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Review

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    Review: 'Painted Skin: The Resurrection' Spotlights Imaginative Special Effects In Derivative Story

    Today’s generation of filmgoers and filmmakers forget that at the very heart of the first cinematic techniques known as “special effects,” there was a shade of mystery and mysticism as well. This otherworldliness made visual sleight of hand seem like an extra-sensory experience, allowing films to tr...

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    Review: Rebecca Hall Chiller 'The Awakening' Is Flawed, But Also Kind Of A Blast

    All too often, the horror genre is at the less respectable end of the critical spectrum, with cheap, gory exploitation fare designed to bring in hordes of teenagers on opening weekend, and not do much beyond that. But there have been exceptions over the years, in the form of a classier kind of scare...

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    Review: Christophe Honoré Sings The Same Old Song In Phony, Hollow 'Beloved'

    As the closing night film at Cannes in 2011 -- and, as such, lumped in historically with such bland films as "The Tree," "What Just Happened?," "Chromophobia" and "The Age of Darkness" -- writer-director Christophe Honoré's "Les Bien-Aim&e...

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    Review: David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis' Is Both An Excellent Adaptation & A Rich, Complex Character Study

    "Cosmopolis," an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s typically provocative novel of the same name, is the first feature film since 1999's "eXistenZ" that filmmaker David Cronenberg has directed and scripted. This in part explains why "Cosmopolis" is such a triumph: it...

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    Review: 'Breathless' Wastes A Standout Turn By Gina Gershon With Half-Baked Sub-Coen Plotting

    It’s absolutely no surprise that writer-director Jesse Baget, of this week’s “Breathless,” is a massive fan of the Coen Brothers. His characters are articulate without being too bright, magnanimous despite moments of cruelty, and loyal in spite of overwhelming greed. Earlier this year, he was respon...

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    Review: Jean-Claude Van Damme Shines In The Moronically Irresistible Entertainment Of ‘Expendables 2’

    “The Expendables 2” is one of the very few films that gets better as it gets dumber. Serviceably directed, horribly written and barely acted at all except for a standout performance by (of all people) Jean-Claude Van Damme, it mostly delivers in the way that the original failed to, which...

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    Review: 'Almayer's Folly' Another Brilliant, Mesmerizing Film From Chantal Akerman

    At this point, the filmmaker responsible for the much adored "Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" can do whatever the hell she wants and still retain an immense amount of respect. Thankfully Chantal Akerman is still firing on all cylinders; "Almayer's Folly" (a loose adaptation of J...

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    Review: 'Why Stop Now?' A Compelling, But Not Always Fulfilling Comedy

    There’s not a whole lot of forward momentum in “Why Stop Now?” which is a surprise considering the immediacy-baiting title. Though the film takes place within the span of one day, the narrative feels truncated, allowing for connections to form, and then sever, over the course of twenty-four hours. I...

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    Review: Spike Lee Reconnects With His Artistic Voice With The Emotionally Devastating 'Red Hook Summer'

    It’s hard to say how long it’s been since Spike Lee was as ambitious, and as focused, as he is on “Red Hook Summer.” Telling a story that evokes “Crooklyn” in its depiction of children coming of age, filtered through two subsequent decades of his professional succ...

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    Review: 'Goats' Is An Unexceptional, Overly Familiar Coming-Of-Age Tale

    As far as quirky coming of age stories engineered for festivals and the twee aspiring directors who love them go, “Goats” is a fine little movie. Directed by newcomer Christopher Neil from a script by Mark Poirier, who adapted his own novel, it follows a teenager struggling to deal with his estrange...

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