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Review

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    Review: Age & Illness Test Love In Michael Haneke's Unflinching 'Amour'

    Michael Haneke makes it clear from the opening of the film exactly where he's going in "Amour." Kicking off with a literal bang, a team of police officers force open the door of a flat in France, and with masks over their mouths, they walk around the apartment, open the windows and finally find what...

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    Review: Rock 'N' Roll Dreams Are Fleeting & Familiar In David Chase's Uneven 'Not Fade Away'

    For a film that’s ostensibly set to the vibrant pulse of early ‘60s rock 'n' roll and blues -- The Rolling Stones, the early Beatles, Bo Diddley, etc. -- David Chase’s directorial debut, “Not Fade Away,” sure has a curious, circuitous and eventually long-winded tempo. Set in 1964, just a few months ...

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    Review: Overwrought 'The Impossible' Drowns In A Sea Of Melodrama

    If "The Impossible" moves viewers to do anything, it may be to upgrade their life insurance policy to cover injuries due to tsunami. Following a wealthy family who encounter undeniable hardship, they are also blessed with the kind of luck and good fortune that only happens in the movies (or to peopl...

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    Review: 'Monsters, Inc.' In 3D Is Just As Much Fun As It Was The First Time Around

    "Monsters, Inc." represented a lot of firsts for the Pixar animation studio. Released in the fall of 2001, it was the first film without the direct supervision of John Lasseter, who had directed the three previous films for the studio and remains its chief creative force. It was also the first of th...

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    Review: 'The Guilt Trip' An Underdeveloped, Clichéd Road Trip Comedy Without Much Gas

    There are at least two movies opening this holiday season which seem like they were stolen from the script vault at Touchstone Pictures, circa 1992. The first, "Parental Guidance," features the heavyweight one-two punch of Billy Crystal and Bette Midler, concerns grandparents outwitted by their gran...

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    Review: 'Barbara' A Fresh Look Into 1980s Germany, Focusing On Life & Love

    Though maybe a bit too stiff and straight-laced, "Barbara" is a frequently subtle, moderately interesting character study set in a grievous East Germany during the 1980s. What are especially nice are the painstaking ways that director Christian Petzold ("Jerichow," "Dreileben: Beats Being Dead") avo...

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    Review: Beat Classic 'On The Road' Comes To The Screen In Lustrous-But-Long-Winded Fashion

    Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" has been heralded for decades: an important novel, a cultural signifier, a sociological landmark, a cracking good read. It's also been considered "unfilmable" -- but now Walter Salles ("The Motorcycle Diaries," "Dark Water") brings the novel to the screen, and "The Motor...

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    Review: Judd Apatow's 'This Is 40' Is Sprawling And Undisciplined, But Emotionally Honest Too

    Hearing that writer/director Judd Apatow, arguably the most influential and highly regarded comedic talent in the past decade, was making a "sort-of sequel" to his smash "Knocked Up," it's easy to assume that his creative well has run dry. Why return to that world, only to focus on a pair of side ch...

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    Marrakech '12 Review: 'Mushrooming' A Pitch Black Comedy With A Pitch Perfect Cast

    We must confess to being rather behind the curve when it comes to recent Estonian filmmaking, but if we'd hazarded a guess what it might look like prior to watching Toomas Hussar's “Mushrooming,” going on a purely geographical basis we’d have aimed for somewhere halfway between a Finnish film and a ...

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    Review: 'Jack Reacher' Is The Rare Franchise-Starter That Makes You Hungry For More

    Much of the hoopla surrounding "Jack Reacher," the first adaptation of the insanely popular series of Lee Child-penned thrillers, has had to do with the casting of the diminutive Tom Cruise in the title role. As described in the novels, Reacher is, physically speaking, a brute – close-cropped blonde...

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