Review: “Parallel Mothers”

In the maternity ward of a Madrid hospital, two women are about to give birth. Janis Martinez (Penélope Cruz) is an acclaimed photographer approaching 40. She had an affair with Arturo (Israel Elejalde), the archaeologist assisting her with the excavation of a mass grave in her home town, where her great-grandfather and many other residents […]

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Review: “A Hero”

Nothing and no one are as they seem in Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero,” a drama that examines its characters’ ethics with all the tension of a thriller. The writer and director’s latest film, Iran’s entry to this year’s Academy Awards, kicks off with a deceptively simple premise. Rahim Soltani (Amir Jadidi) has been imprisoned for […]

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Streaming Movie Reviews

Happy new year! I’m wrapping up some lingering reviews from 2021 releases this week with a batch of mini reviews of films that debuted on streaming services in December, from Adam McKay’s controversial satire “Don’t Look Up” to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s stellar directorial debut “The Lost Daughter” to a pair of intriguing sci-fi films. You can […]

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Review: “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

White so bright you can’t stare at it without blinking. Suddenly, figures emerge, walking straight toward the camera as if out of a dream. In fact, this dream-like state pervades the entirety of Joel Coen’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth,” his first solo outing as a director without brother Ethan. But he brings every skill […]

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Best Movies of 2021

2021 was a big year for movies. We returned to theaters (at least I did, after a full 14 month absence), and a number of films held over from 2020 finally saw the light of day. That’s not to say that things are back to what we used to know as normal, but as they’ve […]

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Review: “Licorice Pizza”

I don’t think I realized just how much I enjoyed “Licorice Pizza” until the final frame of the end credits dissolved, and I remembered that I had spent the last two hours or so sitting in a movie theater in 2021, not running carelessly around the San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s. Writer/director Paul […]

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Review: “The Matrix Resurrections”

“The Matrix Resurrections” opens with a moment of déjà vu: familiar music cues accompany rows of green code scrolling across the screen, followed by a phone call, and then a confrontation. If these scenes feel overly familiar, it’s because they are almost an exact recreation of the opening of Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s visionary 1999 […]

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Review: “Nightmare Alley” (2021)

If Guillermo Del Toro’s previous feature film, “The Shape of Water,” was about the perseverance of love and humanizing monsters, his latest movie, “Nightmare Alley,” is about as opposite to that as one can get. Based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel, which was also adapted into a 1947 film of the same name, “Nightmare […]

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Review: “Being the Ricardos”

“I Love Lucy” is one of the most beloved television series of all time, and for good reason. The sitcom, which ran from 1951 to 1957, utilized an ensemble cast to find humor in everyday situations, from domestic squabbles to career struggles. Besides its critical and popular acclaim—“I Love Lucy” was the most-watched TV show […]

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