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The Review Report for Friday, April 26th: 'Pain & Gain', 'Mud', 'Sun Don't Shine' & More

Criticwire By Forrest Cardamenis | Criticwire April 26, 2013 at 11:10AM

It doesn't matter who you are, this week's new releases promise something you will like. It's one of the most crowded weekends in recent memory, so here's to hoping you can get to a nearby theater and take advantage of it.
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Pain and Gain

It doesn't matter who you are, this week's new releases promise something you will like. It's one of the most crowded weekends in recent memory, so here's to hoping you can get to a nearby theater and take advantage of it.

The master of visual excess, Michael Bay, is back with the satirical action film "Pain & Gain," (C+, 9 grades) which is already dividing critics.

Scott Nye, CriterionCast:

"'Pain & Gain' is an astounding accomplishment. A fiery, full-throated condemnation of a commercially-warped vision of the 'American Dream,' and a completely fearless dive into delusion and incompetence."

Emanuel Levy, Emanuellevy.com:

"'Pain & Gain' is much like one of the crimes that its story describes: poorly planned, poorly carried out, and wholly disturbing."

After receiving tepid reviews at Cannes last year, Jeff Nichols' "Mud" (B+, 42 grades) has found its defenders stateside.

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap:

"Nichols lovingly sketches his characters and their world; he takes his time doing so, but it's a pleasure to watch the small interactions and the humid reality of secret coves and Piggly Wiggly supermarkets and seedy hotels."

Amy Seimetz stays in the spotlight with "Sun Don't Shine" (A-, 22 grades).

Don Simpson, Smells Like Screen Spirit:

"Building upon the already nightmarish elements of the narrative, 'Sun Don't Shine' unfolds with the oblique stream of consciousness of a dream."

Mira Nair brings the best-selling "The Reluctant Fundamentalist(B-, 13 grades) to the screen at an especially timely moment.

Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye For Film:

"The frame narrative can be stilted, comparable to the one in Ang Lee's 'Life Of Pi', where rarefied wisdoms come served with your tea and soulful actors try to cajole you, while the flashback already successfully did the job of convincing you of the true nature of tigers or strip searches respectively."

Ulrich Seidl brings his spiritual trilogy to theaters with "Paradise: Love" (B, 6 grades); the opener focuses on a woman traveling to Kenya as a sex tourist.

Mark Jenkins, NPR:

"Co-written by Seidl and his regular collaborator Veronika Franz, 'Paradise: Love' is startlingly frank if narratively underdeveloped."

"Kon-Tiki" (B, 12 grades) is the final 2012 Foreign Language Oscar nominee to be released.

Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest:

"For a film rooted in history such as this, the inclusion of such shamelessly crowdpleasing elements constantly threaten to take away from its authenticity...Yet this 'Kon-Tiki' appears to be hewing closer to the spirit of Heyerdahl rather than the reality he actually lived, yielding a heightened world full of eye-popping colors and grand locales."

The bizarre, genre-bending "An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty" (B, 17 grades) is yet another film to finally find a home with release this weekend.

Matt Prigge, Philadelphia Weekly:

"Original and so much more, Terence Nance's relentlessly naval-gazing feature debut abandons narrative for a restless, shape-shifting experiment in self-documentation."

Ramin Bahrani's takes a turn to the mainstream in the NASCAR centered "At Any Price" (B-, 32 critics).

Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist:

"We can see why some might not roll with the melodramatic plotting and the less-than-opaque metaphors. But for all its flaws, we found the film powerful, engaging and, by the finale, moving."

Lastly, Filipino thriller "Graceland(B+, 10 grades) is making a critical splash despite threatening to slip under the radar.

Jordan Hoffman, Screen Crush:

"'Graceland' is, no doubt about it, a film that'll tie you up in knots. As it makes its way down the dark river of child prostitution it can be quite difficult to watch. Despite some very frank moments, it doesn't feel exploitative."

Once again, it's a great and diverse weekend, so happy pickings.

This article is related to: The Review Report, Pain & Gain, Pain And Gain, Paradise: Love, Graceland, At Any Price, Sun Don't Shine, Mud, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Kon-Tiki, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty


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