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Movies to Stream This Weekend: Rare Films Available—for Free—with a New York Public Library Card

<i>Each week, Richard Brody picks a classic film, a modern film, an independent film, a foreign film, and a documentary for online viewing.</i><p>It’s big news that the New York Public Library is making available, for free, to all holders of a library card, the streaming service Kanopy, which contains a …

Review: 'Laggies'

In "Laggies," Keira Knightley tries on a generic American dialect. Based on the results, the actress defines that as "nasal, and how!"<p>Her character, Megan, is 28 years old and a Seattle native. She has thus far let life happen to her, and around her. She lacks a career (she freelances as a …

'Stories We Tell': Director's look at family's secrets, lies and love ★★★★

Everywhere in the culture, there's another monologuist or filmmaker placing herself at the center of a question, or a series of questions: What's up with my family? How did I get here? How can one charismatic family member hold so many secrets?<p>Sarah Polley's remarkable "Stories We Tell" transcends …

A Petra Pan travels boroughs and beyond in 'Frances Ha' ★★★ 1/2

Often when you're young, and sometimes even when you're older than young, adulthood is something ventured into partway, like a wading pool. The deep end your friends are already inhabiting looks a long way away.<p>"Frances Ha," director and co-writer Noah Baumbach's beguiling new picture, stars Greta …

Woody Allen

'Gravity,' a breathtaking space adventure ★★★ 1/2

"Gravity" defies itself. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play astronauts — a newbie scientist and a veteran cowboy — who dodge space debris and the usual narrative expectations while coping with a highly compressed series of crises 372 miles above the Earth's surface. It's a nerve-wracking visual …

'Price Check' offers real payoff ★★★

The sharp workplace comedy "Price Check" is a you-are-there slip-and-slide that follows a supermarket chain's pricing-department exec whose life gets upended by a whirlwind new boss.<p>Pete Cozy (Eric Mabius) would rather 9-to-5 it and spend time with his homemaker wife, Sara (Annie Parisse), and …

'Sweeney' staggers in amid a hail of bullets and Cockney slang ★★★

Movie shootouts are often dazzling feats of marksmanship. Few filmmakers have the guts to show their version of "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" the way such gunfights actually go down — dozens of rounds, most missing the mark; pistols popping off, incessantly, their owners unable to hit the broad …

'Koch': The mayor's great love was New York City ★★★

What an entertaining rapscallion Ed Koch was during his run as mayor of New York in the late '70s and '80s. Popular, polarizing, loved, hated, even 20-plus years after he left office, he never failed to attract a crowd as he walked the streets of the city. Which he did virtually every day until he …

Torment echoes decades later in German thriller 'Silence' ★★★ 1/2

"The Silence" is an exemplary German-language thriller, a complex and disturbing examination of guilt, violence and psychological torment that chills us to the core not once but twice.<p>Impeccably made with complete control of the medium by Swiss-born writer-director Baran bo Odar in a seriously …

'Beyond the Hills': Possessed, inspired by history ★★★ 1/2

Of all the movies culminating in a rite of exorcism, Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu's remarkable "Beyond the Hills" stands alone.<p>It is a different sort of horror movie, focused on character and on the precarious emotional state of lovers whose affair has come to an abrupt close. The …

Kerouac opus 'On the Road' hits just enough beats ★★★

An eternal fountain of adolescence, Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" went through many permutations between its point of origin, 1948, and its point of notorious, divisive publication, 1957. The best description of it came from Kerouac himself, in a journal entry written after his first cross-country …

'Ginger & Rosa' a showcase for Elle Fanning ★★★

As the ampersand between their names indicates, "Ginger & Rosa" are inseparable, pals since birth, best friends for as long as anyone can remember. At least until now.<p>It's 1962 in London, and 17-year-old old Rosa worries about finding true love, "the kind that lasts forever." Ginger, however, has …

'Gimme the Loot' a New York tale of love, larceny ★★★ 1/2

In Adam Leon's "Gimme the Loot," a loose, beguiling bit of larceny, a pair of teenage graffiti artistes from the Bronx — Malcolm, played by Ty Hickson, and Sofia, played by Tashiana Washington — spend an eventful summer weekend in side-winding pursuit of their dream.<p>The dream? To "bomb" the New …

Terrence Malick's 'To the Wonder' lost in a beautifully shot fog ★★★

In the spirit of a Terrence Malick screenplay, certain rhetorical questions to be spoken in hushed voice-over present themselves regarding Malick's latest, "To the Wonder."<p>Can we ever see enough sunsets as filmed by Malick and his mighty cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki? Is serious spiritual …

'Blancanieves': Grimm tale, rendered silently, beautifully ★★★ 1/2

From Spain, here's a miracle of fairy tale repurposing: a version of the Brothers Grimm's "Snow White," set in Spanish bullfighting country in the late 1920s.<p>Writer-director Pablo Berger's "Blancanieves" goes all the way with its concept, and then further. This is a black-and-white silent film, …

'Something in the Air' a coming of age in a time of chaos ★★★

Gliding through turbulent revolutionary times with an air of inquisitive detachment, and with a sheaf of his latest drawings under his arm, young Gilles, played by newcomer Clement Metayer in "Something in the Air," is the latest screen portrait of an artist as a young man. It's a good one too, …

As a hit man, 'Iceman' a model of productivity ★★★

For bracing proof that a) Michael Shannon can portray the coldest of killers, while b) complicating and enlivening a potentially monochromatic slab of nastiness, check out Shannon as Richard Kuklinski in director and co-writer Ariel Vromen's "The Iceman." In our mobbed-up popular culture, Kuklinski …

'Fast & Furious 6' revels in childlike love of vehicular mayhem ★★★ 1/2

“Fast & Furious 6,” — which surely maxed out Universal’s tank-top budget for the year, and sustains its joyful, unpretentious ridiculousness so perfectly that I secretly hoped the “6” meant “hours long,” — ends with a disclaimer, the sort of small-type legalese that typically arrives at the tail …

Richard Linklater, screen lovers reunite again in 'Before Midnight' ★★★

When Celine, played by Julie Delpy, first met Ethan Hawke's Jesse in "Before Sunrise" back in 1995, on a Budapest-to-Vienna train just made for postcollegiate flirtation, one round of small talk led to another, until the talk got a little bigger and phased into bleary-eyed, besotted exchanges about …

A journalist abroad, charting America's clandestine 'Dirty Wars' ★★★

Richard Rowley's documentary "Dirty Wars" is a sobering account of acclaimed journalist Jeremy Scahill's reporting on the war on terror in the Middle East and Africa, and the effect its clandestine operations have had not just on those shaken by its violence but also on Scahill himself. He's the …

War

'This is the End' is rude, crude -- and funny ★★★ 1/2

The "Hangover" movies, even the third one no one defends, barely qualify as comedies in the traditional sense. They're more like grimy action pictures with a joke or two tossed in to avoid the charge of false labeling. Their ugliness of spirit compounds a disinterest in verbal jokes and a reliance …

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