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Criticwire

How Trayvon Martin's Death Highlights the Flaws in 'Fruitvale Station'

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 16, 2013 4:13 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Even before the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case came down, critics were drawing parallels between Martin, who was shot dead by Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, and Oscar Grant, who on New Year's Day, 2009 was shot dead by a Bay Area transit officer while he was lying face down on a subway platform. Grant's story is national news not because of new developments -- officer Johannes Mehserle, who said he thought he was firing his newly issued Taser, received a two-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter and was released in June of 2011; federal civil-rights charges against him are pending -- but because of Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler’s docufictional account of Grant’s last 24 hours on earth.

'Let Them Wear Towels' Profiles the Female Sportswriters Who Broke the Locker-Room Bar

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 16, 2013 1:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's Let Them Wear Towels, a documentary about the first women allowed into the locker rooms of pro sports teams.

Lianne Spiderbaby Plagiarism Inspires Anger, Sorrow

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 16, 2013 11:34 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The latest film writer to be caught stealing others' work is Liane "Spiderbaby" MacDougall, or, as mainstream news outlets have taken to calling her, "Quentin Tarantino's girlfriend." The news started to circulate over the weekend that MacDougall had lifted from several writers in pieces on her own website and at Fearnet. (The offending pieces have been removed, and any trace of MacDougall's existence has been scrubbed from Fearnet's site.) Defamer has a detailed timeline of how MacDougall backtracked, apologized, and then went underground, disabling her website and deleting her Twitter account.

Here There Be Monsters: Why Hollywood Should Keep Destroying Cities

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 15, 2013 4:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Critics have attacked this summer's blockbusters for exploiting 9/11. But what else are we afraid of?

Veteran Writers Bring Fresh Perspective With New Site, Critics a Go Go

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 15, 2013 12:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Veterans critics are doing their own thing all over the place these days. Last week brought the launch of The Dissolve; now, Peter Keough, of the dearly departed Boston Phoenix, and Henry Sheehan, whose past outlets include the L.A. Reader and the Orange County Register, are trading cross-country posts at Critics a Go Go.

'The Newsroom' Season 2 Promises Less and Delivers It

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 15, 2013 12:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The season-spanning story is designed to seem ambitious, but this Newsroom feels like a scaled-down show; there's less egregious overreach, but nothing's come in to replace it. It’s a tamed beast, no longer the unicorn of absurdity it once was. It's less of a disappointment, but mainly because we know not to get our hopes up now.

Do Summer Movies Suffer From Multiple Climax Syndrome?

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 12, 2013 3:41 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Summer blockbusters keep getting bigger, but is there a better way?

Is 'Orange Is the New Black' the Year's Best New Show?

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 11, 2013 1:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Is this women-in-prison series the year's best new show?

Fade In: The Dissolve

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 10, 2013 5:39 PM
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  • 0 Comments
When word got out that a group of Chicago-based writers were coming together to start a website devoted to film, critic James Rocchi quipped that it was "like seeing a unicorn at a Safeway." Five weeks later, we've got our unicorn, and it's a beaut.

Rex Reed Still World's Worst Film Critic

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 10, 2013 10:22 AM
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  • 34 Comments
The movie reviews of Rex Reed inspire fierce debate: Questions like, Is he the worst critic alive, or the worst critic in history? Is he a terrible writer, or a terrible person who happens to write? Is he a a greater waste of column inches or oxygen?

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