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Movies

Sorkin’s Film Debut A Brash Biopic

Movie: ‘Molly’s Game’

Jessica Chastain is a full-throttle actress: She charges into every screen role full speed ahead. Her no-holds-barred acting is exciting, powerful; each of her characters is informed by her intelligence in bringing them to life, whether in “The Help,” “The Martian” or “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

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Liquid Love

Movie: ‘The Shape of Water’

Go with the flow in Guillermo del Toro’s magical fantasy, “The Shape of Water,” and you will be immersed in a world of greenish light, of settings that seem perpetually wet, of dark hallways and faces — many worried — caught in shadow. This is a world informed by del Toro’s nostalgic love of movies, beginning with “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” and including everything from the faded red-velvet glory of an old movie house to tap dancing inspired by a Betty Grable movie.

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Pure Romance, Just In Time

Movies: ‘Call Me By Your Name’

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Coming of Age, Heartbreak Included

Movie: ‘Lady Bird’

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McDormand Triumphs

Movie: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

Writer-director Martin McDonagh could not have foreseen that his new film, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” would be released at a time when we are bombarded with stories of female abuse by important men in entertainment and government, of rampant racism, of law enforcement improprieties; a time when moral reckoning is being demanded.

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Beautiful, Magical, Empty

Movie: ‘Wonderstruck’

‘Wonderstruck’ is a movie you will want to like. And maybe you will. After all, what could be wrong with the gentle story of two deaf children, separated by 50 years in time, both running away to New York City to find a parent? Tedium and inertia for starters.

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'Murder on the Orient Express': The Cast is the Thing

You won’t have a bad time seeing Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” Indeed, it is a festive throwback to those British movies of sweeping landscapes; eccentric characters; privilege, leisure and luxury; maids and valets. And its main character, the self-proclaimed greatest detective in the world, Hercule Poirot, was Christie’s most famous creation.
 

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Is It Action or Comedy? Yes.

Movie: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Back in May, in a review of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” in this space, I rambled on for a while about how I felt that comic book movies that don’t star Batman should be, not dark and broody, but fun.
I’m pleased to report that Taika Waititi, the director of “Thor: Ragnarok,” read my words and took them to heart. I’m afraid, though, that he may have gone a bit too far.

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A Movie For Grown-ups About A Children’s Book Author

Movie: ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’

The old adage “you can’t tell a book by its cover” might well be applied to the film “Goodbye Christopher Robin.” Expecting a lovely afternoon spent with kids who have just encountered “Winnie the Pooh” and want to frolic in the Hundred Acre Wood might end with some explaining and, for the more sensitive in the group, a few tears. 
The screening schedule may be heavy on matinees, but the film has a decided adult message.

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Festivals’ Best Films Come to Columbia County

Movies: FilmColumbia

If you missed the first half of the eighteenth FilmColumbia film festival, which opened last weekend in Chatham, N.Y., don’t worry. From today through Sunday, you can still choose from a schedule chock-a-block with high-powered films.
“We tend to backload the festival,” said Peter Biskind, FilmColumbia’s executive and co-artistic director. “We know we get our best attendance on weekend evenings.”

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