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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Update: Buyers Lining Up for Divisive 'Under the Skin,' Strong Debut 'Palo Alto' and Provocative 'Starred Up' (TRAILER)

    Reviews and acquisitions are heating up at the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday. Three notable acquisitions titles debuted Thursday night of which I saw one, "Palo Alto," the impressive debut of young filmmaker Gia Coppola (Francis Ford's granddaughter, born six months...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' Turns James Franco Short Stories Into Solid Portrait of Teen Angst

    Borrowing liberally from the likes of "Kids" and "Elephant," first-time feature director Gia Coppola's "Palo Alto" is a largely familiar portrait of teen angst, but it's also a fairly accomplished one. Loosely adapting James Franco's collection of short stories, Coppola (the 26-year-old granddaughte...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Fantastic Fest Award Winner 'I Declare War'

    If you have a point to make, try not to make it too succinctly in the first five minutes of your film. Such is the ace in the hole that is “I Declare War,” a crude sketch of a film that could barely withstand a short-form, but instead has been stretched to agonizing feature length by directors Rober...

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Donald Rumsfeld Stumbles Through Half-Truths In Errol Morris' 'The Unknown Known,' And So Does the Doc

    Donald Rumsfeld stares straight at the camera and smiles a lot in "The Unknown Known," the latest single-interview documentary from Errol Morris, but his cheery demeanor never manages to convince. Revisiting turf he last explored with another portrait of a disgraced former defense secretary, the Osc...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Philip Gröning’s Three-Hour Domestic Violence Drama ‘The Police Officer’s Wife’

    To a certain audience, the return of Philip Gröning is big news. The German director has been working for twenty years or so, but his last film, 2005’s “Into Great Silence,” a documentary about the Carthesian monks of the French Alps, really saw him win recognition, becoming a favorite on the festiv...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review and Interview: Lynn Shelton's 'Touchy Feely' with Rosemarie DeWitt, Now on VOD (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

    With "Touchy Feely," Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton returns with her second Sundance competition film, and her most personal since her 2006 debut "we go way back." (Video interview with Shelton and DeWitt below.)

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Our Nixon' Review: Forty Years Later, An Intimate Portrait of Nixon, and Ourselves (TRAILER)

    Songwriter Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know (About Us)" makes a fitting title track for "Our Nixon." The found-footage documentary, woven from 500 hours of Super 8 shot by Watergate convicts H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin, isn't just a portrait of the Nixon's peculiar boys club. ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Sono Sion's Bonkers Midnight Movie 'Why Don't You Play In Hell?'

    "Crowd-pleasing" is not an adjective typically associated with Japanese director Sono Sion. For a decade or so, he's been celebrated among cinephiles for his abrasive, challenging films like the four-hour long "Love Exposure" and the post-2011-tsunami "Himizu," which was something of a favourite her...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ Is Better Than Ever

    When Ernst Lubitsch’s "To Be Or Not To Be" opened in the spring of 1942, just months after America went to war, it was repudiated and even reviled by many critics who thought it was in poor taste to juxtapose comedy against the backdrop of Poland’s invasion by the Nazis.

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  • Indiewire
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    Telluride Review: Jason Reitman Shifts Gears With Melodramatic Quasi-Crime Story 'Labor Day' Starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin

    A significant departure for the director, "Labor Day" is a classical, melodramatic tearjerker that's also a sincere coming-of-age story.

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