ROCKETMAN – Review by Susan Granger

Make no mistake: this jukebox musical/quasi-biopic offers little insight into the cryptic character of flamboyant Elton John. But as a campy musical – one that’s probably destined for Broadway – it’s ambitious – with 20 familiar songs, cleverly interwoven to cleverly depict significant sequences in the life of Reginald Kenneth Dwight, a pudgy musical protégé from suburban Middlesex, England.

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ROCKETMAN – Review by Diana Saenger

Filmmakers couldn’t have found a better actor than Taron Egerton to play Elton John in Rocketman. Even before critics were invited into the theater, a buzz of anxiety whirled through the lobby. Chatter inside the theater turned into a screaming and clapping audience eager to become invested in the story.. For me, Rocketman is a bit of history, a ton of laughs — and a terrific musical.

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THE CHAPERONE – Review by Diane Carson

In 1922 fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks travels from Wichita, Kansas, to New York with chaperone Norma Carlisle. Opening titles announce that within a few years Brooks “will become one of the most famous film stars in the world.” Director Michael Engel’s The Chaperone announces its focus on Norma as opposed to Louise, but the contrasts between these two drive the film.

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STAN & OLLIE – Review by Susan Granger

After fame and fortune left the world-famous vaudeville comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy far behind, they embarked on a career-concluding tour of Great Britain. Disgruntled but not discouraged, they turn to public relations stunts to sell tickets. In addition to Hardy’s persistent health problems, they’re constantly bickering, dredging up old grievances.

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ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Review by Martha K Baker

Last year’s documentary, RBG, prepared audiences for this year’s feature film, On the Basis of Sex. Whereas the stirring documentary covers the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the feature film covers her early, ceiling-breaking case of a man denied a tax exemption that would have been granted were he female.

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ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

As biopics go, On the Basis of Sex can seem almost as old school as some of the laws that its worthy subject spent her career objecting to and sought to correct. That would be Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as the film is meant to celebrate her 25th year as the second female Supreme Court Justice. But as we watch RBG blossom into the notorious crusader against gender bias that she was born to be, one wishes that the film took a few more chances in its approach to such an incredibly brave and smart woman whose super power was her cogent ability to state her arguments – a skill she eventually perfects in Sex just before the credits roll.

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