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Reviews

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    Review: Oscar Contender 'In Darkness' A Refreshing & Complex Tale Of Survival During The Holocaust

    In her director's statement for "In Darkness," one of this year's Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, Agnieszka Holland writes of representations of the Holocaust in literature and cinema that, "One may ask if everything has now been said on this subject. But in my ...

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    Review: 'The Vow' Is For People Who Like To Get Teddy Bears On Valentine's Day

    The things that got us verklempt in the last week include the latest episode of “Downton Abbey” and the “Halftime in America” Chrysler ad with Clint Eastwood. Clearly, it doesn’t take much, but noticeably absent from that list is the would-be weepy “The Vow,” starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tat...

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    In Darkness

    Agnieszka Holland’s latest film, “In Darkness,” pulls us into a monochromatic world in which all of the primary characters display shading and nuance. The film is based on a true story about a sewer inspector in Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) who helped a group of Jews hide in the sewers to save ...

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    Review: Flavorless 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' Isn't Even An Admirable Folly

    Had its filmmakers not hedged all over their creative bets, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" might have at least been an admirable folly. Its creators' many attempts to pander to the lowest common denominator and attract as many potential viewers as possible has made 'Journey 2&#...

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    Review - "Safe House" (Solid Technical Work Spoiled By Lack Of Originality & Utter Predictability)

    You’ve seen it all before in one form or another, in pieces or as a whole; rogue government operative (who “tested off the charts” of course) carrying secrets that could end the careers of many of his comrades still working within (or I should say manipulating) the system (CIA...

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    Review: Bela Tarr's Swan Song 'The Turin Horse' Is Despairing But Unforgettable

    If the name Béla Tarr rings any sort of bell in your head, chances are you've already formed an unwavering opinion of his work. He hasn't exactly shaken up his approach since 1988's "Damnation" (that said, this writer -- probably like most -- isn't familiar with his crop of '90s short films), and if...

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    Review: 'Safe House' Is An Intense, But All-Too Familiar Thriller That Doesn't Offer Much Of Anything New

    Featuring a conventional, by-the-numbers dynamic and story, but a crackling, intense momentum and execution, the Denzel Washington-led CIA thriller "Safe House" splits the difference between comfortably traditional and genuinely thrilling, leaving for an entertaining, but frequently overly...

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    SBIFF Review: 'Samsara' Tells The Story Of Our World With Stunning Visuals & Spiritual Heft

    Just what is a non-verbal documentary anyway? If you appreciated the silent visual storytelling of "The Artist" or the cinematic majesty of Terrence Malick's nature cinematography in "The Tree of Life," or, if you're a fan of the cult 1992 documentary "Baraka," you'll be a fan of the latest effort f...

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    Oscar-Nominee 'In Darkness' is a Grimy Alternative to 'Schindler's List'

    The Holocaust genre tends to invite reductive terms, so on that basis Polish director Anieszka Holland's survival drama "In Darkness" is a grimier alternative to "Schindler's List." While following the plight of WWII-era Jews hiding out in a sewer system, it takes the foc...

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    Review - "Dreams Of A Life" (A Harrowing Reconstruction Of A Life From Collected Fragments)

    By now I’m sure we’re all familiar with the story, even if it’s just the broad details of it – young woman dies in her apartment and her body isn’t discovered for a good 3 years, as it lay there putrefying – which actually sounds like it could be a pitch for ...

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