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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

Z (1969)

Costa-Gavras's muckraker-style unmasking of the military regime in Greece, thinly disguised here as a fictitious country. Simple-minded as politics, and even as melodrama, the investigation of a political assassination, conducted by the admirably impartial and relentless Jean-Louis Trintignant, turns up a good deal of quick gratification for Leftist paranoia and ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zabriskie Point (1970)

Antonioni brings his sober regard to the United States and tries to make himself at home amid rebellious youth. He seems considerably tentative, a little ingratiating, a little obsequious, about attaining the correct attitude. And he sometimes seems to let scenes out of his grasp altogether -- the rap session ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

A Kevin Smith film, self-explanatorily titled, of incessant dirty-talk, a bit of dirty-do, and a splatter of dirty-doo-doo. It is strictly for those sufficiently sheltered that they’re able to find it daring and sophisticated. Starring Seth Rogen (our reigning Everyslob), Elizabeth Banks, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, and Justin Long. (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zama (2017)

Check back on opening day for Matthew Lickona's review. (NR)

None stars

Zardoz (1974)

A classically styled heroic myth, set in a remote, thoroughly imagined future society, where there still exists a class division, of a sort, and a hairy, naked, virile Sean Connery fights to restore death to the pale privileged class, cursed with immortality. Frugally made, but not obviously stretched too thin; ... (R)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zathura (2005)

Relatively speaking, an imaginative children's film (from a book by Chris Van Allsburg, author also of The Polar Express and, more relevantly, Jumanji) about two battling brothers from a broken home, ages ten and six-and-three-quarters, who find themselves adrift in outer space inside the "creaky" old house of their absent ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zatoichi (2003)

Takeshi Kitano's resuscitation of the sightless samurai from the long-running action series of the Sixties into the Seventies. Kitano's blind swordsman -- or, in his acting persona, Beat Takeshi's blind swordsman -- is also a blond swordsman, and only the devotee will know whether the surprise revelation at the end ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zaytoun (2012)

A disappointment, if only for letting down the high hopes it builds at the outset. The opening, which follows young Palestinian refugee Fahed (Abdallah El Akal) as he scoots through the streets of 1982 Beirut on his way back to his camp, is as elegant and informative as one could ... (NR)

1.0 starsMatthew Lickona

Zazie dans le Metro (1960)

Louis Malle attempts to do the impossible or at least the imprudent: to adapt Raymond Queneau's anarchic comic novel to the screen. Malle's loose visual equivalents to the book's verbal stunts inevitably fall short, but they are not nothing. His compulsive playfulness, while seldom terribly amusing, and often a bit ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zebrahead (1992)

A low-key approach to the matter of race relations among Detroit high schoolers. The unknown actors (excepting Ray Sharkey as the Jewish record-shop owner and father of the protagonist) attain a degree of naturalness despite looking too old and having to maintain a sociological forum. Michael Rapaport, N'Bushe Wright, Paul ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

A Zed and Two Noughts (1985)

A movie every bit as peculiar as its title, from British avant-gardist Peter Greenaway. It is a gorgeous thing to look at, beautifully lit and colored and composed. (The photography is by the distinguished Sacha Vierny, of Belle de Jour, Muriel, Last Year at Marienbad, to name a few.) All ... (NR)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zelig (1983)

Woody Allen's documentary parody on a fictitious celebrity of the Twenties and Thirties, known as the "human chameleon." Allen owes something to his own earlier documentary parody, Take the Money and Run, something -- a lot, actually -- to Citizen Kane (the newsreel facsimile), something to Dead Men Don't Wear ... (PG)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zelly and Me (1988)

A steady trickle of sap, albeit one from the heart (writer-director Tina Rathborne's). It tells of the alternating raptures and tortures of childhood, or anyway those of a hypersensitive orphan with a Joan-of-Arc complex, raised by a domineering grandmother and sympathetic French governess with a Joan-of-Arc haircut. (The sap flows ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zen (2009)

Slow, solemn, reverent biopic, or perhaps hagiopic, on the 13th century Japanese monk, Dogen Zenji, who imported from China the “authentic” Buddhism founded on the central tenet of a sitting meditation, Zazen. The ingenuousness of director Banmei Takahashi, not to be mistaken for ingenuity, comes through steadily in his balanced ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Zentropa (1992)

Nominally a post-WWII thriller in the vein of The Third Man, about a German-American peacenik who hopes to be part of the postwar rebuilding effort (as a sleeping-car conductor, of all things) but who finds himself embroiled with Kafka-esque bureaucrats, Patton-esque militarists, and Third Reichian bitter-enders known as Werewolves. Questions ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd