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32 Films That Begin With Leaving a Mental Institution

"Crazy" movies for crazy times. These 32 films make the case for the recently-escaped-or-released-mental-patient narrative as its own subgenre, replete with a language of recurring themes, plot devices, and character archetypes.

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Music

The Boxmasters: Modbilly

W.R. "Bud" Thornton's rockabilly band releases its third album of honky tonk and rock 'n' roll.

Music

Billy Bob Thornton and the New Surrealism (video)

Following in the steps of Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Bob Thornton proves rude and surly (not to mention unbelievably cryptic) in an interview with a Canadian DJ. Once again, we ask: why?

Reviews

Duplicity

For all its bright banter and flashbacky fanciness, Duplicity boils down to this rudimentary formula: morality and success are functions of beauty.

Reviews

Eagle Eye

This might pretend to criticize our increasing reliance on technology, but it’s really just the setting for a big dumb movie.

Dan Heaton
Reviews

Eagle Eye

Where's Jamie Foxx when you need him?

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: September 2008

From wars both past and present to a number of nail-biting thrillers, September is sizing up as a potentially profitable one.

Music

The Boxmasters: The Boxmasters

Billy Bob Thornton’s latest nostalgia trip inspires nostalgia for his previous albums.

Music

Billy Bob Thornton: Beautiful Door

On his fourth solo album, Beautiful Door, Billy Bob Thornton solidifies his status as a Hollywood oddity, a celebrity who actually can produce music worth a damn: catchy, conceptual, and with a conscience.

Reviews

The Astronaut Farmer (2007)

Audie has always believed Charlie will launch his rocket. And with one neat, maybe comical metaphor, it's very clear what's at stake.

Film

School for Scoundrels (2006)

Amanda is demoted from object of desire to prop, so wan and undirected that she'll fall for whoever happens to be winning the boys' contest at any given moment.

Reviews

Bad News Bears (2005)

The DVD extras are mostly valuable for the access they grant to Richard Linklater, who is a terrific storyteller and articulate filmmaker.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Ice Harvest (2005)

If Charlie appears seem energetic, if not exactly inspired, it's only because he's in constant, circular motion.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Bad News Bears (2005)

Morris Buttermaker's (Billy Bob Thornton) efforts to 'get down' with his token black player lead to slogany appreciation for the struggle ('Don't trust whitey') and the requisite 'the shizzle'.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Sling Blade - Director's Cut (Miramax Collector's Series) (1996)

Sling Blade is a piece of true Southern Gothic in the vein of Flannery O'Connor, Harry Crews, and (yes, I'll say it) William Faulkner.

John G. Nettles
Film

Friday Night Lights (2004)

It's mostly about how football -- in this place, at this time -- overwhelms its adherents, apparently giving them something to live for but also sucking their lives from them.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

The Alamo (2004)

'A lot of people who have seen this movie are surprised that we have depicted these people warts and all,' says historian Stephen L. Hardin.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Alamo (2004)

Standing on a rooftop at the Alamo, the apparently valiant and suddenly insightful Davy Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton) pulls out his fiddle.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Bad Santa (2003)

In its best moments, Bad Santa taps into a very real sadness that most people try to gift-wrap away.

Matthew Callan
Film

Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

The Coen brothers' latest venture is a rat-a-tat romantic comedy of the Preston Sturges persuasion, at least for its first hour or so.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Levity (2003)

'Levity' is by no means a standard Hollywood movie.'"

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Levity (2003)

Memory is a tricky business. So are movies that mess with it.

Cynthia Fuchs

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