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Star turn by newcomer Florence Pugh in ‘Lady Macbeth’ film adaptation

“Lady Macbeth” has a lot to recommend it, but if it’s going to be remembered for one thing, it will be for launching the film career of its star, Florence Pugh. Barely 20 years old at the time of filming, Pugh has [Read entire story]

“Harold and Lillian” showcases unsung Hollywood talents

“Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story” is a documentary about a working Hollywood couple who contributed immeasurably to many Hollywood films. Harold Michelson was a storyboard artist and later a production [Read entire story]

‘Dunkirk’ is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece

The battle of Dunkirk was not a victory, but a successful evacuation, and Nolan doesn’t try to give it the contours of a conventional tale of triumph. When France fell to Hitler in 1940, it left 400,000 Allied [Read entire story]

‘War’ is a thoughtful new species of ‘Apes’ movie

The “X-Men” movies and even to an extent the recent deluge of superhero pictures all deal, to some degree, with the coming obsolescence or helplessness of normal human beings, the implicit idea being that all just [Read entire story]

‘A Ghost Story’ is challenging but worth it

[...] the four corners of the frame are rounded off, so that the screen looks like an old photograph from the 1970s. The color palette consists mostly of whites, yellows and browns, and cinematographer Andrew Droz [Read entire story]

‘Dawson City’ an original documentary portrait of a small town

Back in the golden age of the big movie studios, Dawson City, a small town in Canada, was the last stop for movies in distribution. The studios didn’t want old prints back and wouldn’t pay the return postage. [...] [Read entire story]

‘13 Minutes’ chronicles would-be Hitler assassin

Georg Elser came within 13 minutes of having a great story, one worth deluxe cinematic treatment. Elser, the subject of the German drama “13 Minutes,” was a carpenter and cabinet maker who, in November 1939 — with [Read entire story]

‘Austin Found’ a funny disturbing mirror of modern times

Funny and disturbing in the best way, the comedy-drama “Austin Found” captures something beyond its story of a woman’s obsession with making her little daughter a beauty pageant winner. The tone is arch and [Read entire story]

Once more without feeling — another ‘Spider-Man’ movie

[...] that’s what we have here, and that’s what we celebrate today — a pretty good Spider-Man movie. How excited are we at the prospect of another pretty good Spider-Man movie? If we could penetrate the thoughts [Read entire story]

Good in bed: Coma awakens romance in ‘The Big Sick’

There’s something to be said for staying perfectly still and saying nothing, and allowing the other person to discover his or her true feelings. Written by Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and his wife, Emily V. [Read entire story]

In ‘The Hero,’ a cowboy actor faces the sunset

The grim medical diagnosis comes in the first minute or two. When we first meet him, he is recording a voice over for a barbecue sauce commercial, but the death sentence — the diagnosis is pretty close to definitive [Read entire story]

‘Cars 3’ a slow-paced tale of a car’s midlife crisis

The races, almost too many to count, take up an enormous amount of screen time, so if you’re someone who can’t get enough of contests between animated automobiles, this movie is a dream come true. The new film is [Read entire story]

‘My Cousin Rachel’ is not starched British import

Michell pumps the atmosphere surrounding this story with as much life and energy as he can, without ever crossing the line into self-consciousness or parody. In doing so, he gives this film the bigness of emotion that [Read entire story]

‘It Comes at Night’ is almost as bad as being there

Perhaps “it” refers to the fatal illness that is ravaging the world and that seems to have destroyed civilization. In any case, this is an apocalyptic thriller, one that doesn’t show the apocalypse but the world [Read entire story]

‘Band Aid’ an insightful comedy about a strained marriage

“Band Aid” is her first film as a director — she also wrote and stars in it — and something about her and this film is really appealing. “Band Aid” is the portrait of a marriage, and between the frames, [Read entire story]

New Cruise ‘Mummy’ starts out great, but then . . .

Yes, the leading lady is smart and British and at the center of the action, and Cruise’s looks remain on Cruise-control at a steady 35. [...] the movie gradually gets dragged into the summer muck, with a few action [Read entire story]

‘Megan Leavey’ — the best parts involve the dog

“Megan Leavey” is one-half of an unremarkable war movie, followed by a touching story about the importance of animals in people’s lives. The war service of Megan Leavey, a real-life person, would be the remarkable [Read entire story]

If you love East Bay Punk, then go see ‘Turn It Around’

If you are interested in punk rock from the 1980s and early 1990s — better yet, if you are especially interested in punk rock bands that existed in the East Bay during that period — and even better, if you are [Read entire story]

‘Daniel Blake’ is caught in a Kafkaesque bureaucracy

Where do these bureaucrats and functionaries learn this routine — this thing where they pretend that you’re crazy if you complain about something, if you catch them either doing something wrong or enforcing an [Read entire story]

‘Churchill’ tells of 96 hours in the life of Britain’s PM

Every actor is bound to disappoint when playing one of the most theatrical leaders in modern history. Brian Cox has the title role in “Churchill,” depicting 96 hours in the life of Britain’s wartime prime [Read entire story]