Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic <i>First Man</i> is a rousing testament to an American hero

Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic First Man is a rousing testament to an American hero

Ryan Gosling is a handsome man, but it's his profile that's most aesthetically pleasing. We saw a lot of it in Drive, where he sat behind the wheel of a car and was often photographed from the passenger seat, and we see it again in First Man, where he's a test pilot in a cockpit.

The latest go-round of A Star Is Born offers both escape and substance

It's not a music movie until a sweaty singer washes down a handful of pills with gulps of grain alcohol, and A Star Is Born is a music movie from the first gin-splashed scene.

Ethan Hawke's musical biopic Blaze is an impressionistic tribute to a great lost talent

I was unfamiliar with country singer-songwriter Blaze Foley going into the film of his life, and I came away with respect for a craft I hadn't known existed. Simply titled Blaze, it's the fourth feature directed by Ethan Hawke, whose visual style and sense of storytelling channel the same hushed, quietly proficient tone that he brings to so many of his acting roles.

I Am Not a Witch is strange, challenging, and ultimately beautiful

Any cohesive film has a certain rhythm to it, and in the particular case of I Am Not a Witch, the rhythm is weighty, tangible and multisensory. This internationally produced drama, the feature debut of writer-director Rungano Nyoni, opens with a lengthy shot onboard an African tour bus set to Vivaldi's "Winter," and only gets more stylistically striking and structurally unconventional from there.

Our next Suds & Cinema screening: Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction

Bust out your glowing briefcases and your Big Kahuna burgers and start memorizing all the words to Ezekiel 25:17. Our next Suds & Cinema film is 1994's Pulp Fiction, showing at 7 pm at the Bing Crosby Theater on Oct. 17. Quentin Tarantino's outlandish, violent, convention-breaking pop culture phenomenon recently turned 25 years old, and now it's the Inlander's turn: You can pick up our commemorative 25th anniversary issue at the theater a day before it hits newsstands.

From the creator of This Is Us, Life Itself is like a movie from Mars

Dear reader, the following is a list of things that happen in the melodrama Life Itself, from This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman.

The animated adventure Smallfoot aims low and barely hits its target

Produced by Warner Animation Group, whose best films have been the snarky, self-aware Lego movies, and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks, who worked on WAG's mediocre 2016 effort Storks, Smallfoot has a slick, anonymous style that seems designed to smooth out anything potentially distinctive or memorable. It features cute, inoffensive animal characters, a handful of bland, pop-style musical numbers and an easily digestible message about tolerance.

Michael Moore spews unfocused rage in his latest documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9

At this point, nobody goes into a Michael Moore movie not knowing what to expect. The activist filmmaker has been making progressive documentaries for nearly 30 years, and his audience is eager to hear his perspective on whatever is happening in the country or the world at any given time.

The muddled British drama The Bookshop is no page-turner

It's fitting that a film centered partially on literary appreciation should possess a certain storybook quality.

The deadly alien returns to Earth in The Predator, a disappointing continuation of a stalled franchise

The Predator's motivations could not be simpler: It's an alien sport hunter, "like a bass fisherman" as one of the characters in Shane Black's new film The Predator describes it. It hunts and kills humans (and other sentient creatures across the galaxy) for pure enjoyment, with a set of guidelines that make the experience more challenging (and ethical, in a twisted sort of way).

The Little Stranger defies its genre boundaries to make for a chilling, yet beautiful, character study

The Little Stranger could serve as a case study for the artificial, limiting nature of genre classification.

Searching finds a father plumbing the depths of social media to locate his missing daughter

It's a story that plays out entirely on computer screens: Skype calls, Google searches, YouTube videos. 2015's Unfriended told a teen paranormal-horror tale the same way.

Based on a fascinating true story, Operation Finale is a spy flick that fails to impress

Operation Finale has the markings of a good film.The true story about a group of Israeli special agents who sneak into Argentina in 1960 and kidnap a former Nazi officer almost sounds like the premise for a James Bond installment.

The unusual prehistoric human-dog adventure Alpha will really appeal to outdoorsy kids

They don't make a lot of movies that are set in 18,000 B.C. and told entirely in made-up caveman languages, perhaps for obvious reasons. Nor is the theme of "where dogs came from" often explored in film, though that angle sounds a lot more lucrative.

If 2018 produces a worse comedy than The Happytime Murders, we're all doomed

The Happytime Murders is the definitive answer to a not-very-important question: What would happen if you ripped off Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but replaced the toons with Muppets and then made it super raunchy and R-rated, and what if it also totally sucked? This F-grade comedy has but one joke, which it then bludgeons to a pulp.

Misplacing sadism for patriotism, Mile 22 is another incoherent, tone-deaf Mark Wahlberg vehicle

Peter Berg, director of good movies like Friday Night Lights and The Rundown, has fallen in with a bad crowd lately, and that crowd's name is Mark Wahlberg. After an auspicious start with 2013's Lone Survivor, each of their subsequent collaborations — Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day and now Mile 22 — has been worse than the one before it, culminating in this simple-minded, jingoistic celebration of violence that totally misuses Wahlberg's limited range of abilities.


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Brothers Osborne, The Wild Feathers

Brothers Osborne, The Wild Feathers @ Knitting Factory

Wed., Oct. 17, 8 p.m.

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