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13 Hours: The S...
Great 83 Points 2016

The 2012 Islamist militia attack on the two U.S. outposts in Benghazi Libya comes alive as a colossal and utterly predictable central-government failure in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Truth!

The amazing thing is that only four men died, even if one was Ambassador Chris Stevens…

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WikChip Video Gold Star Parents react to 13 Hours
The 33
Great 83 Points 2015

Real-life drama ripped from TV news gets no more riveting or charming than in The 33, about the Chilean miners trapped half a mile below ground five years ago. Some three billion people followed their drama in 2010, including me and probably you. The fact that all 33 were safely brought to the …

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WikChip Video The real story of The 33
12 Strong
Great 83 Points 2018

12 Strong is no run-of-the-mill war movie, to be valued on its moral complexity and clever comebacks. No, 12 Strong is morally simple and often wooden, making it rather unfashionable in our morally confused era. Of course, we also live in the Islamist Era, sharing God’s Earth with a medieval …

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WikChip Video Cool details about the real Horse Sol...
Great 66 Points 2017

The American hero who almost single-handedly defeated institutional racism personified his unique first name. Lots of Marshalls, just one Thurgood, which is why Marshall is a poor title for this stirring biopic. OTOH, Thurgood sounds like a thoroughly good historical drama about Thurgood Mars…

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WikChip Video Thurgood Marshall, American action hero
Darkest Hour
Great 83 Points 2017

Instead of The King’s Speech, Darkest Hour is The Prime Minister’s Speeches, Churchill’s speeches at the outset of WWII. It fixates on Sir Winston’s galvanizing addresses to Parliament and the British people during the darkest hour for the UK, and for all of civilization. His words ignited …

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WikChip Video Even the trailer is stirring!
The Queen
Great 17 Points 2006

The Queen is a showcase of Helen Mirren’s acting prowess. The main story takes place during the time surrounding Diana’s death and the disdain of the royal family (except Charles) in being forced to deal with the ex-Royal. This turns out to be a terrific venue to showcase the queen’s stiff yet …

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USS Indianapoli...
Great 17 Points 2016

Nicolas Cage stars in the remarkable story of Captain Charles Butler McVay, who commanded the USS Indianapolis during WWII in the Pacific. The Indianapolis was known for its final mission of secretly delivering components of the atomic bomb to Tinian. On its way to Guam it was torpedoed and su…

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I, Tonya
Great 17 Points 2017

Margot Robbie was great, but Allison Janney shows why she got the Oscar in I Tonya. Before seeing this, I had no idea about the poor white trash background of the skater’s mom who routinely used phrases like “lick my a$$” and chain-smoked her way through Tonya’s life. The move was great and a ho…

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The Big Short
Great 66 Points 2015

The Big Short isn’t the Big Lie, but isn’t far from it either. The government hides just offscreen in Adam McKay’s seriocomic docudrama about the epic falsehoods that consumed the banking industry in 2008.

Falsehoods one and two were Washington’s ability to safely stimulate homeownership amo…

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WikChip Video Margot Robbie in a bubblebath
White Boy Rick
Great 66 Points 2018

White Boy Rick is more than a primo Matthew McConaughey movie, though it is definitely one of those. It is a darkly funny – basically true – tale of a family gone wrong in a city gone hella wrong, 1980s Detroit.

Yann Demange’s film is a grim sociological examination, proctological in its pen…

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WikChip Video Matthew McConaughey on Rooster McCona...