The Playlist

In Theaters: 'Paul,' 'Limitless,' 'Lincoln Lawyer'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • March 18, 2011 3:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment
While the film cool kids kick around Austin at the SXSW festival, eating queso and barbecue and drinking 'ritas and tweeting about all the rad awesome movies they're seeing, we've got to console ourselves with the offerings at the cineplex this weekend. Fortunately, it's not all crap! We even get a SXSW treat in the form of "Paul," the Two Dudes and an Alien road trip comedy. Also in theaters: Bradley Cooper in the sci-fi pharmaceutical pic "Limitless," Matthew McConaughey returning to his courtroom roots in the "Lincoln Lawyer," and Sundance fave, Tom McCarthy's "Win Win."

Review: 'The Gift To Stalin' Aims To Be Moving & Sentimental But Comes Up Flat

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 18, 2011 2:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments
1949: A cargo train pulls into an unspecified area, and immediately children accost it with pans full of hot water. They run around like little merchants with a fresh mouth: "Buy hot water! Don't be stingy!" they tell the soldiers who dip out of the sliding doors, dying for anything wet. The scene shifts into one of the compartments; a boy (Sashka, Dalen Schintemirov) delivers water to his grandfather who dies before he can get a drop on his tongue. It's just one casualty of many, though, and the soldiers -- members of the Soviet Union -- stop off in a Kazakhstan village to unload the waste. Kasym (Nurzhuman Ikhtimbaev), a road worker, proceeds to bury the dead when he discovers Sashka hidden amongst them. Without the heart to leave the kid to his own devices, he takes him back to a small community of political prisoners. Eventually Sashka -- whose parents are also political prisoners -- gets wind of a contest for children: whoever gives Stalin the best present will get to meet him. He, of course, devises a pipe-dream plan to give the Generalissimus the greatest gift of all in order to free his parents.

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