MAESTRO – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Oh, frabjous film! What a movie. What an experience. Bradley Cooper’s second feature as cowriter and director, though radically different from his first, made me feel the same way. This is a marvel: passionate, intoxicating, enrapturing. Sitting in the dark, in a big cinema — phone off and put away! — and letting this movie bowl me over? Sheer bliss.

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MAESTRO – Review by Diane Carson

In Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein comes most vividly and euphorically to life when he’s conducting. The same may well apply co-writer/director Cooper who so comprehensively embodies Bernstein that he all but jumps off the screen during performances. It is thrilling to experience Cooper channeling such rapture throughout his and wife Felicia Montealegre’s tangled theatrical lives.

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MAESTRO – Review by T. J. Callahan

There is creative directing and editing, phenomenal makeup, a soaring score and flawless acting from the entire cast, but Bradley Cooper as famed maestro Leonard Bernstein and Cary Mulligan as his supportive yet suffering actress wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn, are pitch perfect. Cooper gave his all to the roles he played in front and behind the camera being personally given the director’s wand from co-producer Steven Spielberg and spending six years learning to use the conductor’s baton in order to film a six minute London Symphony scene live.

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – VOL. 3 – Review by Susan Granger

If you’ve been an avid follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and writer/director James Gunn’s fun-loving band of intergalactic outcasts, you may be intrigued by Rocket Raccoon’s origin story. In previous installments of the Guardians sci-fi action-comedy concept, there’s been good-natured, space-pirate humor but, here, they’re just babbling nonsense for a bloated two hours, 30 minutes. The best sequences are poignant flashbacks showing how young Rocket gains sentience and bonds with other genetically-altered species, like an otter, rabbit and walrus. The worst sequences involve gross ‘n’ gruesome, heavy-handed destruction. And it’s curious that James Gunn seems to be connecting with the currently controversial ‘trans’ experience.

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3 – Review by Susan Kamyab

I know I have been saying that since Endgame and Spiderman: No Way Home, Marvel has cranked out some underwhelming sequels. So, that put a lot of pressure on the third installment of the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Well, I am so happy to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a hit and a solid ending to a fantastic trilogy.

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Nine years after entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the lovably flawed Guardians of the Galaxy say goodbye with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, an eclectic and affectionate mixtape that’s funny, thrilling, shattering, and bittersweet. The satisfying ending is a sendoff that lands just right, emphasizing how the unlikely heroes have been saving each other all along.

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NIGHTMARE ALLEY – Reviewed by T. J. Callahan

Nightmare Alley is the remake of a 1947 noir thriller that starred that swashbuckling heartthrob, Tyrone Power. Bradley Cooper steps into the role trying his best to be wickedly suave as a carny with a murderous past who learns the tricks of the traveling sideshow trade to swindle the rich as a manipulating mind reader. He’s a high plains drifter grifter.

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NIGHTMARE ALLEY – Review by Diane Carson

A remake of director Edmund Goulding’s shattering and, at the time, shockingly macabre 1947 noir Nightmare Alley may not seem the least bit necessary. But the imaginative Guillermo del Toro, with a screenplay by him and Kim Morgan, proves that this grim story still delivers a powerful experience and a weighty warning in his compelling, superbly cinematic reinterpretation.

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A STAR IS BORN – Review by Lauren Bradshaw

As the the third remake (and fourth film altogether) in the A Star is Born franchise–if that is what we are calling it now–Bradley Cooper pulls off the triumph of the year with an extraordinary pop-rock musical that is sure to become a classic. It is hard to believe this is his directorial debut. And with Gaga absolutely BRINGING IT, I will most assuredly be rooting for this movie to clean house at the Oscars this year. With the potential for nominations in six major categories (Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor), A Star is Born has the potential to make history.

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