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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Life, And Lust, Find A Way In Well-Performed But Standard-Issue 'The Surrogate'

    Inspired by the life and writings of Mark O'Brien -- a polio-stricken but determined journalist and poet confined to an iron lung since age six -- "The Surrogate" offers a less comprehensive look at O'Brien's life than Jessica Yu's excellent documentary "Breathing Less...

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    In Defense of "Compliance," Sundance's Most Divisive Movie

    I can't get Craig Zobel's "Compliance" out of my head. Like a migraine that won't go away, this nasty enervating movie is really sticking. It's the only movie I saw at Sundance that has compelled me to write about it. I don't have an assignment to review it; I just n...

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  • Spout
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    Sundance 2012: Top Online Shorts "Long Distance Information" and "The Debutante Hunters"

    All of the nine shorts Yahoo and the Sundance Film Festival have put on the web are pretty good. It’s an impressive crop, and I’d say more consistent than a lot of the stuff festivals have put online in the last year. Yet in any batch of films a few rise to the top. I’ve rounded up...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2012 Review - "2 Days In New York" (Familiar But Still Engaging)

    This will be a quick and painless one; I arrived back in NYC (from Sundance) this morning and I've been caught up in a whirlwind of work to do; I'm also having trouble keeping my eyes open after that marathon 5-day business trip to the festival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'Shadow Dancer' A Crackling Conspiracy Thriller

    If “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” represented the height of Cold War paranoia within the British intelligence community, then “Shadow Dancer” is the next chapter, replacing the ominous Russian government with a more localized threat: The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

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    Sundance Review: The South Will Rise, But Not Like You Expected, In The Pagan, Powerful 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'

    Written and directed by Benh Zeitlin, whose short, "Glory at Sea," was shot through with purpose and promise, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is as stirring and striking a film as you could wish for at Sundance. Shot and set in a Louisiana community called The Bathtub, on the wrong...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: '2 Days In New York' A Funny & Welcome Sequel Worthy Of Its Predecessor

    Taking place a few years after “Two Days in Paris,” with the events from that film summed up in a puppet show, Jack (played Adam Goldberg) is gone and Marion (Delpy) lives in New York with her boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock), and their respective children from previous relationships. Both lead artist...

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  • Indiewire
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    SUNDANCE REVIEW: 'The Imposter' Is a Con Man Doc That Messes With Your Head

    "From the producers of 'The Tillman Story' and 'Man on Wire,'" reads a description for "The Imposter" provided by the Sundance Film Festival, which might have added "No kidding." Documentarian Bart Layton's engaging investigation into a bizarre 1997 ...

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    SUNDANCE REVIEW: 'Back to the Future' Meets 'Juno' In Capricious 'Safety Not Guaranteed'

    It's probably unfair to describe "Safety Not Guaranteed" as "Back to the Future" by way of "Juno," as it certainly sets the bar too high. But in terms of entertainment value and tone, the shoe fits. Colin Trevorrow's good-natured romantic comedy takes a handful of characters facing familiar conundru...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'Celeste And Jesse Forever' A Charming Tale Of Romance & Heartbreak In The Vein Of 'When Harry Met Sally'

    If "(500) Days of Summer" is bound to be considered this generation’s "Annie Hall" (not its equal, mind you, but its closest equivalent), then it’s fair to claim that "Celeste And Jesse Forever" follows in the footsteps of "When Harry Met Sally," p...

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