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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Kubrick's Early Odyssey: 'Fear and Desire' and 'Killer's Kiss'

    As the much-anticipated Stanley Kubrick exhibition opened at LACMA on November 1, the museum hosts a parallel film retrospective of the director's 13 feature films, screening in chronological order. This puts Kubrick's two least-seen yet remarkable works, "Fear and Desire" and "Killer's Kiss," as th...

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  • The Playlist
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    Doc NYC Review: 'Persistence of Vision' Is A Heartbreaking Account Of A Thwarted Animated Masterpiece

    When Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis needed a team to provide animation for their ambitious hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," they didn't turn to their own team at Disney Feature Animation who, with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," singlehandedly invented the animated feature (and was respon...

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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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  • Leonard Maltin
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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