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Lior Ashkenazi

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  • Film Review: 'Big Bad Wolves'

    The recent "Prisoners" was a meditation of sorts on the morality of torture, and in that respect it has an unexpected companion piece in the slickly arresting Israeli thriller "Big Bad Wolves." Writer-directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado bring an impressive polish to this grisly tale of one man's hunt for the sicko who raped and murdered his daughter, but the filmmakers' undeniable chops and bizarre tonal shifts fail to transform the material into anything more than a stylishly gruesome exercise. The personal endorsement of Quentin Tarantino has already ensured this well-traveled festival sensation a measure of attention in advance of its upcoming Jan. 17 release through Magnolia genre label Magnet, likely to translate into decent returns from audiences intrigued by the prospect of a commercial genre movie from the region.
  • 2014 winter-spring movie preview: An overview of films opening through late April

    The 2014 winter-spring movie preview is a broad overview of films opening through late April. Release dates and other details, as compiled by Oliver Gettell, are subject to change. -------------------- FOR THE RECORD: Movie previews: A listing in the...

    REVIEW: 'Big Bad Wolves' ★★ 1/2

    REVIEW: 'Big Bad Wolves' ★&#9733 1/2
    The new year has barely begun, but we'll be hard pressed to find a movie as disturbing, on many levels, as the darkly comic Israeli thriller "Big Bad Wolves." It's about the torture of an accused child molester-serial killer. The torturers are sure they...

    San Sebastian Film Review: 'The Dune'

    An uncommon film of great sensitivity, "The Dune" delivers a beautifully understated portrayal of the consequences of choosing a particular path at life's crossroads. First-time feature helmer Yossi Aviram proves exceptionally gifted with his stellar...

    'Footnote' director Joseph Cedar and the new Israeli cinema

    The Big Picture: Is Joseph Cedar's Oscar-nominated film ‘Footnote' autobiographical? Not at all. It's a look at purism in a populist world and the role of the state in society.