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  • The Report

    The Report

    ★★★

    Adventures in red tape.

    Not many films are as steeped in the snail-paced machinations of bureaucracy as The Report. That alone makes it a fascinating exercise. Who the hell creates a movie about a 7,000-page government document?

    The film tackles the CIA's abuse of detainees during the George W. Bush administration. Villains and semi-villains lurk everywhere, notably two huckster psychologists who concoct abhorrent "enhanced interrogation techniques" (aka torture) that — as the investigation of Dan Jones (Adam Driver) proves —…

  • Capricorn One

    Capricorn One

    ★★★

    "She's on the roof! Get it?"

    A guilty pleasure of the 70s, nicely executed and often wildly entertaining.

    It's easy to focus on the film's core flaw: a ludicrous conspiracy to fake a Mars landing, motivated by (of all things) bolstering the space program so the public has something to believe in. Ohhh K. (Instead, why not give the conspirators a Cold War motive like beating the Russians to Mars?)

    So yeah, Capricorn One requires a big-time suspension of disbelief,…

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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★½

    Unacceptable.

    Despite appealing tidbits and occasional thrills, Star Wars: The Last Jedi misfires badly. Its storytelling is inept, its characters mostly fail to generate interest and its themes are a muddle.

    The Empire Strikes Back this is not, though irritatingly The Last Jedi feigns a kinship to that great film and other films via incessant callbacks.

    Adam Driver's Kylo Ren and especially Daisy Ridley's Rey serve up much-needed heat, and it's fun to see the irrepressible Mark Hamill as Luke…

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★½

    Considering all the buzz around it, a major disappointment.

    On the plus side, it is consistently engrossing and has a quiet intensity throughout, and it is blessedly short. A watchable movie, for sure. The aerial sequences are stunning, and Tom Hardy delivers an emotional performance even though we can barely see him in his cockpit. (It's all in the eyes.)

    Sequences on the water and on the beach are hit-or-miss. Much of the intrigue aboard Mark Rylance's boat as he…