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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | A Hit Man's Second Chance: Skarsgård Excels in Deadpan Comedy "A Somewhat Gentle Man"

    In the Norwegian black comedy "A Somewhat Gentle Man," Stellan Skarsgård bares everything and yet shows so little. With a distinctively muted demeanor, Skarsgård plays a semi-reformed hit man attempting to reassemble his life after spending several years behind bars. Mostly, he appears at the mercy ...

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    Gondry Goes Green: Parsing the Music Video Influences of "The Green Hornet"

    “The Green Hornet” is one of the odder studio releases in some time. While bumbling superhero comedies have their own formula -- and much of "The Green Hornet" adheres to it -- the familiar backdrop does provide director Michel Gondry an excuse to mess around. The resulting camera placements and spe...

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    REVIEW | For the Love of Movies: Federico Veiroj's "A Useful Life"

    In "A Useful Life," director Federico Veiroj assembles a patient character study around the impact of curatorial work on individual experience. Shot in expressive black-and-white and using the Academy ratio, this is a movie about movies that could seem awkwardly familiar to some devout cinephiles.

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    REVIEW | A Life Overwhelmed: Paul Giamatti Elevates Mess of Plot in "Barney's Version"

    “Barney’s Version” is a bloated, confused movie—first a black comedy, then a distended family drama and never fully committed to either possibility. Adapting Mordechai Richler’s 1997 novel, director Richard J. Lewis aims for a sweeping narrative encompassing three decades in one man’s troubled world...

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    Small Screen (Blu-ray/DVD) | "Alamar," "Heartbreaker," "Raging Bull" Revamped & More

    This week two film festival darlings hit DVD shelves alongside a sexy French comedy and two classic titles.

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    REVIEW | Familial Disconnect: Jeff Lipsky’s “Twelve Thirty”

    Jeff Lipsky struggles to find a tricky balance in “Twelve Thirty,” a supremely dense coming-of-age drama steeped in weighty blather at the expense of emotional validity. Physically graphic and verbally frank, Lipsky’s talky portrait follows a virginal twenty-two year-old and the promiscuous family t...

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    Big Screen | This Week's Top 5: From "Barney" To Skarsgård To "The Green Hornet"

    Each week indieWIRE offers five recommendations for theatrical viewing, tackling new releases, film festivals, curated series and events. This week, some expanding December releases, Richard J. Lewis's "Barney's Version," and the curious case of "The Green Hornet" top the list.

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    REVIEW | United Absurdity: Kenneth Price's "Americatown"

    From the shaky production values to its cast of grinning newcomers, the bizarro satire “Americatown” reeks of amateurism. Yet despite all odds working against it, director Kenneth Price’s second feature with the Wilmington-based comedy group Superkiiiids! sustains a uniquely goofy charm. Set in an i...

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    REVIEW | Border Town: Suleiman Returns to Israeli-Palestinian Strife With "The Time That Remains"

    Elia Suleiman is among the few living filmmakers to employ slapstick comedy in his work, and the only one to politicize it. But where his 2002 feature "Divine Intervention" decried his Palestinian family's oppression at the hands of Israeli troops in Nazareth with a caustic, angry satiric bent, "The Time That Remains" strikes a decidedly mournful tone. The third entry in a trilogy preceded by the aforementioned Cannes winner and 1996's "Chronicle of a Disappearance," Suleiman's newest movie about Palestinian suffering (which is actually around two years old) maintains his personalized blend of autobiography and surrealistic polemics while vie...

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    REVIEW | Romanian Redemption: Strong Debut in Prison Drama "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle"

    A minor entry from the Romanian New Wave, the dreary prison drama "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle" nevertheless exhibits many of the stronger aspects of social observation present in the films that have emerged from the region. Set in a barren juvenile detention center, the movie works as a gruelin...

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