Review: “Respect”

The Queen of Soul deserves the best—and the best is not “Respect,” a by-the-numbers biopic that focuses on Aretha Franklin’s life from 1952 to 1972. Despite having the right talent both behind and in front of the camera, “Respect” frequently feels like sanitized studio fare, touching on some of Franklin’s personal traumas—from her drinking to […]

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Review: “Reminiscence”

“The past can haunt a man. That’s what they say.” Nick Bannister’s (Hugh Jackman) opening narration in “Reminiscence,” and his voiceovers throughout the remainder of the film, calls to mind classic films noir in which the hardened protagonist wearily dictates his thoughts, feelings, and ruminations on morality. But “Reminiscence” never does more than remind us […]

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Review: “Censor”

Censorship has played a role in film almost ever since the medium was invented. It takes different shapes and goes to varying extremes depending on the country and the time period. In Hollywood, for instance, the Production Code established to regulate content after the advent of the talking picture at the end of the 1920s […]

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Review: “Zola”

“Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Those words, attached to four selfies of herself with a white blonde woman, were posted on Twitter by Aziah “Zola” King in October 2015, kicking off a thread of 148 tweets detailing a […]

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Review: “Pink Skies Ahead”

Winona worries a lot. She’s a writer who, despite showing some promise, has dropped out of college and moved back in with her parents. She works at her dad’s business. She can’t pass her driver’s test. She parties with her friends and gorges on candy and freezes from the convenience store. When Winona goes to […]

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Review: “Shiva Baby”

“Shiva Baby” may be billed as a comedy, but the story that unfolds on screen plays out more like a horror film than anything else. Writer/director Emma Seligman’s debut feature is almost unbearably tense and uncomfortable, but also riotously funny, all while conveying a deep understanding of her main character, a young woman whose life […]

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Review: “Test Pattern”

What begins as a light romance quickly turns into a nightmare in “Test Pattern,” the debut film from writer and director Shatara Michelle Ford. While in recent years the #MeToo movement has created more widespread awareness of sexual harassment and abuse that women regularly face and has encouraged support for women who speak up, the […]

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Review: “Identifying Features”

All we know of Jesús is his face. It’s his face that opens “Identifying Features,” the debut film from director Fernanda Valadez, at first blurry and far away, but walking ever closer to us. The image fades, as a voiceover informs us that Jesús left his Mexican town with a friend weeks ago, in search […]

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