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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' Starring Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer & James Franco

    Cinema's just about old enough at this point that we've seen a few three-generation acting dynasties—the Fondas, the Hustons, the Barrymores. But if there's a family that's produced three generations of directors, they're certainly escaping us right now. But enter Gia Coppola. The 26-year-old is, as...

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    Telluride Film Festival Review: An Inventor Learns to Paint, But Is It Art? Exploring 'Tim's Vermeer'

    Penn & Teller are generally known for their magic tricks and prankish energy, but "Tim's Vermeer" -- a documentary directed by Teller and produced by Penn Jillette -- stands apart from the rest of their oeuvre. A spirited look at the quest of an eccentric entrepreneur intent on uncovering the crypti...

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    Venice Film Festival Review: Agnès b.'s Directorial Debut "Je m’appelle…Hmmm" Fails to Impress

    Agnès b. owns a film theater in Hong Kong, produces films such as "Spring Breakers," dabbles in the world of film festival partnerships and maintains a line of clothing called "On aime le cinéma." But that's not enough for the fashion designer to prove with her debut feature "Je m’appelle…Hmmm" that...

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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Is Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' A New Kind of Cinema?

    There's an implicit irony to the title of "Gravity," director Alfonso Cuarón's lost-in-space odyssey, because gravity rarely enters into the equation. Almost entirely shot in a stunningly realistic but entirely digital representation of space, the movie might be the most spectacular two-hander of al...

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride Review: 'The Invisible Woman' Starring Ralph Fiennes & Felicity Jones

    Charles Dickens and his comely, considerably younger mistress have a dickens of a time getting their adulterous act together in “The Invisible Woman,” a directing as well as starring turn for Ralph Fiennes. He’s rarely been better than he is as the 19th century’s most celebrated novelist, with his c...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: JFK Drama 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton & Jacki Weaver

    Ever since "PT 109," which detailed his WWII war record and was released while he was still in office, President John F. Kennedy has been catnip to Hollywood. After all, he was good looking, charismatic, had a dark secret life of womanising, among other things, and of course, was assassinated three ...

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    Venice Review: Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises'

    This year's Venice Film Festival has already seen a number of filmmakers push outside their comfort zone. Alfonso Cuarón made a 3D blockbuster set entirely in zero gravity. Kelly Reichardt made a thriller. Stephen Frears made a good movie. But no departure has been greater from a filmmaker than the ...

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    Venice Film Festival 2013 Review: Flat 'Parkland' Revisits JFK Assassination

    A seminal event in America's recent past - the assassination of JFK - is reconstructed in writer-director Peter Landesman's competently made but one-dimensional dramatization, using a hefty ensemble cast that includes Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden.

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    Telluride Film Festival Review: 'Starred Up' Is a Moving Father-Son Drama Masquerading as a Brutal Prison Exposé

    Prison dramas tend to invite the expectations of intense, dangerous scenarios filled with violent confrontations and vulgar spats. British director David Mackenzie's gradually affecting "Starred Up" has all those ingredients but uses them for more precise means that merely revealing the harsh nature...

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