick off and here are five movies that well represent this year’s festival. From coming of age stories, great docs, emerging sexualities and comedy-dramas there is something for everyone at this year’s fest. Here are five great choices. Closet Monster Like a gay Donnie Darko with a Disney sidekick and an Xavier Dolan sensibility, Oscar (played ...

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SFIFF59 Preview: Maggie’s Plan (Rebecca Miller)


In Maggie’s Plan, Greta Gerwig plays the titular character, a woman on the verge of artificially inseminating herself with the DNA of a former college acquaintance-turned-pickle-entrepreneur named Guy (played by Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel). Gerwig is someone who I always feel would make a great muse for Woody Allen. She was indeed in a Woody Allen film, To Rome with Love, before ...

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I Saw the Light (★★)

Tom Hiddleston, I Saw the Light (Sony Pictures Classics)

  Tackling a biopic of arguably the most popular and influential country music artist of all time certainly must have been a daunting task. For writer/director Marc Abraham (Flash of Genius) it’s a task that’s just out of reach as his adaptation of “Hank Williams: A Biography” by Colin Escott, George Merritt and William MacEwan consistently fails to compel and ...

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Worst Picture/Best Picture Series: Shining Through and Unforgiven (1992)


In 1992, Liam Neeson starred in two WWII films, in one he played a Nazi villain, and in the other he played a Nazi with a heart of gold. Shining Through and Schindler’s List are both… Wait, Schindler’s List won Best Picture in 1993? So what movie do I have to compare Shining Through to? Unforgiven? Goddammit. Okay, one movie’s ...

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REVIEW: ‘The Big Short’ (★★★)

The Big Short (Paramount)

  Breaking down the billionaire boys club that broke America In The Big Short, the surprisingly irreverent new film from Adam McKay (Step Brothers, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), we’re told, “you might think you know what happened, but you don’t.” Now, that’s not the most original phrasing for a story like this but it is truthful. Most Americans ...

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