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Focus

Like Ficarra and Requa’s 2011 comedy Crazy Stupid Love, Focus begins promisingly and bops along enjoyably for a while, only to run out of steam…

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Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg's film of Bruce Wagner's Hollywood satire-nightmare turns ludicrous situations into operatic tragedy.

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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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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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