In “Birdman,” “Big Eyes” and “Top Five,” everybody’s a critic (hater)

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Everybody’s a critic these days at the movies. Or, at least, everybody’s a critic hater. For some reason, three of the top movies released in the last couple of months have prominent and pretty unflattering roles for critics — New York Times critics in particular. Did the Old Grey Lady do something to tick off Hollywood?

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The five movies you have to see in Madison, Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2014

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1. “Nightcrawler” (all week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Sundance) — Every generation gets the Rupert Pupkin it deserves, and ours apparently is Jake Gyllenhaal as a twisted freelance photographer whose thirst for grotesque crime scene photos takes him into some very dark places. No way he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for this.

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“Birdman”: What we talk about when we talk about superheroes

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“Birdman” is now playing at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:59, three and a half stars out of four.

What is “Birdman”? A Hollywood in-joke, an existential drama, a backstage face, a magical realist drama, and a work of technical virtuosity so dazzling that it can only mean to to dazzle. This is a nutty, chewy, wildly ambitious film that leaps tall buildings in a single take.

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