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  • 42

    42

    ★★★★½

    Know what would make this film better? The absence of a sweeping, overwhelming, saccharine, emotion-telegraphing soundtrack.

  • 20th Century Women

    20th Century Women

    ★★★

    Some great characters and great performances, but structurally it's a total mess. Or, rather... it doesn't have ANY structure. Lots of really good music in the soundtrack, though it's completely inaccurate to portray ANY group of people from that era as listening to THAT much punk rock without ONE Jim Croce or James Taylor or Judas Priest or Billy Joel or Styx song intruding into their carefully crafted artsy fartsy wonderland. Whatever... it's a historical fantasy.

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  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ½

    You have got to be effing kidding me. Best Picture? This movie was like watching paint dry. In Richard Linklater's bedroom. I was a big fan of "Slacker" and liked "Dazed and Confused," but Linklater's films have seemed awkwardly empty and pseudo-intellectual to me ever since. This one appears to be seeking to duplicate the experience of growing up as one of the most boring people in the world. It succeeds. The dialogue is rambly and appears to be seeking…

  • Lean On Me

    Lean On Me

    This is a disturbing film. It's effective enough on narrative terms, but Joe Louis Clark is portrayed as an asshole. His ideas about supervising teachers are so clearly wrong-headed as to be insulting. That would be one thing if the film was in any way historically accurate, but it's not. Anyone who wants to bleat that "you can't argue with his results" should know that, in fact, you can argue with his results, and many people do. This film was…