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Writer/director Wes Anderson is at his meticulously whimsical best with the stop-motion feature Isle of Dogs. The story is easy and uncluttered: A young boy searches for his lost dog. The canine characters — marginalized and exiled by a fear-mongering autocrat (sound familiar?) — are complicated and sweet. Chief (voiced by Bryan Cranston) is a stray who bites but wants to be good. Rex (Edward Norton) hangs desperately onto obedience in an upside-down world. The dogs muse, fight, love, and mourn. They perfectly personify the capriciousness and loyalty of a human’s best friend and humans themselves, all the while bounding through a world beautifully crafted by Anderson and his puppeteers. The cast also includes Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Yoko Ono.


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