Damien Chazelle’s three-plus hour extravaganza “Babylon” isn’t the dutiful, nostalgic ode you might expect of a Tinseltown period piece. It’s much messier and more interesting than that, Associated Press Film Writer Jake Coyle writes in his review. In resurrecting the silent era and the onset of the talkies, “Babylon,” like Stanley Donen’s “Singin’ in the Rain” before it, has trained its focus on a transitional moment in moving images. Here, in unrelenting excess and hedonism, is the manic, madcap energy of the movies and the crushing maw of the medium’s perpetual evolution. “Babylon,” starring Margot Robbie, Diego Calva and Brad Pitt, opens in theaters Friday.

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