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Movie Reviews

  • Criticwire
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    In 'Shivers' and 'What Now? Remind Me,' Mortality and the Prison of the Mind

    A daring and undaunted film has been awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Film Festival this past weekend: it is Joaquim Pinto's new film E Agora? Lembra-me ("What Now? Remind Me"). When I first watched it at the beginning of the festival, I left the screening room in a haze, the film was s...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Trials Of Muhammad Ali'

    "In the '60s and '70s, he was the most recognizable face in the world. We created a symbol. Muhammad Ali has long since been supplanted by what we believe he is. There's so many ways of looking at him that have only to do with us, and have nothing to do with him," New York Times writer Robert Lipsyt...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Ulrich Seidl's 'Paradise: Faith' Is A Disarmingly Funny & Tender Examination Of Sex & Religion

    Trilogies can come in different forms. There’s Hollywood’s favourite variety—two sequels to a hit, that organically (“The Godfather”) or inorganically (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) expand on the original film’s success. There’s the single story that’s too big to fit into a single film, like “The Apu ...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Netflix Streaming Review: Orphan Boy Finds Home w/ Prejudiced Shrew in Moving Drama 'Lucky'

    The South African drama Lucky, directed by Avie Luthra, opened in theaters in South Africa in 2011. Unfortunately, the moving tale of an orphan boy seeking refuge in the home of a cantankerous and racist Indian woman, never made it to theaters in the U.S.

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  • Criticwire
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    Among Locarno's Short Films, Vodka and Sorcerers

    One of the best films I saw at Locarno Film Festival this year was a mere 20 minutes long. Part of the Fuori concorso Shorts section, The Green Serpent: Of Vodka, Men and Distilled Dreams (a Swiss-Russian co-production) documents the merits and demerits that vodka holds for three Russian men -- acto...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Savannah' Starring Jim Caviezel & Chiwetel Ejiofor

    Let's say you're a filmmaker, and you're given the opportunity to tell the true life story of two people: Ward Allen, an Oxford-educated Southerner, who defies expectations and makes a career as hunter, rabble-rouser and good ol' boy, and Christmas Moultrie, a man born into slavery, who becomes a fr...

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  • Criticwire
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    Talent to Burn in Locarno's New "Signs of Life" Section

    New films from Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, Raya Martin, James Fotoupolos, Luis Lopez Carrasco and Lorenz Merz

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Paradise: Faith' Review: Between Love and Hope, One Woman's S&M Relationship with Christ (TRAILER)

    Some viewers may see in Ulrich Seidl's austere "Paradise: Faith" the parody of Austrian cinema, but for those apostles of arty psychological torture porn, this is the work of a master -- it's just not his masterpiece.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Short Term 12' Starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr. & Rami Malek

    It’s Nate’s (Rami Malek) first day at the adolescent foster care facility Short Term 12, and his new coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr., scruffy and soulful) is regaling the staff with a silly monologue about an unfortunate sharting incident he suffered in the line of duty. It's a funny tale, but it...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Frozen Ground' Starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack & Vanessa Hudgens

    What is the allure of true crime stories beyond the truth of “well, that happened”? It’s the sort of rubbernecking that not only kept “Law And Order” on the air for years, but spawned a cottage industry of shows and movies geared towards illuminating the dark side of crime, dramatizing, and attempti...

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