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  • Big City

    Big City

    ★★½

    It's a real mess, a clumsy hodgepodge of disparate tones fighting it out (literally, by the dopey conclusion). But at least two of these stars are for the moment where Spencer Tracy looks the mayor of New York dead in the eye and pleads, "Your Honor, she's gonna have a baby. Isn't there something you can do, Your Honor?"

    That guy was awfully goddamn good.

  • The Other Side of Hope

    The Other Side of Hope

    ★★★★

    Aki Kaurismäki ('The Man Without a Past,' 'Le Havre') writes and directs this marvelous mixture of desert-dry humor and matter-of-fact tragedy, which is somehow both recognizably stylish and admirably low-key. He tells the story of a Syrian refugee in hiding in Finland, and a frustrated businessman who turns his life upside down, but is in no hurryto explain how they’re connected, and it’s thus more affecting when they finally intersect. Kaurismäki’s signature devices – deadpan compositions, leisurely pacing, and a strange sense of stillness – have rarely been better deployed, and this Criterion edition is gorgeous and engrossing.

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  • Mistress America

    Mistress America

    ★★★★½

    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • The Disaster Artist

    The Disaster Artist

    ★★★★

    Here’s a weird thing that happened: a sold-out SXSW audience saw a “work in progress” cut of 'The Disaster Artist', James Franco’s film adaptation of Greg Sestero’s first-person account of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s legendarily bad movie 'The Room.' And it’s a very funny film about a very weird and untalented dude, and we all had a great many laughs at the expense of this guy and his terrible film. But we were also watching it with Mr. Wiseau…