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  • A Separation

    A Separation

    ★★★★

    This Iranian film won the foreign language Oscar this year and having now seen four out of the five nominees, it looks like they made the right choice. Despite its slow pace, I was riveted by this story about an Iranian couple whose separation ends up triggering a series of incidents and moral dilemmas. The acting is outstanding from the entire cast, including the two child actors. The film’s realistic style, almost documentary-like, adds to its sense of urgency.

  • Bernie

    Bernie

    ★★★★

    Jack Black is absolutely terrific in this based-on-a-true-story movie. He plays an awkward, effeminate man who enters a bizarre unspecific relationship with MacLaine’s character and eventually murders her. The concept of using interviews with the real people who knew the characters intercut with the scripted scenes is an interesting one and it’s very effective. I found the first half of the movie, where we’re exploring the characters and their relationship more interesting than the second half which involves the trial of Jack Black’s character.

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  • The Dictator

    The Dictator

    ★★½

    This is essentially “Borat” but completely scripted. The whole fun of “Borat” was the weird, foreign guy’s confrontations with real people in the real world. Having a traditional script and actors takes most of the fun out of it, and we’re left with simply a below average, not all that funny, movie.

  • Ronin

    Ronin

    ★★★★★

    This is a great, underrated, film. It’s got some of the best car chases ever. Especially the one near the end. It’s also got Robert De Niro at the top of his game and some awesome tough guy scenes. It’s also got a great plot involving four different groups of spies, Irish, Russian, French, and American, all trying to steal a silver case that we never learn the contents of: the classic macguffin.