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Movie Reviews

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    Crap Artist: Robert Celestino's "Yonkers Joe"

    From the start, "Yonkers Joe" pitches the spectator directly into a world of tough-talking gamblers and sharks, where the dice are loaded, hands move quickly, and there's always a scam in the offing. This milieu of casinos and parking lots, peopled with hustlers and hookers, is a familiar film setting, but one that's produced remarkably few good films. Though the subject at hand seems ideally suited to cinema, allowing for a closer look at all the sleights and feints of card-sharp's or crap-shooter's trade, films such as "Hard Eight," "Shade," "The Cooler," and this year's "21" all mine similar material with a range of mostly disappointing re...

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    Magic Hour: Carlos Reygadas's "Silent Light"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    The Bad German: Vicente Amorim's "Good"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Reverse Shot's Best of 2008: "Flight of the Red Balloon" and 9 more

    An acclaimed Taiwanese filmmaker working in France; a young Mexican director reimagining a canonical Danish film in an obscure Mennonite community in his home country; a West Coast-based American, enamored of the somber rhythms of the blasted Mississippi delta, miraculously captures them in the kind of American independent film all too rare of late; others from around the globe watching the specificities of home --character, geography, community, and class -- evaporate around them. These were the stories of our cinematic 2008, and we'd be hard-pressed to draw any solid conclusions from them, except that passion for those few terrific films th...

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    Dead Souls: "Alexey Balabanov's 'Cargo 200'"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Expiration Date: Joel Hopkins's "Last Chance Harvey"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Unforgettable: Ari Folman's "Waltz with Bashir"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    A Corner in Couscous: Abdellatif Kechiche's "The Secret of the Grain"

    There's no "secret" -- of cooking, of love, of financial success -- in Abdellatif Kechiche's "The Secret of the Grain," though there is indeed plenty of grain. Though it's also played under the simpler name of "Couscous," the film is actually called "The Grain and the Mullet" in French -- the latter half of the title denoting the fish and not the novelty haircut. Maybe none of these quite captures the film, which in its length and dozen-or-so characters is itself difficult to succinctly summarize, but the original title does at least point to fish and couscous, the celebrated signature dish of the now fractured Beiji family. Each Sunday, Soua...

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    Leap of Faith: Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    So Help Me God: Rod Lurie's "Nothing But the Truth"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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