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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★

    When Ryan Gosling sings “City of Stars,” my ears editorialize it as “City of Cars,” but then he wins by making me wish I had nice hair too.

  • Gates of Heaven

    Gates of Heaven

    ★★½

    I’ll gladly acknowledge this was a bold debut for Errol Morris, training a genuinely curious eye on a variety of unglamorous characters in the orbit of the pet cemetery industry. Its willingness to keep the camera rolling through their lengthy and often unfocused tangents makes the film more interesting than if it had stuck rigidly to the topic at hand, and Morris’s straight-ahead style exposes a certain layer of everyday human vulnerability not often explored. For all its admirably unorthodox…

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  • The Others

    The Others

    ★★

    Remember when Nirvana exploded and every major label scrambled to sign any band they could find that was even remotely similar? Well, if The Sixth Sense is Nirvana (and given how quickly M Night Shyamalan squandered whatever goodwill his breakout hit engendered, I hesitate to draw the comparison), then The Others is Bush.

    The themes, tone, essential plot points, and even the color palette are all lifted directly. To its credit, this is not immediately apparent, and the way the…

  • The Trip

    The Trip

    ★★★★

    Following Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a week-long drive through the sights, sounds, and tastes of the northern English countryside, The Trip is equal parts tour documentary, buddy movie, and road trip flick. But more than anything, and in spite of its many laughs, it is a poignant meditation on aging.

    Ostensibly playing themselves, Coogan and Brydon are a juxtaposition of insecure and self-possessed, of serious artist and happy-go-lucky entertainer. Their differences are sussed out in conversations brimming over…