MOVIES | IN THEATERS NOW

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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 >

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NEW RELEASE: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House

Liam Neeson, Diane Lane and Marton Csokas
Directed by Peter Landesman

Do sleeping dogs lie forever? The question can be asked about Peter Landesman’s biopic of Mark Felt, the FBI agent who leaked drop after drop of damning information regarding the Watergate burglary to Bod Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, until they turned into a flood that drowned Nixon and acolytes in 1974. If one relies on the story as it is told here, the dogs will indeed ... more >

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LETTER FROM PARIS – The culture feast

All of the above-mentioned films are in theaters in France now

Were I ever tempted to leave Paris and pitch my tent in a warmer city, a city where it doesn’t rain as often, where skies are bluer and inhabitants smile, I only need to look back on this last week to realize that I could never live elsewhere (but I already know that.) So how did that week go? I saw three films: “Le Redoutable,” about New Wave cinema founder Jean-Luc Godard, “Young Karl Marx,” ... more >

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Brad’s Status is an audience-pleaser

Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams and Jenna Fischer
Directed by Mike White

"Brad's Status" is one of the better films I've seen in a long time. Mike White has crafted a movie, and a hero, that is sad, funny, smart, maddening and 100% human. Ben Stiller has been criticized for overexposure, usually when he appears in four junky slapstick comedies in one season, but I think audiences will want more of him after the one-two punch of "Brad's Status" and the (almost nearly ... more >

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Ana Lily Amirpour, “The Bad Batch”

Suki Waterhouse and Jason Momoa
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

Some time ago I attended a screening of “A girl walks home alone at night” in Paris, where I'm based. The film felt novel and contrarian enough to deserve attention. Its diminutive director, Ana Lily Amirpour, present at the screening, appeared to me like one of independent cinema's new hopes, a counterpoint to the languid cinema of Sofia Coppola. The Q&A afterward was a little weird. An ... more >

“Dunkirk”

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

I know, I know, you’re jaded. You’ve seen it all in hundreds, nay, thousands of movies. War movies, survival movies, hanging-on-by-the skin-of-your-teeth movies, abandon-hope movies, never-lose-hope movies. You’ve also seen admirable or despicable actions from soldiers, officers, and ordinary civilians. But trust me, you have never seen all of that brought together in a package such as Christopher ... more >

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OKJA, a Netflix premiere, delivers a bleak message couched in entertaining fiction

Seo-Hyun Ahn, Tilda Swinton and Steven Yeun
Directed by Bong Joon Ho

Can we fight evil? Save our lovely planet from ghouls such as Monsanto and other purveyors of various poisons into GMO plants and animals? Can the good people win? Can we save the human race while preventing our animals from being seen only in terms of sirloin or chops? Such is the theme of “Okja,” a Netlix film streaming on the video channel (and causing much distress at the recent Cannes film ... more >