Warren Cantrell

Mean Dreams belongs to Bill Paxton, and speaks to a criminally underutilized dramatic talent now lost to the world.

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‘Brimstone’ is a decidedly unique and moving film that might not be for everyone, but is nevertheless engaging, gripping, and terrifying.

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‘Drifter’ meanders through its 85-minute runtime with characters that aren’t defined, in a universe with even less structure, barreling towards a hazy objective quickly discarded.

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‘Jackie’ is the story of one woman’s attempt to put the pieces of her life back together following an unspeakable tragedy, and what that means when one is doing it on the biggest, most public of stages.

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It takes a pretty serious set of balls to wade into the middle of a war, yet even this courage seems dwarfed by people doing so without the comfort of a weapon to protect themselves. Hacksaw Ridge tells the story of one such non-combatant, and today’s list celebrates the most notable medics and observers that military films have offered over the years. These are the characters that braved the bullets to be at the front, alongside active combatants to help either with their observations, or their life-saving actions.

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Based on Fredrik Backman’s novel of the same name, A Man Called Ove is the story of a man who might just as easily have fallen between life’s cracks were it not for the compassion of strangers willing to take a chance on the guy.

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‘Southside With You’ is an engaging, interesting peek into the lives of two influential people, played by a couple of actors who do a superb job slipping into characters much of the world knows quite well.

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Indignation is a smart, well-crafted story about young adulthood and what it means to be smart and stupid all at the same time.

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A bit clunky at times, Our Kind of Traitor is still a gripping spy yarn that forgoes the Bond and Borne tropes in exchange for a more cerebral, character-driven adventure.

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The sold-out event saw Mr. Mortensen receive his SIFF career achievement award as well, and amounted to a brilliant send-off to a festival that clearly saved the best for last.

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‘Bang! The Bert Berns Story’ is a documentary about the eccentric, troubled, brilliant songwriter/music producer, and despite the fact that it is the work of an obvious ally (Berns’ son, Brett Berns, directed the effort), it is unflinching in its portrayal of Berns as simultaneously brilliant and flawed.

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At a time when Russia is once again rattling its international sabre, and clamping down on civil liberties, a documentary exploring one Soviet writer’s persecution at the hands of Stalin and the U.S.S.R.’s secret police feels all-too timely.

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Currently playing at the Seattle International Film Festival, Vanity is by far the best film playing there right now, and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who has 75 minutes to spare on a truly remarkable cinematic experience.

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Full Court is playing at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, and isn’t a bad watch by any means. Spencer Haywood’s story is an interesting one, and his documentary is forthright as it concerns the good as well as the bad in the man’s life. Yet the picture doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel when it comes to its presentation.

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Currently playing at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, Paralytic is so soul-crushingly bad that it actually makes other movies seem better by comparison, so if nothing else, it might be worth a watch just as a palate cleanser.

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