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In Theaters

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    Someone to Watch Over Me: Jose Luis Guerin's "In the City of Sylvia"

    "In the City of Sylvia," Jose Luis Guerin's odyssey of perception, is so dedicated to getting inside the act of cosmopolitan female-watching, it might as well be called "City of Women." Alert, feline-eyed Xavier Lafitte is a quiet young flaneur and diarist, an enigmatic figure introduced at loose en...

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    Travel Plans: Nacho Vigalondo's "Timecrimes"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Blues Clueless: Rachel Samuels's "Dark Streets"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    The Play's the Thing: John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

    On paper, John Patrick Shanley did everything right in bringing his Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Doubt" to film. He adapted the screenplay and directed himself, assembled a cast with 17 Oscar nominations to their collective credit, and brought in the extraordinary cinematographer Roger Deakins. Given the strength of the source material and the pedigree of its cast and crew, "Doubt" may be the ultimate low-risk, high-reward prestige product, and it would be wrong for me to suggest that Shanley has produced anything less than a gripping piece of work. Despite its many virtues, though, "Doubt" is also bloodless. Handsome, well played, and oddly ...

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    Mad Dog: Paul Schrader's "Adam Resurrected"

    There's no joy to be had in enumerating the shortcomings of "Adam Resurrected," an ambitious and long gestating adaptation of a much-admired novel by Yoram Kaniuk. But in most respects the film just doesn't click: tone stumbles and fumbles meaning, dialogue meanders above uneven visuals, and scenes ...

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    REVIEW | A Hero for Our Time: Gus Van Sant's "Milk"

    "Politics is theater," observes Harvey (Sean Penn) in Gus Van Sant's terrific "Milk." And sometimes, of course, theater -- or cinema -- is politics. When they first embarked on this project, Van Sant and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black could never have anticipated that 2008 would see the election of a minority candidate and former community organizer, running on a message of hope, to the highest office in the land, nor could they have expected that Obama's historic victory would coincide with the passage of Proposition 8 in California, delivering a major setback for the gay rights movement in the United States. But this is "Milk"'s political ...

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    REVIEW | Trivial Pursuit: Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire"

    A noisy, sub-Dickens update on the romantic tramp's tale, "Slumdog Millionaire" zips around a boy's hard-luck life with a strange verve. Ragtag children run through a labyrinthine Indian shantytown with a police officer in hot pursuit. Two boys ride atop a moving train, hanging upside down over the ...

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    REVIEW | A Matter of Taste: Philippe Claudel's "I've Loved You So Long"

    Juliette, a middle-aged woman, waits alone, gray and taciturn -- two words that pretty well describe "I've Loved You So Long." She stands to haltingly greet her rendez-vous, her sister, Lea. We gather they've been apart a long time. Juliette's been "away," her past a talked-around negative space tha...

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    REVIEW | Winter Kills: Tomas Alfredson's "Let the Right One In"

    With its calm, wintry rural setting, Tomas Alfredson's adaptation of novelist John Ajvide Lindqvist's Swedish best-seller "Let the Right One In" depicts slaughter, death, and dismemberment as though sprung from the stanzas of Robert Frost. This is hardly the first film to drench teen angst and burge...

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    REVIEW | A Self-Made Man: Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York"

    Staring into the abyss through a kaleidoscope, Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York" sees ecstatic, innumerable facets in the depths. Another of Kaufman's Alice in Wonderland narratives, his first directorial effort is more gnarled and coiled than his scripts for Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovic...

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