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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Watchtower'

    The two central characters in this modest but effective drama by Turkish director Pelin Esmer want nothing more to be left alone. And until circumstances force them into each other’s lives in Watchtower’s later stages, they are largely able to achieve this goal. That said, it’s an easier task for Nihat (Olgun Simsek), a grief-stricken man who has taken a job as a fire warden keeping watch over the wilderness from his perch in a mountainside tower. A sullen young woman who works at a nearby bus station, Seher (Nilay Erdonmez) has abandoned her university studies for reasons that remain opaque until an angry confrontation w...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Home Again'

    Jamaica is anything but an island paradise to the characters who’ve just been deported there in this well-intentioned but unconvincing drama by Toronto-based director Sudz Sutherland. All three have run afoul of recent legislation in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. that allows foreign-born persons who are convicted of criminal offences to be sent back to countries that many have not seen since they were children. Fresh from a stint at Rikers Island, Dunston (Lyriq Bent) soon finds himself working for a Trenchtown gangster and reluctantly sliding back into a criminal lifestyle. Meanwhile, Marva (Tatyana Ali) copes with the pain of being...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'The Gatekeepers' Tells Story Of Israeli Security Services Through The 'Truth Of Their Own Voices'

    It’s almost impossible to walk into "The Gatekeepers" without already feeling intrigued. Director Dror Moreh has taken care of that with the premise of his new documentary alone. Six ex-leaders of Israel’s top counterterrorism and security organization, Shin Bet, describe their experiences through a...

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    102 Reviews From the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

    The Toronto International Film Festival continues through next weekend, but Indiewire has already reviewed a significant portion of the program at various other festivals over the past year.

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'War Witch'

    Canadian director Kim Nguyen's intense portrait of a young African woman Komona (Rachel Mwanza, who won an acting prize for her performance at the Berlin International Film Festival) kidnapped from her village and forced to become a child soldier is both light on details and rich with them. Her country of origin never revealed, Komona endures a series of hardships that unquestionably play off Western perceptions of African strife. At the same time, as Komona takes on the role of a keen survivalist, escaping forced marriage to a gangleader and finding her way back home, "War Witch" develops into a thoroughly suspenseful tale t...

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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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    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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    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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