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Critic wrangle: “In the Shadow of the Moon.”

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"We did it!"
There’s magic on the moon; most critics are enchanted by David Sington‘s doc about the moon missions, "In the Shadow of the Moon," which includes previously unseen footage from space. Watching it, Entertainment Weekly‘s Owen Gleiberman finds himself transported by "a feeling that came as a shock: not just the usual admiration and ooh-and-ah wonder, but a bedrock nostalgia for an age when technology could seem innocent — when it was infused, on a mass scale, with mystical humanist longing." At Salon, Andrew O’Hehir notes the "heart-stoppingly beautiful footage," but prefers the astronaut interviews:

It’s a fascinating excursion into the minds of a group of well-educated but necessarily pragmatic men who have shared an extraordinary, and literally transcendent, experience. [Buzz] Aldrin, an aeronautics wonk whose principal mission concerns were questions of orbit and trajectory, says that when he was on the moon, looking back at Earth, he observed that science and technology had gotten him there, but were utterly inadequate to what he was thinking and feeling.

Jim Ridley at the Village Voice sees the film as a "well-timed corrective," as well as "pick-me-up": "Here’s every nation on earth—even the pouting Soviets—fixed on the comet of can-do U.S. optimism streaking into the stars. Even the French loved us then. In the Shadow of the Moon recalls the wondrous moment when America had the entire world looking up, up, and not away." At the New York Times, Stephen Holden echoes this sentiment, calling the film "a morale booster": "The power of its archival images hasn’t diminished with familiarity. There is Earth, spinning in space, a blue and green paradise ringed with clouds. And there is the moon’s surface, up close and forbidding, with shadowy craters like pockmarks: a place of absolute desolation. Yes, we did it." He does acknowledge the gap left by the reclusive Neil Armstrong, who chooses not to participate in the film.

Less won over are Nick Schager at Slant, who likes the film well enough but notes the way "Sington lazily tacks on a message about our environment to the end of the film," and Scott Tobias at the Onion AV Club, who calls "In the Shadow of the Moon" "a modest, thoroughly conventional look at the Apollo program… it’s nothing more ambitious than a cable-ready rehash of NASA history."

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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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