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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: The Terrific 'Hide Your Smiling Faces' Is A Haunting Look At Adolescence

    In a strangely beautiful and unnerving moment, "Hide Your Smiling Faces" opens up with an arresting visual: a close-up of a snake -- its mouth wrapped around a fish, slowly struggling to swallow it whole. It's disturbing, fascinating and the shot lingers with a sense of awe, curiosity and wonder. An...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Netflix Streaming Pick Review - 'Bilal's Stand' (Clumsy Production Chokes Heartwarming Story)

    Netflix Streaming Pick Review - 'Bilal's Stand' (Clumsy Production Chokes Heartwarming Story)

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Norway’s Oscar-Nominated 'Kon-Tiki' Is A Fun Tale Of High Adventure But No More Than That

    Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 raft trip from Peru to Polynesia, which forms the story of “Kon-Tiki,” is already the stuff of legend – particularly overseas. Heyerdahl’s own 1950 book was an international bestseller (indeed this writer remembers a battered paperback knocking around her chi...

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  • Animation Scoop
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    DVD REVIEW: Looney Tunes Super Stars "Marsupial Mayhem"

    A review of the latest Warner Home Video DVD release, featuring every single one of the Bob McKimson cartoons featuring Hippety Hopper and Sylvester Junior, centered around the delightfully absurd premise of Sylvester and son mistaking a loose baby kangaroo for a giant mouse.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review Roundup: Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain' Is a Soulless Macho Farce

    I had the misfortune of seeing Michael Bay's "Pain & Gain" at CinemaCon, which Paramount mystifyingly screened to the nation's exhibitors, who tend to be a conservative family-oriented bunch who are always begging the studios to release less R-rated fare. Don't get me wrong.

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  • Indiewire
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    The Best Double Bill of the Year: How Matthew McConaughey in 'Mud' and Amy Seimetz's 'Sun Don't Shine' Make Us Sympathize With Criminals

    Crime is one of the great story hooks that movies have to offer us, playing some key role in any number new releases on a regular basis. Blockbuster formula tends to gloss over criminal activity in favor of black-and-white dualities: Good prevails over evil. The aliens are vanquished. The Avengers ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: ‘Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors’ Tackles Autism, Superstorm Sandy And Wins

    With this being Autism Awareness Month and communities still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, it’s tempting to dismiss “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” as a convenient combination of buzzwords – I nearly did. But while watching the film, I quickly dismissed those preemptive assumptions and became en...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Tribeca: Breakout Director Sean Dunne Talks 'Oxyana' and a Portrait of a Town's Addiction

    When people describe Oceana of ten years ago, they describe an idealistic small town--"kind of like the 50s," says one man interviewed in Sean Dunne's first feature documentary "Oxyana." People in the town of 1,400 used to keep doors unlocked and let children play freely in the streets. Now, people ...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Tribeca Film Festival Review: 'Let the Fire Burn' Is Powerfully & Masterfully Structured

    Tribeca Film Festival Review: 'Let the Fire Burn' Is Powerfully & Masterfully Structured

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: Feats Of Superhuman Strength, Filmmaking Of Uncommon Heart In 'Bending Steel'

    You're not likely to see a more inspiring documentary this year than "Bending Steel," the story of one Chris Schoeck, an unassuming New York gentleman with one secret passion. Schoeck is a curious character, an admitted introvert with a slight stutter whom you can tell had to be coaxed to be on came...

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