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Movie Reviews

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    Big Screen | Solondz's "Wartime" Comes To America

    Nearly a year after its festival debut, Todd Solondz's "Happiness" quasi-sequel "Life During Wartime" is coming to U.S. theaters via IFC Films. Featuring a cast including Ciaran Hinds, Allison Janney, Paul Reubens, Charlotte Rampling, Ally Sheedy, Michael Lerner, Shirley Henderson and Michael Kennet...

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    REVIEW | Todd Intact: "Life During Wartime" Maintains Solondz' Droll Satiric Aura

    This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE’s coverage of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. “Life During Wartime” opens this Friday, July 23rd at the IFC Center in New York.

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    REVIEW | Gender Division: Looking Back at Sally Potter's "Orlando"

    Eighteen years after its initial theatrical release, "Orlando" returns to theaters with all of its original allure intact, and then some. Sally Potter's uniquely strange adaptation of Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel has grown in stature, mainly due to the global stardom of its versatile lead, Tilda Swin...

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    REVIEW | Nuclear Inevitability: Lucy Walker's "Countdown to Zero"

    A closing montage in the essential 1982 found footage essay "The Atomic Cafe" shows a series of 1960s-era individuals engaging in duck-and-cover antics in anticipation of a nuclear blast. Given the retro black-and-white feel, the visual equation amounts to a meditation on the past, with no indicatio...

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    Big Screen | "Inception" Hits Theaters With Passionate Critical Support

    Though this column has almost exclusively focused on specialty films since its, uh, inception, it seems like if there's any week to find an exception to that rule it's this one. This Friday, one of the most anticipated films of the year hits theaters, and while it might be far, far from independent...

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    REVIEW | Ancient Ultra-Violence: Nicolas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising"

    The introductory text at the beginning of "Valhalla Rising" both sets the scene and describes it. "In the beginning, there was only man and nature," we're told, and in this era -- 1,000 A.D., to be precise -- men bearing crosses drove the heathen to "the fringes of the earth." A blood-soaked chronic...

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    REVIEW | Kids In The Big City: Lance Daly's "Kisses"

    For ages, neglected or abused children have provided fodder for mainstream entertainment, as proven by the lasting reputations of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie alike. Youth, however, makes for a tough subject of filmmakers intent on capturing realism: The challenge of eliciting a believable p...

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    Big Screen | Cholodenko's Anticipated "Kids" Opens To Raves

    One of the most anticipated specialty releases of the summer, Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids are All Right," finally arrives in theaters this week amidst a batch of newcomers that also includes Ben Steinbauer's festival circuit favorite "Winnebago Man" and the sequel to "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...

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    Big Screen | Three New Specialty Releases Provide Counterprogramming to Latest "Twilight"

    While the nation's "Twi-hards" continue to line up to see the latest Stephenie Meyer "Twilight" adaptation as they did last night for the midnight premiere of "Eclipse," three films open in limited theaters this week. Taylor Hackford's melodrama "Love Ranch" is likely to draw the biggest crowds of t...

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    REVIEW | Youthful Whimsy from an 88-Year-Old Legend: "Wild Grass"

    Like the 102-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, the 88-year-old Alain Resnais gets a lot of publicity mileage out of staying active in his old age. While seniority hardly necessitates critical leniency, the most impressive aspect of "Wild Grass," Resnais's twenty-fifth directorial effo...

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