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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: Head to 'The East' and Must-See 'Hannah Arendt'; Critics Skewer Shyamalan's 'After Earth'

If you live in a "limited release" city, then you've got a fine array of moviegoing options for the weekend. Zal Batmanglij's "The East," starring co-writer Brit Marling, Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard, is a smart anti-establishment thriller gaining good reviews from critics. Same goes for Sundance comedy "The Kings of Summer," a small-town coming-of-age tale in the vein of "Stand by Me."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 30, 2013 3:07 PM
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Weekend Preview: 'Before Midnight' a Must-See, 'Fast & Furious 6' Nabs Good Reviews, 'Hangover' a Headache

Memorial Day Weekend is bringing well-reviewed films both big and loud, and small and thoughtful (if also a bit loud: see a certain knock-down argument in "Before Midnight"). That film, Linklater's brilliant third installment in his romance trilogy starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, is receiving the best reviews of the bunch and rightly so. It's an observant, sharply realistic and gut-splittingly funny portrait of the demands on long-term romance.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2013 3:10 PM
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Weekend Preview: Sarah Polley's Must-See Doc 'Stories We Tell,' Baz Luhrmann's Showy but Sagging 'Great Gatsby'

"Stories We Tell"
Canadian writer-director-actress Sarah Polley's brilliant documentary on her enigmatic family history, "Stories We Tell," leads the pack of a slew of top-reviewed limited releases this weekend. Ben Wheatley's "Sightseers," the follow-up to frightfest "Kill List," also hits theaters and VOD, along with Irish director Lenny Abrahamson's coming-of-age drama and fest favorite "What Richard Did," and Maiken Bird's fest-circuit sports biodoc "Venus and Serena."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 10, 2013 2:08 PM
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Weekend Preview: 'Iron Man 3' a Smart Superhero Flick; Critics Applaud 'What Maisie Knew' and 'Something in the Air,' Mixed on 'Post Tenebras Lux'

This weekend, the latest installment of "Iron Man" soars through multiplexes after racking up more than $300 million overseas. Could it score a $150 million opening, or beat 2012's number one movie, "The Avengers"' $1.5 billion total worldwide gross? It is a Marvel sequel, after all.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 3, 2013 12:32 PM
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Weekend Preview: Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion' a Mediocre Mission, Francois Ozon's 'In the House' Liked by Critics

Tom Cruise apocalyptic vehicle "Oblivion," which is expected to score about $30 million when it opens wide this weekend, is a rare thing these days: a movie that arrives full-blown from the head of its filmmaker. While critics agree that Joseph Kosinski's spectacular piece of grown-up sci-fi boasts impressive visuals, some complain that the familiar sci-fi rehash -- unfavorable comparisons to "Total Recall" keep coming up -- bogs down the film.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • April 19, 2013 2:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Preview: Critics Divided on Luminous 'To The Wonder,' '42' Neither Home-Run Nor Strike-Out, 'Disconnect' Connects

Terrence Malick's luminous, meditative portrait of romance in a small-town community, "To The Wonder," opens in theaters and on VOD this weekend. The film, which stars Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, is being met with varying critical response: Some love it (as I did), while others find the lyrical editing and whispy voiceover to be Malick repeating himself.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 12, 2013 1:33 PM
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Weekend Preview: Critics Rate Boyle, Carruth, and Redford Thrillers 'Trance,' 'Upstream Color,' and 'The Company You Keep'

Ready for intrigue at the movies this weekend? A batch of enigmatic and mysterious thrillers are hitting theaters, with varying critical results. Danny Boyle's "Trance," starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel, is getting praise for its hypnotically high-watt aesthetic, but critics point out this may be a case of style over substance.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 4, 2013 3:25 PM
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Weekend Preview: Dwayne Johnson and Alex Karpovsky Receive Middling Reviews, Luis Bunuel's Must-See 'Tristana'

This weekend sees such diverse personalities as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Girls" star Alex Karpovsky on the big screen. Johnson's vehicle "Snitch" isn't snatching much praise from critics, while Karpovsky has written, directed and starred in the double feature "Rubberneck" and "Red Flag," receiving middling to positive reviews.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 22, 2013 1:58 PM
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Weekend Preview: Documentaries 'Sound City' and 'Koch' Best Bets, 'Warm Bodies' a Lively YA Installment

A number of documentaries hit the limited release circuit this weekend, including Neil Barsky's eerily timely "Koch," a clear-eyed portrait of the former NY mayor who just today passed away at the age of 88, and Dave Grohl's "Sound City," with interviews from a panoply of big names from rock history.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 1, 2013 2:16 PM
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Weekend Preview: Jessica Chastain's 'Mama,' Schwarzenneger's 'Last Stand' and Wahlberg's 'Broken City'

It's all about Jessica Chastain this weekend, with Andrew Muschetti's horror title "Mama" joining Oscar-nominated holdover "Zero Dark Thirty" at the box office. The modestly reviewed "Mama" is probably the best bet of the new releases...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 18, 2013 2:52 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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