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Chicago Overcoat

Veteran character actor Frank Vincent (Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Sopranos) gets top billing in this modest local production about an aging hit man’s last hurrah. Once the top triggerman for the Chicago outfit, Vincent comes out of retirement to eliminate various witnesses before they can testify against a mob boss (Armand Assante), but a series […]

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American Harmony

The singing is glorious but the performances are all ham in Aengus James’s affable if routine documentary on the world of competitive barbershop quartets. James chronicles the personal and professional challenges facing four top groups over the course of a year as they prepare for a showdown at the International Championships of Barbershop Singing. The […]

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El Camino

A melancholic videographer (Leo Fitzpatrick) is unexpectedly summoned by his long-lost childhood friend, now terminally ill, to record a final testament. Weeks later, at the funeral, the friend’s cynical high school buddy (Christopher Denham) and stripper ex-girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss of AMC’s Mad Men) enlist the videographer in an impromtu road trip to Mexico to dispose […]

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Carnage

The lives of disparate characters become intertwined through a series of coincidences linked to a bull that gores a young bullfighter in southern Spain. After the bull is dismembered, its parts are scattered throughout Europe and wind up in the possession of, among others, a philandering research scientist, a lonely actress, a small girl who […]

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Tokyo Gore Police

The title sums up this Japanese sci-fi splatter flick, notable for its bizarre dismemberments and quivering piles of flesh and entrails. A privatized police force does nonstop battle with roving bands of genetically altered criminals, known as Engineers, whose wounds mutate into disturbingly weird weaponry. The cops keep an upper hand thanks to a stylish, […]

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Of Boys and Men

In this over-the-top 2008 melodrama, a family man on Chicago’s south side (Robert Townsend) struggles to hold his family together after his wife (Angela Bassett) is killed in a car accident. The father is so distraught that he can’t reach out to his two sons—an upstanding college grad who suddenly turns alcoholic and a high […]

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King of Ping Pong

At first glance this Swedish tale of a nerdy, overweight Ping-Pong enthusiast looks like a standard exercise in Nordic deadpan comedy, with long, static takes and sporadic bursts of droll humor. Set in the frigid north country, it follows its sad-sack teen (Jerry Johansson) as he tries to cope with merciless bullies, less-than-enthusiastic Ping-Pong students, […]

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Chicago International Film Festival

VENUES Chase Auditorium, 10 S. Dearborn (Black Perspectives Tribute); Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph (opening night); River East 21, 322 E. Illinois; 600 N. Michigan. ADMISSION $12 ($9 for Cinema/Chicago members), $10 students or seniors, $7 matinees; $110 for a 10-admission pass, $210 for a 20-admission pass, and $385 for a […]

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Flash of Genius

Greg Kinnear stars in this crowd-pleaser about Robert Kearns, who invented the intermittent windshield wiper and waged a decades-long legal battle against the auto industry for stealing his invention. In the course of the movie Kearns manages to lose his family, his friends, and apparently his sanity before he puts his life back together and […]

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Aijo

This experimental documentary by local filmmakers Hart Ginsburg and Dave Schmudde is part of their series that explores basic human needs and the resilience of people who are denied those things. Aijo takes its title from the Japanese word for love and consists mostly of street interviews with marginalized members of society—addicts, the elderly, the […]

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My Best Friend’s Girl

Dane Cook stars as a major-league asshole who specializes in mending other people’s relationships: jilted boyfriends hire him to date their exes and repel the women back into their former lovers’ arms. His lucrative business is threatened, however, when he meets his roommate’s brassy, self-centered ex (Kate Hudson), whose immunity to Cook’s antics proves irresistible […]