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Danielle Macdonald’s star-is-born performance elevates the hip-hop fairy tale ‘Patti Cakes’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:20:00 PDT

Patricia Dombrowski, a twentysomething New Jersey bartender and aspiring rap star played by the terrific Australian actress Danielle Macdonald, goes by many aliases. To her best friend and biggest fan, Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), she’s mostly “Killa P” and sometimes “Patti Cakes,” which also serves...


John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson tour buildings and emotions in the quietly captivating ‘Columbus’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 3 Aug 2017 09:05:00 PDT

In one of the many conversations that animate “Columbus,” a serenely intelligent first feature from the Korean American writer-director Kogonada, a part-time librarian named Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) and her co-worker Gabriel (Rory Culkin) discuss a tricky double standard. As Gabriel notes, someone...


‘Good Time’ review: The crook (a thief), his life and his brother
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:58:00 PDT

The most legitimately divisive movie of the moment, right alongside (and more urgent than) “Detroit,” the unnerving crime thriller “Good Time” moves like a streak, barely able to keep up with its characters.

The reckless, selfish, charismatic man at its core, Constantine “Connie” Nikas, is a small-time...


Animated ‘Leap!’ is fun when it dances, but the storytelling? Oof!
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:15:00 PDT

The animated feature “Leap!” pirouettes onto screens hoping to snag the attention of young audiences during the dog days of summer.

This Canadian production, originally titled “Ballerina,” finally hits U.S. theaters equipped with a Carly Rae Jepsen summer jam, “Cut to the Feeling.” But you'll spend...


Increasingly aimless ‘The Trip to Spain’ gets a bit lost in La Mancha
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:30:00 PDT

The paradox of “The Trip” movies is that they are always holding out the promise of new experiences — new cities to explore, new dishes to savor, new historic and literary landmarks to reflect upon — even as they adhere to a pattern of repetition and reassurance that is pretty much the opposite...


‘Crown Heights’ tells a timely, fact-based tale of wrongful incarceration
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:40:00 PDT

An uncaring system putting blameless men behind bars has been a cinematic staple as far back as Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man" and likely further. But few examples have been as effective as the fact-based "Crown Heights."

Winner of Sundance's coveted audience award in dramatic competition,...


Nepotism? Legacy? Just call Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s ‘Home Again’ the family business
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 7 Sep 2017 13:00:00 PDT

The name "Meyers" has come to signify a very specific type of film in Hollywood — the shiny, gentle, comforting and aspirational romantic family comedies that writer-director Nancy Meyers has perfected: "Something's Gotta Give," "The Holiday," "It's Complicated." Her daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer,...


‘It’ delivers nightmarish visuals but misses the true horror of Stephen King’s classic
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 7 Sep 2017 13:15:00 PDT

The 1950s small-town America of Stephen King’s youth provides a deceptively wholesome backdrop for the author’s nightmarish 1986 novel “It,” about a group of adolescent misfits in Derry, Maine, who band together to fight an evil, shape-shifting clown. But transplant the timeline to the summer of...


Eliza Hittman’s ‘Beach Rats’ is an erotic, evocative summer-of-love drama
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 24 Aug 2017 12:15:00 PDT

Frankie, the shy Brooklyn teenager at the center of Eliza Hittman’s “Beach Rats,” has a soft, low voice, a well-muscled physique and intense blue eyes that seem to contain worlds of private heartache. Over the course of the movie more than a few strangers will stare longingly at that physique and...


Two great Catherines find the drama in Martin Provost’s ‘The Midwife’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:30:00 PDT

The midwife of the title is Claire Breton (Catherine Frot), a Parisian woman in her 50s who, after years of bringing new life into the world, suddenly finds herself in the position of escorting someone toward death. It’s been several decades since Claire last saw Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), her...


Dolores Huerta has been jailed, beaten, mocked by Glenn Beck. A new doc shows why she won’t shut up
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 7 Sep 2017 12:20:00 PDT

“Dolores” is a documentary that celebrates a hero, but it's no hagiography. Its subject wouldn't stand for that.

That would be Dolores Huerta, a legendary activist who at age 87 defines indefatigable, a woman whose experience shows what a life of total commitment means — as well as the price it...


Angelina Jolie’s new film on the Khmer Rouge is impeccably made, but will it get under your skin?
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:15:00 PDT

How do you depict a nightmare? How do you re-create — and do justice to — events completely outside ordinary human experience?

Filmmakers who represent the Holocaust have dealt with this dilemma for decades, and Angelina Jolie faces it in "First They Killed My Father," her examination of the nightmarish...


He’s lean. He’s mean. He’s angry. And he’s out to save the world in ‘American Assassin’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:25:00 PDT

Though unstoppable CIA killing machine Mitch Rapp made his fearsome reputation by being unconventional, "American Assassin" takes the opposite tack.

The first film to be made from the late Vince Flynn's hugely popular series of novels, "American Assassin" is a serviceable, workman-like thriller...


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