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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Hit And Run' Would Be A Fun Action Comedy If It Weren't For All That Comedy

    The fact that Charlie Bronson is the name of Dax Shepherd’s protagonist in the Shepherd-co-directed, Shepherd-written and Shepherd-starring “Hit and Run” tells you everything you need to know about the film. Particularly considering the film’s Bronson, a former getaway driver in deep trouble with a ...

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  • Criticwire
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    Criticwire Picks: The Visuals of 'Samsara' Propel It Ahead of Strong Field

    Chalk up another victory for the documentary. "Samsara," the new film from director Ron Fricke, begins its national tour of sorts on Friday with a solid string of advance reviews. Even against heavy competition, this feast-for-the-eyes doc currently has a B+ average among Criticwire gradin...

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    Review: 'Samsara' Tells The Story Of Our World With Stunning Visuals & Spiritual Heft

    Just what is a non-verbal documentary anyway? If you appreciated the silent visual storytelling of "The Artist" or the cinematic majesty of Terrence Malick's nature cinematography in "The Tree of Life," or, if you're a fan of the cult 1992 documentary "Baraka," you'll be a fan of "Samsara," the late...

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    Review: The 'Little White Lies' That Bind Are Explored In This Leisurely Gallic Dramedy

    The nature of what keeps a long-term friendship together over the years is somewhat ephemeral. There is the trust and confidence that comes with knowing someone intimately, seeing them at their best and worst, and being there for them without judgment. But it's also built on shared values, small...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: For the Love of 'Bernie' and Jack Black

    "Bernie" wears as many hats as a Texas cowboy. Somehow, and simultaneously, Richard Linklater's latest is a genuinely surprising confidence game, a homey slice of Southern life, and an eccentric black comedy of small-town manners. The most apt description is far simpler, though: "Bernie" is one of t...

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    Review: 'The Revenant' Is A Topical Horror-Lover's Dream

    The point of using horror films as allegory, political or otherwise, is twofold. There are the obvious benefits of allegorizing, which allow you to disguise your intentions using coded language, cinematic or otherwise. And then there’s the genre sledgehammer, which comes down with righteous anger, c...

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  • The Playlist
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    MIFF '12 Reviews: Miguel Gomes' 'Tabu' & Kim Nguyen's 'War Witch'

    Gomes' Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner is an evocative, lyrical two-chapter love story separated by decades and continents that transcends what initially seems to be nothing more than an experiment in style over substance. Beginning in modern day-ish Lisbon, we are introduced to Aurora, an o...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Spike Lee's Tightened 'Red Hook Summer' Marks a Personal, Affectionate and Tough Return to Steamy Brooklyn

    Beware screening your movie too early at a big festival. Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales" was one example of an unfinished movie getting creamed at Cannes. Spike Lee, who defines the current indie model --lucrative commercial director by day, scrappy indie doc and featuremaker by nigh...

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    Review: Love In Israel Has No Easy Answers In 'The Matchmaker'

    There is a colloquialism particular to Israel – “sabra” – which denotes a prickly, weathered desert plant sporting a tough exterior but a soft and sweet interior. More curious is how this word has been put to use – as a distinction between the native-born Israeli and immigrants communicating in heav...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review - 'Sparkle' (A Remake That Doesn't Live Up To The Original)

    It's rare that I vouch for a film greatly before I’ve seen it. I love cinema way too much to do that. However, that is not the case with Tri-Star’s “Sparkle.”

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