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Why AMC's HELL ON WHEELS Is a Hot Mess

"Hell on Wheels," whose third season premiered just two weeks ago, is widely and justifiably regarded as the worst offering on AMC to date. The reason? Bad acting, bad scripts, a bad concept, and a long line of small- and big-screen Westerns that have done everything "Hell on Wheels" aims to do, but exponentially better.
  • By Seth Abramson
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  • August 30, 2013 8:32 AM
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  • 15 Comments

Kill the Rich: YOU'RE NEXT and the Discreet Charms of the One Percent

In its by turns disturbing and hilarious portrayal of a privileged family’s reunion gone horribly wrong, You’re Next gives us what is perhaps this year’s most trenchant commentary on an America increasingly riddled by narcissism and greed.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • August 28, 2013 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Quid Pro Quo: How THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS Has Informed Our Attitude Towards Chelsea Manning

There's no precedent for what we're supposed to think about the story of Chelsea Manning. In the absence of an easy answer, our response resembles a replay of Jonathan Demme's "The Silence Of The Lambs."
  • By Violet LeVoit
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  • August 27, 2013 11:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

John Luther and the New Face of Evil

Those with only a passing interest in the BBC detective drama "Luther," or who've watched the program only half-heartedly, will wrongly say that this is a show about a dirty cop. In fact, what it is is a program about a man trying to be heroic in all the wrong ways.
  • By Seth Abramson
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  • August 22, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Summer of the Sharknado

This year we were subjected to one bloated action film after another, all of which treated their subject matter with the kind of ponderous gravitas usually accorded to European art films. Who can save our popcorn fare from this inflated sense of self-importance? Forget Wolverine, Iron Man, and Thor: this is a job for Sharknado!
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • August 20, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

BLUE JASMINE's Complex Interior(s)

Critics have widely noted that the scenario of Woody Allen’s latest feature, "Blue Jasmine" (2013), is indebted to "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947). However, cinematically, the film owes just as much—if not more—to an earlier Allen film: the obscure "Interiors" (1978).
  • By A.D. Jameson
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  • August 15, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 1

The sense that a man, when faced with a problem, be it the legality of his enterprise, death, the ineptitude of other humans, or all three, might flail in the desert air, and find nothing giving resistance, moving him forward.
  • By Dave Bunting, Jr. and Max Winter
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  • August 13, 2013 9:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

In Which PRINCE AVALANCHE Looks Ahead to a Generation Cast Adrift

Though David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche" has been lauded, and justifiably, for its acting performances, its cinematography, and its mellow, sweet mood, it tells a less recognized story, about both the meaning of work and the generation that will follow that of the film's two protagonists.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 12, 2013 8:36 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 2

Season 2 of "Breaking Bad" is about the speed and exhilaration of being reborn, as well as the mounting pressures and heightening dangers that come with transformation. Dave Bunting’s video essay is a free-fall montage, each scene seamlessly drifting into the next: an aimless array of violence, fear and the desire for escape.
  • By Dave Bunting, Jr. and Arielle Bernstein
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  • August 7, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Western’s New Revisionism: The Sun Sets on the White Guys

In a souped-up cinematic landscape of robots, superheroes and CGI, the western and its dusty cowboy rides on—despite mixed results.
  • By Jennifer L. Knox
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  • August 6, 2013 8:40 AM
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  • 9 Comments

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