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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    One S & A Reader's Take After Seeing 'Django Unchained'

    As I mentioned last week media and award consideration screenings for Django Unchained start later this week, but there have been a few advance screenings of the film already for special invited audiences

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  • Press Play
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    Beyond the Veil of the Flesh: David Cronenberg's THE FLY (1986) on Blu-ray

    I’m glad I re-watched David Cronenberg’s 1986 version of "The Fly" on Blu-ray. I haven't watched it in decent resolution since I saw it in a theater on first release. It's still brilliant and perfect, and profoundly moving—maybe Cronenberg's greatest and most perfect film; a horror tragedy that does...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'This is 40' Review and Round-Up: Judd Apatow and Crew Deliver Pain and Laughs

    With "This is 40," Judd Apatow's fourth feature film as a writer-director, the prolific producer ("Girls," "Pineapple Express," "Freaks and Geeks") has never been more in control of his medium. This relationship comedy returns to Pete and Debbie, the Los Angeles married couple introduced in "Knocked...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: 'Killing Them Softly' Has Bold Style, Skips Heartbeat

    Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," adapted from George V. Higgins' 1974 crime novel "Cogan's Trade," takes place in an atrophied post-Katrina New Orleans in 2008. Brad Pitt plays Jackie Cogan, a hitman whose preferred method of execution is explained in the film's updated title.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Slim Pickings Beyond Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' -- Unless You're Into Jean-Claude Van Damme

    This lackluster weekend for movie openings may leave you wanting to catch up on the Thanksgiving releases you missed. That said, Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," an alternately engrossing and heavy-handed hitman drama starring Brad Pitt, is the strongest of the bunch. Beyond that, the options...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: 'Elza' - Touching Tale On Caribbean's Complex Racial Prejudices, Family & Forgiveness (Opens This Week)

    Another Diasporic film opening in limited release this week, at the new MIST Harlem Cinemas in NYC; a film that we also highly recommend, so if you're in NYC, see it while you can, before it leaves.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: Conquering 'Otelo Burning' Finds Joy And Freedom Amidst Turmoil (Opens This Week)

    It opens this week in a limited theatrical run at the new MIST Harlem Cinemas in NYC, and gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from S&A, meaning you really SHOULD see it if you're in New York, while it's available.

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire Picks: "Beware of Mr. Baker" Delivers Another Music Doc Hit, Plus: Netflix Docs, Fan Picks & More

    Another 2012 documentary of a musical enigma finds its way into Criticwire Picks this week. Also, we single out a documentary on Netflix that has gained traction among Indiewire's Criticwire members.

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  • Caryn James
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    The Little Jolie-Pitts' Dad Is A Lethal Weapon In 'Killing Them Softly'

    If you need proof that casting is everything, Killing Them Softly delivers it. This noirish crime story about hired killers would be an entirely different, less enjoyable film without Brad Pitt as an expert hitman. I’d say he’s working against type, but really, isn’t his type ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Silent Night' Is Like Getting A Blood-Splattered Lump Of Coal In Your Stocking

    The "holiday horror" subgenre is a weird one indeed, requiring a fine tonal balancing act that involves wedding jolly Christmas cheer with bloody visceral scares. There's something about the phony brightness holidays that brings out some really fucked-up shit, and it's a well that many films have at...

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