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In a Better World

Susanne Bier’s Best Foreign Language winner examines life and how we live it By T.T. Stern-Enzi The very first essay in contemporary (and highly controversial) philosopher Peter Singer’s collection, Writings on an Ethical Life, questions the authority of “moral experts,” and as a layperson, I was struck by what seems to be the fundamental idea […]

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I Am

Ace Ventura director Tom Shadyac searches for the meaning of life By T.T. Stern-Enzi How do you go from directing Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty (and its sequel Evan Almighty) to a documentary like I Am, which captures a spiritual and intellectual journey to find meaning in the world? If you […]

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‘Of Gods and Men’

Co-writer and director Xavier Beauvois explores the question of human brotherhood in crisis Rating: R Grade: A By T.T. Stern-Enzi In an impoverished Algerian community, a small group of Trappist monks, led by Brother Christian (Lambert Wilson), stare into the face of fundamentalist terror and begin to question both their mission and their faith. In […]

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Win Win

Comedy and drama generate a winning formula in Tom McCarthy’s latest project By T.T. Stern-Enzi Hollywood would like to convince us that stories fit into nice neat little genre boxes. There are comedies. There are dramas. They want to lead us like sheep into theaters, sell us overpriced concessions, and entertain us without challenging us […]

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Soul Surfer

The next wave of inspiring survivors rolls in By T.T. Stern-Enzi There are times as a critic when the criteria shifts, when the subjective nature of the job requires explanation because the grade given is based on more than whether or not the movie or the performances are “good” or “bad.” And sometimes it doesn’t […]

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North Dixie Drive

Eric Mahoney directs this scenic view of a local by-way By T. T. Stern-Enzi Back in 2005 when Sufjan Stevens released Illinois following up Michigan, the 2003 disc dedicated to his home state, an eager indie music media anticipated a 50-state song cycle exploring the American landscape. It would have been a bold and imaginative […]

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I Love You, Phillip Morris

All Jim Carrey wants is to be loved By T. T. Stern-Enzi I Love You, Phillip Morris might have been the best love story of 2010. So what if it was based on the true story of Steven Russell (Jim Carrey), a happily married local police officer who forsakes his conventional life after a car […]

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The Outsider behind ‘Cedar Rapids’

Director Miguel Arteta has the last laugh By T. T. Stern-Enzi In what might be the funniest scene thus far in film, Ron Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr. of later Spike Lee and “The Wire” fame), playing a nerdy Midwestern insurance salesman, bumrushes his way into a raucous house party to rescue wayward cohort Tim Lippe […]

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Biutiful

Inarritu sets off on a new filmmaking journey By T. T. Stern-Enzi With “Amores Perros,” “21 Grams” and “Babel,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga forged a collaborative filmmaking partnership that generated stories grounded in a triptych structure that deconstructed time and narrative form into piercing slivers of emotional diamonds. And for their efforts, […]

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Has a decade of diversity come to an end?

‘For Colored girls’ (and other Folks) Who continue to Feel Invisible When Searching For Onscreen Reflections By T. T. Stern-Enzi There have always been urban films, from the black exploitation films of the 1970s to the comic movies that capitalized on stand-up performers transitioning to the mainstream to the hood action dramas infused with hip […]

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News of the weird: 09/23/14

By Chuck Shepherd Lead Story – New frontiers in American vacuousness The WE cable network disclosed in August  it had […]

High expectations

Harvest Moon and Balloon Fest returns to Troy By Melissa Markham Photo: The Miami County Harvest Moon and Balloon Festival […]

Troy, unplugged

Fall Farm Festival at Lost Creek Reserve By Tammy Newsom Photo: Visitors take a wagon ride down Scarecrow Lane at […]

Law & Disorder: Blowing up our democracy

Lawmaking for sale By AJ Wagner Last week, I noted how Republicans won’t be formally approving President Barack Obama’s war […]

The bold and the beardless

A clean-shaven Matisyahu at Bogart’s By Alan Sculley Photo: Matisyahu will perform on Sept. 26 at Bogart’s in Cincinnati Aside […]

Advice goddess

By Amy Alkon   Doody-bound You printed a letter from a guy who doesn’t want to be a father and […]