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‘Guardian Angel’: Josh Lucas explores hypnosis in ‘Murderous Trance’

“Ford vs. Ferrari” actor Josh Lucas is used to playing sweet characters like Jake Perry in “Sweet Home Alabama.” In “Murderous Trance,” also known as “The Guardian Angel,” he stars as Björn Schow Nielsen, a...

Ripple Effect: ‘Waves’ is a punishingly obvious and bloated melodrama

By Glenn Heath Jr. Trey Edwards Shults seems to think that life exists only in a heightened state of anxiety. Even though his 2015 debut, “Krisha,” takes place in suburbia, it might as well be...

Difficult Times: ‘Marriage Story’ offers updated look at old struggle

By Connor Dziawura The comparisons that have been made between Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and Robert Benton’s 1979 film “Kramer vs. Kramer” aren’t without merit. From certain plot elements right down to the posters, the...

Building a Bridge: Tempe-based film festival giving Asian filmmakers voices

By Connor Dziawura Filmmaker Ihman Esturco sees a distinct lack of representation for foreign cinema, namely that which is from Asian countries. “There’s a lot of filmmakers, especially in Asia, who don’t have access,” explains Esturco,...

Cold as Ice: Disney animators rise to the challenge on ‘Frozen II’

By Connor Dziawura Looking back, Disney supervising animator Justin Sklar says his team would not have been able pull off its work on “Frozen II” when the first film was released six years ago. From improved...

An Ideological Crisis: ‘Synonyms’ is a wild, radical portrait of nationalism gone wrong

By Glenn Heath Jr. Yoav (Tom Mercier) arrives in Paris seemingly out of thin air, like some nomadic ghost searching for a place to haunt. In the phantasmal opening sequence of “Synonyms,” he breaks into...

Working Stiffs: ‘The Irishman’ is a melancholic gangster epic based on the ground level...

By Glenn Heath Jr. Time waits for no gangster. At the beginning of Martin Scorsese’s colossal new film “The Irishman,” aged mob hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) has already learned this lesson. But that...

The ‘Harrowing’ Truth: ‘The Report’ breaks down Senate investigation into CIA interrogation

By Connor Dziawura There’s no “Hollywood-ization” in Vice Studios’ upcoming film “The Report,” which is set to receive a limited theatrical release and hit Amazon Prime Video later this month. At least that’s what Daniel J....

The Last Stroll: Sobering ‘Frankie’ thrives thanks to strong ensemble cast

By Glenn Heath Jr. Ira Sachs makes films that are quiet only on the surface. Daily routine and committed long-term relationships wrap his bourgeois characters up in what feels like a blanket of normalcy. But...

Romping through the Reich: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ tries to find the funny in fascism—and fails

By Glenn Heath Jr. With “Jojo Rabbit,” a brazenly reflexive satire set during the Nazi Reich’s final days, director Taika Waititi tries his hardest to find the funny in fascism. Mostly, he fails miserably. Walking...

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