meet the patels

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The Basics: A light documentary – on the heels of a breakup, an Indian man follows his culture’s established traditions to find a wife.

The Bottom Line: This is just so endearing and good-natured. You get to love Ravi Patel and his goofy family; rooting for their lasting happiness is a wholly enjoyable experience. A real joy to watch.

Rating: 8 (of 10).

infinitely polar bear

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The Basics: A father strives to take on more responsibilities in the face of his often debilitating manic depression.

The Bottom Line: First, Mark Ruffalo is a superb actor and should be revered as such; this is one of his best performances, and that’s saying a lot. Second, I liked this movie even more than I anticipated I would. It’s sweet, subtle, funny and crushing. Akin to last year’s Love is Strange, this is the year’s surprise heart warmer.

Rating: 8 (of 10).

ant-man

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The Basics: A charming ex-con is tapped to don a super suit that allows him to shrink, gain strength and speed.

The Bottom Line: A peripheral addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ham-handed and light with a few fun visuals, it rests solely on the formidable charisma of Paul Rudd. Definitely pleasant, ultimately missable.

Rating: 5 (of 10).

under the skin

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The Basics: A nameless, emotionless alien roams the streets of Glasgow, seducing unsuspecting men into a fatal mating ritual.

The Bottom Line: This movie has two things going for it: the ineradicable imagery and a disturbing, perfect aural workup. Unfortunately, the story can’t match those features. The liquid visuals and atonal nightmares will stay with me forever; I’ll be running frightening scenes through my mind for some time. It’s too bad the narrative couldn’t really keep up.

Super creepy.

Rating: 6 (of 10).

trainwreck

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The Basics: A brassy, noncommittal woman is stymied by the prospect of love with a reliable man.

The Bottom Line: Of course I love Amy Schumer, but I still had low expectations for this movie. Would it be too raunchy to enjoy? Happily, no. Trainwreck is frequently touching and surprisingly sweet. Perhaps it gained the benefit of a hesitant approach, but many of the jokes and performances caught me off guard in the best way. I truly enjoyed this, which is a rare feat for a silly comedy.

Rating: 8 (of 10).

do i sound gay?

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The Basics: A homosexual filmmaker sets out to investigate the cause and effect of “the gay voice”.

The Bottom Line: An interesting topic with many notable commentators, but this documentary has too many loose threads. Points are introduced and dropped; a lot of this is simply aimless. Outside of accessing empathy, I’m not sure I learned anything from this film.

Rating: 4 (of 10).

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