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  • Child's Play

    Child's Play

    ★★½

    A handful of the adults in this are written and performed with noticeably more warmth than is typical of mainstream fright flicks, and Aubrey Plaza in particular is given real latitude to employ her considerable talents. Unfortunately she’s sidelined after the first act in favor of her kid and his friends, all of whom are pretty stock, and nu-Chucky doesn’t hold a candle to the original. All in all, though, this is slightly better than average popcorn horror.

  • Seder-Masochism

    Seder-Masochism

    ★★★½

    The story of Passover and the Exodus as a jukebox musical through a feminist lens, recontextualizing familiar songs to interrogate the violence and subjugation wrought by the patriarchal leadership of the world’s dominant religions. It’s not as heavy as it sounds, but wow is it smart, inventive, and extremely entertaining.

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  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★½

    When I see a new film of almost universal acclaim, sometimes I go out of my way to read the negative reviews to get a little distance from the zeitgeist. In the case of The Florida Project’s negative reviews, I saw a few patterns:

    • the expected backlash against the critical consensus
    • the frustration of viewers who prefer more traditional narratives
    • locals objecting to the portrayal of Florida
    • accusations of poverty porn

    One flavor of that last…

  • The Others

    The Others

    ★★

    Remember when Nirvana exploded and every major label scrambled to sign any band they could find that was even remotely similar? Well, if The Sixth Sense is Nirvana (and given how quickly M Night Shyamalan squandered whatever goodwill his breakout hit engendered, I hesitate to draw the comparison), then The Others is Bush.

    The themes, tone, essential plot points, and even the color palette are all lifted directly. To its credit, this is not immediately apparent, and the way the…