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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Light Rain
The Daily

MOVIES

A Roman general investigates a mystery in The Eagle

The Eagle is an old-fashioned boys' adventure tale that has nary a bloody battle injury or love interest (or even a female speaking part) to scar its PG-13 innocence. This sword-and-sandals epic is also a mildly engaging and roughly historical action picture. >More
 Tamara Drewe takes a novelistic approach to comedy

Tamara Drewe, generously entertaining, is based on Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, which was inspired by Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd. (It first ran as a cartoon in the U.K.'s Guardian.) It's easy to see Hardy in the film's tricky love affairs and its English countryside setting, and one character is even writing a book about Hardy, in case anyone misses the connection. >More
 Sanctum is a soaking-wet mess

Producer James Cameron's reputation for examining the deep, dark fissures in both man and nature takes a serious hit with Sanctum, a messy, atrociously written and unevenly acted descent into a subterranean adventure, supposedly based on true events. >More
 Jason Statham is a boring assassin in The Mechanic

Mere hours after extolling the gravelly British pleasures of Jason Statham's acting career thus far to an unconvinced friend (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels! The Bank Job! those Crank movies!), I walked out of The Mechanic remembering the downside of Statham's CV: Death Race, The Expendables, etc. >More
 Vision is a nuanced portrayal of a 12th-century nun

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen is the fifth collaboration between writer/director Margarethe von Trotta and beautiful leading lady Barbara Sukowa, both icons of the German New Wave. It finds them in a nunnery. >More
 Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. brings a little Park City to Madison with Like Crazy

In January, Madison and Park City, Utah have much in common. It's cold. There's lots of snow. And both cities host the Sundance Film Festival. Well, Madison hosts a piece of it, anyway. On Thursday, Jan. 27, Sundance Madison will be the local outpost of Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. >More
 National Theatre of London 'Captured Live' series at Sundance Madison opens with Fela!

The National Theatre of London is coming to Madison's Sundance Cinemas. Officials for the Hilldale movie house are announcing today that the National Theatre of London Captured Live series will debut with screenings of Fela! on Jan. 31 and Feb. 5 at Sundance. Presented in conjunction with the UW African Studies Program, the Fela! screenings herald Sundance's launch of a variation on Metropolitan Opera Live screenings and other special events mounted in recent years at other movie houses. >More
 Prisoners flee a gulag in The Way Back

Filled with overpowering landscapes and spectacular desolation, and based on a supposedly true story, Peter Weir's The Way Back gives us an often riveting vision of escape and the wilderness. >More
 UW Cinematheque's spring 2011 season is a dream come true

January is the pits for Hollywood releases, unless for some reason you're excited about Nicolas Cage's Season of the Witch. Over at the UW Cinematheque, however, you'll find no shortage of stimulation. The cineastes who run the free program at 4070 Vilas Hall have planned a typically ambitious spring season, kicking off this weekend with two black-and-white classics from the 1950s. >More
 The nuanced Rabbit Hole mourns a child's loss

Rabbit Hole is pretty modest, dramatically speaking, and that is its virtue. Watching this very good melodrama about grieving parents, I kept thinking, not with kindness, of another melodrama about grieving parents: Robert Redford's Ordinary People, which is emotionally flamboyant to the point of camp. >More
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