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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: Catch Up on Oscar Viewing, Plus 'Gangster Squad,' 'Clandestine Childhood,' 'Quartet' and 'Struck by Lightning'

Per usual, January is not a fertile ground for strong new movies. Arrivals this weekend will be fighting for attention amidst the Oscar chatter. Dustin Hoffman's delightfully escapist "Quartet," which had an-Oscar qualifying run, leads the pack at 78% Fresh. Despite its abundance of movie stars, the post-Aurora-delayed "Gangster Squad" is failing to impress most critics.
  • By TOH!
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  • January 11, 2013 11:58 AM
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Weekend Preview: Apted's '56 Up' and 'The Impossible' Best Bets, 'Promised Land' Leaves Critics Divided

This weekend sees the wide releases of J.A. Bayona's well-received, heart-tugging tsunami drama "The Impossible," starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and of Gus Van Sant's divisive fracking drama "Promised Land," starring co-screenwriters Matt Damon and John Krasinski.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 4, 2013 1:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Holiday Weekend Preview 2012: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Les Mis,' 'Django,' 'Impossible,' 'On the Road,' 'This is 40' and More Make a Christmas Movie Feast

At last audiences can sink their teeth into Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," which is inspiring debate as it enjoys a top spot on many Best of 2012 lists. If Jessica Chastain hunting down Osama bin Laden is not your thing, there's plenty to sample this pre-holiday weekend. Bigelow's excellent film, however, should be considered essential viewing as we head into the next phase of awards season. Ditto for Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," which both arrive on Christmas day next week.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 20, 2012 7:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: From a Speedier 'Hobbit' to Yet Another Christopher Walken Comedy

Those expecting the grandeur of "Lord of the Rings" from Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (the first of a new prequel trilogy) will be disappointed. But that's not to say the ride isn't enjoyable once you get used to the 48fps in 3-D. Were I to sit through the nearly three-hour film again, I'd take good old fashioned 24fps and 2-D. Once Bilbo Baggins (a perfect Martin Freeman), Gandalf and the many dwarves are off on their journey (after a rough start) the adventure does pull you in with some spectacular visuals and some quality time with Andy Serkis' show-stealing Gollum. What I missed most: Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 14, 2012 7:47 PM
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Weekend Preview: Head for Indie Doc 'Tchoupitoulas' & Neo-Noir 'Deadfall'; Skip 'Playing for Keeps' on the 'Hudson'

If you live in a "limited release" city, it might be best to stick with documentaries this weekend. Standouts are "Tchoupitoulas," following three young brothers discovering the magic of New Orleans, and "Only the Young," a portrait of a trio of charismatic teens.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 7, 2012 4:05 PM
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Weekend Preview: Slim Pickings Beyond Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' -- Unless You're Into Jean-Claude Van Damme

This lackluster weekend for movie openings may leave you wanting to catch up on the Thanksgiving releases you missed. That said, Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," an alternately engrossing and heavy-handed hitman drama starring Brad Pitt, is the strongest of the bunch. Beyond that, the options are disparate: a feminist take on Marilyn Monroe from HBO star Liz Garbus, "Love, Marilyn," wan horror title "The Collection," or Van Damme-Lundgren vehicle "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning," which some critics find worth reckoning with (and some don't).
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 30, 2012 5:39 PM
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Weekend Preview: Give Thanks for 'Rust and Bone' & 'Life of Pi;' Plus 'Hitchcock,' 'Central Park Five' & 'Rise of the Guardians'

This holiday weekend there are multiple films to enjoy and one for almost everyone's taste. "Hitchcock" is an historical comedy/drama for cinephile nerds featuring the beloved Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren; "Life of Pi" is Ang Lee's epic adaptation of Yann Martel's survival novel, and "Rust and Bone" is Jacques Audiard's powerful and gritty melodrama starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. "The Central Park Five" will please doc fans, and for the youngsters there's "Rise of the Guardians."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 21, 2012 4:27 PM
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Weekend Preview: Must-See 'Silver Linings Playbook,' Wright & Knightley's Beautifully Mounted 'Anna Karenina'

The Oscar race is about to get real now that David O. Russell's crowd pleaser "Silver Linings Playbook" is hitting theaters. The satisfying film stars Bradley Cooper at his all-time best and Jennifer Lawrence on form. Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" has proved more devisive among critics, who praise the lavish costumes and cleverly theatrical set, but also cite a lack of chemistry and depth from the leading players.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 16, 2012 6:54 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Preview: Go Big with 'Skyfall' & 'Lincoln,' But 'Starlet' is Indie Must-See

Sam Mendes' "Skyfall" and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" are both scoring high with critics and look to dominate the weekend box office. If American history and the Bond universe aren't to your taste, there's Sean Baker's significantly more down-to-earth "Starlet," which is in tune with the lives and emotions of two very different women (Dree Hemingway and Besedka Johnson), living in the San Fernando Valley.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 8, 2012 8:07 PM
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Weekend Preview: Denzel Washington, Sean Penn, John C. Reilly, Tobey Maguire & More

Check out the slate of films now in theaters, led by the Denzel Washington vehicle "Flight" from Robert Zemeckis. The crowd-pleaser and its beloved leading man will take you on quite a ride, while Sean Penn's strange Euroflick "This Must Be the Place," Disney's animated charmer "Wreck-It Ralph," RZA's "The Man with the Iron Fists," and Tobey Maguire's "The Details" also arrive. Check out reviews, trailers and details on these titles and more below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 2, 2012 5:53 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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