Movie Review: Lavender (2016)

Abbie Cornish (“Seven Psychopaths”) finds herself battling ghosts both metaphorical and literal in mystery thriller Lavender, which manages to be a decent enough flick in spite of its wholly derivative construction. Cornish plays Jane, mother to a precocious daughter (Lola Flanery, “The Mist” TV series), wife to a possibly philandering husband (Diego Klattenhoff, “Pacific Rim”),…

Movie Review: Split (2016)

For some, watching an M. Night Shyamalan film is an experience that fills them with dread. But this dread can be separated in two distinct camps: First, the good kind of dread that accompanied Shyamalan’s first blockbusters in Hollywood — “The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable,” “Signs” — all quietly unsettling thrillers that, despite some weaknesses, still…

Movie Review: Salt and Fire (2016)

The synopsis of acclaimed German director Werner Herzog’s 2016 thriller Salt and Fire, at first, seems to present a truly intriguing, unique and captivating story — “A renowned scientist is sent to Bolivia on an urgent mission to analyze a looming environmental catastrophe she along with her colleagues are deceived by a man claiming to…

Movie Review: Dead Awake (2016)

Beth and Kate (Jocelin Donahue, “Knight of Cups”) are twins, and each is experiencing her late 20s in quite a different way. Kate is stable, confident and popular; Beth, living with her parents, is nervous and reclusive, and fearful of relapse. Beth is afflicted by “sleep paralysis,” a condition whereby the mind is awake but…

Movie Review: Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2016)

In Israeli-American director Joseph Cedar’s masterful film, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, a ridiculously expensive pair of shoes given as a gift leads to a friendship between rising Israeli politician Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi, “Encirclements”) and Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere, “Time Out of Mind”), an American businessman, consultant…

Movie Review: In Circles (2016)

In Circles, a based-on-fact drama about crop circles in England, is unfortunately inert and dead on arrival. It’s a muddled ball of confusion that struggles fruitlessly to provide some sort of context or emotional connection among the characters, the audience, and the plot. Otherwise, it’s not really terrible. A reporter, Lara (Cassandra Thomas, “The Duchess…

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