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Citizenfour

Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie…

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Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

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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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My capsule review of Client 9

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"Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer" is a kind of whodunnit. Spitzer makes formidable enemies in his rise to power as New York Attorney General, stepping in to police Wall Street when the feds refused, and we meet a number of furious financial barons (some convicted, some not) who say they would have done anything in their power to bring down the bullying, egomaniacal Spitzer. In the end, though, Spitzer admits he has no one to blame for his downfall but himself. He patronized a fancy call girl service when he was governor, and resigned when he got caught.

The sad thing is that while Spitzer was a paranoid john, many of his Wall Street enemies were pimps and dealers and capital criminals. Spitzer's crime is puny compared with the ones his opponents have gotten away with -- crimes that have ruined so many lives and nearly destroyed the economy, while still making a mint for themselves.

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