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B+

“I’m afraid you’re stuck with boring old me for six weeks, but we’ll have fun,” Sue Bagnold says with gentle cheeriness. Her 15-year-old son Daniel (do not call him Danny) is as irritated by her cheeriness as he is by his situation. His parents are divorced and he was supposed to visit his father in Florida for summer vacation. But his father’s new wife is expecting a baby and they have canceled the visit. Daniel is stuck in his house in an English suburb, expressing his extreme dissatisfaction with the world by wearing Metallica t-shirts and ignoring, blaming, or insulting…


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B+

Ross Ulbricht was a libertarian, a follower of Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises who believed that “every action we take outside of government control strengthens the market and weakens the state.” He wanted to change the world. And so he created a website that was like Amazon or eBay except that it operated in the dark web and instead of being a place to buy consumer goods with credit cards it was a place to buy illegal goods, primarily drugs, with untraceable crypto-currency. The website was named for the ancient trading route linking China, India, and Rome. Ulbricht’s screen…


B+

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We’ve had a feature film about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years (“On the Basis of Sex”) and an excellent documentary already (“RBG”). But if the late Justice Ginsburg were here today, she might prefer this documentary, featuring, as its title indicates, her own words, as she spoke them.

A few other people get to speak as well, including a colleague who worked with then-Professor Ginsburg on her ground-breaking briefs for her Supreme Court challenges to laws because they denied vital civil rights on the basis of gender. She says their goal was to see if they could get the…


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The Washington Area Film Critics Association has announced our awards for 2020, with Nomadland taking Best Picture, Director, and Actress, the late Chadwick Boseman as Best Actor (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), and One Night in Miami taking Best Supporting Actor (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and Best Ensemble.

One special award I look forward to every year is the Best Portrayal of Washington in a movie. This year’s awardee: Wonder Woman 1984, with Wonder Woman working for the Smithsonian.

Best Film: Nomadland

Best Director:
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Best Actor:
Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Best Actress:
Frances McDormand (Nomadland)

Best Supporting…


Who’s ready for some football? Who would like to see football in the context of stories, maybe with some crying? Whether you’re a fan or not, these movies set in the world of football are worth seeing.

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Burt Reynolds, who played college football, stars in The Longest Yard as former pro player who puts together a team in prison. (Ignore the Adam Sandler remake, please.)

North Dallas Forty is a darkly comic look at the game with Nick Nolte as an aging player who clashes with the coach.

Remember the Titans is inspired by the true story of…


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Yibing Jiang’s animated short, “Wind-Up,” is a wordless story of a father and daughter, connected by love and by a tune that he plays to her as he sits by her bed in a hospital, where she lies unconscious. Somehow he hopes it will bring her back to him the way he used to hum it when they were playing hide and seek to help her find him.

The touching film is available on YouTube.

Writer/director Yibing Jiang and animation director Jason Keene talked to me about creating the film in a pandemic, bringing together artists from around the…


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Photo by Lindsay B, creative common license

Proust wrote seven books about his life inspired by one cookie. My story is about six cookies that serve as chapter headings for my life. Really, there’s nothing as delectable as a cookie, is there?

Chapter One: Pink Cookies (Age 5)

I grew up in Glencoe, Illinois, a small suburb north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was very much like the town Dick and Jane lived in with their dog Spot and their cat Puff in Your Friends and Neighbors, the first book I ever read.

My family lived a block from the business district, one…


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By all means, watch the classics! One of the sweetest family traditions is sharing favorites like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” “Home Alone,” and my favorite, “A Christmas Carol” (I watch the MCM, Alistair Sim, and Mr. Magoo versions every year, usually the Muppets version, too.) And then there are the TV classics like “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”

I’ve already posted lists of lesser-known but wonderful Christmas movies. And yes, “Die Hard” is definitely a Christmas movie. Case closed.

But there should always be…


Diane Warren has won Grammy, Golden Globe, and Emmy awards. She has received eleven Oscar nominations and three consecutive Songwriter of the Year Billboard awards, and is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her songs have been sung by Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga.

Equal to her passion for music is her passion for animals. And both come together in her beautiful new song from “The One and Only Ivan,” which she has donated for Giving Tuesday to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. In addition, Ms. …


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There are some great Thanksgiving movies for adults. And here are some for the whole family to share.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This is the one with the famous episode about Charlie Brown trying to kick the football Lucy keeps snatching away from him. And Peppermint Patty invites herself to Charlie Brown’s house for Thanksgiving and he is too kind-hearted to tell her that he won’t be there because his family is going to his grandmother’s. When the Peanuts gang comes over for a feast prepared by Charlie Brown himself, Patty gets angry at being served toast and jelly beans…

Nell Minow

Movie critic, corporate critic and shareholder advocate, critic/editor at @ebertvoices @moviemom, and #corpgov #movies and editor at @miniverpress

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