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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | House of Pain: Alex Gibney's "Taxi to the Dark Side"

    Presidential hopeful and all-around sleaze bucket Mitt Romney's desperate equivocating over the use of waterboarding during this season's Republican YouTube debate nearly left the man a frothing mess. That's because there really isn't any room for equivocation: torture is torture, no matter how much...

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    REVIEW | Castle Keep: Joseph Cedar's "Beaufort"

    Any thoughtful film about the Israel-Palestine conflict naturally takes futility as its main subject; and acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar has a central premise in his new film "Beaufort" that perfectly encapsulates not just the futility of war but also the cycle of retribution and violence ...

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    REVIEW | Draft Bored: Bryan Gunnar Cole's "Day Zero"

    Of all the varied strands of post-9/11 cinema, the speculative film--the one showing us what life would be like if it were slightly (but significantly!) different--is by far the most superfluous. Last year's lame "Right at Your Door," which sank right into oblivion, pondered a world where Los Angele...

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    REVIEW | Missing Persons: Jia Zhangke's "Still Life"

    Jia Zhangke, who has emerged as one of the great artists from the "Sixth Generation" of Chinese filmmakers, is one of those directors whose work will always be embraced and discussed by a number of devoted followers but whose discursive, searching approach to narratives and the people who inhabit th...

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    REVIEW | Dental Damned: Mitchell Lichtenstein's "Teeth"

    Writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein's feature debut takes high-concept to its zenith with "Teeth," a story about the myth of vagina dentata manifest in a teenage girl named Dawn. With an opening bird's-eye view onto a family home scored to Danny Elfman-esque music, the film quickly establishes th...

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    REVIEW | You've Got Male: Hong Sang-soo's "Woman on the Beach"

    It's clear that South Korean director Hong Sang-soo knows a thing or two about human relationships, of longings, self-delusions, attitudinal dead ends, and, once in a very miraculous while, he has a revelation or insight suggesting a new way to conduct them. On the basis of six heralded films, inclu...

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    Reverse Shot's Best of 2007: "Syndromes and a Century" and 9 More

    Despite the tortured self-analysis some critics feel the need to use as ostensibly humbling preface for their top tens, at Reverse Shot we're thankful for best-of-year round-ups -- we savor any chance we get to reiterate our love for films that might not have had the benefit of a massive marketing t...

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    REVIEW | Middle of the Road: John Sayles's "Honeydripper"

    Because John Sayles specifically sets his latest film, "Honeydripper," in rural Alabama in the year 1950, one would assume the socially conscious writer-director means to explore racial tensions in the South, by focusing on the titular bar run by Danny Glover's Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. But black-w...

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    REVIEW | Scare Quotes: Juan Antonio Bayona's "The Orphanage"

    The organic foreboding conjured by an opening prelude torn from the past -- depicting children at play outdoors on a beautiful summer day full of pollen and petals, their caretakers looking on from inside a looming manor -- calls to mind elusive, unclassifiable films like Lucile Hadzihalilovic's "I...

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    REVIEW | Design for Living: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's "Persepolis"

    At a moment in history where Iran, famously dubbed one-third of an "Axis of Evil" by Dubya, has again been making headlines as the next country with whom the Republicans wanna preemptively rumble (though the NIE's latest report on its lack of a nuclear weapons program throws this political gambit in...

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