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  • Mermaids

    Mermaids

    ★★★½

    Feels like it inspired an entire generation of movies about flighty-but-heroic single moms. The movie's a bit flighty itself: the religion angle seems gutsy when introduced, but it's not really pursued, beyond an immaculate conception scare (!) that I never quite believed, and the would-be love interest feels like a stand-in they never replaced with a real character. But the central set of relationships feels wonderfully lived-in (I could watch Bob Hoskins be bewildered by Cher's finger-food breakfast spreads forever) and the movie never gets preachy or didactic.

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★

    Hard to argue with this, particularly in IMAX, where the two big acrophobic action scenes get the full-screen treatment and really slay. More straight-faced than ROGUE NATION, and I missed the giddiness of, say, a very loopy just-revived Ethan motoring wildly about Casablanca, but what replaces the humor is a sort of deranged majesty: the climax isn't really the helicopter battle, it's those long, long tracking shots of Ethan running full-out to chase down Walker as Lorne Balfe's score goes…

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  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    ★½

    Want to stab everybody.

  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★★

    Not a doomed love story so much as a fragile one, forever susceptible to circumstance and others' cruelty and caprice -- and it's always so, isn't it, then as now, with anything we might long for that doesn't fit into prescribed, regimented boxes. Haynes captures the rhythms of new friendship and courtship, wise to the ways they can blend into one another, the ways small gestures become charged with meaning and desire. The lush, grainy cinematography and Carter Burwell's amazing…