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  • The Hunt

    The Hunt

    ★★★★½

    “The Hunt” contains one of the greatest acting performances in cinema so far this century. It’s a feat of craft only possible through the immense talent of the film’s lead, and the tactfully delicate hand of a director who allows him to work without intervention. 

    The performance referenced is, of course, that of Mads Mikelssen, here as a teacher falsely accused of sexually abusing children. 

    Director Thomas Vinterberg makes no question from the outset that Mikelssen’s Lucas is without guilt.…

  • The Celebration

    The Celebration

    ★★★★

    Thomas Vinterberg’s “Festen” is a macabre painting that appears startlingly realistic from far off - but consumes the eyes in an oily mass of dramatic shadows upon approaching its canvas. 

    The first entry in the Dogme 95 movement now most associated with Lars Von Trier (who has yet to truly leave it behind); “Festen” tricks viewers with a facade of simplicity that masks a deeply theatrical core. 

    “Festen” unfolds over the course of a rich patriarch’s 60th birthday party. Much…

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  • Magnum Force

    Magnum Force

    ★★★

    “Magnum Force” is a mea culpa of a movie. It seeks atonement, while still sticking a pistol in your face. 

    After accusations of fascist overtones in “Dirty Harry,” Clint Eastwood returned to the part of the trigger-happy cop for a sequel of redemption. Sure, Harry is a vigilante. But… he’s not the worst of the vigilantes.

    Original “Dirty” director Don Siegel refused to take part in a follow-up entry. After Eastwood turned down helming the film himself, Ted Post stepped…

  • High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter

    ★★★★½

    “High Plains Drifter” is a Rosetta Stone to comprehend its creator; a tablet with its script seared in fire. 

    A confluence of influences from Clint Eastwood’s acting career careen in “Drifter’s” California hellscape — where masculine bravado goes to die. 

    The plot concept for “Drifter” comes loosely from the Kitty Genovese murder; infamous for how 38 witnesses stood by and watched the victim being stabbed. Eastwood transplants the setting from Queens to the frontier, and substitutes a sheriff for the…

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  • The Dig

    The Dig

    ★★★

    “The Dig” is a movie to put on while you sip tea on a comfy couch; letting it slowly lull you into a peaceful nap. 

    There’s little surprising about director Simon Stone’s film. Nothing will astonish you, nothing will shock. The entire outing; about the amateur archeological expedition of Sutton Hoo, cruises along with the assurance of an experienced cab driver going below the speed limit on a back country road. 

    The gentle aural cadences and softly-lit scenic vistas of…

  • The Woman in the Window

    The Woman in the Window

    Holy hell I have never in my life seen a film so full of such miserable people. 

    Everyone has and will invoke Hitchcock when speaking about Joe Wright’s “The Woman in the Window.” Get his name out of your mouth in the same sentence as this one. 

    Hitchcock killed with a smile. Murders were sex scenes. And sex… is pleasurable. Nobody in “Woman” is anywhere near orgasm. Heck, they’re not even faking it.

    The film - about an agoraphobic therapist…