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Review: In 'Marriage Story' Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson Are Unforgettably Good in a Devastating (and Funny) Divorce Chronicle

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

A Los Angeles divorce lawyer named Bert Spitz (Alan Alda) is commiserating with a new client named Charlie Barber (Adam Driver). Charlie's wife, Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), has left him, and he needs guidance. Spitz, a rare nice guy in his dismal field, can only be minimally helpful. Divorce, he tells Charlie, "is like a death without a body." ...Read more

Review: In 'Knives Out' Daniel Craig, Toni Collette and Chris Evans are in a Throwback Whodunit

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The Thrombeys are a sprawling family that's rich in nitwits. Not so much the old man, wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who is in any case suddenly dead, but his heirs and in-laws, all hungry for an inheritance are just the kind of devious schemers you'd expect to find in a country manor murder mystery such as this.

...Read more

Review: 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Spends Some Quality Time with Tom Hanks' Mister Rogers

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

It's appropriate that "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," while ostensibly about the late children's TV host Fred Rogers, is in fact not entirely, or even mostly, about him. The real protagonist of the film is Lloyd Vogel, a sour, stubbly New York writer who's been assigned by Esquire magazine to write a profile of Rogers -- Mister Rogers, as...Read more

Review: 'One Child Nation' Is A Quietly Horrifying Look Back at China's Disastrous, 35-Year-Long National Birth-Control Program

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Anyone drawn to the now-resurgent notion that collectivism is kind of cool would benefit from a viewing of "One Child Nation," a documentary that demonstrates what can happen when state bureaucrats are allowed to fundamentally re-order their country's most intimate cultural customs. The film's subject is China's disastrous one-child policy, ...Read more

Reviews: 'The Irishman' and 'Terminator: Dark Fate'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

It used to be that the scariest things in Martin Scorsese's gangland dystopias were the bullet storms and the barroom stompings. Now there's a more formidable menace: time -- a commodity out of which all of the characters are running, some of them suddenly.

"The Irishman" is Scorsese's most extensive examination of this subterranean culture. ...Read more

Review: In 'The Current War: Director's Cut' We Light Up With Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"The Current War" is an elegantly made movie about the late-19th century battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to be the first to light up America with electrical power. As you might remember -- no dozing! -- Edison was the champion of direct current while Westinghouse promoted the riskier but cheaper alternating current. The ...Read more

Reviews: In 'Zombieland: Double Tap' and 'The Lighthouse' We're Undead Again with Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone, and Share Dark and Stormy Nights with Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Being a follow-up to a movie that came out 10 years ago, "Zombieland: Double Tap" could be said to have an undead problem of its own. Why is this movie lurching toward us at this late date? Really, how strong could audience demand for it still be? And how much is there that's new in the wisecracking, blood-gargling "Zombieland" world to stir up ...Read more

Review: 'Parasite' is Bong Joon-Ho's Very Wild Ride

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

The movie you may think you're about to watch as "Parasite" gets underway would surely be a lot of fun even if it only played out as you expected -- as a lively farce about the eternal class war between the arrogant rich and the scheming poors. That could describe this latest film from the (no other word) brilliant South Korean director ...Read more

Review: 'Joker' is No Laughing Matter

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Well before its official release, "Joker" already had an armlock on our attention. The movie's trailer made clear that this was not another slick comic-book epic, but rather a grim, R-rated story of homicidal madness set in the bad old New York (well, "Gotham") of the early 1980s. And it was immediately apparent that the picture's star, Joaquin ...Read more

Review: With 'First Love' Master of Mayhem Takashi Miike Goes Romantic on Us. Sort of.

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Takashi Miike is possibly the last director -- well, Rob Zombie and the sadly retired Uwe Boll might also spring to mind -- who you'd expect to find dabbling in true romance. It's taken him a while to reach this breakthrough, but hey, he's been busy. (As required by movie-reviewing law, I must here point out that, although he's just 59 years old...Read more

Review: With 'Ad Astra' and 'One Cut of the Dead' we have Brad Pitt's Outer-Space Daddy Issues and a Look Behind The Scenes at the Zombie Apocalypse

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

In the near future, for the usual all-too-human reasons, the beleaguered people of Earth are looking to the stars (ad astra in Latin) for hope and deliverance. But the stars appear to be looking back: a series of "power surges" -- fierce cosmic storms -- have killed some 43,000 people, and they're growing more frequent. The storms appear to be ...Read more

Review: In 'Hustlers' Jennifer Lopez Crushes It in a Strip-Club Caper Flick

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Hustlers" is about empowerment, sorta. A group of New York strippers decide to turn the tables on the men who exploit them -- the skeezy club-owners, the slavering clients -- and cut themselves in on some of the big money that's been passing them by. It's a girl-gang revenge movie.

But wait. Their "revenge" actually involves drugging and ...Read more

 

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