Friday, February 24th

The Kids Are All Right: The High Charms and Low Stakes of “La La Land”
La La Land

A reference in “La La Land” to a little-seen postwar Kurosawa film sheds light on some flaws of this year’s Oscar front-runner; plus a slate of predictions for Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.

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Monday, January 16th

The Niles Files: Cutting a Man to Pieces

Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson,” starring Adam Driver as a bus driving poet, is the director’s warmest film, examining the thin lines between creator and creation, fortune and misfortune, comedy and tragedy.

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Friday, January 6th

The Niles Files: Like a Prayer

Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” is an astounding and challenging work undermining the expectations of its audience as much as it upsets the aspirations of its characters.

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Wednesday, November 23rd

The Niles Files: Kelly Reichardt’s Animal Kingdom
Certain Women

“Certain Women,” Kelly Reichardt’s latest marvel, examines history, dialogue, and the clarity between human beings and animals.

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Thursday, July 14th

The Niles Files: Reboot of Laughter and Forgetting

The new “Ghostbusters” mostly dances to its own beat rather than pandering by syncing up to its classic brand. What emerges is a solidly cast Paul Feig comedy.

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Wednesday, May 25th

The Niles Files: Born Again
The Christians

An overview of Walking Shadow’s stellar production of “The Christians,” at the Mixed Blood Theater, alongside Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “The Book of Mormon,” currently at the Orpheum, which in tandem dig into a contemporary American spiritual crisis.

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Thursday, March 24th

The Niles Files: Superheroes on Celluloid at Willow Creek
Batman V Superman

Starting this weekend, the local Willow Creek Theater will be screening “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” in the rare 70mm format.

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Friday, March 11th

The Niles Files: A Flood of Particles
Knight of Cups

Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups” opens this weekend, a bewildering and astonishing movie-as-museum-exhibition.

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Wednesday, February 24th

The Niles Files: Don’t Have What I Ordered: Annual Probing Oscar Analysis Yo!
The Revenant

Film critic Niles Schwartz finally weighs in with his predictions for the 2016 Oscars.

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Wednesday, January 6th

The Niles Files: My 2015 Film Prom

Pairing together 20 films on a Top Ten List of waltzing motion pictures, it’s the 2015 Year in Film.

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Tuesday, December 29th

A Few Of Our Favorite Things: The Best Of 2015

l’étoile presents its annual list of the best people, events, and things in the Twin Cities this year!

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Friday, December 25th

The Niles Files: Funny and/or Die
The Big Short

Adam McKay leaps from farcical comedies to true-life satire with his adaptation of “The Big Short,” a self-congratulating examination of bankers who saw the recent economic collapse looming.

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Wednesday, December 23rd

We Will Rock You: The Top Horror Films (yes, FILMS) of 2015

What? FILM? Yeah. Since Niles decided to do a little music writing, I thought “what the heck” — here’s my 10 favorite horror films of 2015. And believe me, I watch a lot of ’em.

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Thursday, December 17th

The Niles Files: The Force a’Shakin’
Star Wars

The Star Wars saga continues with J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens,” an effective though all-too-safe mystery box that is so focused on the future that it never quite sees where it is or what it’s doing.

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Wednesday, December 9th

The Niles Files: ‘Twixt Myth and Ornament
In the Heart of the Ocean

Though intermittently vivid, Ron Howard’s whaling adventure “In the Heart of the Sea” demonstrates how easy it is to go soft in the face of both literature and history.

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Thursday, December 3rd

The Idiot Box – The 2015 British Arrows Awards

Todd O’Dowd reviews the 2015 edition of the beloved annual salute to British television advertising being screened at the Walker Art Center December 4 – January 3.

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Wednesday, November 25th

The Niles Files: Back to the Future

The best film opening this holiday weekend is Ryan Coogler’s “Creed,” an unexpectedly effective crowd-pleaser that builds atop the “Rocky” saga while revising it.

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Thursday, November 5th

The Niles Files: The Laying on of Haynes

The Walker Art Center presents director Todd Haynes in dialogue Friday evening, along with a retrospective of some of his most acclaimed films, including “Far From Heaven,” “Safe,” and “I’m Not There.”

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Wednesday, July 8th

The Niles Files: Summer Nights, Cool Cinema at the Walker
Do the Right Thing

Drawing from various retrospectives, the Walker Art Center begins its Summer Nights / Cool Cinema series this week.

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Thursday, February 26th

The Niles Files: Screwing the Middle Class
Fifty Shades of Grey

Looking at “Fifty Shades of Grey” as a subtly derisive and class conscious critique of the phenomenon surrounding the film.

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Friday, February 20th

The Niles Files: Lonely Workaday Film Columnist’s Oscar Predix
Theory of Everything

Niles doesn’t want to talk about movies as much as he wants to talk about himself in his last minute bid at Oscar punditry.

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Monday, February 2nd

The Niles Files: The Best Films of 2014

At long last, film columnist Niles Schwartz lays out his selections of 2014’s best films, a year that, from “Grand Budapest Hotel” to “Gone Girl” to “Birdman” to “National Gallery,” repeatedly considered the notion of Life as Art.

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Monday, December 22nd

A Few of Our Favorite Things: The Best of 2014

l’étoile presents its list of the best people, events, and things in the Twin Cities in 2014!

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Wednesday, November 26th

The Niles Files: “National Gallery” on Display at the Walker
National Gallery

Frederick Wiseman’s “National Gallery,” a stirring and fascinating documentary that goes behind the masterpieces and into the offices of London’s National Gallery, plays this weekend at the Walker Cinema.

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Tuesday, November 11th

The Niles Files: Seeing and Hearing Sound Unseen’s Mastermind
Jim Brunzell

A spotlight on Jim Brunzell, back in Minnesota this November to program the Twin Cities’ celebrated fusion of music and movies, Sound Unseen, now in its 15th year.

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Wednesday, November 5th

The Niles Files: Godard’s 3-D Monster Movie Miracle
Goodbye to Language

Jean-Luc Godard’s 3-D marvel “Goodbye to Language,” a glowing and provocative cinema essay on technology and history, screens this weekend at the Walker Art Center cinema.

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Monday, November 3rd

The Niles Files: Raging Against the Dying of the Light
Dave Hilsgen

The Muller Family Theaters Willow Creek Cinema in Plymouth is one of only 10 standard theaters in the country to be projecting Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” in mostly obsolete 70mm film, and the only one in the Midwest.

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Tuesday, October 28th

The Niles Files: Derek Jarman’s “Blue” at the Walker

The Walker Art Center’s Derek Jarman series concludes this Wednesday evening with a screening of his audacious final film, “Blue.”

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Wednesday, October 22nd

The Niles Files: Derek Jarman’s “Wittgenstein” at the Walker

Derek Jarman’s “Wittgenstein,” a playful biopic of the influential 20th century philosopher, screens Wednesday October 22 at the Walker Art Center.

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Wednesday, October 15th

The Niles Files: Twin Peaks and the Return From “Meanwhile”
Twin Peaks

With the announced return of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s cult TV classic “Twin Peaks,” Niles considers the legacy of the show and speculates what the return means.

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