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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Ego vs. Altruism: Turning Trash Into Art in "Waste Land"

    Lucy Walker's "Waste Land" amounts to a cinematic round of applause for altruism. Using a conventional blend of talking heads and verité, Walker follows Brazilian visual artist Vik Muniz to his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, where he created the traveling exhibit "Pictures of Garbage" out of material f...

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    REVIEW | Better than "Twilight": Kristen Stewart in "Welcome to the Rileys"

    Kristen Stewart's status as the mopey face of gothic teenage angst in the "Twilight" franchise has easily overpowered the other achievements of her brief career. At age twenty, she has appeared in a number of thematically advanced character studies ("Adventureland" among them), suggesting the antith...

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    Big Screen | Top 5: From Wiseman to Waters to Germany in LA, This Week's Theatrical Best Bets

    Each week here at indieWIRE, five recommendations for theatrical viewing pleasure are being offered up, tackling everything from new releases, to film festivals, to curated series, and events around North America. This week, John Waters discusses "the most shocking film ever made," Frederick Wiseman...

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    Small Screen | This Week's Top 5 Takes Us to Upstate NY, South Africa, Japan, and Vietnam

    From Upstate New York to South Africa, all around New York City, and a trip back in time to Japan and Vietnam, this week's small screen must-sees take us all around the world. Without further ado, here are this week's top picks on TV, DVD, and VOD:

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    REVIEW | Sweat Ballet: Frederick Wiseman's "Boxing Gym"

    Boxing matches have been captured on film practically since the birth of the medium, which may explain the primal thrill of Frederick Wiseman's "Boxing Gym." The legendary documentarian's latest portrait takes place in Lord's Gym, the scrappy Austin establishment run by former professional boxer Ric...

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    REVIEW | Colombian Squalor: "The Two Escobars"

    The history of Colombia's tattered international reputation is not an unexplored field, but Jeff and Michael Zimbalist's Tribeca Film Festival world premiere documentary "The Two Escobars," provides an original strategy for framing it. A study in contrasts, the movie oscillates between two men with ...

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    REVIEW | Horror in the Kitchen: Joe Maggio's "Bitter Feast"

    A contemporary riff on "Misery" with a culinary twist, "Bitter Feast" may provide the first horror movie aimed at foodies. Director Joe Maggio ("Paper Covers Rock") makes his inaugural foray into the horror genre with a competent, familiar captivity narrative, resulting in less torture porn than foo...

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    Big Screen | Top 5: From "Carlos" to London Film Festival, This Week's Theatrical Best Bets

    As noted in yesterday's "Small Screen" column, "Big Screen" is back and brings with it a bit of a facelift. Each week, five recommendations for theatrical viewing pleasure will be made in list form, taking on everything from new releases to film festivals to curated series around the world. From a 5...

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    REVIEW | "Carlos" Cutbacks: The Theatrical Cut in Focus

    When "Carlos" arrived at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it was dubbed a masterpiece long before its first screening, and easily fulfilled expectations when it dominated the day of its premiere. Olivier Assayas's sprawling five-and-a-half hour chronicle of the famed Venezuelan terrorist born Ilich ...

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    REVIEW | Based on a Predictable Story: Tony Goldwyn's "Conviction"

    Tony Goldwyn's "Conviction" opens with that all-too-familiar title card announcing its basis in a true story. That alone provides no cause for alarm, but the decision to establish the movie's central hook in the opening minutes immediately lessens its particular dramatic weight. As Betty Anne Waters, the Rhode Island resident who put herself through law school for the sole reason of exonerating her brother from wrongful murder charges, Hilary Swank explains her entire quest to a friend. The premise comes before the journey, which promptly begins in a flashback that goes through the typical motions of a Lifetime movie, albeit one made bearable...

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