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Tag Archive | "Hollywood Reporter"

‘Lowriders’: Film Review

The vibrant car culture of East L.A. fuels a family drama starring Demian Bichir, Eva Longoria and Gabriel Chavarria.

A dynamic glimpse of contemporary Los Angeles funneled into an old-fashioned coming-of-age saga, Lowriders isn’t always persuasive, but it has plenty of heart. Peruvian-born director Ricardo de Montreuil elicits strong […]

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‘No Man’s Land’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

David Byars’ documentary provides a fly-on-the-wall account of the 2016 occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

You literally feel the bullets fly in David Byars’ documentary about the 2016 41-day occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge by right-wingers opposed to the federal government. The filmmaker embedded with the militants, […]

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‘Grey Lady’: Film Review

Eric Dane and Natalie Zea co-star alongside Amy Madigan in John Shea’s Massachusetts-set cop thriller.

Nearly 20 years after directing his debut feature, Southie, veteran actor John Shea (Agent X, An Invisible Sign) steps behind the camera again. Once more focusing on the insidious influence of Boston’s criminal underworld, Shea […]

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‘How to Be a Latin Lover’: Film Review

A colorful cast led by Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek and Raquel Welch (!) enliven this uneven but likeable comedy.

OK, so it will never be mistaken for vintage Pedro Almodovar or Bigas Luna, but the feel-good satire How to Be a Latin Lover nevertheless gives you less cause to […]

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‘Catastrophe’ Season 3: TV Review

Amazon’s excellent comedy returns, hilarious as ever as the life of its central couple takes a turn for the even more difficult.

Perhaps because the show has always been loaded with laughs, people came away with the assumption that Amazon’s superb comedy Catastrophe, created, written and starring Sharon Horgan […]

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‘Black Snow’ (‘Nieve Negra’): Film Review

Some of Argentina’s strongest acting talent is gathered in Martin Hodara’s Patagonia-set sibling rivalry thriller.

Making his solo directorial debut in Black Snow — back in 2000, he was assistant director on Fabian Bielinsky’s scam classic Nine Queens, and later co-directed The Signal with Ricardo Darin — Martin Hodara can’t go […]

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‘Danger Close’: Film Review

Christian Tureud and David Salzberg’s third documentary in their military-themed trilogy revolves around embedded war reporter Alex Quade.

 
That the war in the Middle East has gone on for a depressingly long time becomes evident upon viewing Christian Tureud and David Salzberg’s third entry in their military-themed documentary trilogy. […]

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‘The Wall’: Film Review

Doug Liman’s latest is a decidedly smaller-scale action film that finds a pair of American soldiers, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena, trapped by a sniper in Iraq.

The Wall is the anti-American Sniper — and will generate anti-American Sniper-level enthusiasm and box-office. Except for the graphic realism of […]

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‘Below Her Mouth’: Film Review

Erika Linder and Natalie Krill play two women involved in a steamy affair in April Mullen’s erotic drama.

Straight men and gay women will both find much to appreciate in April Mullen’s Canadian indie drama about the romance between a female roofer—yes, that’s right—and the supposedly straight woman she […]

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‘Displacement’: Film Review

Plagued by disturbing shifts in time, a physics student tries to prevent — and undo — catastrophe.

Movies and quantum physics are, theoretically, a natural fit. And yet many screen stories based on the concept get so caught up in their time- and space-bending paradoxes that the mystery turns […]

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‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’: Theater Review

Laurie Metcalf plays Nora, the proto-feminist heroine of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 drama, who returns 15 years after walking out on her husband and children in Lucas Hnath’s spry deconstruction, which also stars Chris Cooper.

One of the most famous exits in modern drama prompts an entrance that bristles with […]

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‘Black Rose’: Film Review

Russian bodybuilder Alexander Nevsky, finding few willing to cast him as an actor, directs a buddy-cop vehicle for himself.

A cross-cultural buddy-cop flick so bottom-of-the-barrel it would’ve been hooted off screens even when such things were in commercial demand, Black Rose pairs a rookie profiler and a Russian loose […]

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‘Happy Bus Day’ (‘Hae-pi-bbeo-seu-dei’): Film Review | Hong Kong 2017

Korean director Lee Seung-won’s comedy about a neurotic family’s murderous birthday party won the Fipresci award at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

A dysfunctional family converges on their family home to kill one of their own in Happy Bus Day, the second feature of young Korean helmer Lee […]

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‘A Thousand Junkies’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Three drug addicts desperately search for a fix in Tommy Swerdlow’s black comedy.

 
It’s not surprising that Tommy Swerdlow’s directorial debut about three heroin addicts in desperate search of a fix reeks with authenticity. The film’s director/co-writer was an addict himself for nearly two decades, suffering open-heart surgery and […]

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‘The Circle’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Emma Watson becomes the mascot for a new wave of privacy-eroding web services in James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel, costarring Tom Hanks.

James Ponsoldt’s The Circle, a high-gloss imagining of how current trends might soon lead to the actual and total end of privacy, makes its […]

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‘Whitney: Can I Be Me’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Director Nick Broomfield’s Showtime-backed music documentary chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of record-breaking pop diva Whitney Houston.

The phenomenal rise and tragic demise of Whitney Houston is an almost archetypal saga of success, excess and the scarcity of second acts in American lives. But it becomes a little […]

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‘Bandstand’: Theater Review

Laura Osnes and Corey Cott star in this new Broadway musical about a band composed of World War II veterans trying to win a contest and make it big.

From its title and marketing campaign, you’d think the new musical Bandstand would simply be an exuberant paean to the […]

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‘The Boy Downstairs’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Zosia Mamet says goodbye to ‘Girls’ in Sophie Brooks’ bittersweet debut.

Starting at the point where a traditional romantic comedy would be setting its sights on the finish line, Sophie Brooks’ The Boy Downstairs offers a woman who, having loved a man and broken up with him, is unsettled […]

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‘Escape from Rented Island: The Lost Paradise of Jack Smith’: Film Review

Jerry Tartaglia collects nuggets left behind by the cult filmmaker for this film-essay.

Cult filmmaker and performance artist Jack Smith, whose most famous work is 1963’s Flaming Creatures, didn’t like the term “underground.” But his work could hardly have been more subterranean — featuring elements that would draw accusations […]

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‘Four Days in France’ (‘Jours de France’): Film Review

French filmmaker Jerome Reybaud’s feature debut stars Pascal Cervo as a gay man on a road trip through rural France.

For a two-hour-plus film in which the protagonists are two gay men and the hookup app Grindr plays the most important supporting role, it is surprising how little sex […]

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‘The Public Image Is Rotten’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) walks us through his surprisingly long post-Sex Pistols career in Tabbert Fiiler’s debut doc.

While his fellow Sex Pistol Sid Vicious went with the tried-and-true path to Rock Myth status, dying early, Johnny Rotten took a different route — ditching the band at the […]

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‘American Gods’: TV Review

The world building takes time and can be confusing, but the end result could be a genre hit for Starz as it brings Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed book to life.

All of the elements that might eventually transform American Gods, the acclaimed novel by Neil Gaiman, into the trippy, world-shifting series […]

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‘Obsession’: Theater Review

Jude Law stars in Ivo van Hove’s sexually charged melodrama, an adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film based on the classic noir thriller ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice.’

Jude Law lets his pumped biceps and ripped torso do most of the heavy acting work in his first London stage […]

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‘The Sinner’: TV Review | Tribeca 2017

The pilot for USA Network’s drama sets an unsettling tone and provides a good showcase for Jessica Biel.

The pilot for USA Network’s The Sinner premiered on Tuesday at the Tribeca Film Festival and it’s bound to leave some antsy attendees. The first 40-plus minutes are mysterious and unsettling, […]

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‘Six Degrees of Separation’: Theater Review

Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey play wealthy New Yorkers hoodwinked by Corey Hawkins’ charming con man in the 1990 John Guare play whose title entered the cultural lexicon.

The 2011 Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves was too unbalanced to do the job, but Trip Cullman’s […]

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‘Thumper’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Cary Fukunaga is among the executive producers of this gritty thriller about a small-time drug ring in a rundown suburban town.

Jordan Ross’ debut feature Thumper proves timely in its depiction of an economically ravaged suburban California community whose young people have increasingly turned to drugs. Unfortunately, the film, […]

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‘Psychopaths’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

The vengeful spirit of an executed serial killer inspires a night of murderous mayhem in the new horror film by Mickey Keating.

Toward the end of Mickey Keating’s latest horror film, the narrator apologizes “if the violence was too gratuitous and the story was too ambiguous.” It’s a kind […]

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‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Alexandra Dean tells the underexposed, amazing story of a Hollywood glamour queen who could have been a scientist.

Even a fairly serious classic-Hollywood buff could be forgiven for not knowing much about Hedy Lamarr, an actress whose beauty was far more impressive than her filmography. But as Alexandra Dean’s […]

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‘A Gray State’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Werner Herzog is the executive producer of Erik Nelson’s documentary about the mysterious deaths of an alt-right filmmaker and his family.

Right-wing media provocateur Alex Jones recently admitted in court that he’s merely “playing a character”—thereby lending an ironic subtext to Erik Nelson’s documentary about the deaths of aspiring […]

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‘The Sensitives’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Drew Xanthopoulos’ documentary profiles several people suffering from a disease that makes them hypersensitive to their environment.

Anyone who’s been watching Michael McKean’s character on Better Call Saul will recognize the affliction Drew Xanthopoulos investigates in The Sensitives, a documentary so affecting and effective it will make viewers feel […]

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‘Aardvark’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Jenny Slate plays Zachary Quinto’s ethically challenged therapist in Brian Shoaf’s directing debut.

A psychology-centric dramedy likely to annoy some mental health professionals, Brian Shoaf’s Aardvark revolves around loneliness and estrangement and the difficulties they present for both the healthy and the disturbed. Zachary Quinto plays a man coping […]

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‘Shock Wave’: Film Review

Goremaster and occasional social critic Herman Yau returns to action for a cops-and-robbers thriller starring Andy Lau.

Water-traversing infrastructure can be the stuff of nightmares, and for anyone who lives in Hong Kong, its three harbor-spanning tunnels fit the bill perfectly. Most will admit to spinning “What ifs?” on […]

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‘Anastasia’: Theater Review

The creative team behind ‘Ragtime’ draws on both the 1997 Fox animated feature and the live-action 1956 version with Ingrid Bergman in this musical about the youngest surviving member of Romanov royalty.

There are moments during the new musical Anastasia when the squeals of the tween girls packing the […]

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‘Great News’: TV Review

Tracey Wigfield, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s new NBC comedy takes a few episodes to find itself, but Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, John Michael Higgins and Nicole Richie make for a strong ensemble.

After winning an Emmy as co-writer of the 30 Rock series finale, Tracey Wigfield returns to NBC […]

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‘A Suitable Girl’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra’s documentary profiles three young women in India facing pressure to get married.

Profiling three young Indian women navigating the pitfalls of arranged marriages and matchmaking, A Suitable Girl revolves around the clash between old and modern methods of finding a husband. Sarita Khurana and […]

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‘mon mon mon MONSTERS’: Film Review | Hong Kong 2017

Taiwanese writer-director Giddens Ko takes a radical detour from his romantic comedy hit debut into dark-comedy/high-school-horror territory.

Who are the real monsters among us? That’s the question lurking at the heart of writer and director Giddens Ko’s sophomore effort, mon mon mon MONSTERS, closing this year’s HKIFF. Taking a […]

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‘Double Indemnity’: THR’s 1944 Review

On April 24, 1944, Billy Wilder’s thriller Double Indemnity, eventually nominated for seven Oscars at the 17th Academy Awards ceremony, was reviewed in The Hollywood Reporter. The original headline was “Double Indemnity Drama of Knockout Proportions.” 
With his Double Indemnity for Paramount, Billy Wilder has broken open a door hitherto locked to all those connected with the creation of motion pictures. […]

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‘Blame’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

In her feature directorial debut, Quinn Shephard plays a high-school student who grows dangerously close with her drama teacher (Chris Messina).

Blame, the feature directorial debut of 22-year-old Quinn Shephard, is something of a fakeout. What looks to be another queasily steamy story of a student’s affair with her […]

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‘Silicon Valley’ Season 4: TV Review

The hilarious HBO series returns just in time to make the world better while the characters mess up their own lives even more.

Every time Silicon Valley returns to television, the world becomes more tolerable. Sure, just for about a half-hour (well, fine, an hour, because there’s Veep, too), […]

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‘The Antipodes’: Theater Review

The latest work by Annie Baker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Flick,’ is “a play about people telling stories about telling stories,” featuring Josh Charles, Josh Hamilton and Will Patton.

Annie Baker’s new work is described in publicity materials as “a play about people telling stories about telling […]

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’: Film Review

James Gunn’s sequel to the 2014 Marvel hit brings the gang — including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper — back together for more.

When a disarmingly wacky and amusing B-team of Marvel characters parachuted in three summers ago and made off […]

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‘Ice Mother’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

A chance encounter with a group of free-spirited retirees proves liberating for the widow at the center of Czech director Bohdan Sláma’s comic drama.

Reteaming with Bodhan Sláma for their fifth feature together, Zuzana Kronerová plunges into the title role in Ice Mother much as the character plunges into […]

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‘Get Me Roger Stone’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, and Morgen Pehme offer a doc portrait of a political operative who loves his bad reputation, Roger Stone.

Since he claims to thrive on the hatred of those who think democracy is best served by honesty and decency in political campaigns, let’s all shout this […]

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‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’: Theater Review

Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle plays Willy Wonka in this new musical based on the Roald Dahl novel, with a score by the ‘Hairspray’ team incorporating songs from the 1971 Gene Wilder movie.

In opening dialogue delivered by Christian Borle with the anxious energy of someone trying to put […]

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‘I Am Heath Ledger’: TV Review | Tribeca 2017

Heath Ledger’s self-shot videos play a large part in Derik Murray and Adrian Buitenhuis’ documentary portrait for Spike.

A privileged look at an actor whose life begs poetic cliches about brightly burning flames, Derik Murray and Adrian Buitenhuis’ I Am Heath Ledger offers intimacy but little sense of discovery. […]

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‘Saturday Church’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Debuting writer-director Damon Cardasis threads introspective songs and dance interludes into a tender coming-of-age story of queer identity exploration.

The transfixing mix of poetic intimacy, emotional depth and searing compassion in last year’s Moonlight made it a towering landmark among screen depictions of the struggles of young gay men. […]

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‘Shadowman’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Oren Jacoby’s documentary profiles the life and career of famed 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

Oren Jacoby’s documentary chronicles the life and career of Richard Hambleton, one of three figures who dominated the outsider art scene in 1980s New York. But unlike his contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, […]

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‘Love After Love’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Chris O’Dowd and Andie MacDowell head the cast of Russell Harbaugh’s ensemble drama about the emotional ebb and flow of a family’s lives in the wake of loss.

Russell Harbaugh’s Love After Love is a contemplative drama in which the characters consider one another’s behavior with an attention matched […]

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‘Dog Years’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Burt Reynolds charmingly ambles his way through an exploitative indie comedy about an aging movie star.

There was a time when Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) was the toast of Tinseltown — handsome, talented and a top box office attraction for five years running. If this precis sounds familiar, that’s […]

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‘The Trip to Spain’: Film Review | Tribeca 2017

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan reunite for another Michael Winterbottom-directed semi-fictional working vacation.

The Trip to Italy, Michael Winterbottom’s second improvised travelogue starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, was the Godfather II of food-porn comedies that revolve around impressions of Michael Caine: It offered all the pleasures of the […]

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