Socially Conscious Movies: Articles


'Detroit' Movie: Kathryn Bigelow 1967 Riots Depiction 'Horribly Real' & 'Deeply Self-Serving'

Detroit movie street riot scene: The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow tackles the 1967 Detroit riots in “horribly real” and “deeply self-serving” 2017 release marketed as a “dramatic thriller.” Kathryn Bigelow's 'Detroit' movie: Horribly real semidocumentary or self-serving Hollywood depiction of 1967 Detroit Rebellion? In the […]


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'Detroit' Movie: Kathryn Bigelow 1967 Riots Depiction 'Horribly Real' & 'Deeply Self-Serving'



Women's Suffrage Movie: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family at SFSFF?

Women's suffrage movie Mothers of Men: Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Are females too emotional to be objective? Women's suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? […]


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Women's Suffrage Movie: Will Right to Vote Destroy The American Family at SFSFF?



'Money Monster' Review: Jodie Foster Message Movie Ruined by Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty

Money Monster with George Clooney and Jack O'Connell: TV celebrity and unwise investor/hostage-taker in Jodie Foster-directed socially conscious drama that is severely handicapped by a mix of pretentiousness and cowardice. 'Money Monster' review: Jodie Foster movie suffers from both qualitative and intellectual disconnect Sometimes there's a difference between what a […]


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'Money Monster' Review: Jodie Foster Message Movie Ruined by Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty



'Chi-Raq' Movie Review: Spike Lee vs. Chicago Urban Warfare

'Chi-Raq' movie with Teyonah Parris: Spike Lee has set 'Lysistrata' amidst Chicago's urban warfare. 'Chi-Raq' movie review: Spike Lee is back with Greek comedy set in war-torn 21st century Chicago The star of Spike Lee's Chi-Raq is an astounding young actress named Teyonah Parris (Dear White People); she plays Lysistrata […]


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'Chi-Raq' Movie Review: Spike Lee vs. Chicago Urban Warfare



'Music of the Heart' Movie: Meryl Streep Showcase in Goreless Wes Craven Effort

'Music of the Heart' cast: Meryl Streep, Gloria Estefan, Aidan Quinn and Angela Bassett. 'Music of the Heart': Unusually bloodless Wes Craven movie works as Meryl Streep showcase Wes Craven, the director of the Scream franchise and of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, is hardly the kind of […]


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'Music of the Heart' Movie: Meryl Streep Showcase in Goreless Wes Craven Effort



'The Sea Inside' Movie Review: Javier Bardem & the Right to Euthanasia

'The Sea Inside': Javier Bardem and director Alejandro Amenábar. 'The Sea Inside': Outstanding supporting cast help to lift flawed Right to Die drama Alejandro Amenábar's The Sea Inside often verges on melodrama, featuring as its centerpiece a showy performance by Javier Bardem as a tetraplegic man eager to end his […]


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'The Sea Inside' Movie Review: Javier Bardem & the Right to Euthanasia



'Teacher of the Year' Movie Review: Smart Comedy with Something to Say

'Teacher of the Year' movie with Keegan-Michael Key. 'Teacher of the Year' movie: Smart and funny socially conscious comedy Teacher of the Year manages to pull off one of the more difficult balancing acts in filmmaking: it actually is smart while still being funny. Teacher of the Year is smart […]


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'Teacher of the Year' Movie Review: Smart Comedy with Something to Say



'Yesterday' Movie Review: Memorable AIDS Drama in Zululand

Yesterday movie: South African AIDS drama with Leleti Khumalo and Lihle Mvelase. 'Yesterday' movie review: Fantastic central performance in South African AIDS drama To date, nowhere has the AIDS pandemic been felt more strongly than in Sub-Saharan Africa, home to approximately 16 percent of the world's population and 70 percent […]


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'Yesterday' Movie Review: Memorable AIDS Drama in Zululand



'The Insider' Movie Review: Corporate Greed Is Bad for Your Health

'The Insider' movie: Al Pacino and Russell Crowe. 'The Insider' movie review: CBS news exposé barks, but doesn't bite Michael Mann's 1999 movie The Insider quote exchange: “It's old news. … We'll be ok,” says Don Hewitt (Philip Baker Hall), the creator of the CBS news show 60 Minutes. “These […]


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'The Insider' Movie Review: Corporate Greed Is Bad for Your Health



'A Hatful of Rain' Movie: Script and Hammy Acting Spoil Drug Addiction Drama

'A Hatful of Rain' movie with Don Murray and Eva Marie Saint. 'A Hatful of Rain' movie script fails to find cinematic voice as most of the cast hams it up Based on a play by Michael V. Gazzo, A Hatful of Rain is an interesting attempt at injecting “adult” […]


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'A Hatful of Rain' Movie: Script and Hammy Acting Spoil Drug Addiction Drama



'Hold Back the Dawn' Movie Review: Olivia de Havilland Steals Spotlight

'Hold Back the Dawn.' Olivia de Havilland behind Charles Boyer and Paulette Goddard. 'Hold Back the Dawn' 1941 movie: Olivia de Havilland steals show as small-town teacher in love Olivia de Havilland shines in Mitchell Leisen's melodrama Hold Back the Dawn, a sort of opening bracket for the director's World […]


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'Hold Back the Dawn' Movie Review: Olivia de Havilland Steals Spotlight



Pioneering Woman Director Lois Weber Movie Screening

Pioneering woman director Lois Weber movie 'Shoes,' with Mary MacLaren. Pioneering woman director Lois Weber socially conscious drama 'Shoes' screening In February 2015, National Film Registry titles will be showcased at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater – a.k.a. the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation – in Culpeper, […]


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Pioneering Woman Director Lois Weber Movie Screening



Jean Arthur Films: Three Frank Capra Classics Starring Progressive-Minded Actress

Jean Arthur. Jean Arthur films on TCM includes three Frank Capra classics of the 1930s Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, Jan. 5, '15, on Turner Classic Movies. Among these are three titles directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a […]


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Jean Arthur Films: Three Frank Capra Classics Starring Progressive-Minded Actress



'Selma' Movie Review Presents Politically Salient History in 21st Century

Selma movie with David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. 'Selma' movie review: Politically salient in the early 21st century The title of director Ava DuVernay's historical drama Selma tells us what the film is about, while implying what it isn't about. In other words, Selma is not about the […]


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'Selma' Movie Review Presents Politically Salient History in 21st Century



'The Hobbit' Movies Behind the Scenes & Controversial Peter Jackson-Produced Documentary Acquired

The Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood) in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' movies are prequels to TLotR trilogy. 'The Hobbit' movies: Behind the scenes with Peter Jackson In one of The Hobbit movies' video blog/vlog, Peter Jackson explains that location shooting on […]


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'The Hobbit' Movies Behind the Scenes & Controversial Peter Jackson-Produced Documentary Acquired



'Mr. Deeds Goes to Town' Review: Frank Capra Classic

Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Frank Capra There is a tendency among some to think that all the art produced by a great artist is great. This is false, but it gives cover for bad critics who just recycle old blurbs about said artist. Think of the fawning that goes on […]


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'Mr. Deeds Goes to Town' Review: Frank Capra Classic



'Umberto D.' Review: Vittorio De Sica and Indifference to Human Suffering

Flike, Carlo Battisti, Umberto D. Lost between the glare of The Bicycle Thief (1948) and his later films with Sophia Loren, Vittorio De Sica's 1952 drama Umberto D. stands as an almost forgotten masterpiece of Italian neorealism and one of the last films that could claim to be of that […]


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'Umberto D.' Review: Vittorio De Sica and Indifference to Human Suffering



'Match Point': Woody Allen Back to Form Tells 'A British Tragedy'

Match Point with Jonathan Rhys Meyers If Alfred Hitchcock were to direct a screenplay written by Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Stanislaw Lem, and based on Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, the result would be something like Woody Allen's latest opus, Match Point. A dark fable about the vagaries of chance in […]


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'Match Point': Woody Allen Back to Form Tells 'A British Tragedy'



'The Little Foxes' Movie Review: Bette Davis Heads Superb Cast in Masterful Classic

The Hands That Bilked America: To not choose the revolutionary Citizen Kane as the Best Motion Picture of 1941 is to commit an unforgivable act of cinematic sacrilege. Courageously (or perhaps madly), I dare to choose another film: William Wyler's retelling of Lillian Hellman's scathing attack on American Family Values […]


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'The Little Foxes' Movie Review: Bette Davis Heads Superb Cast in Masterful Classic



'Vera Drake' Review: Imelda Staunton Outstanding in Illegal Abortion Drama

Imelda Staunton, Philip Davis, Vera Drake Director Mike Leigh's touches are found everywhere in Vera Drake, from the film's drab, working-class social setting to the somewhat bizarre characters that inhabit that milieu (at least in Leigh's oeuvre). Even so, Vera Drake cannot quite be considered a “Mike Leigh Film.” This […]


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'Vera Drake' Review: Imelda Staunton Outstanding in Illegal Abortion Drama



'Sounder' Movie Review: Paul Winfield & Cicely Tyson in Old South

Paul Winfield, Sounder, Kevin Hooks, Sounder Sounder probably features more extremely wide shots than any movie besides Lawrence of Arabia – and Martin Ritt's movie is only half as long. Time and again, humans become antish dots on the horizon, visually overwhelmed by the vast wilderness around them. That's Ritt's […]


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'Sounder' Movie Review: Paul Winfield & Cicely Tyson in Old South



Lilli Palmer + Gay Icon Silent Treatment & 1 of Greatest 'Conservative' Movies Ever?

Lilli Palmer in Beware of Pity: Paraplegic baroness discovers the difference between pity and love in purported Soviet Union box office hit. German-born Lilli Palmer (1914–1986) never quite became a top Hollywood name, but for nearly three decades she was a well-regarded international star in movies made in Britain (Thunder […]


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Lilli Palmer + Gay Icon Silent Treatment & 1 of Greatest 'Conservative' Movies Ever?



Christmas Movies: The Good, the Bad & the Weird - From Bette Davis & Gary Cooper to Santa Claus & Serial Killers

Christmas movies on TCM: Black Christmas with Olivia Hussey. Considering the image above and the gory goings-on at its sorority house setting, perhaps “Red Christmas” would have been a more appropriate title for Bob Clark's 1974 slasher cult classic. Olivia Hussey never quite became a major film star, but she […]


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Christmas Movies: The Good, the Bad & the Weird - From Bette Davis & Gary Cooper to Santa Claus & Serial Killers



'Fade Out Fade In': Racial Tensions & Hollywood Mansions + Right-Wing Pro-War Propaganda

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Set in the transitional 1960s, “Fade Out, Fade In” is the next episode of the TCM miniseries Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood. Directed by Stanley Kramer, whose career took off in the post-World War II years, […]


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'Fade Out Fade In': Racial Tensions & Hollywood Mansions + Right-Wing Pro-War Propaganda



'Crossfire': Classic Anti-Semitism Drama Starring Three Roberts

Directed by Edward Dmytryk, written by John Paxton, and produced by Adrian Scott, Crossfire (1947) will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood's Dark Side” on Monday, August 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the […]


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'Crossfire': Classic Anti-Semitism Drama Starring Three Roberts



Jennifer Aniston & Paul Rudd Save the Dolphins PSA, 'The Cove' Japan Debut Despite Right-Wing Protests

Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Woody Harrelson, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams are some of the celebrities featured in this clip promoting the end of dolphin hunting in Japan. This PSA was inspired by Louie Psihoyos' Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, which focuses on the massacre of dolphins in the Japanese fishing […]


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Jennifer Aniston & Paul Rudd Save the Dolphins PSA, 'The Cove' Japan Debut Despite Right-Wing Protests



'The Informant' Matt Damon & 'The Messenger' Ben Foster + War & Politics in Venice & Toronto

'Lebanon': Israeli war movie was Golden Lion winner at Venice Film Festival. Golden Lion winner Samuel Maoz: 'Lebanon' dedicated to war veterans – but not for flag-waving reasons “I dedicate this award to the thousands of people all over the world who, like me, come back from war safe and […]


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'The Informant' Matt Damon & 'The Messenger' Ben Foster + War & Politics in Venice & Toronto



Sidney Poitier & Richard Widmark: 'No Way Out' Screening

Sidney Poitier, Richard Widmark in No Way Out Ruby Dee will be the special guest at a screening of No Way Out (1950), part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Monday Nights with Oscar” series on September 21 at 7 p.m. at the Academy Theater in New […]


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Sidney Poitier & Richard Widmark: 'No Way Out' Screening



Isabelle Adjani 'Skirt Day': When Cultures Collide in the Classroom

Isabelle Adjani in 'Skirt Day.' Isabelle Adjani 'Skirt Day': Clash of cultures In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle briefly discusses several of the films he saw at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival (Feb. 5–15), including the latest Isabelle Adjani star vehicle: So the [Paul] Schrader film [Adam Resurrected] was […]


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Isabelle Adjani 'Skirt Day': When Cultures Collide in the Classroom



Griffith Cinema: Abraham Lincoln Biopic & 'Way Down East' Among Five Box Set Features

Way Down East with Richard Barthelmess and Lillian Gish: Griffith Cinema. One of the movies included in Kino's second D.W. Griffith cinema box set, Way Down East was one of the Broken Blossoms and The Birth of a Nation filmmaker's last major hits, as his career went fast downhill in […]


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Griffith Cinema: Abraham Lincoln Biopic & 'Way Down East' Among Five Box Set Features



'Woyzeck': Werner Herzog 'Lesser' Effort Superior to 'Hollywood Masterpieces'

Woyzeck with Klaus Kinski. Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski collaborated on five features: Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Woyzeck (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982), and Cobra Verde (1987). In all five films Kinski played the titular character – a multinational group consisting of the following backgrounds: Spanish, […]


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'Woyzeck': Werner Herzog 'Lesser' Effort Superior to 'Hollywood Masterpieces'



'The Color Purple': Steven Spielberg Racism & Sexism Drama Screening

Steven Spielberg's 1985 Best Picture nominee, the sappy melodrama The Color Purple, will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple tells the story of a […]


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'The Color Purple': Steven Spielberg Racism & Sexism Drama Screening



Sundance Winners: Human Trafficking & Brazil Violence + Oscar Shorts & Hong Kong Film Critics' Winners

The 2007 Sundance Film Festival winners have been announced. The best U.S. narrative feature was Christopher Zalla's Padre Nuestro / Sangre de Mi Sangre (top photo), about a young Mexican who hops on a truck transporting illegal immigrants from Mexico to New York City, where the young man's father supposedly […]


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Sundance Winners: Human Trafficking & Brazil Violence + Oscar Shorts & Hong Kong Film Critics' Winners



'Godzilla, King of the Monsters!' & 1954 'Gojira': Two of the Greatest Monster Movies Ever

Godzilla. Whether in Ishirô Honda's 1954 Japanese original Gojira or in the 1956 U.S. version, Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, the destructive reptilian creature emblematic of the atomic age remains one of cinema's iconic creations. Like Harry Potter, James Bond, and Andy Hardy, Godzilla has been at the center of […]


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'Godzilla, King of the Monsters!' & 1954 'Gojira': Two of the Greatest Monster Movies Ever



Paris Is Burning + Gay Romance in Chicago & Robert Redford in the Amazon

'La Haine' with Vincent Cassel. 'La Haine' movie proves prophetic: Paris when it boils As the fall 2005 riots in the poor, crime-ridden Parisian suburbs continue into their ninth day – having now spread to other French cities – I would like to recommend screenwriter-director Mathieu Kassovitz's 1995 movie La […]


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Paris Is Burning + Gay Romance in Chicago & Robert Redford in the Amazon



'Spanglish' Movie: Adam Sandler Surprises in Condescending Comedy

'Spanglish' movie: Adam Sandler and Paz Vega directed by James L. Brooks. 'Spanglish' movie: Adam Sandler surprisingly effective in Hollywood exemplar of 'dishonestidad' Spanglish is writer-director James L. Brooks' take on ethnocultural relations in the affluent sections of the American Southwest. An interesting idea that could result in an excellent […]


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'Spanglish' Movie: Adam Sandler Surprises in Condescending Comedy



'In Good Company' Movie: Dennis Quaid & Topher Grace Lift Timid Socially Conscious Comedy

In Good Company movie with Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid. First-rate performances greatly assist Paul Weitz's well-intentioned but timid socially conscious comedy reminiscent of old Hollywood classics and near-classics such as Sam Wood's The Devil and Miss Jones, Richard Quine's The Solid Gold Cadillac, Walter Lang's Desk Set, and, minus […]


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'In Good Company' Movie: Dennis Quaid & Topher Grace Lift Timid Socially Conscious Comedy