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Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg's film of Bruce Wagner's Hollywood satire-nightmare turns ludicrous situations into operatic tragedy.

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The Lazarus Effect

The Lazarus Effect is such a limp excuse for a horror movie that it cannot even get a rise out of a couple of kids…

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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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Simply not the best

From: Mariano Kalfors, London, UK

While I agree with your summary that critics would do well to leave out the racial and sexual politics in their effort to castigate "Crash" in favour of "Brokeback Mountain," I heartily disagree with your opinion, simply from a storytelling point of view, that "Crash" is the better movie. While "Crash" is a modestly decent ensemble piece with a handful of, but not enough, great moments (largely thanks to a few great performances), it is still a mediocre and far too simplistic narrative pretending to be greater and more complex than the sum of its parts because of its serious and topical subject matter.

Paul Haggis treats what is essentially lightweight material far too heavy-handedly. I felt that "Brokeback Mountain" was simply the better movie thanks to being a great story supremely told by a director at his best, not to mention aided by exemplary performances from all of its cast.

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