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  • Venice Film Review: 'Senza nessuna pieta'

    LOS ANGELES ( - The bloodshed may be in line with the grim dictates of contemporary Italian crime cinema, but . Michele Alhaique's medium-boiled Mafia thriller goes efficiently through the genre motions, and is boosted by co-producer Pierfrancesco Favino's soulful lead performance as a mob heavy attempting to shake his demons for the love of (what else?) a golden-hearted hooker. But the familiarity of the premise and the predictability of the execution prevent sustained emotional engagement in this polished exercise, even as it cranks up the star-crossed contrivances toward a would-be weepy finale. Pic's brooding noir stylings may attract limited distributor interest at Venice and Toronto, but it's not punchy enough for major crossover success.
  • REVIEW: 'My Name Is Asher Lev' by TimeLine Theatre ★★★

    REVIEW: 'My Name Is Asher Lev' by TimeLine Theatre ★★★
    "Be a great artist," a mentor tells a young Jewish painter who likes to draw Jesus Christ. "It is the only justification for all the pain you are about to cause." In the case of the youthful Hasid Asher Lev, born among traditions of religiosity,...

    Venice Film Review: Al Pacino in 'The Humbling'

    LOS ANGELES ( - An actor prepares to face the final curtain of his career in "The Humbling," director Barry Levinson's free-form adaptation of Philip Roth's penultimate novel, about a star of stage and screen beginning to lose the tricks of...

    Trail in 'As Above, So Below' leads to grade-Z horror clichés

    The catacombs beneath Paris, which famously house the remains of 6 million dead, are probably one of the last places you'd want to feel trapped. But the low-budget horror movie "As Above, So Below" — an entertainment-free sinkhole of Dramamine-...

    Grand Central Market makes new friends, keeps the old

    Grand Central Market makes new friends, keeps the old
    How does a business that's more than 100 years old wind up as one of America's best new restaurants of the year? It takes more than simply recruiting a slew of trendy new concepts. It takes a careful balancing of a choice selection of new stands with...