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The Review Report for Friday, March 29th

This Week's Review Report

Two films getting released today already appear on Criticwire’s list of the best indie movies of 2013 so far; another one is not far off. There’s also a few prominent wide releases as well, so The Review Report is here to help you narrow down your options. 

First up, “Room 237” (“B+”, 74 ratings) showcases five theories regarding a hidden meaning of “The Shining”; it’s a must-see for fans of Stanley Kubrick and “The Shining:”

William Goss, The Hitlist:

“‘Room 237’ brings the realms of film theory and conspiracy theory a bit closer together. It’s some work, more play and a generally unique look at the fine line between watching a film and seeing deeper into it.”

Jordan Cronk, Slant Magazine:

“If nothing else, the film encourages close, personal readings and confronts art on an obsessive, cosmopolitan level.”

Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to “Blue Valentine,” the Ryan Gosling-starring “The Place Beyond The Pines” (“B”, 34 ratings) also arrives today:

Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye For Film:

“If it weren’t for actions as careful and fine as a police chief picking up money with a tissue, you might think Cianfrance and his writing partners Ben Coccio and Darius Marder have crammed too many stories into one.”

Winner of 10 Goya awards, “Blancanieves(“B+”, 32 ratings) is a tribute to silent-film and a re-telling of “Snow White:”

Anna Bielak, Smells Like Screen Spirit:

“Within this black-and-white magical plot is the story about a girl who needs to face enemies that haunted her coming-of-age journey and learns how to turn failures into successes and grows up ready for anything that life may bring.”

Joe Bendel, Libertas Film Magazine:

“Watching ‘Blancanieves’, one is struck by the painstaking composition of each shot and the care taken to perfectly match every note of Alfonso de Vilallonga’s score Furthermore, the lack of award season recognition for Kiko de la Rica’s gorgeous black-and-white cinematography is nothing less than a crime.”

Wrong(“B”, 34 ratings) is a compelling and divisive attempt at surrealism:

Matt Brennan, Thompson On Hollywood:

‘Wrong’ is, at some level, an experimentalist’s attempt at disrupting the dominance of narrative, and Dupieux’s inventiveness is undeniable. But I finished the movie with a new quiver of doubts about the possibilities of Surrealism, and renewed conviction that its limits are what caused it to pass out of fashion.”

Lovers of French Cinema and Jean Renoir should check out “Renoir,” (“B-“, 9 ratings) which offers a fictional look at the Renoir family:

Kurt Brokaw, Independent Magazine:

“‘Renoir’ is a singular example of the French art of mise-en-scene, which is taken for granted in world cinema but rarely demonstrated as vividly as in Bourdos’ drama.”

G.I. Joe: Retaliation(“C-“, 15 ratings) is either the best or the worst in the series, depending on who you ask:

Pat Padua, DCist:

“There’s ultimately little to defend in this two-hour gastrointestinal nightmare, the worst movie I’ve seen so far in this year of bad Hollywood product.”

Todd Gilchrist, The Playlist:

“‘Retaliation’ is no masterpiece, but it’s a movie whose fun doesn’t feel like a four-letter word — popcorn entertainment that not only rivals what you see during summer, but surpasses what you see from Sommers.”

Another Stephenie Meyer adaptation, “The Host,” (“C-“, 6 ratings) arrives in theaters to follow-up her hugely successful “Twilight” series:

“There’s some nifty art direction here, notably the labyrinth of caves where the humans are hiding out, but ‘The Host’ feels so polished and passionless that one might think that it was the product of one of the bland aliens.”

Also consider opting for the socially conscious “The Girl,” (“B-,” 13 ratings) starring Abbie Cornish in an acclaimed performance:

“David Riker’s ‘The Girl’ skillfully discusses the dark side of United States immigration policies and the role that immigration plays in the greater scheme of the U.S. economy.”

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