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Movie Reviews

  • 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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  • Indiewire
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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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  • Indiewire
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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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  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'The Fitzgerald Family Christmas'

    Ed Burns is back, with a comedy about an Irish-American family, this time set around the threat by a dead-beat dad (Ed Lauter) to return to spend the holiday with the wife and the seven children whom he abandoned. I won’t give the ending away, but "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas," starring Burns as usual, comes right out of the marketing department. Christmas is the top film-going time of the year in the US. And if Irish-American family life in this film is any indication, people in those families will be scrambling to do anything else but spend the holidays with each other. Maybe they’ll go see "The Fitzgerald ...

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  • Indiewire
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    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Road North'

    TIFF Capsule Review: 'Road North'

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  • Shadow and Act
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    DVD Review: Chris Stokes 'Battlefield America' Teaches Predictable But Much Needed Lessons

    At the start of “Battlefield America,” we see young, bold, and tough kids dancing at an underground dance battle. Think “You Got Serve” meets Disney’s “Ant farm”. I’ve never seen such talented young dancers dance. The opening scene gives way to a ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: In 'Chico & Rita' and 'Nobody Walks,' The Sound of Heartache

    Early in "Chico & Rita," under the shimmer of the Tropicana's spotlight, Rita rummages through the lower octaves of attraction. Smitten, Chico gapes from the bar, dragging on a cigarette. Humid with sound, the scene has the texture of live action, its every wrinkle and wink. A movie song hasn't conv...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Dredd' A Visually Strong, Engaging But Ultimately Empty Cinematic Experience

    Remakes and reboots always seem to demand comparisons to their predecessors, but “Dredd” evokes a slightly different relationship: What Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” is to George Romero’s original, Pete Travis’ film is to, no, not Danny Cannon’s 199...

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