REVIEW: ‘Chicago 7’ is a compelling look at justice and politics, despite flaws

In most court movies, there’s just one defendant on trial. This Netflix release gives seven for the price of one.

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, “Trial of the Chicago 7” takes place in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. On the outside of the convention were large protests, and following the political event, eight were charged by the government for inciting riots.

The defendants included Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin), John Lynch (David Dellinger), Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Bob Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). During the trial, though, Seale’s case was severed and the defendant list went to seven. The federal prosecutor in the case is Tom Foran (J.C. MacKenzie) while the main lawyer for the defense is William Kunstler (Mark Rylance).

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REVIEW: ‘The Glorias’ is scattered but insightful

Julianne Moore was already partly ready for this role, as just a couple years earlier she played another character named Gloria in “Gloria Bell.”

The Gloria in this movie, though, is the real life Gloria Steinem. In this biopic, written and directed by Julie Taymor, the influential women’s rights advocate is played by several actresses, as the film explores multiple periods of Steinem’s life.

The audience gets to see Steinem’s experiences in childhood, her early jobs as a journalist, and later her involvement with ERA passage efforts. Along with insight into her career works, the film dives into many of the relationships Steinem had, from family to friends.

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REVIEW: ‘Antebellum’ suffers from poor plot execution

There are good ideas and a more than capable cast in “Antebellum,” yet the film as a whole is, unfortunately, a mess.

The picture follows Eden (Janelle Monae), a Black woman who appears at first to be a slave during the 1800s at the height of the Civil War. The plantation she and others appear to be at is surrounded and controlled by a unit of Confederate soldiers.

As the film progresses, more truths are learned about the plantation and additional background is provided about who Eden is. With tensions building, Eden begins considering an escape plan.

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REVIEW: ‘Devil All the Time’ offers little more than gratuitous brutality

This movie isn’t for the faint of heart. However, even those who can handle more intense films can probably avoid “The Devil All the Time.”

The picture takes place in rural America, with settings in both Ohio and West Virginia. The movie centers mainly on Arvin (Tom Holland), a young man who grew up in a difficult environment and often has to look out for his surrogate family.

Along with Arvin, the film gives attention to several other characters, with many of them doing a plethora of awful acts. As the film progresses, these characters begin to cross paths.

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REVIEW: ‘Summerland’ slumps after strong start, but still good overall

Being the guardian of a child seems like enough work as it is. This movie throws a world war into the mix, too, so no wonder the main character is stressed.

“Summerland” takes place during World War II as the Battle of Britain is going on. Because London is being bombarded, children, including a young boy named Frank (Lucas Bond), are sent to live in the English countryside.

Upon arrival, the government places Frank with Alice (Gemma Arterton), a writer and researcher of mythical literature. Alice isn’t sociable and doesn’t like kids all that much. However, as time goes on Alice becomes more of a mentor and true guardian for Frank.

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REVIEW: ‘Radioactive’ drags despite strong Pike performance

I’m not exactly a person who’s easily distracted. However, the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons kept making its way in my head during this movie.

Starring Rosamund Pike, “Radioactive” tell the story of Polish scientist Marie Curie, who accomplished her groundbreaking work in France. The movie depicts her relationship with her husband Pierre (Sam Riley), as well as their discoveries of the elements polonium and radium.

As the movie progresses, Curie’s life continues to be documented, and both the negative and positive impacts of radioactivity are shown. From this, the audience is able to learn how Curie’s life work went hand in hand with her relationships.

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REVIEW: ‘First Cow’ is a strong film about gentle people

How now, first cow?

This feature from the studio A24 does in fact feature a cow, but it also includes a whole lot more. The movie is set in the early 1820s, during the days where pioneers pushed west for trades such as gold and fur. We’re immediately introduced to Otis “Cookie” Figowitz (John Magaro), a cook who’s part of a fur trading group making their way to a fort.

Cookie isn’t exactly on friendly terms with the others in the team, though, as they claim he doesn’t provide enough food. Once he gets to the fort, though, he does manage to start a friendship with a Chinese immigrant named King-Lu (Orion Lee), who he met earlier during his travels. Not only do the two form a bond, they also begin a money-making scheme where they secretly milk the first cow brought to the area and use it to make high quality baked goods.

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REVIEW: Poor execution short-circuits ‘The Current War’

The intense competition between innovators and businessmen to expand the energy industry across the United States is an interesting subject, but unfortunately, isn’t well displayed in this feature.

“The Current War” mainly focuses on a time period where George Westinghouse’s (Michael Shannon) company went head-to-head with the business owned by Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch). The movie explores how both men approached the subject, with Edison seeking a legacy of discovery while Westinghouse was trying to build an empire.

As the situation between the two escalates, more players come into the game, such as futurist Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) and Edison’s assistant Samuel Insull (Tom Holland). Their influence in the business race is also displayed here.

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REVIEW: ‘Cold War’ is a captivating romantic drama

“Cold War” is a movie about trying to escape, but it’s certainly not escapist entertainment.

The picture tells the story of a singer, Zula (Joanna Kulig), and a composer, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot). Zula and Wiktor find themselves as part of a government funded music group in Poland, which is tasked with giving pro-Stalin performances.

The two soon find themselves in a romance, but they’re also in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, making things difficult. As a result, the two consider fleeing Poland. However, the power of the government and life in general throw a lot of issues at the couple.

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REVIEW: Execution issues ground ‘The Aeronauts’

A daring adventure through the skies is on display in “The Aeronauts,” yet the film as a whole never really takes off.

The picture is a rather loose telling of James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne), a scientist who took to the skies to obtain a better grasp on how the weather works. In the movie, Glaisher is joined by a hot air balloon pilot, Amelia (Felicity Jones), who agreed to help him reach new heights to advance meteorology.

Their work is dangerous, though, as they come in contact with harsh elements with very little protection.

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