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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: Secrets, Revelations & An Unlikely Friendship Emerge In The Compelling 'Starlet'

    Sean Baker’s film “Starlet” wants to play a little trick on you. It’s a fun trick, and you might be more enjoyable figuring it out on your own, but it’s the most important and interesting part of the movie, so it’s hard to talk about its merits without giving it away. In fact, the main crux of the f...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: Pascal Laugier's 'The Tall Man' An Unfocused & Silly Horror Tale

    A few years ago there was a sort of mini-horror movie renaissance in France, with a bunch of talented young directors paying homage to their favorite American horror films the only way they knew how – by making them incredibly French. Under the stewardship of older French genre provocateurs (l...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Intruders' A Mish-Mash Of Horror Tropes In An Undercooked Procedural

    How do you make the most of a ghost story in the age of post-meta horror films? If you're Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, you run with the idea of a fairy tale until you've copied and pasted so many tropes that "Intruders" emerges as a messy puddle.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    New And Notable Film Books, Part One

    As usual, books keep piling up much faster than I can possibly read them, so rather than wait until I can compose full-length reviews I’m going to highlight a handful of recent arrivals I’ve only had a chance to skim. I will have more for you shortly, as there is still a healthy stack of...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' A Surprisingly Ambitious Deadpan Charmer

    Bob Byington’s "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is about a guy who doesn’t grow up. In fact, he doesn’t even age over the film’s span of about three decades in his life. It may have something to do with a mysterious briefcase, the origins of which are only ever suggested by animated cloud interludes and...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Monsieur Lazhar' A Meek & Restrained Crowd Pleaser

    When "A Separation" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film last month, I was thrilled -- Asghar Farhadi's splendid domestic drama is one of the best things I've seen in the past few years. But it also came as a genuine surprise, because I was convinced the Canadian fi...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Berlinale 2012: Review of Afro-Colombian Drama "Choco"

    Another review from S&A reader Denise VanDeCruze:

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Seeking Justice' A Rote, Generic Thriller With A Dialed Down Nicolas Cage

    This is a slight paraphrasing of the truth. A couple of years ago, an eccentric award-winning actor had a choice: He could star in an unreasonable amount of movies of declining quality, stockpiling paychecks as his reputation and brand diminished. Or he could sell his dinosaurs bones and castles to ...

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  • Indiewire
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    SXSW REVIEW | Bob Byington's Moving and Surreal 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Is His Most Accessible Film to Date

    A surreal comedy about the cycle of life, Bob Byington's "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is consistently silly and poignant at once. A step up in production values and ambition from Byington's previous efforts "Harmony and Me" and "RSO: Registered Sex Offender," th...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    SXSW '12 Review: "Bay Of All Saints" Is Poignantly Revelatory and Inspirational

    You can only imagine the stench from the sewage and garbage infested waters below their homes. There are hundreds of impoverished families, most of them African descendants, living in unstable shacks supported by stilts in the region of Palafitas in the Brazilian bay.

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