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leonardmaltin
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Leonard Maltin

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.

film review: TANGLED

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 24, 2010 5:36 AM
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  • 5 Comments
I approach each new Disney film with a combination of eagerness and apprehension: will it be as good as I want it to be? Can “the new guys” carry the torch lit by Walt and his colleagues so many years ago? Where Tangled is concerned, I knew within minutes that the answer was yes. I could tell from the look and sound of the film that it had the qualities people have always sought in a Disney animated fairy tale. I felt like I was home. Yet Tangled is a completely contemporary film that puts its own spin on the source material, with clever staging, hip humor and spectacular action scenes.

film review: Love And Other Drugs

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 24, 2010 5:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

film review: Burlesque

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 24, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The people behind Burlesque did at least a few things right. First, Cher has an amazing screen presence, and a way with dialogue that seems absolutely effortless. (I’ll admit, it takes some adjustment to accept her now-frozen face, but one either accepts Cher as it or not at all.) Then they hired Stanley Tucci to play her gay best friend and right-hand man, essentially reprising the role he essayed so well in The Devil Wears Prada. No matter—he brightens every scene he’s in, and delivers his lines with the panache of a true master. But these old pros have to swim up-tide against a screenplay that’s so hokey and weather-beaten you have to wonder how it got approved by a major studio.

film review: Made In Dagenham

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 19, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
When a film is based on a fascinating true story, and marshals grade-A talent on both sides of the camera, it automatically gets my attention. Made in Dagenham is inspired by a real-life labor struggle—apparently little remembered, even in England—that is both timely and relevant today. There is no reason on earth the results shouldn’t have been stronger. The raw material has all the makings of great drama: in 1968, female workers at the vast Ford Motor Co. factory in a suburb of London went on strike after being reclassified as unskilled laborers, with a commensurate reduction in salary. Women weren’t taken seriously in the workforce, and their actions have wide, and unexpected, reverberations. Sally Hawkins (who won worldwide recognition for her starring role in Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky) does a great job as a—

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