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  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★★

    If this really does become the current generation's SUPERBAD, then I feel pretty good about the kids these days. A raunchy teen comedy that neither glorifies being an asshole nor preaches any homilies, BOOKSMART instead leverages its R rating to tell a slyly poignant story about two friends who realize they've been making life choices based on an unearned sense of superiority over their peers. It's deceptively heady stuff, and needless to say the movie lets its heroes course-correct, though…

  • Midnight Family

    Midnight Family

    ★★★★½

    Phenomenal observational doc that simultaneously depicts a mind-blowingly corrupt system and engenders empathy for the people forced by circumstance to be complicit in it. Unlike KABUL, CITY IN THE WIND, which I saw a couple days prior, this is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that's *constructed*, opening with the physically gruesome and progressing incrementally toward the morally gruesome, making every step seem logically inexorable--all with no narration and a three-line chyron's worth of exposition. How Lorentzen got his subjects to let him film some of the stuff he shows is beyond me. Essential viewing.

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  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    ★½

    Want to stab everybody.

  • Carol

    Carol

    ★★★★★

    Not a doomed love story so much as a fragile one, forever susceptible to circumstance and others' cruelty and caprice -- and it's always so, isn't it, then as now, with anything we might long for that doesn't fit into prescribed, regimented boxes. Haynes captures the rhythms of new friendship and courtship, wise to the ways they can blend into one another, the ways small gestures become charged with meaning and desire. The lush, grainy cinematography and Carter Burwell's amazing…