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Film Reviews New movies on Netflix and in theatres this week, including Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan doc, Mindy Kaling’s Late Night and Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Courtesy of Netflix

  • Directed by Martin Scorsese
  • Classification: N/A; 142 minutes

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What was the Rolling Thunder Revue? For Bob Dylan obsessives, it was the musician’s legendary 1975-76 tour across the United States and Canada, which saw the troubadour take over intimate venues alongside famous friends such as Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. The documentary Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese – arriving after all this time thanks to the largesse of Netflix – proves that the Rolling Thunder Revue was much more than just a loose scattering of concerts. It was a moment for Dylan, a moment for popular music, a moment for artistic ambition. (Now streaming on Netflix)

The Dead Don’t Die

Abbot Genser / Focus Features/Focus Features

  • Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch
  • Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny
  • Classification: R; 105 minutes

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Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die does not borrow from the mythos of living-dead movies so much as unfold across a cinematic scrapheap, where everything is a reference to something else: the existent canon of zombie movies, a given performer’s own career, the Wu-Tang Clan, the movie itself. It’s not about being “meta.” It’s about the “meta” being all there is. (Opens June 14)

There are No Fakes

Cave 7 Productions Inc.

  • Written and directed by Jamie Kastner
  • Classification N/A; 113 minutes

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In 2005, musician Kevin Hearn of the Barenaked Ladies bought a painting attributed to Ojibwe artist Norval Morrisseau. When professional curators pronounced it fake, he sued the dealer who sold it to him. The allegation of widespread Morriseau forgeries is still before the courts – Hearn initially lost and is appealing – but the new documentary There are No Fakes by filmmaker Jamie Kastner expands the story to uncover a shocking tale of counterfeit art, sexual abuse and colonialist exploitation. (Opens June 14 in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary)

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Late Night

Emily Aragones/Courtesy of eOne

  • Directed by Nisha Ganatra
  • Written by Mindy Kaling
  • Starring Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling and John Lithgow
  • Classification 14A
  • 102 minutes

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The best thing about Late Night, a new comedy about modern office life, is that it could be set in almost any workplace and still feel mostly sharp and entirely necessary. The worst thing about Late Night is that it’s set in the world of late-night television. In writer Mindy Kaling and director Nisha Ganatra’s bid to have their story of sexism and toxic ambition feel universal, they have made it frustratingly small. (Opens June 14)

Watergate

Jack Kightlinger/Courtesy of GAT.

  • Written and directed by Charles Ferguson
  • Starring Douglas Hodge, Elliot Levey and Will Keen
  • Classification N/A
  • 260 minutes

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Most of the material in Charles Ferguson’s new four-hour-plus documentary Watergate is rehashed and revelation-less, while the parts that don’t feel familiar – such as recurring reenactments starring character actor Douglas Hodge as Tricky Dick – come off as just-this-side-of-silly. (Screens in two parts starting June 14 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto)

Shaft

Kyle Kaplan/Warner Bros.

  • Directed by Tim Story
  • Written by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow
  • Classification R; 111 minutes

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In its neediness to be liked, the new Shaft – the third of five films in the series to be titled, simply, Shaft – says everything and nothing. It’s not even a matter of the film being incoherent or entertaining competing ideas (about gun violence, generational divides, Islamophobia, toxic masculinity) simultaneously. It’s that it possesses absolutely no perspective whatsoever. (Opens June 14)

Murder Mystery

HECTOR VIVAS/Getty Images

  • Directed by Kyle Newacheck
  • Written by James Vanderbilt
  • Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Luke Evans
  • Classification PG; 94 minutes

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Murder Mystery is the ultimate Adam Sandler Netflix movie. It’s dumb, pointless and completely bereft of laughs. It wastes a talented cast and all of your time. Worst of all, though, it is unconscionably lazy, starting with its generic title (again, who is naming these things?) and ending with its shrug-of-the-shoulders climax. (Now streaming on Netflix)

Men in Black: International

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

  • Directed by F. Gary Gray
  • Written by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum
  • Starring Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth and Liam Neeson
  • Classification PG; 114 minutes

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Whatever slivers of humour, fun and basic sense of wonder existed in director Barry Sonnenfeld’s first three MiB films – which diminished with every successive entry – are completely absent in Men in Black: International. Instead, new director F. Gary Gray takes the aesthetic template that Sonnenfeld established – slick, monochromatic set design contrasted against grotesque, splat-heavy creature effects – and scrubs it of anything remotely interesting. (Opens June 14)

The weekly film guide is compiled by Lori Fazari

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