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Movie Reviews

  • Criticwire
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    'The Butler,' 'In a world...,' and Cultural Politics

    Lee Daniels' melodrama and Lake Bell's romantic comedy turn disrespected genres to smartly political ends.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    This Weekend: See 'Cutie and the Boxer,' 'Lee Daniels' The Butler,' 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'; Skip 'Jobs' and 'Kick-Ass 2'

    Be on the lookout for a few can't-miss films this weekend. Zachary Heinzerling's Sundance documentary "Cutie and the Boxer," on famed Japenese artist couple Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, is receiving rave reviews for its humorous yet unsentimental portrayal of the creative passion that still burns lat...

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  • Indiewire
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    Locarno Film Festival Review: Is 'Wetlands' the Most Disgusting Coming of Age Movie Of All Time?

    The first words to appear onscreen in “Wetlands,” director David Wnendt’s cheerfully profane adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s German-language bestseller, immediately engage with its controversy. "This book shouldn’t be adapted to a film," reads a quote from a letter to the editor.

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  • The Playlist
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    Rooftop Films Review: Porn & Environmentalism Meet In Documentary 'Fuck For Forest'

    Leona and Tommy, a young Norwegian couple, were upset by the amount of war and destruction of the earth they saw on the news, so they decided to put their best talents to work in order to save the environment. Embodying the motto, "do the best you can with what you've got," Leona and Tommy set about...

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  • Criticwire
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    Blurred Lines: Claire Simon's 'Gare du Nord' and 'Human Geography' Challenge the Boundaries Between Fiction and Doc

    How appropriate it is that Claire Simon's complementary pair of pictures, the narrative Gare du Nord and the documentary Human Geography, should take place at the train station that lends the former its name. Railways have occupied a pride of place in cinema since its birth: We all know, of course, ...

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  • Criticwire
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    More Than 'Honey': Has the Swiss Documentary Renaissance Peaked?

    Imagine not only trying to do a documentary on beekeeping around the world, but also trying to fascinate audiences with that most uninviting of subject matters. The more cautious among us would surely walk away from such a daunting project. Yet in 2012, swiss director Marcus Imhoof bravely accepted ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Kick-Ass 2' Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & More

    The pressure of insurmountable expectations from established predecessors hangs over “Kick-Ass 2,” seen in the characters of Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Teenage Mindy trains to push herself as costumed crimefighter Hit-Girl, visibly seeking appro...

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  • Indiewire
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    Locarno Film Festival Review: Stunning Documentary 'Manakamana' Is the Must-See Cinematic Experience of the Year

    The camera-wielding researchers at Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, an eccentric team responsible for experimental documentaries like last year's groundbreaking fishing-boat portrait "Leviathan" and the shepherd-focused "Sweetgrass," typically refuse to identify as "filmmakers" in the traditional ...

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  • Criticwire
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    Short Term, Longwave: Coming of Age in Locarno

    Destin Cretton's Short Term 12 and Lionel Baier's Les Grandes Ondes (a L'ouest) (English title: Longwave), screened on the same day at the 66th Locarno Film Festival, underway right now. First glances may imply that the two share little in common, with the former an unflinching American indie drama ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Locarno Film Festival Review: Dracula Meets Casanova In Albert Serra's Bizarrely Fascinating 'The Story of My Death'

    The title of Spanish director Albert Serra's four feature, "The Story of My Death," presents a sardonic riff on 18th century Italian Renaissance man Giacomo Casanova. His memoir, "Story of My Life," recounts his lively travels across Europe and encounters with fellow luminaries of his era like Volta...

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