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Transcendence

"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.

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Bears

"Bears" could have used a lot more science; more substantive information in the place of wacky one-liners. Still, the images trump everything.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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God bless you, Sean Penn! You made me cry. I cry at the happy parts, not the sad.

The film will premiere in Brazil on March 31. No word if Sean Penn is coming. Essentially, this viral video and the national craze for inviting him have already done the trick by promoting the film beyond the kid's wildest dreams.

• Thanks to Pablo Villaça, my Far-Flung Correspondent in Brazil.

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