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Movie Reviews

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    Santa Barbara Review: 'Angels in Exile' Captures The Lives Of South African Street Kids & Treads New Path For Social Action Documentaries

    In 2003, college student Billy Raftery took a surf trip to South Africa and made a stop in the city of Durban, finding more than just waves— he stumbled upon the subject for a documentary in Ariel, one the thousands of street kids who live on Durban’s Point Road. “Angels in Exile,” narrated by Charl...

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    Pablo Larraín's NO: A Movie That Says Yes To Itself

    The Chilean film "No," written and directed by Pablo Larraín, is up for a foreign film Oscar this year. I hope it wins, if only to bring attention to an extraordinary film by an increasingly sophisticated director.

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    Santa Barbara Review: 'Blumenthal' A Funny & Original Work That Heralds The Arrival Of A Unique New Voice In Seth Fisher

    “Blumenthal” is a film about three Blumenthals. There’s Harold (Brian Cox), the famous playwright who died laughing at his own joke. There’s his brother, Saul (Mark Blum), an English professor who feels entitled to a bit of Harold’s success and has had some issues, ahem, not letting things… go. And ...

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    Campion Embraces TV Over Film with Moodily Misogynistic 'Top of the Lake,' Review Roundup

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Jane Campion marks yet another first-rate filmmaker ("The Piano") who when faced with an uphill climb to get such idiosyncratic smart-films as "Bright Star" financed and released, has transitioned to long-form television. It's a sheer delight to see her stretch out i...

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    Weekend Preview: Documentaries 'Sound City' and 'Koch' Best Bets, 'Warm Bodies' a Lively YA Installment

    A number of documentaries hit the limited release circuit this weekend, including Neil Barsky's eerily timely "Koch," a clear-eyed portrait of the former NY mayor who just today passed away at the age of 88, and Dave Grohl's "Sound City," with interviews from a panoply of big names from rock history...

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    Review: David Fincher's 'House Of Cards' Is A Beautiful, Bedazzling Political Thriller (At Least In Its First Two Episodes)

    When Netflix announced that they would get into the scripted programming game, with three high profile projects all lined up for the first half of 2013 (including the Eli Roth literary-based Gothic horror project "Hemlock Grove" and the hopefully rapturous return of oddball comedy classic "Arrested ...

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    Review: 'Side Effects' A Satisfying, Twisty Psychodramatic Thriller From Steven Soderbergh

    "Side Effects," a twisty-turny psychodrama and thriller, will occupy a special place in the Steven Soderbergh oeuvre. Since his highly influential debut "sex, lies, and videotape" single-handedly launched the American independent film revival, his body of work has included 26 films that have covered...

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    Critic's Notebook: From 'Hard Times' To This Week's 'Bullet to the Head,' How Walter Hill's Movies Tap Into the Essence of New Orleans

    Critic's Notebook: From 'Hard Times' To This Week's 'Bullet to the Head,' How Walter Hill's Movies Tap Into the Essence of New Orleans

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    WARM BODIES

    The shorthand description of this movie doesn't do it justice. Saying that it’s about a young woman who falls in love with a zombie makes it sound like a heavy-breathing variation on "Twilight." It’s better than that.

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    THE GATEKEEPERS

    When Israeli filmmaker Dror Moreh saw Errol Morris’ riveting documentary "The Fog of War," in which he interviews former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, he was inspired to make a film that would give viewers access to someone from his country’s inner circle.

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