Category: Middleburg

Just Mercy

It’s tough to make a truly standout courtroom drama. Most of the celebrated ones are from the 1950s and 1960s, like 12 Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Witness for the Prosecution, and Anatomy of a Murder (okay, that last one might not be as well known, but it absolutely should be!), and the surge…

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A Hidden Life

With each new film, Terrence Malick burrows even deeper into his niche. He’s an artist in the truest sense of the word, with his recent body of work consisting of uncompromising and challenging films that serve as sublime visual poetry for some and patience-burning wastes of time for others. A Hidden Life is his most…

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The Two Popes

Anthony McCarten, screenwriter of The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, and Bohemian Rhapsody, has returned this year to pen the Netflix biographical drama, The Two Popes, and reteams with his most faithful collaborator, the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page about his subject. Like McCarten’s other films, The Two Popes is generally entertaining even if…

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Knives Out

Rian Johnson’s work is typically layered and complex, weaving various plot threads and character arcs into films that can barely contain their own dense narrative. His addition to the massively homogenized Star Wars franchise is the boldest, densest entry since The Empire Strikes Back, even accounting for the disastrous idiosyncrasies of The Phantom Menace. Knives…

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The Report

Investigative journalism films directly appeal to me, mostly because I love movies about everyday people being good at what they do for a living – the first horse training sequence in The Rider brought me to tears, for instance. I was excited for The Report, because it bears most of the genre’s conventions, but also…

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Harriet

Sometimes the stories that don’t get made into films can be even more revealing of the dynamics within Hollywood than the ones that do. Though one of the most important American historical figures, until now, Harriet Tubman never received the biopic treatment given to so many other less significant individuals. Born into slavery and later…

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Parasite

Bong Joon-ho has one of the most interesting and varied careers of this century so far. Aside from a couple of relatively straightforward crime-dramas (Memories of Murder, Mother), his work often balances an ambitious concept with humor, social commentary, and thrilling set pieces, to varying results. His latest, Parasite, takes a brilliantly conceived story about…

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The King

            In 1965, Orson Welles wrote, directed, and starred in Chimes at Midnight, an adaptation of a variety of William Shakespeare’s plays, primarily those included in the Henriad. Welles had long held an interest in Shakespeare and adapted many of his plays to both stage and screen. Initially produced for live performance, Chimes at Midnight closed…

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Marriage Story

Rick and Ilsa, Jack and Rose, Mia and Sebastian, and now Nicole and Charlie. Sometimes the best couples in film just aren’t meant to be together in the end. Unlike these other couples, Adam Driver’s Charlie and Scarlett Johansson’s Nicole did get married and shared their lives with each other for many years with no…

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