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  • The Salt of the Earth

    The Salt of the Earth 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 25 Apr, 2015

    After 40 days without moviegoing, I sure picked a winner for my return visit to a darkened theater.

    The Salt of the Earth feels like a spiritual sequel to Wings of Desire (my favorite film, by the way), taking us on journeys around the globe to bear witness to the infernos, the purgatories, and the paradises of human experience and nature.

    I'm wrung out by the horrors and glories of it. If it plays in your town, you are blessed. It needs a big, big screen.

  • Into the Woods

    Into the Woods 2014

    ★★★ Rewatched 03 Apr, 2015

    Second viewing: It seemed like a frivolous and fun date-night movie for a homework-weary couple who are both fighting terrible colds. It was amusing. But I can't say the second time around was anywhere near as enchanting as the first.

    I do think, however, that the film's most interesting stretch comes when all of the characters devolve into a furious Blame Game over who is responsible for the coming of the Giant that is terrorizing the land. It's a mirror…

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  • Selma

    Selma 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 07 Jan, 2015 5

    Thank God Almighty.

    Director Ava Duvernay had a monumental task before her, making a high-profile motion picture focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, with a cast of famous names. What’s more, the closer the film has come to release, the more the headlines have shown us just how much we need a Great Film about Dr. King’s vision.

    Even great directors would probably have disappointed us. Think of Spielberg’s Lincoln: Hey, I loved it, but I acknowledge that it…

  • The World's End

    The World's End 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 29 Aug, 2013 1

    I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…