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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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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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Under the Skin

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Is "Under the Skin," in which Scarlett Johansson plays a mysterious creature luring men into a fatal mating dance, a brilliant science fiction movie? Or is it a pretentious gloss on a very old story about men's fear of women, and women's discomfort with their own allure?

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Noah

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Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is a modern blockbuster, full of the visual and aural and narrative tics and cliches we expect from modern blockbusters, but at the same time it's ferociously and sometimes strangely original: a work of fervor, as grandiose and obsessive as its Biblical hero.

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It Felt Like Love

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This snapshot of modern teen mating rituals is loaded with heartfelt and keenly observed pessimism, which is conveyed in super-tight closeups, roving camerawork and restrictive framing that convey the limits of the characters' world and worldview.

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