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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'Enlightened,' HBO's Masterpiece of Heartbreak

    "Enlightened" opens with Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) gag-sobbing in a bathroom stall, mascara streaking down her cheeks in mournful black rivulets. Like the rest of Season 1 of HBO's masterpiece, which returns for Season 2 on Sunday at 9:30, it isn't all that funny. But to call "Enlightened" simply a ...

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    'Gangster Squad' Early Reviews: Action-Packed and Over-The-Top, Movie Stars Playing Cops and Gangsters

    Ruben Fleischer, director of "Zombieland," "30 Minutes or Less" and now "Gangster Squad," is facing some less-than-stellar early reviews for his would-be-noir thriller about the LAPD vs. gangster Mickey Cohen in 1940s Los Angeles, based on Paul Lieberman's book of the same name..

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Gangster Squad' An Aggressive, Opulent & Ultimately Wearisome Look At 1940s Los Angeles

    Manifest Destiny lies beside its essential hubris in the period actioner “Gangster Squad,” but beyond the swaggering idealism seen through eponymous hoodlum Mickey Cohen (played by Sean Penn), the film's saturated grab bag of glossy homage proves its final shortcoming. With his third feature, “Zombi...

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    Palm Springs Festival Review: Oscar Shortlisted 'Sister' Spins a Bleak, Poignant Fairytale Up and Down the Mountain

    Ursula Meier’s “Sister,” Switzerland’s shortlisted Oscar entry, centers on a young woman and boy struggling to live in a drab, unnamed Swiss valley town, while a glittering mountain resort presides above them. The original title of the film, “L’enfant d’en haut” (roughly translating to “The Child fr...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    National Society of Film Critics Goes with 'Amour'

    Always the last of the major film critics groups to weigh in, usually after the new year, the National Society of Film Critics has made its picks for 2012, led by much-lauded multiple winner "Amour."

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Australian Thriller 'Crawlspace' Checks Off All The Genre Boxes

    Today’s genre filmmakers seem to approach filmmaking as if they’re making a stew. Despite the freedom the science-fiction, action and horror genres give them, they continually return to the well of what’s been successful, borrowing recognizable concepts and ideas to work as a shorthand: you know how...

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    Weekend Preview: Apted's '56 Up' and 'The Impossible' Best Bets, 'Promised Land' Leaves Critics Divided

    This weekend sees the wide releases of J.A. Bayona's well-received, heart-tugging tsunami drama "The Impossible," starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and of Gus Van Sant's divisive fracking drama "Promised Land," starring co-screenwriters Matt Damon and John Krasinski.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Earnest & Well-Intentioned ‘Promised Land’ Doesn’t Quite Convince

    If the narrative of the modern-day salesman in fiction is that of a man who believes in his business but finds his faith shaken once the white lies of his trade begin to grow, a man who loses his moral compass and finds himself along the way, then “Promised Land" doesn’t stray far from that mold. An...

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  • Indiewire
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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Texas Chainsaw 3D' Is Flatter Than Texas Roadkill

    Carl Mazzocone, the producer of the new horror remake/sequel "Texas Chainsaw 3D" (yes, the word "Massacre" isn't even part of the title – more on that in a minute), a former executive who oversaw the lucrative "Saw" series, has made it a point of saying how this is a true follow-up to Tobe Hooper's ...

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