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    REVIEW | Noble Rot: Steven Sawalich's "Music Within"

    Likable yet bland, Ron Livingston has been cursed with an earnest, puppy dog face that, while charming, makes him hard to take seriously as a dramatic actor, or even an intriguing comic one. He's not untalented, just dull, and in that sense he's perfectly cast as the protagonist of "Music Within." T...

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    REVIEW | Brothers in Lawlessness: Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

    If our cultural arbiters are to be believed, the Seventies are back. "Serious," "adult," "provocative," and other signifiers of high-minded Hollywood adorn multiplex posters ("Michael Clayton," "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford"), which perhaps says more about the desperati...

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    Happy Trails: Jonathan Demme's "Jimmy Carter Man from Plains"

    Titled like an old-fashioned Western where a man in a white hat gallops in to save a town from ruthless villains, Jonathan Demme's "Jimmy Carter Man from Plains" portrays the 39th president as an intrepid political lone ranger, unafraid of provoking discussion on sensitive international matters at a...

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    REVIEW | Suicide Is Painless: Goran Dukic's "Wristcutters: A Love Story"

    If you can get over its affected and mildly offensive irreverence -- check the cheeky title -- you might just enjoy "Wristcutters: A Love Story." Sure, its high-concept setup, as adapted by first-time feature film helmer Goran Dukic, subversively suggests that suicide is just another way to meet cu...

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    REVIEW | Investigating an International Man of Mystery: Barbet Schroeder's "Terror's Advocate"

    There must be a fascinating flow-chart in the links between modern terrorism and Jacques Verges: Imagine the notorious lawyer at the center of a vast and intricate set of lines connecting Algerian freedom fighters to the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine to Pol Pot to Germany's Red A...

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    REVIEW | Doll Parts: Craig Gillespie's "Lars and the Real Girl"

    In "Lars and the Real Girl," Ryan Gosling gives an expectedly inward, gently mannered performance as Lars, a devastatingly closed-off, lonely twentysomething who lives in a garage behind the house of his brother, Gus, and sister-in-law, Karin, and works in one of those faceless, soulless cubicled of...

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    iW REVIEW | Unknown Pleasures: Anton Corbijn's "Control"

    The facts: Joy Division was perhaps the most essential band to emerge from the crazily fecund Manchester scene of the late Seventies. During their truncated lifespan they birthed a pummeling music that was something like the noise from a particularly hideous new building's construction site, augment...

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    PARK CITY '07 REVIEW | Suffer the Children: Amir Bar-Lev's "My Kid Could Paint That"

    EDITORS NOTE: This review was originally published during the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

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    iW REVIEW | Gays and the Good Book: Daniel Karslake's "For the Bible Tells Me So"

    EDITORS NOTE: This review was originally published during the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

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    iW REVIEW | Both Sides Now: Tony Kaye's "Lake of Fire"

    "Lake of Fire" begins with a shot of an anti-abortion billboard brandishing the words "Enjoy Life." No issue is so divisive in the United States as a woman's right to an abortion, and the idea of "life" - in terms of an embryo or fetus' status as a developed being, and in terms of the country's poli...

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