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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    SXSW Review: Bryan Poyser's Austin Love Letter 'The Bounceback' A Sweet, Competent Antidote to Studio Romcoms

    Austin-based filmmaker Bryan Poyser's first two features, "Dear Pillow" and "Lovers of Hate," explored relationship problems by dealing in unconventionally frank ways with sex. Working on a microbudget scale, the movies had little in common with larger and considerably tamer comedy-dramas about simi...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW Review: 'Evil Dead' Is A Grim, Humorless, Ultraviolent Update Of A Horror Classic

    When the "Evil Dead" remake was first announced, everyone pretty much assumed that it was going to suck. This was something that star/producer Bruce Campbell acknowledged during the Q&A at last night's SXSW World Premiere. But after years of being assaulted with fan questions about a fourth installm...

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  • Indiewire
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    SXSW Review: Grotesque Social Satire 'Cheap Thrills' Suggests 'Jackass' Meets Michael Haneke

    Savagely assaulting the desperation of a blue collar family man, the comedic thriller "Cheap Thrills" establishes a ridiculous premise early on and takes it to various extremes, again and again, until you just have to accept the crazy venture on its own terms or simply give up. That's also the situa...

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  • Indiewire
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    SXSW Review: Why Fede Alvarez's 'Evil Dead' Remake Can't Match the Fun of the Originals

    The first two entries in Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" trilogy -- released in 1981 and 1987, respectively -- delivered such delightfully inventive takes on the horror genre that no remake could possibly match their originality. Respectably enough, with his snazzy redressing of the first movie, director Fe...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    11

    SXSW Opens with Raucous 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'

    The SXSW Film Festival's opening night has been the terrain of celebrity-infused audience-pleasers from "Kick-Ass" to "The Cabin In the Woods" and this year played to a seemingly winning formula. Friday evening, Jim Carrey, Steve Carell and Olivia Wilde took to the stage at the Paramount Theater in ...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW Review: Dated, Deeply Unfunny 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' Can't Conjure Comedy Magic

    There are some movies that seem hopelessly outdated, either because of their subject matter or filmmaking style (or both), and they're usually marked by having the unfortunate luck of cashing in on some zeitgeist-capturing craze or cultural moment slightly past its expiration date. But "The Incredib...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: From Artful 'Beyond the Hills' to Mainstream 'Oz'

    Cristian Mungiu's brilliantly slow-to-burn "Beyond the Hills" (which people might start referring to as "the Romanian exorcism movie") opens this weekend, with critics appropriately impressed with the Cannes winner; leads Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan both won Best Actress at the fest last May...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' A Surprisingly Ambitious Deadpan Charmer

    Bob Byington’s "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is about a guy who doesn’t grow up. In fact, he doesn’t even age over the film’s span of about three decades in his life. It may have something to do with a mysterious briefcase, the origins of which are only ever suggested by animated cloud interludes and...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Bitter Buddha' Captures The Brilliant Meta-Comedy & Existential Angst Of Eddie Pepitone

    Eddie Pepitone is a comedian of dualisms. At 52, he's the next big thing. He's a meditating vegan with rage issues. He enjoys swearing at LA drivers as much as he likes to feed squirrels in the park. This duality of character is what Steven Feinartz's documentary "The Bitter Buddha" (the title an ox...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Silence' An Effectively Moody Murder Mystery

    A young girl in a summer dress bikes down an empty road, followed by a mysterious red four-door at the start of “The Silence.” It doesn’t take much detective work to know where this is going, the result being the horrific disappearance of young Sinnika. Eventually, her body is found dumped in the ri...

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