“Shut Up and Play the Hits” — My full review is here. This farewell to the dance-rock band LCD Soundsystem is unusually revealing, mixing a concert film of the band’s final Madison Square Garden shows with morning-after footage of frontman James Murphy, whose reasons for ending the band at the cusp of mainstream success seem tortured and self-defeating.
“The Jeffery Dahmer Files” — My full review is here. This experimental documentary from Chris James Robinson, who grew up partly in Madison, mixes interviews with three people involved in Dahmer’s crimes (including detective Pat Kennedy, who died in April) with re-enactment footage of Dahmer walking around Milwaukee, nonchalantly purchasing supplies for his gruesome crimes. It’s the restraint that makes the film so chilling.
“Lore” — My full review is here. With their Nazi parents seized by the Allies, five German siblings go on the run in a strange and haunting film that’s part family drama, part fairy tale, and part psychological study of how evil can be passed down generation to generation, and rejected.
“Intolerable Cruelty” — Unquestionably one of the lesser Coen Brothers movies, but still a lot of fun, as George Clooney plays a hotshot divorce lawyer who meets his match in serial bride Catherine Zeta-Jones.
“The Ice Harvest” — Director Harold Ramis takes a surprising but satisfying detour into noir, as John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton play down-on-their luck guys on the run from the mob. Oliver Platt’s cameo is priceless.