REVIEW: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ intrigues while producing laughs

This is one feckin’ good movie.

During the Irish Civil War in the early 1920s, another conflict was taking place on a small island between two former friends. Local farmer Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and folk musician Colm (Brendan Gleeson) had been longtime drinking buddies, but one day, abruptly, Colm says no more.

Seeing his friendship with Pádraic leading to nothing but dull conversation and wanting to commit more to his music, Colm wants to end the relationship completely. However, not wanting to let go, Pádraic continues trying to rekindle things by talking to Colm, much to the latter’s annoyance. Eventually, their conflict starts negatively affecting each other and those around them.

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REVIEW: Magic of movies in ‘Fabelmans’ overshadowed by melodrama

The early life of renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes to life in this semi auto-biographical coming of age picture.

The film tells the story of a Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), a teen who has been fascinated by the magic of movies since his first childhood theater experience. As he gets older, that fascination becomes a passion, and he begins making his own movies.

Sammy’s filmmaking is encouraged by his mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams), but his dad Burt (Paul Dano) sees it as more of a hobby. The relationships he has with his parents continue to be a focal point throughout the picture, and things get even more complicated for Sammy as he learns about something going on behind the scenes.

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REVIEW: While flawed, ‘Till’ is a creditable effort

A horrific moment in America’s history followed by awful injustice is featured in the emotionally charged “Till.”

Danielle Deadwyler portrays Mamie Till-Mobley, whose son Emmett (Jalyn Hall) was killed during a visit to Mississippi in 1955. The movie dramatizes the events that took place in Mississippi where, in a racism-fueled action, Emmett was abducted and murdered in the middle of the night.

It then documents how Mamie showed Emmett’s body to the press, revealing the brutality of the attack and the subsequent trial against the individuals responsible. It also details the overall impact the moment had on the Civil Rights Movement.

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REVIEW: ‘She Said’ tells an important story in good fashion

The Newspaper of Record is a publication not without its faults, but the rigorous work at the New York Times that launched the Me Too Movement was absolutely commendable.

That effort is dramatized in “She Said,” which follows Times journalists Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), as well as other staff members digging into sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Their work followed the inauguration of President Donald Trump, with the Times planning to investigate more assault allegations beyond the world of politics.

After getting a lead about allegations in Hollywood, Kantor and Twohey begin working the story and soon find out there’s much more abuse than what was first expected. The movie then follows their efforts to gather legal documents and talk to the many victims.

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REVIEW: ‘Armageddon Time’ is moving, but storytelling has troubles

Despite what the title implies, this is not a Roland Emmerich disaster movie.

Instead, it’s a coming of age drama focused on the life and times of middle schooler Paul Graff (Banks Repeta) over the course of the 1980 Presidential Election. Paul, whose story was inspired by director James Gray’s own childhood, attends public school in New York City, which his parents aren’t entirely sold on.

His brother already attends a private school and, with financial support from his grandparents, Paul’s mom (Anne Hathaway) and dad (Jeremy Strong) think he should do the same. This is eventually set in motion when Paul and his black friend Johnny (Jaylin Webb) get in trouble at school.

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REVIEW: ‘TÁR’ is a terrific portrayal of a downfall

Just like the music featured in the film, “Tár” is beautiful, gripping and epic.

The film is about Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), a superstar composer and conductor who accomplished an EGOT and now leads the distinguished Berlin Philharmonic orchestra. The film opens with her on a tight schedule, conducting an interview in New York City, teaching a class at Juilliard School and then flying back to Berlin to prepare for a new concert.

Despite her busy lifestyle, Tár’s career seems well on track for continued success and she also appears to be in a loving relationship with her wife, Sharon (Nina Hoss). However, actions in her past and present begin to damage her life and legacy.

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REVIEW: ‘Amsterdam’ collapses as plot becomes convoluted

Director David O. Russell’s latest film shows he still hasn’t managed to recapture the spark that he had with 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook.”

In O. Russell’s new feature, which he also wrote, Christian Bale stars as Burt Berendsen. A veteran of World War I where he lost an eye, Burt is a doctor working in New York City, where he often crosses paths with friend and lawyer Harold Woodman (John David Washington).

The movie picks up with the two men being hired by a woman to investigate the mysterious death of her father. Things go wrong, though, when the woman dies and they are framed for her murder. To clear their name, they start an investigation into what’s going on, and get help from a woman named Valerie (Margot Robbie), who they met in Europe during WWI.

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REVIEW: Jumbled second half damages derivative ‘Don’t Worry Darling’

After helming the teen comedy “Booksmart” in her directorial debut, Olivia Wilde took a leap to the thriller genre in her sophomore effort.

While some of “Don’t Worry Darling” is effective, though, Wilde’s latest film doesn’t stick the landing very well.

Florence Pugh stars as Alice, a 1950s housewife who lives with her husband Jack (Harry Styles) in a small town in the southwestern United States. The town has been set up for workers who seem to work at a secretive government facility, and their families.

Alice and Jack have a comfortable life, with plenty of amenities and luxury to enjoy. Everything seems great, but Alice begins to notice some strange happenings and struggles with the restrictions around town, leading to a mystery unraveling.

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REVIEW: Plaza positively shines in ‘Emily the Criminal’

Aubrey Plaza showed great acting skills in 2020’s “Black Bear” and she has followed it up with another strong performance this time around.

As the title implies, Plaza plays a young woman named Emily. Carrying a troubled past with her, Emily is down on her luck, working a bad job and paying off seemingly insurmountable loans.

Needing more income, she reluctantly decides to get involved in a credit card scam ring. While Emily starts having success, though, it pulls her deeper into a dangerous situation.

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REVIEW: ‘I Love My Dad’ is an uncomfortable comedy (in the best way)

This film produces, perhaps, the most second-hand embarassment of any movie out there.

Patton Oswalt’s Chuck in “I Love My Dad” is a father whose relationship with his son Franklin (James Morosini) has broken down over the years. Chuck has missed too many of Franklin’s life events, and it’s fractured goodwill between the two.

It gets to the point where Franklin is so fed up that he shuts down communication between them, blocking Chuck on his cell phone and social media. As a way to still get in contact with Franklin, Chuck decides to make a fake profile of a woman named Becca (Claudia Sulewski). The two are once again talking, but unfortunately, Franklin falls in love with the Becca persona.

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