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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Review: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ takes muscle car madness on a thrill ride

It’s the story of a couple of guys who love cars and live to make them go fast: Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his pal, Ken Miles (Christian Bale). In the mid-’60s, they happen to find themselves the pawns in a war between a behemoth Detroit automaker and a smooth Italian sports car magnate.

A comedy about Nazis that’s actually funny? Yes, but ‘Jojo Rabbit’ also is deadly serious

A sprightly, attractively composed coming-of-age comedy set in World War II Germany, “Jojo Rabbit” is an audacious high-wire act: a satire in which a buffoonish Adolf Hitler delivers some of the funniest moments; a wrenchingly tender portrait of a mother’s love for her son; a lampoon of the most destructive ideological forces that still threaten society; and – perhaps most powerfully – an improbably affecting chronicle of moral evolution.

Review: Mushrooms are new superheroes in documentary ‘Fantastic Fungi’

Director Louie Schwartzberg, with the aid of gorgeous time-lapse photography and mycophilic talking heads including Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone and Andrew Weil, covers a lot of ground – pun intended – from mushrooms’ role in developing the human brain to their healing history (think penicillin).

Review: ‘Doctor Sleep’ can’t escape ‘The Shining’

What is the hold that “The Shining” has over us culturally? It’s the popularity of Stephen King, indeed, but it also is, specifically, Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film. The surreal and disturbing imagery, the unforgettable performances and the film’s hypnotic rhythms have woven their way into our collective unconscious and gotten profoundly stuck there.

Review: ‘Last Christmas’ worth giving over your heart

In the past couple of years, it seems we all decided to admit that those made-for-TV holiday movies starring D-list celebs were actually pretty fun to watch. Since then, they’ve only exploded in popularity, drawing more and more stars, the networks expanding their seasonal offerings well into autumn. Christmas movies aren’t just a guilty pleasure anymore – they’re a bona-fide booming mini-industry. While Hollywood studios usually release a family holiday movie or two in the vein of “The Family Stone” or “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” each year, Emma Thompson and Paul Feig’s holiday rom-com “Last Christmas” feels much more in tune with the Hallmark Lifetime approach, just with higher-profile stars and a much bigger music budget.

No sweet little old lady, hero of ‘Harriet’ a woman of action, moral courage

A movie starring Cynthia Erivo – and co-starring Leslie Odom, Jr. and Janelle Monae – cries out to be a musical. But “Harriet,” in which Erivo plays American icon Harriet Tubman, dispenses with interpretive flourishes or showy set pieces simply to tell its story straight and true. That story is of a young woman who was born into slavery and who, in the mid-19th century, dared to escape her owners’ Eastern Shore plantation, travel more than 100 miles on foot to Philadelphia, then dedicate her life to leading more enslaved people to freedom, eventually becoming a leader in the abolitionist and suffrage movements.

Sixth ‘Terminator’ film succeeds by ignoring past three in beloved series

True to its title, there’s a subtext of fatalism to “Dark Fate” that lends the film, however much of it may repeat the first two, a new tone – one that is even more at war between optimism and cynicism. Sarah Connor may have averted one dark version of the future, but another even darker destiny may be inevitable.

A descent into madness – and flatulence – in haunting film ‘The Lighthouse’

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play mismatched lighthouse keepers in a film that essentially functions as a two-man show. Dafoe’s Thomas Wake is the sea dog tasked with overseeing the lighthouse on a remote island off the coast; he’s authoritative, superstitious – and quite flatulent. Pattinson plays a former timberman named Ephraim Winslow who is just looking for an honest wage doing chores and manual labor under Thomas’ supervision.