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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave,' Anchored By Brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor, Is a Slavery Movie For the Ages

    Like countless movies before it, "12 Years a Slave" opens with a title card announcing that its material is based on a true story. However, Steve McQueen's startlingly realized period drama justifies its introductory note with each ensuing scene, recreating the experiences of a free black man kidnap...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' With Jesse Eisenberg & Dakota Fanning

    After the acclaimed trio of “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff,” Kelly Reichardt was already proving hard to pin down. The three films that made her name (plus her lesser-known earlier works “ Ode” and “River Of Grass”) are immediately recognizable as the work of the director, but very dif...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Scarlett Johansson's Craziest Performance In Jonathan Glazer's Totally Nuts Alien Seductress Tale 'Under the Skin'

    Michel Faber's 2000 science fiction novel "Under the Skin" follows an alien tasked with kidnapping earthlings and selling their bodies for consumption back home. Adapting the material into his first feature since 2004's "Birth," music video director Jonathan Glazer only borrows half that premise, fo...

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride Review: Jonathan Glazer's 'Under The Skin' Starring Scarlett Johansson

    If you’re a random male pedestrian and a gal who looks like Scarlett Johansson ever pulls up and offers to take you to her place for a quickie, the logical thing to do would be run like hell, since this could only be either a sting or a sign of the apocalypse, no matter how good looking a fellow you...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: David Gordon Green's 'Joe' Starring Nicolas Cage & Tye Sheridan

    “Joe” unites a pair of talents somewhat on the comeback trail. David Gordon Green’s once-lofty critical reputation—the filmmaker was once lauded as a successor to Terrence Malick—took something of a hit after a left-turn into poorly-received studio comedies like “Your Highness” and "The Sitter," but...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Update: Buyers Lining Up for Divisive 'Under the Skin,' Strong Debut 'Palo Alto' and Provocative 'Starred Up' (TRAILER)

    Reviews and acquisitions are heating up at the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday. Three notable acquisitions titles debuted Thursday night of which I saw one, "Palo Alto," the impressive debut of young filmmaker Gia Coppola (Francis Ford's granddaughter, born six months...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' Turns James Franco Short Stories Into Solid Portrait of Teen Angst

    Borrowing liberally from the likes of "Kids" and "Elephant," first-time feature director Gia Coppola's "Palo Alto" is a largely familiar portrait of teen angst, but it's also a fairly accomplished one. Loosely adapting James Franco's collection of short stories, Coppola (the 26-year-old granddaughte...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Fantastic Fest Award Winner 'I Declare War'

    If you have a point to make, try not to make it too succinctly in the first five minutes of your film. Such is the ace in the hole that is “I Declare War,” a crude sketch of a film that could barely withstand a short-form, but instead has been stretched to agonizing feature length by directors Rober...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Donald Rumsfeld Stumbles Through Half-Truths In Errol Morris' 'The Unknown Known,' And So Does the Doc

    Donald Rumsfeld stares straight at the camera and smiles a lot in "The Unknown Known," the latest single-interview documentary from Errol Morris, but his cheery demeanor never manages to convince. Revisiting turf he last explored with another portrait of a disgraced former defense secretary, the Osc...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Philip Gröning’s Three-Hour Domestic Violence Drama ‘The Police Officer’s Wife’

    To a certain audience, the return of Philip Gröning is big news. The German director has been working for twenty years or so, but his last film, 2005’s “Into Great Silence,” a documentary about the Carthesian monks of the French Alps, really saw him win recognition, becoming a favorite on the festiv...

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