THE WAY BACK

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“The screenplay is pretty boilerplate stuff. Think Hoosiers with Dennis Hopper as the head coach, or The Bad News Bears if Buttermaker’s alcoholism was supposed to be sad. But the thing about formulas is that they work, and it’s impossible not to get swept up in the familiar beats of a misfit coach turning around his losing team just in time for the playoffs.” – North Shore Movies, 03/08/2020

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SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL

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“It’s all exhausted Southie stereotypes and donkey Irish burlesques, most characters carrying on like that Casey Affleck Dunkin’ Donuts commercial from Saturday Night Live. The low point is probably a bar brawl during a Sox game while everybody’s singing ‘Sweet Caroline.’ This is the kind of Boston movie you’d expect from a couple of Lakers fans.” – North Shore Movies, 03/06/2020

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BEANPOLE

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“Balagov’s extraordinary second feature is about life amid the ruins. It’s a story about carrying on after the unimaginable, when things are supposed to go back to normal as if they ever really could. The production design externalizes these characters’ inner lives, the crumbling city and its shellshocked inhabitants bearing the scars of a five-year siege.” – WBUR’s The ARTery 02/27/2020

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WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL

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“As a collection of talking heads all nodding in admiration, haphazardly assembled with some relevant movie clips and chintzy music, this is boilerplate dead-celebrity bio-doc stuff that will make pleasant enough home viewing for those with a mild interest in the subject. In other words, exactly the kind of stuffy hagiography Pauline probably would have hated.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/21/2019

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THE CALL OF THE WILD

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“After four flights in the Millennium Falcon, Harrison Ford has proved himself peerless when it comes to palling around with comically oversized canines that don’t actually exist, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how moved I was by his relationship with Buck. Ford does what all the special effects can’t pull off. He makes you believe the dog is real.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/19/2020

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

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“A big part of of going to the movies is the pleasure of looking at beautiful women, but I don’t think we’re supposed to say as much in polite company these days. So it’s something of a relief when a film takes this aspect expressly as its subject, and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is indeed all about the act of looking, and what it means to be seen.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/12/2020

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THE ASSISTANT

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“It’s all a matter of routine, which the movie conveys with an artfully numbed sense of dread. The Assistant illustrates how entrenched power structures perpetuate themselves in an office environment, and how everybody who’s interested in sticking around for very long knows enough to mind their place and when to look the other way.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/07/2020

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