STILLWATER

“Now I’m not saying the third act is quite as crazily stupid as The Cobbler, but it’s recognizably the work of the same writer. This is the kind of movie someone makes after winning a mantle full of awards, when nobody in their orbit dares second-guess a so-called genius. Stillwater wants to be a lot of things at once and manages to be bad at all of them.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 07/29/2021

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WILD STYLE AT THE MFA

“Few films are blessed with the sense of discovery captured in these ramshackle reels. Wild Style is a fanciful first draft of a cultural history play-acted by the same people who created the culture in the first place. It’s a winning bit of self-mythology by folks who were there on the ground floor, adorable in it’s amateurish ardor and endless optimism.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 07/22/2021

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VAL

“Constructed like one of the scrapbooks we see the star making from his old newspaper and magazine clippings, this wistful, often awfully sad documentary drifts from past to present and back again, cutting to devastating effect from contemporary footage of this frail, enfeebled figure to home movie memories of the golden god with that insolent smirk.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 07/21/2021

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MIDNIGHT IN THE SWITCHGRASS

“I understand it must be difficult to photograph Megan Fox in such a way that does not make her look like a sex doll come to life, but nonetheless, the amount of screen time Emmett devotes to her being choked makes it start to feel like a fetish film. I found myself envying Bruce Willis, who didn’t have to be around for any of this. Not even the scenes that he’s in.” – North Shore Movies, 07/21/2021

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PIG

“The extreme strangeness of Nicolas Cage’s physical presence can sometimes be a problem in movies. He can’t play regular people anymore, but then regular people can’t play the kinds of roles Nic Cage likes to play these days. His otherworldliness is part of the text, used to brilliant effect here by Sarnoski as a sort of wandering, samurai philosopher.” – North Shore Movies, 07/16/2021

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ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN

“Increasingly petty and distasteful as it wears on, Roadrunner becomes less a portrait of a troubled genius and more a snippy tell-all about a television crew getting fed up with their mercurial star. I was worried I might be being oversensitive because of my enormous admiration for Bourdain’s work, so I watched the movie a second time and liked it even less.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 07/15/2021

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SCENES FROM AN EMPTY CHURCH

“Shot last year under COVID-19 restrictions, the film conjures the eerily barren cityscape and hours of idle anxiety with unsettling acuity. These two priests and their heretic pal kick around questions of theology and philosophy. Tukel’s film is perhaps most valuable as a snapshot of what it felt like to be both scared to death and bored out of your mind.” – North Shore Movies, 07/03/2021

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LYDIA LUNCH: THE WAR IS NEVER OVER

“She gently sexually harasses bassist Tim Dahl like somebody’s naughty auntie, and when Lunch starts riffing on all the empty luxury condos littering the formerly rat-infested Lower East Side it’s impossible not to imagine her as a No Wave Fran Lebowitz. There were a few scenes when I half-expected to see Scorsese sitting next to her and giggling.” – North Shore Movies, 07/03/2021

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BACK TO THE BRATTLE

“The private June screenings provided opportunities for Hinkle and Moylan to gauge the comfort levels of audiences returning to the theater after a scary 15 months, while also stress-testing their new operating systems. But most importantly, they were ways to say thank you to a community that came through when the Brattle needed them most.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 06/30/2021

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ZOLA

“The best parts of Zola feel charged with a genuinely dangerous energy. There’s probably a manic, madcap version of this movie that’s more entertaining but not nearly as good. Bravo allows us to stew for a bit in the sticky evening air of tacky Tampa with its Confederate flags and bedbug motels, where anything can happen. Florida, man.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 06/28/2021

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