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Film Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    Up in the Air

    Up in the Air is the best film I’ve seen all year. Frankly, that isn’t much of a compliment, so let me be clearer: this is mainstream moviemaking at its best. It’s entertaining, first and foremost, but it’s also thoughtful, timely, and provocative. The film has been...

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    The Princess and the Frog

    The filmmakers who helped usher in the renaissance of Disney animation twenty years ago with The Little Mermaid have done it again with The Princess and the Frog. Here is a tuneful, entertaining, great-looking, hip, funny animated feature destined to the capture the hearts of young fans and Disney a...

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    Broken Embraces

    I felt a tinge of disappointment when I realized the hero of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film was a director. It struck me as a glib, easy way of concocting a story to express the Spanish filmmaker’s love of cinema. I should have had more faith in him. Broken Embraces is a marvelous piece of storytelli...

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    Everybody's Fine

    Sentiment is a tough sell nowadays, but when I see the success of The Blind Side I know that audiences are just as susceptible as ever to manipulation by a skillful storyteller. Everybody’s Fine isn’t nearly as ambitious as The Blind Side, and doesn’t have the same broad appeal—there’s no sports ang...

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    Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

    During a panel discussion at this year’s Telluride Film Festival, Nicolas Cage was asked to respond to a description of his performance in this film as over-the-top. He replied, with a smile, that it seemed that casting him in this particular role under Werner Herzog’s direction meant “over-the-top”...

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    Precious

    When a film aims for greatness and falls just short of its target, one can dwell on its attributes or nit-pick its failings. In the case of Precious, I’m inclined to take the high road, because of the movie’s raw emotionalism and exceptional performances.

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    Fantastic Mr. Fox

    Simplicity is not a quality most Hollywood moviemakers aspire to achieve, but for me it’s part of the charm of Fantastic Mr. Fox, an amusing, low-key fable that strikes a tone unlike any other animated film this year. There’s nothing simple about the technique of...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Whip It

    Drew Barrymore has done herself proud. Her first directorial effort, Whip It, is a highly entertaining film that draws on several time-worn ingredients (coming of age, a fish out of water) and blends them with...

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