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  • Kubo and the Two Strings

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    ★★★

    Skeptical of his mother's tales of magic and vengeful relatives looking for him, a Japanese boy soon discovers that everything she has told him is true in this hero's journey adventure. The film is nicely animated in stop animation with some breathtaking Oscar nominated special effects, especially as origami creatures fly through the air, folding and unfolding themselves. The movie also begins as something very different to most US animation with little comedy and a foreign setting. Alas, as our…

  • Roman J. Israel, Esq.

    Roman J. Israel, Esq.

    ★★★½

    His firm bankrupt from taking too many pro bono cases, an idealistic lawyer with a photographic memory has his moral fiber tested at a new firm in this sophomore feature from Dan Gilory. If not half as atmospheric as Nightcrawler, Gilroy once again takes a memorable swipe at humanity here with another outsider protagonist, though a social misfit with autistic tendencies this time, and Denzel Washington sublimely sinks into the role. The first half of the film is a little…

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  • Tales from the Hood

    Tales from the Hood

    ★★★★

    Paying a late night visit to a funeral parlor in search of a lucrative stash, three drug dealers are distracted by the mysterious funeral director who tells them tales of terror and woe in this African American themed horror anthology. Unlike most classic horror anthologies, all the episodes are written and directed by the same duo, which creates a consistent tone and ample narrative flow, and the fourth tale superbly segues into the wraparound tale. Each of the episodes comes…

  • Joe

    Joe

    ★★★★

    An unlikely friendship forms between a businessman who accidentally killed his daughter's junkie boyfriend and a right-wing extremist who admires his crime in this engrossing if sometimes unfocused drama. The film has its flaws (too much build-up before they finally meet; an orgy tangent) but the film is electric whenever it focuses on the gradually developing friendship. The businessman goes from fearing Joe and feeling blackmailed to eventually enjoying his company as "a refreshing change", and Dennis Patrick is superb…