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Focus

Like Ficarra and Requa’s 2011 comedy Crazy Stupid Love, Focus begins promisingly and bops along enjoyably for a while, only to run out of steam…

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Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg's film of Bruce Wagner's Hollywood satire-nightmare turns ludicrous situations into operatic tragedy.

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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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Puhleeze!

From Tita Dobson, North Hollywood, CA:

Puhleeze! get a reviewer that knows how to communicate. After I read Emerson's review of "The Illusionist," I realized that I still didn't know what the movie was about (other than that Leopold and Eisenheim don't like each other). All I knew is that, if the review practically put me to sleep, why bother seeing the movie?

As the reader slashes through the tall weeds of Emerson's literary ostentatiousness, one encounters prases like: "And as the movie peels back layers of its core conundrum, the images and their colors become clearer and brighter." It's hard to find stuff like this outside the arena of self-consciously artsy and intellectually pretentious academia.

I know Roger Ebert is ill (and I do wish him a speedy recovery), but, really. Can't you find someone who sounds like a real human being rather than a caricature of the "artiste" trying to impress the masses? How painful.

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