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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' A Mostly Empty Exercise In Excess

    American cinema seems preoccupied with the emptiness of excess, at least in the first half of 2013. Baz Luhrmann luxuriates in the meaningless wealth of "The Great Gatsby," while Harmony Korine put his own twisted spin on the dark soul of the American dream in "Spring Breakers." And now comes Sofia ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Ari Folman's Part-Animated 'The Congress' Is Overstuffed And Overwritten, But Sort Of Fascinating

    Ari Folman's "The Congress" aka "Robin Wright at The Congress" aka "Reviewer's Nightmare" (last title mine) opens the director's fortnight at Cannes this evening and screened for a group of alternately beguiled and baffled press this morning. Evoking Miyazaki and perhaps on-form Gilliam in its best ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Buy A Damn Clip-On: How to Navigate the Cannes Film Festival's Opening Night

    Cannes celebrates the superficiality of posh, luxurious spectacles while forcing its guests to struggle through the chaos.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Star Trek Into Darkness

    Here’s the good news: J.J. Abrams and his writing team haven’t dropped the ball. This sequel to their 2009 reboot of "Star Trek" is lively, well-made popcorn entertainment.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: 'Heli' A Beautifully Shot But Despairing Look At Corrupted Lives

    "Now you'll get to know God in the land of the damned," a military police officer threatens chillingly midway through "Heli." But this is just further confirmation of where things are going, as the movie makes it clear from the start that it's headed down a bracing path in which neither animals nor ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Endearing & Buoyant ‘Frances Ha’ Marks A Terrific Gear Shift For Director Noah Baumbach

    Loose, limber and driven by a fierce energy and staccato/pause rhythm we haven't seen previously from this filmmaker, Noah Baumbach's sublime "Frances Ha" is a fresh and vivacious near-reinvention of the director/writer's comedic milieu. An enchanting riff on friendship and the late-20-something ri...

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  • Animation Scoop
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    Anime Review: "Kids On The Slope"

    Shinichiro Watanabe's latest series, Kids on the Slope, adapted from the award-winning manga by Yuki Kodama, showcases his versatility as a director and his ability to create characters with depth and believability.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Is There a Connection Between Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' and Bujalski's 'Funny Ha Ha'?

    It seems so obvious. “Frances Ha.” “Funny Ha Ha.” Coincidence? We think not. But wait… One is about an awkward 20-something delaying adulthood, while her romantic planets fail to get in line. The other is ... well, yeah, pretty much about the same thing. Except that one rocketed to obscurity in 2002...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Acceptable Euro-Thriller 'Erased' Bolstered By Aaron Eckhart's Lead Performance

    Aaron Eckhart has quite a diverse body of work to look back on -- in the last two years alone, the actor has brought to the table both a complex portrait of a grieving father in the lauded "Rabbit Hole" and a more workman-like turn in the less-lauded "Battle: Los Angeles." "Erased," also known as "T...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Black Rock' A Back-To-The-Wilds Slasher With Brains & Bonding To Go With The Blood

    There is, ultimately, something to be said for the pleasures of a simple, sleek and well-shot run-or-kill-or-die thriller. The sort of film where the heroes are trapped in the middle of nowhere and find themselves threatened by hostile locals, and must then strike back to survive. That's what "Black...

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