COMING 2 AMERICA

“Seeing all these side characters awkwardly shoehorned in reminded me of how Joe Pesci kept showing up in the later Lethal Weapon sequels even though there was no reason for him to be around anymore after the second one. He was just there because it was another Lethal Weapon movie and they figured audiences expected to see him again.” – North Shore Movies, 03/04/2021

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F.T.A. AT THE BRATTLITE

“A new 4K restoration of the film starts streaming at the Brattlite this weekend, finally giving us a chance to see what all the fuss was about almost 50 years later. The film chronicles the Pacific Rim stretch of Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland’s ‘Free The Army’ tour, a musical comedy revue modeled on Bob Hope’s USO shows but with an antiwar agenda.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/04/2021

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LESLIE EPSTEIN’S HILL OF BEANS: A NOVEL OF WAR AND CELLULOID

“If you have an historical imagination, and that’s what the book demands — in fact, it’s what every work of art demands, in fact, it’s what life demands — if you have an historical imagination then (a) you won’t rename Abraham Lincoln high school, right? And (b) you’ll be open to this book and other books that try to deal honestly with the times that they’re writing about.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/26/2021

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THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

“Daniels is less interested in historical particulars than he is fascinated by the woozy, downward spiral of Lady Day. Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody or other such scrubbed, sanitized star bios, this is a fearlessly squalid movie, awash in bloody needles, blackened veins and a smoky, scarily compelling backstage atmosphere of rough sex and casual abuse.” – North Shore Movies, 02/26/2021

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STORIES FROM TOMORROW: CASEY AFFLECK AND THE WORLD TO COME

“You transform pain into other things as you go through life. That was all him working through it. I like stories about storytellers and I like stories within stories. Obviously, I wrote and directed a movie that starts with a twelve-minute bedtime story. I love that. I know that other people don’t love it as much as I do, so I have to be careful about it.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/17/2021

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WILLY’S WONDERLAND

“It’s almost as if there are two movies going on here at the same time: a sparse, surrealist spatter film with our silent star fighting mechanical monsters, and a nigh-unwatchable horror comedy in which half a dozen or so obnoxious teens show up to interrupt him, dispensing bad banter and laborious backstory while we wait impatiently for them to die.” – North Shore Movies, 02/14/2021

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BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR

“Inventing its own comedic ecosystem as it goes along, Wiig and Mumolo’s bonkers follow-up to Bridesmaids proceeds as a cockamamie collection of non sequiturs including an orchestra of mice playing the movie’s musical score, a lounge pianist who sings only about ‘boobies’ and sage words of advice from a talking crab voiced by Morgan Freeman.” – North Shore Movies, 02/14/2021

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JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

“Director Shaka King has fashioned this harrowing history lesson into a passionate, pulpy crime drama in the mold of The Departed and earlier Warner Bros. gangster pictures, but with a pointed political agenda. Though set in 1969, the film feels like very much a product of our recent, culture-wide reckoning with America’s racist power structures.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/11/2021

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PVT CHAT

“Fox has an almost comically carnal screen presence that feels like a wonderful affront to a contemporary American cinema more sexless than the days of the Hays Code. You feel like you’re doing something dirty just by looking at her, and the first half of the film works best because she’s allowed to be an obscene abstraction.” – North Shore Movies, 02/08/2021

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TWO OF US

“Meneghetti’s camerawork is as furtive as their affair, spying on the characters through peepholes and around corners. It’s a visceral film, fervent and sensual, flooded with unruly emotions. You feel the ardor of the lovers in their impossible circumstances, and swoon at the flickers of recognition that cross Chevalier’s otherwise immobile face.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/05/2021

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