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Movie Reviews

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    SXSW Review: 'Short Term 12' A Heartrending, Heartwarming & Authentic Portrait of Life At A Foster Care Facility

    It’s Nate’s (Rami Malek) first day at the adolescent foster care facility Short Term 12, and his new coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr., scruffy and soulful) is regaling the staff with a silly monologue about an unfortunate sharting incident he suffered in the line of duty. It's a funny tale, but it...

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    'The Clemente Effect' Review: An Iconic Athlete and Humanitarian's Legacy Resonates

    'The Clemente Effect' Review: An Iconic Athlete and Humanitarian's Legacy Resonates

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    SXSW Review: Frighteningly Dull 'Haunter' Missing Vincenzo Natali's Usual Edge & Inventiveness

    Vincenzo Natali is one of those genre filmmakers who has the rare ability to inspire loyalty in his small but vocal fan base by maintaining an aura of utter fearlessness. The director of ingenious, high concept doodles like "Cube," "Cypher," and, most importantly, the envelope pushing, outrageously ...

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    SXSW Review: '12 O'Clock Boys' Captures the Danger and the Beauty of Baltimore's Urban Dirt Bikers

    The first time we see the group of mostly young adult dirt bikers cruising down the streets of lower class Baltimore neighborhoods in "12 O'Clock Boys," the speed and intensity of their risky, unauthorized stunt work has been translated into poetry: Pitching backwards in slo-mo as they point to the ...

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    SXSW Review: Delightful Relationship Comedy 'Drinking Buddies' Marks a Career High for Joe Swanberg

    In eight years of features, Joe Swanberg has developed a substantial body of minor works, but "Drinking Buddies" proves it had a direction. Swanberg's unabashedly scrappy profiles tend to focus on perpetually inelegant people in search of meaning in their lives as they often struggle to find romanti...

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    SXSW Review: Is Beatles Secretary Story 'Good Ol' Freda' Really a Tell-All?

    There are two main ingredients that make "Good Ol' Freda," a documentary about The Beatles secretary Freda Kelly, stand out from countless other takes on the rise of the world's most iconic band: First of all, having worked for the group during its initial decade of existence but remained largely in...

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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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    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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    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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