MOVIES | IN THEATERS NOW

“The Young Karl Marx,” a legacy that endures

August Diehl, Stefan Konarske and Vicky Krieps
Directed by Raoul Peck

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the originator of the materialist conception of History. Rising inequality, nearly everywhere around the world, with the richest one percent having now accumulated more wealth than everyone else, means that Marx's ideas are as relevant as ever. We live in an era where the structural crises of the world systems have helped maintain ... more >

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READY PLAYER ONE: a skeptic’s approach

Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Such is Spielberg’s draw that even film lovers with little interest in dystopia or sci-fi hesitate only a couple of days before dutifully making their way to the nearest movie theater. So, does it deserve the praise? Not really. Special CGI-enhanced effects, spectacular as they are, pall after a while and become repetitive although to the end there are lovely surprising images such as the disco ... more >

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“La Prière,” the strange journey of an addict toward himself

Anthony Bajon and Louise Grinberg
Directed by Cédric Kahn

He arrived. We do not know where from, nor how. With his round face marked by blows, this teenager looks like a kid and a tough guy all at once. We do not know where he comes from, but we know what he’s become a product of: his addiction to hard drugs. We don’t know how he got there, but we understand where he hails from: a community of men living in the mountains, aging addicts, now devoted to ... more >

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How is “Call me by your name” a masterpiece? Let me count the ways

Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer
Directed by Luca Guadagnino

More than thirty years after his first Oscar nomination, James Ivory has finally been honored with his first win at the Oscars on Sunday, that of Best Adapted Screenplay, for "Call Me by Your Name." In his acceptance speech, Ivory called the film, about first love, “a story familiar to most of us, whether we’re straight or gay or somewhere in between.”  [James Ivory previously got nominations for ... more >

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Gary Oldman is awesome in “Darkest Hour”

Gary Oldman, Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas
Directed by Joe Wright

In “Darkest hour,” what Gary Oldman’s Churchill has to contend with in a time of war reminded me of what a newspaper editor does: tense negotiations, the reworking of sentences, an overarching need to get the message out, loudly and clearly. The real context of the story, the history, is, evidently, a very different one from this. In the early forties European countries were falling like dominoes ... more >

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LETTER FROM INDIA – “The Power of Melodrama”

Growing up, one remembers longing for our cinema to become more realistic, or at the very least a little less ridiculous. At one stage, virtually every film made was a lost-and-found potboiler that featured more or less the same dialogues. We have got our wish to a certain extent. The films of today try harder to tell a single story, populate them with characters that go beyond Kishan and Bishan, ... more >

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DRAMA/MYSTERY: “Murder on the Orient Express

Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Judi Dench

By now, film adaptations based on the oeuvre of the two most prolific British writers of crime fiction, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, form a respectable body. Of the latter, probably the best-known work remains “Murder on the Orient Express.” Today comes a new version by the, himself now almost venerable, Brit actor, Kenneth Branagh. From the get-go in this iteration, the ... more >