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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...

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...

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...

Pulling No Punches: ‘First Love’ comes to Tempe

By Glenn Heath Jr. Looking for mercy in a Takashi Miike film? Good luck finding it in any other place besides the sharp side of a katana sword. The prolific Japanese genre auteur known for...

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...

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...

Blurred Lines: ‘Villains’ packs entertainment punch

By Joseph J. Airdo Late, famed film critic Roger Ebert once said each film is only as good as its villain. “Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only...

Zellweger does Garland proud: Actress stars in Rupert Goold’s sturdy biopic

By Glenn Heath Jr. Much has been made of Renee Zellweger’s recent semi-retirement from acting. Most of the problematic scuttlebutt revolved around perceived changes to her physical appearance, the kind of rumors that once sold...

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...

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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