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Leonard Maltin

movie review: SUPER 8

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 9, 2011 6:17 AM
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  • 12 Comments
If you’re wondering what’s missing from so many big-budget, effects-driven Hollywood movies, the answer lies in J.J. Abrams’ Super 8: heart and passion. What’s happening onscreen really matters to the young people in the story—so it matters to us, too. Moreover, there’s no cynicism or aloofness in these characters or the way they’re depicted. Just look at the face of newcomer Joel Courtney, who plays the leading role in Super 8, and you see the kind of guileless all-American boy we don’t find too often in contemporary films.

movie review—Midnight In Paris

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 8, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 5 Comments
I had a smile on my face from the moment Woody Allen’s latest film began, with an idyllic series of Parisian street scenes set to the music of jazz great Sidney Bechet…and the film maintained that lovely quality all the way to the finale. Allen may be a fatalist, as he often claims, but this film is whimsical and romantic—a divertissement that recalls one of his most endearing and original comedies, The Purple Rose of Cairo.

movie review: X-Men: First Class

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 3, 2011 4:42 AM
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  • 11 Comments
It’s risky to reinvent an established series with a new cast and a different setting than fans are accustomed to…but the folks at Marvel have gambled and won. Despite its flaws, X-Men: First Class is an effective reboot of the once-solid series that debuted eleven years ago.

movie review: Submarine

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 3, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 3 Comments
We’ve all seen coming-of-age stories—plenty of them—so when a new one comes along that seems fresh and novel, that’s reason to cheer. The new British import Submarine is just such a film, based on a prize-winning novel by Joe Dunthorne about a precocious boy growing up in Wales. The two young leads are new to us in the States, but they’re joined by top-tier talent from the adult ranks. The result is a disarming comic tale about growing pains.

movie review: Rejoice And Shout

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 3, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
What I don’t know about gospel music could fill a library, but I’m willing to learn, and the lively documentary called Rejoice and Shout is a perfect tutorial. What’s more,

movie review: Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 3, 2011 4:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
After years of DVD special features, even dedicated buffs may be somewhat blasé about a film that takes us behind the scenes to explore one man’s career…but this is no ordinary documentary, and its subject is no ordinary filmmaker. Jack Cardiff was a remarkable artist who grew up with the British movie industry and carved a niche for himself through his pioneering use of Technicolor, notably in the Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger classics A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. He was the first cinematographer ever presented with an honorary Academy Award, in 2001.

movie review: The Hangover, Part II

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 27, 2011 4:31 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Unless moviegoers themselves are willing to shoulder some of the blame, it’s useless to try and figure out why The Hangover Part II is so bad. The film only exists because, after the hilarious 2009 movie broke box-office records for an R-rated comedy, its studio demanded a sequel. And if their instincts were correct, people will flock to see it this weekend. If your only arbiter of success is money earned, then the film will probably be considered a hit. If you factor quality into the equation, forget about it.

movie review: The Tree Of Life

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 27, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 32 Comments

movie review: Kung Fu Panda 2

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 27, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments
It’s tricky to change the thrust—and the tone—of a story in its second installment, but I think the creators of Kung Fu Panda 2 have pulled it off. The first movie was

movie review—Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 20, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 14 Comments
Remember how fresh and novel Pirates of the Caribbean seemed in 2003? Remember the fun of seeing Johnny Depp’s off-the-wall portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow for the first time? It may be hard to think back that far, because the lumbering, pointless sequels have buried every trace of spontaneity and given us “more of the same” in heavy doses.

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