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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Bullhead' Is Larger Than Life Pulp, Barely Sweetened, Mostly Sour

    It only makes sense that geek-friendly Drafthouse Films would be behind the distribution of Belgium’s Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee “Bullhead.” Sparse and unnerving, this unusual social drama features a central character so pulpy and tragic he might as well be a barmate of Mickey Rourke’s Marv of ...

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    Review: Inspirational Football Documentary 'Undefeated' Scores A Touchdown

    Watching inspirational movies is often like eating ice cream. While you're taking it in, it's sweet and immensely pleasurable, but as soon as you've reached the end, all that's left is an empty carton. Maybe we won't go as far as saying this kind of cinema is empty, but those swooned by "The Blind S...

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    More Woody Allen

    If you missed Robert B. Weide’s two-part American Masters profile of Woody Allen that aired last November on PBS, it’s just been released on DVD—by Docurama—with bonus material that wasn’t seen on TV. Weide, whose earlier documentaries have dealt with W.C. Fields, The M...

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    Review: 'The Secret World Of Arrietty' Is A Beautiful, Whimsical & Heartfelt Fable From Studio Ghibli

    The charmingly simple conceit behind Mary Norton's children's fantasy novel series "The Borrowers" is that there are a race of tiny people, no bigger than a stack of quarters or a human thumb, that live underneath your floorboards, sneaking into your home at night to "borrow" things essential to the...

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    Review: 'Michael' A Provocative, Yet Banal Portrait Of A Monster

    Trace it to the 2006 Natascha Kampusch case or the even more terrible 2008 Elisabeth Fritzl one reverberating through into fiction, but longterm kidnapping is having a moment. Despite apparently opening with a card that claims otherwise, the incidents seem unavoidable inspirations for Fréd&ea...

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    SIMON SAYS: Even in 3D, it's still a PHANTOM MENACE II society

    In 1999, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was released theatrically. The rest is a blur – for me, at least. I was 12 years old at the time, the ideal age for an uncritical "Star Wars" fan to see the first entry in George Lucas’ then-new prequel trilogy.

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  • Indiewire
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    BERLIN REVIEW: Miguel Gomes' 'Tabu' Delivers a Brilliantly Poetic Look at Colonialism, But What's With the Crocodiles?

    A head-scratchingly lyrical immersion into colonialist metaphor and historical memory, Portuguese director Miguel Gomes' third feature "Tabu" reaches for the dreamlike experiences of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's oeuvre with a bold structure that defies genre specifics. At the same t...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Re:generation Music Project' Is A Joyous Dance-Along Celebration Of The Malleability Of Musical Genres

    In less capable hands, "Re:generation Music Project" would have felt much more like a hugely expensive commercial (it's being sponsored by the Hundai Veloster and the Grammys). It isn't entirely clear why Hundai and the Grammys are so keen on the project, although you have to assume they're at least...

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    Review: 'Thin Ice' With Greg Kinnear & Alan Arkin An Irritating, Shrill Comedy Devoid Of Laughs

    When the screenwriters of “Thin Ice” finally play their hand and reveal their film’s obvious twist ending, that dumb plot point almost eclipses all the other lousy things that came before it. But make no mistake, “Thin Ice” is nothing if not consistently lousy. Set in f...

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  • Indiewire
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    BERLIN REVIEW: Ursula Meier's 'Sister' is a Bittersweet Crowdpleaser

    French-Swiss director Ursula Meier burst on the international film scene with her 2008 feature debut "Home," about a peculiar family living next to a highway. Her follow-up, "Sister," lacks the same conceptual ambition but consolidates her skill with a tightly assembled narrative...

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