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CONVERSATIONS ABOUT “Away from Here”

Alicia Witt and Nick Stahl
Directed by Bruce Van Dusen

The Johnny Depp science fiction film “Transcendence” has been kicking around theaters for the past two weeks, but there’s a smaller gem of a movie—independently co-written and co-produced by Kate Cohen, one of “Transcendence’s” producers that's only available for streaming. It’s called “Away from Here,” and like “The Woodsman,” it treats a normally sensational subject, adult sex with minors, ... more >

NEBRASKA: We had more to say about it

Starring Bruce Dern, June Squibb and Will Forte

(this is Screen Comment's second review of "Nebraska") American indie cinema also has its giants. Just like his compadres Wes Anderson and Jason Reitman Alexander Payne has, after directing only a few movies, spearheaded this other cinema in which America, and its history, fill the whole screen. As it were, in “Nebraska” America is hiding in plain sight. Not the one where superheroes save humanity ... more >

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: STARLET

Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson and Boonee
Directed by Sean Baker

In the department of gems to discover, “Starlet,” by Sean Baker. Once in a while we’re lucky enough to come upon an excellent film that had somehow slid under our radar screen. I’m thinking “Tiny Furniture,” showered with awards at indie film festivals, written about, lauded but attracting only a small audience. As a writer, I was green with envy when I finally saw it. How can an author be so ... more >

NOT FADE AWAY

Not fade away

John Magaro and Jack Huston
Directed by David Chase

David Chase has gone from “The Sopranos” to taking a sixties-rock nostalgia trip with “Not Fade Away." It’s a film that knows its subject well enough, and even has E-Street Band member Steven Van Zandt to help pick the bluesy rock-infused soundtrack. And yet I don't know what I'm supposed to take away from the band focused on here. Doug (John Magaro) is a New Jersey kid inspired by The Rolling ... more >

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Promised Land

Matt Damon and John Krasinsky
Directed by Gus Van Sant

“Promised Land” is the movie that Matt Damon and John Krasinski of “The Office” teamed up to write. Damon was even going to direct at one time before scheduling conflicts encouraged them to bring on Gus Van Sant. Damon is Steven, vice-president of a natural gas company who travels with his partner (Frances McDormand) to the rural town of McKinley in order to buy up people’s land and drill for ... more >

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Jack Reacher

Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie

“Jack Reacher," based on the Lee Child novel “One Shot," begins chillingly enough with the stigma of the recent tragedy in Connecticut. A sniper looks through his scope and guns down five people in cold blood. But while “Reacher” is far from perfection it doesn’t deserve this kind of relevance, either. The shooting inquiry brings Reacher (Tom Cruise) to Pittsburgh. He’s an investigative officer ... more >

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Zero Dark Thirty

Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

"Zero Dark Thirty" may be the best unentertaining movie I've seen this year. This is Kathryn Bigelow’s second film based on the war on terror, and it is just as much of an imperfect as it is an interesting take on the past decade as “The Hurt Locker,” and has roughly the same type of main character in it. “Zero” is very easy to follow, comes off impeccably well-researched and has a terrific ... more >