THE BAD GUYS – Review by Leslie Combemale

If you take Oceans Eleven and add the sensibilities and style of DreamWorks Animation, you’ll get the new animated feature The Bad Guys. It’s a fun conceit, especially when some of the best comedians and actors in the business are supplying voices for the lead characters. While the amusing concept and the embarrassment of thespian riches does add up to entertaining viewing and a worthy way to spend your movie money, the plot might strike some as one-dimensional, and it does feel like there should be more sparks flying given the impressive cast.

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THE BAD GUYS – Review by Martha K Baker

The plot is tricky and convoluted, and big chunks make no sense. “The Bad Guys” is based on the Scholastic series by Aaron Blabey from a screenplay by Etan Cohen, known for Men in Black 3. The script plays off caper movies, but it does not always play well. Directed by Pierre Perifel, known for Kung Fu Panda 2, it’s too long and loud, including the music, and holds little novelty, but it does offer lessons in distinguishing trust from distrust. But, for all its noise, it has its heart in the right place.

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TO LESLIE (SXSW 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

As a platform to display Andrea Riseborough’s acting chops, To Leslie is a key entry in a filmography that is only going from strength to strength. With Riseborough, this film is capital S “Something” alright, focusing as it does with razor sharp precision on questions of shame, class and redemption.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Lynn Shelton’s SWORD OF TRUST

Opportunity makes strange — but ultimately well-suited — bedfellows in Lynn Shelton’s quirky dramedy Sword of Trust. Centered on an antique weapon that may (or may not) have played an unexpectedly important role in American history, it digs into the denial and hate that are tied into so much of the divisiveness that’s currently plaguing our country. All with an absurdist tone, naturally.

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SWORD OF TRUST – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Lynn Shelton’s Sword of Trust might be a mumblecore boondoggle whose oddly relevant narrative for our divisive times gets unraveled when it devolves into a wacky road trip during its conclusion. But luckily, the filmmaker puts her trust in her actors, especially WTF podcast star and Glow co-star Marc Maron as a sarcastic pawnshop owner in Birmingham, Ala., and gives them enough improv rope to allow them to feel like real people – some of whom we would be glad to know.

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