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Movie Reviews

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    Sundance Review | Moral Ambiguity Lingers in "The Redemption of General Butt Naked"

    "The Redemption of General Butt-Naked" opens with a scene in which the self-appointed Liberian evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi holds sway over an appreciative crowd that hangs on his every word. A fervent endorser for the power of faith, Blahyi appears as a galvanizing leader readymade for the spotlight. Having established his formidable stage presence, directors Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion introduce the contradiction of his past: As the widely feared General Butt Naked, Blahyi led a reign of terror against thousands of Liberians during the country's civil war from 1989 to 1996. Siding with the country's former president against vario...

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    Sundance Review | "Bellflower" Provides Phenomenal Showcase for Newcomer Evan Glodell

    Fandom is an ailment for the two young leads in "Bellflower," the directorial debut of Evan Glodell. A scrappy drama that takes several bizarre turns, the movie revolves around a pair of happy-go-lucky guys obsessed with the post-apocalyptic universe of "Mad Max." Spending their days jacking around,...

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    Sundance Review | An Age-Old Conundrum in Miranda July's "The Future"

    Miranda July returns to her playfully off-beat universe with her second feature, "The Future," the writer-director-video artist's long-awaited follow-up to 2005's "Me and You and Everyone We Know." Like that playful study of human behavior, the new work deals with people feeling isolated by the worl...

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    Sundance Review | Post-Cult Trauma Explored in Haunting "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

    Appearing fragile and terrified from her first scene until her last, Elizabeth Olsen brings an alarming quality to writer-director Sean Durkin's quietly unsettling "Martha Marcy May Marlene." Durkin focuses on alienated young Martha during the immediate aftermath of her decision to escape a cult in...

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    Sundance Review | Peter Mullan Shines as Raging Alcoholic in "Tyrannosaur"

    Editor's note: This review originally ran at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. "Tyrannosaur" opens in New York on Friday.

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    Sundance Review | Vulgar Brendan Gleeson Sustains Uneven Gun Play in "The Guard"

    Brendan Gleeson soars in "The Guard," playing a foul-mouthed Irish cop destined to offend everyone in his path, but the depth of the character overwhelms the quality of the movie about him. As the rambunctious Sergeant Gerry Boyle, Gleeson moves through each scene with a stunning duality, making his...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review: No Strings Attached

    film review: No Strings Attached

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    Sundance Review | "The Troll Hunter" is a Monster of a Mock Doc

    Riffing on the DIY monster-movie approach of "Cloverfield" and the absurd supernatural premise of "Ghostbusters," Norwegian mockumentary "The Troll Hunter" offers high-caliber entertainment despite a low-budget production. The shaky camera suggests "The Blair Witch Project," but writer-director Andr...

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    Sundance Review | Joe Swanberg Grows Up With "Uncle Kent"

    Although he continues to grapple with the themes of sexuality and technology that put him on the map, Joe Swanberg displays solid growth as a filmmaker in his first Sundance entry, "Uncle Kent." More cohesive than his earlier works, "Uncle Kent" explores one man's overdue transition into adulthood ...

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    REVIEW | Babbling in Brooklyn: Life Lessons Abound in "Gabi on the Roof in July"

    In Lawrence Michael Levine's lightly amusing comedy "Gabi on the Roof in July," scrappy urban twentysomethings spend the summer in Brooklyn and we watch them vent. Struggling 30-year-old painter Sam (Levine) copes with a visit from his freewheeling sister Gabi (Sophia Takal, also the film's producer...

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