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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: Manic & Meta 'Seven Psychopaths' Both Exhausts & Delights

    It would seem that following the success of "In Bruges," writer/director Martin McDonagh went to Hollywood -- and didn't like the experience. A meta riff on making movies, "Seven Psychopaths" is a sneering send-up of the industry that also revels in its action movie clichés. But if there is one thin...

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    Women Under the Influence: How 'Smashed' Falls Into a Well-Worn Subgenre Thanks to Mary Elizabeth Winstead

    From "The Lost Weekend" to "Leaving Las Vegas," portraits of alcoholics in the movies have tended to be a male-dominated affair, but there's an entire subgenre of inebriated female characters equally worthy of attention. Gena Rowlands in "A Woman Under the Influence,&quo...

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    Critical Consensus: Peter Knegt and Eric Kohn on the Oscar Season So Far

    With great films from Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, P.T. Anderson, Michael Haneke and more, this is starting to look like an exceptional year, in which a large volume of major Oscar contenders are also impressive for reasons that have nothing to do with their awards potential.

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  • Caryn James
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    Review: Terror Meets Humor in Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

    Argo places us so much in the middle of the furious crowd storming the American Embassy in Tehran -- and the captives inside who see it coming -- that the episode is viscerally frightening. Back home, the Hollywood players who create a fake movie as a cover for the CIA rescue mission of Amer...

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    Did This Year's Views from the Avant-Garde Sidebar at NYFF Require Extra Patience? That Was the Point.

    Did This Year's Views from the Avant-Garde Sidebar at NYFF Require Extra Patience? That Was the Point.

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    HIFF Review: Charming 'Sin Bin' Heavily Indebted To The Work Of Wes Anderson

    Young filmmakers often reference their heroes outright. This isn't a phenomenon exclusive to creatively wayward directors; look at the early films of genuine auteur Paul Thomas Anderson to see wholesale theft from Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman (to name a few). But when the references are a distr...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'Decoding Deepak,' or What the Bleep Does He Know?

    Early in "Decoding Deepak," the titular spiritualist and his filmmaker son float languidly over Thailand's Chao Phraya river delta, on their way to the former's ordination as a Buddhist monk. "Don't try to make sense of it, just roll the cameras and try to keep up," the director sighs. Mission accom...

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    'Lincoln' Early Reviews: Praise for Daniel Day-Lewis & Tommy Lee Jones, Spielberg Exercises Restraint

    Early reviews are coming in for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," NYFF's secret screening on October 8, modestly praising Daniel Day-Lewis' performance and a "scene stealing" turn by Tommy Lee Jones as Thadeus Stevens. Critics are less impressed with...

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    Review: Broken Souls Come Together In Contrived Melodrama 'Least Among Saints'

    There are two films at war in “Least Amongst Saints,” and neither is very compelling. The first is a faith-forward feature about redemptive spirits, where Anthony (writer/director Martin Papazian) attempts to pull himself out of a PTSD funk fueled by alcohol and bad decisions upon his return from th...

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    Review: 'Smiley' An Internet Age Horror Film That's Not Quite Worth Booting Up

    Thirty minutes into Michael Gallagher’s “Smiley,” we were ready to turn off the film, but in the interest of reviewing the movie, we persisted. It was an arduous journey, a deceptively tolerable horror flick that briefly flirts with an interesting idea or two and then casts them aside for cheap scar...

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