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$5 a Day
Good 83 Points 2008

A smalltime con artist reconnects with his reluctant son as they scam their way cross-country in $5 a Day. The whole thing has an understated lunacy to it that evokes a bygone era.
Indeed, it feels like an old-time movie set in the Rap Era.

$5 a Day has three main assets: classic Christo…

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WikChip Image Ageless Stone: charisma & sex appeal
A Walk in the W...
Very Good 83 Points 2015

Two tenderfoots tramp along the Appalachian Trail for hundreds of miles and emerge the better for wear in A Walk in the Woods. The movie is like their hike: surprisingly enjoyable, albeit slow and plodding. It’s also rather ridiculous, as anyone who has backpacked can attest. The ill prepared h…

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WikChip Image Behind the Scenes Phoniness
Alpha
Really Great 83 Points 2018

Behold the best movie of the year. Alpha leads the pack literally and figuratively. Vividly realistic if surreal sequences of life in Europe 20,000 years ago cradle a family love story and one of the best dog stories ever.

What’s not to love?

The most intense opening scene of an action-ad…

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WikChip Video The first hour of the movie in 2½ min...
Argo
Really Great 83 Points 2012

Two political movies were released this third weekend before the Obama retention election – one on heroic capitalism, the other recreating a little known cloak-and-dagger success during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, an otherwise dismal chapter in American history. The second movie – Argo – is th…

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WikChip Image Making a fake hit movie
Atlas Shrugged:...
Good 66 Points 2012

Atlas tried, again. If only Part II was double the fun or carried twice the load of Part I.

Instead, the new casting ends net neutral while the story remains mired in the Fifties.

Plus the sheer weight of putting on an economic thriller remains overwhelming. Still, all hail the attempt….

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WikChip Image Beghe's Hank Reardon - hell of a man
Beyond the Sea
Good 83 Points 2004

The Peter Principle personified: Kevin Spacey reached his level of incompetence by writing, directing and starring in Beyond the Sea, a surreal biopic of Bobby Darin. The starring part was mostly fine.

The writing and directing parts, not so much.

Darin’s terrific songs make the movie an…

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WikChip Image Kate Bosworth models Sandra Dee
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Charlie Countryman
Very Good 66 Points 2013

Charlie Countryman follows a dweeb of the same name as he flees his hometown in a fog of grief following the death of his Mother. Bucharest is his destination, though perhaps he was supposed to go to Budapest. He’s not sure, just a he’s not sure about most things. He’s the type of naive fool…

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WikChip Image Manly Men: Schweiger & Mikkelsen
Chef
Great 83 Points 2014

Jon Favreau clocks a home run with Chef, a flat-out fantastic little movie. Funny and feel-good, yet not fatuous, Favreau downshifts from Iron Man into an almost equally impressive result. The guy wrote the story and stars as a likable da…

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WikChip Video Kid gets Dad on Twitter
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Cosmopolis
Barely OK 66 Points 2012

The poster tells the tale. Robert Pattinson starring in a David Cronenberg movie of a Don DeLillo book is all you need to know about Cosmopolis. A deeply surreal fable about the evil rich as embodied by a soulless manqué sums it up. Oh yeah, bloody wounds get inflicted. It is a David Cronenb…

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WikChip Image Financial vampire in 4 wheel stretch ...
Django Unchained
Really Great 95 Points 2012

Django Unchained is an absurdly good movie that goes where few filmmakers would dare tread, and succeeds so completely that only Tarantino could pull it off. What he’s pulled off is a Tarantinic take on the first of the two racial decimations to occur in the heart of Western Civilization, thre…

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WikChip Image Give this man an Oscar. Seriously.
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