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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2012 Review - "Detropia" (A Moving, Painterly Mourning Of A Once Economically Vibrant City)

    This haunting piece of documentary cinema tells the story of one city in economic decay; but really, as the real people in the film repeatedly state, this isn't just a Detroit problem; it's an American problem, and other cities within the country will eventually experience a similar fat...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'Indie Game: The Movie' Is A Big-Hearted Celebration Of Artistic Spirit

    The most profoundly moving moment of “Indie Game: The Movie” arrives an hour and twenty minutes into this terrific documentary. As designer Edmund McMillen watches YouTube videos of people spurting out expletives while playing his game Super Meat Boy, the kind-faced man breaks into a glo...

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    SUNDANCE REVIEW: 'The End of Love' Is Mark Webber's Flawed But Heartfelt Ode to Parenthood

    Mark Webber's "The End of Love" is a kind of therapy for its director. Loosely based on the filmmaker's life, the movie stars Webber (an actor whose credits include "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") alongside his real-life toddler, Isaac, and explores the challenges of his s...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2012 Review: "The Raid" (Indonesian Actioner Delivers Relentless Bloody Brutality)

    A film that's already developing a cult following, even though it's only commercial exhibits have been on the film festival circuit, starting with a 2011 Toronto Film Festival debut (it's now a Sony Pictures property, scheduled for a US and Indonesia release in March of this ye...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2012 Review - "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" (A Striking Feature Debut On Courage & Resiliency)

    Ultimately an ode to human resilience and self-reliance, Beasts Of The Southern Wild is initially a little scattered, especially if you aren’t already familiar with the story; however by the second act, it all starts to come together and make sense. But what’s actually kind of inter...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The Comedy' A Compelling, Layered Look At A Hipster Adrift In Brooklyn

    With "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" and Rick Alverson's "The Comedy" (starring Tim Heidecker) both playing at the Sundance Film Festival, it'd be easy to simply peg the former as your standard bizarre T&E affair and the latter as a dramatic art house effort. But that's simply much too reducti...

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  • Indiewire
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    Review: How 'Simon Killer' Expands Its Filmmakers' Repertoire with One Freaky Headcase

    In 2011, the filmmaking collective known as Borderline Films took Sundance by the storm with Sean Durkin's unsettling cult drama "Martha Marcy May Marlene," but their first major exposure began at Cannes with Antonio Campos' 2008 "Afterschool." The mysterious high school drama displayed the Borderli...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Good Performances & Narrative Tapestry Can't Save Emotionally Distant 'The Words'

    A combination of shopworn literary clichés combined with an “Inception”-worthy daisy chain of White People Problems, “The Words” fails to surpass dramatically the bland lack of specificity in its title while still offering a solid roundup of performances from its talen...

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  • Spout
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    Sundance 2012: "Compliance" is a Bloodless Horror Film That I Couldn't Resist

    For a good portion of Craig Zobel’s twisted new single-setting drama, “Compliance,” I had difficulty believing what was happening. The film, which is based on a true story, depicts a busy night at a Midwest fast food restaurant during which a teenage employee is accused of theft, d...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The Raid' Is A Triumph Of Kicks, Punches & Unrelenting Thrills

    If you ever wanted a feature-length version of the scene from Tony Jaa’s “The Protector” where in one shot he literally fights his way up to the roof of a building filled with baddies, then “The Raid” is the movie for you. Although his two previous films failed to make ...

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