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Thompson on Hollywood

Happy 118th Birthday, Howard Hawks: TOH! Picks His 16 Must-See Films (VIDEO)

In 2012, when Sight & Sound Magazine released the results of its most recent decennial poll, fans of Howard Hawks searched the top fifty "Greatest Films of All Time" in vain. Is the reputation of classical Hollywood cinema's most versatile master in decline? We offer you 16 reasons why you should remember Hawks, from "Red River" to "Scarface."
  • By TOH!
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  • May 31, 2014 2:10 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Critics on 'Maleficent': Jolie Is Fierce and Film Looks Great, But Fairytale Wears Thin

First reviews have swooped in for "Maleficent," Disney's take on the "Sleeping Beauty" classic arch villain here played by a wickedly gorgeous Angelina Jolie, a ringer for the iconic character. Per critics, the news is good and bad. The film, helmed by Oscar-winning VFX artist Robert Stromberg making his directorial debut, is a suitably sumptuous visual feast. And Jolie kicks ass, clearly reveling in the role. But the message and story seem to have gotten muddled along the way, making reviewers wonder whether this fairytale is more regressive than revisionist.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 28, 2014 1:38 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: Kelly Reichardt's Eco Suspense Thriller 'Night Moves'

Three radical environmentalists blow up a hydro-electric dam in Oregon, and then face the consequences of their extreme actions in Kelly Reichardt's meditative, observational suspense-drama. Already beloved by many for her minimalist chronicles of American malaise "Wendy and Lucy" and "Meek's Cutoff," Reichardt's fifth feature is strongest in its set-up before becoming a tad perplexing and taking a baffling wrong turn at its inconclusive ending.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 27, 2014 2:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes: 'Foxcatcher' Tells Riveting Murder Tale, as Award Season Beckons (POSTER)

Expectations were running high at festival midpoint at Cannes for Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher," which did not disappoint the international critics Monday morning, who gave the film a healthy round of applause. With "Capote" and "Moneyball" behind him, Cannes anointed the director with a first-time competition auteur slot. Will Jane Campion's jury throw any awards at this intense murder drama financed by Annapurna?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 24, 2014 3:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Review: Nuri Bilge Ceylon's Palme d'Or-Winner 'Winter Sleep'

Simply put, Nuri Bilge Ceylan is a badass. His new 3.25-hour film “Winter Sleep” doesn’t unfold so much as unspool, and despite presenting a few challenges to jet-lagged journalists, it manages not only to sustain interest but to mesmerize.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 24, 2014 2:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes: Palme d'Or Contender 'Leviathan' Gets Gargantuan Reaction from Critics

Critics are going crazy for Russian helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev's latest, "Leviathan," which played in competition at Cannes and now looks to be a serious contender for the prized Palme d'Or. Zvyagintsev knocked it out of the park with 2011's meditation on one family's legacy of crime, "Elena," and this new film again returns to the terrain of social critique, but by loosely retelling the Book of Job.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2014 12:36 PM
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Cannes: 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' Starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, Impresses Critics as Fest Nears Finale

Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria" was one of the final competition titles to bow at Cannes 2014, and it seems the festivals programmers were saving a goodie -- if not the best -- for last. Reviews are upbeat if not through-the-roof.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2014 11:58 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Cannes: Critics Divided on Zhang Yimou's Latest 'Coming Home' -- Timeless or Plodding?

At 64 years old, Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou is back at Cannes with out-of-competition title "Coming Home," starring his iconic muse Gong Li, and following an unhappy homecoming that acts as metaphor for the country's coming-to-terms with the cultural revolution. Some critics are digging it while others are left cold; the film's no-holds-barred emotion -- and a much-mentioned piano score -- is either having reviewers reach for their hankies or checking their watches. Highlights from a review roundup, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 22, 2014 12:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes: Marion Cotillard Delivers for the Dardennes in 'Two Days, One Night'

Marion Cotillard delivers a razor's edge performance in the Dardennes brothers Cannes competition feature "Two Days, One Night." She's in the running for the Best Actress prize.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2014 7:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

A24 Buys Egoyan's Cannes Competition Kidnap Thriller 'The Captive,' Before Vitriolic Press Reaction

A24 Nabs Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive' starring Ryan Reynolds. Cannes reaction is mixed--review and press conference quotes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2014 6:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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