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We’ve arrived at the end of another year, a year of films good, bad and in-between.

That means it’s time for a look back at what 2017 has wrought in terms of cinema. These lists – both best and worst – are accurate as of press time, though there are some highly-regarded movies that I simply haven’t yet had a chance to see. I imagine that films like “The Shape of Water,” “The Post,” “The Florida Project,” “The Disaster Artist” and “Call Me By Your Name” – just to name a few – would likely compete for spots on this list.

(Note: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” probably warrants inclusion here, but I figure the massive review elsewhere in this week’s edition will serve to make clear my big feelings about that particular offering.)

And again – there’s no denying the subjectivity of lists such as these. In truth, things could break very differently depending on my mood when asked. Still, to my mind these are good, representative lists of movies that you should either a) see as soon as possible, or b) avoid at all costs.

Published in Cover Story

Stories of loss are difficult to tell. Finding ways to convey the notion of grief without succumbing to sentimentality or devolving into the maudlin – particularly on-screen – can prove trying to even the most accomplished filmmaker.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:07

‘Just Getting Started’ gets old fast

Recent years have seen a proliferation of cinematic subgenres that consist of “old person does X.” Sometimes it works – old guy action movies have become a personal favorite. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t – see the spate of old person comedies awash in hijinks and/or shenanigans. Those are occasionally OK, but for the most part, they tend to be dull, derivative or both, failing to do anything beyond lean on their thin premises and jab you in the ribs while suggestively waggling their eyebrows. 

Published in Movies

One of the most beloved holiday tales of all time is “A Christmas Carol.” The Charles Dickens classic has seen innumerable iterations on screen and stage alike – the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey from miserable miser to generous gentleman is a constant at this time of year.

Published in Movies
Friday, 01 December 2017 11:33

Learning to fly – ‘Lady Bird’

We’re going to go ahead and dispense with the formalities on this one. No need to bury the lede – “Lady Bird” is an absolutely exceptional film, one of the funniest, most honest, most genuine coming of age stories we’ve seen on the big screen in years.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:55

Pixar’s ‘Coco’ brimming with life

Exceptional animated offering is beautiful and touching

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:52

Law and order – ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’

Legal drama fails to match Washington’s outstanding performance

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 14:01

A ‘League’ of their own

DC’s top team arrives onscreen with “Justice League”

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 13:58

The ‘Wonder’ of it all

YA adaptation inspires laughter, tears

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 11:42

Awards bait and blockbusters

Looking ahead to year-end movie offerings

Published in Cover Story
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