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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: 'Killing Them Softly' Has Bold Style, Skips Heartbeat

    Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," adapted from George V. Higgins' 1974 crime novel "Cogan's Trade," takes place in an atrophied post-Katrina New Orleans in 2008. Brad Pitt plays Jackie Cogan, a hitman whose preferred method of execution is explained in the film's updated title.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Slim Pickings Beyond Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' -- Unless You're Into Jean-Claude Van Damme

    This lackluster weekend for movie openings may leave you wanting to catch up on the Thanksgiving releases you missed. That said, Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," an alternately engrossing and heavy-handed hitman drama starring Brad Pitt, is the strongest of the bunch. Beyond that, the options...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: 'Elza' - Touching Tale On Caribbean's Complex Racial Prejudices, Family & Forgiveness (Opens This Week)

    Another Diasporic film opening in limited release this week, at the new MIST Harlem Cinemas in NYC; a film that we also highly recommend, so if you're in NYC, see it while you can, before it leaves.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: Conquering 'Otelo Burning' Finds Joy And Freedom Amidst Turmoil (Opens This Week)

    It opens this week in a limited theatrical run at the new MIST Harlem Cinemas in NYC, and gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from S&A, meaning you really SHOULD see it if you're in New York, while it's available.

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire Picks: "Beware of Mr. Baker" Delivers Another Music Doc Hit, Plus: Netflix Docs, Fan Picks & More

    Another 2012 documentary of a musical enigma finds its way into Criticwire Picks this week. Also, we single out a documentary on Netflix that has gained traction among Indiewire's Criticwire members.

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  • Caryn James
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    The Little Jolie-Pitts' Dad Is A Lethal Weapon In 'Killing Them Softly'

    If you need proof that casting is everything, Killing Them Softly delivers it. This noirish crime story about hired killers would be an entirely different, less enjoyable film without Brad Pitt as an expert hitman. I’d say he’s working against type, but really, isn’t his type ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Silent Night' Is Like Getting A Blood-Splattered Lump Of Coal In Your Stocking

    The "holiday horror" subgenre is a weird one indeed, requiring a fine tonal balancing act that involves wedding jolly Christmas cheer with bloody visceral scares. There's something about the phony brightness holidays that brings out some really fucked-up shit, and it's a well that many films have at...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'King Kelly' Is A Scabrous Look At A Generation's Narcissism

    The early moments of “King Kelly,” a new found-footage movie shot entirely on the iPhone, announces it’s intentions and attitudes right off the bat. The first images are of a crowded, low-rent internet chat-room, where we’re confronted with the sight of a half-nude nubile blonde who vacuously pleads...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: German Rom-Com 'What A Man' Feels Like A Remake Of A Terrible '90s American Movie That Never Happened

    Fetishize it all you want: foreign audiences aren’t that much more selective than American ones. Box office trends have cemented this: garbage like the “Twilight” series steadily earned more internationally than stateside, a pattern mimicked by most generic blockbusters, particularly with the overse...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'California Solo' Mixes Authentic Drama With Artificial Filler

    Sometimes a life has to wash its hands of its best attributes in order to move on. So it goes for Lachlan (Robert Carlyle), the protagonist of “California Solo.” Doing modest work for a farmer’s market slightly off the grid, Lachlan’s youthful good looks have abandoned him, his wiry frame now dedica...

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