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‘The Railway Man’: Incredible true story, even if director isn’t the best conductor

‘The Railway Man’: Incredible true story, even if director isn’t the best conductor

This post-World War II tale is one long therapy session revolving around a struggle with PTSD. Director Jonathan Teplitzky needed to bring a little more nuance.

‘Draft Day’: Football flick puts Costner back in play, falls short of his greatest

‘Draft Day’: Football flick puts Costner back in play, falls short of his greatest

The actors are fine, but the drama of the real draft deserves better. Next time producer/director Ivan Reitman should draft a better team of writers.

‘Joe’: Teen’s father figure has problems aplenty in a dark, bloody backwoods

‘Joe’: Teen’s father figure has problems aplenty in a dark, bloody backwoods

This character study leads with a character so all over the road you might never think you know him – and that road is a rough ride.

‘Dom Hemingway’: 12 years in prison makes Dom due for a very good year

‘Dom Hemingway’: 12 years in prison makes Dom due for a very good year

If you always thought Jude Law was a neat, buttoned-down lad, his Cockney gangster in “Dom Hemingway” will change your mind, or maybe break your legs.

‘Under the Skin’: Scarlett Johansson drags us to dark territory of otherworldly novel

‘Under the Skin’: Scarlett Johansson drags us to dark territory of otherworldly novel

Jonathan Glazer purportedly spent nearly a decade trying to bring Michel Faber’s otherworldly novel to the screen. The wait is well worth it.

‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. II’: Sad, porny saga by von Trier wraps up better than it began

‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. II’: Sad, porny saga by von Trier wraps up better than it began

Danish director Lars von Trier saves his best for last, at least in his two-part flick about a woman with an insatiable sexual appetite and repugnant personal conduct.

‘Cesar Chavez’: This biopic doesn’t quite do justice to a paragon of social justice

‘Cesar Chavez’: This biopic doesn’t quite do justice to a paragon of social justice

What Director Diego Luna and star Michael Pena get wrong is being passive about a labor leader who led with passive resistance.

‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1′: Graphic but not groundbreaking, and so far little meaning

‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1′: Graphic but not groundbreaking, and so far little meaning

Danish director Lars von Trier has always been a puckish provocateur, but he’s told stories of morbid sexuality before with far more nuance.

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’: Ambitious structure overwhelms Anderson’s quirk

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’: Ambitious structure overwhelms Anderson’s quirk

In this series of stories within stories, the extended cast, historical context and layers of narrative are as ornate as the Grand Budapest itself.

‘300: Rise of an Empire’: Black Sabbath, CGI and slo-mo as Greeks fight Persians

‘300: Rise of an Empire’: Black Sabbath, CGI and slo-mo as Greeks fight Persians

“300: Rise of an Empire” is pretty much “300” right down to a new anachronistic war song, despite a change in director and even more CGI muscles.

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