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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | One Death, Many Lives in Matt Porterfield's "Putty Hill"

    The first impression created by Matt Porterfield's "Putty Hill" is that of an abandoned world. Against a silent backdrop, the filmmaker displays the vacant rooms of a creaky house in suburban Maryland, where a young man has recently died. In subsequent scenes, Porterfield builds on that haunting disconnect between reality and the emptiness caused by one individual's abrupt departure from it. Elsewhere, a group of paintball fighters dash through the woods; obscured by protective masks, their identities are indistinguishable. That literal anonymity mirrors the way characters in "Putty Hill" constantly hide their feelings, until Porterfield's ca...

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    Berlin Critic's Notebook: Swanberg America's One Last Auteur Hope?

    For this first dispatch, I was going to comment more broadly, on the Berlinale entire. The better weather, the lowered expectations, the increasingly blurred identities of the festival's various sections, weirdly appropriate to a festival screening Bergman’s “Persona” as part of a retrospective devo...

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    REVIEW | "For the Love of Movies" and the "Spider-Man" Debacle

    The calamitous tale of the overambitious, uber-costly Broadway spectacle "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" could only have been redeemed if the show wound up a masterpiece that proved all the haters wrong. Instead, the cavalcade of reviews unleashed in several mainstream publications earlier this week...

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    REVIEW | In "Lovers of Hate," Bryan Poyser Explores Sibling Rivalry At Its Worst

    Given a prominent slot at last year's Sundance Film Festival and nominated for the reputable John Cassavetes Award at the upcoming Film Independent Spirit Awards, Bryan Poyser's "Lovers of Hate" is still not fully recognized for its seamless merging of slapstick humor and realistically uneasy situat...

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    REVIEW | Solace in Verse: Lee Chang-dong's "Poetry"

    Korean director Lee Chang-dong generally displays an interest in outspoken characters suffering from irrevocable loss. His latest feature, "Poetry," continues that trend with a moving portrait of creative discovery and the pressures of age. Yung Jungee plays the 66-year-old Mija, a gentle woman copi...

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    Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Our Picks To Win

    Since 2005, to the delight of awards-season junkies around the country, Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures have released the Oscar-nominated short films a few weeks shy of the ceremony. Launched the same year as YouTube, this annual event boasts a growth of interest not unlike the surging ap...

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    REVIEW | Ed Helms is A Blue-Collar Hero in "Cedar Rapids"

    Director Miguel Arteta does penance for his uneven adaptation of "Youth in Revolt" with the serviceable business comedy "Cedar Rapids," but the real star of the show is Ed Helms. Helms plays angelic insurance agent Tim Lippe with gentle nobility and hilarious naivete.

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    Small Screen (DVD/Blu-ray): "Tamara Drewe," "Thelma & Louise" Reunite & More

    This week on DVD and Blu-ray Stephen Frears turns in one of his sexy romps, a crop of the some of the finest working actresses band together and an Italian classic comes back to life.

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    Big Screen | From Berlin to Bieber: The Top Five Film Events This Week

    Each week indieWIRE offers five recommendations for theatrical viewing, tackling new releases, film festivals, curated series and events. This week, the Berlinale, Oscar's shorts on screen and the theatrical rising of Mr. Justin Bieber.

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    The Portman Principle: How “The Other Woman” Represents the Darker Side of VOD

    Currently, there are many opportunities to watch Natalie Portman flex her acting chops, but only one simultaneously brings her to a theater near you and an even nearer living room. “Black Swan” continues its successful theatrical release; sex comedy “No Strings Attached” earned $20 million and the top box-office spot on its opening weekend. And then there's “The Other Woman,” which hits theaters this weekend a month after its premiere on cable platforms around the country. Despite being the most readily available member of this Portman triple-assault, it’s also the weakest, although that much should be obvious from its castaway status on VOD....

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