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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'End of Watch'

    The prospects of a gritty cop movie in the context of the found footage genre makes sense when one considers that the reality series "COPS" helped solidify the vernacular associated with the format. But "End of Watch" only uses the first person approach to frame the familiar dramas of two hackneyed characters, cocksure young officers Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Zavala (Michael Peña), as they uncover the dark underbelly of the drug trade in south central L.A. Taylor's obsession with filming their exploits provides a handy excuse for the constant shaky cam, but director David Ayer often abandons the device for...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'Free Angela & All Political Prisoners' A Fascinating Chronicle Of Justice & Strength

    "Black power means dignity," is a phrase that lingers from Shola Lynch's documentary about activist and scholar Angela Davis. And dignity is just one of the many qualities that one can attach to Davis, a bold and powerful figure whose own battle for justice and freedom is chronicled in "Free Angela ...

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  • Criticwire
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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Finding Nemo 3D' Is A Freshly Dimensionalized Take On A Certifiable Pixar Classic

    Last fall's surprise smash rerelease of Disney's "The Lion King," a gimmicky two-week promotional stunt designed sell the movie's Blu-ray release that turned into an extended, nearly $100-million-grossing juggernaut, opened the floodgates for 3D animated rereleases. There are two planned for the bac...

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire at the Toronto International Film Festival: At the Halfway Point What's a Hit and What's a Miss?

    As grade averages from the first half of TIFF 2012 have coming in, we gather some of the notables, complete with excerpts from reviews from Criticwire members.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Brody Diary 5: 'The Master,' 'The Iceman' 'The Impossible'

    A perfectly delightful rich full relentless festival day, except when I look back and realize that everything I saw was in English, which I find mildly embarrassing and slightly unadventurous on my part, especially when attending a festival screening over 300 films from 60 countries.

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'Song For Marion' Hits A Predictable, But Sour Note

    There is a certain strain of mid-budgeted British comedy -- films like "Calendar Girls," "Made In Dagenham," "Greenfingers," "The Full Monty" etc. -- that generally tends to find an audience on both sides of the ocean, make a modest profit, and then land on specialty cable where it lives on in rerun...

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  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'What Richard Did'

    “What Richard Did” follows a role-model athlete into a party, and after a violent drunken spasm of jealousy, a rugby teammate is dead. Director Lenny Abrahamson’s second feature shifts from a light airy palette on the beaches near Wicklow to darkening tones as his story devolves from jostling bonhomie into death and guilt. Newcomer Jack Reynor is Richard Karlsen, a team leader who can’t contain his surging emotions when there’s competition for dark-haired Lara (Roisin Murphy). After a brawl goes too far and the police investigate, omerta sets in among the mates who witnessed the fight, putting a few new wrinkl...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang'

    The latest film from French auteur Laurent Cantet (the Palme d’Or-winning “The Class”) is set in an impeccably evoked small town in the U.S. of the 1950s, but the story set there involving the titular girl gang, which clocks in at a hefty 143 minutes, is dramatically repetitive and somewhat inert. For his adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel, Cantet decided to work again with young, non-professional actors as in “The Class,” but to diminishing returns here. His lead, Raven Adamson, who plays the most daring of the girls and their de-facto leader, Legs, is appropriately spunky, but she’s surrounded b...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'Great Expectations' Is A Handsome But Stodgy Literary Adaptation

    Adapted a dozen times for television and film (most memorably by David Lean back in 1946), the Charles Dickens classic "Great Expectations" is a tale ripe with thematic undercurrents, one that is more-than-ready for reinvention, interpretation, and reconfiguration. Sadly, no one told this to the mak...

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