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2012 Stories by Simon Abrams

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  • Allegiance

    published December 26, 2012

    Without its topical pretext and overzealous patriotism, Allegiance would be just another generic action film. Set in 2004,... More >>

  • Dabangg 2

    published December 19, 2012

    Dabangg 2, a Bollywood action film that's also sometimes a comedy, is mostly likable thanks to its creators' preference for lighthearted... More >>

  • Deadfall

    published December 5, 2012

    Distinguished only by its fantastic ensemble cast—including Kate Mara and Treat Williams—Stefan Ruzowitzky's Deadfall just... More >>

  • Happy New Year

    published December 5, 2012

    While Happy New Year strives to raise viewers' awareness of the life modern American vets lead after war, writer/director K. Lorrel... More >>

  • Sahkanaga

    published December 5, 2012

    As a re-creation of the events that led to the real-life discovery of more than 300 human bodies, Sahkanaga doesn’t exactly want... More >>

  • Ex-Girlfriends

    published November 28, 2012

    The callow behavior that characterizes Ex-Girlfriends' lead would be less maddening had writer/director/star Alexander Poe firmly... More >>

  • Certainty

    published November 28, 2012

    There are few romantic dramas more frustrating than the kind that studiously avoid clichéd characterizations while gracelessly begging... More >>

  • Talaash

    published November 28, 2012

    With soapy whodunit Talaash, star Aamir Khan continues his recent trend of exporting relatively progressive films. But unlike the... More >>

  • Path of Khan: Life of Pi Star Irrfan Khan Forges a Cross-Cultural Career

    published November 21, 2012

    "I can't think of a more pathetic situation for an actor than to do a film and not connect to it," Irrfan Khan says. "And I pray to God that I... More >>

  • The Normals

    published November 14, 2012

    While much of The Normals is grindingly quirky, the mostly adequate Sundance comedy gets bleak enough in the end that its... More >>

  • Shady Lady

    published November 7, 2012

    Too many Wiki-worthy info dumps and not enough character-enriching detail stops Shady Lady, a docudrama about a team of World War II... More >>

  • The Return of Lencho

    published November 7, 2012

    When its title protagonist isn't defined by hagiographic narrative contrivance, The Return of Lencho is a semi-thoughtful character... More >>

  • Starship Wachowski: The Cloud Atlas Team Dares You to Leave Your Pod

    published October 24, 2012

    It's a Sunday afternoon in New York, and Tom Tykwer and the filmmakers formerly known as the Wachowski brothers are talking about... More >>

  • Beyond Bollywood: Getting Real at the South Asian International Film Fest

    published October 24, 2012

    Pulp-infused psychological realism separates the best films competing at the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) from traditional... More >>

  • The Other Son

    published October 24, 2012

    Ham-fisted dialogue and clichéd characterizations trump genuine chemistry in The Other Son, a contrived Franco-Israeli drama... More >>

  • Sheer

    published October 17, 2012

    A little natural light and a lot of New York City street photography goes a long way in Sheer, a guerrilla-shot neo-noir. First-time... More >>

  • Least Among Saints

    published October 10, 2012

    There's no amount of emotional distress that macho brooding can't fix in Least Among Saints, a monotonous drama centered on a... More >>

  • An Affair of the Haert

    published October 10, 2012

    Two interview subjects – the befuddled spouse of a diehard fan and an apathetic Swedish metal-head -- cut to the core of the doc An... More >>

  • Excuse Me for Living

    published October 10, 2012

    Excuse Me for Living, sophomore writer/director and first-time producer Ric Klass's wracked therapy comedy, is neither so charming nor... More >>

  • The Self-Limited Vision of Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights

    published October 3, 2012

    English filmmaker Andrea Arnold's atypical, impressionistic approach to Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights is her adaptation's main... More >>

  • It's Such a Beautiful Day

    published October 3, 2012

    It made for a deceptively vital change of context when cult animator Don Hertzfeldt strung together four of his award-winning cartoons into the... More >>

  • Genndy Tartakovsky: Cartoons, Not Animation

    published September 26, 2012

    "I hate realism," director Genndy Tartakovsky said last week over the phone. "In America especially, we're very narrow-minded as far as... More >>

  • The Dark Dredd 3-D Is Nothing to Fear

    published September 19, 2012

    Typically, the creators of comic book adaptations assume that ingratiating themselves to anyone unfamiliar with their characters/properties... More >>

  • David France on the Plague Years: The history and survival of ACT UP

    published September 19, 2012

    “Death wasn’t being responded to as a public health problem,” David France says. “It was dealt with with sniggers. It... More >>

  • Head Games

    published September 19, 2012

    While Head Games does feature a number of articulate and consistently intelligent talking-head interviews, it's ultimately not a satisfying... More >>

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