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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★½

    As with most "time travel" movies I get distracted by the logistical & plot puzzles,  but you can't argue with emotional success.  Catharsis overrules all objections.

  • Saving Mr. Banks

    Saving Mr. Banks

    ★★

    Emma Thompson is great in this picture. It's worth seeing just for her performance. I really love her as the grumpy, correct spinster who has written the best children's book ever. But when she's not in a scene, the movie falls down, so that's about half of it, right? Unfortunately all that Victorian flashback squalor made it unwatchable for me. Every time they went back to 1910, I went "oh, no!" I almost gave up and stopped watching. But it…

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  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    ★★½

    Very stylish, but empty. One star. The interchangeable girl characters with their unbelievable motivation = no content, for me anyway. WAIT: the interchangeability/emptiness was deliberate, you say? OH. okay. Well that changes things. An extra half star for owning emptiness. WAIT, what now???? Not enough? I can't put expectations of character and naturalism on such an obviously expressionistic vision of social satire ? OK, I take it back. An extra half star for defying expectations. WAIT THERE'S MORE: It's modern…

  • Stranger by the Lake

    Stranger by the Lake

    ★★★★

    My favorite of the NYFF 2013, this thriller transcended the genre, not that it needed to.