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Reviews

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    Knowing: Proyas/Cage Thriller Will Wow Audiences

    Knowing is an intense, smart sci-fi thriller that stops just short of being great. Australian director Alex Proyas, the mind behind The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot , makes several questionable choices--among them ominous Jim Jarmusch lookalike lurkers and and a derivative ending-- but they don't de...

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    Duplicity: Gilroy Directs Roberts and Owen

    While Duplicity isn't as good as Michael Clayton, you can tell that it comes from the mind of Tony Gilroy. According to his recent profile in The New Yorker, he's a man who likes to surprise. Gilroy reminds me of Steven Soderbergh: he's trying to outsmart audience expectations so much that he sometimes outsmarts himself. (It makes sense that he wrote the Bourne series.) Clayton was warmed up by the charisma of George Clooney, as well as the whip-cracking brilliance of British actor Tom Wilkinson, who goes up against the great Paul Giamatti in Duplicity. The plot of this gorgeous and sexy character-based heist thriller twists and turns--reveal...

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    Critics Vent on Film Criticism

    It hasn't been a good year for film criticism. Here's a round-table interview with established film critics. And here's David Poland's plaint about the LAT hiring former L.A Times entertainment editor Betsy Sharkey as film critic. With so many unemployed professional critics out there, it seems a sh...

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    Why Australia is a Dud

    Well, Australia's second-weekend drop indicates that it isn't doing well enough with adult audiences to ever make it into a success here.

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    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Review

    I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Saturday (following the aborted Thursday screening), and have been trying to sort it out ever since.

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    Oscar Watch: Revolutionary Road Review

    I saw Revolutionary Road over the weekend, and moderated a panel Saturday with director Sam Mendes, Leonardo DiCaprio (nominated three times), Kate Winslet (nominated five times), Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, theater actor Michael Shannon (W.), cinematographer Roger Deakins (nominated seven times) and ...

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    Oscar Watch: Doubt Reviews

    Let the fur fly. In the first review of Doubt, Todd McCarthy is casting seeds of doubt on Meryl Streep's performance.

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    Eastwood's Changeling: Manna for Adults

    I saw Changeling for the second time Thursday night. It's as good as I remember it from last May at Cannes. And it's just the kind of movie that Academy members will appreciate--it played well at the Academy premiere.

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    Quantum of Solace: Smart Bond

    I confess that I had a great time at Quantum of Solace last night. Sure it's glitzy and glam and jammed with heart-stopping violent action. But it's also arty and elegant and beautiful. One of the main sequences is a lyrical homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, set during a perfor...

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    Body of Lies: Yes, DiCaprio is a Movie Star

    Body of Lies is a movie that a major studio greenlit because two stars and a star director--all proven commercial commodities--wanted to make it. Ridley Scott and Warners producer Donald DeLine corralled Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe (overweight and middle-aged, with a southern drawl) to star ...

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