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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Don't Miss Feminist Music Doc '20 Feet from Stardom'

    The irresistible, affecting, crowd-pleasing "20 Feet from Stardom," about largely anonymous and prodigiously talented backup singers, premiered at Sundance in January, where it was nominated for both the Grand Jury Prize in documentary and the editing award, and was acquired by Weinstein Co. boutiqu...

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    'Precious' Author Geoffrey Fletcher Talks Eccentric Girl-Assassin Debut 'Violet & Daisy,' Starring Ronan and Bledel

    “Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire” was Geoffrey Fletcher’s first professionally produced script. “The irony,” he said back in 2009, “is that I feel like I’m a veteran at the same time.” After all, he was directing homemade, stop-motion thrillers -- starring his toys -- when he was 14. A...

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    Weekend Preview: Delightful 'Much Ado About Nothing,' Unfunny 'Internship' and More

    Joss Whedon's jazzy, black-and-white version of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" is going down smooth as silk with reviewers. The film, which Whedon shot at his Santa Monica home in a 12-day period before "Avengers" post-production began, is easily the critical winner for the weekend.

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  • Indiewire
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    Here Are the New Indies (Hopefully) Playing In a Theater Near You: 'Much Ado About Nothing,' 'Violet & Daisy' and More

    The lull in Hollywood summer tentpoles opening this weekend means now's great time to catch an indie. With the much anticipated new take on "Much Ado About Nothing" that Joss Whedon shot at his own home over 12 days, the first adaptation of a Judy Blume novel, and two teens gone wild in "Violet & Da...

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    Review: 'Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie' Charts the Rise and Fall of One of TV's Most Controversial Figures

    When he was a teenager in Edison, N.J., Daniel Miller’s friends used to pile into cars and go to tapings of the incendiary “Morton Downey Jr. Show,” reporting back on developments “to our utter glee.” Miller never went himself, but he was a regular viewer of the seminal trash-TV talk show host and n...

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    Review: Marijuana Legalization Doc 'Evergreen' Lights Up Seattle Crowd

    At the premiere, massive applause and cheers greeted virtually every emphatic statement in favor of the measure. A curious herbal scene was detectable in the aisles. For the moment, "Evergreen" was a victory lap.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'World War Z' Starring Brad Pitt

    "World War Z" was always going to be a difficult nut to crack. The book of the same name, by son-of-Mel Max Brooks, was a bestseller a few years back, and a somewhat atypical one; a brainy, grim faux oral history of a zombie apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population. It made enough of...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: 'Free China': A Struggle For the Future of China's Soul

    Michael Perlman's new documentary "Free China: The Courage to Believe" which opens Friday in New York City for a week-long run, is a brave, upsetting, unabashedly political film that examines the dissonances between China's remarkable economic rise and its appalling human rights record. But for Per...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Alain Resnais' 'You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!'

    Alain Resnais is no stranger to the absurd. For over fifty years, his films—beginning with “Hiroshima, Mon Amour,” have asked questions through their oblique narratives about the way we think about story, performance, and cinema. But such a serious statement also obscures the pure delight it is to g...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: 'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer' One of the Most Important Documentaries of the Year

    “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” may well be the most important doc of the year, despite the fact that its directors never quite get to the point of what the alleged “crimes” were all about: Namely, Vladimir Putin’s co-opting of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the church’s Stockholm Syndrome approach to...

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