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SILVER CITY

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John Sayles' new darkly comic ensemble piece follows a private investigator, Danny (Danny Huston), looking into high-level dirty doings revolving around a dimwitted, linguistically challenged Colorado politician, Dickie Pilager (Chris Cooper). Literally directed by the hand of a dead illegal alien, Danny uncovers sanctioned horrors ranging from environmental ravaging to influence peddling -- and some heavy-duty cover-ups. Sayles' film is openly cynical (and any allusions to another industrial-friendly political dynasty with a mumbling scion is surely encouraged), though the satire often seems more gentle than pointed (if even too obvious -- a mining family called "Pilager"). Silver City lacks the emotional heft of his 1991 urban muckraking piece, City of Hope, but a strong cast including Tim Roth (as a mad blogger), Richard Dreyfuss, Ralph Waite and Sal Lopez, and a lively pace keep the wheels rolling. Loews Waterfront, Manor

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