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The Hitman's Bodyguard

While no one is going to mistake The Hitman’s Bodyguard for high art, it will please those in the mood for late-summer fun.

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Patti Cake$

The sense of place and uniformly superb performances make it worth seeing, and maybe ultimately singing along with.

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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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"Life Itself" Wins Best Documentary From the National Board of Review

Steve James' "Life Itself" just won the top prize for documentaries from the National Board of Review, moments after it was announced that it was on the shortlist for the Oscar for the same prize. It's been a good day.

It was also a good day for J.C. Chandor's stunning "A Most Violent Year," which won Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and "Birdman," which won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Here is a full list of the winners:

Best Film:  "A Most Violent Year"
Best Director:  Clint Eastwood – "American Sniper"
Best Actor (TIE):  Oscar Isaac – "A Most Violent Year"; Michael Keaton – "Birdman"
Best Actress: Julianne Moore – "Still Alice"
Best Supporting Actor:  Edward Norton – "Birdman"
Best Supporting Actress:  Jessica Chastain – "A Most Violent Year"
Best Original Screenplay:  Phil Lord & Christopher Miller – "The Lego Movie"
Best Adapted Screenplay:  Paul Thomas Anderson – "Inherent Vice"
Best Animated Feature:  "How to Train Your Dragon 2"
Breakthrough Performance:  Jack O’Connell – "Starred Up" & "Unbroken"
Best Directorial Debut:  Gillian Robespierre – "Obvious Child"
Best Foreign Language Film:  "Wild Tales"
Best Documentary:  "Life Itself"
William K. Everson Film History Award:  Scott Eyman
Best Ensemble:  "Fury"
Spotlight Award:  Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in – "Top Five"
NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  "Rosewater"
NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  "Selma"

Top Films

"American Sniper"
"Birdman"
"Boyhood"
"Fury"
"Gone Girl"
"The Imitation Game"
"Inherent Vice"
"The Lego Movie"
"Nightcrawler"
"Unbroken"

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

"Force Majeure"
"Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem"
"Leviathan"
"Two Days, One Night"
"We Are the Best!"

Top 5 Documentaries

"Art and Craft"
"Jodorowsky’s Dune"
"Keep On Keepin’ On"
"The Kill Team"
"Last Days in Vietnam"

Top 10 Independent Films

"Blue Ruin"
"Locke"
"A Most Wanted Man"
"Mr. Turner"
"Obvious Child"
"The Skeleton Twins"
"Snowpiercer"
"Stand Clear of the Closing Doors"
"Starred Up"
"Still Alice"

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