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Reluctant Revenge and Biblical References in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

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(2017—Director: Matt Reeves) Low ★★★★ (out of 5 stars) “Maurice was right. I am like Koba. He could not escape his hate…and I still cannot escape mine.” – Caesar (Andy Serkis) Potential spoilers below The rebooted Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy has become the defining trilogy of the 2010s, managing to improve with each …

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Loving Vincent: Revolutionary Animation Serves a Thin Whydunnit

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(2017—Directors: Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman) High ★★★ (would be lower if not for the animation) (out of 5 stars) “He struggled to be what they wanted him to be.” — Père Tanguy (John Sessions) to Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) on the late Vincent Van Gogh Potential spoilers below The 2010s have seen several cinematic …

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Visual Sci-Fi Splendor Compensates for Hollow Plot in ‘Blade Runner 2049’

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(2017—Director: Denis Villeneuve) High ★★★½ (out of 5 stars) “Dying for the right cause is the most human thing we can do.” — Freysa (Hiam Abbass) to Officer K (Ryan Gosling) Spoilers below French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) took on immense pressure when he agreed to helm the long-awaited sequel to Blade Runner, Ridley …

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Improvisational Spirit Enlivens the Messy Yet Jovial ‘Thor: Ragnarök’

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(2017—Director: Taika Waititi) ★★★ ½ (out of 5 stars) “Asgard is not a place, it’s a people. And its people need your help.” — Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) “I have been FALLING for thirty minutes!” — Loki (Tom Hiddleston), after emerging from a realm of free fall  Potential spoilers below If one …

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Prescribed Psychological Terror in ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’

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(2017—Director: Yorgos Lanthimos) ★★★★ (out of 5 stars) Stage #1: Paralysis of the Legs Stage #2: Refusal to Eat or Drink Stage #3: Bleeding from the Eyes Stage #4: Death  “The most important thing in life is to have good friends, not lots of friends.” — Martin (Barry Keoghan) to Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) …

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The Humanity Behind the History: Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

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— By Carly Twehous — People all around the world hold a generalized fascination and traditionalized respect for the British monarchy. Members of the Royal Family are constantly subjects of headlines and tabloids in every country that has newsstands. Whether this universal obsession started with a historical intrigue of the once great British Empire, or …

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Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad Take Over the Courtroom in ‘Marshall’

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(2017—Director: Reginald Hudlin) Low ★★★★ (out of 5 stars) “The only way to get through a bigot’s door is to break it down.” — Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) to Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) Potential spoilers below From Anatomy of a Murder (1959) to FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016), from Judgment …

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‘American Made’: Doug Liman’s Second Halfway-Decent 2017 Release

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(2017—Director: Doug Liman) Low ★★★ (out of 5 stars) “All this is legal?” “If you’re working for the good guys, yeah. Just don’t get caught.” — Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) and Agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) Potential spoilers below Director Doug Liman is one 21st-century director whose reputation tends to fall under the radar with …