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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...

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 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...

Folksy and Poetic: ‘Western Stars’ gives intimate look at new Springsteen album

By Haley Lorenzen Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut, “Western Stars,” is a beautifully shot, intimate performance of his titular latest album. Candid narration from Springsteen himself provides a poignant look into the meaning behind each song. Filmed...

Stormy Weather: ‘The Lighthouse’ drowns in the madness of its own making

By Glenn Heath Jr. “The Lighthouse” looks like a lost film that’s just been recently discovered after years of being submerged underwater. The grainy, blustery black-and-white imagery has a weathered quality made all the more...

Raisin’ Hell: New film fondly remembers gunslinger journalist Molly Ivins

By Glenn Heath Jr. The only thing Molly Ivins enjoyed more than drinking beer was calling out hypocritical politicians. The Dallas Times Herald journalist and lifelong Texan wrote a notoriously pithy weekly column that would...

A Sublime Meditation on Reconciliation: Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Pain & Glory’ has beautiful moments

By Glenn Heath Jr. Surveying the contradictions and gaps inherent to memory has been one of Pedro Almodóvar’s hallmark interests over the course of his four-decade filmmaking career. These narratives have been routed through genres...

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