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The Insult

The year is not even two weeks old but it already has one electrifyingly brilliant film to its credit.

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The Commuter

Frustratingly not-quite-there from start to finish, the paranoia-soaked railroad thriller The Commuter is the latest installment in the unofficial "Liam Neeson Late Winter Butt Kickers"…

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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 real drama of W.

Oliver Stone's movie doesn't begin to approach this level of character insight or emotion. This genuine drama took place in Tallahassee, after the 2006 mid-term election. Notice the phrases over which the former president stumbles and weeps when talking about his son, Jeb, who served two terms as governor of Florida and was prevented by term-limit laws from running for a third:

"He didn't whine about it, and he didn't complain..."

"The true measure of a man is how you handle victory, and also defeat..."

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"... who showed not only by his words but by his actions what decency and honor..."

No editorializing is necessary. You can interpret the emotional truth of the moment for yourself. (You don't need to watch the additional clips of W. appended to this clip after Bush Sr.'s speech.)

Side note: In August, 2007, Jeb Bush was hired by Lehman Brothers, the recently defunct financial firm, as "an advisor to its private equity business." A year ago, questions arose about Jeb Bush's involvement in a Florida credit-crunch scandal.

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