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Arts and Culture (Movie Reviews)

Matt Damon teaches the simple folk about the environment

Slick salesman Steve Butler (Matt Damon: We Bought a Zoo) rolls into a Pennsylvania farming town with a plan. The agricultural community is dying, and Steve has the solution: Lease your land to a natural gas company. Global Natural Gas wants to frack for gas pockets beneath the land, and the desperately poor community will get a percentage of the take.
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White people’s problems

A British family’s 2004 Christmas on a Thai beach paradise is spoiled when a massive tsunami devastates Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
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An epic musical with a few sour notes

Life hasn’t turned out well for Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman: Rise of the Guardians). After stealing bread to feed his nephew and sister, he’s arrested and given 20 years hard labor. Branded a dangerous man, Valjean must wander the countryside looking for work and finding nothing but cruelty.
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Getting old isn’t for sissies.

From the outside, Debbie (Leslie Mann: ParaNorman) and Pete (Paul Rudd: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) have it made. A big house, two adorable kids and lots of luxury playthings. But look a little closer and you see the cracks.
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A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.
    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.
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The Master of Suspense would have made a ­better movie …

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins: 360) was a great filmmaker with a lot of issues. He ate too much. He was pathetically dependent on his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren: The Door). Though their marriage was devoid of passion, he obsessed over the nubile blondes he directed. And, if Hitchcock is to be believed, he identified fully and had imaginary conversations with serial killer Ed Gein (Michael Wincott: A Lonely Place for Dying).
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Thank your lucky stars that your friends and family don’t resemble the people in

Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper: Hit and Run) is going through a rough patch. An undiagnosed manic-depressive most of his life, Pat got his diagnosis when he nearly beat the life out of his cheating wife’s lover.
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Like the story of Pi, this movie isn’t about lines of dialog. It’s about the journey.

Do you have faith? For some the question is easy; for others, an epic journey. One writer (Rafe Spall: Prometheus) is in search of true faith and a story to make him believe in God. His search leads him to Pi (Irrfan Khan: The Amazing Spiderman), a middle-aged man who shares a tale of survival and faith that rivals Job.
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A saintly man makes an uninteresting subject

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis: Nine) had just been elected to his second term. He enjoyed a wide popularity in spite of the Civil War, which slaughtered American citizens and deeply divided the country.
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Nobody does it betterSkyfall

Fifty years after James Bond ordered his first vodka martini — shaken not stirred — he has become a cultural icon and a bit of a Cold War relic. Donning an impeccable tux, swilling a few drinks, driving too fast in an Aston Martin and having casual sex with every scantily clad woman who catches his eye makes Bond a bit of a dinosaur. The actors may have changed, but the smarmy swinging-sixties vibe has remained.
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