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Review

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    Berlin Review: Wonderful 'Gloria' An Inspired Feat Of Writing, Direction & Performance

    Produced by rising Chilean force-to-be-reckoned-with Pablo Larraín ("Post Mortem," "No"), Sebastián Lelio's fourth feature, "Gloria," has proven one of our most pleasant Berlin Film Festival surprises. While films focusing on female protagonists have not been in short supply during this and previous...

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    Berlin Review: James Franco-Starring 'Maladies' Maroons A Dream Indie Cast In A Wasteland Of Tiresome Self-Indulgence

    Carrying the dubious distinction of being a film that managed to try our patience after just five minutes, “Maladies” is for us best summed up in one word: wasteful. It is wasteful of the considerable talents of a fabulous cast, wasteful of a pleasingly off-kilter visual approach, and wasteful of ou...

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    Berlin Review: Biopic 'Lovelace' Oddly Uninterested In Linda Lovelace

    Not so much a film about Linda Lovelace as a film about a bunch of things that happen to Linda Lovelace, including a destructive marriage to seeming complete, total, bonafide scumbag sonofabitch Chuck Traynor, today saw the first international screening of Sundance pick-up “Lovelace” at the Berlin F...

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    Berlin Review: 'A Single Shot' With Sam Rockwell Unravels From A Tight Premise Into A Downbeat, Messy Misfire

    The main narrative surrounding the evolution of David M. Rosenthal’s “A Single Shot,” which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival today, has been about the longer-than-usual casting merry-go-round -- since 2009 a roster of talent as long as your arm has signed up then signed out of the film. However...

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    Review: 'Would You Rather' See This Movie, Or Make A Better Use Of Your Ten Bucks?

    Several filmmakers have their own insight into what the recession has done to the middle class. Few of them have as much anger as David Guy Levy, director of “Would You Rather,” a sinister new thriller opening in theaters this Friday. No, Levy thinks of the general public as prey not to be hunted, b...

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    Berlin Review: Matt Porterfield’s ‘I Used To Be Darker’ Has Empathy To Burn But Lacks Urgency

    In between the big events that mark our lives -- the births, the deaths, the falling-in-loves, the breaking-ups, the runnings-away, the reconciliations -- there often exists a kind of pause moment. And it’s one such moment that Matt Porterfield’s Sundance-approved third feature, “I Used to be Darker...

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    Berlin Review: Joshua Oppenheimer’s 'The Act Of Killing' Is A Constantly Astounding, Terrifying Masterpiece

    Holy fucking shit. All apologies for incoherence in the following review but having just emerged from Joshua Oppenheimer’s shattering documentary “The Act of Killing,” which screened here in Berlin this morning, I am still shaking. I may not be in the best state to write about it, in fact, but there...

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    Review: Lifers Imitate Art In Prison-Set Shakespearean Docudrama 'Caesar Must Die'

    In a prison in Rome, real-life convicts prepare to mount a production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” and as the night of the public performance draws nearer, their real lives and the play’s narrative conflate to the point of indistinguishability. So runs an approxi...

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    Berlin Review: Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster' Is Occasionally Mesmerizing, Mostly Muddled

    Perhaps the best place to begin a review of Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” is at the end -- or a few minutes after. An epilogue of sorts, which happens suddenly and far enough into the credits that maybe half the audience was watching it from the stairs, serves as a pretty representative microcosm...

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    Review: 'Identity Thief' Joylessly Steals Nearly Two Hours Of Your Life

    When studios screen comedies for critics, there is typically an audience there, no matter how far in advance the screening. The reason, of course, is that an audience responding to a comedy in a positive way has a kind of transformative power – laughing and having fun with your fellow moviegoers is ...

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