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Review: Happy People: A Year In The Taiga

What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 12, 2013


Review: 56 Up

Upwardly immobile
56 Up  is still moving and philosophic, though not as exciting as earlier episodes, which had more drama.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 05, 2013


Review: Quartet

Very veteran British actors nibble on the scenery in this pleasant, harmless adaptation of Ronald Harwood's 1999 middlebrow play set in a retirement home for ex-opera performers.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 24, 2013


Review: Bestiaire

Although there is no narration or manipulative music track, Denis Côté's long-take documentary look at Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec, screams out (quietly) on the side of animal rights.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 31, 2012


Review: Hitler's Children

Israeli filmmaker Chanoch Ze'evi is the probing interviewer behind this chilling, unsettling documentary.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 21, 2012


Review: Barbara

In this brilliant Cold War political drama set in the GDR in 1980, a doctor, Barbara (the extraordinary Nina Hoss), is exiled from East Berlin to a provincial town by the Baltic Sea because she has requested to move to the West.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 18, 2012


Review: The Central Park Five

Rough justice
It wasn't the Mississippi Delta but enlightened, liberal New York City where, in 1989, five Harlem and Bronx teenage boys, black and Latino, were arrested, bullied by the police, and intimidated into making false confessions that they had raped and brutally injured a female jogger in Central Park.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 13, 2012


Review: The Comedy

Many in the audience rankled as Rick Alverson's The Comedy played in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 05, 2012


Review: My Worst Nightmare

Dream casting
The storyline of Anne Fontaine's French comedy is mainstream: a yuppie art dealer, Agathe (Isabelle Huppert), finds her condescending values challenged and her sexuality opened up by a crude but "natural" laborer (Benoît Poelvoorde).
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 03, 2012


Review: Tristana

Papist plot
Though one was an atheist and the other a churchgoer, both Luis Buñuel and Alfred Hitchcock were obsessed with their Catholicism.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 21, 2012


Review: Brooklyn Castle

Katie Dellamaggiore's sweet, winning documentary spends one year with the chess team at Intermediate School 318, an inner-city junior high in Brooklyn, where despite a 70 percent poverty rate, the kids, grades 6-9, routinely win national championships.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 12, 2012


Review: Chasing Ice

National Geographic photographer James Balog, acclaimed for his work on vanishing animal species, goes for even mightier concerns in this valiant documentary: to provide irrefutable visual evidence of the magnitude of man-made global warming.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 12, 2012


Review: This Must Be the Place

Did the business-savvy Weinstein Brothers plan this project as a tax write-off? How else to explain the greenlighting of this soggy, monumentally morose excuse for a movie?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 08, 2012


Review: The Other Son

It's a far-fetched premise: two boys mixed up at birth, a Palestinian raised by an Israeli-army colonel and his French wife in Tel Aviv, a Jew brought up by a West Bank Muslim family who have had a son killed in the occupation.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 24, 2012

short take_dreamteam

Review: The Other Dream Team

American audiences will be delighted to see how the Grateful Dead helped pay for the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic team, including supplying tie-dyed T-shirts. But only Lithuanians will thrill to the movie's climax...
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 10, 2012


Review: Stars in Shorts

There are big names galore in this amalgam of short films — Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, etc. — and the celebs are having a holiday good time, even when the stories aren't particularly distinguished.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 25, 2012


Review: Step Up to the Plate

Paul Lacoste's French documentary
It's a corny American title for Paul Lacoste's French documentary, Entre les Bras , about the father-and-son chefs, Michel and Sébastien Bras, behind a Michelin three-star restaurant in the L'Aubrac region of France.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 18, 2012


Review: Detropia

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady 's documentary
Detropia is word play for "dystopia," and that's the overview here of the crumbling, crime-ridden, largely unemployed phantom of a Michigan city, which has lost half its population since 1955.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 11, 2012


Review: Little White Lies

Guillaume Canet's follow-up to Tell No One
Filmmaker Guillaume Canet's follow-up to his very popular noir Tell No One is an old-fashioned, enjoyable, The Big Chill -style romp by the seaside.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 11, 2012


Review: Samsara

Random images
There's no harm in coming in from the sun and contemplating the 99 minutes of Samsara 's random images from 25 countries around the world.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 04, 2012
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