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In ‘Kedi,’ cats inspire new levels of humanity

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Watch the culture of Istanbul through feline devotion By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Gamsiz, or ‘The Player,’ one of Istanbul’s featured cats in ‘Kedi’ Rating: Unrated; Grade: A   Every so often, I feel the need to make disclosures at the start of reviews, to own up to personal biases that might skew my takes on […]

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Best supporting weekend

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From comic book action to quirky indie dramedy, Stephen Merchant does it all By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Stephen Merchant as Caliban in ‘Logan’ ‘invests him with a degree of yearning and frustration fitting to both the dark world and his circumstances’ The big box office news from the past weekend focused on the major league […]

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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

film

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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Beware the angelic chorus of ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Film

Lesley Barber’s musical score bedevils and transfixes audiences By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Casey Affleck (right) and Kyle Chandler in Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘Manchester By the Sea’ For the last couple of years, film scoring has been a sideline coverage pursuit during my time at the Toronto International Film Festival. And this year, I had my sensitive […]

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Tom Ford composes a dark, ‘Nocturnal’ adaptation

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Amy Adams reigns in the elegant jungle of ‘Nocturnal Animals’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Amy Adams as Susan Morrow in Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Rating: R; Grade: A Back in the halcyon days of September, during the delirious full festival run I made through Toronto, I enjoyed a stylistically captivating double feature (“Nocturnal Animals” and […]

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‘Allied’ fights a losing battle in beautiful isolation

Film

Character is a rare special effect in Robert Zemeckis’s latest effort By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Brad Pitt as Max Vatan and Marion Cotillard as Marianne Beauséjour in ‘Allied’ Rating: R; Grade: D+ Over the years, Robert Zemeckis (“Flight”) has proven to be a special effects wizard, capable of employing all-manner of visual trickery to dazzle […]

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‘Bleed for This’ captures a boxer fighting for his life

Film

Real life drama zeroes in on a personal battle against adversity By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Miles Teller as Vinny Pazienza in ‘Bleed for This’ Rating: R; Grade: B Men and women who step in the ring go by a variety of monikers—boxers, brawlers, fighters, sluggers, punchers—and yet the stories about them, the big feature narratives, […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

L&D

Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

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Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

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Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]