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Review

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    Berlinale 2012 Review: Brillante Mendoza Takes Us All 'Captive' In Vital, Bruising Kidnap Tale

    Recipient of one of the more controversial Cannes Best Director awards of recent memory (for "Kinatay," a film we found problematic, to say the least) Filipino director Brillante Mendoza returns to screens and to the festival circuit with "Captive," which marks, if not a departure from his previous ...

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    Berlinale 2012 Review: 'Farewell, My Queen' Introduces Lesbianism Into The Marie Antoinette Story To No Great Effect

    In the land of the costume drama, truly, films about Marie Antoinette are Queen, promising lavish sets, romantic intrigue and shocking decadence -- but they don't always deliver. Director Benoit Jacquot's uninspiring take on the period opened the Berlin Film Festival days ago, but something about th...

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    Review: 'Thin Ice' With Greg Kinnear & Alan Arkin An Irritating, Shrill Comedy Devoid Of Laughs

    When the screenwriters of “Thin Ice” finally play their hand and reveal their film’s obvious twist ending, that dumb plot point almost eclipses all the other lousy things that came before it. But make no mistake, “Thin Ice” is nothing if not consistently lousy. Set in f...

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    Berlinale 2012 Review: 'Jayne Mansfield's Car' Finds A Solid Cast At The Wheel, But Not A Whole Lot Of Gas In The Tank

    A distinctly American, humanist drama, one that somewhat makes up in performances of warmth and generosity what it may lack in originality, "Jayne Mansfield's Car," which just enjoyed its World Premiere at the 2012 Berlinale, finds director and star Billy Bob Thornton showing a certain spiritual ki...

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    Review: 'The Loving Story' An Eye-Opening Portrait Of Quiet Heroism In The Face Of Injustice

    At the movies, heroes often save the day, get the girl and say all the best lines, but in real life, that's rarely the case. For Richard and Mildred Loving it was their quiet resolve, and the simple motivation that they were stuck in an unfair and injust situation, that saw them battle for years to ...

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    Berlinale 2012 Review: Reverence Outweighs Insight In Kevin Macdonald's 2 1/2 Hour 'Marley' Documentary

    A long film detailing a tragically short life, on paper, Kevin MacDonald's Bob Marley documentary "Marley" has more than enough of a pedigree to justify its 2 1/2 hour running time. After all, it's a biopic of one of the most influential and evergreen musical pioneers of all time, being brought to u...

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    Review: 'Perfect Sense' An Uneven Mix Of Romance & Apocalypse

    If you thought the fast spreading virus in "Contagion" was bad, Steven Soderbergh's film has got nothing on David Mackenzie's "Perfect Sense." A romance, sci-fi tale and apocalyptic vision of the breakdown of humanity all rolled into one, there is no source for the virus ...

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    Rotterdam Review: 'Francophrenia' A Fascinating Doc/Fiction Profile Of James Franco As James Franco

    James Franco's ongoing experimentation with the limits of his own celebrity are like little else popular culture has produced of late. While his hijinks within academia and beyond are well documented (he's working on a Film MFA at NYU and an English PhD from Yale, while being a movie star, reediting...

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    Review: 'This Means War' Shoots Blanks As Both An Action Outing & A Goofy Rom-Com

    “The best product always wins,” declares Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) early on in McG’s "This Means War," brusquely establishing her approach to professional conduct – she’s a product tester in some candy-colored SoCal workplace – and romantic relationship...

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    Review: Woody Harrelson Stands Tall Amidst Crumbling LAPD In Riveting 'Rampart'

    "Everything you learned at the Academy is bullshit." That's the sage bit of wisdom Date Rape Dave (Woody Harrelson, and we'll get to his cop moniker in a moment) gives a new trainee in the opening frames of Oren Moverman's "Rampart," a searing and riveting look at a crooked cop's decay amidst the cr...

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