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  • My Favorite Brunette

    My Favorite Brunette

    ★★★★

    This 1947 comedy/mystery is something of an unofficial 'Road' movie reunion, re-teaming Hope with Lamour, and throwing in (spoiler alert for a 70-year-old movie) an unbilled Crosby cameo as its winking final gag. This spoof of the film noir detective movie may be the Hope comedy that’s aged best, since that style has experienced such a renaissance in recent years – and the satire is dead-on, with Hope’s would-be private eye telling his story (in hardboiled voice-over narration, of course)…

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Spider-Man: Homecoming

    ★★★

    There’s a scene early in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' that sums up its flaws fairly efficiently. Our intrepid hero is dashing through a series of backyards, in what first seems a standard pursuit and then reveals itself as a sly homage to 'Ferris Bueller’s Day Off' – a delightful little moment that’s immediately imploded by a shot of a backyard HDTV (y’know, like everyone has) playing the 'Ferris Bueller' scene they’re quoting. And suddenly we’re reminded of all the information we were…

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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…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin

    ★★★★

    A beautiful, bizarre, and occasionally troubling bit of abstract art-house sci-fi in the Beyond the Black Rainbow vein from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). Scarlett Johansson (who appears in just about every frame) plays a well-disguised alien creature who picks up men and devours them; some have dismissed the picture as an indie riff on Species, but if the narrative is derivative and a tad monotonous, there’s something intoxicating about the fluidity of Glazer’s striking images and the mood he manages to sustain throughout the peculiar tale.

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