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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Spring Breakers'

    "Spring Breakers" wouldn’t be a Harmony Korine movie if it wasn’t polarizing in some way. Sure enough, the latest by the director of "Gummo" and "Trash Humpers" seems calculated to outrage, titillate and/or exhaust viewers with its gleefully nihilistic portrayal of spring break in St. Petersburg, Florida, seen here as a slickly stylized, slo-mo bacchanal of keg stands, bong hits and topless coeds. Of course, this is regarded as paradise for four college students who’ve just hit town, three of whom just robbed a diner to raise the money for their vacation. Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine and Vane...

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  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'The Pervert's Guide to Ideology'

    The philosopher Slavoj Zizek is not allergic to the sound of his own heavily-accented voice. Fortunately, he’s a bravura lecturer with a keen sense of what draws audiences to movies.  And his extended follow-up with Sophie Fiennes to "The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema" (200...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'A Liar's Autobiography' Is An Imaginative But Not Wholly Satisfying Biopic Of Monty Python's Graham Chapman

    A title screen introduces us to "A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman," saying that the voice that we will be hearing throughout the film is really Graham Chapman, made from recordings he issued just before his death (he died less than a year after being diagnose...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: 'Detropia' (Moving, Avant-Garde Portrait Of A Once Economically Vibrant City) Opens TODAY

    This haunting piece of documentary cinema tells the story of one city in economic decay; but really, as the real people in the film repeatedly state, this isn't just a Detroit problem; it's an American problem, and other cities within the country will eventually experience a similar fat...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Me and You'

    "Me and You" is the most inessential movie ever directed by the legendary Bernardo Bertolucci. It's also an entirely serviceable coming of age story, capably performed by its two leads and emotionally affecting within the constraints of its small scale aims. The filmmaker's first Italian language movie in 30 years avoids making any bold statements or indulging in advanced formalism in favor of a trim but well-acted drama. Adapting Gilbert Adair's novel, the story involves 14-year-old Lorenzo (Jacobo Olmo Antinori), a disaffected teen who tells his mother he's going on a ski trip and sneaks into the basement to thr...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: "The Hunt"

    Danish director Thomas Vinterberg may never top the complex family dynamics that made his "The Celebration" into such a remarkable chamber piece, but he hasn't lost an ability to construct an engrossing narrative with dark, provocative shades of ambiguity. This engaging story of a kindhearted man inadvertently accused of child abuse and alienated from his close friends sports a marvelous performance by Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role. As the man faces alienation from his erstwhile friends and colleagues, the alienation process starts to resemble a witch hunt. No matter the intense desperation of its main character, however, t...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' A Touching, Fresh & Funny Take On Teenage Love & Life

    Teenagers have generally not been well served by the movies. Folks like Cameron Crowe, John Hughes and Judd Apatow aside, adolescent life is usually positioned around the goals of having sex, partying and getting into outlandish hijinks with little-to-no actual insight into how teenagers think or fe...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'Lore' Is An Evocative & Enigmatic Look At Post-WWII Moral & Emotional Fallout

    With her beautiful and expressive debut feature film "Somersault," writer/director Cate Shortland established herself as a filmmaker with a sharp and observant sense of the emotional complexities of young women. And now, eight years later, she returns with belated follow-up effort "Lo...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: 'Passion' Has Flashes Of Classic Brian De Palma, But Often Feels Lackluster

    Like the waves that lap the beach by the Palazzo del Cinema in Venice, Brian De Palma is reassuringly steadfast. Over the years his Movie Brat brethren Scorsese and Spielberg have adapted their respective styles to align with evolving audience tastes and advancing technology, embracing 3D and motion...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    The Words

    There’s a compelling idea at the core of 'The Words', especially as acted out by Bradley Cooper and the incomparable Jeremy Irons, but it’s nearly extinguished by the material that surrounds it, sorry to say. The premise is solid: a struggling writer chances upon a long-lost manuscript and publishes...

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