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In Dunkirk, England Wins World War II. Again.

Cooler heads prevailed
Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles and Tom Hardy
Directed by Christopher Nolan

For "Dunkirk" Christopher Nolan cast the puppy-eyed lead singer of One Direction, Harry Styles, as a British soldier during the famed 1940 evacuation. This is entirely appropriate. I say this because the British Army fought World War II with the ferocity of a boy band. I don’t understand why the British feel such a reflex to celebrate it. Here’s a trip down the the pathway of British military ... more >

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Wonder Woman, Or The Passion of Joan of Arc

Comparing two strong women
Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Robin Wright
Directed by Patty Jenkins

A virgin inspired by a divine sense of mission. A legendary sword. A bitter battlefield stalemate. And a France in need of saving. "Wonder Woman," the summer’s biggest hit, has been hailed for resurrecting one of the great heroines of the past. But the heroine being revived isn’t only the comic book phenomenon. It would be Joan of Arc, as well. The story of St. Joan was one of the strangest ... more >

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“Stalker”: Andrei Tarkovsky, Faith and the Soviet Union

Early in "Stalker," Andrei Tarkovsky’s newly re-released 1979 futurescape, a character known only as The Writer (Anatoly Solonitsyn) recaps the virtues of the Middle Ages. Unlike modern times with their defeating way of explaining everything, centuries past were flavored by the prevalence of mystery. Every house had its own goblin. In the film’s dreary Soviet house the goblin has a name, ... more >

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Colossal, A Monster Drinking Problem

Weird connections
Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis and Austin Stowell
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo

The premise of Nacho Vigalondo’s "Colossal," a Godzilla monster comedy starring Anne Hathaway, is such a creative burst that the movie earned a decent review just by getting to paper. A drink-til-you-drop party girl gets dumped by her boyfriend, moves home to a small town, takes a job as a waitress, and tries to sober up. Meanwhile across the world, a giant lizard creature appears and disappears ... more >

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Ambushed Again: Bonnie, Clyde and the 2017 Oscars

The biggest mishap, ever?

Warren and Faye always were good for a bloody ending. Especially Faye Dunaway, who has shown a genius for getting shot in a car to finish a movie. We should feel forgiving toward Mrs. Mulwray. She was born with an eye imperfection. And died with an even bigger one. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could not have picked a better dance pair for the greatest televised mistake in ... more >

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They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore? “La La Land”

The mystery of musicals
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
Directed by Damian Chazelle

The feel-good La La Land, director Damien Chazelle's prohibitive awards favorite, is a movie of mystery. Can Emma Stone sing? (She can.) Can Ryan Gosling sing and dance? (As a singer, he makes an OK dancer.) The real and lasting question rising from its smoggy, sunny success, however, is this one: Why don’t they make more musicals? Every week a pigeon flies in from “The Death of ... more >

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Jackie

Natalie Portman is "Jackie"
Natalie Portman and Caspar Philipson
Directed by Pablo Larrain

Probably the most famous first lady in the history of the United States, people remember Jacqueline Kennedy for riding next to her dying husband in the most perfect pink dress anyone had ever seen. This image permanently stuck in our head lights Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie” is fueled by this incoherent image pink and bloody – the glamour and the grief.   Jackie isn’t the story of a murder. It’s the ... more >