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Film, "The Conspirator": Robert Redford's Snoozer of a Civil War Courtroom Drama

"The Conspirator": Robert Redford's Snoozer of a Civil War Courtroom Drama

Set in the months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox, The Conspirator follows the consequences of the fatal shot at Ford's Theater — specifically, the trial of Mary Surratt, the 42-year-old Catholic owner of a Washington, D.C., boarding house, who was…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>The Last Station</i>

The Last Station

Opening with balalaikas, scurrying agrarians in collarless shirts, and helpful intertitles announcing that Tolstoy was "the most celebrated writer in the world," The Last Station threatens at first to be Tolstoy for Dummies as interpreted by Monty Python. Soon enough,…
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Film, Violence Is Golden

Violence Is Golden

Of the summer's many revenge-of-the-nerd fulfillment fantasies — from The Incredible Hulk all the way down the megaplex food chain to The Foot Fist Way — Wanted stands the best chance of dislodging Fight Club from fanboys' Facebook pages. It…
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Film, FilmCap


"A Fairytale Like No Other"? Penelope's influences are right up front — there's the Tim Burton production design (overstocking each frame with curios) and Amélie music-box wistfulness tinkling all about. The film's titular heroine (Christina Ricci) is born into money,…
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Film, Absolute Power

Absolute Power

In The Last King of Scotland, an adequate thriller redeemed by Forest Whitaker's sensational turn as Idi Amin, freshly qualified Scottish physician Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) arrives in Uganda in 1970, ravenous for adventure. Under the rigorous and vaguely romantic…
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Film, Wheelchair Bounds

Wheelchair Bounds

When Marlon Brando made his 1950 movie debut in The Men, he struck a pioneering blow for the disabled: The paraplegic ex-GI Brando played so eloquently boiled with rage, scorning both his fiancee and his doctor, but in the end…
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