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In Theaters

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    A Corner in Couscous: Abdellatif Kechiche's "The Secret of the Grain"

    There's no "secret" -- of cooking, of love, of financial success -- in Abdellatif Kechiche's "The Secret of the Grain," though there is indeed plenty of grain. Though it's also played under the simpler name of "Couscous," the film is actually called "The Grain and the Mullet" in French -- the latter half of the title denoting the fish and not the novelty haircut. Maybe none of these quite captures the film, which in its length and dozen-or-so characters is itself difficult to succinctly summarize, but the original title does at least point to fish and couscous, the celebrated signature dish of the now fractured Beiji family. Each Sunday, Soua...

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    Leap of Faith: Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    So Help Me God: Rod Lurie's "Nothing But the Truth"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Lady and Ghent: Christophe Van Rompaey's "Moscow, Belgium"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Someone to Watch Over Me: Jose Luis Guerin's "In the City of Sylvia"

    "In the City of Sylvia," Jose Luis Guerin's odyssey of perception, is so dedicated to getting inside the act of cosmopolitan female-watching, it might as well be called "City of Women." Alert, feline-eyed Xavier Lafitte is a quiet young flaneur and diarist, an enigmatic figure introduced at loose en...

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    Travel Plans: Nacho Vigalondo's "Timecrimes"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Blues Clueless: Rachel Samuels's "Dark Streets"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    The Play's the Thing: John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

    On paper, John Patrick Shanley did everything right in bringing his Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Doubt" to film. He adapted the screenplay and directed himself, assembled a cast with 17 Oscar nominations to their collective credit, and brought in the extraordinary cinematographer Roger Deakins. Given the strength of the source material and the pedigree of its cast and crew, "Doubt" may be the ultimate low-risk, high-reward prestige product, and it would be wrong for me to suggest that Shanley has produced anything less than a gripping piece of work. Despite its many virtues, though, "Doubt" is also bloodless. Handsome, well played, and oddly ...

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    Mad Dog: Paul Schrader's "Adam Resurrected"

    There's no joy to be had in enumerating the shortcomings of "Adam Resurrected," an ambitious and long gestating adaptation of a much-admired novel by Yoram Kaniuk. But in most respects the film just doesn't click: tone stumbles and fumbles meaning, dialogue meanders above uneven visuals, and scenes ...

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    REVIEW | A Hero for Our Time: Gus Van Sant's "Milk"

    "Politics is theater," observes Harvey (Sean Penn) in Gus Van Sant's terrific "Milk." And sometimes, of course, theater -- or cinema -- is politics. When they first embarked on this project, Van Sant and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black could never have anticipated that 2008 would see the election of a minority candidate and former community organizer, running on a message of hope, to the highest office in the land, nor could they have expected that Obama's historic victory would coincide with the passage of Proposition 8 in California, delivering a major setback for the gay rights movement in the United States. But this is "Milk"'s political ...

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