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Movie Reviews

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    Falling Short of Tarantino's Own High Bar, "Inglourious" Goes Bubblegum

    Given what the world expects from Quentin Tarantino - the man, the myth, the pastiche-driven movie machine - his latest feature, "Inglourious Basterds," stands out for its seemingly low ambition. Talked about for years by the filmmaker as his epic "guys-on-a-mission" movie, the final product, unveil...

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    Dargis On Von Trier

    Dargis On Von Trier

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    "Broken" Record: Almodovar's Latest Repeats His Greatest Hits

    Pedro Almodovar offers nothing new in his latest feature, "Abrazos Rotos" ("Broken Embraces"), but that's probably enough for his devout followers. With solid performances and a script that's never too hard on the ears, Spain's superstar director merely repeats the themes and conflicts of his greate...

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    Art-house Crowd Pleaser: Loach Lightens Up with "Looking for Eric"

    In 2006, British director Ken Loach won Cannes' top prize with a bracing chronicle of the Irish Republican Army's struggles against the British in the 1920s. Three years later, he's come up with a film that couldn't be more different in tone and subject matter - a lighthearted dramatic comedy about ...

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    Off The Edge: The Primal Power of Von Trier's "Antichrist"

    With "Antichrist," Lars Von Trier fully lives up to his reputation as an outrageous provocateur and master image-maker. Love it or hate it, boo it or applaud it-as audiences did both simultaneously after the world premiere here in Cannes-the film is the most shocking of the festival so far, with cri...

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    Amenabar's "Agora" Rings Hollow Despite Visual Shock and Awe

    Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora" contains a dense plot littered with historical details of Egyptian society during the Roman Empire, but none of them can save the movie from having the fleeting qualities of a high school science class.

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    "Prophet" Portends Success: Audiard's Arty Mob Film

    If James Toback's petty-criminal tale "Fingers" inspired Jacques Audiard's previous "The Beat That My Heart Skipped," it's Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" that looms over his latest "A Prophet." Successfully balancing art-film portraiture with a gangster picture's plot, the film may be one of the mor...

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    No Sense or Sensibility: Lee's "Woodstock" Undercooked

    Considering the iconic event at its center, the most surprising aspect of "Taking Woodstock" lies with the decision to make it into a rather flat comedy. Even with the ever-versatile Ang Lee behind the camera, this messy historical fiction plays like a two hour "Saturday Night Live" sketch, and not ...

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    Campion's Prudish "Star" Needs More Sizzle

    This might sound horribly simplistic, but Jane Campion's "Bright Star" desperately needs a sex scene. The movie puts such prominent focus on the romantic attraction shared by two characters -- early nineteenth century poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and his neighbor, budding fashion designer Fanny Bra...

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    Neither Misfire Nor Return To Form: Coppola's Competent "Tetro"

    Neither complete misfire nor triumphant return to form, Francis Ford Coppola's "Tetro" works as a competent family drama right up until the messy final act. If a first-time filmmaker had directed this stylish black-and-white-and-sometimes-color melodrama, it might gain some notice for suggesting gre...

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