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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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Under the Skin

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

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

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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The Cold Lands

May contain spoilers

This intense and poignant drama from writer-director Tom Gilroy is about a young man whose world is suddenly turned upside-down; it's a throwback to 1990s American indie films that were more about atmosphere, characterization and regional detail than gimmicks.

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