THE CARD COUNTER – Review by Susan Granger

When Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter opens with graphic shots of the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib prison, it immediately telegraphs that this drama will be more about brutality than blackjack. Haunted by memories of what he’s done, ascetic William Tillich is a disgraced former military ‘interrogator’ who uses the surname ‘Tell’ and roams the country living under the radar as part of the low-stakes casino circuit, never wanting to draw attention to himself as a big winner.

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THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT – Review by Rachel West

Since making his acting debut 40 years ago, Nicolas Cage has amazed, shocked, surprised, and confounded audiences. With over 100 acting credits to his name, The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent finally delivers the role Cage was born to play – himself. The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent stars the Oscar-winning actor as Nick Cage, a cash-strapped actor who is ready to give up on Hollywood when he’s offered a paid appearance at a Spanish billionaire and Cage superfan’s birthday party. Reluctantly agreeing, Cage gets tapped to become a CIA informant when it is revealed that the birthday boy is actually a drug kingpin involved in a high-profile kidnapping.

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THE AFTER PARTY – Review by Martha K Baker

“How great is this party?” The same could be asked about this series. But be warned: the best way to watch is on a bit of a binge, for leaving weeks in between episodes means losing track of who is who and what is what and, thus, of whodunit. The AfterParty may be the worst reunion ever, but it is also the most fun to watch.

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THE CARD COUNTER – Review by Diane Carson

Buried deep within his PTSD throughout The Card Counter, William Tell, aka Bill Tillich, robotically counts cards at blackjack and poker. William had time to develop this talent during ten years in prison, using incarceration to his advantage. Now, rambling alone from casino to casino, he wins enough to get by but never so much the pit boss hassles him.

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THE KITCHEN – Review by Lana Wilson-Combs

The Kitchen, from director Andrea Berloff, is a crime thriller based on the DC Entertainment/Vertigo comic book miniseries of the same name. The movie stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as the wives of Irish mobsters. The women decide to get tough and take over organized crime operations in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood when their husbands are sent to prison.

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THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Meanwhile, the sprawling menagerie of Max’s NYC pet pals get into their own hijinks. Left to guard Max’s favorite toy, pampered Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) lets the beloved ball bounce through an open window into the local cat lady’s apartment. The pup’s plan to infiltrate the peevish pack of toms and tabbies involves taking lessons in how to pass as a feline from the quintessential cat Chloe (the deliciously droll Lake Bell).

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