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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is bigger, louder and messier than the first Avengers, but hits more original notes.

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Ride

Helen Hunt directs herself in this story of a brittle New York book editor who begins healing old wounds by learning how to surf.

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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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Roger Ebert writes from rehab

As most of you know, Roger Ebert has been undergoing physical therapy in a rehabilitation facility in Chicago, and -- great news! -- is recovering well and has filed his first review since June (of Stephen Frears' "The Queen" (2006)) for Friday. We'll also have Roger's interview with Michael Apted about "49 Up," which is going into limited release around the country in October and November. Meanwhile, read Roger's latest letter from rehab here. An excerpt:

During all of this, I didn't lose any marbles. My thinking is intact and my mental process doesn't require rehabilitation.... -- although, curiously, I found myself more interested in plunging into the depths of classic novels ("Persuasion," "Great Expectations," "The Ambassadors") than watching a lot of DVDs. I prefer to see the new Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood films on a big screen, for example. But our "Ebert & Roeper" producer Don DuPree brought around a DVD of "The Queen," and when I viewed it, I knew I wanted to review it.

A few more recent movies also will be reviewed, but I won't be back to full production until sometime early next year. The good news is that my rehabilitation is a profound education in the realities of the daily lives we lead, and my mind is still capable of being delighted by cinematic greatness.

I plan to have my Overlooked Film Festival again in April, and cover the Academy Awards and Cannes. I can't wait to be back in the Sun-Times on a full-time basis, and to rejoin Richard Roeper in the "Ebert & Roeper" balcony.

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