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The Daily

MOVIES

An unlikely genius: Bill W. profiles the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

Most people are at least glancingly familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous. Its slogans and clichés are common coin. Its 12-step philosophy for recovering from addiction is the model to which all others are compared. The program isn't widely understood, though, and that's by design. AA tradition discourages members from discussing the group publicly. >More
 A Lonely Place for Dying needs more action and fewer phone calls

Justin Eugene Evans' Cold War thriller A Lonely Place for Dying has an impressive resume: It's earned 27 awards at 46 film festivals, and its $250,000 budget delivers more production values than one might expect. Evans, a Milwaukee-area filmmaker, will screen the film at more than 20 theaters nationwide, including Madison's Barrymore Theatre. Unfortunately, his ambition is more thrilling than the first half of his thriller. >More
 A machine develops human flaws in Robot & Frank

Robot & Frank is a weird, winning little movie that explores what happens to the essential self as one's memory fades. Oh, and it's a heist picture. With robot butlers. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. >More
 Mike Birbiglia's immaturity charms and chafes in Sleepwalk With Me

Mike Birbiglia is too old to play a teenager -- or even a twentysomething -- but his voice still cracks on occasion. He delivers his lines with long uhhhhs, sarcasm and an overall air of uncertainty. Sight unseen -- which is how many people first came to him, via monologues on his comedy albums and NPR's This American Life -- he could almost pass for a child. >More
 The Words exploits clichés about writers and their love lives

The Words is about struggling writer Rory Jensen (Bradley Cooper) who lives with his gorgeous girlfriend Dora (Star Trek's Zoe Saldana) in New York City. He has two unsold novels under his belt when he discovers a manuscript of unknown provenance tucked inside an old leather briefcase bought in Paris. Already you can see where this is going. >More
 Secrets of success: An interview with Wisconsin filmmaker Justin Eugene Evans

Wisconsin filmmaker Justin Eugene Evans is a man of many hats. He wore several during the production of his new cold-war thriller, A Lonely Place for Dying. Evans served as producer, director, co-writer and cinematographer -- all while leading a small crew into an abandoned New Mexico prison. >More
 MMoCA's Spotlight Cinema to premiere five movies on 35mm film in fall 2012

This fall, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will debut five critically acclaimed films during its Spotlight Cinema series. Though these movies are new to Madison, each will be shown the good, old-fashioned way: on 35mm film, which Hollywood is phasing out in favor of cheaper -- and less beautiful -- digital technology. >More
 A misplaced love story dulls otherwise sharp Lawless

Lawless is a portrait of real-world anti-heroism, a story of larger-than-life characters who refuse to play by the rules. It would be awesome if it didn't yield to expectations. Director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave don't seem to be courting a mass audience. >More
 Celeste & Jesse Forever examines a broken-up couple's connection

When I watch a new romantic comedy, I hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I'm glad to report that Celeste & Jesse Forever is a pretty good one. Its quirky, indie vibe is appealing, and it strives -- at times too hard -- to rise above the genre's clichés. >More
 Premium Rush sates B-movie cravings

The term "B-movie" gets tossed around pejoratively, but here's the honest truth: Good B-movies like Premium Rush may be rarer than any other kind of movie. >More
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