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Sundance 2015 review: I Smile Back – Sarah Silverman grins and bares all

28 minutes ago

Silverman turns compellingly serious as a sex-and-drug addled housewife in the suburbs – it’s just a shame the film falls down when the stand-up isn’t on screen

It’s almost a cliché for a known comic actor to debut their dark “serious actor” film at Sundance. Sarah Silverman, the very sharp, foul-mouthed comedian has put her neck on the chopping block with I Smile Back and comes away more than intact.

She’s terrific as a self-destructive housewife addicted to drugs and bad behaviour, and it’s not just due to the shock of seeing her in a context other than being a fake-ditz talking about bodily functions (though of course she did tease this kind of departure in Sarah Polley’s Take this Waltz).

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- Jordan Hoffman

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After mortifying Mortdecai, is Johnny Depp's career decaying?

47 minutes ago

Depp has added to a string of flops including Transcendence and The Rum Diary with his caper Mortdecai – so is it time for the once-bankable star to hang up the sunglasses?

Mortdecai: a one-star review from Mark Kermode

For a good long while, Johnny Depp had a firm grasp on the strange elixir that is Hollywood mojo. He was who you went to when you needed gothic cheekbones, zanily self-aware camp, and even leftfield hunkiness. And when he blended them all, as Captain Jack Sparrow, he was that most valuable asset of all – someone who could turn base studio metal into box-office gold.

But with the release of Mortdecai, that mojo is draining away fast. The comedy caper only made $4.1m over the weekend in the Us, the worst opening for a major Depp film in 15 years, and it follows a string of flops: Transcendence ($23m in the Us »

- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Inherent Vice: more marijuana misfire than stoner classic

5 hours ago

Critics are comparing Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice to the stoner noir of The Big Lebowski – but, even with Joaquin Phoenix in The Dude role, it’s not in the same league

Three viewings in and I’m still not at all sure how I feel about Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. But this has been true for me of all his recent movies. I thought the first half of There Will Be Blood was masterly film-making, and the second half was bogus, meandering, poorly workshopped tripe that couldn’t find the way to its own exit. I think The Master is a cold, self-effacing masterpiece, but it took me more than 10 viewings to come around to that opinion.

With Vice, I find most of the comparisons that critics are making unhelpful. The Big Lebowski and The Long Goodbye, the two foremost stoner-noirs, seem to have been more »

- John Patterson

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Sundance 2015 review: The Wolfpack – five stars for study of six siblings who spent 17 years in one Manhattan flat

7 hours ago

Crystal Moselle’s water-cooler documentary spotlights six snappily-dressed brothers who have only rarely left their Lower East Side apartment – and whose contact with the world is almost wholly through movies

There’s an old maxim about living in New York City: nobody knows their neighbours. The Wolfpack, a striking documentary from new film-maker Crystal Moselle, is just the thing to get people wondering what sociology experiments are happening in the apartment next door.

The six Angulo brothers (two of whom are twins) dress the same and all have long black hair. They and their (mostly off-screen) older sister are the children of Oscar and Susanne Angulo. The parents met when Susanne, midwestern hippy, went to Machu Picchu and fell in love with a new-agey tour guide. At the time, Oscar was into Krishna, and decided he wanted to breed, as his eldest calls it, “his own tribe”. The children all have Sanskrit names (Bhagavan, »

- Jordan Hoffman

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