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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Roundups: Oscar Hopefuls '12 Years a Slave' and 'Prisoners' Score with Critics (TRAILERS)

    Two unannounced big films made a big splash Saturday: Warner Bros. awards hopeful "Prisoners," which nabbed rave reviews for Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and Fox Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave," directed by Steve McQueen.

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    Telluride XL Day 2: 'Ida,' 'Labor Day,' Coens Music Tribute, 'Natan'

    Here's my recap of a long and rather unbelievably rich festival day at Telluride.

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Stephen Frears' 'Philomena' Starring Judi Dench & Steve Coogan

    The term "Oscar bait" is one that, unfortunately, gets bandied about a lot this time of year. At worst, it's used to refer to every faintly serious-minded film released between July and December. At best, it describes a very particular kind of middlebrow drama that seems to have been created from th...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: James Franco's Cormac McCarthy Adaptation 'Child Of God'

    James Franco might not be the first person to debut a film he'd directed at each of the three major European festivals in the same year (Ulrich Seidl recently managed the feat with his 'Paradise' trilogy, albeit not in the same calendar year). But it's an undoubtedly impressive run, especially given...

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride Review: Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & More

    Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” instantly establishes itself as the most unflinching of all slave dramas, which is to say, there is plenty of flinching, not to mention cowering and recoiling and passing out, thanks to beatings and whippings that arrive at roughly 10-to-15-minute intervals through...

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride Review: 'Prisoners' Starring Hugh Jackman & Jake Gyllenhaal

    Director Denis Villeneuve and actor Jake Gyllenhaal are on the precipice of having a tremendous fall film festival season. Arriving in just a few short days is their first collaboration, “Enemy,” a terrific psychological doppelganger thriller that will premiere next week in Toronto. But first up, th...

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  • Indiewire
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    As Bullets Fly to Celebrate the Release of 'I Declare War,' Alamo Drafthouse's Tim League Looks to the Future

    There's a bullshit romanticization concerning childhood, as if it were a lovely period of wonderment and innocence before the world grinds us all down with heartbreak, crap jobs, health issues and any other number of disillusioning, grown-up realities. But looking over the painful, egg-sized, bright...

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  • 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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