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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Revew: 'English Vinglish'

    While the Toronto International Film Festival's City-to-City strand has focussed on Mumbai’s new wave of subversive independent filmmakers, the Gala section of TIFF has opted for standard Bollywood fare with this light-hearted comedy.  Most of the action takes place in New York and features a band of English language students hailing from Africa, India, Mexico, France and China. Bollywood fans will be delighted with the news that the very watchable Indian actress Sridevi has come out of retirement to play a mother-of-two growing increasingly frustrated with life as a housewife in Pune, India. The Manhattan wedding of a niece...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'The Patience Stone'

    Too much like watching a filmed stage play for its own good, "The Patience Stone" is a flawed attempt to discuss the position of women in the Islamic world. Afghani born director Atiq Rahimi has adapted his own book for screen, just as he did with his previous outing in the director’s chair "Earth and Ashes" (2004). Although punctuated with a few flashbacks, Rahimi relies on beautiful Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani to carry the picture as she delivers a monologue to her comatose husband, revealing her deepest, darkest secrets, including infidelity. Bordering on madness herself, Rahimi’s attempt to descr...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: Snoop Dogg's 'Reincarnated'

    Snoop Dogg likes weed. That was common knowledge long before the alternative youth culture magazine Vice asked its global editor Brit Andy Capper to take his camera to Jamaica and show Snoop foraging down hills in search of a perfect high. It’s only after the 20-minute haze of smoke has settled that a story of any interest emerges in this authorised biopic. Snoop is ostensibly on the island to make a reggae album. Recording songs with Bunny Wailer, Snoop shows his skills as a musician while embracing Rastafarianism. It’s the former Wailer that tells Snoop that he should be renamed "Snoop Lion." On breaks from record...

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    Critic's Notebook: Does Toronto Need a Shrinking Pill? Highlights From the 2012 Edition

    No matter how closely you follow the buzz from the Toronto International Film Festival each year, chances are strong that you only get one piece of a very long equation. With nearly 300 features in its program, the festival is overwhelmingly dense, particularly during its first weekend. Even the mos...

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Tommy Lee Jones Shines In Otherwise Serviceable, Flawed 'Emperor'

    "We must be seen as liberators, not conquerors," Tommy Lee Jones' crusty General MacArthur says in the opening moments of "Emperor," and that line of dialogue is about as thematically rich as the film gets. A modestly budgeted, respectfully executed post-WWII drama, the film ...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Lunarcy!'

    It’s rare that you see the style and sensibilities of a documentarian align so perfectly with his or her subjects the way they do in Simon Ennis’ "Lunarcy!” Following several comedic shorts and one feature, Ennis was originally going to make his first documentary about the generally fluctuating interest in lunar colonization before deciding to zero in on a few keeners. Each interviewee has a unique relationship with the Moon (one even claims ownership), but it’s quickly established that the film’s real star is the quixotic Christopher Carson, a young man who is determined to be the Moon’s first perm...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Snowman's Land' A Mildly Entertaining Hitman Farce

    It’s the folksy guitar score that early on reveals that the poker face of Tomasz Thomson’s “Snowman’s Land” is a put-on. First, it’s the twinkly strumming over scenes of muted violence, and then monotonous boredom, that reveals that “Snowman’s Land” wants you to like it, it wants you to consider tha...

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    TIFF Review: Penn Badgley Is Solid In Otherwise Uneven 'Greetings From Tim Buckley'

    While the film might not be quite as sweet and heady as drinking a glass of lilac wine, Penn Badgley's performance in "Greetings From Tim Buckley" does justice to the late Jeff Buckley, while also revealing that the "Gossip Girl" star has quite a few more talents than he'...

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    Toronto Review: Kim Ki-duk's 'Pieta' Is Not Your Average Crime Movie

    "Pieta," a curiously engaging and wickedly twisted tale of crime and punishment on multiple levels, displays its theatrical minimalism like a dour badge of honor.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Cloud Atlas' Review and Roundup: And Now for Something Completely Different

    One Toronto movie met mixed response but was a delirious joyride for me: "Cloud Atlas." Truth is, except for the flat "V for Vendetta" and the final pixel-fucked "Matrix" movie, I've admired all of the Wachowskis' output, even "Speed Racer." These filmmakers have it all: strong writing chops, an ins...

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