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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Seeking Justice' A Rote, Generic Thriller With A Dialed Down Nicolas Cage

    This is a slight paraphrasing of the truth. A couple of years ago, an eccentric award-winning actor had a choice: He could star in an unreasonable amount of movies of declining quality, stockpiling paychecks as his reputation and brand diminished. Or he could sell his dinosaurs bones and castles to ...

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    SXSW REVIEW | Bob Byington's Moving and Surreal 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Is His Most Accessible Film to Date

    A surreal comedy about the cycle of life, Bob Byington's "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is consistently silly and poignant at once. A step up in production values and ambition from Byington's previous efforts "Harmony and Me" and "RSO: Registered Sex Offender," th...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Weird & Sometimes Confusing 'John Dies At The End' Is Still An Odd & Engaging Genre Treat

    The problem addressing fans of “Midnight” films and wacky horror can succinctly be found in the opening of Don Coscarelli's “John Dies At The End.” It involves axe handles, zombies, mutant leeches, axe heads, hardware store trips and answering a dead man as to whether or not the axe in question is t...

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    Critic's Notebook: SXSW is Where the Crazy Movies Call Home

    A lot of major festivals showcase bold and provocative work. But SXSW has the rare ability to put a spotlight on wildly subversive creativity for an approving crowd.

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    SXSW REVIEW | Adele Romanski's 'Leave Me Like You Found Me' Wisely Studies a Relationship on the Rocks

    As a producer of "The Myth of the American Sleepover" and "The Freebie," Adele Romanski has helped shepherd two of the more insightful American indies about the travails of young adulthood. Stepping behind the camera for her directorial debut, "Leave Me Like You Found Me,&qu...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    SXSW 2012 Review - Ya'Ke Smith's "Wolf" (What Spike Lee's "Red Hook Summer" Should Have Been)

    The cinematic punch in the gut I so desperately needed before leaving SXSW and Austin, TX tomorrow morning, Ya’ke Smith’s feature film directorial debut Wolf is an audacious, potent drama that will likely elicit extreme reactions from viewers when it’s eventually in general re...

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    SXSW '12 Doc Review: Teens Aimlessly Wonder Through The Night In "Tchoupitoulas"

    There seems to have been mostly documentaries featured this year at SXSW for the films pertaining to our site. One of them, Tchoupitoulas, helmed by brothers Bill and Turner Ross, began promisingly. The beginning sequences instantly hooks the viewer; the film introduces our teen protagonists in...

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    Review: '21 Jump Street' Is A Hilarious, Heartfelt Action-Comedy That Just Might Be An Instant Classic

    In cinema as in life, self-awareness can be a virtue or it can be a deadly thing. Since there’s essentially no such thing as originality, conceding that you’re working within existing parameters or with familiar formulas excuses, and can sometimes enhance, the effectiveness of a lot of necessary dec...

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    SXSW '12 Review: The Duplass Brothers' 'Do-Deca Pentathlon' Is A Minor Effort That Should Have Remained Buried

    It’s always important to keep in mind, while reading reviews, that interpreting art is a deeply personal experience. What might speak to someone on a visceral, emotional level will slide right over another’s head. Or anger them. Or bore them to tears. The third option was the experience of this writ...

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    SXSW '12 Review: HBO Series 'Girls' Solidifies Lena Dunham's Place As A Bold New Voice in American Comedy

    As far as young independent filmmakers go, writer/director Lena Dunham has been the subject of an excessive amount of conversation and handwringing, even by the admittedly loose standards of the ever-chatty Internet age. Her first feature, "Creative Nonfiction," was accepted to South by Southwest an...

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