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leave no trace

★★★★½ - Dominion Post  - Back in 2008, I was asked to work on a film shoot up in the windswept hills above Makara, on Wellington’s wild south-west coast. The film – Existence – featured a couple of truly astonishing child actors, brother and sister Peter and Thomasin Harcourt-McKenzie. Ten years...
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Leave No Trace

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - Debra Granik follows Winter’s Bone with this overwhelming tale of a father and daughter living on their wits in the US wilderness. A tale of a father and daughter living off the grid in the forests of the Pacific north-west of the US proves the perfect material for Winter’s...
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BLACKkKLANSMAN

★★★½ - NZ HERALD  - In 1979, a man named Ron Stallworth who was the first African-American police officer and detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department also became a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan and the leader of the local chapter. He would send a white co-worker to play him...
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BlackKklansman

★★★★½ - The Dominion Post  - Spike Lee at a furious career-best.  True story. In 1970s Colorado, a Black man joined the Ku Klux Klan. Ron Stallworth was a young police-officer when he hit on the idea of infiltrating "The Organisation". He picked up the phone, told the credulous man on the other...
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BlackKklansman

★★★★★ - Flicks  - In the time since Donald Trump was elected US President, a number of theories have emerged within the greater public consciousness to justify this turn of events: it was the Russians; it was Hillary’s emails; it was the weird US electoral system that no one really understands....
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Midnight Oil: 1984

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - Ray Argall’s film captures a fascinating moment in history alongside a band that was on top of the world – and trying to save it.  For those old enough to remember it, 1984 was a year full of dread and apocalyptic overtones. It wasn’t just the paranoia of George Orwell’s...
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The Wife

★★★★ - NZ Herald  - The Wife, aka, Hell has no fury . . .  Behind every great man is an even greater woman pissed off she's not getting the recognition she deserves; this sums up Meg Wolitzer's provocative novel that has been adapted here. The Wife pits the forces of traditional marital dynamics...
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The Wife

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - As the apparently-perfect wife of a Nobel prize-winning writer, Close gives arguably her best ever performance in an adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s novel. "There’s nothing more dangerous than a writer whose feelings have been hurt.” The speaker is Joan Castleman, the...
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Mission: Impossible - Fallout

★★★★★ - TIMEOUT (UK)  - Hang on to your hats, Ethan Hunt’s back, better and bolder than ever.  Tom Cruise is 56 years old. Fifty. Six. And he’s been making ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies for 22 of those 56 years. By all rights, ‘Fallout’, his sixth high-flying mission, should be to ‘M:I’ what ‘A...
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Whitney

★★★★ - FLICKS “There’s been several times the devil tried to get me, but he never gets me,” says superstar singer Whitney Houston at the start of this excellent documentary by Kevin MacDonald, Whether you believe or not, the push/pull between good and evil, Whitney’s prodigious gifts and toxic...
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Funny Cow

★★★★ - EMPIRE Despite the title, Funny Cow is not a comedy. There are a lot of jokes, but — trust us — you’re not supposed to laugh at them. Even when the title character (whose real name we’re never told) gets her big, on-stage moment, her finally unveiled material is neither groundbreaking nor...
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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

★★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN  - Watching the original Mamma Mia! in 2008, I had something approaching an out-of-body experience. Having initially scoffed at everything from the contrived join-the-pop songs plot to Pierce Brosnan’s unique vocal stylings, I felt my feathery inner self depart from my dour...
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