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The week’s critic wrangle: “Talk to Me.”

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"You say the things I’m afraid to say, and I do the things you’re afraid to do."
Don Cheadle plays D.C. radio personality and activist Petey Greene to Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s straight-laced radio program director Dewey Hughes in this biopic from director Kasi Lemmons, who made some noise a decade ago (and won the adoration of Roger Ebert) with the Spirit Award-winning "Eve’s Bayou."

Stephanie Zacharek at Salon describes the film as "an imperfect picture that’s alive every minute, a movie that perfectly captures the vibe of a person, a place, a time and a way of being, and even gets, indirectly and without a whiff of sanctimoniousness, to the heart of what being an American ought to mean." At the New York Times, A.O. Scott deems the film "funny, earnest, affectionate," pointing out the way it "steers clear of the usual biopic conventions" and focuses on the dynamic, complex partnership between Greene and Hughes. Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly finds the film a little "episodic" but still loves the performances, particular Cheadle’s. Roger Ebert is impressed by the film’s angle on the assassination of Martin Luther King, "focusing on the pain of the living," as well as its final third, which tracks Greene’s venture into stand-up and his downfall.

At Slant, Nick Schager writes that "Talk to Me" follows "a rather standard and unexceptional what-comes-up-must-come-down narrative arc," but admires Lemmons’ enthusiasm. The LA Weekly‘s Ella Taylor wants to like the film, notes a lot of the things it has going for it, but believes that neither the director nor the screenwriters "have much of a feel for character, let alone story," and concludes that the Lemmons’ "jive-talking shtick" often made her feel "as though someone had trapped me in a time-warped episode of The Jeffersons." Nathan Lee at the Village Voice calls the film an "earnest, ineffectual history lesson" that "lacks every kind of specificity (historical, psychological, socio-cultural) but redeems itself through the dedication of its Cheadlicious lead." And the New York PressArmond White to prompted to sighs that "Nostalgia has taken the place of research and insight in faux black American histories like Talk to Me, Dreamgirls, Ray and Ali—the new cinematic chitlin’ circuit" while accusing Lemmons of not knowing "enough about African-American experience to fill a chitlin’."

+ "Talk to Me" (Focus Features)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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