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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Three Stars' An Interesting Look At What It Takes To Run A Michelin-Starred Restaurant

    The perception of food and how we interact with it in our daily lives is at an interesting crossroads in the media. For the most part, the message of the moment is about keeping things organic and simple, using the best ingredients on hand, sourced locally if at all possible. On the other end of the...

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    Review: Emotional & Inspiring 'How To Survive A Plague' Is One Of The Best Documentaries Of The Year

    It can seem like ancient history to the millenial generation, but many remember the all-too-harrowing realities of the AIDS crisis and the subsequent social movement that arose out of the desperation and fear of imminent death faced by young, vibrant individuals with a fierce will to live. This move...

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  • The Playlist
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    NYFF Review: Barry Levinson's 'The Bay' Is A Frightening Eco-Horror 'Jaws' Riff

    Primarily known for his talky, small-scale comedic dramas, exemplified by his beloved "Diner," Vanity Fair recently made a compelling argument for this seminal Barry Levinson film influencing everything from "Seinfeld" and "Swingers" to Judd Apatow's comedy factory and feel-good Hollywood trifles li...

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    Review: 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' A Touching, Fresh & Funny Take On Teenage Love & Life

    Teenagers have generally not been well served by the movies. Folks like Cameron Crowe, John Hughes and Judd Apatow aside, adolescent life is usually positioned around the goals of having sex, partying and getting into outlandish hijinks with little-to-no actual insight into how teenagers think or fe...

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    Criticwire Picks: 'How to Survive a Plague' One of the High-Scoring Docs of the Year

    Criticwire Picks: 'How to Survive a Plague' One of the High-Scoring Docs of the Year

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Critic vs. Critic: A Tale of Two Paul Anderson Films

    It didn't escape the notice of critics this past weekend that two wildly disparate films were released by directors both named Paul Anderson -- Paul Thomas Anderson's festival favorite and rave-reviewed "The Master," and Paul W.S. Anderson's "Resident Evil: Retribution," the fifth installment in the...

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  • ReelPolitik
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    Making the Past Urgent Again: David France's Thrilling "How to Survive A Plague"

    For my latest Docutopia column at the SundanceNow blog, "You Are There: Docs in the Moment," I address the thrilling AIDS doc "How to Survive Plague," which provides an almost real-time chronicle of history as if it was unfolding at this very moment. The film, which opens thea...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    The Man Who Changed Moviegoing

    Book review: American Showman: Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry 1908-1935  by Ross Melnick (Columbia University Press)

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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Pusher'

    Moving the action from Copenhagen to London, this remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 thriller ditches some of the eccentricities of the original and delivers a well made, albeit run-of-the-mill gangster yarn. The first English language film from Madrid-born director Luis Prieto does a good enough job, but given the rich recent history of the British gangster movie, it feels like Prieto is happy enough robbing the local bank rather than going all out to nab the crown jewels. At no point does he try to gazump the original. Frank (Richard Coyle) borrows money from Milo (Zlatco Zurič, reprising the role he played in the original trilo...

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