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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Review: 'Standing Aside, Watching'

    The heroine’s name is Antigone, but the myths at work in “Standing Aside, Watching,” are those of the American western, a western one whose heroine has more cojones than a dozen Gary Coopers. The film? A model of urgent, contemporary storytelling by Greek director Yorgos Servetas, with a sometimes s...

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: 'Therese,' Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Lange, Fails On Every Level

    Give a bunch of American actors -- Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Lange -- a classic Parisian text and they implausibly turn out their best British accents. There is something amiss with a period drama genre when getting the tones from the right side of the English Channel proves so diffic...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Paul Haggis' 'Third Person' With Liam Neeson, James Franco & Olivia Wilde Is Ludicrously Awful

    We're coming on a decade since Paul Haggis' "Crash" won Best Picture at the Oscars, and it's still one of the most divisive victories in recent memory. Detractors of the film are quick to point out the flaws in the L.A.-set drama, citing what they perceive to be the film's crass manipulativeness, on...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Catherine Breillat’s 'Abuse Of Weakness' Starring Isabelle Huppert

    It’s unlikely a filmmaker brought a more personal narrative project to the Toronto International Film Festival than Catherine Breillat. The “Fat Girl” and “Romance” director’s 14th film, “Abuse of Weakness,” is a strange, unsettling, and difficult-to-penetrate creation based on the most trying perio...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Kevin Macdonald’s ‘How I Live Now’ Starring Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, & George MacKay

    Note the title, “How I Live Now,” and its absence of colons, commas, or other punctuation implying further installments—it’s the first sign of the crucial immediacy to Meg Rosoff’s 2004 YA novel, now brought to the screen by “Last King of Scotland” director Kevin Macdonald. The second is impossible ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Review: Teller's Clever Art Mystery Doc 'Tim's Vermeer' Plays Like Magic (CLIP)

    “Tim’s Vermeer” is something that Mark Twain could have thought up. It applies a hard-headed empirical reality check in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison to the theory that the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer used technology (lenses) to arrive at a precision that could not have been ac...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review and Roundup: Matthew Weiner Misfires with Critically Panned 'You Are Here'

    Matthew Weiner's contemporary comedy "You Are Here," an exploration of male friendship starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, doesn't work. How could the creator of "Mad Men" so miss the mark?

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  • Animation Scoop
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    DVD Review: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow

    Who would have thought that the years-long discourse about the relative positives and negatives between CG and traditional animation would be so sharply delineated by The Smurfs? Scoff not - check out the new DVD released today. Here's our review.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Post-Apocalyptic B-Movie Mash-Up 'Bounty Killer' Starring Matthew Marsden, Christian Pitre And, Um, Gary Busey

    There needs to be a name for this genre of post-apocalyptic genre mash-ups with ironic musical cues, retro sexuality, and post-modern self-awareness because, quite frankly, there are just too damn many. Down the pike comes another one, "Bounty Killer," adapted from an obscure comic book, a market th...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him & Her' Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis & More

    You’d think that with all the sappy romantic comedies that exist, "When Harry Met Sally" and Richard Linklater’s 'Before...' series (just to name the most beloved), that relationship films have run their course and said all they’ve got to say. But then this year the Palme D’Or was awarded to a film ...

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