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The Student

A serious, sharply mounted drama that gets more engrossing as it moves along.

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Free Fire

A "Reservoir Dogs" knockoff 25 years after "Reservoir Dogs."

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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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The best and worst of J.J. Abrams

I'm kidding, of course. The guy's only directed three theatrical features. His lens flares are still in training bras. But just you watch. Next week you'll be reading a multi-page, info-nugget viewer's guide in which some helpful listmaker sets out to sort the wheat from the chaff: "Mission: Impossible III," "Star Trek" and "Super 8": Will two of them be "best" and the other one be "worst"? Or the other way around? Look for it! (Coming soon: "The Best and Worst of Terrence Malick.")

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