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John Wick

The film breathes exhilarating life into its tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves.

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Low Down

Preiss' movie does a consistently excellent job of explaining the lure of jazz, and the psychology of addicts, their enablers and their children, without explaining…

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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 conspiracy against movie critics

Look at these numbers: "Mission: Impossible III" gets a 70-percent critical approval rating on the RottenTomatoes.com TomatoMeter (fresh!), and yet takes in a devastatingly disappointing $48 million in its opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Two weeks later, "The Da Vinci Code" is destroyed by critics at Cannes and across America, ranking a lowly 21 on the TomatoMeter (rotten!) -- and yet it took in $77 million opening weekend in the States and set international box-office records.

Asks The New York Times' Manohla Dargis: "Does this mean that critics are out of touch with the public? Maybe, but really, who cares? All that box office doesn't make ['The Da Vinci Code'] a good movie."

Surely the most likely explanation is that millions of people worldwide are conspiring to undermine the all-powerful hegemony of cinematic critical opinion! I mean, isn't that what critics are supposed to do -- predict box-office results? How can they wield their indomitable might (along with Hollywood and the Liberal Media) if people won't cooperate?!?!

Or maybe I'm wrong.

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