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The Playlist

Review: ‘The Descendants’ Starring George Clooney Is A Mature & Soulful Look At Forgiveness

  • By The Playlist
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  • November 15, 2011 1:48 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Marked by a strong, soulful performance by George Clooney, simple and economic direction, and a slow and patient gait, “The Descendants” finds filmmaker Alexander Payne working in the familiar, but not derivative, milieu of the adult drama. The film doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and while firmly within Payne’s wheelhouse, we can see the filmmaker inching towards pure drama without dramedy or resorting to the James L. Brooks method of punctuating pain with disarming laughter. That’s not to say “The Descendants” isn’t a dramedy or isn’t funny, as it certainly has its instances of comedic flair that do defuse some painful moments, but overall, one can argue that it’s Payne’s most somber and serious work outside of maybe “About Schmidt.” "The Descendants" is not without some problems either, though most aren't major dealbreakers aside from familiarity and that's purely subjective.

Review: 'Tomboy' Offers An Insight Into Gender, Identity & Adolescence

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • November 14, 2011 12:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment
This writer distinctly remembers an old, probably two minute short making its rounds on Nickelodeon in between programs circa 1990. In it, a young lass yearns to play baseball with the neighborhood boys but is turned down because of her gender. So with a sweatshirt, baseball cap, and jeans, she heads to the next game to show them a thing or two as a boy. When the jig is up and she reveals her true identity, her teammates learn an important lesson. It was an optimistic short that didn't really have much issue with the girl's questionable decision to be a boy for a day just to play a sport. Maybe it's not realistic or necessarily deep but it's aimed at a very impressionable audience, and given the constraints they had to work with, the directors had to make their point and get out before "Mr. Wizard's World" came on.
More: Reviews, Review

Review: 'London Boulevard' A Miscast Mess

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 11, 2011 12:42 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Review: Lars Von Trier Confronts Depression Head On In The Grim 'Melancholia'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 11, 2011 11:41 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Essentially shock free, the operatic, three act film plays more like an Ingmar Bergman chamber piece than anything else and the biggest surprise is just how contemplative Von Trier is this time around.

Review: '11-11-11' Is A Well-Intentioned, But Poorly-Made Horror Throwback

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • November 11, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: 'Pete Smalls Is Dead' A Caper Comedy That Doesn't Quite Cut It

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 11, 2011 10:00 AM
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  • 13 Comments

Review: 'Immortals' Makes For Thrilling Art Installation, Not So Much A Movie

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • November 10, 2011 7:04 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Review: 'Jack And Jill' Plays Like A Telemundo Show From Hell

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • November 10, 2011 4:34 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Review: 'Father of Invention' A Mere Fabrication Of A Better Film

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • November 4, 2011 1:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Review

Review: 'Son Of No One' Suggests 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' As Written By Dennis Lehane

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 3, 2011 9:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the relatively ridiculous new procedural/mystery "Son of No One," Channing Tatum, as a mustachioed police officer married to Katie Holmes (and looking after an epileptic daughter), is sent taunting letters and anonymous text messages alluding to a violent incident from his past. (The movie is set way back in 2002 which is why he doesn't receive cryptic emails too. Because no one used email in 2002 apparently). You can tell how terribly we're supposed to take the threats because of all the shaky shots of Tatum flipping open his ancient cell phone, the scenes shot in sickly shades of blue and green. Except that instead of coming across as suspenseful or menacing, it's just silly and laughable, like something out of a teen slasher movie or ABC Family series, lacking anything approximating weight or gravitas.

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