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    Disconnected: Johan Renck's "Downloading Nancy"

    The opening of "Downloading Nancy," which features on the soundtrack Nancy (Maria Bello) detailing to therapist Carol (Amy Brenneman) the liberation she expects to feel upon dying, compounded by cryptic exchanges with stranger Louis (Jason Patric) in a bus terminal, makes clear fairly quickly where ...

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    Riding to Perdition: Sam Mendes's "Away We Go"

    Sam Mendes is quickly amassing one of the most idiotic contemporary bodies of work that otherwise reasonable people consider credible. His fifth film, "Away We Go," continues the Brit stage director's track record of tackling different eras in the American experience (earlier: the Thirties in "Road...

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    What Zombies? Bruce McDonald's "Pontypool"

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival.

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    Borrowing From Himself: Sam Raimi's "Drag Me To Hell"

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival.

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    Cello and Goodbye: Yojiro Takita's "Departures"

    A feel-good dramedy about death, Yojiro Takita's "Departures" would seem to be the first Japanese import in the U.S. in quite some time with a real chance for art-house success, rather than mere fanboy buzz. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but "Departures" is a particularly si...

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    Forward Thinking: Lee Isaac Chung's "Munyurangabo"

    [Editor's Note: "Munyurangabo" opens this Friday at New York's Anthology Film Archives.]

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    In Favor of Imagery: Tsai's "Visage" Paints a Puzzling, Pretty Picture

    From the very first minutes of "Visage" ("Face"), director Tsai Ming-liang stakes out familiar territory. But familiarity in a Tsai Ming-liang movie is an elusive thing. Working in abstract mode, Tsai depicts strange and cryptic moods, regardless of his intentions. The immediate thematic parallel to...

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    Low on Luster, Gilliam's "Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" Winds up a Sideshow

    Marred by shoddy special effects and half-formed fantastical conceits, Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" has the feeling of a comic fantasia desperately seeking to find its rhythm. Nearly abandoned after the sudden death of leading man Heath Ledger prior to completing production ...

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    Does It Take This Village? "White Ribbon" Ascends Art

    Despair haunts every moment of Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon." The director's dour, Bergmanesque black-and-white portrait of enigmas and familial discord in a Protestant German village at the beginning of the twentieth century peddles in the art of downbeat expressionism....

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    Tone Deaf: Stephan Elliott's "Easy Virtue"

    In the face of the current world financial crisis, is an urbane adaptation of a mid-20s Noel Coward comedy of manners hopelessly out-of-step, or an appropriate cinematic tonic for troubled times? The collapse of economies is perhaps an unnecessary weight with which to burden a film like "Easy Virtue...

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