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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Fill the Void'

    In the ultra-orthodox world of Jerusalem, Shira is 18 and plays the accordion in a kindergarten, and her family wants her to marry. She and her mother have their eyes on a handsome young man, but things get complicated when her older sister, Esther, dies in childbirth, and Esther’s husband, solemn, bearded Yochay, the father of a new baby, becomes the next eligible man. Director Rama Burshtein, the first woman from a Hasidic background to make a feature film, views Shira’s predicament from inside a religious community. Unlike the exposures of abuse and oppression that can be found in recent documentaries about women forced by o...

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Thanks for Sharing'

    The directorial debut by "The Kids Are All Right" co-writer Stuart Blumberg, this ambitious comedy-drama about three men coping with sex addiction hits notes all the way up and down the scale. Often effective if inevitably erratic, the result finds room for everything from broad comedy to moments that strive for the darkness of "Shame," Steve McQueen’s far more severe take on the same subject. Mark Ruffalo gets the meatiest of the three central stories as Adam, a Manhattanite whose firm hold on his personal demons is tested when he falls for Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), a woman who doesn’t know about his past. ...

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    Toronto Review: Juan Antonio Bayona's 'The Impossible' Is an Intense Realization of the 2004 Tsunami at Odds With Overstated Sentimentalism

    Bringing a blockbuster vision to a large scale disaster that demands it, Juan Antonio Bayona's "The Impossible" delivers a visceral treatment of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami only hampered by the overwrought sentimentalism of the survival tale at its center.

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    TIFF Review - Shola Lynch's Sobering, Candid 'Free Angela & All Political Prisoners'

    Question: You had a pretty bourgeois and comfortable childhood, in Birmingham; and so did your sister [Angela]; can you trace the development of someone from that kind of background into a revolutionary and Marxist person?

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: 'Thanks For Sharing' The Uneven Dramedy Version Of 'Shame'

    It's safe to say that sex addiction is no longer the misunderstood step-brother to alcohol and drug addiction. Thanks to reality television, cable shows like "Californication" and last year's awards season contender "Shame," the stigma around sex addiction, of it not really being a problem or someth...

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    Toronto Review: Joss Whedon Turns Shakespeare Into an Airy Comedy With Lightweight 'Much Ado About Nothing'

    There's a certain irony to Joss Whedon's adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing": While the script culls a beloved literary achievement more than 400 years old, it has relatively uncomplicated aims.

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'The Lebanese Rocket Society'

    Before the United States went to the moon, Lebanon had a space program. OK, what’s the punchline? This prodigiously researched film reminds you that the most improbable documentaries are often inspired by facts that you can’t make up.

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Hannah Arendt'

    "Hannah Arendt" looks through a narrow window at the early 1960’s, when the German-born Jewish philosophy professor drew controversial conclusions in her 1963 New Yorker coverage of the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. Arendt concluded that Eichmann, the runaway former Nazi official whom the Israelis kidnapped in Argentina in 1960, represented the "banality of evil," the bureaucratic willingness to follow the most evil of orders. She also pointed out that Jewish leaders helped organize deportation of Jews for the Nazis. In Margarethe von Trotta’s period drama, filmed in the grey tones of the time, we see A...

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    Toronto Review: Making Light of Romantic Dysfunction, 'Silver Linings Playbook' Is David O. Russell's Funniest Film to Date

    David O. Russell's movies have always been lively affairs, but none maintain the same fluid comedic inspiration of "Silver Linings Playbook."

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF Review: Big-Hearted & Hilarious 'Silver Linings Playbook' A Touchdown From David O. Russell

    Life hasn't been too kind lately for Pat Solitano. He's just been released from a court ordered stint in a mental hospital after severly beating the man he caught cheating with his wife. Diagnosed as bipolar with mood swings, Pat has a difficult journey ahead of him but he's optimistic. With a rally...

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