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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    'Scott Joplin' The Movie (How Not To Make A Film About A Black Composer)

    With all our recent articles of late regarding films about black classical composers such as Julius Eastman (HERE) and George Bridgetower (HERE), it immediately got me thinking about that Scott Joplin film starring Bille Dee Williams with Margaret Avery, Clifton Davis and Art Carney.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    RIP Film Critic Elliott Stein

    When I worked at my first journalism gig as associate editor at Film Comment Magazine back in the 80s, Elliott Stein was one of my favorite regular contributors. He was erudite about world cinema, an omnivorous global cinephile and historian who knew more about Asian cinema than anyone I knew.

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  • The Playlist
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    DOC NYC Review: 'Shenandoah' A Sharp Look At A Community With Skeletons In The Closet

    There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Shenandoah, PA, but its landscape and demeanor should feel familiar. Formerly a bustling coal-mining town, the area is now a bit destitute... but you wouldn’t know it from the warmth emanating from its inhabitants, nor from the exuberant passion the communi...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Kubrick's Early Odyssey: 'Fear and Desire' and 'Killer's Kiss'

    As the much-anticipated Stanley Kubrick exhibition opened at LACMA on November 1, the museum hosts a parallel film retrospective of the director's 13 feature films, screening in chronological order. This puts Kubrick's two least-seen yet remarkable works, "Fear and Desire" and "Killer's Kiss," as th...

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  • The Playlist
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    Doc NYC Review: 'Persistence of Vision' Is A Heartbreaking Account Of A Thwarted Animated Masterpiece

    When Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis needed a team to provide animation for their ambitious hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," they didn't turn to their own team at Disney Feature Animation who, with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," singlehandedly invented the animated feature (and was respon...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Coen-Derived Caper Comedy 'Gambit' Features A Game Colin Firth, But That's About It

    Of all the genres to try and pull off, the romantic caper flick -- think "To Catch A Thief," or "Charade," or even "Ocean's Eleven" -- is one of the trickiest. For such a film to work out, it's got to be as light as a feather and feel entirely effortless, and all too many films aiming to hit that sw...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Skyfall

    Not to mince words, 'Skyfall' is a knockout—the best James Bond movie in years. Its canny blend of ingredients is sure to entertain any audience but I think Bond enthusiasts will relish it most, as it draws on our familiarity with the series’ many touchstones.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Lincoln

    Steven Spielberg’s 'Lincoln' is everything a film about that towering figure ought to be: majestic yet intimate, respectful but not worshipful. It manages to humanize a historical figure without diminishing him in any way, thanks to the director’s sure hand, a superior screenplay by playwright Tony ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    A Royal Affair

    'A Royal Affair' dramatizes a chapter of 17th century history that is known to every schoolchild in Denmark—but was new to me. The fact that its compelling, and surprisingly contemporary, story is true makes it all the more interesting.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Go Big with 'Skyfall' & 'Lincoln,' But 'Starlet' is Indie Must-See

    Sam Mendes' "Skyfall" and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" are both scoring high with critics and look to dominate the weekend box office. If American history and the Bond universe aren't to your taste, there's Sean Baker's significantly more down-to-earth "Starlet," which is in tune with the lives and ...

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