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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Fantasia Film Festival Review: Unflinching & Impressive 'Metro Manila'

    If you're not into niche genre stuff like indie slasher films, Asian action flicks and ridiculously over-the-top monster movies then it's likely that you haven't even heard of the Fantasia Film Festival. For close to three full weeks this international festival descends upon the city of Montreal lik...

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  • Indiewire
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    Locarno Film Festival Review: A Peruvian Lawman Loses His Voice and Takes Revenge In Daniel and Diego Vidal's 'The Mute'

    Peruvian directors Daniel and Diego Vidal's debut feature "October" was a minor hit on the festival circuit in 2011 that was noteworthy for its unique application of deadpan comedy to the unlikely backdrop of lower class world of loan sharks and prostitutes. The sibling filmmakers' followup similarl...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Netflix Streaming Pick Review - 'The First Grader' Is Well-Meaning But Lacks Context & Drama Force

    Inspiring and heart-warming are words that will easily be pegged to the description of The First Grader. The story of an 84 year old Kenyan man enrolling in primary school is, after all, the sort of feel-good thing you expect to hear after all the bad news has been dispensed with, the sort of story ...

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  • Animation Scoop
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    REVIEW: Disney's "Planes"

    The characters and plot in Planes are so familiar, it feels like Disney went directly to Planes 2 or 3, without bothering to pause at a first movie. It’s yet another underdog-coming-from-behind story with elements of Cars, Cars 2, Despicable Me and Turbo.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    This Weekend: See 'In a World,' 'Prince Avalanche,' Smart but Uneven 'Elysium,'; Skip 'Lovelace,' 'Planes,' 'We're the Millers'

    Indies are your best bet this weekend. Don't miss Lake Bell's hilarious feminist comedy "In a World," skewering the macho trailer voice-over business; and David Gordon Green's return to independent filmmaking, the well-reviewed "Prince Avalanche," a two-hander starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.

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  • Indiewire
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    How the Sundance Film Festival Celebrates Alternative American Movies With New Series 'Next Weekend'

    Today, Sundance begins the first edition of Next Weekend. The four-day showcase in Los Angeles features 10 features and 10 shorts, including a handful of highlights from January's NEXT <==> lineup along with two world premieres and selections that played at other festivals.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: David Gordon Green's 'Prince Avalanche' Starring Emile Hirsch & Paul Rudd

    It's the summer of 1988 and a violent wildfire has swept through Texas, destroying 43,000 acres and some 16,000 homes. In the wake of this horrific devastation -- a freak of nature that no experts can explain -- two highway road crew workers spend the season in isolation, painting and repairing the ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Documentary 'Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride'

    The snaking guitar and clanging cowbell of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper” can be heard at the start of Amy Nicholson’s “Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride,” a new documentary opening this weekend. If anything, the tune serves as a suggestion to those upset over yet another David and G...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Ophuls' 'The Earrings of Madame de...' on Blu-ray from Criterion: Before the New Wave, a New Woman (VIDEO)

    More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones, Saint Teresa of Avila reputedly opined, but she never met Louise, Madame de... (Danielle Darrieux). For the vain, tragic heroine of Max Ophuls' "The Earrings of Madame de..." (1953), the price of a direct line to the heavens comes in a ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Planes' Featuring The Voices Of Dane Cook, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Brad Garrett

    Billions of dollars flood the Walt Disney Company every year, thanks to the toys, videogames, DVDs, clothing, gummy vitamins and bed sheets associated with their "Cars" franchise. What originated as a single Pixar movie (2006's "Cars") has expanded beyond the sequel (2011's "Cars 2") and short films...

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