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Drew Taylor's Favorite Films Of 2011

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 24, 2011 9:25 AM
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  • 21 Comments
2011 was undoubtedly the year of Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life." It just wasn't for me. After winning the Palme d'Or on the same day that I saw the movie, I was left feeling baffled. Like I had missed something.

My Favorite Films Of 2011: Christopher Bell

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • December 20, 2011 2:30 PM
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  • 17 Comments
Something that always bothered me about being a critic was that your feelings on whatever you're writing about suddenly get stuck in stone after pushing that glorious "Publish" icon.

When Subject Becomes Plaintiff: Joyce McKinney Sues Errol Morris Over ‘Tabloid’

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 4, 2011 1:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Well, she’s been threatening it for months now (but with her, how do you know what she’ll actually do?), but it’s actually come to pass: Joyce McKinney, the subject of Errol Morris’ outstandingly odd “Tabloid,” is suing the director for, among many other things, “likeness, defamation, misrepresentation, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.” “Tabloid” is the story of McKinney’s life, specifically an incident in 1977 when she flew to England to retrieve her boyfriend, who was on missionary work for the Mormon church and who claimed, later, that he had been kidnapped and raped by McKinney. The story became a sensation in England, where it was dubbed the “Manacle Mormon” story or, more luridly, the “Sex in Chains” scandal (McKinney reportedly restrained her boyfriend).

Weekend Box Office: Boy Wizard Trumps Batman As 'Deathly Hallows Pt. 2' Has All-Time Biggest Opening

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 17, 2011 5:19 AM
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  • 8 Comments
And so we have box office history.

In Theaters: Bid Adieu To Harry & Pals In 'Deathly Hallows Part 2' Or Take A 'Pooh'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • July 15, 2011 6:27 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Break out your wands and Gryffindor scarves, people! It's time to bid adieu to Harry Potter and pals in the conclusion of this eight film series this weekend. I don't care that it's the dead heat of July, put your damn wizarding cloaks on and get thee to a theatre right quick. Beat back those feisty little tweens and crack a butter beer for your fallen homies. Also opening this weekend: a few docs, some indie fare and a childhood revisited with "Winnie the Pooh."

Interview: Errol Morris Talks The Anxiety Of Making 'Tabloid' & Finding The Laughter In His Films

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • July 13, 2011 10:27 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In a time where documentaries are made cheaply and are often no more than glossy, agenda-pushing propaganda bulleted lists, filmmakers like Errol Morris seem even more admirable. Starting in 1978 with the amusing "Gates of Heaven" (which followed a number of people who had beloved animals buried in a California pet cemetery), the man alternated between scrutinizing the weird and picking apart the political, triumphing in both camps due to both his respectful and prudent attitude. He even invented his own interviewing technique called the "Interrotron" which, using two-way mirrors in a similar way a teleprompter would work, allows both camps to see the face of who they are talking to while directly looking into the camera. Because of this intimacy, Morris' films not only avoid the dullness that many talking head flicks fall into, but it also constructs a very personal audience connection to each speaker. As he probes into each subject, he's never condescending, but often unearths uncomfortable truths and manages to portray each person as not just a tool to prove whatever point he's trying to make, but as a complicated human being.

Exclusive: Errol Morris Adds Adaption Of Richard Preston's 'The Demon In The Freezer' To His Queue

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • July 12, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Updates On 'The End Of Everything' & 'We Froze The First Man' Known for both his chilling investigative documentaries ("The Thin Blue Line," "Standard Operating Procedure") and his jovial examinations of the weird and eccentric ("Gates of Heaven," "Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control"), Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has consistently been able to uncover various truths in his non-fiction expeditions. But these movies also suggest a creative asset outside the usual documentary wheelhouse; a responsive soul that shouldn't be bound to a single type of filmmaking. Morris's flicks, absurdly fascinating tales related with the breezy charm of an assured storyteller and punctuated with expertly employed reenactments, are singularly paced to leave you on the edge of your seat. Most importantly, in addition to his knack for choosing captivating subjects, Morris' respectful treatment of these individuals results in rounded, three-dimensional, human portrayals.

Review: 'Tabloid' Is Documentarian Errol Morris At His Wildly Absurdist Best

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 11, 2011 7:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Lately, documentarian Errol Morris has focused his films on terribly serious subject matter. 2003's "Fog of War" centered on Robert S. McNamara, one of the chief architects of the bloody, morally nebulous Vietnam War, and 2008's underappreciated "Standard Operating Procedure" told the story of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal through the photos themselves. The films were great, but they lacked the playfulness and oddball charm of earlier Morris films like his debut "Gates of Heaven" (about a pet cemetery) and 1997's "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control," about a bunch of weirdos with amazing professions (lion tamer, topiary artist, robotics expert, and a man devoted to blind, mutant-looking mole rats). So it's something of a relief that Morris has largely left the dark stuff behind for his latest film, "Tabloid," a gripping, thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud love story that turns out to be one of the documentarian's very best films.
More: Review, Tabloid

Watch: Trailer For Errol Morris' Exceptional Documentary 'Tabloid'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The theaters might be dominated at present by big, expensive action flicks, but for those after more thought-provoking cinema, it's looking to be an excellent summer for documentaries. Already we've seen the likes of "The Arbor," "Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff" and "L'Amour Fou," and even more exciting prospects are coming down the pipe, including "Page One," "Buck," "Project Nim" and "Beats, Rhymes & Life."

Already Sick Of Blockbusters? The Playlist's Guide To The Alternative Summer Movie Highlights

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 6, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The summer of 2011 is more stuffed with blockbusters than ever before, with every week bringing a new tentpole. We ran those films down earlier in the week, with Part 1, being those that look half-decent or better, Part 2 being those that we're more wary of, or even dreading. But in a summer like this, it's even more important than ever that those who truly care about cinema don't just settle for the big movies, but seek out the smaller releases as well.

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