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Out in Theaters: ‘DEADPOOL 2’ 

The novelty of a fourth-wall-breaking, F-bomb-slinging, crotch-grabbing “superhero” may be gone but Deadpool’s not backing down an inch in this full-brunt sequel to the wildly popular R-rated 2016 comic book movie. With Deadpool 2, audiences will get what they expect – Ryan Reynolds spitballing irreverently, kinetic action scenes, a garbage truck full of winks and jabs at other superhero movies – but the comedic blockbuster has been reworked as a whole (*insert Deadpool joke about “reworking” a hole*), ironing out some of the kinks of its lurid predecessor, and making for an all-around more streamlined and better product.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ’TULLY’

Parenting is perpetual sacrifice. Or so says Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, the directing-writing duo behind poppy cult classic Juno, with their comeback collaboration Tully. A dramatic comedy or comedic drama, depending on how you want to look at it, Tully is a soaring success no matter what box you want to put it in; a well-meaning, deeply felt, irreverently mature exploration of growing pains and adulating. Charlize Theron is a knock-one in this deliriously enjoyable feature that has no short supply of wit, bite and verve with a shot of mindfuck mixed in to boot.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE ENDLESS’

Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead are a tactile duo, crafting thought-provoking, effects-driven, genre-defying features filled with big ideas on a micro-budget. Their last film, Spring, which can only be described as a “romantic body horror” and was a favorite for many who sought it out after its 2014 Toronto Film Festival debut, failed to find much of an audience among the general public but solidified the partnership, who had previously collaborated on 2012’s low-budge horror flick Resolution, as a pair for cinephile’s to keep a close eye on. Rather than pulling in the reins, the creative partners have gone even bigger with The Endless, a heady science-fiction-slash-horror—slash-cult-thriller-slash-sibling-drama that’s ambitious to a fault.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE’

Violence is cynical in Lynn Ramsey’s down and dirty arthouse thriller You Were Never Really Here. A rough and tumble look at a life surrounded and dictated by violence, Ramsey’s long-awaited follow-up to 2011’s We Need to Talk About Kevin stars Joaquin Phoenix as a mumbling fixer. Armed with a hammer and crippling PDST, Phoenix’s squirrelly and traumatized antihero is a hired gun; a vigilante who specializes in liberating young women from sex trafficking.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘LEAN ON PETE’ 

Scruffy name aside, Andrew Haigh’s deeply felt and heartstring-plucking Lean on Pete is a sorrowful spirit trip through America’s discarded backcountry where a boy wants desperately for belonging. Haigh’s emotionally draining adaptation of Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel of the same name is of the traumatic animal movie ilk. Not for the weak-spirited, the film from A24 constantly tests the resolve of its protagonist, putting him in increasingly difficult circumstances. Even the life of the titular Lean on Pete, a racehorse on his last leg, lies under constant threat as his unsympathetic owner makes passing threats of sending him off to the glue factory with all the remorse of stepping on a bug. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘SWEET COUNTRY’

Racial constraints are life in Warwick Thornton’s low-boiling and powerful drama Sweet Country. It’s 1920, Western Australia. When elderly aboriginal Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris) kills a belligerent white man in self-defense, he must flee the crooked arm of the law. With posses rounded up and eager lawmen hot on his trail, Thornton explores the racial tilt of criminality drawing disturbing parallels to modern-day criminal justice. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘READY PLAYER ONE’ 

Ernest Cline’s 2011 dystopian YA novel ‘Ready Player One’ struck a nerve with self-described fanboys, sending readers into a tizzy of nostalgia-fueled nerdgasms. Many gyrated over the book’s overindulgent references to 80s pop culture, from coin-op arcade games to deeply engrained new wave synthpop cuts to the nerdcore iconography of John Hughes films. I personally found the book dull, monotonous and underwritten; reference-laden light reading that worked more as a pop culture checklist than an actual story. Worse yet, Cline’s book functioned as an unchecked celebration of deep-dive fandom in a time where fandom has become hostile, exclusionary and often vile.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘FLOWER’

Juno meets Hard Candy in Max Winkler’s acerbic dark teen comedy Flower. Fueled by a filthy mouth and a warped sense of justice, this edgy femme fatale misadventure sees a brassy pixie named Erica attempt to make right of the turmoil life has forced upon her, employing devious measures to get what she wants with a little help from her friends. Primed to push your buttons, Flower is sure to send those with any sexual or language sensitives running for the theaters doors (and is just about the last thing you’d want to watch with your teenage daughter or future mother-in-law) but as far as spitfire coming-of-age stories overloaded with prima donna bite, Winkler delivers the goods without respite.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘I KILL GIANTS’ 

I Kill Giants, Anders Walter’s adaptation of Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura’s popular graphic novel, is a movie left searching for purpose in a post-A Monster Calls world. Sure, the 2016 J.A. Bayona fantasy drama was a bomb domestically (with a paltry cume of less than four million) but remained a hit overseas and was celebrated by critics and audiences alike who noted the film’s deft ability to tackle large thematic material through the prism of fantastical monsters. I Kill Giants not only involves a young outsider struggling to adapt to real-world issues through metaphorical monsters but does so for precisely the same reason, aiming for a similarly moving but also unwaveringly sullen coming-of-age drama.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THOROUGHBREDS’ 

Chilly, sardonic and cruel, Cory Finley’s killer debut Thoroughbreds is a narcissistic response to teen thrillers of the 90s. With ice water coursing through its veins, this shocking first feature from Finley serves as a hellish calling card for ripe new talent in Hollywood. A tongue-in-cheek social commentary about class relations masquerading as an unrelenting character study, this austere New England teenage noir manages the angry ennui of a Bret Easton Ellis novel and the cold-blooded disturbia of Michael Lehmann’s Heathers but moves with the sneaky cadence and unsuspecting footsteps of an entirely different beast.  Read More