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leonardmaltin
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film review—TRUE GRIT

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 22, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 17 Comments
The Coen Brothers want to have their cake and eat it, too. They apparently intend some of their adaptation of True Grit to play believably, and some of it to reflect the ironic distance for which they’re so well known. That’s a tough two-step to pull off, and they almost get away with it.

film review: SOMEWHERE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 22, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I count Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation as one of my favorite films of the decade, and I have great respect for her other pictures—except for the one at hand. Somewhere, which somehow won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, strikes me as a non-movie, an utter waste of time.

film review—RABBIT HOLE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 17, 2010 5:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
A film about a couple trying to get over the loss of their young son is not likely to generate what marketers call a high “want-to-see” factor. But when the story is told with care, honesty, and even moments of humor that reflect the unpredictability—and absurdity—of life, it deserves to be seen.

film review—TRON LEGACY

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 17, 2010 5:17 AM
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  • 6 Comments
If you’re old enough to remember seeing Tron when it came out in 1982, you may understand why I wasn’t chomping at the bit to see this much-hyped sequel. Tron was revolutionary in its use of computer graphics to place Jeff Bridges into a videogame environment—and that was definitely cool. But even cutting-edge technology needs a story to create a satisfying movie experience, and that’s where Tron fell short. I’m sorry to say the new movie is an example of history repeating itself.

film review—HOW DO YOU KNOW

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 17, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment
If you admire such films as Broadcast News, Terms of Endearment, and As Good as it Gets, as I do, you’ll be rooting for James L. Brooks to score another bull’s-eye with his latest effort. But it’s clear pretty early on that How Do You Know is a muddled misfire: a tiresome, talky romantic comedy about a bright young woman who, at a vulnerable moment in her life, can’t decide between two men—neither of whom seems terribly appealing. That these three characters are played by Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd makes it even more—

film review: The Fighter

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 10, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The Fighter doesn’t just take place in Lowell, Massachusetts; it reeks with the atmosphere of this working-class New England town, making vivid use of its look, feel, and sounds. Director David O. Russell clearly immersed himself in the community and worked overtime to capture its flavor, going so far as to cast some local non-actors (notably, police officer and fight trainer Mickey O’Keefe as himself). What makes the movie work as well as it does is that Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and especially Melissa Leo blend seamlessly into this setting alongside the real-life residents.

film review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 10, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After a great start with the adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and a somewhat less enthralling (and war-laden) follow-up, Prince Caspian, the big-screen version of The Chronicles of Narnia rebounds with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

film review: I Love You, Phillip Morris

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 3, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Jim Carrey is a talented man but, like other performers whose gifts are wide-ranging and difficult to pigeonhole, he needs good material and a guiding hand. He has found both in I Love You, Phillip Morris. In fact, I think he gives the best performance of his career in this provocative and unusual film from writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who are best remembered for writing Bad Santa. This movie isn’t likely to win over too many of Carrey’s mainstream-comedy fans, or fundamentalists who don’t heed the R rating, but I think it’s a first-rate piece of work.

film review: BLACK SWAN

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 3, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 26 Comments
Evaluating any movie is a matter of personal taste. Filmmakers who deal in the extreme naturally provoke extreme reactions. That’s my way of saying that I couldn’t stand Black Swan. In fact, I had a violent response to the film, which I saw in its debut screening at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend.

film review: King's Speech

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 25, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 8 Comments
I sometimes recoil when people start spreading Oscar buzz about a movie I haven’t seen—or even had a chance to see—yet, but I’m willing to forgive this year’s campaign for The King’s Speech because it’s such a terrific movie. There are times when I look around me and get the feeling that civilization, as I know it, is coming to an end. Then a film like this arrives on the scene and restores my faith, not only in movies but in humankind itself.

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