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Movie Reviews

  • Caryn James
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    Paul Dano Saves Flawed 'For Ellen'

    Paul Dano -- pale and gangly, nobody’s preconceived image of a movie star -- is a wonder of an actor, who has made some great choices in films, from There Will Be Blood, to the recent Ruby Sparks and a small but crucial role in the upcoming Looper. In So Yong Kim’s deliberate, meticulo...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: 'Dormant Beauty' Is Tender & Humane, But Adds Little To The Right To Die Debate

    The sanctity of life is one of the thorniest subjects of the 20th century, and seems certain to continue to be so for decades to come. One only has to look over the continuing debate in terms of contraception and abortion, among the most divisive and emotional issues in American politics (or, indeed...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice: Polley's 'Stories We Tell' Is Revealing & Affecting

    With Toronto beckoning, I've had to bid a reluctant farewell to Venice where, as much as I liked "BAD 25", "The Iceman", "Disconnect", "Enzo Avitabile Music Life" and "The Master", my pick of the festival was undoubtedly "Stories We Tell&quo...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers' Is A Semi-Conventional Genre Flick & Future Cult Favorite

    This will make you feel old: it has been 18 years since Harmony Korine wrote “Kids” at the age of 21, with the Larry Clark directed film proving to be something of a firecracker in the midst of mid-90s indie cinema, by turns controversial, seedy, and honest. Korine made his own directorial debut wit...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Kim Ki-Duk's 'Pieta' Is A Bruising Mother-Son Relationship Drama That Ultimately Disappoints

    With only a few days left of the Venice Film Festival, no clear front-runner has emerged to pick up the Golden Lion. “The Master” is probably the best-received film to date, but festival juries often shy away from the most obvious pick. “To The Wonder,” “At Any Price” and “Fill The Void” all have th...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: The Evacuee's Guide to Movies

    Living in New Orleans sometimes means leaving it. That's why, with Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the city, I hit the highway last Monday for an extended Florida sojourn. And since a film buff's road trip is nothing without a screening schedule, here's a handy guide to movies for your next evacuati...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: 'A Hijacking' Is A Detailed, Gripping & Powerful High-Seas Hostage Tale

    As exciting as it can be to be one of the audience at the first public screening of an eagerly anticipated film – the new Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, the new Rian Johnson or David O. Russell – perhaps the purest pleasure that can be found at a film festival is that of discovery. Picking...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: 'Linhas De Wellington' Is A Handsome But Middling Tribute To The Late Raúl Ruiz

    If you had to pick the final film to be completed after a forty-year career of over one hundred films, you’d certainly hope for one as masterful as “Mysteries Of Lisbon,” the four-hour 2010 epic that proved to be the last completed directorial effort from Chilean-born, French-settled filmmaker Raúl ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Review: Harrowing 'Act of Killing' Is the Most Unsettling Movie About Mass Killing Since 'Shoah'

    In Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing," a pair of gangsters -- responsible for murdering an untold number of suspected communists in the years following the 1965 overthrow of the Indonesian government -- get the chance to recount their experiences. At first showing no visible rem...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Review: Bill Murray's Uneven FDR Performance Just One of Many Issues Plaguing 'Hyde Park on Hudson'

    Bill Murray is a man of many talents who has lately struggled to find the right outlet for them. The latest example, "Hyde Park on Hudson," finds Murray in a tame, mannered costume drama delivering his best FDR impression. The actor's pathos and deadpan skills are buried in the materia...

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