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Movie Reviews

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    Telluride Review: Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & More

    Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” instantly establishes itself as the most unflinching of all slave dramas, which is to say, there is plenty of flinching, not to mention cowering and recoiling and passing out, thanks to beatings and whippings that arrive at roughly 10-to-15-minute intervals through...

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    Telluride Review: 'Prisoners' Starring Hugh Jackman & Jake Gyllenhaal

    Director Denis Villeneuve and actor Jake Gyllenhaal are on the precipice of having a tremendous fall film festival season. Arriving in just a few short days is their first collaboration, “Enemy,” a terrific psychological doppelganger thriller that will premiere next week in Toronto. But first up, th...

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    As Bullets Fly to Celebrate the Release of 'I Declare War,' Alamo Drafthouse's Tim League Looks to the Future

    There's a bullshit romanticization concerning childhood, as if it were a lovely period of wonderment and innocence before the world grinds us all down with heartbreak, crap jobs, health issues and any other number of disillusioning, grown-up realities. But looking over the painful, egg-sized, bright...

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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave,' Anchored By Brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor, Is a Slavery Movie For the Ages

    Like countless movies before it, "12 Years a Slave" opens with a title card announcing that its material is based on a true story. However, Steve McQueen's startlingly realized period drama justifies its introductory note with each ensuing scene, recreating the experiences of a free black man kidnap...

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    Venice Review: Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' With Jesse Eisenberg & Dakota Fanning

    After the acclaimed trio of “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff,” Kelly Reichardt was already proving hard to pin down. The three films that made her name (plus her lesser-known earlier works “ Ode” and “River Of Grass”) are immediately recognizable as the work of the director, but very dif...

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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Scarlett Johansson's Craziest Performance In Jonathan Glazer's Totally Nuts Alien Seductress Tale 'Under the Skin'

    Michel Faber's 2000 science fiction novel "Under the Skin" follows an alien tasked with kidnapping earthlings and selling their bodies for consumption back home. Adapting the material into his first feature since 2004's "Birth," music video director Jonathan Glazer only borrows half that premise, fo...

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    Telluride Review: Jonathan Glazer's 'Under The Skin' Starring Scarlett Johansson

    If you’re a random male pedestrian and a gal who looks like Scarlett Johansson ever pulls up and offers to take you to her place for a quickie, the logical thing to do would be run like hell, since this could only be either a sting or a sign of the apocalypse, no matter how good looking a fellow you...

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    Venice Review: David Gordon Green's 'Joe' Starring Nicolas Cage & Tye Sheridan

    “Joe” unites a pair of talents somewhat on the comeback trail. David Gordon Green’s once-lofty critical reputation—the filmmaker was once lauded as a successor to Terrence Malick—took something of a hit after a left-turn into poorly-received studio comedies like “Your Highness” and "The Sitter," but...

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    Telluride Update: Buyers Lining Up for Divisive 'Under the Skin,' Strong Debut 'Palo Alto' and Provocative 'Starred Up' (TRAILER)

    Reviews and acquisitions are heating up at the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday. Three notable acquisitions titles debuted Thursday night of which I saw one, "Palo Alto," the impressive debut of young filmmaker Gia Coppola (Francis Ford's granddaughter, born six months...

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    Telluride Film Festival Review: Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' Turns James Franco Short Stories Into Solid Portrait of Teen Angst

    Borrowing liberally from the likes of "Kids" and "Elephant," first-time feature director Gia Coppola's "Palo Alto" is a largely familiar portrait of teen angst, but it's also a fairly accomplished one. Loosely adapting James Franco's collection of short stories, Coppola (the 26-year-old granddaughte...

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