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Lion

A 5-year-old Indian boy and his brother are separated in the teeming streets of Calcutta, hundreds of miles from home. He aligns himself with street people, narrowly dodges sexual imprisonment, and is eventually adopted by an Australian family whose matriarch, Sue Brierley (Nicole Kidman), thinks it a good idea that Saroo (Dev Patel) derive the benefits of a brother.

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Elle

In the opening scene, witnessed by her cat, Michele Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert) is brutally raped in her apartment and then tells her friends about it as if she were chatting about a sale on handbags. Does she report the assault to the police? Does the cat? Not anymore than she would report her shopping list. Michele is a classy, if hardened, successful middle-aged businesswoman who, in some ways, figuratively rapes her employees when they fail to reach stated targets.

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Fences

The opening scene of this adaptation of the August Wilson Pulitzer Prize-winning play is at the back of a garbage truck on a street in suburban Pittsburgh. That gives us hope that the movie is going to expand beyond Troy Maxson’s back yard, which is where most of the source material takes place. Denzel Washington directs and stars as a former Negro League baseball player, who firmly believes his skin color deprived him of a shot at the Major Leagues.

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Passengers

One traveler on a spacecraft, among 5,000 who have been put to sleep for 100 years prior to landing on another planet, wakes up due to a malfunction of his suspended animation pod. That means Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) will long be dead by the time the ship lands for colonization.
His only company is a bartender who also happens to be an android with half a body and no sense of humor. Not only is Jim in deep space, he’s in deep shit. You see,

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Eat That Question

At numerous junctures in this exploration of the sometimes bizarre, sometimes uncanny Frank Zappa, we have to believe he framed his answers in his numerous interviews to both confound us and amuse himself. Example? “Dirty words don’t exist.

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Miles Ahead

It would be stretching the truth like a rubber band to call this a biopic about jazz legend Miles Davis, as co-writer-director-star Don Cheadle has chosen to create a wholly impressionistic vision of the man, guaranteed to upset purists.

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Creative Control

In the growing field of movies dealing with a theme of emotional dependence on computers, avatars, and virtual reality, writer-director-male lead Benjamin Dickinson gets off to a good start with an interesting premise and some good humor.

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A War

Danish director Tobias Lindholm says he has “always liked American Vietnam War movies and sees them as a way for American society to collectively process a trauma.” This film is his “stab at processing Denmark’s presence in Iraq and Afghanistan . . .It’s high time we address what we have sent our men off to in the name of democracy.”

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Trumbo

In the late ‘40s and ‘50s, when the word communist was synonymous with traitor, a number of talented writers and artists, working in the movie business with political leanings to the left of the mainstream, were hauled before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, jailed for their beliefs and blacklisted.

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The Hateful Eight

To be sure, there are more than eight characters worthy of hatred in this Quentin Tarantino western and perhaps his eighth film is equally deserving. It’s a claustrophobic version of snarling, drooling killers, bounty hunters and mere wackos thrown together in a cabin while they wait out a snowstorm.

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