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From left, Michael Fassbender as Epps, Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in "12 Years a Slave." Photo by Francois Duhamel.

The best movies of 2013! Yowza!

Each year when I put together a list of the best movies—whether for work or for fun—it usually doesn’t take much effort. There are, generally, five or six movies that stand out above the rest, whether they’re huge Hollywood blockbusters or tiny indie gems. This year the story is a little different. When going back […]

Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) directs Christian Bale (above) as he treads through economic and familial struggles in Out of the Furnace.

Film review: A hard luck story goes bust in Out of the Furnace

Out of the Furnace is so dark, gritty, and earnest, it’s a wonder it was made in a film world where irony rules. The movie’s inhabitants—mostly blue collar factory workers, cops and their families in dying Braddock, Pennsylvania—take their lives seriously, and so does their director and co-writer Scott Cooper. Unfortunately, Out of the Furnace […]