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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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Screwball Economics (with Preston Sturges)

NEW! Version 1.1. Now with easier-to-read captions!

Everything I know about economics I learned from the movies. (Collected knowledge after the jump.) So when times get tough, I consult Preston Sturges. Here, I have condensed the financial wisdom of a lifetime into less than five minutes -- all of it distilled from 1937's "Easy Living," written by Sturges, directed by Mitchell Leisen, and starring Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland, Mary Nash, Franklin Pangborn, Luis Alberni and Andrew Tombes, among many others.

Sturges himself puts in an appearance to explain the key principle behind all successful investment strategies.

And in his movie, there's a happy ending.

What I know about capitalism from the movies:

1) Wall Street is a casino.

2) Perception is reality.

3) Or, if it isn't, it might as well be.

4) It's only money.

5) Don't panic.

6) Making money is easy; comedy is hard.

7) If you can't sleep at night, it isn't the coffee -- it's the bunk!

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