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Movie Reviews

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    What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

    If you're on the East Coast, it may not be the best weekend to make a trip to the cinema, but everyone else can surely take their pick from this week's slate of releases. Our reviewers saw no overwhelming successes among this weekend's headlining films, but it seems there's one ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Dont Be Afraid Of The Dark—movie review

    As you may already know, that modern master of Grand Guignol, Guillermo del Toro, saw the 1973 TV movie Don’t be Afraid of the Dark when he was a boy, and it scared the daylights out of him. He’s wanted to remake it ever since, and wrote a script with Matthew Robbins around the time he made his first American feature, Mimic (1997). Years went by, and when the pieces finally fell in place to put it into production he was busy with The Hobbit, so he selected newcomer Troy Nixey to fill his shoes after seeing an impressive short-subject he made. (The picture was finished two years ago but went into distributor limbo, from whi...

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    Critic's Notebook | How "Colombiana" Illustrates the Good and Bad of Chaos Cinema

    Zoe Saldana is a vengeful force in "Colombiana," where she plays a fearless assassin named Cataleya, although she's really just pure energy. The movie follows her on an incessant journey to knock off the men responsible for her parents' untimely demise. With a nimbleness matched only by her perfect ...

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    Critical Consensus: Iran-Set Drama "Circumstance" Is The Pick of the Week

    "Circumstance" - which won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival - is also the pick of the week, according to the folks polled on criticWIRE.

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    So Taboo: Four Upcoming Films That Promise to Offend

    Plenty of provocative and disturbing films pass through the festival circuit. But of those that really tug at societal taboos, it's a select few that make it to theaters.

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    REVIEW | Vera Farmiga Searches For Answers In "Higher Ground," But Her Filmmaking Is More Precise

    There's a single cut in "Higher Ground," actress Vera Farmiga's directorial debut about a crisis of faith, that proves the Oscar-nominated actress also knows how to direct. While 1960's-era bohemian couple Corinne (Farmiga) and Ethan (Joshua Leonard) are on the road touring with Ethan's band, their van suddenly careens off the road and begins sinking into a swamp. The couple escapes just in time to realize their newborn child remains inside the vehicle; Ethan dashes back into the half-submerged wreck, and the camera remains on his distraught face as he suddenly finds what he's looking for. Farmiga, however, withholds the details of his discov...

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    Small Screens: Pick of the Week Ava DuVernay and "I WIll Follow"

    Ava DuVernay's feature filmmaking debut, "I Will Follow," is a day in the life of a woman at a crossroads following the death of a loved one. It was also the flagship release of the African American Film Releasing Movement, a collaborative that unites black film festivals and gras...

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    REVIEW | Paul Rudd Outshines Mediocrity in "Our Idiot Brother"

    Hiding behind a shaggy beard and a stoner grin, Paul Rudd plays an amusingly oblivious shlub in "Our Idiot Brother," but the movie can't keep up with his comic inspiration. Rudd portrays Ned Rochlin, a happy-go-luck organic farmer abruptly busted for selling pot to a police officer. Kicked out of his home by his moody ex-girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn), Ned loses possession of his faithful dog and winds up crashing at his mom's house. There, he seeks help from his three sisters, played by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer. Director Jesse Peretz guides them through an innocuous, mostly unmemorable series of events in which Ned intr...

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    Critic's Notebook | Skip "Conan" This Weekend and Invest in These Male Anti-Heroes Instead.

    The male libido is a Hollywood fixation. Testosterone-fueled fantasies have been a selling point for as long as the medium has been around, stretching back to Thomas Edison's 1894 kinetoscope short featuring Prussian bodybuilder Freidrich Wilhelm Müller, in which the muscleman struck a number of pos...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Conan The Barbarian—movie review

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the movies, they’re resurrecting concepts and entire films from the 1980s like Footloose (so help me) and Conan the Barbarian, based on Robert E. Howard’s pulp magazine hero. Beefy Jason Momoa steps into Arnold Schwarzenegger’...

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