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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Room 237'

    Stanley Kubrick's 1980 Stephen King adaptation "The Shining" endures for many reasons -- from its supremely horrific mood to the technical feats used to create it. However, the lively voices in "Room 237" take that admiration to an entirely new plane of awareness. A search for deeper meanings in Kubrick's movie, Rodney Ascher's film is a brilliant collage of interviews with academics and other experts in the art of textual analysis. Jazzing up a process usually reserved for scholarly pursuits, Ascher combines reasonable interpretations of "The Shining" with hilariously extreme conclusions -- but ...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Paradise Love'

    The first of a trilogy about a traveling Austrian family, Ulrich Seidl's "Paradise: Love" follows a middle-aged woman named Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel) who travels to Kenya as a sex tourist. That not only describes the plot of the movie but a fair amount of its details: Much of the runtime follows the bumbling, portly Teresa as she meets a dozen men, plays along with their advances and gullibly forks over dough when they request it. That might sound unbearably redundant were it not for the delicacy that Seidl brings to the material and the powerfully naked performance -- always figuratively, sometimes literally -- that Tiesel ...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: "In the Fog"

    Urkainian director Sergei Loznitza's narrative feature debut "My Joy" found the veteran documentarian was equally capable of distorting the truth through a Lynchian allegorical lens that sifted through the demons of Russian society. His follow-up is an equally grim but more narratively precise look at the country's history through the lens of WWII. After Sushenya, a lower class Russian laborer, escapes a Nazi deathtrap, his comrades assume he's in cahoots with the enemy. At first slated for execution by his former peers, Sushenya escapes death again at the hands of the Nazis, launching into a prolonged escape through ...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: "Midnight's Children"

    Director Deepa Metha teams with Salman Rushdie for an adaptation of his 1981 novel, a lavish period drama about India's shift from British colonialism to independence through the eyes of a well-heeled young man. Reserved young Saleem (Satya Bhabha) is born on the historic night of August 15, 1947, which makes him into an insta-symbol for the country's first post-colonial generation. Initially unaware that his real parents' maid spared him from a life of poverty by swapping baskets in the infirmary, Saleem grows up not knowing that the combative, lower class Shiva (Siddharth) is the true heir to Saleem's fortune. As tensions...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Henry Cavill Vehicle 'The Cold Light Of Day' Should Have Stayed In Deep Freeze

    Sneaking into theaters with little to no fanfare at the tail end of summer, "The Cold Light of Day," a dramatically inert and visually muddy thriller from Mabrouk El Mechri ("JCVD"), is so bad that its mere presence in theaters feels like the behind-the-scenes machinations of some kind of contractua...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Crowded Indie Box Office, from 'For Ellen' to 'Detropia'

    Critical response to the array this weekend's new indie releases is mostly tepid, with star-packed "The Words" and "Bachelorette" scoring lowest and docs "Detropia" and "Beauty is Embarassing" ranking as Indiewire's top picks...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Inbetweeners' Trots Out Your Favorite Sex Comedy Grossouts, Now With An Accent

    Those who have no experience with the UK series “The Inbetweeners” will be glad to know that, like this critic, if you have no prior familiarity with the characters from the series (or the MTV spinoff) , then its film spin-off “The Inbetweeners Movie” (or plain old "The ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: '[rec] 3' Is A Triumphant, Wryly Knowing Deviation From The Tired Found-Footage Horror Genre

    Next month, Paramount will release "Paranormal Activity 4," and if the elliptical trailers are any indication, the filmmakers are doggedly sticking to the found footage aesthetic that has made them spookily huge amounts of money on the three previous films. But the faux documentary format is wearing...

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    Review: 'Beauty Is Embarrassing' Is A Laugh-Out-Loud Portrait Of The Wild & Wacky Wayne White

    “Beauty is Embarrassing” is such a warm, laugh-out-loud charmer of a documentary, thanks entirely to its subject, the wild and wonderful Wayne White, that it leaves you wondering, just where has this delightful man been all this time? And that’s the question “Beauty is Embarrassing” posits too -- se...

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire Picks: 'Beauty is Embarrassing' and 'Detropia' Highlight Another Strong Week for Docs

    Criticwire Picks: 'Beauty is Embarrassing' and 'Detropia' Highlight Another Strong Week for Docs

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