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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: For the Love of 'Bernie' and Jack Black

    "Bernie" wears as many hats as a Texas cowboy. Somehow, and simultaneously, Richard Linklater's latest is a genuinely surprising confidence game, a homey slice of Southern life, and an eccentric black comedy of small-town manners. The most apt description is far simpler, though: "Bernie" is one of t...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Revenant' Is A Topical Horror-Lover's Dream

    The point of using horror films as allegory, political or otherwise, is twofold. There are the obvious benefits of allegorizing, which allow you to disguise your intentions using coded language, cinematic or otherwise. And then there’s the genre sledgehammer, which comes down with righteous anger, c...

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  • The Playlist
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    MIFF '12 Reviews: Miguel Gomes' 'Tabu' & Kim Nguyen's 'War Witch'

    Gomes' Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner is an evocative, lyrical two-chapter love story separated by decades and continents that transcends what initially seems to be nothing more than an experiment in style over substance. Beginning in modern day-ish Lisbon, we are introduced to Aurora, an o...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Spike Lee's Tightened 'Red Hook Summer' Marks a Personal, Affectionate and Tough Return to Steamy Brooklyn

    Beware screening your movie too early at a big festival. Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales" was one example of an unfinished movie getting creamed at Cannes. Spike Lee, who defines the current indie model --lucrative commercial director by day, scrappy indie doc and featuremaker by nigh...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Love In Israel Has No Easy Answers In 'The Matchmaker'

    There is a colloquialism particular to Israel – “sabra” – which denotes a prickly, weathered desert plant sporting a tough exterior but a soft and sweet interior. More curious is how this word has been put to use – as a distinction between the native-born Israeli and immigrants communicating in heav...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review - 'Sparkle' (A Remake That Doesn't Live Up To The Original)

    It's rare that I vouch for a film greatly before I’ve seen it. I love cinema way too much to do that. However, that is not the case with Tri-Star’s “Sparkle.”

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Notebook: Finding the Roots of 'Cosmopolis' In Don DeLillo's 'Game 6'

    David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" adapts Don DeLillo's 2003 novel, though not exactly for the first time: The plot was originally conceived for "Game 6," a screenplay DeLillo wrote in the early 1990s which sat unfilmed until 2005.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: ‘The Master’ Proves A Brave, Sensual Yet Detached Triumph For Paul Thomas Anderson

    Even amongst its most wrenching scenes of unfettered anger and broken loyalty, a volatile sensuality nonetheless invades every frame of Paul Thomas Anderson’s arresting “The Master.” Populated by characters certain in their sexual and loving instincts yet stubborn in claiming responsibility for them...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Sparkle—movie review

    I don’t think anyone going to see 'Sparkle' expects a gritty slice of realism or a life-altering experience. It’s an unabashed soap opera with the curiosity value of singer Jordin Sparks in her big-screen debut and Whitney Houston in her final film appearance. If you know all that going in, I don’t ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Paranorman—movie review

    'ParaNorman' is the first of three horror-movie-inspired animated features this year, to be followed by 'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Frankenweenie'. Laika, the studio that gave us 'Coraline', is responsible for this tale, which assumes that kids will get the “joke” and not be distressed by its macabre ...

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