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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Lake Bell's 'In a World' a Hilarious Feminist Comedy About the Power of Voice

    What’s in a voice? Power, for one thing. The power to tell people things -- anything from an update on a global crisis to the general gist of a young adult movie franchise. This idea is at the center of Lake Bell’s hilarious, sincere and boldly feminist comedy “In a World,” which she wrote, directed...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'We're The Millers' Starring Jason Sudeikis & Jennifer Aniston

    From the start, "We're The Millers" makes it clear it's not going to try very hard. In fact, the film opens by leaning on a montage/sizzle reel of YouTube clips as an easy layup for laughs in order to get audiences already chuckling and in the mood for the patchy comedy to come. The double rainbow g...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    An Ode To Bob & Ray

    Usually I write about film-related subjects, but I just spent a happy weekend devouring David Pollock’s biography "Bob and Ray: Keener Than Most Persons" and feel impelled to spread the word about this wonderful and exceptionally well-written book.

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  • Indiewire
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    How 'Elysium' Critiques Every Other Blockbuster Released This Summer

    Mega-budget spectacles are rarely considered the beacons of high culture, but those factory-sealed, CGI-heavy efforts have attracted an especially large amount of vitriol this summer. With a range of pricey flops streaming out of the studios, seemingly foolproof products now take on the dimensions o...

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  • Indiewire
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    How David Gordon Green's 'Prince Avalanche' Compares With the Icelandic Film It's Based On

    If any recent Icelandic film seemed unlikely to attract interest in a remake, it would have be Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson's 2011 debut feature "Either Way," but that's exactly what David Gordon Green has done with "Prince Avalanche."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Critics on Parade in Seattle: Curating, Writing Long vs. Short and Inviting Snark

    At the recent Seattle Film Festival, Eric Kohn of Indiewire (@erickohn) moderated a panel discussion of the current state of film criticism and coverage today. I joined Seattle critics Robert Horton (@citizenhorton), Sean Axmaker (@seanaxmaker), Keith Simanton of IMDb (@IMDbKeith) and Lindy West of ...

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  • Animation Scoop
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    DVD REVIEW: Angry Beavers - The Complete Series

    The newly released "complete series" DVD from Shout Factory contains 62 episodes but alas, no bonus features. I asked one of the show’s five directors, Gary Conrad (now working on "The Fairly OddParents"), to comment on the episodes he worked and what he liked best about the vintage Nickelodeon seri...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sound & Vision Reviews: 'Muscle Shoals,' 'Low Movie (How To Quit Smoking)' & Bill Callahan Doc 'Apocalypse'

    Can music reflect landscape? Can a spiritual terrain seep into the soul of a people through music? These are some of the questions asked in the documentary, "Muscle Shoals," a must-see documentary for any rock n' roll history connoisseur. There's not just something in the water in Muscle Shoals, Ala...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Europa Report' Starring Sharlto Copley

    With the pressure to deliver on big time thrills and eye-popping CGI set pieces, multiplex sci-fi offerings frequently appear nearly brainless. While Sebastián Cordero’s “Europa Report” is far from flawless, this contained sci-fi thriller is shot through with a devotion to realism and a sense of won...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review and Roundup: Neill Blomkamp's 'Elysium,' Starring Damon, Absorbing Sci-Fi with Heavy-Handed Message UPDATE

    South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp had a tall mountain to climb with his follow-up to low-budget Best Picture Oscar contender "District 9," which scored $215 million worldwide. Ever since the indie pick-up put Blomkamp on the map as an original filmmaker with an extraordinary command over ...

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