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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Reviews of Carnage Have Jodie Foster Coming Out On Top of Polanski's Actors Showcase

    Reviews have landed for Roman Polanski's Carnage, playing at the Venice Film Festival. Here's our report on Day Two (including W.E. and Carnage reviews). Polanski's film is an adaptation of Yasmena Reza's popular French play, God of Carnage, which most recently played at Los Angeles' Ahmanson theater with Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden. That's a stellar cast to top. The difference here is that Polanski's equally impressive cast of Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly shot the play on film (though it's not necessarily very cinematic), and were stuck ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    The Debt—movie review

    Sometimes a film seems to have everything going for it and still comes up short; such is the case with The Debt. Its credentials are impeccable: a fine cast headed by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, and Jessica Chastain, just for starters, directed by John Madden, and written by three talente...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Higher Ground—movie review

    How stimulating, and utterly refreshing, it is to see a movie with a distinctly female voice that deals with faith, and how one woman grapples with it, through good times and bad, throughout the course of her life. That Vera Farmiga gives an honest, empathetic performance should come as no surprise;...

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  • Indiewire
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    Talking with Eli Craig, Director of Our VOD Pick of the Week: "Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil"

    Eli Craig's blood-soaked feature directorial debut, "Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil," premiered at Sundance 2010. It's a real comedy-horror hybrid, which may explain why it took a while to get a release. However, its good buzz is well deserved and cult status could follow if it finds its audience on VOD (wh...

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  • Indiewire
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    REVIEW | Chinese Fantasy Epic "Detective Dee" Delivers A Better Ride Than Most U.S. Alternatives

    A giant, hollow Buddha that dwarfs a city, spontaneous combustion, uneasy shapeshifting and gravity-defying martial arts: These are the far-reaching pleasures of "Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame," the energetic period fantasy epic from stalwart Chinese director Tsui Hark.

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Notebook | How the West Memphis 3 Release Transformed The "Paradise Lost" Documentaries

    When the trio of Arkansas men convicted of crimes they may not have committed 18 years ago suddenly found themselves free on August 19, a significant chapter in the saga of the "West Memphis 3" came to a dramatic close. However, for viewers familiar with their struggles, the story had already ended ...

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  • Indiewire
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    REVIEW | "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" Remakes the Original, Minus Most of the Frights

    John Newland's 1973 made-for-TV drama "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" is widely considered a high water mark for feature-length broadcast productions. Produced as an ABC movie of the week, it belonged to a series that also included Steven Spielberg's "Duel" and the early Michael Douglas vehicle "Shatt...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Brighton Rock—movie review

    Sometimes one can admire a film without truly liking it; that’s how I feel about the ambitious British remake of Brighton Rock. Graham Greene’s 1938 novel, first filmed in the late 1940s, has been cleverly reworked to take place in 1964, at the time of the “mods and rockers...

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  • Indiewire
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    What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

    If you're on the East Coast, it may not be the best weekend to make a trip to the cinema, but everyone else can surely take their pick from this week's slate of releases. Our reviewers saw no overwhelming successes among this weekend's headlining films, but it seems there's one ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Dont Be Afraid Of The Dark—movie review

    As you may already know, that modern master of Grand Guignol, Guillermo del Toro, saw the 1973 TV movie Don’t be Afraid of the Dark when he was a boy, and it scared the daylights out of him. He’s wanted to remake it ever since, and wrote a script with Matthew Robbins around the time he made his first American feature, Mimic (1997). Years went by, and when the pieces finally fell in place to put it into production he was busy with The Hobbit, so he selected newcomer Troy Nixey to fill his shoes after seeing an impressive short-subject he made. (The picture was finished two years ago but went into distributor limbo, from whi...

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