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Movie Reviews

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    Review: 'Taken 2' Promises The Same Plate, Less Flavor, Smaller Servings

    There’s diminishing returns, and then there’s “Taken 2,” the next, and probably last installment of the “Taken” franchise. Of course, it’s a piece of a whole, only the latest in the body of work from producer Luc Besson (again sharing screenwriting duties wi...

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    Review: 'V/H/S' A Solidly Delivered Horror Anthology That Brings The Thrills

    When compared to the pristine picture quality of Blu-ray, the VHS format is a decrepit, grungy thing, so how better to make an anthology of grimy spook stories than to embrace that aesthetic all-around, as "V/H/S" does? Made up of six found-footage style segments – few of which actua...

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    Review: 'Butter' Tries To Carve Up Edgy Laughs But Goes Soft By The End

    A political satire set in the competitive world of butter-carving at the Iowa State Fair, the script for "Butter" was so ballyhooed and praised that it wound up on The Black List, the annual underground buzz list of unproduced screenplays based on a straw poll of agents, development execut...

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    Review: 'The Oranges' Is Dated, Schtick-Reliant Suburban Satire

    There’s another era that would have welcomed the chaste suburban sex comedy “The Oranges.” In an earlier time, this mock-revealing story of two families coming apart due to infidelity would have seemed appalling, transgressive. Perhaps as a low-heat exploitation picture threatening to expose the cha...

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    Hamptons Film Fest Review: 'Decoding Deepak' Is A Warm & Fuzzy (But Not Exactly Illuminating) Look At A Beloved Guru

    The first few moments of the mercifully brief "Decoding Deepak" (it runs a scant 74 minutes) promise something intriguing. In the opening few scenes, the movie teases a look at Deepak Chopra, the spiritual advisor and self-help guru who has written something like sixty books and helped lead the rich...

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    NYFF Review: 'Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries And Mentors Of Ricky Jay' Is A Deeply Magical Biography of the Illusionist

    Nowadays, with the abundance and popularity of fantasy literature and cinema, when someone says "magic," they immediately conjure images of entrenched warlocks and fire-breathing dragons. The art and performance of practical magic – things like card tricks and making stuff disappear – has faded into...

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    Out This Week: 9 Reviews Of New Releases, From 'Butter' to 'V/H/S'

    This weekly column is intended to provide reviews of nearly every new indie release (and, in certain cases, studio films). Specific release dates and locations follow each review.

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    'The Paperboy': Nicole, Zac and Alligators

    On screen in The Paperboy and on stage at the New York Film Festival press conference afterwards, Nicole Kidman seemed – and this is compliment though it may not sound like one—less plastic than she has in the recent past. She is fearless and pretty convincing in the film. If she lo...

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    Review: 'Sister' Is A Beautifully Bleak Coming-Of-Age Story

    A young child is dressing in a bathroom stall. We can’t tell what he looks like, as he layers on shapeless winter clothing and a neoprene mask hides all discernible features save for a pair of bright, knowing eyes. He goes through the pre-ski ritual, bundling up before braving the windy, snowy lands...

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    Review: 'Wuthering Heights' Is A Superb, Groundbreaking Adaptation Of The Classic Tale

    One of the most exciting talents to emerge out of the U.K. in the last decade or so is Andrea Arnold. The former television presenter won an Oscar for her short film "Wasp" in 2005, and made her feature debut the following year with the powerful, gritty thriller "Red Road." 2009 saw her follow it up...

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