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Movie Review: First Reformed (2017)

In a day where some churches feel that the larger donation you make, the closer you will be to God, and where the biggest donors are the ones despoiling the planet, there are several choices you can make: Blow yourself up and take some transgressors with you, accept it and internalize your despair, or find…

Movie Review: Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary begins after a 78-year-old woman, Ellen, dies, leaving her daughter Annie (Toni Collette, “Krampus”), teenage grandchildren Peter (Alex Wolff, “Coming Through the Rye”) and Charlie (Milly Shapiro), and their father Steve (Gabriel Byrne, “The 33”) alone in the house they’d shared at the end of her life. That’s one thing made eloquently and devastatingly…

Movie Review: Lean on Pete (2017)

“Oh, God, make small the old star-eaten blanket of the sky, that I may fold it round me and in comfort lie” — T.E. Hulme, “The Embankment” When I first heard about British director Andrew Haigh’s (“45 Years”) Lean on Pete, it sounded like a warm, cuddly drama about horses, perhaps an updated version of…

Movie Review: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017)

Midway through The Vanishing of Sidney Hall, in the midst of a breakdown (breakthrough?), surrounded by his typewriter and empty bottles and strewn about pages, signifiers of talent devolving into madness, the successful yet troubled novelist at its center self-consciously admits to having recently written only “first lines and first pages. No middle. No end.”…

Movie Review: Lady Bird (2017)

For her fun fictionalized memoir of sorts, Greta Gerwig has painted a coming-of-age tale almost entirely in shades of grey. Lady Bird is the writer/director’s gentle, through passionately prickly look at the haze that lies just beyond adolescence, with Saoirse Ronan (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) playing Christine, the also titular protagonist who must navigate the…

Movie Review: The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Coen Brothers. Paul Thomas Anderson. Quentin Tarantino. When you think of great American directors who defined the first decade of the new millennium, these are a few of the usual suspects. When we reflect upon the current decade, it would be unwise to neglect the rise of an unusual directorial talent: James Franco. No…

Movie Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The digital age is slickly skewered on the sharp blade of a knife that cuts a clean swath of revenge through a wealthy family’s existence in sick satirist Yorgos Lanthimos’ genre-blurring The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lanthimos buries his satirical observations deep and then brushes away select portions of the surface to reveal grim…

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