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  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    ★★★★★

    I love every moment of this movie. This might be my tenth time watching it, if not more. This viewing introduced my 8-year-old daughter to this classic. I hope she watches it twice as many times I have throughout her wonderful life.

  • Menashe

    Menashe

    ★★★½

    An interesting idea, kind of like the recent slate of movies that star real soldiers as themselves recreating battles. Except, in this case, instead of soldiers you have disheveled, crotchety and defiant Orthodox Jew Menashe Lustig, as himself, in a reenactment of his efforts to earn back the custody of his son, who was taken away from him by his rabbi and in-laws after the death of his wife. It's a compelling and vivid humanist drama that also operates as a sort of quasi-documentary.

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★

    I simply didn't care. Great acting, particularly by Ed Norton and Emma Stone. Early on Stone's character lets loose with an eviscerating speech that summed up my feelings exactly. Then it kept going for over an hour.

  • Krampus

    Krampus

    ★★★½

    After hearing and reading in review after review that Krampus was a fun '80s-ish horror romp not unlike Gremlins, I was not expecting something this unremittingly dark and bleak. Still, I far prefer Daugherty's eclectic and unnerving brand of visual creepiness to the canned horror of James Wan and Blumhouse, and Krampus serves up a quality parade of Christmassy ghoulishness. It just isn't an experience you're likely to be smiling about afterward, and at several points I questioned my choice to invite my 12-year-old daughter to watch it with me. And she's been watching Gremlins since she was six.