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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    L.A. Film Fest: Jean-Pierre Melville's Restored 'Two Men in Manhattan' Illustrates Why We're Overdue For a Melville Retrospective

    French director Jean-Pierre Melville was one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, but his reputation in the United States has always suffered. That's partly due to bad timing: While Melville's taut, stylized film noir technique inspired the French New Wave in the late fifties, the legacies ...

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  • Animation Scoop
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    REVIEW: "Monsters University"

    Director Dan Scanlon and his crew do a great job of spoofing campus life in this follow-up to Monsters Incorporated. If much of the story is predictable - a kind of Revenge of the Nerds with extra eyes, heads, tentacles and fur - it’s still a lot of fun.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Unfinished Song' Starring Gemma Arterton, Terence Stamp & Vanessa Redgrave

    There is a certain strain of mid-budgeted British comedy -- films like "Calendar Girls," "Made In Dagenham," "Greenfingers," "The Full Monty" etc. -- that generally tends to find an audience on both sides of the ocean, makes a modest profit, and then lands on specialty cable where it lives on in rer...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Four Dogs' Is A Refreshingly Real & Funny Take on Hollywood & Friendship

    The debut directorial feature from Joe Burke, “Four Dogs,” could be aptly subtitled, “Down and Out in Hollywood,” as it centers Oliver (Oliver Cooper), on a struggling actor, and his acting class buddy, Dan (Dan Bakkedahl). But in actuality, the Hollywood struggle story is really only a surface conc...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'A Hijacking' Is A Detailed, Gripping & Powerful High-Seas Hostage Tale

    As exciting as it can be to be part of the audience at the first public screening of an eagerly anticipated film – the new Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, the new Rian Johnson or David O. Russell – perhaps the purest pleasure that can be found is that of a new discovery. Picking something t...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review and Roundup: Stakes are High on Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' UPDATE

    The stakes have never been higher for the Hollywood studios as Paramount finally releases Brad Pitt and Marc Forster's beleaguered $200 million zombiepocalypse epic "World War Z" (June 21). Critics are divided (see below). Yes, "World War Z" is a zombie movie. And we have no idea if Paramount will m...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Maniac' Remake Starring Elijah Wood

    Of course Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, the dirtbag auteurs that turned Joe Dante's gleeful "Jaws" send up "Piranha" into "Piranha 3D," a hilarious, excessively violent screed about American over-indulgence, would spearhead a remake of 1980's "Maniac," a notoriously misogynistic Bill Lustig h...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Mother, I Love You' Is A Fine Addition To The Canon Of Latvian Cinema

    Not many films get made in Latvia every year, so the chance to see one is a rarity and with a film like “Mother, I Love You” (“Mammu, es Tevi milu”), it’s also a treat. Directed by Janis Nords, the film tells a fairly simple story in a very sophisticated way, proving the too-often forgotten truth th...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Bert And Arnie’s Guide To Friendship' A Slight But Winning Romantic Comedy With Four Solid Performances

    Remember these names: Matt Oberg, Stephen Schneider, Anna Chlumksy (if you grew up in the nineties, you already know her), and Cristin Milioti. They are the stars of the horribly titled “Bert and Arnie’s Guide To Friendship,” a new indie that is a bit slight, often funny, mostly likable, and importa...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: Documentary 'Our Nixon' An Illuminating & Hilarious Look At The Former President

    The documentary "Our Nixon" by Penny Lane serves as a bit of a complication to the popular narrative of Richard Nixon as our most scandalized and scheming of Presidents. While it doesn't seek to alter the this narrative, it does attempt to add another layer to the story, a perspective offered by tho...

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