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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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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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  • Indiewire
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Ira Sachs' ‘Love Is Strange’ Is A Brilliantly Performed Romance That’s Always Real

    Directed by Ira Sachs ("Keep the Lights On," "Married Life"), "Love Is Strange" depicts a New York love affair whose depth of feeling is only matched by the length of its duration. George (Alfred Molina) and Ben (John Lithgow) have been together for 39 years, and as the film begins, they’re fussing ...

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