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Movie Reviews

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    CANNES REVIEW | Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" Is A Visually Astounding Achievement

    More meditation than movie, Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is bound to mystify, awe and exasperate in equal measures. Another profoundly inspired and visually scrumptious multi-year production from the reclusive filmmaker, Malick's fifth feature in a career that spans three decades contains hi...

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    CANNES REVIEW | Jonathan Caouette Returns With Flawed But Fascinating "Walk Away Renée"

    When "Tarnation"--Jonathan Caouette's non-fiction account of his troubled family life--made the festival rounds in 2003, it was considered a cinematic revelation. Famously putting the whole thing together in iMovie, he assembled a collage of photo albums, home movies, voicemails and other fragmentar...

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    REVIEW | "The Artist" Pays Homage to the Silent Era, But Visuals Dominate Story

    The concept driving "The Artist," a silent, black-and-white feature designed to imitate 1920's Hollywood productions, is more commendable than its execution. Michel Hazanavicius steps beyond the self-conscious parody of his two "OSS 117" films for a bittersweet homage to...

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    CANNES REVIEW | In "Arirang," Kim Ki-duk Turns the Camera on Himself

    South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has made 15 features in the same number of years. For his sixteenth, "Arirang," he turns the camera on himself to examine that timeline. A first-person therapy session of sorts, Kim's upfront treatise on his life's unusual trajectory is alternatively beautiful, frust...

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    CANNES REVIEW | "Footnote" Finds the Comedy in a Talmudic Feud

    Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar's last feature, the Oscar-nominated "Beaufort," was a tense war movie about the 2000 South Lebanon conflict. His latest effort, "Footnote," involves a much more personal war, in which the opposing sides are a father and his grown son. In Cedar's dark comic fable,...

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    CANNES REVIEW | "The Kid With a Bike" at Once New and Too Familiar

    Something that, on the surface, looks startlingly new, slowly reveals itself to be something surprisingly familiar and not all that effective in the latest film from the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Their Cannes competition film “The Kid With a Bike” is the arthous...

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    CANNES REVIEW | Markus Schleinzer's "Michael" Puts a Pedophile in Uneasy Focus

    Markus Schleinzer's "Michael" is a triumph of uneasy cinema: Not since Todd Solondz's "Happiness" has a movie portrayed pedophilia in such uncomfortable detail. With an unorthodox level of restraint, the Austrian director tells the story of a dull office drone who keeps a kidnapped young boy locked ...

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    CANNES REVIEW | "Poliss" is French Satire Meets "The Wire"

    Based on real-life cases of the Child Protection Unit, the French procedural "Poliss" tells several stories at once. The third feature directed by French actress Maïwenn Le Besco (credit here simply as Maïwenn), it explores the personal lives and daily grind of the Parisian CPU with an incredible am...

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    "Habemus Papam" Can't Make Its Hesitant Pope Story Connect

    Editor's Note: This review was originally published during the Cannes Film Festival. "Habemus Papam" opens in limited release on Friday.

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    CANNES REVIEW | "Restless" is a Good Actors' Showcase, But Nothing Special for Gus Van Sant

    A flimsy teenage romance with dashes of bittersweet inspiration, Gus Van Sant's "Restless" is little more than a whimsical exercise. Neither unwatchable nor particularly memorable, it mainly succeeds as a showcase for Van Sant's younger collaborators. The director's first feature since 2008's "Milk"...

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