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‘Hearts Beat Loud’ intertwines musical and human connections

The newest movie from Brett Haley (I’ll See You In My Dreams, The Hero) offers audiences an opportunity to explore the complications of modern life, especially through the lens of family dynamics, and ways that art — music in particular — can provide balms of consolation without needing to fix or solve situations. […]

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‘American Animals’ combines documentary and drama to explore a real-life art heist

“American Animals”, starting a run today at FilmScene, stars Evan Peters of “American Horror Story,” Barry Keoghan of “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” Ann Dowd of “Hereditary”…And surprisingly enough, it’s not a horror movie. “Animals” is a crime drama, following a group of four college-age men looking to spice up their life by planning and executing an art heist at the library of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

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‘First Reformed’ is a stark reflection on climate change, hypocrisy and ‘God’s plan’

“Can God forgive us for what we’ve done to this world?” That is the question which Michael, the radical environmental activist, poses to a disturbed pastor at the beginning of First Reformed. It is the question that haunts this small, brutally beautiful film, the latest from writer-director Paul Schrader, the cinema legend who penned the scripts for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull […]

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‘One October,’ from Iowan-turned-New Yorker Kacy Ross, comes to FilmScene

It’s 25 minutes in before anyone in the film One October uses the word gentrification. But every shot, every beat of the film is infused with the specter of that term. Rachel Shuman’s 2017 documentary, showing tonight at FilmScene, is a narrow snapshot of a changing city, on its surface. […]

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‘Tully,’ written by UI grad Diablo Cody, is bound to be a classic film on motherhood

With “Tully,” a film still squarely in Diablo Cody’s wheelhouse, the University of Iowa alumna and 39-year-old mother of two drops (most of) the whimsy and tackles a special sense of fatigue and dissatisfaction. Think “Bad Moms” but with a lot more depression, breast pumping and literary references. […]

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‘A Quiet Place,’ written and produced by Iowans, was made for thriller fans

A Quiet Place, floating on a cloud of high praise and a big opening weekend, has perhaps been overinflated. Nevertheless, the suspense-thriller, penned by Iowan filmmakers, is deliciously unsettling. […]

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Rest easy, Iowa City: ‘The Miracle Season’ is good, or at least good enough

If you’re like me, you’ve been nervous about the story of Caroline Found and the 2011 West High volleyball team being “Soul Surfer”-fied. But rest assured, the film holds up. Here are the highs, lows and uncanny bits about watching a very Iowa City story on the big screen. […]

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Vino Vérité presents a grittier sort of foodie documentary

Fans of chef-focused, “food porn” documentaries like Chef’s Table or Anthony Bourdain’s The Mind of a Chef will enjoy 42 Grams, a somewhat gritty documentary following a Chicago chef’s journey from underground food to a critically acclaimed restaurant. […]

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A story divided: I, TONYA’s deft perspective shifts

I, Tonya Film Scene — opens Friday, Jan. 12 For people of a certain age, the 1994 incident involving Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding and a premeditated attack on her team-rival Nancy Kerrigan has a permanent place in the memory banks. Many recall those events very clearly, as well as the drama that played out […]

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