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Movie Reviews

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    Review: Secrets, Revelations & An Unlikely Friendship Emerge In The Compelling 'Starlet'

    Sean Baker’s film “Starlet” wants to play a little trick on you. It’s a fun trick, and it might be more enjoyable figuring it out on your own, but it’s the most important and interesting part of the movie, so it’s hard to talk about its merits without giving it away. In fact, the main crux of the fi...

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    Review: '28 Hotel Rooms' Doesn't Get Beyond Just A Couple Of Jagoffs Having An Affair

    In movies, there is honesty, and there is truth. Forgive filmmakers for getting them confused, particularly in the post-indie world, where low-budget strategies bled into the mainstream allowing films to have an emotional immediacy and verisimilitude that soon gave way to simple re-creation of real ...

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    Review: 'The Comedy' A Compelling, Layered Look At A Hipster Adrift In Brooklyn

    "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" and Rick Alverson's "The Comedy" (starring Tim Heidecker) both played at the Sundance Film Festival, and it'd be easy to simply peg the former as your standard bizarre T&E affair and the latter as a dramatic arthouse effort. But that's simply much too reductive ...

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    Out This Week: From '28 Hotel Rooms' to 'Starlet,' 10 Reviews of New Releases

    This weekly column is intended to provide reviews of nearly every new release, including films on VOD (and in certain cases some studio releases). Specifics release dates and locations follow each review.

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    Review: David Frankham & Michael Mann's 'Witness' A Raw & Powerful Look At The Front Lines Of Photojournalism

    The news media hasn't been in good shape in the past few years, particularly when it comes to on the ground, investigative journalism. Dwindling budgets, an audience shift from newspapers and television to the internet, and some would argue a lack of drive from the media themselves to do hard re...

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    'Skyfall' Review. Bond At 50: Older, Wiser, Much Better Written

    Daniel Craig looks craggier than ever in Skyfall, which is part of the film’s sly, obvious-yet-effective theme. Without slowing down the intricate, explosive action that defines a Bond movie, director Sam Mendes and a sharper-than-usual screenplay create a story in which Bond is feeling h...

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire Picks: Surprise! It's 'Skyfall.' Plus: How To Avoid 'Starlet' Spoilers

    We knew from the first wave of "Skyfall" reviews that this film would be a positive entry into the Bond canon. Weeks later, it's the current pick of the week for this week's roundup of activity among critics in the Criticwire network.

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    Filmmakers You Should Know: Sean Baker, Artisan of American Naturalism

    No matter the scale of the production, American cinema largely reflects the conditions of a society that still has a hard time exploring its diversity. To put it simply: A lot of movies are made by white guys and revolve around white guys. American filmmaker Sean Baker is a white guy, but the four f...

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    AFI Fest Review: 'Rise of the Guardians' Is An Animated Yuletide Treat

    "Rise of the Guardians," the new DreamWorks Animation feature conceived by famed children's book author William Joyce, features, at its core, such an ingenious concept that it's hard to believe nobody's ever thought of it before. The plot concerns a kind of "Avengers"-style super-team made up of bel...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'Your Sister's Sister,' Lost in the Oscar Shuffle

    As much as I enjoy awards chatter, this time of year can be frustrating. Spring, summer, even early fall releases that merit attention melt away before the campaigns of the heavy hitters. Lynn Shelton's lovely character study "Your Sister's Sister" won't factor in the Oscar race, and maybe it doesn'...

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