Jeruzalem: ‘Found Footage’ genre gets a much-needed reboot in this smart, stylish horror flick

Yael Grobas in Jeruzalem | Photo courtesy of Epic Pictures Group

Oy vey. Israel and, more specifically, Jerusalem can’t seem to catch a break. When they aren’t being labelled terrorists for occupying Palestinian lands, ostracized by the words and actions of a hawkish prime minister or seen through the false prism of violent acts perpetrated by religious Jewish extremists, they now have an epic apocalypse to deal […]

Coen brothers recreate some unwelcome period detail

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While I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers, I must acknowledge that they make some odd decisions that produce some ambiguous if not totally perplexing moments: The off-screen death of a major character in No Country for Old Men, the tornado that ends A Serious Man, the lack of any plot in Inside […]

The Revenant’s brutality is only surpassed by its beauty

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A great deal has been written, said and tweeted regarding how, for the second year in a row, each one of the 20 actors nominated for an Academy Award this year are white. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Academy is 94 percent white, 2 percent African American and less than 2 percent Latino. […]

My 10 favorite films of 2015

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It was a very good year at the movies. Mad Max: Fury Road. The third sequel to the post-apocalyptic classic Mad Max is the best action film since The Matrix: jaw-dropping, bold, ambitious and thrilling. Max (now played by Tom Hardy) is again a loner on the run in the barren wasteland left by a […]

A sublimely crafted love story

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Todd Haynes’ 2002 film Far from Heaven was a melodramatic homage to Douglas Sirk’s sweeping, nearly camp 1950s domestic dramas like Imitation of Life and All that Heaven Allows. While Far from Heaven certainly works on its own terms – Julianne Moore’s forbidden romance with Dennis Haysbert is archly gorgeous – it was hard not […]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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also playing Possibly the most hyped movie in a generation, the seventh film in the space opera franchise that began in 1977 is the first without George Lucas’ creative control, as he sold the rights to Disney for $4 billion. And thank God. The Force Awakens, a spectacularly enjoyable thrill ride, is both a true […]

Redmayne and Vikander turn in Oscar-worthy performances

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From the moment it was announced 15 years ago, the film adaptation of The Danish Girl, David Ebershoff’s acclaimed literary novel about one of the first men to have sex reassignment surgery, was a prestige project, a magnet for Oscars. For 15 years, artists of the caliber of Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Lasse Halstrom and […]

No easy closure for ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, the capstone of The Hunger Games series has arrived to give us the dark, bleak and oddly satisfying ending we may not want but do deserve. Mockingjay – Part 2 has continued the regrettable trend of splitting franchise finale films into two, ostensibly to give space for the whole story, […]

Newsroom drama at its best

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It is now taken for granted that the Catholic Church’s priests sexually abused thousands, if not tens of thousands, of children over the last 50 years and that the Church hierarchy covered it up, quietly settling lawsuits, moving abusers from parish to parish, and doing very little to stop the abuse from happening or occurring […]

Brie Larson turns in a compelling performance

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Every so often a woman escapes from the clutches of a mad kidnapper who has held her, and often other women, and often the children born in captivity, in a dank basement, a locked attic or a backyard shed. I always think it can be hard to turn these kinds of stories into serious art; […]

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