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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Burton and Depp's 'Dark Shadows': Review Round-Up

    Warner Bros.' trailer for Tim Burton's eighth collaboration with Johnny Depp, "Dark Shadows," had me salivating for a witty 70s romp at the movies. And the movie looks and sounds great, with a witty Danny Elfman 70s score and a strong cast. So why is the film such an enervating disappointment?

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Dark Shadows' Is Another Lazy, Incoherent Disappointment From Tim Burton

    “Dark Shadows” is not the worst movie that Tim Burton has ever made, but that’s only because there’s nothing worse than “Alice in Wonderland.” A desperate jumble of ideas in search of deeper substance, much less focus, Burton’s latest collaboration with actor Johnny Depp is the latest, and perhaps g...

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  • The Playlist
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    Book Review: Max Allan Collins Does Mickey Spillane & Mike Hammer Proud With 'Lady, Go Die!'

    In his ten rules for writing, Elmore Leonard forgoes the advice of Ernest Hemingway, and says: "Never open a book with weather." Well, Mickey Spillane isn't one for niceties or poetry, and he certainly lived by that code, as the late author's "Lady, Go Die!" doesn't mince words from the get go: "The...

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  • The Playlist
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    Hot Docs Review: 'Detropia' A Beautiful & Affecting Portrait Of A City In Decline

    "Detropia" is more than just a portrait of a city. The latest film from "Jesus Camp" filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady is ultimately a moving and powerful micro-portrait of a hurting nation.

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  • ReelPolitik
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    "God Bless America": A Rollicking Liberal Revenge Fantasy

    Going into Bobcat Goldthwait's murder-spree social satire "God Bless America," which is opening in theaters this week, I was highly skeptical. We've been down the road of murderous social commentaries before (see "Natural Born Killers"; actually, don't). But never ...

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  • Caryn James
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    The Vampire Who Came To Dinner: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton Do Dark Shadows

    I’m a big fan of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and vampires in general, so Dark Shadows is a film with my name on it. But you don’t need that perfect storm of tastes to fall for this funny pop confection. You don’t even have to be familiar with the 60’s afternoon soap opera...

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  • Indiewire
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    How Hirokazu Kore-eda's "I Wish" Puts Most Family Dramas to Shame

    How Hirokazu Kore-eda's "I Wish" Puts Most Family Dramas to Shame

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: David Mackenzie's Music Festival Rom-Com 'Tonight You're Mine' Has A Tin Ear

    Not many films are set at music festivals. D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary, “Monterey Pop” is vital, we’ll grant you, and other rock docs that expose something fundamental about the artists they’re profiling (“Don’t Look Back,” “Gimme Shelter&rdquo...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'Haywire,' 'Bourne' Trilogy Prove That Style Is Substance

    Steven Soderbergh is a tough guy to peg. He made his name with a densely talkative indie about orgasms ("sex, lies, and videotape"), and in 22 films since has tackled everything from classy capers ("Out of Sight, the "Ocean's" trilogy) to the biopic of an iconic revolutionary ("Che"). But one thing ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Hot Docs Review: 'Bones Brigade' Another Winning Look At Skateboarding Culture From Stacy Peralta

    Most people don't have enough happen in their life to make one documentary, but it turns out Stacy Peralta has enough to make at least two. Eleven years after he delved into his own adolescent history with “Dogtown And Z-Boys,” Peralta has made another skateboarding doc about the next phase of his c...

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