Specialty Releases

Film Review: With Nuance and Balance, “Untouchable” Explores Fraught Truths About Sex Crimes

Untouchable (David Feige, 2016) 4 out of 4 stars. Most human beings, I hope, can agree that the sexual abuse of children is a grievous wrong that should be punished to the full extent allowed by the courts. Beyond such a … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Mary Queen of Scots” Deserves a Better Fate

Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke, 2018) 1 out of 4 stars. A narrative mess of a film occasionally buoyed by the raw beauty of well-photographed Scottish landscapes, Mary Queen of Scots begins as a sharp examination of the challenges faced by … Continue reading

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Film Review: “Vox Lux” Loses Both Voice and Light by the End

Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018) 2 out of 4 stars. A film that starts with a bang and ends in a fizzle, Vox Lux impresses before it disappoints. Featuring a brilliant set of twin performances from Raffey Cassidy (The Killing of a … Continue reading

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Film Review: In “Dumplin’,” the (Plus-Size) Outsiders Triumph

Dumplin’ (Anne Fletcher, 2018) 3 out of 4 stars. A mostly sweet, if sometimes saccharine, coming-of-age tale of self-actualization that takes a firm stand against monolithic views of body image, Dumplin’, out on Netflix starting December 7, goes down easy, its … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The American Meme” Does Justice to Vapid Cultural #Phenoms

The American Meme (Bert Marcus, 2018) 3 out of 4 stars. We can’t #hashtag our way out of this: #fame is the name of the game. But when everyone strives for celebrity status, however brief its duration, then what does stardom … Continue reading

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Film Review: In the End, “Never Look Away” Looks Not Closely Enough

Never Look Away (“Werk ohne Autor”) (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2018) 2 out of 4 stars. Never Look Away – or “Werk ohne Autor” (“work without an author”) in the original German – begins in a Dresden museum in 1937, where a … Continue reading

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Film Review: “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” Sings an Uneven Tune

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2018) 2 out of 4 stars. A collection of 6 short Westerns from Ethan and Joel Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is nothing if not uneven. Though infused throughout with the brothers’ … Continue reading

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Film Review: Scots Rule in “Outlaw King”

Outlaw King (David Mackenzie, 2018) 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the copious online coverage of the mid-film reveal of star Chris Pine’s genitalia in all its naked glory (don’t get too excited, as it’s only up there for a nanosecond), the … Continue reading

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Film Review: In “Maria by Callas,” the Diva Shines

Maria by Callas (Tom Volf, 2017) 3½ out of 4 stars. A documentary both elliptical and precisely structured, weaving in and out of broad temporal montages and detailed historical sequences, Maria by Callas tells the story of its subject with deep love and … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Stars Align in “Studio 54”

Studio 54 (Matt Tyrnauer, 2018) 4 out of 4 stars. From director Matt Tyrnauer – who last gave us Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, profiling the erotic lifestyles of Hollywood’s heyday – comes another lurid tale, this one of sex, drugs … Continue reading

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