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Film Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows—movie review

    As one who couldn’t stand the first Guy Ritchie-Robert Downey, Jr. 'Sherlock Holmes' movie, I didn’t mind this one so much. For one thing, I knew what I was in for: more rapid-fire Downey wisecracks and meaningless disguises, more attention-getting, gimmicky action scenes. But at least it doesn’t lo...

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    Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol—movie review

    Unlike most movie series, this one has actually improved with each new installment since its debut in 1996; the last one, directed by J.J. Abrams, reinvigorated the concept, while this fourth entry—which the studio seems to want to downplay as a 'Mission: Impossible' film, given the tiny typeface th...

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    Carnage—movie review

    Carnage seems to be a pretty good movie, but I have no way of evaluating it without comparing it to the play on which it’s based, 'God of Carnage', which I saw on Broadway with a perfect cast (James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis). This isn’t fair to the picture—or to vi...

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    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy—movie review

    When a film has so many attributes—including superior performances and a tangible sense of time, place, and atmosphere—it’s tempting to overlook its shortcomings. That wouldn’t be honest, but at least I can begin on a positive note. From the casting of Gary Oldman as veteran MI6 agent George Smiley ...

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    Young Adult—movie review

    What are we to make of Young Adult? Clearly, we’re meant to applaud Charlize Theron’s willingness to use her beauty more as a shield than an asset as she plays a thoroughly unlikable character. A onetime high-school heartthrob, she’s fallen into a pitiable state—barely employ...

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    Awards Season Backlash—Already!

    Every year, it seems, some good movies suffer from what I call Awards Season Backlash. Because the season started earlier than usual this year—and intensified when the New York Film Critics decided to vote right after Thanksgiving—the bounce-back has already begun, I’m sorry to say...

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    Hugo—movie review

    Leave it to Martin Scorsese to use 3-D not as a gimmick, but as a means of drawing us into a unique and magical environment. Other films may boast of flashy special effects, but Scorsese has created a world of wonder—which is much more unusual—in his elaborate adaptation of Brian Selznic...

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    The Muppets—movie review

    On my way to see this movie I kept saying to myself, “I hope they didn’t louse it up!” The Muppets mean too much to me to let Jason Segel, or anybody, for that matter, diminish them. The minute the picture started, I heaved a sigh of relief and broke out in a smile. This is a joyfu...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Arthur Christmas—movie review

    It’s rare for me to laugh out loud, repeatedly, during a movie these days, but 'Arthur Christmas' gave me that welcome opportunity. It is so ingenious, endearing, and downright funny that it instantly joins the ranks of first-class holiday movies, intended for viewers young and old. I ...

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    A Dangerous Method—movie review

    Can a play about personal conflicts in the nascent world of psychiatry at the turn of the 20th century be translated into an effective film? In the hands of playwright/screenwriter Christopher Hampton, director David Cronenberg, and three exceptional actors, the answer is yes. It takes some getting ...

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