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Movie Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Stoneface

    I’m wary of plays that deal with historic movie figures or incidents. If they’re overly glib, or play fast-and-loose with the facts, I lose patience pretty fast. I didn’t feel that way about Vanessa Claire Stewart’s 'Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton', which has been held over a...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Seth MacFarlane's Foul-Mouthed & Hilarious 'Ted' Can't Hide Its Narrative Problems

    The comedic formula practiced, developed and recycled by animation creator Seth MacFarlane on his collection of wildly popular animated shows (“Family Guy,” “American Dad!” and “The Cleveland Show”), is to tell a fairly standard, often hackneyed, sitcom-worthy story, embellish it with omg! "taboo" p...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'La Camioneta' Provides An Intimate And Hopeful Look At Modern Migration

    The Guatemalan documentary “La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus,” from American director Mark Kendall, sheds light on a little known connection between the United States and Central America. After discovering that most of Guatemala’s public transportation buses – known as camionetas...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Rotten Tomatoes' Matt Atchity Takes on Critics and Movie Tastemaking

    In MediaBistro's recent "So What Do You Do?" interview with Rotten Tomatoes' editor-in-chief Matt Atchity, he weighs in on the state of film criticism, the discrepancy between critics and the public, and the "pitfall" of journalists being too "indie-focused." Come again?

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  • Shadow and Act
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    2012 ABFF Review: 'Elza' - Touching Tale On Caribbean's Complex Racial Prejudices, Family & Forgiveness

    ELZA (Le Bonheur d’Elza “Elza’s Happiness”), the first narrative film by Mariette Montpierre and the first directing effort ever by a Guadeloupean, was inspired by Montpierre’s personal accounts of searching for her biological father back in her native West Indies.

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  • Indiewire
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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'A Burning Hot Summer' Is A Thundering Bore That Verges On Self-Parody

    There are certain cliches associated with European cinema -- they're not necessarily always accurate but they do exist. Ask a layman -- a well educated, smart, nice person who might not be quite as subtitle-happy as you or I -- what they imagine they might see in, say, an average French film, and a ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: A Well-Constructed 'People Like Us' Is Marred By Its Sentimental Mawkishness

    Alex Kurtzman’s new film, “People Like Us,” shares the technical prowess of these films, employing supreme sound and visual techniques to create subjectivity. However, an increasingly rote storyline and adherence to syrupy-sweet romantic comedy tropes leaves a murky aftertaste: a schmaltzy tearjerke...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: In 'Teddy Bear,' Bodybuilders Are People Too; Show Them Some Love

    Where the phrase “Teddy Bear” implies a certain squashy cuddliness, the film’s subject is anything but. At least on the outside. But, then again, bears aren’t that cuddly in real life either. Danish Director Mads Matthiesen developed this feature from his acclaimed 2007 short, “Dennis,” which began ...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'The Iran Job' Is A Warm, Winning Tale of One Basketball Player's Experience In Iran

    During the Q&A after the screening of “The Iran Job,” director Till Schauder described how the idea for a documentary about “journeymen” professional basketball players in Iran came to him before he had a subject that could carry his documentary. His wife and producer Sarah Nodjoumi is Iranian-Ameri...

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