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Reviews

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    Review: Eliza Hittman's 'It Felt Like Love'

    Sexual awakening is common enough in coming-of-age films, particularly those about adolescent girls. But Eliza Hittman’s observant film “It Felt Like Love,” in theaters Friday, isn’t just about sexual awakening -- it’s about feeling the pressure to want a sex life.

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    Review: Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' Volume I

    In Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac Volume I,” a bruised and battered woman, Joe (Charlote Gainsbourg), recounts her lifelong misadventures of nymphomania to a lonely man (Stellan Skarsgard). He continually interrupts her to point out how her sordid tales parallel that of river trout. He’s intellectua...

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    Review: Pat Healy Ain't Messin' Around in Smart and Stomach-Turning 'Cheap Thrills'

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. And a lot of really gross stuff. This is the sly premise behind the smart -- and, yes, very gross -- thriller “Cheap Thrills,” which has dazzled Midnight festival crowds for the past year and hits theaters March 21.

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    New Directors/New Films Review: Iranian Vampire Noir 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night'

    A strong, exciting voice that emerged from this past Sundance was Ana Lily Amirpour, who brought to the Park City festival what could very well be the first Iranian vampire film, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.” The film now opens the 2014 New Directors/New Films Festival, kicking off March 19 at...

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    Review: Caper Flick 'Rob the Mob' Is the Best Time You'll Have at the Movies So Far This Year

    The New York-based, New York-centric Raymond De Felitta has been the Jean Renoir of the outer-boroughs since the tender “Two-Family House” (2000) made a star-crossed Shangri-La out of Staten Island. (His debut short, “Bronx Cheers” and the popular family drama/comedy “City Island” 2009 were set in t...

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    REVIEW: SXSW Grand Jury Doc Winner 'The Great Invisible'

    I was happy to see that Margaret Brown’s deserving documentary “The Great Invisible,” on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath, nabbed the Grand Jury award at this year’s SXSW. While the doc competition lineup was strong, Brown’s film displayed the tautest and most skillful chops in term...

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    This Weekend, Drive Past 'Need for Speed' and Head for the Indies

    This weekend, your best bet is to steer clear of "Need for Speed" and seek out a few indies instead. The critics have spoken, and "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul's first mainstream theatrical vehicle, based on the wildly popular video game racing franchise, has no wheels. So instead, why not catch no...

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    SXSW Review: Vampires Get Real in Hilarious Mock Doc 'What We Do In the Shadows'

    It’s hard out there for a vampire. Sunlight’s a (literal) pain, dining on human blood can get messy, and primping for a night out on the town is tricky when you can’t see your own reflection in a mirror. Aside from these supernatural hang-ups, Taikia Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s rollicking mockume...

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    SXSW Review: 'Frank,' Starring Michael Fassbender Wearing a Giant Fake Head, Totally Rocks

    In Lenny Abrahamson’s lovely film ‘Frank,’ Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is a would-be musician who works an office job by day. It’s possible he doesn’t have a lot of talent.

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    SXSW Review: The Zellners Strike Wonder with 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,' Starring Rinko Kikuchi

    Many delightful, haunting things happen in David and Nathan Zellner’s “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter,” which screens at SXSW 2014. One is that a duo of filmmaking brothers -- moving steadily toward the top of their game after a decade of turning out weird, unique short and feature films -- quote anot...

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