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Movie Reviews

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    Sundance Review | Vulgar Brendan Gleeson Sustains Uneven Gun Play in "The Guard"

    Brendan Gleeson soars in "The Guard," playing a foul-mouthed Irish cop destined to offend everyone in his path, but the depth of the character overwhelms the quality of the movie about him. As the rambunctious Sergeant Gerry Boyle, Gleeson moves through each scene with a stunning duality, making his...

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    Sundance Review | "The Troll Hunter" is a Monster of a Mock Doc

    Riffing on the DIY monster-movie approach of "Cloverfield" and the absurd supernatural premise of "Ghostbusters," Norwegian mockumentary "The Troll Hunter" offers high-caliber entertainment despite a low-budget production. The shaky camera suggests "The Blair Witch Project," but writer-director Andr...

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    Sundance Review | Joe Swanberg Grows Up With "Uncle Kent"

    Although he continues to grapple with the themes of sexuality and technology that put him on the map, Joe Swanberg displays solid growth as a filmmaker in his first Sundance entry, "Uncle Kent." More cohesive than his earlier works, "Uncle Kent" explores one man's overdue transition into adulthood ...

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    REVIEW | Babbling in Brooklyn: Life Lessons Abound in "Gabi on the Roof in July"

    In Lawrence Michael Levine's lightly amusing comedy "Gabi on the Roof in July," scrappy urban twentysomethings spend the summer in Brooklyn and we watch them vent. Struggling 30-year-old painter Sam (Levine) copes with a visit from his freewheeling sister Gabi (Sophia Takal, also the film's producer...

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    Small Screen (DVD/Blu-ray): "Animal Kingdom," Two Claustrophobic Thrillers & More

    This week on DVD and Blu-ray the Australian Sundance hit "Animal Kingdom" roars into homes, Ryan Reynolds finds himself "Buried" and Philip Seymour Hoffman steps into the director's chair.

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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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