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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2013 Review: John Akomfrah’s 'The Stuart Hall Project '

    It would be unfair to call The Stuart Hall Project a simple documentary. The film, directed by John Akomfrah, is a visual and sonic excursion into the life and philosophies of the Jamaican-born intellectual, a finely crafted collage of memory, distilling hundreds of hours of archival footage of...

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  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Ryan Coogler's 'Fruitvale' Renders a Tragic Police Shooting in Personal Terms

    Moments after New Years Day 2009, 22-year-old Bay Area resident Oscar Grant was shot by a police officer at the Fruitvale BART station in altercation that didn't call for it. The officer, whose actions were captured on numerous cell phone videos, claimed he mistook his gun for his taser and eventual...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Idiosyncratic & Hilarious ‘Toy’s House’ Heralds The Arrival Of A Fresh New Comic Voice

    After the premiere screening of his wonderful debut feature “Toy’s House,” director Jordan Vogt-Roberts – responsible for the short “Successful Alcoholics” and a veteran of “Funny Or Die Presents…” – told the audience his influences for his first feature included early Amblin films like “The Goonies...

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  • The Playlist
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    Recap: Minor Key 'Girls' Finds Hannah & Marnie Getting Some New Ideas

    If the season premiere was a bit of shakeup to reorient the gang in "Girls" for wherever the new season will take them, the second episode almost seems like an addendum. It's as if Lena Dunham and company decided they needed to make yet another shift to get the show in the direction they needed, and...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Love Is Hard In The Charming But Emotionally Challenging 'Before Midnight'

    What happened at the cliffhanger ending of 2004's "Before Sunset?" Did Jesse (Ethan Hawke) manage to catch his flight back to the United States or did he and Celine (Julie Delpy) finally re-consummate their nine-year-after-the-fact romance? These questions are answered in Richard Linklater's trilogy...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Silly & Cartoonish 'Stoker' Is A Garish Misfire For Park Chan-Wook

    One could argue there's nothing subtle about the movies made by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, the director behind "Oldboy," including the celebrated Vengeance Trilogy and the loopy vampire movie, "Thirst." Violence reigns in his films, cameras pirouette like self-conscious characters in his...

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  • Indiewire
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    Masterful 'Before Midnight' Reunites Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy For the Best Installment of Richard Linklater's Trilogy

    With "Before Midnight," Richard Linklater has completed one of the finest movie trilogies of all time, consolidating the full power of the earlier movies into a masterful treatise on the evolution of romance.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: The Searing 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Burns With Intense & Visceral Portent

    Set in 1970s Texas, but stationed inside an authentic milieu that feels timeless and classic, David Lowery's second feature-length effort, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," is the culmination of a filmmaker who has put in over a decade of work in the trenches as an editor, cinematographer, writer, electri...

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  • Indiewire
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    Park Chan-wook's First American Movie, 'Stoker,' Features a Creepy Mia Wasikowska and Familiar Violent Streak

    South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook's filmmaking always dances a fine line between sublime and absurd genre ingredients. "Stoker," his first American-set, English language picture, is no exception. It's tempting to resist describing the movie in terms of the cinematic traditions it calls to mind: Alf...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The East' Is A Divisive, But Stylish Thriller & Worthy Companion Piece To 'Sound Of My Voice'

    The first images in "The East" – the new thriller from Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, the team who made last year's underrated cult thriller "Sound Of My Voice" – are grainy footage of intruders breaking into someone's home juxtaposed with images of seagulls covered in oil. We are told through voi...

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