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‘Vice’ review: Christian Bale, Amy Adams star in Dick Cheney biopic full of ... itself
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

Adam McKay’s restless Dick Cheney lament, “Vice,” belongs to a subgenre of recent political biopics one might characterize as “The Important, the Powerful and the Generally Pathetic,” with the subjects embodying all three traits.

Oliver Stone’s sneakily sympathetic George W. Bush inquiry “W.” (2008,...

‘On the Basis of Sex’ review: Biopic beautifully argues the importance of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

2018 just may prove to be the height of RBG mania. The tiny and tenacious 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a bright spot and one last symbol of decency during a political landscape fraught with crime, corruption and collusion. And people have found solace in her image. This...

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ review: Can love survive the hate a society gives its own people?
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

The first thing we see in “If Beale Street Could Talk” emerges as text on a black screen, a quotation from author James Baldwin. “Beale Street,” he wrote, “is a street in New Orleans, where my father, where Louis Armstrong and the jazz were born. Every black person born in America was born on Beale...

‘Escape Room’ review: Six trapped characters in search of an exit and an audience who cares
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

In one of the more effectively preposterous death-trap suspense scenes of "Escape Room," half a dozen terrified strangers, who have signed on to compete in a game of experiential survival, find themselves in an oversize bar that looks like it might, under different circumstances, be a fun place...

‘El Angel’ review: In Argentina, a baby-faced teen grows into a master criminal
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

A sleekly fashioned true-crime story without much on its mind, “El Angel” comes from Argentine filmmaker Luis Ortega, who works from various accounts of the serial killer Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch, nicknamed “the Angel of Death.” Since his 1972 arrest, at the age of 20, Puch has spent his life...

‘The House That Jack Built’ review: Lars von Trier’s really boring serial killer movie
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

The Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has coped with depression, alcohol abuse and a fairly justifiable persecution complex for years now. In 2011 he shot his mouth off at the Cannes Film Festival, joking about Hitler and Nazis and Jews, and was promptly declared persona non grata by festival officials....

‘Glass’ review: M. Night Shyamalan lectures us on comics mythology until you wanna break something
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

Two years ago, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan landed a worldwide success and regained his Hollywood clout with “Split,” thanks mostly to James McAvoy turning it into a sizzle-reel audition for the part he’d already secured. McAvoy’s multiple-personality serial killer character, Kevin Wendell...

‘Cold War’ review: In postwar Europe, a sexy, doomed affair to remember
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

At one point in the gorgeously fatalistic love story “Cold War,” pianist and composer Wiktor and vocalist Zula are alone in a 1957 Paris nightclub, dancing to the old Louis Jordan tune “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby.” That very question hangs over these two Polish exiles long after the music...

‘Serenity’ review: Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, wastin’ away in Margaritaville
BaltimoreSun.com / 1549019404

The Matthew McConaughey hindquarters are looking fine in “Serenity,” for the record. Their latest screen appearance, in the name of love scene realism and box office incentive, arrives in the context of a tropical bedroom encounter with Diane Lane, portraying the leading man’s sometime fling and...

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