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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Real Life Heroes Save The World In The Enthralling 'E-Team'

    "In darkness, abuse takes place," declares Fred Abrahams, one of the members of the Emergency Team (aka E-Team), part of the Human Rights Watch group, whose mission is to investigate and report on crimes committed against the civilian population of war-torn countries and other places where the oppre...

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    Sundance Review: Attention Belle & Sebastian Fans, 'God Help the Girl' Offers an Inside Look Inside the Mind of a Music Legend

    Glasgow-based indie pop band Belle & Sebastian may very well enjoy one of the most devoted followings on the indie pop scene, with a new album that emerges about every two years hardly satiating the constant anticipation from the Pitchfork set. Well, there’s a lot of Belle & Sebastian in frontman St...

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    Sundance Review: Rinko Kikuchi Is Stunning As Alienated 'Fargo' Superfan In the Zellner Bros.' Strangely Transfixing 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter'

    Austin-based sibling directors David and Nathan Zellner have been cranking out offbeat, surrealist comedy features and shorts that have gained a minor cult following on the film festival circuit for over a decade, but the profoundly engaging "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" successfully broadens their ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Documentary 'Sepideh' An Inspiring Observation Of One Young Woman's Otherworldly Dreams

    There seems to be a minor theme emerging in certain circles of documentary filmmaking recently, of women making films about young girls doing remarkable things (maybe this is just because I just reviewed “Maidentrip,” but clearly it’s on the brain in one way or another). This is a good thing. The st...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Heartbreaking ‘Web Junkie’ A Look At The Chinese Health Crisis Of Internet Addiction

    The opening moments of “Web Junkies” are bewildering and surreal: we see a bunch of young Chinese boys stomping around what appear to be military barracks. A title card says that this is the Daxing Boot Camp, in a suburb of Beijing. The camera focuses in on one young boy, still in his room, looking ...

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    Sundance Review: Adam Wingard's 'The Guest' Is A Thriller Throwback That's A Damn Good Time

    We open on a man jogging, glimpsing him only from behind. Though we can’t see his face, we can see he jogs with purpose. Then, a title card slams down over a blaring synth with '70s “The Exorcist”-style lettering, and moments later we fade in on a field with a scarecrow wearing a gigantic pumpkin he...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Mike Cahill's Heady, Deeply Moving ‘I Origins’ Starring Michael Pitt & Brit Marling

    2011, the year of actress Brit Marling, also introduced the world of cinema to two promising filmmakers: “The Sound Of My Voice” director Zal Batmanglij and “Another Earth” filmmaker Mike Cahill. Marling starred and co-wrote both heady and high concept indie efforts and her rocket soon took off. Fox...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review: Steve James' Roger Ebert Documentary 'Life Itself'

    Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I have just now been able to view a downstream of Life Itself – Steve James’ extraordinary documentary about the late, great Roger Ebert – at the same time the film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Happy Christmas' Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey & Lena Dunham

    As perhaps the poster boy for independent cinema in the last seven to eight years, it’s crazy to realize that lo-fi filmmaker Joe Swanberg has never been in competition at the Sundance Film Festival before. While two of his films have played in Park City previously (though one was a short segment in...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Richard Linklater’s Ambitious ‘Boyhood’ Starring Ethan Hawke & Patricia Arquette

    Last night in Park City, director Richard Linklater made cinematic history with the groundbreaking “Boyhood,” a time capsule-like exploration of childhood and family shot over the course of 12 years. And it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before, though the closest analogue might be the ambitious “Up ...

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