THE GREAT BEAUTY

The Great Beauty

“A richly symbolic meditation on aging, mortality and precious time wasted. Cinematographer Luca Bigazzi’s camera hurtles through surreal spectacles of exhausted decadence, as Servillo’s bemused gaze carries in it an existential ache for all that might have been, and a weary acknowledgement that every party must eventually end.” – Philadelphia City Paper, 11/28/2013

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OLDBOY

Oldboy

“Lee sticks to the script and lets his muscular filmmaking chops speak for themselves. Oldboy has been put together with a bristling visual intelligence, and when Brolin goes Hammer Time on dozens of faceless baddies Spike finally directs a balls-to-the-wall action sequence. Who knew Mookie was such a chop-socky buff?” – EntertainmentTell, 11/27/2013

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BLACK NATIVITY

Black Nativity 2

“You’re watching a musical, kids. Deal with it. This is a dearly sweet, often awkward movie that makes up in sheer sincerity what it lacks in finesse. Black Nativity is goofy and probably very easy to mock, but so full of positivity and good spirits that I can’t imagine why anybody would want to bother.” – EntertainmentTell, 11/27/2013

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THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

Catching Fire

“What a difference a director makes. Pulpy melodrama continues apace, but this time with lush, burnished images and a budget to match the ambition. It’s quite engrossing until the movie abruptly stops mid-scene, teasing another sequel coming soon to a theater near you. Sigh, the perils of franchise maintenance.” – Philadelphia City Paper, 11/21/2013

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NEBRASKA

Nebraska

“Everything about Nebraska feels secondhand. It’s a gimmicky sitcom script gussied up with ‘artful’ affectations borrowed from the New Hollywood heyday of the early ’70s. Except it doesn’t even get those right. This picture’s entire aesthetic design comes off like a wise-ass kid dressing in his cool uncle’s old clothes and wearing them wrong.” – The Improper Bostonian, 11/20/2013

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DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Dallas Buyers Club

“This somewhat schematic, a tad too crowd-pleasing take on the early days of the AIDS crisis follows the template of every Bill Murray slobs-vs.-snobs comedy from the ’80s, except this time people are dying. Dallas Buyers Club is sometimes terribly overwritten, yet always admirably underplayed. And McConaughey is just heroic.” – Philadelphia City Paper, 11/14/2013

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THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN

The Broken Circle Breakdown 3

The Broken Circle Breakdown becomes a bit much in the final reel. Yet the power of these songs holds it together, along with the film’s bone-deep understanding of music as the means by which these flawed, saddened people can reach for transcendence and attain a measure of grace. However temporary it may be.” – EntertainmentTell, 11/14/2013

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