Movie Minute – John Wick

Did you ever find yourself, while watching The Matrix, wishing it had less plot and more violence? If so, John Wick is your film. Keanu Reeves stars in what’s essentially a superhero flick with the hero wearing suits rather than Spandex, taking absurd amounts of punishment yet still dispatching baddies…

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Movie Minute – Fury

Fury is a harrowing, unrelentingly grim portrait of a U.S. Army tank crew in Germany in the final days of WWII. It’s at bottom a study of the brotherhood of warriors and the lengths its members will go to for each other when passed through the pressure-cooker of war. Director…

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Movie Minute – Art and Craft

Art and Craft is the remarkable true story of Mark Landis, a schizophrenic Mississippi man who over the course of thirty years forged hundreds of works of art and donated them to four dozen American museums. Landis, a gifted copyist, is able to duplicate pretty much any 2D artwork he…

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Criminal Element: Bad Paper, by Jake Halpern

I’m entangled with the Criminal Element once again. Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld follows the strange-but-true exploits of a cast of scalawags in the only slice of the financial industry that can make derivatives trading look honest: debt collection. Journalist Jake Halpern brings you bankers,…

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Movie Minute – The Equalizer

Remember the 1980s TV series The Equalizer? Edward Woodward? Robert Lansing? Well, if you’re going to see Antoine Fuqua’s (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) version, you’ll need to forget all that; the only things the film and series share are a title and the lead character’s name. Not even the…

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Movie Minute – The Drop

The Drop is a slow-burning crime story that builds tension by wrapping a net around its main characters and squeezing them tighter until you know they’re going to bust out. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless) is a standout as Bob Saginowski, a seemingly gentle soul we used to…

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Movie Minute – Life of Crime

Life of Crime is a adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1978 novel The Switch, in which a couple of his trademark not-as-smart-as-they-think-they-are mooks decide to kidnap the wife of a crooked real-estate developer and ransom her back in exchange for said developer’s skimmed, tax-evading profits. Writer-director Daniel Schechter (whose work you…

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Movie Minute – Calvary

Calvary is a who’ll-do-it, a murder mystery in which the murder hasn’t yet occurred. But writer-director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard, Ned Kelly) has more on his mind than just this one potential crime. Brendan Gleeson (also The Guard) delivers a quiet, simmering performance as Father James, a parish priest…

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Movie Minute – Magic in the Moonlight

Magic in the Moonlight is Woody Allen’s latest European summer fling, this time set on the French Mediterranean coast in the late 1920s. An insufferable egotist of a stage magician (Colin Firth in stuffed-shirt mode) is called in to debunk a supposedly bogus spiritualist (a sprightly and insubstantial Emma Stone)…

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