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Leonard Maltin

Film Review—The Wolfman

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • February 12, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The good news is, despite long production delays and rumors of disaster, the new remake of The Wolfman isn’t bad…not bad at all. Handsome production design by Rick Heinrichs and great makeup effects by Rick Baker (who also makes a brief appearance on camera) are among its strongest assets. There are some real scares, and a couple of knockout showpiece scenes.

film review - Edge of Darkness

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 28, 2010 9:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room right away: I wasn’t sure how I would respond to seeing Mel Gibson on screen for the first time since his public embarrassments and utterances. Like many of you, I have felt ever since queasy about the man. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to like his new starring vehicle. But minutes into Edge of Darkness I forgot about all that;

The Young Victoria

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 16, 2010 2:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The challenge of any historical drama is to engage us so that we’re not passively observing a pageant of events but actively involved in the characters and their story. Screenwriter Julian Fellowes has drawn on many sources to create a witty, often gripping screenplay that tells a story many people may not know about the teenage girl who was crowned Queen of England in 1837—and how her life was often cruelly manipulated, both before and after...

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 8, 2010 4:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Over the years, Terry Gilliam has become something of a brand name, leading moviegoers to expect a generous display of visual razzle-dazzle and an offbeat sensibility; the problem often lies in his story or screenplay. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, written by Gilliam and his frequent collaborator Charles McKeown, is one of his better endeavors: a bit rambling, but enjoyable. Christopher Plummer plays the title character, who...

Crazy Heart

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • January 8, 2010 1:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Crazy Heart is the movie equivalent of comfort food; reassuring, familiar, and easy to digest. It’s Jeff Bridges performance that makes it special...but then, he’s reason enough to see almost any movie. (He’s the best thing about the season’s most disappointing movie, The Men Who Stare At Goats.) Here, he plays a weather-beaten country...

The Messenger

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 29, 2009 3:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Simply put, The Messenger is about the soldiers whose job it is to notify next of kin when a member of the armed forces is killed in action. That sounds intriguing enough on the surface, but screenwriters Oren Moverman (who also makes his directing debut here) and Alessandro Camon manage to generate...

It's Complicated

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 25, 2009 4:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
If you love watching Meryl Streep, are enjoying the renaissance of Alec Baldwin as a comedic actor, and like Steve Martin playing it straight, you’re a candidate to enjoy It’s Complicated as much as I did. With Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) at the helm as...

Avatar

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 20, 2009 4:33 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Avatar is at once a fascinating and a frustrating movie. I found much of it captivating, and while I resist the hype-driven phrase “immersive experience,” I did find myself drawn into its 3-D world, an extraordinarily rich cinematic environment created, in breathtaking detail, by artists and computers. I didn’t think I could care about odd-looking humanoid characters, but I did. I didn’t think I would relate to the interaction between humans and aliens, but I did. Writer-director James Cameron has delivered on his promise to take filmmaking to another level by fully realizing his imaginative visual concepts of character and design...and by turning the 3-D process inside out by pulling us through the looking glass instead of...

NINE

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 19, 2009 2:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
As someone who had major problems with Rob Marshall’s Chicago—which robbed the Broadway show of all its humor and rendered its dance numbers unwatchable through egg-beater editing—I did not expect to like Nine, Marshall’s ambitious adaptation of the 1982 stage musical inspired by Federico Fellini’s 8½. Imagine my surprise, then, as I tell you I loved it. I’ve already heard complaints about the picture from other quarters, which I won’t enumerate here, but I bought into it one hundred percent. It begins with accepting—or embracing—Daniel Day-Lewis as 1960s Italian film director Guido Contini. He makes the transformation so effortless that I couldn’t resist...and it’s a treat to see this great actor portray a character who has light-hearted, even mischievous, moments. John Myhre’s spectacular production design, Dion Beebe’s sumptuous cinematography, and Colleen Attwood’s costumes all contribute...

Invictus

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 14, 2009 4:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Invictus doesn’t have the element of surprise in its favor, but the story it tells is solid, interesting, and (yes) inspiring. Would that the world had more leaders as wise as Nelson Mandela, who recognized that despite his election to the Presidency of South Africa in 1995, there was still dissension and hostility throughout the land. How he goaded his national rugby team to push itself toward greatness, and how that...

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