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Lucy

Scarlett Johansson is an intriguing blank in Luc Besson's "Lucy," which is stranded somewhere between a stranger-in-a-strange-land action thriller and apocalyptic science fiction.

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Hercules

Dwayne Johnson tries, but he’s surrounded by poor CGI and a terrible adaptation of yet another comic book. Ian McShane steals what little movie there…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Cannes Flashback: Hollywood Plays It Safe, Sorry

Selections from Roger Ebert's Cannes coverage…

Flashback #7: Hollywood Plays It Safe, Sorry

Film festivals provided Roger with an annual escape from the formulas that plagued so many Hollywood pictures. This superb essay, written during the 1992 festival, juxtaposes two pictures that take strikingly different approaches to similar subject manner: Billie August's Palme d'Or-winner, "Best Intentions," and Ron Howard's unimaginative blockbuster, "Far and Away." His closing line is especially chilling, providing readers with a cautionary message that will resonate throughout the ages: "A society that treats its citizens like children is sooner or later going to find itself without adults."


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