VOTE NOW! 2019 BEST OF DETROIT

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    • Veronica Guerin

        Irish journalist Veronica Guerin learned just how bad the Irish underworld is during her mid-’90s investigation into Dublin’s heroin traffickers. Joel Schumacher directed this eponymous biopic, which ought to be fair warning for anybody interested in an affecting experience. Cate Blanchett’s Guerin hits all the right notes — but the film can’t allay a curious flatness that runs through the rest of the movie.
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    • Wonderland

        Director Paul Cox’s lack of interest in how porn star Johnny Holmes (aka Johnny Wadd) went from nowhere to the big-time to the skids robs Wonderland of anything a viewer can glom onto emotionally, like character, for instance. Nonetheless, the film — starring Val Kilmer as Holmes-Wadd in his final, druggy downward spiral — is hard to turn away from. With Kate Bosworth, Eric Bogosian, Tim Blake Nelson, Josh Lucas and Dylan McDermott.
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    • Dopamine

        In the latest Sundance Film Series pick, protagonist Rand bases his life on science, believing that love is nothing but a distinct hormonal reaction. When he encounters Sarah, his views are challenged for the first time. In the end, Dopamine is a bland exploration of the biomechanics and machinations of love.
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    • Party Monster

        Macaulay Culkin plays Michael Alig in the true life tale of a young, innocent, Midwestern gay kid who quickly turns into a fabulous, drug-addled New York City party promoter. The script — despite forays into delirious surrealism — is bound by reality, and there just isn't that much interest you can drum up in watching Alig and pals gobble drugs and don outrageous costumes.
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    • Out of Time

        There are better "wrong man" films out there, but few have the good fortune to have Denzel Washington as leading man. Nevertheless, this is a film where everything is obvious, and surface suspense sits in for nail-biting thrills. Playing his billionth Johnny Law character, Washington is as good as ever, though not as likable as he’s been in the past.
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    • Bollywood/Hollywood

        Bollywood/Hollywood is an Americanized, cross-cultural take on the popular movies churned out by the Indian film industry. It’s Pretty Woman meets Monsoon Wedding. Take away the brown skin and saris and you’re left with an inexpertly executed romantic comedy that pretends to be about culture clash but isn’t.

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    • Cet Amour-La

        For the final 16 years of her life, the celebrated French writer Marguerite Duras lived with a man nearly 40 years her junior, Yann Andrea, who adored her. The film is less a re-enactment of the pair's relationship than an overlong musing on the nature of writing. And there is no relief for us — or for them.
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    • Not lost on us

      Murray whips cream into gold.
        Bill Murray was always a better actor than his comedy-heavy career implied — and this film brings out his best. Murray plays Bob Harris, a middle-aged actor who is huge in Japan. Depressed and lonely, Bob arrives in Tokyo for a commercial shoot. There he meets college graduate Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson), who seems just as disenchanted with her life as Bob.
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    • In This World

        In this fictional (or is it?) documentary, a scrappy 12-year-old orphan plays himself on a treacherous journey with his cousin to escape Pakistan. As the two head to London, innumerable dangers enter their path. The film ends with dozens of refugee children smiling and prancing for the camera. Jamal is a vision of hope and ambition.
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    • Love the Hard Way

        In this profoundly fucked-up relationship, a clean-cut biology major from Columbia falls for a scalawag running a hooker con. But by giving us a scalawag to remember, Adrien Brody continues to prove that his legend-making turn in The Pianist was no fluke.
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    • The Secret Lives of Dentists

        It turns out that dentists are like everybody else with inner monologues, emotions, bouts of stomach flu and troubled marriages. Directed by Adam Rudolph with Campbell Scott and Hope Davis as the coupled dentists, and Dennis Leary as an inner voice.
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    • On_Line

        An indie foray into the wonderful world of Internet porn and webcams. There’s lots of soulless jerking off with some dramatic intrigue grafted on for distraction. No bookmarking necessary.
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    • The Order

        A hunky but celibate Heath Ledger (A Knight’s Tale) as a demon-vanquishing priest out to solve the mystery behind the death of a fellow exorcist. A climactic showdown with a "sin eater" ensues. Father, forgive them.
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    • Step Into Liquid

        This feel-good documentary is more about surfing than surfers. Writer-director Dana Brown lays the "perfect wave" metaphor on pretty thick. But the cinematography makes the literal waves immediate and real — and truly beautiful.
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    • The Medallion

        There are good things to be said about Jackie Chan’s acting in this one. But the story is thin, and Jackie Chan should never be given superpowers or saddled with computer graphics.
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    • My Boss’s Daughter

        Anston Kutcher does a yeoman’s job as the movie’s straight man, but that’s not enough to save a tedious, totally confused mishmash of sight gags and slapstick. With Tara Reid and Terence Stamp.
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    • The Other Side of the Bed

        This half-charming, half-tiresome mélange of sex farce and musical chronicles a week or so of symmetrical partner-swapping.. The songs and choreography are actually not bad, for silly Spanish pop songs, but they can’t make this movie anything other than a Spanish-inflected trifle.
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    • Dances with clichés

      Costner's oater succeeds by following the rules.
        Kevin Costner’s Open Range is a straightforward and unapologetic rendering of the classic Western, replete with stereotypical heroes and villains. Beautifully photographed by James Muro.
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    • Mondays in the Sun

        Javier Bardem smoldering character propels a tale of desperation among dysfunctional blue-collar Spaniards who have no prospects and little desire for prospects. Gritty, poetic indignation and self-pity ensue.
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    • The Magdalene Sisters

        A wrenching journey into Ireland’s Magdalene system, a church-sponsored network that essentially imprisons and punishes wayward girls. Writer/director Peter Mullan paints a dark world in which the church is morally and financially corrupt, and thousands of women are left to die without hope.
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    • Freaky Friday

        In this umpteenth update of the switcheroo story, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan have plenty of fun trying to be each other. This Freaky Friday is actually very entertaining, most of which is due to the engaging, sharp script by Heather Hach and Leslie Dixon.
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