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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    Netflix Streaming Review: Orphan Boy Finds Home w/ Prejudiced Shrew in Moving Drama 'Lucky'

    The South African drama Lucky, directed by Avie Luthra, opened in theaters in South Africa in 2011. Unfortunately, the moving tale of an orphan boy seeking refuge in the home of a cantankerous and racist Indian woman, never made it to theaters in the U.S.

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  • Criticwire
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    Among Locarno's Short Films, Vodka and Sorcerers

    One of the best films I saw at Locarno Film Festival this year was a mere 20 minutes long. Part of the Fuori concorso Shorts section, The Green Serpent: Of Vodka, Men and Distilled Dreams (a Swiss-Russian co-production) documents the merits and demerits that vodka holds for three Russian men -- acto...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Savannah' Starring Jim Caviezel & Chiwetel Ejiofor

    Let's say you're a filmmaker, and you're given the opportunity to tell the true life story of two people: Ward Allen, an Oxford-educated Southerner, who defies expectations and makes a career as hunter, rabble-rouser and good ol' boy, and Christmas Moultrie, a man born into slavery, who becomes a fr...

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  • Criticwire
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    Talent to Burn in Locarno's New "Signs of Life" Section

    New films from Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, Raya Martin, James Fotoupolos, Luis Lopez Carrasco and Lorenz Merz

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Paradise: Faith' Review: Between Love and Hope, One Woman's S&M Relationship with Christ (TRAILER)

    Some viewers may see in Ulrich Seidl's austere "Paradise: Faith" the parody of Austrian cinema, but for those apostles of arty psychological torture porn, this is the work of a master -- it's just not his masterpiece.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Short Term 12' Starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr. & Rami Malek

    It’s Nate’s (Rami Malek) first day at the adolescent foster care facility Short Term 12, and his new coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr., scruffy and soulful) is regaling the staff with a silly monologue about an unfortunate sharting incident he suffered in the line of duty. It's a funny tale, but it...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Frozen Ground' Starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack & Vanessa Hudgens

    What is the allure of true crime stories beyond the truth of “well, that happened”? It’s the sort of rubbernecking that not only kept “Law And Order” on the air for years, but spawned a cottage industry of shows and movies geared towards illuminating the dark side of crime, dramatizing, and attempti...

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  • Criticwire
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    Brazilian and Portuguese Masters Find Common Ground With 'The King's Body' and 'Sentimental Education'

    With their new films, Brazil's Julio Bressane and Portugal's Joao Pedro Rodrigues bridge the gap between countries and generations.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones' Starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower & More

    The duality of humankind has largely been visualized, at least in cartoons and broad comedies, as a tiny angel sitting on one shoulder, while a devil is perched on the opposite shoulder. The inherent drama, of course, is watching as the character decides which symbol to listen to: the heavenly or th...

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  • Caryn James
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    Hate Kung Fu, Love This Film: Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster'

    Some reviews need more context than others: the very idea of a kung fu movie, even an artistically made one, makes me want to scream with boredom, yet I was enthralled by The Grandmaster. Wong Kar Wai's film is technically about a real-life hero named Ip Man, one of China's great martial arts ma...

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