The amazing Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe

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If “My Week with Marilyn” wasn’t such a slight film, Michelle Williams would probably have a lock on an Oscar for her performance as Marilyn Monroe making the long-forgotten 1957 British film “The Prince and the Showgirl.” The film debuted at the New York Film Festival to a torrent of deserved praise for Williams, but […] [Read More]

‘Dragon Tattoo’: a less than lateral move by David Fincher

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Maybe it just isn’t a story I needed to be told three times. Or, perhaps I expected a lot more from the visionary director of “The Social Network” and “Zodiac” and “Fight Club.” Whatever the reason, I spent a lot of time squirming in my seat the other night during David Fincher’s version of the […] [Read More]

‘Ghost Protocol’ puts Tom Cruise back on top in Hollywood

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Produced on the scale of a superior James Bond movie and packed with the sly, sexy humor of a 1960s caper picture, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is one of the rare Hollywood “tentpole” franchise pictures that deserves its huge success. “MI4″ delivers the sort of fast and furious, but also surprisingly sophisticated, entertainment that the manufacturers […] [Read More]

‘An Appetite for Murder’: a winter escape to Key West

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Roberta Isleib launches a new mystery series next Tuesday with “An Appetite for Murder” (Obsidian) about the adventures of a crime-solving restaurant critic in Key West. The book is such a departure from Isleib’s two earlier series — one about a woman on the professional golf circuit and the other following a New Haven psychologist […] [Read More]

Rent it now: taut Scandinavian mystery via Italy

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The great Italian actor Toni Servillo — who played the title role in “Il Divo” and was featured prominently in “Gomorra” — delivers another commanding performance in “The Girl By the Lake,” as a police detective investigating a murder in a small village. IFC Films has just released the 2007 Italian production on DVD and […] [Read More]

Merry Christmas!

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All the lonely people/Where do they all belong?

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At one particularly apt point in the new Grant James Varjas play, “Accidentally, Like a Martyr,” a character looks over at the few other people seated at an East Village bar and asks the “Eleanor Rigby” question, “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” It’s Christmas season and while many other people […] [Read More]

A 1960s movie that has never lost its freshness

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Jean-Luc Godard has been enjoying a huge renaissance of his 1960s films in recent years. “Band of Outsiders” (1964) and “Contempt” (1963) and “Masculine-Feminine” (1966) have all had hit art-house revivals — especially at Godard Central, the Film Forum in Manhattan — and received deluxe DVD reissues from The Criterion Collection. If you haven’t seen […] [Read More]

Hugh Jackman: the biggest Broadway star of our time?

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Reviewers have been quibbling about what label to give to Hugh Jackman’s return to the New York theater — is it a real “Broadway” show or just a jazzed-up nightclub act? — but whatever it is, the star’s current appearance at the Broadhurst Theatre is the hottest ticket in town. While two bona fide Broadway […] [Read More]

Rent it now: inside a Hasidic ecstasy smuggling ring

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The 2010 “inspired by actual events” independent film “Holy Rollers” tells a story that sounds too good to be true — how a group of young Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn started moonlighting as “mules” smuggling ecstasy from Europe to New York. The picture offers us a glimpse into a famous closed community and shows us […] [Read More]