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Drama

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This masterful balancing act of docudrama and morality tragedy is set in 2010, but we aren’t given that date until more than halfway through. It doesn’t matter, as the events of the film—taking place in Orlando, Florida—could be taking place right now. This goes to show how in the moment and forceful Ramin Bahrani’s fifth […]

Meadowland

The directorial debut of cinematographer Reed Morano (The Skeleton Twins, Kill Your Darlings) is an emotional roller coaster from its first moments as it follows a young couple in the aftermath of a horrifying tragedy. Morano keeps Meadowland hauntingly realistic; its devastating subject matter feels all too possible. New Yorkers Sarah (Olivia Wilde) and Phil […]

Pawn Sacrifice

Pawn Sacrifice is a love story unlike any other, as it is a love between a man, chess genius Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire), and silence. Chess played at the grandmaster level requires stretching the human mind to its outermost limits, as matches have to be exhaustively prepared for, and there are more potential moves and […]

Ten Thousand Saints

Written and Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the novel by Eleanor Henderson Produced by Anne Carey, Amy Nauiokas, Luca Borghese, Trudie Styler, and Celine Rattray Released by Screen Media Films USA. 90 min. Rated R With Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch, Avan Jogia, Emily Mortimer, Julianne Nicholson, Nadia Alexander, […]

Irrational Man

Written and Directed by Woody Allen Produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson Released by Sony Pictures Classics USA. 94 min. Rated R With Jamie Blackley, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone Philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) causes a stir by arriving at Braylin College just in time for the summer […]

She’s Lost Control

Edited, Written, and Directed by Anja Marquardt Produced by Kiara C. Jones, Mollye Asher and Marquardt Released by Visit Films USA. 90 min. Not rated With Brooke Bloom, Marc Menchaca and Dennis Boutsikaris Ronah works in what she calls “professional intimacy,” meeting with male psychology patients who have sustained issues with relationships, and she helps […]

Faults

Written and Directed by Riley Stearns Produced by Keith Calder, Jessica Calder and Mary Elizabeth Winstead Released by Screen Media Films USA. 89 min. Not rated With Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Lance Reddick, and Jon Gries The title of this gripping psychological thriller comes from the name of a religious […]

Still Alice

Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, based on the novel by Lisa Genova Produced by Lex Lutzus, James Brown, and Pamela Koffler Released by Sony Pictures Classics USA. 99 min. PG-13 With Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, and Hunter Parrish Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is an extremely smart woman. […]

The Best of 2014

What went into the creation of this list? Mostly strong first impressions, followed by second (or third or fourth opinions) and a second viewing, confirming that there is some “there” there. Because this compilation is made right at the end of the year, it’s a judgment of its time made under at least condition since […]