LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND – Review by Susan Granger

Leave the World Behind is a paranoid, tension-filled, futuristic nightmare. The story begins in a Park Slope, Brooklyn apartment, where early-rising advertising executive Amanda Sandford (Julia Roberts) awakens her professor husband Clay (Ethan Hawke) and teenage children – Rose (Farrah Mackenzie) and Archie (Charlie Evans) – with a surprise: she’s rented a luxurious Airbnb on Long Island for the weekend.

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SWAN SONG – Review by Martha K Baker

Some films are just plot fodder, some lift up characters. Some represent a genre, and when that type usually has little appeal, the film has to call you with something else that makes watching seductive. Swan Song is that film. It nestles into the world of science fiction, and if that’s a type you ordinarily avoid like the plague, here is a reason to watch it: Mahershala Ali.

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SWAN SONG – Review by Susan Granger

Written and directed by Benjamin Cleary, making his feature film debut after winning a 2016 Oscar for his short film Stutterer,”this story is set sometime in the future, when advertising artist Cameron Turner (Mahershala Ali), who has been suffering headaches and seizures, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Acknowledging his fatal prognosis is the first step, according to Dr. Scott (Glenn Close), who offers Cameron a unique opportunity to shield his family from grief.

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SWAN SONG – Review by Jennifer Green

In Swan Song, Cameron Turner is dying of cancer, but rather than reveal his diagnosis to his wife, Poppy and son, Cameron opts to undergo an experimental new treatment to clone himself and let the replicant continue living his life. During the final stages of the treatment under the supervision of Dr. Scott, Cameron has to face the reality of his decision and confront whether he’s ready to say goodbye to his loved ones — and life as he knows it.

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SWAN SONG – Review by T. J. Callahan

In his first starring role, Mahershala Ali hopes Swan Song trumpets his talents as a leading man for quite a while. In this near future thriller, Ali plays a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who secretly clones himself to save his family the grief of losing him…and giving the viewer lots of moral and ethical questions to ponder.

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THE GREEN BOOK – Review by Susan Granger

This fascinating, true story of an unlikely friendship begins with Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), an elegant, educated Jamaican-American classical pianist who lived in an apartment above Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall. In 1962 when his record company sends him on a concert tour of the Deep South, Dr. Shirley hires a gruff, gluttonous, street-wise bouncer from the Copacabana nightclub to be his driver/road manager.

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GREEN BOOK – Review by Mae Abdulbaki

Peter Farrelly, whose filmography consists of mostly comedies such as There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber, takes on a different kind of film with Green Book. Co-written by Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, and Brian Hayes Currie, the film downplays Mahershala Ali’s character and backstory, focuses too much on Tony’s perspective, and is far too familiar of a story in all the negative ways.

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, January 6 to 12: HIDDEN FIGURES

History has a way of disappearing women, particularly women of color. Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures dramatizes the true stories of African-American women whose brilliant mathematical skills guided NASA’s space shots. The film’s title refers to both the women and the math. Opening January 6, 2017, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Hidden Figures,
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