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Solo: A Star Wars Story

An engaging but unnecessary bit of backstory for one of blockbuster cinema's most beloved characters.

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First Reformed

A stunning, enrapturing film, a crowning work by one of the American cinema’s most essential artists.

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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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Siskel and Ebert Defend Star Wars

With the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," I hearkened back to this hilarious exchange with Roger and Gene Siskel defending "Star Wars" against the opinion of the critic, John Simon. Simon said that "Star Wars" made children "dumber than they need to be," and that "Jedi" would keep children stupid forever. He also said it was not for adult mentalities, including his fellow film critics who apparently liked the movie. 

Roger and Gene defended the movie for several reasons but never felt threatened by Simon's criticism. In fact they said they felt sorry for him. Siskel and Ebert used to have so much fun talking about the movies, but I also marvel at the fact that at one time Ted Koppel treated this seriously. We live in different times. 


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