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Movie Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Contraband—movie review

    If ever there were a typical January movie, it’s Contraband, a film so dreary (and downright distasteful) that no studio would think of releasing it in December, when all eyes are focused on quality. I never saw the 2008 Icelandic film on which it’s based, but I presume it must have...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Joyful Noise—movie review

    It takes the combined personalities of Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton to wring entertainment value out of Joyful Noise, which they do to some degree, but it’s the lively choral music performances that partially salvage this kettle of corn. As longtime rivals in a small Georgia church choir, La...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Xavier Gens' 'The Divide' Is Silly, Clichéd Apocalyptic Trash

    It seemed, to us at least, that there was a strangely apocalyptic cloud that was cast over many of the SXSW film festival selections in 2011 – things like "Bellflower" all the way up to "Attack the Block" had a definite "end of days" feel. "The Divide" m...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Don't Let The Awkward & Clumsy 'Loosies' Pick Your Pocket

    The poster for “Loosies,” a new film written, produced, and starring Peter Facinelli, best known for his role as the big daddy vampire in the “Twilight” movies, makes it look incredibly dangerous and edgy despite the fact that its name suggests some son-of-“Porky’s” sex comedy (it’s a reference to b...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Brit Drama Critiquing Institutionalized Racism In The UK ("SUS") Makes TV Debut This Month (Trailer + Review)

    Brit actor/writer/producer Clint Dyer's devastating critique of institutional racism, also known as the feature length film titled SUS - a film I praised often in 2010 as it made its film festival circuit run - will be making its TV debut on BBC1 (for our UK readers who still haven't se...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: The Choir Of 'Joyful Noise' Preaches To Itself

    Your friend and mine Roger Ebert has often said that the matter isn’t what a movie is about, but rather how it is about it. "Joyful Noise" is ostensibly about a small-town Georgia church choir competing against others in a nationwide gospel competition. It’s about a dying town ...

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  • Caryn James
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    Ewan McGregor In Perfect Sense

    Perfect Sense is one of those clever, minor, almost-good films saved by Ewan McGregor. (It’s kind of shocking how many there are: how about Rogue Trader, Stay and I Love You Phillip Morris for starters?) This one is a too self-consciously poetic yet more ambitious variation on Contagion, with ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: In 'Contraband' The Humans Aren't Nearly As Compelling As The Bullet Holes

    Chris Farraday, the protagonist of “Contraband,” is a popular movie construct. Handsome, wide-shouldered, and with a movie-star smile, he’s tough enough to have done some Very Bad Things, but also principled enough to be retired by the time we meet him. Chris is an ex-drug smuggler, and the life doe...

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  • Indiewire
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    Eric Rohmer Meets 'Harold and Maude' in Patric Chiha's "Domain'

    If "Domain," the first feature of Viennese director Patric Chiha, were boiled down to pure formula, it would go something like this: Imagine "Harold and Maude" directed by Eric Rohmer with shades of film noir and doused in philosophical chatter enhanced by ample white wine. But &...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: ‘Albatross’ Is A By-The-Numbers Coming Of Age Tale, But 'Downton Abbey' Star Jessica Brown Findlay Is One To Watch

    Featuring “Like Crazy” up-and-comer Felicity Jones alongside Julia Ormond and German actor Sebastian Koch ("The Lives of Others"), the British indie film "Albatross" possesses a pretty impressive cast, especially considering the director Niall MacCormick (U.K. TV and ...

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