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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Gideon's Army' Is An Eye-Opening Look At The Unsung Work Of Public Defenders

    While the Sixth Amendment guarantees the "assistance of counsel" for a criminal defendant, it may surprise you to learn that it wasn't until the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, where the concept of a public defender became solidified. Prior to the ruling, uneducated, poor or defendants who were o...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Movie Master Classes On DVD

    It’s understandable when someone doesn’t want to re-purchase a film he already owns on DVD, but the Criterion Collection makes it hard to resist by adding such outstanding bonus material.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Can Runaway Western 'The Lone Ranger' Make Its Money Back? Review and Round-Up

    The scuttle from the set of the prodigiously expensive "The Lone Ranger," the latest movie from the producer, writers and director behind the lucrative "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, was that Gore Verbinski was yet another runaway director run amok, not unlike Michael Cimino on "Heaven's Gate," ...

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    Review: Sensational True-Crime Doc 'The Cheshire Murders' Asks All the Right Questions

    “The Cheshire Murders,” airing on HBO July 22, is, in part, a blow-by-blow account of the unspeakable 2007 Connecticut home invasion that left a mother and her two daughters dead, and made Dr. William Petit his state’s leading advocate for the death penalty (which was abolished there nonetheless).

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: 'Gideon's Army' Is A Necessary Look At The Work Done By The Unsung (HBO Tonight)

    Director Dawn Porter's Gideon's Army, which will premiere tonight, July 1, on HBO, can be summarized as follows: 3 young, idealistic public defenders in the Deep South - Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick - struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads to ensure...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Lone Ranger' Starring Johnny Depp & Armie Hammer

    "What's with the mask?" is a question frequently asked throughout "The Lone Ranger," both as a running gag and a reminder it seems, that the film will give you everything you ever wanted to know about masked hero, and then some. Walt Disney's high-priced potential franchise has a lot riding on it, a...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Despicable Me 2' Retains Original's Charm--and Minions

    A half hour into “Despicable Me 2,” I had no idea what the story was. I didn’t care very much – directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud obviously knew that regular doses of Minion magic would mollify even the most nettlesome demand for a storyline– but the prospect of having to write a plot summary...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: Doc 'The Needle' Is Affecting Portrait of Gay Underground Clinic Owner

    Review: Doc 'The Needle' Is Affecting Portrait of Gay Underground Clinic Owner

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Neil Labute-Written ‘Some Girl(s)’ Starring Adam Brody, An Acerbic Yet Toothless Satirical Dramedy

    For the sake of argument, let’s agree that the Neil LaBute narrative unfolds like this: the provocative playwright turned filmmaker stormed the indie world in 1997 with his disturbing, brusque and scathing critique of the male psyche “In The Company of Men.” LaBute's controversial, piquant, sometime...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'How To Make Money Selling Drugs' Preaches To The Converted

    Under certain circumstances, selling drugs to earn a living becomes a choice for many. Humans are nothing if not survivors, eking out a living by any means necessary to put food on the table, pay bills, and stay afloat. Beyond teaching viewers the correct way to pronounce sheeeeit, "The Wire" gracef...

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