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Sunshine Cleaning

Renee Scolaro Mora
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Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

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Get Smart

Get Smart makes rudimentary efforts to update, with passing references to terrorists, profiling, and inter-agency competition.

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So I Married an Axe Murderer (Deluxe Edition)

This has become more dated than either of the Wayne’s World movies, and is so seeped in ‘90s iconography it serves as a visual time capsule.

Andrew Winistorfer
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The Return of the Popcorn Circus: June 2008

If May almost tent-poled itself out of existence, June will be even worse. After all, are audiences really ready for 13 major release in less than two months -- with more to come?

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Rendition

Rendition is worried about torture. Specifically, it's worried about Americans torturing other people while saying they're not.

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Part 4: Challenging Convention

As cinema went completely commercial, abandoning art for artifice, true aesthetic acumen was hard to come by. Luckily, for the movies included herein, it was their difference, as well as their diversity, that helped them stand out from the rest of the high concept hackwork.

Film

The Pay Off: The Best Film of 2006

For many of the movies on PopMatters' 2006 list of the year's best films, it is clear that a heavy personal and professional stake was riding on the final product.

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Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine is that rare comedic film that earns its laughs through textured characterizations and authentic, humanizing contradictions.

Kate Williams
Film

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Even as Sheryl and Grandpa try to soothe little Olive, her father's "refuse to lose" credo creates a mountain of expectation.

Daynah Burnett
Film

Eros (2004)

Wong Kar-Wai's section follows Miss Hua (Gong Li in some of the most gorgeous dresses ever photographed), a sultry but also wistful Hong Kong call girl.

Zach Hines
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Big Trouble (1986)

Flimsy and frustrating, Big Trouble suggests that Cassavetes finally gave up on reality.

Chris Robé
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The Pentagon Papers

Repeatedly underlines, at times subtly and others more plainly, the responsibility of living in a democracy.

Cynthia Fuchs

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