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leonardmaltin
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Leonard Maltin

Amigo—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 19, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Amigo ought to be a great film: the subject is fascinating and still resonates today, even though it takes place over a hundred years ago. The Philippine-American war has been pretty much ignored, by textbook authors as well as moviemakers (but for the 1937 Hollywood movie The Real Glory). As a result, writer-director John Sayles has a lot of information to get across in order for us to get the lay of the land, and understand the central characters and their conflicts.

The Help—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 12, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 18 Comments
Any time a book strikes a chord with a vast number of people, as Kathryn Stockett’s The Help did, there is a mixture of anticipation and trepidation about its transition to the screen. Overall, I think writer-director Tate Taylor has done a good job bringing the book and its characters to life, in concert with an exceptional cast. And, crucially, he has managed to recreate the look and feel of a Southern town in the 1960s, with its separate but unequal citizenry: the well-to-do white folks and their black servants.

30 Minutes Or Less—movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 12, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 19 Comments
What can I say about a movie that made me want to take a shower and cleanse myself afterward? 30 Minutes or Less is so shallow, self-satisfied, and downright repulsive that I hesitate to discuss it at all. It has none of the qualities of director Ruben Fleischer’s debut feature, Zombieland, and it’s a long way from Jesse Eisenberg’s Oscar-nominated The Social Network. In fact, I’d call this movie antisocial.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 5, 2011 4:32 AM
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  • 10 Comments
A movie that opens as well as this one does—and draws you in so effectively—ought to have a finale that doesn’t remind you of cheesy monster movies from years past. On the other hand, the visual effects in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' are so astonishing that I have to cut the movie some slack.

The Change-Up

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 5, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 4 Comments
No one wants to be the one to raise his hand and be so uncool as to say “I’m offended,” but I’m willing to take that risk after seeing The Change-Up. I’ve tried to make my peace with what I call The New Vulgarity, as Hollywood has jumped on the R-rated comedy bandwagon, but it isn’t easy. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who co-scripted The Hangover, and David Dobkin, who directed Wedding Crashers, clearly took their mandate seriously with this film, updating a time-worn premise about two characters switching bodies and vulgarizing it.

The Whistleblower

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 5, 2011 4:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Cowboys & Aliens: movie review

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 29, 2011 4:29 AM
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  • 7 Comments
As its title indicates, this is a strange cross of movie genres, and lest any viewers get antsy, it doesn’t allow much time to pass before we first encounter UFOs in the Old West. The film takes its time unraveling the rest of the story, leading us along a trail with no clear destination in sight, at first. (Could that have something to do with the six A-list writers who worked on the screenplay, which was inspired by Scott Michael Rosenberg’s graphic novel?) All we know is that there’s been an alien invasion, and neither the cowboys nor Indians know how to deal with it.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 29, 2011 4:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments
When a movie opens with a woman telling her husband that she wants a divorce after twenty-five years of marriage and it isn’t played for laughs, you know you’re not in for a “typical” Hollywood comedy. Given the current state of comedy, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what we get instead is an odd, meandering, mood-swinging movie called Crazy, Stupid, Love. (Yes, there’s a period at the end of the title, for no apparent reason.)

The Guard

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 29, 2011 4:16 AM
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  • 5 Comments
This movie made me smile and even laugh out loud. In fact, it gave me more pleasure than any aliens, robots or superheroes have all summer. That’s because it’s doggedly offbeat and completely original. It also provides a showcase for two fine actors, Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle.

Captain America: The First Avenger

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 26, 2011 6:32 AM
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  • 12 Comments
I’m a bit late coming to this film—blame Comic-Con—but having heard good buzz I went to see it this morning with high hopes. For starters, a comic book story set during World War Two offers a perfect opportunity to banish irony, make use of Nazis as bad guys, and cheer on an all-American hero. Chris Evans is well cast in the leading role, as he not only embodies the physical character but embraces his patriotic attitude with complete conviction.

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