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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    TIFF 2013 Review - Biyi Bandele’s Adaptation Of 'Half Of A Yellow Sun' Misses The Mark

    Before it even went into production, writer-director Biyi Bandele’s debut feature Half of a Yellow Sun sparked a huge casting debate. Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the movie would focus on the stories of two sisters during the Nigerian...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Luc Besson's 'The Family' Starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer & Tommy Lee Jones

    The term “dark comedy” used to mean a film or program that dealt with laughs but also discomforting adult situations and themes. For most filmmakers today, that now serves as a green light to portray death and violence with as little consequence or moral dimension whatsoever, giving protagonists a c...

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: Why Kelly Reichardt's Riveting Thriller 'Night Moves,' Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning, Is an Ideal Access Point For Her Work

    All of director Kelly Reichardt's movies revolve around some kind of desire for escape: "River of Grass" centered on a broke couple attempting to flee their state; "Old Joy" found two old pals temporarily abandoning the crush of daily routine; "Wendy and Lucy" featured a young drifter stuck in a sma...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Insidious: Chapter 2' Starring Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson & Barbara Hershey

    No fewer than three times during “Insidious: Chapter 2,” the sequel to James Wan’s hit 2010 horror entry, its central clan of haunted suburbanites seems to address the audience directly. “It’s still happening!” they exclaim to one another, and it’s true – objects rattle and familiar apparitions re-e...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    This Weekend: Strong Indies Abound with 'Mother of George,' 'Wadjda,' 'Blue Caprice' and 'Harry Dean Stanton' Doc

    As TIFF moves into its closing weekend, a number of strongly reviewed indie films hit theaters. Four titles -- "Mother of George," "Wadjda," "Blue Caprice" and "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction" -- are sitting with impressive Tomatometer scores of over 90%.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Review: Pirjo Honkasalo's 'Concrete Night' One of the Most Gorgeous Films at Toronto (TRAILER)

    Included in the Toronto Film Festival’s “Masters” selection -- and for very good reason -- “Concrete Night” marks the return of the Finnish filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo (“The Three Rooms of Melancholia”) to the realm of fiction for the first time since 1998, with a story that explores the poverty of th...

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  • ReelPolitik
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    "Informant": How Brandon Darby Went from Anarchist to F.B.I. Stool-pigeon

    One of the best political documentaries last year, "Better This World" examines the government's crackdowns on civil disobedience, the ubiquity of surveillance and the injustice of our justice system. One of the most compelling characters in that taut, tense story of two boyhood friends who go fr...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Toronto Film Festival: Movies About Fat People

    The generously proportioned, so to speak, are having a moment in the autumnal sun, courtesy of the Toronto Film Festival, where the subject of fat people is kinda blowing up, in a medium that usually promotes the idea that eating is sinning, and that any worthwhile woman can be outweighed by her han...

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto: How 'Philomena' and 'A Field in England' Represent Two Tendencies In British Cinema

    Two British films, "A Field in England" and "Philomena" (both playing at the Toronto Film Festival), use comedy to depict real historical events. While they couldn't be more different from each other, together they demonstrate the great and many traditions of British comedy.

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: Inexplicably Wacky Ratings Satire 'R100,' From Hitoshi Matsumoto, Is Like 'Fight Club' Directed By Luis Buñuel

    Japanese comedian Hitoshi Matusmoto successfully made the leap to writer-director-star with his 2007 debut "Big Man Japan," a zany take on the superhero genre that simultaneously managed to make its fantastical protagonist human. The unlikely combination of surrealism and pathos would continue to de...

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