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I’m willing to bet that if you search the internet long enough, maybe even as long as two or three minutes, you can find a list where someone has ranked the great conspiracy theories of history. And I’m sure you’ll find on the top 10, right up with the “real” answers to who shot John Kennedy and how we got into World War II, the notion that the plays of William Shakespeare could not have been written by William Shakespeare.

Take Shelter

Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is already becoming anxiously puzzled and disquieted as Jeff Nichols’s Take Shelter begins. In the very first scene, he sees and feels a thickened, oily rain falling on his driveway from menacing skies. Soon, he’s tormented by sleep-invading dreams of his docile pet dog suddenly turning into a savage killer and unidentified intruders trying to break into his house as he cowers inside with his small daughter. Sometimes he sees alarming giant storm formations in the skies and dense swarms of black birds coming together above him.

Tower Heist

At least for its first half, Tower Heist is an enjoyable caper comedy that’s a lot better than you might expect. Ben Stiller (who had no behind-the-camera functions here, always a good thing) stars as Josh Kovacs, manager of a Manhattan apartment building for the fabulously wealthy. After years of his coaching, his staff has raised the practice of sucking up to the rich tenants to a fine art. None gets the deluxe treatment more than penthouse occupant Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda), an investment wizard. Josh’s surprise when Shaw turns out to have been running a Bernard Madoff-ish Ponzi scheme pales in comparison to the anger of his staff, whose pension fund he handed over to Shaw.

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