2015

Son of Saul is a one-of-a kind immersive experience that gives stark glimpses of death-camp murder and madness with a frightening frankness.

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It’s easy to fall for Sisters’ natural charm and just let the movie work on you. Sure, it’s a silly premise with all kinds of moments that don’t quite ring true as realistic, but if we’re going to have one more dumb man-child comedy, at least this one has Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in it.

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The Danish Girl, out on Blu-ray now, pulls back every time there is an opportunity for an in-depth exploration of Lili’s psyche or an examination on Gerda’s part for the guilt and regret she may feel for encouraging this.

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Now that it’s out on Blu-ray, ‘Steve Jobs’ can be seen and appreciated by a wider audience for the engaging biopic that it is.

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A lean story with some unlikely poignancy, with director Daniel Barber squeezing the most suspense out of it possible. There’s not a lot of twists and turns; it’s just one sustained mood of dread and and ending that makes puts the entire thing into a wider, scarier perspective.

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Like a long marriage, 45 Years isn’t an easy journey by any means, yet it is one definitely worth taking.

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In the documentary ‘I Am Thor,’ out now on Blu-ray, “nice guy” Canadian bodybuilder-turned-stripper-turned-heavy-metal-rock-star John Mikl Thor decides one day in the mid-1990s to try to regain a sliver of the fame he had in the crazy, sexed-up 1970s.

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Were it anyone else but Charlie Kaufman holding the reins on this, things might not seem so generic and adrift, yet again, considering the level of novelty and creativity he has brought to previous offerings, Anomalisa feels decidedly thin, and only partially formed.

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The Revenant is one of the most ambitious films in recent memory and one of the best pictures of the year. Go see it. It’s worth your time and money.

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I thought I’d just remind myself (and you, dear readers) of every film I saw in 2015.

Every. Single. One.

Let’s do this.

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Experimenter is one of the best and most overlooked films of the year, and definitely worth catching up with as soon as possible.

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Those that don’t have the capacity to find some sliver of perverse humor in point-blank headshots, projectile blood vomiting, aggressive rape scenes, and cold blooded murder probably won’t like The Hateful Eight. That’s their loss, though, for the rest of us that have followed Tarantino on his cinematic gallop through the last 20-plus years have come to expect nothing less, and in the director’s eighth offering, he most certainly does not disappoint.

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Although there are discernible arcs and some level of growth for a few of the characters, ‘Youth’ is all so on-the-nose and force-fed that the whole affair comes off as decidedly manufactured and plastic.

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An expertly crafted drama with impeccable performances, a tight script, stunning set and costume designs, and a brisk yet thoughtful pace, director Todd Haynes’ newest film, Carol, soars.

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At nearly three hours, one laments the wasted opportunity, for there is ample time, directorial muscle, and acting horsepower to walk the line between cinematically engaging and broadly digestible.

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