T/movie-reviews

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‘Black Beauty’ Review: A Melodrama in Need of Rougher Edges
Weekend, Today

Set in the present day, this adaptation of the classic children’s novel forgets why the story of a horse surviving the maliciousness of humans has endured for so long.

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‘Zappa’ Review: Portrait of a Rock Star and a Nation’s Hero
Weekend, Yesterday

The documentary, directed by Alex Winter, portrays the musician and composer Frank Zappa as a sort of noble.

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‘Superintelligence’ Review: Melissa McCarthy Has to Save the World
Weekend, Yesterday

In this comedy from Ben Falcone, McCarthy plays the world’s most average human, picked to save the world by an A.I. entity with the voice of James Corden.

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‘Stardust’ Review: A Week With David Bowie, Unaccompanied by His Music
Weekend, Yesterday

A more accurate title for this movie, set in the early ’70s, would be “Johnny Flynn Sings Jacques Brel.”

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‘My Psychedelic Love Story’ Review: On the Run With Timothy Leary
Weekend, Yesterday

This Errol Morris documentary explores the relationship between the LSD guru and Joanna Harcourt-Smith, a woman who likened herself to Mata Hari.

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‘Mosul’ Review: In Iraq, This Time It’s Personal
Weekend, Yesterday

A rogue Iraqi SWAT team fights the Islamic State in Matthew Michael Carnahan’s action thriller.

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‘Kill It and Leave This Town’ Review: Grotesque, Bleak and Endless
Weekend, Yesterday

One viewing is enough for this animated feature debut by the Polish director Mariusz Wilczynski.

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‘Overseas’ Review: Human Capital
Weekend, November 25

This observational documentary is set in a training center for Filipino women who are deployed abroad to work as domestic help.

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‘Happiest Season’ Review: Make the Yuletide Gay
Weekend, November 25

Straight expectations sour a lesbian couple’s holidays in this romantic comedy.

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‘The Croods: A New Age’ Review: More Civilized
Weekend, November 25

This animated sequel accelerates the prehistoric characters’ clash with modernity.

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‘Uncle Frank’ Review: Coming of Age, Coming to Terms
Weekend, November 25

A first-year college student learns her cool uncle’s secrets in Alan Ball’s film.

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‘The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two’ Review: Meet the Clauses
Weekend, November 25

Kids explore the marvels of Santa’s Village in this sugary, busy Netflix sequel that stars Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

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‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Review: I Remember Mamaw
Weekend, November 23

Glenn Close and Amy Adams star in Ron Howard’s Hollywoodized version of J.D. Vance’s best seller.

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‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square’ Review: Holiday Winks
Culture, November 23

Netflix’s peppy holiday musical has a campy streak and original songs by the country star, who plays a homeless angel with lessons for the town Scrooge.

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‘Shawn Mendes: In Wonder’ Review: A Skin-Deep Portrait
Weekend, November 23

This Netflix documentary wants so much to be a humanizing look at Mendes, but it doesn’t crack his polished pop-idol veneer.

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‘Belushi’ Review: A Comic in Full
Culture, November 20

R.J. Cutler’s biographical documentary about the comedy legend hits home hardest as a kind of love story, thanks to candid letters and audio interviews with colleagues.

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‘The Real Right Stuff’ Review: A Movie Still Waiting for Liftoff
Culture, November 20

This Disney+ space race documentary is a bland chronology of successful launches and minor mishaps.

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‘Collective’ Review: When Tragedy Consumes a Nation
Weekend, November 19

The shocking Romanian documentary “Collective” revisits a 2015 fire that killed scores of people and brought down the government.

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‘Mangrove’ Review: A Restaurant’s Radicalism
Weekend, November 19

The first episode in Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology dramatizes protest and police brutality in 1960s London.

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‘Run’ Review: Bad Medicine
Weekend, November 19

Sarah Paulson plays a menacing parent in this enjoyably ludicrous thriller.

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‘Team Marco’ Review: Bocce Will Save Our Youth
Weekend, November 19

An obnoxious youth is taught the ways of the bocce court in this Staten Island family drama from Julio Vincent Gambuto.

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‘Soros’ Review: A Philanthropist in the Spotlight
Weekend, November 19

This documentary on the Holocaust survivor and successful investor isn’t an objective portrait and doesn’t aspire to be.

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‘Vanguard’ Review: Jackie Chan, More Avuncular Than Action This Time
Weekend, November 19

Playing a chief executive, Chan mostly observes rather than takes part in this movie’s death-defying stunts.

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‘The Last Vermeer’ Review: A Lost Masterpiece Is Only the Beginning
Weekend, November 19

The Danish actor Claes Bang plays an army officer in the aftermath of World War II, investigating paintings that have fallen into Nazi hands.

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‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’ Review: A Who’s Who of Hudgens
Weekend, November 19

A holiday game of musical thrones keeps Vanessa Hudgens whirling through costumes and accents.

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‘Sound of Metal’ Review: When the Music Stops, the Healing Begins
Weekend, November 19

Riz Ahmed is touchingly credible as a musician who loses his hearing in this unusual drama.

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‘The Twentieth Century’ Review: The Great Weird North
Weekend, November 19

In Matthew Rankin’s visually exuberant film, a candidate for prime minister copes with fascism and fetishism in a bizarro-world version of Canada’s past.

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‘Embattled’ Review: Hitting Back
Weekend, November 19

This macho drama concerns a mixed martial arts fighter and the son he continues to abuse — in the cage.

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‘Born to Be’ Review: A Compassionate Doctor Changing Lives
Culture, November 18

This documentary follows Dr. Jess Ting in his work at Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery.

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‘Crazy, Not Insane’ Review: Inside the Criminal Mind
Culture, November 18

In this Alex Gibney documentary, the psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who has spent decades studying the pathology of violence, explains what makes people murder.

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‘Cemetery’ Review: Elephant Walk
Culture, November 18

In this immersive experimental film, an elephant and his guardian take a dangerous jungle journey.

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‘Ainu Mosir’ Review: A Crisis of Cultural Identity
Weekend, November 17

This quietly observed drama follows a teenager living in a community of Ainu people in Hokkaido, Japan struggling to preserve their culture.

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‘69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez’ Review: A SoundCloud-Rap Rat
Culture, November 17

The rise and fall of the provocative rapper Tekashi69 is chronicled in this Hulu documentary.

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‘Come Away’ Review: Escaping Grief Through Fantasy
Culture, November 13

David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie play grieving parents in a dreary melodrama that imagines Peter Pan and Alice (of Wonderland) as siblings.

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‘The Climb’ Review: The Dudes Abide
Weekend, November 12

Two friends face the challenges of adulthood and the treachery of women in this empty, energetic bromance.

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‘Jingle Jangle’ Review: Dancing Through the Snow
Weekend, November 12

This Netflix holiday movie offers energetic sequences, charming music and a delightful cast.

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‘Dreamland’ Review: Bang Bang, Blah Blah
Weekend, November 12

In this 1930s drama, Margot Robbie plays a bank robber who finds an unlikely partner in crime in Finn Cole’s teenage dreamer.

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‘Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds’ Review: It’s Raining Mysteries
Weekend, November 12

Apocalyptic comets, complicated math, ancient rituals, eccentric scientists: Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s new documentary has it all.

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‘Monsoon’ Review: Clouded Memories of Saigon
Weekend, November 12

Henry Golding plays a man who returns to the Vietnam of his childhood in Hong Khaou’s thoroughly personal drama “Monsoon.”

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‘Wolfwalkers’ Review: From Ireland, Lupine Lore in Cartoon Style
Weekend, November 12

This film about enchanted women of the woods is lovely to behold but its story line is lacking.

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‘The Life Ahead’ Review: Sophia Loren, Directed by Her Son, Shines
Weekend, November 12

The beloved actress’s new movie, from Edoardo Ponti, is a tidy, not unintelligent tear-jerker about love and tolerance.

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‘Make Up’ Review: Self-Discovery, an Adolescent Horror
Weekend, November 12

Claire Oakley demonstrates admirable control in her first feature film, a psychological coming-of-age drama.

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‘I Am Greta’ Review: Birth of a Climate Warrior
Weekend, November 12

Nathan Grossman alternates truth-to-power moments with quiet ones in his documentary about the young Greta Thunberg.

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‘Ammonite’ Review: Love on the Rocks
Weekend, November 12

Kate Winslet’s fossil hunter and Saoirse Ronan’s convalescent embark on a forbidden seaside romance.

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‘Freaky’ Review: The Killer Inside
Weekend, November 12

Vince Vaughn explores his feminine side when his character inhabits the body of a high-school girl in this slasher comedy.

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‘Fatman’ Review: Ho-Ho-Hum
Weekend, November 12

Mel Gibson plays a glum Saint Nick whose business is on the skids in this grim, tonally confused comedy.

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‘Coded Bias’ Review: When the Bots Are Racist
Weekend, November 11

This cleareyed documentary explores how machine-learning algorithms can perpetuate society’s existing class-, race- and gender-based inequities.

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‘Transhood’ Review: Five Years Pass as Transgender Kids Grow Up
Culture, November 11

This HBO documentary follows the lives and trajectories of four transgender and gender-nonconforming children in Kansas City.

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‘Free Time’ Review: City Life as It Was, Today
Weekend, November 11

The filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer excavates the sights — and constructs the sounds — of a lost New York.

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‘Kindred’ Review: A Dreary, Derivative Hostage Thriller
Weekend, November 5

Influences of “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Get Out” are evident in this Joe Marcantonio film, which doesn’t live up to its forebears.

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‘Mortal’ Review: Discovering Superpowers, None Too Quickly
Weekend, November 5

André Ovredal’s new fantasy film seems more concerned with setting up a sequel than delivering answers.

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‘Operation Christmas Drop’ Review: Heavy Military Presents
Weekend, November 5

This Netflix holiday movie is predictable to a fault, with barely enough energy to light up a Christmas tree.

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‘Jungleland’ Review: On the Outside, Looking Down
Weekend, November 5

A tale of American striving, in undergrowth thick with preconceived notions about people who might not be exactly like you.

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‘The Endless Trench’ Review: A Hidden Life
Weekend, November 5

In this survival drama set during the military dictatorship in Spain, a man hides in his house for three decades, battling tedium and isolation.

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‘Proxima’ Review: Separation Anxiety
Weekend, November 5

Eva Green plays an astronaut and single mother in this disappointingly earthbound drama.

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‘The Informer’ Review: Lock Up or Shut Up
Weekend, November 5

The film, starring Joel Kinnaman as a mole in a mob-run drug trade, makes for an absorbing time killer.

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‘The Dark and the Wicked’ Review: Home, but Not Alone
Weekend, November 5

A family is threatened by a diabolical entity in this frightening and emotionally fraught horror movie.

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‘Let Him Go’ Review: From Grief to Terror
Weekend, November 5

The mature chemistry of Kevin Costner and Diane Lane goes a long way in this searing thriller.

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‘Koko-di Koko-da’ Review: Torture, Kill, Repeat
Weekend, November 5

A grieving couple is terrorized by three psychopaths in this unsettling Swedish horror movie.

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‘Triggered’ Review: School’s Out Forever
Weekend, November 5

In this horror film, a deranged high school science teacher entraps his former students in a deadly social experiment.

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‘Rogue City’ Review: An Action Movie Skimping on Action
Weekend, October 30

Olivier Marchal’s film proves that gangsters and crooked cops can speak French and still spin clichés.

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‘The True Adventures of Wolfboy’ Review: A Hirsute Teen Drama
Weekend, October 29

A 13-year-old boy, his body covered in hair, searches for the mother he never knew.

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‘Fire Will Come’ Review: An Arsonist Returns Home to the Forest
Weekend, October 29

Oliver Laxe gives us the story of humans and nature in crisis in Galicia, with nonactors playing the roles.

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‘Us Kids’ Review: They’re Not All Right
Weekend, October 29

This documentary by Kim A. Snyder asks difficult questions about what it means to grow up in an America where gun violence is far too common.

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‘Raining in the Mountain’ Review: A Martial Arts Gem From 1979
Weekend, October 29

This recently restored film by King Hu is a spectacular, exhilarating entertainment.

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‘Come Play’ Review: Alexa, Find Me a Derivative Thriller
Weekend, October 29

In Jacob Chase’s film, a monster from another realm invades ours through phone screens and tablets.

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‘The Donut King’ Review: Sweet Dreams
Weekend, October 29

This documentary traces the mercurial journey of a Cambodian refugee who became a doughnut mogul in California.

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‘Madre’ Review: A Tense Depiction of a Mother Undone
Weekend, October 29

Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s feature about a mother in Spain whose son disappears is a compelling and unsettling character study.

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‘Spell’ Review: Occult Reprogramming
Weekend, October 29

Omari Hardwick plays a lawyer who gets trapped in the superstition-laden enclave of Appalachia where he was raised.

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‘City Hall’ Review: Frederick Wiseman, for the People
Weekend, October 28

In his latest movie, the celebrated documentarian explores the ideas and ideals, the faces and spaces of Boston’s City Hall.