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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Host' Is A Dopey & Dull Sci-Fi Disaster

    Last fall saw the end of what appeared, for a little while at least, to be a seemingly endless series of "Twilight" films. The moony film series, based on a series of equally moony novels by Mormon housewife Stephenie Meyer, were torturously lengthy, poorly plotted trifles, the stuff of dime-store r...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Place Beyond The Pines' A Searing Tale Of Fathers, Sons & The Legacy Of Sins

    Of all the films that premiered at TIFF last year, few arrived under such an air of mystery as Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines." With only a couple of official images, but no posters or trailers, the tone and scope of the movie remained under wraps prior to its screening. Following "B...

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  • Caryn James
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    Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

    Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines is a giant ambitious triptych -- Ryan Gosling dominates the first part, Bradley Cooper the second, and two younger actors when the story leaps ahead in time -- and this trenchant view of fathers, sons and the determinism of class is two-thirds of a t...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Room 237' Review: Why I Hated, Then Admired 'Shining' Doc

    A funny thing happened on the way to reviewing “Room 237.” When I first watched Rodney Ascher’s documentary about fanatical theories on Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” I found it so patience-testing and angering that I had to turn it off at the halfway point. When I watched it a second time, obliga...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    MORE CHARLEY CHASE ON DVD (AND EDGAR KENNEDY, TOO)

    Charley Chase is a favorite of comedy connoisseurs but for years, it was difficult to see his best two-reel comedies from the 1920s. They seemed to exist only in scattered 16mm prints, until Kino (drawing on the LobsterFilm archives) and Milestone released their welcome collections.

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    Review: 'White Elephant' Is A Predictable, But Well-Acted & Worthy Study Of The Buenos Aires Slums

    Pablo Trapero’s “White Elephant” is a smartly acted, beautifully scored, often bracingly directed film of good intentions and big ambition. Yet it can only be called a modest success, and, in light of how strong some of its individual elements are, even a slight disappointment. Word from Cannes, whe...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Mental' With Toni Collette Is A Watchable Farce That Could Do With Going A Bit More Nuts

    “Mental” marks director P.J. Hogan’s (“My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Confessions of a Shopaholic”) reunion with his “Muriel’s Wedding” star Toni Collette. The intervening years may have made them both older, but not necessarily wiser, as “Mental” seems content to rework the “Muriel’s Wedding” formula ...

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    Review: 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' Is No Masterpiece, But Popcorn Entertainment That Redeems The Series Somewhat

    It’s tough to say if I would be as generous with my praise of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” if I weren’t such a big fan of its director, Jon M. Chu, but given the mechanical one-dimensionality of most big-budget franchise films, the sequel earns its critical bona fides simply by being made by a director w...

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  • Criticwire
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    The Criticwire Pull Quote Match Game: 'Killing Them Softly'

    Can you guess which critic gave the movie what letter grade?

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  • Indiewire
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    Review: Think 'The Artist' Was Overrated? Try Goya Winner 'Blancanieves' Instead

    There was nothing explicitly wrong with "The Artist," a tenderly made homage to the swan song of silent cinema, until it transformed into an Oscar behemoth. Part of the issue with "The Artist" becoming overrated was the notion that its appropriation of silent film language had no immediate parallel....

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