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  • No Safe Spaces

    No Safe Spaces

    ★½

    Let’s assume, for a moment, the best of intentions: That conservative radio personality Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla sincerely want an America where all ideas, even unpopular and potentially inflammatory ones, can be shared openly. If so, don’t you begin by addressing what those ideas actually are? Director Justin Folk presents a documentary full of dramatic music underscoring stories of instances—mostly on university campuses—where conservative voices are supposedly being silenced, and the First Amendment itself hangs by a thread.…

  • The Warrior Queen of Jhansi

    The Warrior Queen of Jhansi

    ★½

    The desire to tell stories of cultural heroes is profound and understandable, but that doesn’t mean movies about those heroes are made interesting solely by virtue of that heroism. Writer/director Swati Bhise tells the tale of Rani Lakshmibai (Devika Bhise, the filmmaker’s daughter), the widowed queen of an Indian kingdom circa 1858 who becomes a leader of an insurrection against the occupying power of the British East India Company. A few familiar white faces pop up around the margins—Rupert Everett…

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  • The Lion King

    The Lion King

    ★★

    What if this Lion King had come first? It’s an interesting thought experiment, sort of a second-cousin to the idea that drives the current theatrical feature Yesterday: What if we woke up in a world where Disney had never released a hand-drawn animated film called The Lion King in 1994, and this story were appearing now for the first time, in the age of photorealistic CGI recreations of real-world animals? If there’s anything wrong with it—and by extension, with Disney’s…

  • Beautiful Creatures

    Beautiful Creatures

    ★★½

    Who are these terrible, terrible lead actor kids and why are they interrupting a perfectly good Jeremy Irons/Emma Thompson ham-off?