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Friday, March 6, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 3.0° F  Fair
The Daily


In Captain Phillips, a sailor must outsmart the pirates who've hijacked his ship

In the opening scenes of the harrowing, true-life drama Captain Phillips, the titular captain (Tom Hanks) and his wife (Catherine Keener) discuss their son's academic difficulties. Phillips is headed to a job where his ship will be hijacked by Somali pirates seeking ransom. >More
 Wisconsin Rising is a powerful documentary about the protests against Gov. Scott Walker

You hear the wail of the vuvuzela, and it all comes rushing back. Most of us who lived through the 2011-12 protests against Gov. Scott Walker will have an emotional response to the sights and sounds of Wisconsin Rising, an hour-long documentary from the protesters' point of view made by Sam Mayfield. >More
 Spotlight Cinema's fall 2013 series to screen five local premieres at MMoCA

The Spotlight Cinema series returns to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art this fall with five films that have never been shown at area theaters. The program, co-curated Tom Yoshikami and Mike King, includes films from four different countries and genres ranging from documentary to noir. All films are screened on Thursdays at 7 p.m. >More
 R.I.P. J.F.K.: Parkland zeroes in on details of the assassination

After years of watching movies and TV, I hold two truths to be self-evident. One: If the setting is a hospital, a medical professional must eventually grab the paddles and try to jolt someone to life while hollering "Clear!" Two: An incarcerated person and a jailhouse visitor must each solemnly place a hand, palm out, on opposite sides of the reinforced glass. >More
 Gravity sends two astronauts floating through space

Watching the first 10 minutes of Alfonso Cuarón's lost-in-space adventure Gravity is both fascinating and disorienting. Astronauts Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Veteran space jockey Kowalski jet-packs around the structure, sharing jokey anecdotes as rookie engineer Stone nervously tries to do her job. >More
 Fill the Void is a fascinating peek inside Orthodox Jewish culture

Are these two going to get together or what? That's the question posed by the remarkable Israeli melodrama Fill the Void. The same question is posed by Hollywood romantic comedies, and that's basically where the similarities end. >More
 Coworkers are hot for each other in Drinking Buddies

Joe Swanberg built his brand on the novelty of naked bodies doing unglamorous things like shaving pubic hair and masturbating in the shower. He's still making small-scale, experiential films, but in Drinking Buddies, his most polished film to date, his observational prowess has swerved away from shock value and sharpened considerably. Here, a side eye can speak volumes. >More
 Writing about Nazis: Hannah Arendt portrays the perils of this sensitive subject

Roger Ebert once observed that movies about writers are hard to make, because the act of writing isn't especially cinematic. I thought of that as I watched the interesting, not altogether satisfying docudrama Hannah Arendt, in which there is a whole lot of typing going on. >More
 A father investigates the disappearance himself in Prisoners

In earlier generations, extended riffs on totalitarian communism (Animal Farm) and the Red Scare (The Crucible) worked thanks to their literary merits. These days it's getting harder to find that sweet spot where an audience clearly understands what you're trying to say, yet doesn't feel bludgeoned by a Very Important Message About Society. >More
 Travel companions clash while procuring a psychedelic cactus in Crystal Fairy

The backpacker travel scene is amazing. All around the world, there are locales so stunning, so breathtaking, that young people will trek thousands of miles for the purpose of visiting them and " taking drugs. Couldn't they just take the drugs at home and save the money? >More
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