In 2009, the Senate Intelligence Committee opened an investigation into the CIA’s practices in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. What followed was a political battle of wills, both to uncover the truth and to make the findings public. This little-known chapter of recent American history is brought to crackling life by writer-director Scott Z.
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The race is on as Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) compete to light up the Chicago World’s Fair with that newfangled invention called electricity. Originally completed in 2017 but shelved after its studio went bankrupt, THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT can finally be seen as a smart, delightfully acted and indeed electric history lesson. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (ME EARL AND THE DYING GIRL).
101 minutes; PG-13
For 25 years from her perch at The New Yorker, the legendary Pauline Kael extolled masterpieces, excoriated turkeys and started countless arguments. Rob Garver’s sweetly nostalgic documentary portrait of Kael—with appearances by Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Camille Paglia and many others—recalls an era when movies were at the center of American culture, and when a diminutive, erudite woman who grew up on a chicken farm could become a literary celebrity.
95 minutes; NR
Single mom Shelia, gifted with sometimes-prophetic dreams, moonlights as a paranormal investigator while working at a car-rental service counter and raising her teenage son, Owen. After her appearance on a local radio program, she’s contacted about Richard, a recent widower who thinks his wife may be haunting his East Tennessee farmhouse. LIGHT FROM LIGHT is a balm of a film, bathed in the atmosphere of the misty mountains surrounding the farmhouse and the nighttime soundtrack of the ever-present crickets’ song.
Legendary director Pedro Almodovar (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, VOLVER) re-teams with longtime collaborators Antonio Banderas (winner of Best Actor at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival) and Penelope Cruz for this elegant and deeply affecting drama about a middle-aged film director taking stock of his life and career. There are echoes here of such autobiographical masterpieces as Fellini’s AMARCORD and Bergman’s WILD STRAWBERRIES, but the style and sensibility—lush, darkly comic, and rich with flashbacks and unexpected turns—is pure Almodovar.