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‘Groundhog Day’ meets ‘Mean Girls’

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‘Before I Fall’ slogs through a never-ending day of life lessons By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Zoey Deutch as Samantha Kingston in ‘Before I Fall’ Rating: PG-13; Grade: D+   Samantha Kingston (Zoey Deutch) is the wannabe mean girl in the cool crowd who has to work the hardest simply to create the kind of persona […]

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Feeling the (Film Independent) Spirit Awards

Moonlight (2016)
Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali

Assessing the independent alternative to the Oscars By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: (l-r) Alex R. Hibbert as Little and Mahershala Ali as Juan in ‘Moonlight’ I have always been a sucker for the freewheeling and free-spirited appeal of the Film Independent Spirits Awards. What’s not to love? Instead of the grand presentation full of glitz and […]

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The second time around

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A pair of contrasting sequels highlights the challenges of returning to the familiar By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Riccardo Scamarcio as Santino D’Antonio (left) and Ruby Rose as Ares in ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ The current industry preoccupation with sequels, remakes, and reboots, from a narrative standpoint, is all about returning to the scene of the […]

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When the chase for gold strays down the rabbit hole

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The case for Michael Keaton and Matthew McConaughey in divergent, but still forgettable roles By T. T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc in ‘The Founder’ The last two  weeks have given audiences prime examples of how the awards season can take films and actors, chew them up, and quite ungraciously spit them out—even the […]

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In ‘Jackie,’ a new legend takes center stage

Film

It is time to recognize the maturation of Natalie Portman By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in ‘Jackie’  Rating: R; Grade: A It could be argued that director Pablo Larraín’s probing new biopic “Jackie” offers a perfect example of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object. Working from a […]

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High time for ‘20th Century Women’

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Writer-director Mike Mills shines light and love on 3 women in the late ’70s By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: (l-r) Billy Crudup as William, Elle Fanning as Julie, Annette Bening as Dorothea, Greta Gerwig as Abbie, and Lucas Jade Zumann as Jamie in ‘20th Century Women’ Rating: R Grade: B+ As a man raised almost exclusively […]

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Considering the worst films of 2016

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Being bad is all about how hard you try By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Will Smith as Howard and Helen Mirren as Brigitte in ‘Collateral Beauty’ I can’t say whether I’m a glass half-full or a half-empty kind of person because from my perspective, I’m usually just glad to have a glass. When it comes to […]

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A feel-good history lesson

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‘Hidden Figures’ fails to teach the whole psychological truth By T.T. Stern Enzi Photo: Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan (center) leads a group of women in ‘Hidden Figures’ Rating: PG; Grade: B It is hard to fault Theodore Melfi for his safe and carefully crafted “Hidden Figures.” As the writer-director of “St. Vincent,” he had […]

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Performance recognition goes gender blind in 2017

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Hollywood decides to nominate based on ‘performance’ over gender T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Ingrid Bergman as Paula Alquist in Oscar-winning ‘Gaslight’ Have you ever stopped to consider the all-time grudge match competitions that could have dominated our cultural dialogues over the years? To isolate just one knock-down, drag-them-out slug-fest: who gave the best performance of the […]

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The rest of the best

Film

Don’t miss these under-the-radar film picks from 2016 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Markees Christmas as Morris in ‘Morris From America’ Today’s world has transformed every (remaining) film critic into a curator-in-waiting. Having spent decades critically watching and commenting on film, assuming the role of scout-curator for a film festival or a film center, makes for […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 5/23

By Michelle Strauss Wii the people A woman decided to go outside to take her evening smoke. Inside her residence, […]

The Docket: 5/16

Short relationships, long fights A woman and her ex-boyfriend decided they needed to meet and discuss their breakup. The woman […]

Law and Disorder: The Docket 5/9

40 oz. fight A woman was hanging out with friends when they all decided to buy some beer. She knew […]

The Docket: 5/2

Cupcake capers A man walked into a store and headed to the cupcake section. The owner suspected there would be […]

Law & Disorder: 4/25

Broken brandy bottle A family left for church in the morning. When they returned, they noticed their motion-sensor alarm system […]