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leonardmaltin
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Leonard Maltin

movie review: Salt

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 23, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Salt moves like a bullet, and almost never stops to take a breath; as a result, neither do we. I can’t think of a recent film that’s maintained such a breakneck pace or made me so unaware of time flying by. This is beneficial, because the story doesn’t always make sense…but when a film is this energetic and entertaining, it would be a shame to spoil the fun by demanding too much of it.

movie review: Life During Wartime

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 23, 2010 3:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I vividly recall the year Todd Solondz’s Happiness debuted at the Telluride Film Festival. His deadpan treatment of such sensitive subjects as pederasty and masturbation polarized the assembled moviegoers; some walked out in disgust, others stayed and were full of praise. Only a filmmaker as iconoclastic as Solondz would create a sequel twelve years later—and recast all the leading characters. Many of his films in that intervening period have been disappointing and downright strange, but Life During Wartime is exceptional…just as good as Happiness, and possibly even better.

film review: Inception

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 15, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 32 Comments
Everyone is different. I don’t like mazes, puzzles, Rubik’s Cube, or most of Christopher Nolan’s films. He delights in creating cinematic puzzles but I always sense the wheels turning, instead of getting caught up in the action. Obviously he has the imagination to devise ingenious premises and the skill to bring them to life, but halfway through Inception, which runs close to two-and-a-half hours, my mind started to wander. Instead of being pulled into his world I felt myself drifting away from it.

film review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 14, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
If you know that this film comes from the team that gave you National Treasure, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect: a larger-than-life action yarn with special effects and a sense of humor. It isn’t my favorite kind of entertainment, but there’s a good reason Jerry Bruckheimer is successful: he (mostly) makes movies people pay money to see. Director Jon Turteltaub and a team of writers are clearly in sync with the producer’s m.o.

film review: The Kids Are All Right

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • July 9, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are worth the price of admission to The Kids Are All Right all by themselves, as far as I’m concerned. That the film is so smart and entertaining is icing on the cake.

film review: Eclipse

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 30, 2010 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I haven’t read Stephenie Meyer’s books, but I liked the first Twilight movie, so even though I’m not a card-carrying Twi-hard I have no axe to grind where this series is concerned. That said, I thought this new installment was incredibly boring. Woe to any newcomer who’s unfamiliar with the characters and situations, because Eclipse offers virtually no exposition. I suppose the filmmakers feel that only the faithful will bother to see it, but that’s no excuse for the complete lack of dramatic context.

film review: Toy Story 3

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 17, 2010 12:59 PM
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  • 6 Comments

film review: Cyrus

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 17, 2010 12:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Cyrus is a movie destined to catch audiences off-guard. The presence of comedic performers like John C. Reilly and especially Jonah Hill may lead many viewers to expect a comedy—and laugh (as at least one preview audience did) at moments that aren’t intended to be funny. But filmmakers Jay and Mark Duplass have a surprise up their sleeve: they use these likable actors (along with Catherine Keener and Marisa Tomei) to win us over. Cyrus is actually a serious film with comic undertones…and it’s quite good.

film review: The Karate Kid

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • June 11, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
In today’s risk-averse movie business, we’re seeing more remakes than ever, including retreads of films that don’t seem that old (to some of us). After a screening of the new Karate Kid I asked a couple of ten-year-old boys if they knew the 1984 movie, and they did, thanks to DVDs and cable TV reruns. Interestingly enough, neither one wanted to compare one version with the other: they like them both. I do, too.

film review: Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • May 28, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I have nothing against a juvenile action-adventure yarn with a touch of fantasy thrown in, and while I can’t pretend to get inside the head of a 12-year-old boy, I enjoy summoning my inner child whenever such a film has great spirit and rousing action scenes. This one, I’m sorry to say, feels mechanical in its storytelling, and presents us with heroes and villains that are “types” rather than genuine, fleshed-out characters one can care about.

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