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Review: Dunkirk Immerses Viewers in Military Disaster »

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s new film about a World War II military disaster that ended up symbolizing the “never give-up spirit” of Britain, may well have established itself as the leading contender for Best Picture at next year’s Academy Awards. But be forewarned: Dunkirk is a survival film, not a typical war film. Viewers will...
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Review: Book of Henry Breaks from Convention to Ask Important Questions »

Critics panned The Book of Henry when it opened in June, but this may say more about their ability to step outside their pre-conceived ideas about what a movie “should be” than anything else. The film’s storyline conforms much more to what a reader would expect in a suspense novel than the conventional three-act...
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Review: All Eyez On Me and Hip Hop’s Shakespearean Tragedy »

The most satisfied people leaving the theater after seeing the biopic All Eyez On Me are likely to be hip hop music fans and Tupac Shakur enthusiasts, one of the rap industry’s most talented and iconic artists. Others are more likely to feel that the tragically short life of Shakur, who was just 25...
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Review: Megan Leavey Explores Emotional Trauma of War »

The film Megan Leavey carries a message much more important than its pedestrian name and movie trailers imply. This is not a feel good war film, nor one principally of battlefield heroism. Instead it’s a poignant and relatable story about human trauma and healing based on the real life experiences of coincidental war hero...
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Review: Wonder Woman’s Anti-War Theme Elevates Superhero Action Film »

Wonder Woman is already one of the year’s most successful films just three weeks into its U.S. box office run, and for good reason: It’s a smart, well-executed action film. Despite acting that is just above average for superhero films—probably no Academy Award performances in this movie—the directing is top notch, special effects scaled to...
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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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