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Lawless (review)

An outsider’s look at a unique moment in American history, the gigantic failed social experiment of Prohibition: withering yet hugely engaging and ringing with unspoken critical parallels with today’s “war on drugs.”

The Artist (review)

Who does this? Who makes a black-and-white movie in the 21st century? Who makes a silent film in the 21st century? The Artist: Not in 3D, not in IMAX, not even in widescreen!

Water for Elephants (review)

As cornball goes, there’s nothing cornier than running away to join the circus. And that’s why Water for Elephants works so beautifully: It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than an old-fashioned melodrama yarn-spun for as much emotion and tragedy and romance as possible.

Ramona and Beezus (review)

Oh, America. Keep your little girls away from *Ramona and Beezus.* For your little girls might get ideas into their heads. You know, dangerous ideas about using their imaginations. And about not giving in to bullies or the pressure to be predictable and conventional. And about the value and fun of being their own funky, original selves.

Seabiscuit (review)

The music swells over the moment of victory, tears run freely down my face, fade to black, movie over. And I want to sob even longer and harder. Usually the rolling credits and the lights coming up in this kind of situation means a letup in the girly crying, but not this time. There’s something else going on besides the usual Oscar-baiting, triumph-of-the-human-and-equine-spirit shrink-wrapped Gourmet Film.