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April 2010

The Writing Is on the Walls

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

2010 Sundance Film Festival

“Exit Through the Gift Shop” arrives in theaters propelled by an avalanche of critical plaudits. British street artist/filmmaker Banksy has been hailed as a cinematic revolutionary, the creator of a self-reflexive masterpiece that gets at the essence of the precarious divide between the artist and the hack, the observer and the observed.

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Must Flee TV

Date Night (2010)

Myles Aronowitz/20th Century Fox

“Date Night” achieves the impressive feat of squandering Steve Carell and Tina Fey behind the wheezy action-comedy aesthetic of director Shawn Levy. In films ranging from “Cheaper by the Dozen” to “Night at the Museum,” the now-veteran helmer has demonstrated a far firmer grasp of hoary broad clichés than the nuances of human behavior studied on “The Office” and “30 Rock.” Though well cast and sprinkled with the occasional dose of realistic emotion in its portrait of a marriage gone stale, “Date Night” mostly just spins its wheels through frenetically rendered, meaningless plot developments disguised as a narrative.

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