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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: Does 'Once' Director John Carney's Melodic Keira Knightley Vehicle 'Can a Song Save Your Life?' Criticize the Music Industry Or Celebrate It?

    John Carney's low budget 2006 musical romance "Once" was a breakout hit that foregrounded the emotional complexities of its central lovers with delicate tunes. By contrast, "Can a Song Save Your Life?" -- which contains several high profile actors and landed a lucrative deal with The Weinstein Compa...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' Review Roundup: Idris Elba Gives Towering Performance, but Film Doesn't Rise to the Occasion

    Critics thus far generally agree that Idris Elba turns in a fine performance as the eponymous lead of Justin Chadwick's biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," which recently premiered at TIFF. They also generally agree that the film itself isn't up to Idris' performance, that it's overly "reverenti...

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    Toronto Review: Godfrey Reggio Celebrates 30 Years Since 'Koyaanisqatsi' With Extraordinary Philip Glass-Scored 'Visitors'

    Thirty years have passed since the release "Koyaanisqatsi," Godfrey Reggio's first installment in his memorably abstract Qatsi trilogy, which captured the complexity of civilization through a gripping rush of images aided by an equally potent Philip Glass score. While the power of that project hasn'...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Wild & Vulgar 'Dom Hemingway' Starring Jude Law

    "A man with no options suddenly has all the options in the world," goes the liquor-soaked advice of Dom Hemingway (Jude Law). And while he admits that he has no idea what that actually means, he nonetheless lives that credo to the fullest in Richard Shepard's wickedly wild and vulgar "Dom Hemingway....

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  • The Playlist
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    Recap: 'Breaking Bad,' Season Five, Episode 13 'To'hajiilee'

    Last week's episode, the sublimely conflicted "Rabid Dogs," ended with a pair of calls: Jesse (Aaron Paul), consumed with paranoia, dialed Walt (Bryan Cranston) with a promise: he'd be coming for him where it really mattered. Moments later, Walt, made a call of his own, to Todd (Jesse Plemons), info...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Nicole Holofcener's 'Enough Said' Starring James Gandolfini & Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    The one constant surprise about getting older is that the ongoing lesson you soon learn is that you'll never figure it all out. Whatever you seemed confident and sure about at twenty becomes more nuanced by thirty and by the time you're seeing forty on the horizon, what was important two decades ago...

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  • Caryn James
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    Lynn Shelton's Family Close-Up, 'Touchy Feely'

    As we know from moisturizer commercials -- and are reminded by an unlikely source, Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely -- extreme close-ups of skin are not pretty, full of cracks and lines and bumps. We see these shots because Rosemarie De Witt plays Abby, a massage therapist whose emotional life is qu...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Amos Gitai's Shot-In-One-Take 'Ana Arabia'

    If there was one stylistic trend at Venice this year, it was bravura, lengthy shots. The festival kicked off with the twenty-minute opening shot of "Gravity," and the rest of the festival sometimes felt like some kind of who-can-hold-a-shot the longest competition, with Steven Knight's "Locke" and T...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Review: John Carney's 'Can a Song Save Your Life?'

    How about we call it “Twice”? Director John Carney so desperately wants to recreate the success of “Once” with his latest pop-musical fairy tale, “Can a Song Save Your Life?,” that it’s almost embarrassing, even if there are a number of good things to say about it. Enough good things, in fact, that ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: Eli Roth Brings Shock, But Few Surprises, to Gross-out Cannibal Tribute 'The Green Inferno'

    For horror fans, Eli Roth and cannibal movies both bring a set of expectations that are met by "The Green Inferno," modern shockmeister Roth's first feature since 2007's "Hostel II." The cannibal genre that came and went in the seventies and eighties was known less for the quality of filmmaking than...

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