Instant Gratification: “Tangerine” and four other good movies to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

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Tangerine” (Netflix) — My full review is here. You might think a film about two transgender prostitutes working the streets of Los Angeles on Christmas Eve might be a bit of a downer, but Sean Baker’s film is bright, kinetic and awfully funny, even as it poignantly shows the power of friendship among those living on the margins of society.

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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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“Top Five”: Chris Rock in a hard place

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“Top Five” opens Friday at Point, Eastgate and Star Cinema. R, 1:46, three stars out of four.

Chris Rock’s movie career has never come close to the ferocious brilliance of his stand-up act (“Grown-Ups 2,” anyone?), but he gets quite a bit closer with “Top Five,” which he wrote and directed as well as stars in. I think I would still rather watch Rock hold a press conference about “Top Five” than actually act in it, but the movie is the nearest we’ve come to hearing Rock’s authentic comic voice on film.

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