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  • Creed II

    Creed II

    ★★★½

    When you really think about it, it’s wild that 'Rocky IV,' the most vapid and soulless entry of the franchise, has yielded two films of such emotional heft. But both 'Creed' and its new sequel zeroed in on the very real resentment of Adonis Creed (again played with force and sensitivity by Michael B. Jordan), and the heartrending guilt felt by Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). Stallone’s participation as co-writer was worrisome — part of the reason 'Creed' felt so fresh was…

  • Transit

    Transit

    ★★★★

    With his last film, 'Phoenix,' writer/director Petzold proved he could make a riveting and challenging WWII period picture. He undertakes a bold experiment with this adaptation of Anna Seghers’ 1942 war novel: he tells her story, of fear and escape from the encroaching Germans during the war, but does so in contemporary settings, costumes, etc. It’s a peculiar choice that tracks intellectually but not always emotionally, and some viewers just might not be able to get past it. But those…

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  • Mistress America

    Mistress America

    ★★★★½

    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • The Disaster Artist

    The Disaster Artist

    ★★★★

    Here’s a weird thing that happened: a sold-out SXSW audience saw a “work in progress” cut of 'The Disaster Artist', James Franco’s film adaptation of Greg Sestero’s first-person account of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s legendarily bad movie 'The Room.' And it’s a very funny film about a very weird and untalented dude, and we all had a great many laughs at the expense of this guy and his terrible film. But we were also watching it with Mr. Wiseau…