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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Berlin Review: With 'Paradise: Hope' Director Ulrich Seidl Closes Out His Trilogy On A Softer Note

    The final instalment in his 'Paradise' trilogy (here are our reviews of parts 1 and 2, "Paradise: Love" and "Paradise: Faith"), "Paradise: Hope" sees Austrian director Ulrich Seidl in gentler, less provocative form, delivering what most found to be certainly the most approachable film of the three w...

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    Berlin Review: 'Night Train To Lisbon' Chugs And Clanks Along In Old-Fashioned, Uninspired Style

    In the very finest tradition of europudding, director Bille August's "Night Train To Lisbon" adapts an international bestselling book, takes place against the picturesque backdrop of a European capital, is half-told in flashback through a turbulent and dramatic period of history, and stacks the cast...

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    Critic's Notebook: Lessons from the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival

    For the subset of movie viewers for whom the process of discovering movies takes place at major film festivals around the world, there is no greater question mark than the Berlinale. Otherwise known as the Berlin International Film Festival, this hefty gathering commands plenty of attention for its ...

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    Berlin Review: River Phoenix's Last Film 'Dark Blood' A Serviceable Movie, But A Fascinating Project

    River Phoenix died at in 1993 at just 23 years of age, and to a certain generation of then-teenage movie fans, of whom this writer was one, it was maybe the first of that kind of celebrity death, the kind you remember where you were when you heard about it. I was in a car with my mom, and I recall t...

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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'alaskaLand,' an Endearing Story of Brother-and-Sisterhood

    Chukwuma is living through that difficult in-between time in young adulthood that many refer to as finding yourself. He is caught in the schism between going to college and going to work, being a proud Nigerian and blending in as an American, and figuring out what he wants to do with his life i...

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    Berlin 2013: 19 Reviews From This Year's Festival

    The door is almost closed on the 63rd International Berlin Film Festival and while none of this year's awards have yet to be handed out, you can find all of our reviews from the festival below. Indiewire's Eric Kohn was in Berlin where he reviewed eleven of this year's entries, including Wong Kar-Wa...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: A Good Time to Skip 'Die Hard,' Decent 'Beautiful Creatures,' Say Yes to 'No' and More

    This weekend at the movies things break down clearly: The new "Die Hard" installment and the latest Nicholas Sparks milktoast, "Safe Haven," are generating execrable reviews, while foreign titles "No," Chile's Oscar nominee starring Gael Garcia Bernal, and Abbas Kiarostami's mysterious romance "Like...

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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'Slavery By Another Name' (Powerful, Eye-Opening Account Of *Lost* American History)

    Screening at the ongoing Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, now in the latter half of this year's run, with 3 days to go...

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    Bulgaria Year Zero: "Sofia Last Ambulance" Careens into U.S.

    I can't heap enough praise on "Sofia's Last Ambulance," a Cannes 2012 prize-winner that's having its U.S. premiere tonight as part of MoMA's Documentary Fortnight program. Combining a refreshing formal inventiveness with a searing sense of post-Communist malaise, the fil...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Oscar-Nominated 'No,' Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Sells the Potent Link Between Pop and Politics

    Hotshot ad man René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) pitches three different ads throughout the course of Pablo Larraín’s 1988 Chile-set “No,” and for each he has the same opening line: “What you’re going to see now is in line with the current social context. We believe that the country is prepared for...

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