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Blue Valentine

A dark bluesy ode to love By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R Grade: B+ “No Strings Attached” captured hearts and the opening weekend box office by giving audiences the same old, same old vision of love, which, in the end, isn’t really about love at all. Love doesn’t live at the multiplex; the reflection of it that […]

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Made in Dagenham

Sally Hawkins’s crusading feminist in ‘Dagenham’ very likable By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R Grade: B Sally Hawkins impressed me immeasurably in “Never Let Me Go,” Mark Romanek’s adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s bestselling novel, which left me cold with its snow-globe detail that sealed out almost any sense of genuine emotion. The faint hint of humanity stirring […]

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War Horse

Jeremy Irvine in War Horse

Spielberg presents the story of a boy, his horse and the war that separates them By T.T. Stern-Enzi Steven Spielberg, contemporary film’s sentimental serialist, strikes again with this heart-tugging story about young Albert (Jeremy Irvine), a British farm boy who enlists to fight in World War I after his father (Peter Mullan) sells his horse, […]

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The Green Hornet

Michel Gondry and writing duo play with comic book conventions By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: B For a genre based on color-splashed frames of superhuman heroics, comic book adaptations sure have gotten heavy-handed in their attempts to break into the mainstream and acquire a measure of cultural significance. Superheroes are the new mythology of […]

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Accompanied at the Top

Top 10 films of the year By T.T. Stern-Enzi Every year’s top 10 list feels a bit incomplete due to the nature of the release schedule in the Midwest. Studios frantically scramble to offer screenings or screeners for critics to consider films that may not play in their markets until early the following year, if […]

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The latest tale of Narnia struggles to find its way By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG  Grade: B- As with the “Harry Potter” series, I feel it is best to open with an admission. I have never read any of the C.S. Lewis books, although I have more than a dim awareness of the Christian allegorical […]

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Black Swan

Natalie Portman takes flight in this psychological thriller By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R  Grade: A+ Natalie Portman is all grown up and the proof is in her searing portrayal of the innocent perfectionist Nina in Darren Aronofsky’s intense exploration into the dark heart of a rising ballerina. As Nina, Portman embraces, to the fullest, the […]

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When the Tourist Isn’t the Tourist

New espionage thriller charts a different European adventure By T.T. Stern-Enzi Milo Weaver, a CIA black-ops field agent known as a “Tourist” in the trade, is a late-30-something man without a home base or colleagues he can really trust, who meets an American (an actual tourist) while in the middle of a mission. Six years […]

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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Stieg Larsson’s millennium trilogy stings to the very end By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R   Grade: A- Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), the heroine of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling series of thrillers, recuperates from near fatal wounds, inflicted in the previous installment (“The Girl Who Played With Fire”) by her father, Alexander Zalachenko (Georgi Staykov), Sweden’s prized Soviet […]

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An Interview with Sasha Waters Freyer

Director of “Chekhov for Children” revisits her past and finds Chekhovian parallels in the present By T.T.Stern-Enzi During the late 1970s, Philip Lopate (“Being with Children,” a memoir based on his teaching career), challenged a group of fifth and sixth graders in New York City at PS 75 in his writing program (part of the […]

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Tangled

The classic tale of Rapunzel gets a new spin By T.T.Stern-Enzi Rating: PG Grade: B+ A handsome rogue gets rehabilitated. A trapped princess regains her freedom and her throne. Swashes get buckled.  Derrying gets done. A wicked enchantress reverts back to her ugly roots. And there’s a little song and dance thrown into the mix that […]

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127 Hours

Danny Boyle emerges from the slums with another million-dollar extravaganza By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R Grade: A As is the case with large-scale events like a film festival (in this case the Toronto International Film Festival) with simultaneous segments and thousands of participants spread out over several locations, things can go horribly awry. A series of […]

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FAIR GAME

Doug Liman goes searching for the truth in this real world spy game By T.T Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: A- Walking out of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the film that set off the Brangelina phenomenon, I felt like the lone voice in the audience screaming for everything that was missing in that overly explosive affair. […]

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INSIDE JOB

Documentarian Charles Ferguson takes us inside the financial collapse of 2008 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13 Grade: A After all of the nuclear partisan politics of the mid-term election cycle, it is time for some clear-eyed realism, something that resembles the truth to shake our belief that one side or the other has all the […]

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Morning Glory

Rachel McAdams makes her move into the big leagues By T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: PG-13  Grade: B Rachel McAdams has been on the cusp of distinction in Hollywood, a fast-tracking It-Girl with that rare combination of charm and chops, enough to have oddly enough relegated her thus far to limbo. Those in the know took note […]

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For Colored Girls

Tyler Perry transforms an award-winning choreopoem into conventional melodrama By  T.T. Stern-Enzi Rating: R  Grade: D+ When the greenlight buzz first traveled along the wire, there was surprise and concern regarding Lionsgate’s decision to turn Ntozake Shange’s Tony award-winning choreopoem over to an urban moralist like Tyler Perry, a filmmaker who has certainly made money […]

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