Review: “Mulan” (2020)

Warning: this review contains spoilers for “Mulan.” I will never forget watching the animated Disney movie “Mulan” in the theater when it was first released in 1998, and the sense of elation I felt walking out of the auditorium, the Stevie Wonder/98 Degrees tune “True to Your Heart” blaring over the end credits.  It’s still […]

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Review: “Summerland”

“Summerland” is a period piece that is exactly as pleasant as it looks and sounds.  But by injecting a rather traditional and sentimental narrative with a more contemporary attitude, and through Gemma Arterton’s winning performance, writer and director Jessica Swale’s debut feature is a sumptuous treat. Set during World War II, “Summerland” stars Arterton as […]

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Review: “First Cow”

In her 2010 western “Meek’s Cutoff,” director Kelly Reichardt explored a group of pioneers trying to survive on the frontier in 19th century Oregon.  Reichardt returns to that time and place with her new drama, “First Cow,” which she also co-wrote along with frequent collaborator Jonathan Raymond (who also penned the novel The Half Life […]

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Review: “Shirley”

Writer Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known for her horror novel The Haunting of Hill House, widely regarded as one of the best and scariest ghost stories ever written.  But Jackson’s personal life becomes a sort of horror story of its own in “Shirley,” a new drama based on the novel by Susan Scarf Merrell […]

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Review: “How to Build a Girl”

The coming-of-age story is a familiar one in film, but rarely does the protagonist go through as many incarnations as Johanna Morrigan does in “How to Build a Girl.”  The new movie from IFC Films, which is directed by Coky Giedroyc with a screenplay by Caitlin Moran adapted from her novel of the same name, […]

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Review: “The Invisible Man”

3.5 out of 5 stars. Monster movies have always been compelling because, as far from reality as they may appear on the surface, we see reflections of the good and the bad in humanity in their stories.  This is especially apparent in the new version of “The Invisible Man,” directed by Leigh Whannell and based […]

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Review: “Birds of Prey”

4 out of 5 stars. Comic book movies can be dicey territory, but I think it’s safe to say that most people found the 2016 ensemble film “Suicide Squad” to be an unsatisfying mess.  The best part of that movie, however, was that it gave us Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn.  The character, who […]

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Review: “Bombshell”

2.5 out of 5 stars. “Bombshell,” one of the first big movies to be based on some of the events that spurred the Me Too movement, is simultaneously shocking, and shockingly tame. Directed by Jay Roach, the film revolves around the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News, in which several women exposed CEO Roger Ailes, […]

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