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Oy vey, David Ayer’s “The Tax Collector” is a big let-down | REVIEW

As gangland taxman Shia Labeouf misses the mark
Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona and Shia LaBeouf
Directed by David Ayer

I really enjoy David Ayer’s work. His screenplays can occasionally bring about intense and powerful portrayals of cops and street criminals. When he hits, he hits hard such as with his screenplay for Ron Shelton’s excellent crooked cop drama “Dark Blue” starring Kurt Russell, and his sensational police drama “End of Watch” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. I even found Ayer’s 2014 ... more >

In the Philippines where a pandemic gave Duterte absolute power it’s open season for the intimidation of journalists

Our interview with Ramona Diaz, director of "A Thousand Cuts"

Journalist Maria Ressa was convicted of “cyber libel” just as Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary about her, called “A Thousand Cuts,” was due to premiere at AFI Docs in June. Ressa had for years worked for a press outlet called the Rappler, which was severely critical of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime and stifling of the free press. “We anticipated it,” said Diaz, whose “A Thousand ... more >

Adapted from the namesake Norwegian novel, “Out stealing horses” | REVIEW

Do you know who you are?
Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg and Tobias Santelmann
Directed by Hans Petter Moland

“We decide for ourselves what will hurt” Ah, the past and the memories it leaves us. Be they good or bad they make a home in our mind and soul, guiding our life decisions and shaping who we will become. Sometimes warm, sometimes dark, our remembrances become our true and constant life companions. Hans Petter Moland’s adaptation of Per Petterson’s novel, “Out Stealing Horses” (Ut og stjaele ... more >

ON A CONFERENCE CALL with the filmmakers of “The Fight,” a new documentary about the many battles and the many lives of the ACLU

Film will be available Friday for streaming

The documentary is called “The Fight,” which could not be a more à propos title for a film about the ACLU’s ongoing quest to defend not only civil rights, but also the necessity for everyone to enjoy free speech, no matter how odious their views might be. But the civil rights organization’s mandate became even more demanding during the Trump administration, as the president and his cabinet have ... more >

“Most wanted” is one of the more interesting films this year (REVIEW)

Investigating a wrongful conviction at the end of the world
Amanda Crew, Josh Hartnett and Stephen McHattie
Directed by Daniel Roby

Films about investigative journalism exposing a dramatic event and/or cover-up have been popular for decades, from Billy Wilder’s “Ace in the Hole” and Sam Fuller’s “Park Row” to Alan Pakula’s “All the President’s Men” to 2015’s Oscar winning “Spotlight,” all have expertly captured what it means to be a dedicated journalist tirelessly searching for the truth. The best films about journalism ... more >

LIVE ON NETFLIX TODAY: “Father Soldier Son” (talking to the filmmakers about a decade-long documentary project around valor, family, society and one man’s post-combat travails)

An American family, up close
Directed by Leslye Davis and Catrin Einhorn

It’s rare that a documentary will film for a decade, but that’s precisely what New York Times reporters Catrin Einhorn and Leslye Davis accomplished with their new film “Father Soldier Son.” The documentary, which premieres Friday on Netflix, follows two generations of upstate New York’s Eisch family. The father, Master Sgt. Brian Eisch, is a veteran of the Afghanistan war, who near the ... more >

INTERVIEW: Dawn Porter, filmmaker (“John Lewis: Good Trouble”)

"He wanted to get back out and keep on marching "(Porter commenting on John Lewis's determination)

Could there possibly be a more apt time for a documentary about John Lewis, the civil rights pioneer and longtime Georgia congressman, than now? In this singular moment of protest and cultural shift, documentarian Dawn Porter is hoping that her new film “John Lewis: Good Trouble” will be a part of the conversation. “Despite some evidence to the contrary, I count myself as an optimistic person. ... more >