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Movie Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    The Paperboy—movie review

    I suppose we all like a taste of Southern-gothic storytelling now and then, so I was ready to enjoy The Paperboy based on what little I’d heard ahead of time. And yes, Nicole Kidman’s unflinchingly flashy performance—in a parade of brightly colored miniskirts—is an attention-...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Frankenweenie—movie review

    Tim Burton has returned to familiar turf in 'Frankenweenie'. That will come as good news to some fans and bad news to others, who may feel that he’s gone to the same well once too often. I enjoyed this feature-length remake of his 1984 short, even though the seams show.

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    Beauty Is Embarrassing—movie review

    Here is another documentary I’ve only recently managed to see, somewhat late in the game. Fortunately, 'Beauty is Embarrassing' is still playing in theaters and touring the film festival circuit, so adding my kudos to the praise it’s already received isn’t simply academic. Wayne White may not be a h...

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    Searching For Sugar Man—movie review

    I know I’m late to the party, but I only recently caught up with 'Searching for Sugar Man', which debuted to great acclaim at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and has built a steady following ever since. Its protagonist is even being profiled on '60 Minutes' this Sunday.

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  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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    MORE: V/H/S, Review
  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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  • The Playlist
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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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