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  • Hard Boiled

    Hard Boiled

    ★★★

    D: John Woo. Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip Chan, Anthony Wong, Kwan Hoi-Shan, A-Lung. Stylish, ultra-violent story of police inspector (Yun-Fat) who teams up with a mysterious hit man (Leung) to stop a gang of arms dealers. Standard plot of revenge and male bonding is springboard for unbelievable action sequences that are bloody, comic, and hypnotic. Yun-Fat is a perfectly assured hero, and director Woo (who wrote the original story) appears as a bartender.

  • 8½

    ★★★★

    D: Federico Fellini. Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Barbara Steele, Rossella Falk, Madeleine LeBeau, Caterina Boratto, Edra Gale, Mark Herron. Fellini’s unique self-analytical movie casts Mastroianni as a filmmaker trying to develop a new project, amid frequent visions and countless subplots. A long, difficult, but fascinating film, overflowing with creative and technical wizardry. Certainly one of the most intensely personal statements ever made on celluloid. Screenplay by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, and Brunello Rondi. Oscar winner for Costume Design and as Best Foreign Language Film. Reworked as a Broadway musical, Nine, which was filmed in 2009.

  • Blow-Up

    Blow-Up

    ★★★½

    D: Michelangelo Antonioni. Vanessa Redgrave, David Hemmings, Sarah Miles, Jill Kennington, Verushka, Peter Bowles, Jane Birkin, Gillian Hills, The Yardbirds. Writer-director Antonioni’s hypnotic pop-culture parable of photographer caught in passive lifestyle during the swinging ’60s. Arresting, provocative film, rich in color symbolism, many-layered meanings. Music by Herbie Hancock.

  • A Prophet

    A Prophet

    ★★★½

    D: Jacques Audiard. Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb, Hichem Yacoubi, Jean-Philippe Ricci, Gilles Cohen. Quiet, 19-year-old Malik (Rahim) is sent to prison, where his mixed heritage (Corsican and Arab) draws attention from both factions. The Corsican prison kingpin (powerfully portrayed by Arestrup) forces him to commit a terrible crime, which haunts him‚Äîand binds him to the man who rules the roost. But unbeknownst to anyone, the seemingly passive Malik soaks up knowledge at every opportunity, and uses…

  • The Box

    The Box

    ★★

    D: Richard Kelly. Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, Holmes Osborne, Sam Oz Stone. From the director of DONNIE DARKO, another fable percolating with apocalyptic portents. In ’70s suburbia, an attractive, cash-strapped couple (Diaz, Marsden) can’t resist temptation when a disfigured stranger (Langella) offers them a million dollars if they push a button that will trigger the death of a complete stranger. Not surprisingly, nothing good comes of this. Appreciably more coherent than Kelly’s earlier efforts, but frustrating…

  • The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

    ★★★

    D: Peter Greenaway. Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon, Tim Roth, Richard Bohringer, Alan Howard. Another stylish, challenging piece of cinema from Greenaway that’s set in a plush gourmet restaurant and details the various relationships between the title characters. This parable about love, revenge, and, most of all, greed is both funny and horrifying—and right on target. However, those who do not appreciate Greenaway’s cinematic sensibility may be put off. Sacha Vierny’s cinematography is an asset. Technovision. [NC-17 and R-rated versions are available]

  • The Thief

    The Thief

    ★★½

    D: Russell Rouse. Ray Milland, Rita Gam, Martin Gabel, Harry Bronson. Spy yarn set in N.Y.C. with a difference: no dialogue. Gimmick grows wearisome, script is tame.

  • The Thief

    The Thief

    ★★★

    D: Pavel Chukhrai. Vladimir Mashkov, Ekaterina Rednikova, Misha Philipchuk. Intimate character study set in post WW2 Russia: an abandoned single mother and her adorable 6-year-old son fall for a swarthy military officer, not knowing he’s really a petty thief. A powerful tragedy, simply and beautifully told, with superlative performances from its three leads, particularly Mashkov, who exudes the sexy malevolence of a young Robert Mitchum. [R]

  • The Fan

    The Fan

    ★½

    D: Edward Bianchi. Lauren Bacall, Michael Biehn, Maureen Stapleton, James Garner, Hector Elizondo, Anna Maria Horsford, Kurt Johnson, Dwight Schultz, Dana Delany, Griffin Dunne. Broadway actress Bacall is stalked by a psychotic admirer in this bloody, distasteful adaptation of the Bob Randall novel. Bacall’s star appeal helps disguise the fact that this is just an exploitation cheapie in dress clothes. [R]

  • The Fan

    The Fan

    ★½

    D: Edward Bianchi. Lauren Bacall, Michael Biehn, Maureen Stapleton, James Garner, Hector Elizondo, Anna Maria Horsford, Kurt Johnson, Dwight Schultz, Dana Delany, Griffin Dunne. Broadway actress Bacall is stalked by a psychotic admirer in this bloody, distasteful adaptation of the Bob Randall novel. Bacall’s star appeal helps disguise the fact that this is just an exploitation cheapie in dress clothes. [R]

  • The Fan

    The Fan

    ★★

    D: Otto Preminger. Jeanne Crain, Madeleine Carroll, George Sanders, Richard Greene. Oscar Wilde’s comedy of manners Lady Windermere’s Fan, involving marital indiscretion and social-climbing in Victorian England, loses much of its wit in this version. Madeleine Carroll’s last film. Previously filmed in 1916, 1925, 1935 (in Germany), and 1944 (in Mexico), and remade in 2004 as A GOOD WOMAN.

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall

    ★★★★

    D: Sam Mendes. Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Lim Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Ola Rapace, Helen McCrory. Exceptionally entertaining movie goes about reinventing James Bond, literally and figuratively. After being sidelined, the agent returns to duty under the watchful eye of M (Dench), who herself is under fire from the British government. But neither 007 nor his bosses are prepared to deal with the villainy of former agent Silva, played with…