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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Bette Midler is Infectious in Broadway's 'I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers'

    There is a moment in Broadway's "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers," as the one-time Hollywood agent extraordinaire is perched on her upholstered throne in Beverly Hills, that you half expect to see Erich von Stroheim cross the stage with a young William Holden in tow.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Graceland' Mashes Together Suspense Thriller With Sobering Child Trafficking Drama, With Mixed Results

    Mild-mannered husband and father Marlon Villar is just having one of those days. The boss is on his case. His wife is being needy. His daughter is acting up. The cops are bugging him. “Graceland” begins as a compendium of what some adults would call a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day. Wah w...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    First Louisiana International Film Festival Opens With 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' and Star Merry Clayton

    I thought I was the canary in the coal mine, attending the First Louisiana International Film Festival, a first for Baton Rouge and for me: I've never before attended a film festival's inaugural iteration. But it turned out to be a fabulous four days, with more movies, parties, and panel discussions...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Ramin Bahrani's 'At Any Price' A Patchy But Powerful Melodrama With A Fantastic Performance By Dennis Quaid

    The first three feature films by Ramin Bahrani – 2005’s “Man Push Cart,” 2007’s “Chop Shop” and 2008’s “Goodbye Solo” -- were extremely well-regarded by festival and art-house crowds (Roger Ebert called Bahrani “the director of the decade”), but barely made a dent on the wider cultural consciousness...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Arthur Newman' An Intentionally Listless Story About A Boring Everyman

    What if we are all Arthur Newman? This is the question that director Dante Ariola and screenwriter Becky Johnston raise in "Arthur Newman," their tepid, imaginatively uninvolved drama about two strangers that fall in love while trying to escape their banal past lives. Ariola and Johnston’s film foll...

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: Will Forte Makes Dramatic Debut In Clunky But Affecting 'Run And Jump'

    There’s acting and then there’s “acting.” The first requires building credible characters and relationships, developing organic conflicts within the framework of a concrete story. The second involves loading up a story with excessive clutter that it drowns out any work of which the actors are capabl...

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  • Indiewire
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    Tribeca Review: 'Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic' Never Gets a Grasp on Its Talented, Controversial Subject

    When Marina Zenovich made her 2008 doc "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," she had an angle on her subject that gave the film a sense of urgency even though it was centered around events that took place 30 years before. It wasn't a simple profile of Polanski, it was a look at his sexual abuse scan...

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: 'Reaching For The Moon' Movingly Reaches For Love, Literature & Loss In Brazil

    Whether you’ve never heard of Elizabeth Bishop or are vaguely aware of her poetry or wrote your doctoral thesis on her NYU years, you will enjoy this film. “Reaching for the Moon” is an intimate portrait of a years-long love affair between the Vassar-educated Bishop and well-connected Brazilian arch...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: Mira Nair’s 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' (Opens Friday)

    Review: Mira Nair’s 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' (Opens Friday)

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Potentially Dumb & Fun 'Pain & Gain' Overstays Its Welcome With Unrelentingly Dumb & Unfun Tale

    Big, dumb, ridiculously over-the-top fun. When all else fails, filmmaker Michael Bay, perhaps one of the most unfairly maligned directors of the last two decades, can make it rain and bring the entertaining thunder like no one else. If not the inventor of the modern day supernova-esque blockbuster, ...

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