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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Review: John Carney's 'Can a Song Save Your Life?'

    How about we call it “Twice”? Director John Carney so desperately wants to recreate the success of “Once” with his latest pop-musical fairy tale, “Can a Song Save Your Life?,” that it’s almost embarrassing, even if there are a number of good things to say about it. Enough good things, in fact, that ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: Eli Roth Brings Shock, But Few Surprises, to Gross-out Cannibal Tribute 'The Green Inferno'

    For horror fans, Eli Roth and cannibal movies both bring a set of expectations that are met by "The Green Inferno," modern shockmeister Roth's first feature since 2007's "Hostel II." The cannibal genre that came and went in the seventies and eighties was known less for the quality of filmmaking than...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Enemy’ Starring Jake Gyllenhaal Is A Haunting Look At Our Dark Desires

    At the risk of blatantly repeating ourselves, Jake Gyllenhaal and director Denis Villeneuve are on the cusp of a banner 2013 that is about to hit its crest. Their first-unveiled collaboration, the harrowing, Fincher-with-more-emotional-resonance crime thriller “Prisoners” has already bruised audienc...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Richard Ayoade's Daring 'The Double' Starring Jesse Eisenberg & Mia Wasikowska

    When Richard Ayoade arrived in 2010 with his charming tale of adolescence and young romance with the stylish "Submarine," the picture was immediately greeted with rather reductive comparisons to Wes Anderson. It was an unfair assessment levelled at the movie and filmmaker—even from those who champio...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' Starring Zach Galifianakis & Owen Wilson

    Matthew Weiner’s “You Are Here” is the worst “Mad Men”-related disaster since Sally Draper walked in on her father and Linda Cardellini going at it last season. And that was pretty bad, especially since Sally has already barged in on several passionate trysts—happily, not always involving her old ma...

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice Review: Golden Lion Winner 'Sacro GRA'

    It's a good thing that "Sacro GRA" won the Golden Lion, the Venice Film Festival, yesterday (making it the first documentary to win the top prize in the 70-year history of the festival). Because, quite frankly, it's just about the only reason you'd come to read this review. Its director, Gianfranco...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Toronto International Film Festival: Thom Powers Talks Docs

    "There aren't two hundred good movies every year," a friend reminds me, en route to Toronto. When I assemble my collection of 464-page catalogue, 92-page Official Film schedule, and 40-page Press and Industry Screening Schedule, I am (officially) overwhelmed. Especially when I try to start collatin...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TIFF Review: Gandolfini's Farewell Performance in Holofcener's 'Enough Said'

    The departure of James Gandolfini will never seem as poignantly premature as it does during “Enough Said,” Nicole Holofcener’s lovely heartbreak of a comedy starring the late actor and Julia Louis Dreyfus, as late-inning love interests. Holofcener’s latest rumination on modern manners would be tart ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Toronto Review: Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska Turn Dostoyevsky Into a Bureaucratic Nightmare For Richard Ayoade's Dystopian Treat 'The Double'

    "The Double" is based on a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but there's a lot more than the sensibilities of the Russian literary giant hanging over this grimly amusing picture. British director and comedian Richard Ayoade's follow-up to his stylized coming-of-age tale "Submarine," the abstract dr...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Götz Spielmann’s 'October November' Is A Disappointing Follow-Up To His Great 'Revanche'

    Götz Spielmann’s “October November” might be the quietest drama of 2013, an intimate, somber study of one family’s unsaid truths. It is also, however, a film that leaves little impression, making it a step backwards—or, at the very least, sideways—for the director of the stunning “Revanche.” Spielma...

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