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MaryAnn Johanson

"Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a lovely backdrop for a condensed backstory featuring a young Han Solo, a bland and cuddly Alden Ehrenreich, who lacks Harrison Ford’s charisma. more

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Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” feels like an affectionate homage to Japanese pop culture. But this question must be grappled with: Is it cultural appropriation? more

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A whole new apocalypse: “A Quiet Place” goes where cinema has never gone before. The result is excruciating and refreshing at the same time. more

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Are you fully prepared for the March 4 Academy Awards? Here are some more excerpts from Isthmus reviews of the Best Picture nominees. more

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Get ready for the March 4 Academy Awards with this handy guide to Isthmus’ reviews of the Best Picture nominees. more

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Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” is a fantastic visual spectacle and so much more: It gives us a taste of what humanity might achieve if we were dedicated to science, peaceful progress and equality. more

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Director Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles” is a revisionist Western that revises the genre right back into the white man’s perspective. Christian Bale portrays a “good soldier,” and the Native Americans are one-dimensional. more

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Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” sizzles with all the excitement of an action movie. It’s a compelling and relevant story anchored by terrific performances by Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. more

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“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Jessica Chastain is absolutely badass as a former competitive skier who runs exclusive high-stakes poker games for rich assholes. more

SCREENS

Greta Gerwig’s triumphant directorial debut, “Lady Bird,” is a howl of grief and frustration, tinged with sweetness. more

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“Victoria & Abdul” is the “mostly true” story of a friendship between the queen and an Indian visitor. Director Stephen Frears explores themes of class and colonialism, but the audience doesn’t feel like we’re being schooled. more

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Battle of the Sexes is an entertaining and necessary account of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. more

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Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is urgent and immediate. It speaks to our desire to accomplish something meaningful. more

SCREENS

“The War for the Planet of the Apes” is a thrilling conclusion to a surprisingly good blockbuster trilogy. Watch the human characters wither away as the apes begin controlling their destiny. more

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The Harrison Ford character is based on British explorer Percy Fawcett, who was obsessed with the idea that remnants of a lost civilization were hidden in the Amazon jungle. His disappearance in 1925 remains a mystery. more

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“Hidden Figures” tells the thrilling story of three black female scientists at NASA. Without them, the United States wouldn’t have landed on the moon. more

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It’s rare to see a woman onscreen embracing the contradictions of the U.S. political system. Jessica Chastain does a brilliant job playing a lobbyist up against the National Rifle Association in “Miss Sloane.” more

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Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play spies in Casablanca in “Allied,” director Robert Zemeckis’ old-fashioned potboiler. more

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Peter Berg’s “Deepwater Horizon” is a gripping disaster film about the workers who are caught up in a horrific event. more

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How does a tone deaf singer sell out Carnegie Hall? Meryl Streep plays the titular character in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” the story of a wealthy socialite who lived a life shielded from critics. more

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