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  • Mandy

    Mandy

    ★★★

    The second half of Panos Cosmatos's film is, if nothing else, confirmation that Nic Cage is far from running out of the crazy gas. Glad, too, that "the bathroom scene," which cedes the stage fully to the actor, arrived when it did. Mandy's first half is all gauzy Lynchian call-outs, one after another occurring at a climax (which is to say, wanting for a sense of crescendo). Fetching but tiring. Then Cage's character steps into the bathroom, freaks out, and…

  • Sorry Angel

    Sorry Angel

    ★★★½

    Sorry Angel isn't as galvanic as Robin Campillo's BPM, but then galvanism isn't Christophe Honoré's end game here, at least not in the conventional sense of the term. I can count at least four quietly disarming moments off the top of my head—from the bathroom scene between Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps) and Marco (Thomas Gonzalez) in which the latter so casually cracks wise about how AIDS has weakened his body, to the three main characters in the film lying together in…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★½

    "Exhilarating," "astounding," and "electrifying" reads the quotes on the film's poster, from agents of our culture of mean. Okay, I'll give it "electrifying." Miles Teller is a mean drummer, or maybe it's the jazzy cutting that tricks one into thinking so, but the implausible scenario is pretty low-down in how it tries to milk suspense from an unbridled spectacle of human cruelty. Not even sure Damien Chazelle believes his paltry justification for J.K. Simmons's worse-than-Gordon-Ramsay shtick. Maybe someone needs to throw a director's chair at his head so we can see if he's capable of drumming up a "Casablanca."

  • Timbuktu

    Timbuktu

    ★★★★

    Do not miss this great film when it comes to a theater at a major metropolis near you at the end of the month. It has its imperfections, but they pale in significance to its elegiac sense of will. After what happened yesterday in Paris, and especially for those confused about the ties between Islam and terrorism or operating under the mistaken belief that Charlie Hebdo's provocations weren't necessary, the film's searing, lucid depiction of innocents rightfully, righteously fighting fundamentalism from within will grip you in horrified empathy.