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  • Centurion

    Centurion

    ★★★½

    A stirring-enough epic concerned more with blood-spray than grand sweep, Neil Marshall's "Centurion" packs a violent punch. The tale of Roman Centurions who face off against local resistance on the British frontier, the historical adventure rouses more with its action beats than its politics or characters. Still, what it does, it does well.

    117 years into the common era, Rome's garrison's are stretched thin and overwhelmed by native rebellion. "Centurion" follows such a splintered rebellion as the indigenous Picts fight…

  • Biology 101

    Biology 101

    ★½

    A limp drama and/or erotic thriller where characters commit ridiculous and/or lascivious acts in the name lust and/or boredom, "Biology 101" is an immediately forgettable and laughably weak piece of work. Revolving around a community college instructor who gets in hot water when his online crush enrolls in his class, the film lacks any bite, weight, or ribald sense of dangerous fun.

    A flat production and flimsy performances mark "Biology 101," a film whose story wants to be an internet-era…

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  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    "Inception," at its most basic, is two things. It is a heist film dressed in science fiction conventions; and it is a study of a man trying to free himself from a near-suffocating past. "Inception," at its more complex, is a cerebral pop-masterpiece. It is an enthralling combination of thought-provoking, layered story-telling and sumptuous aesthetics enhanced by near-flawless editing, sound design, effects, and musical score. Driven by a pitch-perfect cast and the confident directorial hand of Christopher Nolan, "Inception" is a brilliant and unrivaled piece of filmmaking.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    "Whiplash," Damien Chazelle's 107-minute-long ode to mentors, musicians, and motivation, is a taut and mesmerizing piece of filmmaking. A quick-moving and engrossing drama that explores the roles of teacher and learner, parent and child, Chazelle builds a film that brims with energy and emotion, bursts with authentic character beats, and soars with a percussive and narrative brilliance.
    With its powerful performances, crackling direction, and riveting story, "Whiplash" is a truly great piece of work.

    Chazelle's story is built around Miles…