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  • 'Band Aid': A couple finds therapy, sort of, in music

    'Band Aid': A couple finds therapy, sort of, in music

    Most marital arguments, in the worldview of the couples-therapy dramedy "Band Aid," consist of refrains so repetitive that they might as well be set to music. That's the joke — or one of them — in the filmmaking debut of actress Zoe Lister-Jones, who also stars as one half of the millennial Bickersons...

  • 'The Hero': A showcase for underrated Sam Elliott

    'The Hero': A showcase for underrated Sam Elliott

    At the beginning of "The Hero," Lee Hayden, the aging Hollywood Western actor played by Sam Elliott, is recording a radio spot for barbecue sauce. And he's really, really good at it. "Lone Star barbecue sauce," he intones, in a deep, luxuriant drawl that sounds just like, well, Sam Elliott. "The...

  • 'The Women's Balcony': Clash of the sexes, culture in Israeli comedy

    'The Women's Balcony': Clash of the sexes, culture in Israeli comedy

    It sounds paradoxical, but it's often true that the more culturally precise a foreign language film is, the more universal its appeal becomes. This is very much the case with the charming but pointed "The Women's Balcony." A major box-office success in Israel, "The Women's Balcony" is so seemingly...

  • 'Rough Night': The bad, the beautiful and the dead male stripper

    'Rough Night': The bad, the beautiful and the dead male stripper

    "Rough Night" is good one minute, weak or stilted or wince-y the next, though even with seriously uneven pacing and inventiveness it's a somewhat better low comedy than "Snatched" or "Bad Moms," or (here's where I part company with the world) the "Hangover" pictures. Yes, even the first one. The...

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