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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Grey' Pits Stock Characters Against Cartoon Wolves

    It wasn’t long ago that Liam Neeson was considered a prestigious name in film. Though his early career was peppered with genre roles, “Schindler’s List” put him on the map as an awards-friendly leading man. But in the past few years, Neeson has reinvented himself once again, into the hardest of men,...

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    "Crazy Horse" is... A Documentary by Frederick Wiseman (So Why Am I So Ambivalent About It?)

    It may be sacrilege to say this as both a devout Frederick Wiseman fan and a heterosexual male, but “Crazy Horse” doesn’t really do a whole lot for me. This latest documentary from the man behind such nonfiction classics as “Titicut Follies,” “High School” a...

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    REVIEW: Virtues of a Nasty Girl: Jason Reitman's YOUNG ADULT

    It would be easy to mistake Charlize Theron’s words and deeds in Young Adult for plain nastiness.

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    Now and Then: In Directing Debut, Farmiga Reaches 'Higher Ground'

    "Higher Ground," the actress Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, plays like a fugue. It circles back and folds in on itself, its repeated images — a children's book, worshippers in song, immersion in water — propelled not by forward momentum but by changes of key.

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    DVD REVIEW: JEAN-PIERRE GORIN: a new DVD box set spotlights the director's best documentaries

    At first glance, the title of "Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin" looks like a joke. If Jean-Pierre Gorin, a Frenchman who moved to San Diego to teach at UCSD in the ‘70s, is known in the U.S. at all, it’s because he collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard as a member of the Dziga Vertov Group. How...

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    Review: Documentary ‘Enemies Of The People’ A Frequently Gripping Search For Justice In The Cambodian Killing Fields

    The worst of human history has a way of bubbling under the surface, burying under the skin of collaborators, killers and leaders. Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, responsible for approximately two million deaths, has remained in the country's national psyche in a uniquely chilling manner. Th...

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    Women In Trouble: The Unexpected Link Between 'Miss Bala' And 'Haywire'

    Everything that terrifies in "Miss Bala" amuses in "Haywire," and yet in purely visual terms, they're nearly twins.

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    Review: Spanish Oscar Contender 'Black Bread' A Melodramatic, Yet Compelling Story Of Post-Spanish Civil War Life

    Somewhere in the mouth of a vast, dreary weald, a merchant trucks along with his wares. He stops briefly to check his wagon but is startled by some rustling nearby. At this point, even the most novice movie-goer can figure out that this man won't make it out of these woods alive. In a sequence t...

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    Review: ‘Paradise Lost 3’ Is Utterly Compelling, But Occasionally Still Ethically Messy

    Few movies have a conclusion as out-of-nowhere, compelling and yet strange as the one featured in "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory." What makes this finale even more exceptional is the fact that the film is a documentary and that this unexpected coda wasn't dreamed up inside the head of an imaginative sc...

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    Review: Lynne Ramsay's 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' Is Bleak, But Haunting

    "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is one of the most beautifully bleak psychological fake-outs the cinema's given us in years, as Lynne Ramsay ("Ratcatcher," "Morvern Callar") directs an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's 2003 novel. At first blush, Ramsay's film would appear to be a look into the genesis a...

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