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Movie Reviews

  • Leonard Maltin
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    movie review: A Better Life

    A Better Life has more to offer than good intentions: it’s sincere and credible, which is more than I can say about an awful lot of movies. Yet something about it kept me at arm’s length: I felt the filmmakers’ presence instead of losing myself in the story. Is that because...

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    movie review: BUCK

    Some years ago, Robert Redford made an excellent movie called The Horse Whisperer, based on Nicholas Evans’ novel. It turns out that a horseman named

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    22

    Critical Consensus: "Conan O'Brien" Can't Stop Being The Pick of the Week

    For the second week in a row, a documentary has topped criticWIRE as the pick of the week. Following last week's "Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times" (a narrow choice over another doc, "Buck"), Rodman Fletcher's "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" was the consensus among criticWIRE critics. A premier...

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    18

    LAFF REVIEW | "The Broken Tower" Is Lesser Franco, But James Franco Apologists Think Otherwise

    "This is a slow film on purpose," James Franco told an audience at the downtown Los Angeles premiere of "The Broken Tower," the new movie he recently directed about the life and work of poet Hart Crane. "This is not 'Pineapple Express.'" In fact, "The Broken Tower," which begins with Crane's early e...

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  • Indiewire
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    Small Screens: Todd Haynes' "Poison" Celebrates its 20th Anniversary & More

    This week on Small Screens Todd Haynes' debut still packs a punch, a doc delves into the business side of the female orgasm, Uma Thurman seduces a youngster and much more.

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    15

    LAFF REVIEW | Brilliant Doc "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" Tells the Sorry Saga of Public Housing

    In the 1950's, the Pruitt-Igoe housing project represented a new chapter in city life. The massive collection of buildings promised comfortable homes to lower class residents, but the its ideal manifestation was short-lived. Sixteen years after its erection in 1956, the city demolished Pruitt-Igoe, ...

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    LA Film Fest REVIEW | "Leave It On the Floor" Revisits Ballroom Scene With Flaws, But Plenty of Life

    Revisiting the African American ball culture first made famous by Jennie Livingston's 1990 New York-set documentary "Paris is Burning" and the Madonna single "Vogue," Sheldon Larry's colorful movie musical "Leave It On the Floor" takes place in a similar Los Angeles scene. Made on the cheap and extr...

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    REVIEW | John Turturro Explores Neopolitan Rhythms in "Passione"

    When John Turturro faces the camera at the start of "Passione," his ode to the legacy of Neapolitan music, he makes a pronouncement with the superficial grandiosity of a tourist video. "There are places you go to when once is enough," he says, "and then there's Napoli." The free-ranging exploration ...

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    REVIEW | "A Better Life" Is a Strong Immigration Story, But Not Quite Strong Enough

    There are moments in Chris Weitz's immigration drama that transcend the familiarity of the material, and others that play directly into it. In the swift, wordless opening sequence, the director reveals the life of sullen middle-aged gardener Carlos (Demián Bichir) living out his days as an impoveris...

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