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Movie Reviews

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    This American Life Lesson: Roland Tec’s “We Pedal Uphill: Stories from the States”

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Uh-oh, It's Magic: Sean McGinly's "The Great Buck Howard"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Youth Rebellion: Cary Joji Fukunaga's "Sin Nombre"

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This review was originally published as part of our coverage of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

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    Weights and Measures: Steve McQueen’s “Hunger”

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    SXSW Snapshot: Craig Johnson's "True Adolescents"

    With "True Adolescents," Mark Duplass stars in what must be the most conventional recent project on his resume. Putting on his best Jack Black impression, the "Puffy Chair" co-director (and "Humpday" star) plays moody, unkempt Seattle rock musician Sam, a crude character unable to pull his aimless life into focus. After another frustrated roommate kicks him to the curb, Sam winds up crashing with his settled aunt (Melisso Leo, in hardly more than a cameo), and ultimately hits the road on a camping trip with her brooding adolesent son Oliver (Brett Loer) and his friend Jake (Carr Thompson). Things do wrong: They fight, get lost in the woods, w...

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    SXSW Snapshot: What Zombies? Bruce McDonald's "Pontypool"

    I'm in the minority thinking that Bruce McDonald's "The Tracey Fragments" made for one of the niftiest avant-garde movie experiences of 2008, but McDonald doesn't try to please a large crowd, anyway. For years, the director has worked with complete autonomy, thriving off his community in Canada while still managing to attract stars to his projects. He does what he wants for whoever cares to pay attention. At the same time, there's generally something familiar about the genres McDonald chooses to play around with; he just tends to rejiggle the pieces, and boldly leave a few of them out of the picture. "Tracey Fragments" was a visually jagged t...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Michael Paul Stephenson's "Best Worst Movie"

    Despite all the fantastic literature on cult movies, the phenomena generally speak for themselves. Outside of J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum's classic "Midnight Movies" tome, cultural analysis of cult movies tends to adopt an outsider's gaze, observing the ongoing niche engagement with oddities like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" but not expressing any appreciation for the product. The result is somewhat distancing and ultimately self-defeating. The documentary "Best Worst Movie" provides an alternative to that trend by actively participating in the cult sensation at its center: "Troll 2," widely regarded as one of most spectacularly bad...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Joe Swanberg's "Alexander The Last"

    Joe Swanberg's earlier films reveled in aimlessness to achieve their thematic intentions. As characters hung out, had sex, and talked about the pithy details of their twentysomething lifestyles, Swanberg would gradually assemble portraits of relationships that naturally arose from the settings. That...

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    Review Round Up: Critics Consider "Cleaning"

    "Following her beautifully impressionistic debut 'Rain' and the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle 'Sylvia,' New Zealand director Christine Jeffs lands somewhere in between with 'Sunshine Cleaning,' an affecting, well-acted drama that casts an even brighter spotlight on rising starlet Amy Adams," indieWIRE's Anthony Kaufman wrote upon the film's world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. "First seen in slow-motion, dressed in a pink uniform and determinedly carrying an array of cleaning supplies as she charges forward, she is a priceless picture of feminine distress—one that helps carry the film, in its manic alterations between perky and pathe...

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    Pagan Poetry: Tony Stone's 'Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America'

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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