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Taking pride in a few reflective poses

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Seeing and being seen is what it’s all about Photo: Laura Spencer as Carrie (left) and Velinda Godfrey as Lauren in ‘Heartland’ By T.T. Stern-Enzi Sometimes, breaking news turns out to be a cheap and exploitative tease to garner attention. Often, what is hyped as breaking and up-to-the-minute is a glaringly obvious fact to anyone […]

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The teasing discovery of ‘Handsome Devil’

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When will boys finally allowed to be boys? Photo: Fionn O’Shea as Ned (left) and Nicholas Galitzine as Conor in ‘Handsome Devil,’ screening at The Neon May 31 By T.T. Stern-Enzi Every school—public or private, in the U.S. or comparable settings abroad—has students like Ned (Fionn O’Shea) and Conor (Nicholas Galitzine). Ned is the awkwardly […]

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‘Everything, Everything’ fails to make us believe

Film

Romantic drama lacks powerful, grounding fantasy elements By T.T. Stern Enzi Photo: Amandla Stenberg as Maddy in her hermetically sealed home from ‘Everything, Everything,’ Rating: PG-13; Grade: D- There is a line between fantasy and make believe, not quite what you could call all that “fine” a distinction, either. Fantasy requires an investment, a whole-hearted […]

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Enduring the rancor of ‘The Dinner’

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Writer-director Oren Moverman assaults our sensibilities with ideological posturing Photo: (l-r) Steve Coogan as Paul, Laura Linney as Claire, Richard Gere as Stan, and Rebecca Hall as Kate in ‘The Dinner’ Rating: R; Grade: B By T.T. Stern-Enzi “The Dinner” challenges assumed political and cultural sensibilities, presenting a progressive history teacher named Paul Lohman (Steve Coogan) […]

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Wartime brings out ‘Their Finest’ to rally the home front

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Period romantic drama employs deft humor to tip the scales By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Gemma Arterton as Catrin Cole (left) and Bill Nighy as Ambrose Hilliard in ‘Their Finest’ Rating: R; Grade: B Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig has been an international festival darling for most of her career, racing out of the gate with her […]

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High times and personal lows define ‘Colossal’

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The rampaging monster as an avatar for what becomes of the broken-hearted By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Anne Hathaway as Gloria in ‘Colossal’ Rating: R; Grade: B What’s with all of the hate heaped on Anne Hathaway? My inquiring mind needs to know what the hell is going on. I mean, she’s an Academy Award-winning actress […]

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Kristen Stewart sells horror in ‘Personal Shopper’

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Director Olivier Assayas finds a new muse Photo: Kristen Stewart as Maureen in ‘Personal Shopper’ Rating: R; Grade: B+   Horror, as a genre, has undergone a series of fairly rapid changes over the last decade. Thankfully, we’ve seen a transition away from the excesses of torture porn—the final nail in that coffin may have come […]

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The importance of watching ‘The Last Word’

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Director Mark Pellington makes watching an active and vital function By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: (l-r) Amanda Seyfried as Anne, Shirley MacLaine as Harriet, and AnnJewel Lee Dixon as Brenda in ‘The Last Word’ Rating: R; Grade: B-     Movies are a visual medium, but rarely do they focus on the acting of watching and […]

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Surviving ‘The Belko Experiment’

Film

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ helmer James Gunn dips his quill in blood By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: John Gallagher Jr. as Mike Milch in ‘The Belko Experiment’ Grade: R; Rating: B+ I take notes during screenings. It is part of a creative and critical exercise, allowing me to document impressions that, truth be told, I rarely […]

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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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Summer Sun and Salutations

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You’ve seen it throughout your social media feed, you hear about a friend’s awesome class over a cup of coffee, […]

Paddle on, Dayton

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Summer is the perfect time to hit the water, and with more than 265 miles of water trails in the […]

Still living the good life

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The words “living legend” are often misapplied, usually to sports figures who haven’t really experienced enough of life to earn […]

Acid Flashback: Hara Arena 1981

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Love them or hate them, the Grateful Dead were truly a one-of-a-kind band. During their thirty-year career as one of […]

Evolution Calling

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Queensrÿche have spent their career defining a uniquely heavy progressive sound. Whether delivering Mindcrime, Empires or taking fans to the […]