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Movie Reviews

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    Cannes Review: 'Heli' A Beautifully Shot But Despairing Look At Corrupted Lives

    "Now you'll get to know God in the land of the damned," a military police officer threatens chillingly midway through "Heli." But this is just further confirmation of where things are going, as the movie makes it clear from the start that it's headed down a bracing path in which neither animals nor ...

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    Review: Endearing & Buoyant ‘Frances Ha’ Marks A Terrific Gear Shift For Director Noah Baumbach

    Loose, limber and driven by a fierce energy and staccato/pause rhythm we haven't seen previously from this filmmaker, Noah Baumbach's sublime "Frances Ha" is a fresh and vivacious near-reinvention of the director/writer's comedic milieu. An enchanting riff on friendship and the late-20-something ri...

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    Anime Review: "Kids On The Slope"

    Shinichiro Watanabe's latest series, Kids on the Slope, adapted from the award-winning manga by Yuki Kodama, showcases his versatility as a director and his ability to create characters with depth and believability.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Is There a Connection Between Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' and Bujalski's 'Funny Ha Ha'?

    It seems so obvious. “Frances Ha.” “Funny Ha Ha.” Coincidence? We think not. But wait… One is about an awkward 20-something delaying adulthood, while her romantic planets fail to get in line. The other is ... well, yeah, pretty much about the same thing. Except that one rocketed to obscurity in 2002...

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    Review: Acceptable Euro-Thriller 'Erased' Bolstered By Aaron Eckhart's Lead Performance

    Aaron Eckhart has quite a diverse body of work to look back on -- in the last two years alone, the actor has brought to the table both a complex portrait of a grieving father in the lauded "Rabbit Hole" and a more workman-like turn in the less-lauded "Battle: Los Angeles." "Erased," also known as "T...

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    Review: 'Black Rock' A Back-To-The-Wilds Slasher With Brains & Bonding To Go With The Blood

    There is, ultimately, something to be said for the pleasures of a simple, sleek and well-shot run-or-kill-or-die thriller. The sort of film where the heroes are trapped in the middle of nowhere and find themselves threatened by hostile locals, and must then strike back to survive. That's what "Black...

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    VOD Review: 'Splinters' (Riveting Documentary On Life - And Surfing - In Papua New Guinea)

    When I first wrote about director Adam Pesce's Papua New Guniea-set documentary Splinters in 2011, I hadn't yet seen it. And despite Pesce's assertion that he "never set out to make a 'surf movie', that's pretty much what I was expecting when I finally got a chance to view the film. What I actuall...

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    Now and Then: In Two 'Steel Magnolias,' the Times Are Not A-Changin'

    The first thing one notices about "Steel Magnolias" (Herbert Ross, 1989) is the hair. Truvy's Beauty Shop overflows with tight-rolled pastel curlers and foot-high teases, held in place by enough hairspray to commit arson -- a style so far out of fashion it seems historical, as rococo as Marie Antoin...

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    Review - Egyptian Drama 'Cairo Exit' Is A Sobering Slice Of Life Portrait Of The Disillusioned

    Review - Egyptian Drama 'Cairo Exit' Is A Sobering Slice Of Life Portrait Of The Disillusioned

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    Review: 'Fast & Furious 6' Makes Cars Go Boom In A Mostly Satisfactory Way

    Has there ever been a franchise like the "Fast & Furious?" Begun over ten years ago with a film most notable for its '50s-style B-movie title, "The Fast & The Furious," it was a modest sleeper hit. Before long the series saw its biggest draw, the potato-headed growl-monster Vin Diesel, exit the seri...

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