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2012 Stories by Michael Atkinson

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  • Yelling to the Sky

    published December 12, 2012

    A heavy-handed, Precious-manqué teen-tribulation indie, Victoria Mahoney's Yelling to the Sky plops us down in an unlikely... More >>

  • Heleno Is Defeated by Movie Formula

    published December 5, 2012

    Brazilian soccer demigod Heleno de Freitas comes packing a résumé irresistible to biopic-makers: stunning good looks, unbeatable... More >>

  • Otelo Burning

    published November 28, 2012

    An earnest, unthinking, life-is-beautiful global indie of the sort Miramax used to scarf up by the dozens every year, this South African ditty... More >>

  • La Rafle

    published November 14, 2012

    A standard-issue mezzobrow Holocaust melodrama of the sort you'd have thought Roberto Benigni had assassinated, this popular French film... More >>

  • Buffalo Girls

    published November 14, 2012

    There's no underestimating man's beetle-browed jones to exploit anything and anyone small and weak for fun and profit, so perhaps it's no... More >>

  • With The The First Time, Teen Romance Seems New Again

    published October 17, 2012

    Objectively, what the world needs now is another teen-romance-slash-virginity-loss dramedy like we need a hole in our collective movie heads.... More >>

  • Wuthering Heights: Black Like Me

    published October 3, 2012

    British filmmaker Andrea Arnold's remarkable new adaptation of Wuthering Heights comes packing some redoubtable weapons, including the... More >>

  • Solomon Kane

    published September 26, 2012

    Nobody seemed to have faith in this benighted, Robert E. Howard–based sword-and-sorcery demi-epic, which is three years old, has already... More >>

  • The Double Steps (Los Pasos Dobles)

    published September 26, 2012

    A bedeviling, blithe Spanish meta-film shot entirely in the dunes and cliff villages of Mali, The Double Steps begins with the tale of... More >>

  • About About Cherry

    published September 19, 2012

    The new, semi-gritty indie About Cherry is all about a semi-reluctant slide into the porn industry, and it's also the first mainstream... More >>

  • Arbitrage

    published September 12, 2012

    Slick and grown-up as Richard Gere himself, this intricate fiscal thriller takes a dead bead on extreme privilege, with Gere's Madoff-like... More >>

  • The Manzanar Fishing Club

    published September 12, 2012

    A charming if tone-deaf pro-am doc edited on someone's Mac, Cory Shiozaki's film slices out yet another unexplored layer of bizarre World War... More >>

  • Branded

    published September 12, 2012

    Are we being bamboozled? Released with minimum print ads, no review screenings, and an outrageously misleading TV trailer, this forsaken... More >>

  • For Ellen

    published September 5, 2012

    The method-y, elfin-brooder, hipster-star-of-the-moment Paul Dano has four movies out this year, but here is his one-man show, a... More >>

  • Little Birds

    published August 29, 2012

    The first feature from gang member/punk rocker/semi-notorious homeless-kid-turned-Sundance-protégé Elgin James, this polished but... More >>

  • Brother, Can You Spare a Dollar

    published August 15, 2012

    A well-meaning amateur doc apparently shot with a camcorder and assembled on an old Mac with Final Cut Express, Hoffman’s home-movie-ish... More >>

  • The Bourne Legacy: Who's the New Guy?

    published August 8, 2012

    The Bourne films have more than just overstayed their welcome and outlasted the Ludlum books—they've been Van Halenized, with an... More >>

  • Almayer's Folly

    published August 8, 2012

    One of the year's most hypnotic and fascinating films, Chantal Akerman's newest is a provocative adaptation of Conrad's novel of the same name,... More >>

  • Max et les Ferrailleurs

    published August 8, 2012

    A rather bizarre genre film from erratic extra-New Wave auteur Claude Sautet, this 1971 policier pivots on Michel Piccoli as a necktie detective... More >>

  • Dreams of a Life

    published August 1, 2012

    This investigative doc prods into a profoundly mysterious social cavity—the case of Joyce Vincent, a 38-year-old woman whose skeletonized... More >>

  • Takashi Miike's Epic Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Might Be His Best Film Yet

    published July 18, 2012

    The transformation might be complete: The crap-and-gore, genre-mincing Tasmanian devil of Asian pulp psychosis Takashi Miike we’ve come... More >>

  • 'Universal 100': Better Than the Studio Tour

    published July 11, 2012

    This is what you get when you retro a major Hollywood studio's centennial—a Mall of America–size grab bag of indulgences, leaving... More >>

  • Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours

    published July 11, 2012

    The most absolutely bullshit-free cinema experience you’ll have in 2012, this epic-length Thai documentary takes the observational jungle... More >>

  • The Imposter

    published July 11, 2012

    This deft, atmospheric Errol Morris–style tour through the phenomenon that is “serial imposter” Frédéric Bourdin... More >>

  • The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

    published July 4, 2012

    The ubiquitous Duplass brothers, those micro godheads of post-mumble indies, stoke the furnace of sibling tension in this single-minded but... More >>

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