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September 2019

A Hard Case to Crack

öndög-movie-review-dulamjav-enkhtaivan
BFI London Film Festival 2019

MOVIE REVIEW
Öndög (2019)

This Mongolian movie has some interesting points to make about survival on the steppes but does so over the body of its lead actresses. Perhaps it’s realistic, and sometimes it's hilarious. But mostly it’s unsettling – which is almost certainly the point.

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Baiting for Tonight

Hustlers-movie-review-constance-wu-jennifer-lopez
STX Financing, LLC

MOVIE REVIEW
Hustlers (2019)

What an entrance. About 10 minutes into “Hustlers,” Jennifer Lopez does a pole-dance routine that will go down in cinematic history as one of the most unforgettable character introductions since Rita Hayworth in “Gilda.” And this time it’s to no less of a song than “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. Constance Wu has nothing to do but stare in shock, and man, do we agree with her. The next scene is of Ms. Lopez in that outfit and a fur coat on a rooftop, smoking and looking so unbelievably beautiful that you almost forget you’re watching a based-on-a-true-story movie about a gang of strippers who drug and rob a bunch of men. As bait to get us on a hook, “Hustlers” uses the power of Ms. Lopez’s body very, very effectively. But it doesn’t reel us in as far as we should.

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