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Leonard Maltin

movie review: The Princess Of Montpensier

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 15, 2011 10:49 PM
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  • 2 Comments
I love movies that transport me to a different time and place. Bertrand Tavernier has said that with this film his goal was to make a tale of 16th century France seem so vivid and immediate that there would be no distance between the viewer and the characters on screen. That’s no small feat, but he has accomplished it with style and grace, as you would expect from this humanistic and virtuosic director.

movie review: Rio

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 15, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments
When Blue Sky Studio unveiled its debut feature-film, Ice Age, a decade ago, it became clear that Pixar didn’t have a monopoly on clever storytelling or computer imagery. Now, longtime staff director Carlos Saldanha, who was born in Brazil, has returned to his homeland, cinematically speaking, to create a lively, colorful, thoroughly entertaining animated feature.

movie review: The Conspirator

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 15, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 11 Comments
There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting a movie to be great and having to admit that it falls short. At one point during The Conspirator I found myself willing it to be more exciting and dynamic, to no avail. It isn’t bad, but it never scales the heights of greatness its story promises and demands.

movie review: Hanna

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 8, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 6 Comments

movie review: Your Highness

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 8, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 7 Comments
In theory, I suppose it would be funny—and incongruous—if in the middle of a serious costume drama a noble action hero uttered a four-letter word. Hearing Danny McBride do just that, repeatedly, in Your Highness not only isn’t funny but grows wearisome as the film plods along, seemingly unaware that it’s played all of its cards.

movie review: Arthur

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 8, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
How you react to Arthur will largely depend on your expectations. If you’ve never seen, or heard of, the 1981 movie Arthur you might find the new movie of the same name fairly entertaining. But if you have fond memories of the original, written and directed by Steve Gordon, you’ll know the truth: this occasionally amusing film can’t compare to the original, which was flat-out hilarious, with plum parts for Dudley Moore, as a childlike billionaire, and John Gielgud, as his long-suffering valet and caretaker. The best part of the new movie is the inspired casting of Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in the leading roles.

movie review: Source Code

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 2, 2011 1:13 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Source Code is perfectly agreeable entertainment, so long as you don’t ask too much of it. It has an intriguing science-fiction premise that hints at deeper issues but, in truth, the movie doesn’t want to disturb us or make us think too much.

movie review: In A Better World

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • April 1, 2011 5:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In a Better World triumphed against strong competition to win this year’s Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film. Now that it’s opening theatrically in the U.S. you can see why. I became a fan and booster of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier when I saw her breathtaking Brothers (which is far superior to its Hollywood remake). Her films have a rare feeling of intimacy; there is no distance between us and the characters on screen. We almost feel as if we’re experiencing the story in their shoes.

movie review: Sucker Punch

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • March 25, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Director Zach Snyder recreated the look and feel of ancient Thermopylae, as pictured by visionary artist/writer Frank Miller, in 300 without ever leaving a soundstage, using the palette of CGI. Then he brought the stylized world of Watchmen to life on screen. Now he has directed and co-written a film that takes place in yet another artificial environment—but these characters are as synthetic as their colorful backdrop. I’ll resist all the puns the title invites and simply say that Sucker Punch is one strange movie.

movie review: Win Win

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • March 18, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Tom McCarthy made an impressive filmmaking debut eight years ago as the writer and director of the indie hit The Station Agent, which introduced us to Peter Dinklage and Bobby Cannavale. He followed it with The Visitor, which earned Richard Jenkins an Oscar nomination. Being an actor himself, he writes great parts for performers he admires, and he’s hit the bull’s-eye once again with Win Win, which stars Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan.

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