Review: “Master Gardener”

If First Reformed asked, “Will God forgive us?” and The Card Counter asked “Is there is a limit to punishment?” while asserting that “the body remembers,” the prevailing question that Master Gardener—the third piece in what has been dubbed writer/director Paul Schrader’s “God’s Lonely Man” trilogy—asks its audience is something a little less fraught: “Are […]

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Review: “Fast X”

Nine movies and a trilogy? That’s the direction the Fast and Furious franchise is turning toward, as it begins heading down the long road to wrapping up the series that began 22 years ago as a thriller about street racing. We’ve heard this before; the series’ supposed tenth and final film was soon announced to […]

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Review: “Blackberry”

Ask most people now, and they probably would consider the BlackBerry a bit of a joke. One of the first iterations of the smartphone, the rapid decline of the company paired with the design of the phone itself—rather clunky, with a keyboard that takes up half of its surface, compared with the sleek all-touchscreen iPhone—would […]

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Review: “The Taking”

John Ford. John Wayne. Cowboys and six-shooters, Native Americans and horses and epic battles to survive not only squabbles with other humans, but the unforgiving landscape they’ve settled in, one made of both towering beauty and abject terror. These elements, and dilemmas physical, moral, and spiritual, have come to define the western film genre. Just […]

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Review: “Beau Is Afraid”

At first blush, Beau Is Afraid— the third feature from writer/director Ari Aster—is radically different from his previous works. Hereditary and Midsommar can both be more neatly classified as horror, while his three hour epic Beau Is Afraid can perhaps most succinctly be boiled down to an absurdist interpretation of the hero’s journey. But there’s […]

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Review: “Showing Up”

Lizzy (Michelle Williams) is an artist on the verge of a breakthrough—or a breakdown. Either path seems completely viable throughout Showing Up, writer and director Kelly Reichardt’s low-key yet incisive character study of a working modern artist. By day, Lizzy does administrative work for the Portland art school of which her mother Jean (Maryann Plunkett) […]

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Review: “Renfield”

Dracula’s first introduction in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel predates the founding of Universal Studios (then Universal Pictures) by a mere 15 years, but Universal possibly wouldn’t still be around if it wasn’t for the vampire. Financially struggling at the start of the 1930s, Universal’s new head Carl Laemmle Jr. (recently bestowed that title by his […]

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Review: “Air”

Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time. That statement alone immediately conjures pitches for many a film about his life and career. Jordan has even been one of the few players to cross over to the front of the camera, playing a fictional version of himself in the […]

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