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Incredibles 2 review: Worth the Wait and Super Satisfying

It’s been over a decade since Pixar’s The Incredibles charmed and entertained audiences, with its whirlwind of snappy graphics, fast-paced story,  and delightful characters, rendering it a studio favorite to many.  Now, after much waiting, comes Incredibles 2.  Clearly it can’t match the quality of the first, right? Sequels almost never do.  Almost.  Prepare to be …

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Cinema Siren Interviews on MPAA’s TheCredits

The Credits, an arm of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), is a group that facilitates in-depth analyses of what makes film-making great. By partnering with many great writers and interviewers, The Credits provides insightful glimpses into a myriad of subjects and figures within the film industry. As one of these interviewers, Leslie Combemale …

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The Seagull Movie Review: Russian Classic as Counter-programming

There’s a new version of one of playwright Anton Chekhov’s most famous plays, The Seagull, being released on film this weekend. With Anette Bening, Saoirse Ronan and Elizabeth Moss heading up a great ensemble cast, this incarnation is directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award for directing Spring Awakening on Broadway, from as interpreted …

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A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review: So Centered in Joy, Cynics Need Not Apply

Sparkle alert!  If you’ve seen any of the trailers for the highly-publicized cinematic rendering of Madeline L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time, you know sparkle figures prominently. Director Ava DuVernay, who has the distinction of being the first women of color to direct of live action film with a budget over 100 …

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Oh Lucy! Film Review: Messy Change Makes for Great Film

The new indie release Oh Lucy, from Japanese-American writer/director Atsuko Hirayanagi, examines the life of Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), a lonely, chain-smoking woman of a certain age.  It’s the sort of film that captures well-crafted characters undergoing real change, with all the messiness, hilarity, and unpleasantness attached to it. After being confronted with mortality, Setsuko says …

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ANNIHILATION Film Review: Alien Paradise or Land of Confusion?

The movie Annihilation is a strange, gloriously ambiguous visual wonder. It is writer/director Alex Garland’s interpretation of Jeff VanderMeer’s Nebula-award-winning first novel in the Southern Reach Trilogy.  There are elements of the story that recall a wide variety of what has come before, from Predator, Sunshine (for which Garland was the screenwriter), Apocalypse Now, and …

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In honor of being invited to join AWFJ, the Top 10 Movies of 2017, as directed by women!

On this first day of 2018, I’m thrilled to announce my addition as a member of AWFJ, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.  An official invitation and close scrutiny of my work was required, and I’m quite thrilled I made the cut, and that I’m now part of such a great, talented group of female …

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GET OUT, BLADE RUNNER 2049, and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI win big in the 2017 WAFCA Awards

This year’s WAFCA Award winners were announced today.  When I opened my super-secret email letting the critics who are part of the Washington Area Film Critics Association know about the winners, I was pretty stunned.  I voted for Get Out as Best Film, but I didn’t imagine many of my colleagues would.  For me, the …

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Middleburg Film Fest Review Roundup

Mudbound, Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Lady Bird are some of 2017’s best films: On the weekend of October 20th, the 5th annual Middleburg Film Festival began at and around the Salamander Resort in the upscale, equestrian town, and as they have from its inception, they presented some of …

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