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  • Yi Yi

    Yi Yi

    ★★★★★

    Trying to indicate the scale of a movie so immense and full of life that it can’t possibly be described (only experienced), the British critic Nigel Andrews wrote that calling “‘Yi Yi’ a three-hour Taiwanese family drama is like calling ‘Citizen Kane’ a film about a newspaper.” It’s a clever line, but those who haven’t seen Edward Yang’s final masterpiece could easily mistake it for a cop-out. At a passing glance, it seems like the kind of thing someone in…

  • The Lovebirds

    The Lovebirds

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A madcap misadventure that starts with a gruesome vehicular homicide, ends with a parody of the orgy sequence from “Eyes Wide Shut,” and spends the rest of its time scrambling around New Orleans with two of the world’s most dynamic comic talents this side of Hobbs and Shaw, “The Lovebirds” sounds like $16 million well spent — if not a total balm for the bleakness around us, then at least one of this lost summer’s few surefire delights. Throw in…

  • The Trip to Greece

    The Trip to Greece

    ★★★½

    Now arriving at its fourth (and allegedly final) installment, Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip” series has established Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan as one of the funniest comic duos this side of Laurel and Hardy, but these movies — for all of their dueling Michael Caine impressions and Michelin-delicious meals — have always been suffused with a deep and abiding sense of sadness. They’re not shy about that: The regret, loneliness, and middle-aged malaise come wrapped in a contraceptive of “Philomena”…

  • The Wolf House

    The Wolf House

    ★★★½

    It might be hyperbolic or unhelpful to label Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s “The Wolf House” as the darkest animated movie ever made, but merely describing this stop-motion nightmare should be enough to explain the impulse.

    A grimmer-than-Grimm fairy tale inspired (and ostensibly produced) by Colonia Dignidad — the cult-like Chilean enclave founded by German fugitive Paul Schäfer, an insatiable pedophile who raped the members of his community, provided shelter to Nazi war criminals like Josef Mengele, and tortured Pinochet’s…

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★★★

    all life is a game of luck.

  • Irma Vep

    Irma Vep

    ★★★★★

    When the news broke that Olivier Assayas was collaborating with A24 on a TV version of “Irma Vep,” the only truly surprising thing about it was that the project had been conceived before the pandemic. Like Zoom orgies, government-sanctioned bleach injections, and the popular wisdom that Andrew Cuomo is somehow good at his job, the prospect of Assayas remaking his 1996 masterpiece is one of those things that would have seemed unfathomable just a few short months ago. Even for…

  • Castle in the Ground

    Castle in the Ground

    ★★★

    Even as “Castle in the Ground” begins to fray and fall apart, Joey Klein’s dour but gripping opioid drama remains believable for how perfectly it dovetails with its grieving protagonist. Like 19-year-old Henry Fine (Alex Wolff) — a nice Jewish boy who lives with his dying mom (Neve Campbell) in a necrotic Sudbury apartment complex — the film is sensitive and mesmeric and oh so close to moments of cathartic beauty. And like 19-year-old Henry Fine — a grieving orphan…

  • Capone

    Capone

    ★★

    A necrotic gangster biopic that doubles as one of modern cinema’s most unforgiving self-portraits, Josh Trank’s “Capone” does for Scarface what Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days” did for Kurt Cobain: Not a lot, and in excruciating detail. But while both films offer a bleak look at the final chapter of a fabled rock star’s life, this one has the chutzpah to be so much bleaker; if Van Sant’s movie was strung out, Trank’s is utterly zombified.

    Hardy once again combines…

  • The Hidden Fortress

    The Hidden Fortress

    ★★★★½

    At certain points in their careers, even cinema’s greatest auteurs have needed to cover their asses with a hit; it’s the nature of the beast, and even the most thoroughly housebroken of pets still needs to be fed. For Akira Kurosawa — a soft-hearted tyrant who lorded over his sets like an emperor, tamed the feral Toshirô Mifune into one of filmdom’s most nuanced stars, and remapped the possibilities of his medium with arthouse classics and rousing samurai epics alike…

  • Clementine

    Clementine

    ★★½

    An erotic psychodrama about a recently dumped young woman who thinks of her new heartache like a curse she needs to pass on to someone else before it kills her, Lara Jean Gallagher’s “Clementine” begins with an intimate little scene that shadows the rest of the movie. We meet Karen (Otmara Marrero) in some iPhone footage that her unseen ex-girlfriend shot in bed one morning — a loving, needy close-up. “Wake up, I need inspiration,” a sober English voice intones…

  • On a Magical Night

    On a Magical Night

    ★★★

    A zesty palate cleanser of sorts after his wrenching “Sorry Angel” — but in some ways a much weightier film than writer-director Christophe Honoré has left himself the strength to carry — “On a Magical Night” is a fanciful tale of marriage and its malcontents; a muted sex farce that unfolds like an overwhelmingly French twist on “A Christmas Carol” for people who are sick of their spouses.

    Honoré says he was desperate to film Chiara Mastroianni’s “anxious forehead and…

  • Spaceship Earth

    Spaceship Earth

    ★★★

    On September 26, 1991, the world watched as eight visionary hippies dressed up as cosmonauts and sealed themselves inside the massive, environmentally self-sustaining, $150 million glass vivarium where they would live together for the next two years. The facility was dubbed “Biosphere 2,” a man-made sequel to Earth that would offer a microcosmic glimpse of our impact on the planet, and explore the possibility of replicating it elsewhere in the galaxy. A non-profit that was populated by the members of…