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Thursday, October 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  Fair
The Daily

MOVIES

Noisy frat boys and the parents of a newborn face off in Neighbors

Elise and Zoey Vargas may be the most adorable children ever captured on video. Jointly playing the baby of first-time parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) in Neighbors, the twins elicit an involuntary "awwwwww" every time they flash a four-toothed grin. Nobody was immune to the cuteness at the screening I attended: not critics, not hulking frat guys there for the gross-out comedy, nobody. >More
 Seeking to punish a murderer, an unkempt loner cleans up his act in Blue Ruin

It's clear from the outset of Blue Ruin that the protagonist, Dwight (Macon Blair), is a wreck, but we have to observe him for a while before the film discloses what caused this predicament. Thoroughly disheveled, he is a loner who sleeps in the backseat of a bullet-riddled car parked somewhere in the Delaware dunes. >More
 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is too silly for its own good

Two years after the first reboot of the Spider-Man story, an equally pointless sequel has arrived. By now we've had several years of smart, relevant Avengers dramas, so The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looks like a campy Saturday-morning cartoon left over from the 1970s. >More
 Finding Vivian Maier hails a street photographer who kept her work to herself

Bear with me on this for a minute. I've been musing on ailing country-music legend Glen Campbell, who has, I read the other day, been transferred to an Alzheimer's facility. In particular, I've been recalling his smash 1968 hit "Wichita Lineman," one of the great singles of his era. >More
 The Quiet Ones favors spookiness over blood and guts

"Welcome to the experiment," says seedy-tweedy Professor Coupland to his new documentarian, AV geek Brian. He doesn't add "Bwahaha!" to the greeting, but you can almost hear it anyway. For we had already started to suspect that the academic is a little bit mad and a little bit sadistic, with his cold approach to some quite disturbing matters. >More
 The Lunchbox glimpses a charming mealtime tradition in modern Mumbai

The last place one might expect to find the Lubitsch touch would be in The Lunchbox, Indian writer-director Ritesh Batra's debut film. Yet if you disregard the sights and sounds of modern Mumbai for just a moment while the story unfolds, you might imagine yourself in Manhattan during another era, watching as James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan exchange notes in The Shop Around the Corner. >More
 Scarlett Johansson morphs into a sexy, unknowable alien in Under the Skin

Scarlett Johansson is occasionally nude: That's all some moviegoers need know about Under the Skin. They're in for a surprise, though: This is easily the most unique science-fiction movie to hit theaters in years. >More
 Kevin Costner is in his element in the football laugh-fest Draft Day

Journey back with me 20 or so years, to the prime of Kevin Costner's movie career. He was the center of romances and heroic narratives like Dances With Wolves and JFK, representing integrity with a square jaw, steely stare and resolute seriousness. It really pissed me off. >More
 Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a gripping adventure and a scathing critique of 21st-century surveillance

Movies about the Avengers keep getting bigger, smarter and more relevant. But none of Marvel Comics' other Avengers movies has stunned me the way Captain America: The Winter Soldier has with its scathing commentary on what's happening in the real world today. >More
 A woman pursues her late husband's doppelgänger in The Face of Love

In college I had not one but two campus doppelgängers, fellow students who looked a lot like me. One was a guy my then-girlfriend knew from high school. There was a funny moment in the dining hall when she ran up and all but threw her arms around him, thinking he was me. Awkward! I mention this by way of introducing the unsettling topic of doubles and doppelgängers. >More
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