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Review

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    Review: Love In Israel Has No Easy Answers In 'The Matchmaker'

    There is a colloquialism particular to Israel – “sabra” – which denotes a prickly, weathered desert plant sporting a tough exterior but a soft and sweet interior. More curious is how this word has been put to use – as a distinction between the native-born Israeli and immigrants communicating in heav...

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    Review: ‘The Master’ Proves A Brave, Sensual Yet Detached Triumph For Paul Thomas Anderson

    Even amongst its most wrenching scenes of unfettered anger and broken loyalty, a volatile sensuality nonetheless invades every frame of Paul Thomas Anderson’s arresting “The Master.” Populated by characters certain in their sexual and loving instincts yet stubborn in claiming responsibility for them...

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    Review: Disappointing 'Robot & Frank' Is High Concept Sci-Fi That's Low On Ideas

    In recent years, Sundance has been hit with a handful of smart science fiction films tackling large themes within an extremely limited scope. From the $7,000 “Primer” to the $5 million “Moon,” their respective filmmakers managed to put forth some interesting ideas without being hindered creatively b...

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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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