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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review Roundup: 'Killing Them Softly' Is Formally Stunning, Well-Acted, and Heavy-Handed

    Down Under director Andrew Dominik's politically pessimistic crime drama "Killing Them Softly" hits theaters this weekend, starring Brad Pitt as a numbed hitman in an atrophied, Recession-roiled America. Critics are of two minds about the film: On the one hand, it shows masterful visua...

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  • Indiewire
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    Out This Week: 8 Reviews Of New Releases, From 'Addicted to Fame' to 'Universal Soldier'

    This weekly column is intended to provide reviews of nearly every new indie release (and in certain cases studio films), including some VOD titles. Specific release dates and locations follow each review.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Don't Mess with Granny in Finnish Oscar Entry 'Purge'

    Antti J. Jokinen’s  “Purge,” Finland’s official Oscar entry, is based on the widely translated novel and play of the same title by Estonian-Finnish author Sofi Oksanen. The film alternates between two different yet interconnected stories set in rural Estonia: a young pro...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning' Combines Art House Intentions & Strong Action In A Franchise Return To Form

    The first “Universal Soldier,” a tacky studio star vehicle that introduced us to director Roland Emmerich, debuted to the public as a Clinton-era signifier. It featured two resurrected soldiers eternally at war, products of a system that would allow them to kill and kill again over the years, brough...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'New Jerusalem' A Hypnotic Film Experience About Friendship And Religion

    Despite a rather large and enthusiastic critical embrace of American neo-neo realism ("Wendy and Lucy," "Goodbye Solo," "Ballast," and a few others), there haven't been many (if any) new players entering the field. By contrast, mumblecore micro-indies are cropping u...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Beware Of Mr. Baker' Is A Rollicking, Dangerous & Ultimately Transcendent Ride With Cream Drummer Ginger Baker

    This year’s SXSW had a few strong themes running throughout its selections. In the documentary category, this was seen in the numerous films about '70s rock icons such as “Paul Williams: Still Alive,” “Marley,” the preview of “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me,&rd...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Brilliant & Angry 'Killing Them Softly' Is The Anti-Thriller For Our Times

    "What is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect," Barack Obama said at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. And that section ...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    ADIFF 2012: Reflections On Juan Andrés Arango's Quietly Absorbing 'La Playa D.C.'

    The 20th annual African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), here in New York City, kicked off  its 2012 edition (also its 20th anniversary, a milestone year), last Friday, November 23rd, and continues through December 11th.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'Heaven's Gate,' Catastrophe or Classic?

    Once reviled, Michael Cimino's controversial "Heaven's Gate" (1980) may remain — despite the Criterion Collection's effort to resuscitate it — a cautionary tale of directorial hubris, Hollywood excess, and wayward ambition. The real moral of the film, however, is far simpler: "Heaven's Gate" is an o...

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  • Indiewire
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    Why 'Zero Dark Thirty' Is the Masterpiece of 9/11 Cinema We've Been Waiting For

    Given the chance to give her story a happy ending, Bigelow smartly blankets it in shades of ambiguity. "Zero Dark Thirty" tracks a full range of emotions associated with the proverbial war on terror, from the naivete of its earliest stirrings to the spirit of vengeance that gave its apparent victory...

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