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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | When Social Media Attack: Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost's "Catfish"

    Many movies over last ten years have engaged with the dangers of online communication, but Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost's "Catfish" delivers the definitive narrative of social networking gone awry to cap off the decade. By turns hilarious, unsettling and sad, the documentary eng...

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    REVIEW | "Smash His Camera": Capturing the Phantom of Twentieth-Century Show Business

    The legacy of the paparazzo has never been a pretty one, but Leon Gast's "Smash His Camera" boldly suggests its artistic merits. Granted, his subject -- quintessential New York photographer Ron Galella -- has been around a lot longer than today's combative TMZ cameramen, but he's got a few battle sc...

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    REVIEW | Almost a Masterpiece: "Four Lions" an Explosive Comedy

    In the opening scene of "Four Lions," a group of British would-be terrorists attempt in vain to make the ideal suicide tape. It's not the first time that such risqué bloopers have been depicted in narrative form - both "Paradise Now" and the short-lived Showtime series "Sleeper Cell" contained similar moments - but it's certainly the funniest. Chris Morris's tragicomic portrait of jihad gone awry zips along with many of these contemporary references points in the service of humor, yet pulls off an unlikely feat by avoiding any kind of outright spoof. The characters are no laughing matter; instead, their bumbling tendencies suggest a universal...

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    Waititi's Remarkably Insightful "Boy" Succeeds On Many Levels

    Editor's note: A version of this review originally ran at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. "Boy" opens in limited release this Friday.

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    book review: Hidden Talent: The Emergence of Hollywood Agents

    by Tom Kemper

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    music review: The Bing Crosby CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56

    Few stars in the history of show business can match Bing Crosby for longevity and popularity in every medium of entertainment; he was at once a top-ranked star of movies, radio, and recordings. (How many Oscar winners for Best Actor can you name who also made best-selling records, year after year...

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    criticWIRE This Week: "Creation" Does Not Make The Grade

    criticWIRE is back with an updated calendar of releases that takes on January and February's specialty films - including three films opening this weel. More than 100 film critics and bloggers have their own pages on the indieWIRE site. The criticWIRE section includes RSS feeds and links for the ind...

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    REVIEW | Lives in Motion: Andre Techine's "The Girl on the Train"

    There's a brilliant tension at the heart of the new film by the consistently challenging French director Andre Techine, "The Girl on the Train." This is a work about an ambiguity--its disturbing central event is an act fueled by mysterious motivation, and it's enacted by a character whom we only think we have come to know and understand, a young Parisian woman named Jeanne (Emilie Dequenne). Yet, as is the case with Techine, the film is shot with a searching, unceasing motion that digs deep into the images onscreen, looking for answers. Techine's cinema is tactile, penetrative; with the help of director of photography Julien Hirsch (the immen...

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    REVIEW | Missing Pieces: Amiel's "Creation" Lacks Sense of Awe

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.

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    REVIEW | The Girl Can't Help It: Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank"

    Even after the advent of psychology, feminism, and the sexual revolution, female desire remains culturally discomfiting, a topic to be avoided or willfully mystified. Outside of hyper-hormonal slapstick, adolescent desire is just as taboo. Furthermore, female adolescent desire is so socially unsavory that even the dubiously chaste "Twilight" counts as a welcome corrective. Enter Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank," a film so fearless, honest, and wise about emergent female sexuality that no grading curve is necessary. She approaches sex not as an aspect of politics but of experience, continuous with life's other impulses, bafflements, dangers, and j...

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