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Review: The Promise, the Armenian Holocaust, and the Origins of Genocide »

If you want to know the origin of the term “genocide,” watch the film The Promise. Literally. The movie is billed as a romantic drama, but it’s really a well-produced, narratively complex story of the Ottoman Empire’s systematic and targeted extermination of 1.5 million Christian Armenians through starvation, forced labor, rioting, and massacres in...
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The Dignity and Value of Work in La La Land and Moonlight »

The award-winning films La La Land and Moonlight did more than share a chaotic stage in the closing moments of the 89th Academy Awards. They also share an intriguing underlying economic theme through rare insight into the substance and dignity of work, albeit in radically different ways. Work is front and center in La...
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Review: Logan Shows Superhero Films Can Also Have Soul »

Logan is the kind of movie that restores my faith in superhero action films. The story is layered, the characters have defined arcs, and the suspense keeps the audience engaged. Its R rating is well earned, with gruesome violence and disturbing situations involving children. The Hunger Games looks like a playground dust-up compared to...
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Review: Moonlight’s Focus on Drugs, Sexuality Make It a Film for Our Times »

On the surface, Moonlight is a heart-wrenching film about a young African-American boy coming to terms with his sexuality while growing up in the impoverished public housing projects of Miami. But the Golden Globe winner (Best Motion Picture—Drama) is much more than a compelling, poignant, and uncompromisingly relevant movie; it’s a provocative portrayal of...
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Review: The Founder and the Questionable Ethics of Business »

Those looking for an inspiring story of entrepreneurship won’t find one in The Founder, the new biopic depicting Ray Kroc’s dogged pursuit of building the McDonald’s Corp into an iconic brand and food-industry juggernaut. According to the screenwriter and story told on the big screen, little joy comes from the Golden Arches as Kroc...
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Review: Hidden Figures Exposes Social Cost of Prejudice »

Economists have long argued that prejudice exacts penalties and costs on people who discriminate. A powerful example of this effect is found front and center in the justifiably acclaimed movie Hidden Figures. The film depicts the struggles and eventual triumph of women serving as “computers” for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) in...
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Rogue One Is a Rousing Addition to Star Wars Saga »

Leaving the movie theater after watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I was wondering if the “one off”—a story that is within the Star Wars universe but is independent from the nine core films (Episodes I through IX)—might really be the recipe needed to reboot the franchise. The move to Disney Studios likely...
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Political Power Takes a Hit in J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts »

J. K. Rowling’s entertainment and cultural empire expands with the addition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a well-crafted action film that will surely push the Harry Potter film franchise beyond the $8 billion gross receipts milestone. Fantastic Beasts has already earned nearly $300 million worldwide, solidifying Rowling’s role as a leading...
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Deepwater Horizon Shows Dangers of Hubris, Not Capitalist Greed »

I was braced for Deepwater Horizon, the big-budget disaster movie about the real world oil-rig disaster, to be an anti-capitalist and anti-oil diatribe. After all, the oil spill became the biggest environmental disaster in history. But instead of a tirade, I found a complex saga weaved into a story of heroism triggered by hubris...
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How Marxism Corrupts The Magnificent Seven »

Capitalism doesn’t survive ten minutes in director Antoine Fuqua’s new remake of The Magnificent Seven. Mining baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) stands before the residents of the western mining town of Rose Creek and proclaims that, because America has accepted capitalism, they have little choice but to submit to his economic predation on their...
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