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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: Coen-Derived Caper Comedy 'Gambit' Features A Game Colin Firth, But That's About It

    Of all the genres to try and pull off, the romantic caper flick -- think "To Catch A Thief," or "Charade," or even "Ocean's Eleven" -- is one of the trickiest. For such a film to work out, it's got to be as light as a feather and feel entirely effortless, and all too many films aiming to hit that sw...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Skyfall

    Not to mince words, 'Skyfall' is a knockout—the best James Bond movie in years. Its canny blend of ingredients is sure to entertain any audience but I think Bond enthusiasts will relish it most, as it draws on our familiarity with the series’ many touchstones.

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    Lincoln

    Steven Spielberg’s 'Lincoln' is everything a film about that towering figure ought to be: majestic yet intimate, respectful but not worshipful. It manages to humanize a historical figure without diminishing him in any way, thanks to the director’s sure hand, a superior screenplay by playwright Tony ...

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    A Royal Affair

    'A Royal Affair' dramatizes a chapter of 17th century history that is known to every schoolchild in Denmark—but was new to me. The fact that its compelling, and surprisingly contemporary, story is true makes it all the more interesting.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Go Big with 'Skyfall' & 'Lincoln,' But 'Starlet' is Indie Must-See

    Sam Mendes' "Skyfall" and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" are both scoring high with critics and look to dominate the weekend box office. If American history and the Bond universe aren't to your taste, there's Sean Baker's significantly more down-to-earth "Starlet," which is in tune with the lives and ...

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    Review: Todd Rohal's Third Feature 'Nature Calls' Is A Dull, Droning Wrong Number

    Curiously squandering an immensely talented cast, Todd Rohal's "Nature Calls," written when the writer-director lived in Austin, had more humor and humanity and life in its 10-minute post-screening talk here at SXSW than it showed in its previous 98-minute running time. Starring Patton...

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    Review: 'Citadel' Is A Sometimes Scary, Sometimes Silly Entry In the Hoodie Horror Sub-Genre

    Over the last few years an interesting subgenre has developed in British horror – dubbed "hoodie horror" by the press and named after the young, urban kids who wear hooded sweatshirts – these films are set primarily in England's low income housing "estates" and played up the fears of "Broken Britain...

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    Review: Secrets, Revelations & An Unlikely Friendship Emerge In The Compelling 'Starlet'

    Sean Baker’s film “Starlet” wants to play a little trick on you. It’s a fun trick, and it might be more enjoyable figuring it out on your own, but it’s the most important and interesting part of the movie, so it’s hard to talk about its merits without giving it away. In fact, the main crux of the fi...

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    Review: '28 Hotel Rooms' Doesn't Get Beyond Just A Couple Of Jagoffs Having An Affair

    In movies, there is honesty, and there is truth. Forgive filmmakers for getting them confused, particularly in the post-indie world, where low-budget strategies bled into the mainstream allowing films to have an emotional immediacy and verisimilitude that soon gave way to simple re-creation of real ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Comedy' A Compelling, Layered Look At A Hipster Adrift In Brooklyn

    "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" and Rick Alverson's "The Comedy" (starring Tim Heidecker) both played at the Sundance Film Festival, and it'd be easy to simply peg the former as your standard bizarre T&E affair and the latter as a dramatic arthouse effort. But that's simply much too reductive ...

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