THE LONLIEST WHALE: THE SEARCH FOR 52 – Review by Carol Cling

Captain Ahab had Moby Dick. Documentarian Josh Zeman has 52, the elusive cetacean who inspires The Loneliest Whale. Subtitled The Search for 52, Zeman’s documentary traces his — and the wider world’s — fascination with a creature who seems to speak to all the lonely people. (If not his fellow whales.)

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SWEAT – Review by Carol Cling

Decked out in bright bubblegum pink, her blonde ponytail bouncing as energetically as her lithe legs and toned arms, Sylwia (Magdalena Kolesnik) shimmers in the spotlight, radiating energy to and affection for the legions of Insta fans she calls “my loves.” But it’s when Sweat looks beneath the shiny-happy sheen of Sylwia’s Instagram-programmed existence that things get interesting.

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THE CONCESSIONAIRES MUST DIE! – Review by Carol Cling

An affectionate salute to lovers of movies, comic books, TV and other pop-culture magnets, Concessionaires centers on the do-or-die struggle of the Monarch — a venerable single-screen movie theater that features vintage cinematic favorites — to survive the imminent arrival of a spanking new multiplex nearby.

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RUSTIC ORACLE – Review by Carol Cling

It’s bad enough not knowing. Even worse than not knowing, however, is not understanding. That’s the haunting lesson learned by the young protagonist of the Canadian drama Rustic Oracle. The movie dramatizes a chilling statistic: Indigenous women represent 4 percent of Canada’s population, but make up a quarter of the country’s missing and murdered cases. (And at least half of all sex-trafficking victims.)

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THE GOLDEN ARM – Review by Carol Cling

The Man With the Golden Arm — the 1955 drama with Frank Sinatra as a trying-to-kick-the-habit junkie — was serious business. The women of Golden Arm are anything but. A raucous romp that premiered at last year’s pandemic-struck SXSW Festival, Golden Arm plays like a mash-up of comedic variations.

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MY TRUE FAIRYTALE – Review by Carol Cling

After more than a year of harrowing pandemic heartbreak, A True Fairytale’s arrival couldn’t be more timely. Its heart is clearly in the right place, yet the movie sometimes undercuts its impact through a largely one-note approach. Throughout, too many characters exchange too much in-your-face, on-the-nose dialogue, revealing too many things they already know.

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SENIOR MOMENT – Review by Carol Cling

True to its title, this genial exercise in audience-pleasing never rises above its modest expectations. Then again, like its golden-age protagonists, it doesn’t have much to prove. Take former Air Force and NASA flyboy Maj. Victor Martin (trusty, blustery William Shatner). His days in the cockpit may be over, but he’s never lost his zest for piloting sports cars and ogling bikini-clad babes.

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NIGHT OF THE KINGS – Review by Carol Cling

Never underestimate the power of a spellbinding story. It just might save your life. Ask Scheherazade, whose enchanting Arabian Nights tales lasted a thousand and one nights. Or ask Roman, whose life — like Scheherazade’s — depends on keeping the king captivated by the stories he spins. That’s the premise of Night of the Kings, an unusual but effective mix of visual fantasy and stark prison drama from writer-director Philippe LaCote.

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