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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★

    Manchester by the Sea, the third film from writer/director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me, Margaret), is a tale of a man performing penance. Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) lives a meager life in a below-ground apartment, literally finding himself beneath the rest of society. He works as a maintenance man, cleaning up for the tenants in his building. When he has a few extra bucks, he goes out for a drink, ignores the women who are interested in him…

  • I Am Not Your Negro

    I Am Not Your Negro

    ★★★½

    James Baldwin, the African-American novelist and essayist, was at the forefront of chronicling the American Civil Rights Movement. When the author died in 1987, he left behind a partial manuscript titled Remember This House. In the work, Baldwin planned to examine the Civil Rights Movement from the perspectives of its three fallen icons: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. The first forty pages of the unfinished manuscript form the basis of I Am Not Your Negro, the…

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  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    ★½

    When it comes to my thoughts on The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the newest film from writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster), I hate every word that comes to mind. Pretentious, stilted, arch, mannered, self-important, one-trick pony, stunt. I did in fact think of each of those as I watched the film at Fantastic Fest 2017, but I don’t much care for any of them because they ascribe a motive to the filmmaker. They seem too personal for judging…

  • Firstborn

    Firstborn

    ★★½

    In the early moments of Firstborn, the new thriller from writer/director Aik Karapetian, a man and his wife are menaced by a motorcycle on a deserted city street. The woman believes the man swerved close to her in an attempt to steal her purse. Her husband is more interested in avoiding confrontation than he is in pursuing impromptu justice for his wife. The biker returns, punches out the husband, suggestively assaults the wife and finally steals her purse. It’s as…