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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Intruders' A Mish-Mash Of Horror Tropes In An Undercooked Procedural

    How do you make the most of a ghost story in the age of post-meta horror films? If you're Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, you run with the idea of a fairy tale until you've copied and pasted so many tropes that "Intruders" emerges as a messy puddle.

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    New And Notable Film Books, Part One

    As usual, books keep piling up much faster than I can possibly read them, so rather than wait until I can compose full-length reviews I’m going to highlight a handful of recent arrivals I’ve only had a chance to skim. I will have more for you shortly, as there is still a healthy stack of...

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    SXSW '12 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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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Monsieur Lazhar' A Meek & Restrained Crowd Pleaser

    When "A Separation" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film last month, I was thrilled -- Asghar Farhadi's splendid domestic drama is one of the best things I've seen in the past few years. But it also came as a genuine surprise, because I was convinced the Canadian fi...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Berlinale 2012: Review of Afro-Colombian Drama "Choco"

    Another review from S&A reader Denise VanDeCruze:

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    Review: 'Seeking Justice' A Rote, Generic Thriller With A Dialed Down Nicolas Cage

    This is a slight paraphrasing of the truth. A couple of years ago, an eccentric award-winning actor had a choice: He could star in an unreasonable amount of movies of declining quality, stockpiling paychecks as his reputation and brand diminished. Or he could sell his dinosaurs bones and castles to ...

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  • Indiewire
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    SXSW REVIEW | Bob Byington's Moving and Surreal 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Is His Most Accessible Film to Date

    A surreal comedy about the cycle of life, Bob Byington's "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is consistently silly and poignant at once. A step up in production values and ambition from Byington's previous efforts "Harmony and Me" and "RSO: Registered Sex Offender," th...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Weird & Sometimes Confusing 'John Dies At The End' Is Still An Odd & Engaging Genre Treat

    The problem addressing fans of “Midnight” films and wacky horror can succinctly be found in the opening of Don Coscarelli's “John Dies At The End.” It involves axe handles, zombies, mutant leeches, axe heads, hardware store trips and answering a dead man as to whether or not the axe in question is t...

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    Critic's Notebook: SXSW is Where the Crazy Movies Call Home

    A lot of major festivals showcase bold and provocative work. But SXSW has the rare ability to put a spotlight on wildly subversive creativity for an approving crowd.

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    SXSW REVIEW | Adele Romanski's 'Leave Me Like You Found Me' Wisely Studies a Relationship on the Rocks

    As a producer of "The Myth of the American Sleepover" and "The Freebie," Adele Romanski has helped shepherd two of the more insightful American indies about the travails of young adulthood. Stepping behind the camera for her directorial debut, "Leave Me Like You Found Me,&qu...

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