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Summer of Same: May 2009

May's titles include the fourth films in two aging franchises, more Pixar perfection, and the reboot of a TV series from 40 years ago. And they say there are no new ideas.

Film

Iconic - The Top 20 Male Performances of 2008

Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.

Film

The Visitor

Tender and detailed, Thomas McCarthy's movie features beautiful performances, but is grounded in a fundamental difficulty, that Walter's education is achieved by his engagement with brown and black people.

Reviews

Free Zone (2005)

After the initial early promise of its opening 15 minutes or so, the film resorts to spinning its wheels, then driving down dead-end alleys, and then plowing head-long into exactly the sort of heavy-handed didactic symbolism that gives me fits and has me reaching for the remote.

Jake Meaney
Reviews

The Syrian Bride (2006)

The Syrian Bride, like Walk on Water and the Oscar-nominated Paradise Now, is part of the optimistic Israeli New Wave in filmmaking, these days. And it's well worth watching.

Andrew Horbal
Reviews

Paradise Now (2005)

How might efforts to fathom suicide bombers' motives make them too much like their potential victims -- that is, everyone else -- and thus unmake the difference that defines everyone else?"

Cynthia Fuchs
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