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Articles by Diana Beechener

The real victim is the audience

      Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren: The Leisure Seeker) is heir to a vast fortune. Her husband, founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, made his money selling instruments of death. His guns were used in the Civil War, to settle the West and in most of the crimes committed in America.
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Obsession, compulsion and love are stitched together in this fascinating drama

       Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis: Lincoln) is a creature of habit. He gets dressed in a precise ritual. He eats breakfast in silence, working on sketches and preparing for the day. He depends on praise and adoration to fuel his creativity. 
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Humanity is the danger in this depressing western

      Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale: The Promise) is an Indian fighter. He knows the tribes, customs and languages. He’s made a career of tracking, moving and culling them from U.S. territories. He’s committed atrocities, and been paid back in kind.
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This tale of Olympic-level tragedy earns the gold

       Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie: Suicide Squad) is a far cry from the ice princesses who dominated American media coverage throughout the 1980s and ’90s. The atypical Olympian comes from meager means. Her costumes are gaudy and hand-sewn. She performs to heavy metal instead of Chopin. She shoots guns and goes muddin’ in trucks for fun.
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Intrigue at the highest levels in politics, journalism and gender

      In 1971, a secret study exposing the futility of the Vietnam War was leaked to the New York Times. Printing it reveals decades of deception. The Pentagon Papers, as the explosive revelations were known, shook the American people’s trust in their government and infuriated the Nixon administration.
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A beautiful fairy tale for fish out of water 

     Orphan Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins: Maudie) knows hard times. Mute since a childhood throat slashing, she works as an unnoticed janitor at a secret government facility in Baltimore. 
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The force fully awakens in the space adventure we deserve

     Former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega: Detroit) wakes from his coma to finds things looking dire in a galaxy far, far away. 
     Better financed and armed, the evil First Order is crushing the rebellion led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher, in her final role). The rebels’ last fighters flee across the universe with the First Order hot on their heels.
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This engrossing dramedy makes art from catastrophe

     Greg Sestero (Dave Franco: The Little Hours) is an actor seeking the courage to perform. A ball of nerves in his San Francisco acting classes, he finds inspiration in mysterious and fearless classmate Tommy Wiseau (James ­Franco: The Vault).
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Grief makes monsters in this funny, savage film

     In the seven months since Mildred Hayes’ (Frances McDormand: Hail, Caesar!) daughter was murdered, no progress has been made in the case. Furious, Mildred decides to shame the corrupt, small-town police department into action. She uses her meager savings to rent three dilapidated billboards on the lonely road to her home. 
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A boy pursues his dream through the land of the dead in this gorgeous film

     Music is a dirty word in Miguel’s (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez: Icebox) family. It’s been banned since his great-great-grandfather abandoned the family to chase dreams of fame as a singer. Miguel is destined to continue the family business, making shoes, and hand it on to the next generation. 
      But Miguel has music in his blood.
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