Movie Reviews Reviews of new movies, classic and art films, foreign films, and popular movies. Featuring Bob Mondello, Kenneth Turan, David Edelstein, and Mark Jenkins.

After 20 years in captivity, Joe (Josh Brolin) is released into the world with a hammer and an appetite for revenge in Oldboy, a Spike Lee remake of the 2003 South Korean film. Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/FilmDistrict hide caption

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Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/FilmDistrict

A Korean Cult Thriller Gets A Spike Lee Makeover

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Dench Makes Resolution In 'Philomena' Worth Waiting For

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Idris Elba plays Nelson Mandela in a biographical film based on the former South African president's memoir. Keith Bernstein/The Weinstein Company hide caption

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Keith Bernstein/The Weinstein Company

Musician and riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna — formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, now with The Julie Ruin — is the fascinating central figure in the biographical documentary The Punk Singer. Allison Michael Orenstein/Opening Band Films hide caption

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Allison Michael Orenstein/Opening Band Films

Jacob Latimore (from left), Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker power through the season in Kasi Lemmons' Black Nativity, a Christmas movie musical based on Langston Hughes' gospel oratorio. Phil Bray/Fox Searchlight Pictures hide caption

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Phil Bray/Fox Searchlight Pictures

After her Snow Queen sister Elsa (Idina Menzel) traps the kingdom in an endless winter, Anna (Kristen Bell) gathers a gang of offbeat buddies to break the spell. Walt Disney Pictures hide caption

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Walt Disney Pictures

Solid 'Frozen' Puts A Fresh Sheen On An Old Story

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'Hunger Games' Fans Will Enjoy Thrills In 'Catching Fire'

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Jennifer Lawrence makes her second appearance as the savvy, steel-spined Katniss Everdeen in the dystopian Hunger Games series. Murray Close/Lionsgate hide caption

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Murray Close/Lionsgate

Two Very Different Movies, Two Heroines With Spine

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Effie Trinket taps Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, right) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) for the Hunger Games arena again — but this time the rules are different and the stakes are higher as rebellion brews in Panem. Murray Close/Lionsgate hide caption

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Murray Close/Lionsgate

In Narco Cultura, director and photojournalist Shaul Schwarz interrogates the collision of pop culture and Mexico's drug cartels — as personified by bands like Los Bukanas de Culiacan (above), who perform narcocorridos, or songs glorifying the drug trade. Shaul Schwarz/Cinedigm hide caption

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Shaul Schwarz/Cinedigm

Toni Servillo plays a jaded journalist and perpetual partier in The Great Beauty, Italy's submission for the best foreign language film Oscar. Guanni Fiorito/Janus Films hide caption

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Guanni Fiorito/Janus Films

'Great Beauty,' 'Narco Cultura': Excess, Succeeding Wildly

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David (Will Forte, left) and his father, Woody (Bruce Dern, center), take time out of their quixotic journey to stop in Woody's small Nebraska hometown — where Woody's old business partner, Ed (Stacy Keach), is still nursing a grudge. Merie W. Wallace/Paramount Pictures hide caption

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Merie W. Wallace/Paramount Pictures

Across 'Nebraska,' On A Journey That Goes Beyond The Trip

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The film respects Watterson's famous desire for privacy — he's not interviewed — but it does take viewers to the library where the original Calvin artwork is housed. Gravitas Ventures/Submarine Deluxe hide caption

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Gravitas Ventures/Submarine Deluxe