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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Berlin Review: 'Bel Ami' Stars Rob Pattinson as Sexy Seducer

    It makes sense that Rob Pattinson would continue his attempts to broaden his fan base as the "Twilight" franchise nears its end. Starring in a new film adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s 1885 novel advances that project: Playing an unscrupulous ex-soldier who makes his way up the ladder of Parisian s...

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  • Spout
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    "Undefeated" is a Good But Not Great Underdog Sports Film

    It’s very hard not to like “Undefeated,” the underdog sports film that is currently also considered the underdog among the 2012 Oscar nominees in the feature documentary category. I’m not exactly sure why it’s thought to be a long shot, though, since it is a gorgeously shot, expertly edited and very...

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  • The Playlist
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    Berlinale 2012 Review: Try As it Might, 'Cherry' Fails To Convince Us That A Career In Porn Is The Best Idea Ever

    That the film is co-written from the sympathetic point of view of porn actress Lorelei Lee (who also takes a small cameo role) couldn’t be clearer in co-writer/director Stephen Elliott’s debut feature “Cherry.” Ostensibly a fairly familiar tale of a good girl getting slowly pulled into the seamy wor...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Brutal & Heartbreaking Oscar Nominee 'Bullhead' Is Must-See

    If you live in New York, Los Angeles or Austin, get yourself to a theater for "Bullhead" (it expands February 24). The Belgian film, nominated for a Best Foreign Language film Oscar, may not take home the big prize on February 26 ("A Separation" and "Monsieur Lazhar" are custom-made to the academy's...

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  • Indiewire
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    BERLIN REVIEW: Melissa Leo is Raw and the Mood is Haunting, but 'Francine' Still Needs a Story

    In the opening minutes of "Francine," Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky's narrative feature debut, Melissa Leo stands naked in a prison shower, more exposed than she has ever looked onscreen. Her fragile, desperate state lingers as the character copes with life post parole. She defi...

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  • Indiewire
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    BERLIN REVIEW: Even With James Franco, Porn Tale 'Cherry' Bombs

    There's much to admire about "Cherry," first-time writer-director Stephen Elliott's portrait of a disgruntled teen whose increasingly seedy interests lead her down a path that culminates in a porn career. Ashley Hinshaw delivers a believably angst-riddled performance as 18-year-old...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Bullhead' Is Larger Than Life Pulp, Barely Sweetened, Mostly Sour

    It only makes sense that geek-friendly Drafthouse Films would be behind the distribution of Belgium’s Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee “Bullhead.” Sparse and unnerving, this unusual social drama features a central character so pulpy and tragic he might as well be a barmate of Mickey Rourke’s Marv of ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Inspirational Football Documentary 'Undefeated' Scores A Touchdown

    Watching inspirational movies is often like eating ice cream. While you're taking it in, it's sweet and immensely pleasurable, but as soon as you've reached the end, all that's left is an empty carton. Maybe we won't go as far as saying this kind of cinema is empty, but those swooned by "The Blind S...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    More Woody Allen

    If you missed Robert B. Weide’s two-part American Masters profile of Woody Allen that aired last November on PBS, it’s just been released on DVD—by Docurama—with bonus material that wasn’t seen on TV. Weide, whose earlier documentaries have dealt with W.C. Fields, The M...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Secret World Of Arrietty' Is A Beautiful, Whimsical & Heartfelt Fable From Studio Ghibli

    The charmingly simple conceit behind Mary Norton's children's fantasy novel series "The Borrowers" is that there are a race of tiny people, no bigger than a stack of quarters or a human thumb, that live underneath your floorboards, sneaking into your home at night to "borrow" things essential to the...

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