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An American romantic goner in Paris and the perverse pleasures of ‘Thirst Street’s’ comic madness
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 28 Sep 2017 12:20:00 PDT

In the fractured fairy tale “Thirst Street,” micro-indie writer-director Nathan Silver (“Stinking Heaven”) turns a flight attendant’s Parisian fling into a psychodramatic peep show for the Polanski/Chabrol crowd.

American Gina (Lindsay Burdge, from “A Teacher”) has baggage, as narrator Anjelica...


‘Bugs’ documentary explores insect-eating as a cure for world hunger
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 12 Oct 2017 11:25:00 PDT

If a diet that includes maggots, locusts, termites and buffalo worms doesn’t entirely repel you, then the documentary “Bugs” might prove an intriguing look at the potential future of protein-rich nutrition sources for an expanding world. However, when it comes to food porn, “Babette’s Feast” it...


Michael Fassbender won’t melt your heart in the dreadfully incoherent thriller ‘The Snowman’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:20:00 PDT

In “The Snowman,” a wretched waste of time and talent from the Swedish director Tomas Alfredson (“Let the Right One In”), two detectives track a serial killer who likes to hack up women’s bodies and then scatter the pieces all over: a head here, a limb there. The movie, perhaps subscribing to the...


‘Breathe’ review: Andrew Garfield portrays disability advocate with grace
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:53:00 PDT

"Breathe" is meant, no doubt, as a sincere homage to the late disability advocate Robin Cavendish, who died, after living with polio for 36 years, in 1994.

Commissioned by his son, producer Jonathan Cavendish — who plays a minor role in the film — and directed by Jonathan Cavendish's business partner,...


‘Only the Brave’ review: Josh Brolin leads elite team into wildfires
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 19 Oct 2017 05:50:00 PDT

The title “Only the Brave” sounds like Hollywood fraudulence. Certainly there are moments in director Joseph Kosinksi’s film, an adaptation of Sean Flynn’s vivid 2013 GQ article about the fatal Arizona wildfires and the elite Granite Mountain firefighters who took them on, when the characters don’t...


Sean Baker’s ‘The Florida Project’ is a magnificent portrait of a joyous, troubled childhood
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 5 Oct 2017 13:25:00 PDT

All childhoods must come to an end, few of them as piercingly as the one in “The Florida Project,” Sean Baker’s raw, exuberant and utterly captivating new movie. The child in question is a wild and irrepressible 6-year-old girl named Moonee, played by a startling discovery named Brooklynn Kimberly...


‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ review: The three wise women return
BaltimoreSun.com / Wed, 1 Nov 2017 09:15:00 PDT

A movie can be unreasonably formulaic and still be reasonably diverting, and “A Bad Moms Christmas” is the proof. Some sequels take time to come together. This one took a mere 15 months to reunite Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and the extraordinarily valuable Kathryn Hahn as the suburban Chicago pals...


‘Thor: Ragnarok’ review: Marvel realm goes for the yuks
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 2 Nov 2017 09:25:00 PDT

As part of its generally welcome comic strategy, “Thor: Ragnarok” heckles itself for two hours and 10 minutes and lets Jeff Goldblum, skittering around as master of the death-match revels on the planet Sakaar, get away with murder. Nobody else in the known universe works on Goldblum’s wavelength....


Blind magician triumphs with the hand he’s been ‘Dealt’
BaltimoreSun.com / Wed, 25 Oct 2017 18:00:00 PDT

That signature sleight-of-hand saying, “Now you see it, now you don’t,” takes on an added layer of significance with “Dealt,” a penetrating documentary portrait of master playing-card manipulator Richard Turner, who also happens to be blind.

As demonstrated in Luke Korem’s revealing film, winner...


‘Tragedy Girls,’ when mean girls turn deadly mean ... but still look good on Instagram
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:45:00 PDT

Pitched as a “Heathers” for the Instagram age, Tyler MacIntyre’s “Tragedy Girls” lacks the satirical bite and subversive weight of that 1988 cult classic. But the movie’s central idea and bright young cast are so good that some of its shallowness is forgivable.

Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra...


‘The Square’ review: Ruben Ostlund skewers the art world
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 9 Nov 2017 08:47:00 PST

The Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund possesses an exceptionally crisp, legible way of creating images. His frames are simply but elegantly composed, and he choreographs bodies within natural and built environments with superb attention to rhythms and detail.

All of those gifts were on ample display...


‘Murder on the Orient Express’ review: A mystery train, 13 suspects long
BaltimoreSun.com / Wed, 8 Nov 2017 09:30:00 PST

The new version of “Murder on the Orient Express” is a film about a mustache. This culprit boasts the fiendish ability to steal focus from whatever and whomever it’s up against, every time director and star Kenneth Branagh confronts a suspect as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. A horizontal wonder,...


‘Daddy’s Home 2’ review: At Christmastime, double the fun with dads
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 9 Nov 2017 08:33:00 PST

"Daddy's Home 2" just might have to meet "A Bad Moms Christmas" outside in the parking lot to rumble over this turf war. Both films are seasonal romps about intergenerational love, acceptance and different parenting styles, but "Daddy's Home 2" slightly gets the edge. The surreal and silly sequel...


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