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Review

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    Cannes Review: 'Miss Bala' A Visceral, Layered Look At The Mexican War On Drugs

    Cinema, television and even the music world have always had a somewhat romantic notion of the drug trade. Guys like Scarface and Omar from "The Wire" are seen as badasses making their way, while hip-hop has a whole sub-genre dedicated to raps about slinging crack. And while in our homes and on our iPods it may seem far away or even harmless, in Mexico, they are in the midst of a very real war. The statistics are staggering -- 36,000 dead from 2006-2011 including women and children -- and the economics moreso. $25-40 billion is generated by drugs alone; the crime lords definitely have a vested (and violent) interest in keeping their business g...

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    Review: 'Pirates of the Caribbean 4' Is a Soggy Sea Chanty That Seems Awfully Familiar

    Executive producers of television series talk about needing to do a "bottle episode," usually about a third of the way through the season when they've unnecessarily overspent on the earlier episodes and need to save up so that the finale can go out with a bang. In a lot of ways "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (yes, that's the actual title) feels like a "bottle episode" in the franchise, one in which the scale is cut back tremendously, extraneous mythology shaved away, with the lavish direction of the original trilogy (by Gore Verbinski, who helmed one of this year's very best movies, "Rango") replaced with someone whose vision i...

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    Cannes Review: Gus Van Sant's 'Restless' Is An Endless Number Of Quirks Searching For A Movie

    Easily the first hard flop of the Cannes Film Festival, the warning signs were there but perhaps we didn't pay them much mind. If everything had gone according to the original plan, "Restless" would have already come and gone in theaters and never hit the Croisette. And that probably would have been the better for everyone involved. Instead, a rightfully nervous Sony scuttled a planned January release and shuffled the film over to their indie division Sony Pictures Classics to handle. Kudos for them for getting the film into the opening slot of the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, because after seeing it, that must have been nothing...

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    Cannes Review: 'Margin Call' A Compelling 24-Hour Slice Of The Start Of The Economic Collapse

    Just a note: No, this isn't part of the official lineup, but we missed it at Sundance and took a trip into the Cannes marketplace today to catch up with it.

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    Review: 'True Legend' Is A Solid 80 Minute Actioner That Runs 115

    “True Legend” tells the story of Su Qi-Er, a warrior general who retires from battle to marry, have a child, and open a martial arts academy. Complicating matters is the idea that his wife Ying is the sister to his own adopted brother, Yuan Lie. Despite the incestuous nature of this relationship, an...

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    Review: 'A Serbian Film' Is Strictly For The Disturbed

    There’s not a whole lot that can prepare you for “A Serbian Film.” Much ink has been spilled over the various controversies surrounding the picture, but this Friday, you will have a chance to make up your own mind about a film that has divided even the most depraved of genre fans. Well, for the most...

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    Review: 'Brother's Justice' Earns The Title Of Least Convincing Mockumentary Ever Made

    There’s a couple of central jokes at the heart of “Brother’s Justice,” a new fake-umentary opening this weekend.

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    Cannes Review: Brazilian Pic 'Hard Labor' Finds Real Horror In The Job Market

    For their first feature, the directing team of Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra certainly made a reach for the brass ring. A horror film (of sorts) structured around an observation of the economic realities and class systems of Brazil, "Hard Labor" is an ambitious blend of genres that unfortunately is ...

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    Cannes Review: 'Habemus Papam' An Unlikely Dramedy About Finding Faith, But Losing Yourself

    Early word on Nanni Moretti's "Habemus Papam" was that it was more or less in the vein of "The King's Speech." Well, perhaps in broad strokes, but unlike Tom Hooper's wildly overrated Oscar-winner, Moretti finds more depth, complex emotion and goes for a much braver, uneasy ending for his film. "Hab...

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    Review: 'The Big Bang' Starring Antonio Banderas Is More Like A Bad Lay

    Why is it that all hard boiled detectives in movies have to have the standard-issue growly deep-voiced monotone? Are there no soprano private investigators? The throat lozenge market would make a killing catering their ads specifically to people like P.I. Ned Cruz, the hero of this Friday’s “The Big...

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