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  • The Mauritanian

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The fact-based film "The Mauritanian" (STX) doesn't adhere to the conventions of a legal drama or a police procedural. Instead, it focuses on the moral implications of the struggle to free a falsely accused prisoner -- with brilliant results.

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  • The House That Rob Built

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- When the University of Montana longtime women's basketball coach Robin Selvig retired after the 2015-16 season, over 100 of his former players gathered at a surprise party in his honor.

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  • Nomadland

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In 1940, director John Ford adapted John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the year before into the classic film "The Grapes of Wrath." Both book and picture distilled the miseries of the Dust Bowl and of the Great Depression generally into a profoundly moving portrait of uprooted Oklahoma farmers on the move to what they hoped would be a better life in California.

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  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- As a personality-rich study of conflicted loyalties, the fact-based drama "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.) is a compelling piece of moviemaking. But the film's treatment of the unfortunately timely topic of how to deal with police misconduct toward minority communities -- as well as other considerations -- make it unfit for any but discerning grown-ups.

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  • Land

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Although it ultimately celebrates spiritual renewal, the meditative drama "Land" (Focus) first takes viewers through an experience of physical and emotional purgation on the part of its protagonist that, however valuable it may be to witness, is not easy to watch.

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  • Minari

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Set in the 1980s, "Minari" (A24), a gentle mix of drama and comedy, explores the immigrant experience from a Korean American perspective. A loosely autobiographical labor of love from writer-director Lee Isaac Chung, the film also charts the struggles and triumphs of family life.

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  • Our Friend

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In 2015, Esquire magazine published Matthew Teague's article "The Friend: Love Is Not a Big Enough Word." In it, the globetrotting journalist focused on a personal story far removed from his usual international beat, recounting the unwavering and selfless support he and his late wife, Nicole, had received, during her terminal illness, from the best buddy they shared in common, Dane Faucheux.

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  • The Little Things

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In the brooding crime drama "The Little Things" (Warner Bros.), writer-director John Lee Hancock sets out to explore moral ambiguity in the context of police work. The result, however, ultimately feels more muddled than finely balanced.

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  • The White Tiger

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Seventy years have passed since cunning understudy Anne Baxter usurped glamorous star Bette Davis in "All About Eve." Now, with "The White Tiger" (Netflix), comes a grittier, ethically unmoored take on ambition and deceit set in modern-day India.

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  • The Dig

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The discovery of an ancient burial ground in southeastern England in 1939 was one of the archaeological events of the century, rivaling in historical significance the opening of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt.

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  • The Marksman

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Sound basic values and obvious good intentions underlie "The Marksman" (Open Road). But there's a sketchy feel to director and co-writer Robert Lorenz's action drama and it ultimately fails to make much of an impression.

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