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Movie Reviews

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    Kevin Smith and "Red State" Preach to the Converted at Radio City Music Hall

    At the Sundance Film Festival in January, Kevin Smith spent roughly half an hour telling a packed room that he planned to self-distribute his new horror movie, "Red State." On Saturday, in a much bigger room, he spent twice as long getting the enthusiastic reaction he wanted in the first place.

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    Critics Notebook | Film Comment Selects Closes With John Landis and James Wan

    The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual Film Comment Selects series cycled through several tones on its opening weekend last month, with a lineup ranging from Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s tragic “I Only You Want You to Love Me” to the grindhouse tribute “Hobo With a Shotgun.” For Thursday’s closin...

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    REVIEW | "I Saw the Devil" is Bloody Good Revenge

    "Severely Damaged Souls" -- the title of a retrospective on the work of Korean director Kim Ji-woon currently running at the Brooklyn Academy of Music easily describes the two deranged characters at the heart of his latest feature, "I Saw the Devil." The BAM program derives its name from the language used by Korean censors when trying to justify their decision to remove about 90 gruesome seconds from this tense serial killer story. Alleging that a mere seven shots "severely damage the dignity of human values," the censors' efforts are not only misguided but hilariously ineffectual. Lifting that bit of material from this nearly two-and-a-half ...

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    REVIEW | Claude Lanzmann Revisits Jan Karski in "The Karski Report"

    A single interview unfolding more or less in real time, "The Karski Report," a 49-minute cinematic essay cribbed from the cutting room floor of Claude Lanzmann's sprawling 1985 documentary "Shoah," imbues one monologue with tremendous historical weight. Having previously aired on French television, ...

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    REVIEW | Impenetrable Fantasy: "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives"

    Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has made a career out of directing movies that seem like dense visual riddles, matching poetry with mysterious cinematic designs. However, while his earlier features often felt primarily energizing as intellectual exercises rather than creative pursuits, his l...

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    The 8 Films You Must See in March

    After a somewhat lackluster first two months, March is about to give 2011 a significant dose of excellent specialty cinema, including few of the big winners at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, a pairing of two of France's most legendary actors, and the second and third films for American indie filmmak...

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    Small Screen (Blu-ray/DVD): "127 Hours," "Out of Sight" on Blu-ray & More

    This week on DVD and Blu-ray Danny Boyle comes to America, Jennifer Lopez gets stuck in a trunk with George Clooney and Jim Carrey goes to the dark side.

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    REVIEW | A Work In Progress: James Franco and Gus Van Sant's "Unfinished"

    James Franco's ubiquity may finally have reached its saturation point this past weekend. Within the same frenzied 48-hour period there was his Independent Spirit Award win for "127 Hours;" an Oscar co-hosting gig; and a third, less-visible achievement: Saturday was the opening of "Unfinished," his c...

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    REVIEW | Belgian Septuagenarians Get Jiggy in "The Over the Hill Band"

    Blending sass and pathos, the Belgian comedy "The Over the Hill Band" ("Meisjes") has a neatly conceived premise. Like Stephen Walker's delicate nonfiction portrait "Young@Heart," it's a genuine heart-tugger about senior citizens rediscovering their youth by singing pop music; like Craig Brewer's cr...

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    REVIEW | A Quiet Test of Faith in "Of Gods and Men"

    From its early scenes, "Of Gods and Men" inhabits the sacred lives of its monastic subjects. The eight monks residing in a seemingly quaint North African mountain community go through the motions of their daily prayers, the ritualistic hymns echoing monotonously throughout their hallowed chambers. P...

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