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Movie Reviews

  • Caryn James
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    Risk-Taking James Franco In Risk-Free 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

    Flying moneys, good. Flying baboons, bad. That's one difference between the classic, 1939 'Wizard of Oz' and 'Oz the Great and Powerful,' Disney's pricey new extravaganza with James Franco as the pre-wizard carnival con man. More important: don’t go on comparing them. The new 'Oz' is loaded ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Likable 'Oz the Great and Powerful' Is Overstuffed With Digital Wizardry

    Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a $190-million prequel to the turn-of-the-century L. Frank Baum 14-book series. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film is bloated in length and overstuffed with digital 3-D wizardry, yet somehow manages to be a horse of a pleasing -- if not particularly different -- ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Tommy Lee Jones Shines In Otherwise Serviceable, Flawed 'Emperor'

    "We must be seen as liberators, not conquerors," Tommy Lee Jones' crusty General MacArthur says in the opening moments of "Emperor," and that line of dialogue is about as thematically rich as the film gets. A modestly budgeted, respectfully executed post-WWII drama, the film is also entirely edgeles...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The ABCs Of Death' Won't Win Over Non-Horror Fans, But That's OK

    Horror anthologies have been on the rise of late, with movies like "Trick 'r Treat," "Chillerama" and the found footage anthology "V/H/S" keeping the tradition alive. The latest anthology is "The ABCs of Death," which combines 26 shorts in what is less of an interwoven narrative like "Trick 'r Treat...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Girls' Recap 8: OCD and AA in an Episode That's All Over the Place

    “It’s Back” works hard to juggle four different storylines. Two are successful, and two are cringe-inducingly out of left field.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Sweeney' Is Cliché After Cliché To The Point Of Parody

    "We’re The Sweeney, and you’ve just been nicked," barks Ray Winstone (plus or minus a few expletives) about three separate times during U.K. actioner "The Sweeney," and it’s the biggest tip-off that this is based on an established property. "The Sweeney" never made it stateside, though the televisio...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: ‘Welcome To Pine Hill’ Is An Admirably Quiet & Introspective Look At Mortality & Redemption

    Shannon, or Abu, as he sometimes goes by, is a man caught in time. Haunted by his past of selling drugs, crime and various illegal activities, the 20-something black man is trying to cultivate a future while doing his best to stay on the correct side of what's right. But trying to stay on the righte...

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  • Indiewire
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    Lost at Sea: The Morbid Fascinations of Fishing Doc 'Leviathan'

    Nature documentaries tend to be relegated to a fixed format that conforms to National Geographic standards, but "Leviathan" violates such expectations in remarkable ways. In this interview, the filmmakers explain their unique approach.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: 'War Witch' Bewitches, 'Stoker' a Mixed Bag, 'Jack the Giant' Not Slaying Critics

    It's a good weekend for limited release films. Canada's Oscar-nominated foreign entry "War Witch," a harrowing yet poignant tale of a young Congolese girl's survival and first love, is scoring top marks with critics. Meanwhile, documentaries "Leviathan" and "A Place at the Table"...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: ‘The Last Exorcism Part II’ Is A Cruddy, Boring & Exhausting Horror

    2010’s “The Last Exorcism” was a mildly successful found-footage horror movie about a huckster exorcist (played memorably by hey-it’s-that-guy character actor Patrick Fabian) who accidentally stumbles upon an actual possession while being followed around by an amateur documentary film crew. It was a...

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