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Benjamin Mercer

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Beasts of No Nation Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga Opens October 16 On the off chance you’ve forgotten that war is hell, Beasts of No Nation delivers a three-alarm reminder, following a faction of child soldiers as they maraud across an unnamed West African country, snorting gunpowder along the way. As the film opens, school has long since closed, but young protagonist Agu (Abraham Attah) is not entirely left to his own devices—he runs with a pack...
A Woman Like Me Directed by Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti Opens October 9 at the Village East A Woman Like Me, an intimate piece of nonfiction that flows in and out of fictional scenes, makes its hybrid-doc intentions known from the opening shot: a glimpse, lasting just a few seconds, of a behind-the-scenes video monitor on a movie set that’s pitched camp inside a New York brownstone. The movie’s co-director and subject, Alex Sichel, has just...
The Martian Directed by Ridley Scott Opens October 2 Matt Damon has lately spent so much onscreen time in space that one begins to worry about how he’ll reacclimatize to earthbound roles. He dodged flamboyant explosions to infiltrate a posh space station in Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 Elysium, and last year (in an uncredited maxi-cameo) harbored a confusing hidden agenda as the only inhabitant of an uninhabitable planet in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. His latest movie, The Martian, strands...
Western Directed by Bill and Turner Ross Opens September 25 at IFC Center An even-keel elegy about a border under progressive lockdown, Bill and Turner Ross’s documentary Western camps out for a few seasons in the low-key locale of Eagle Pass, Texas, where small talk is a big pastime. The town has always been on good terms with its neighbor on the other side of the Rio Grande, the considerably more populous Piedras Negras, but as the...

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