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Movie Reviews

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    SXSW Review: Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson Have Crazy Chemistry In Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies'

    With the rise of digital filmmaking in the last decade, a new wave of DIY "mumblecore" filmmakers have risen up through the ranks. While initially many of these films were loose and unpolished, they are now are becoming more refined with many of these directors and actors now having basically integr...

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    SXSW Review: Cheap Stab at Sibling Rivalry 'Awful Nice' Mostly Stumbles in Search of Laughs

    Director Todd Sklar's short film, brazenly titled "'92 Skybox Alonso Mourning Rookie Card," followed a pair of estranged brothers drawn together by the untimely passing of their father. At less than 13 minutes, it managed to economically set up two aimless characters and let them run wild to comic e...

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    Review: 'Welcome To The Punch' Is A Stylish & Smart British Spin In On The Action-Thriller

    The terms "British cinema" and "action movie" tend not to go together particularly well. Maybe it's the smaller budgets at play, maybe it's an awareness that our American and Asian cousins do it better, maybe it's cultural -- most British cops don't carry weapons, for example. It's not that it hasn'...

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    SXSW Review: 'William and the Windmill' Investigates Morality of 'Boy Who Harnessed the Wind' Subject's Fame

    The story of Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba is candy for the Western imagination: In 2001, the 14-year-old Kamkwamba dropped out of school and picked up a library book about harnessing electricity, then built a windmill from scratch, effectively powering his subsistence farmer family and saving...

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    SXSW Review: Emotional Troubled Youth Drama 'Short Term 12' Pulls Off Tricky Balance

    There is undoubtedly a bad version of "Short Term 12" that writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton ("I Am Not a Hipster") fortunately didn't make. The movie, which follows the experiences of staff and patients at the eponymous foster care home for at-risk teens, conveys a series of sentimental hooks w...

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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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