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A&E

Oscar bait: Revisiting our critics’ takes on this year’s Best Picture nominees

The Academy Awards air February 24 at 5:30 p.m. on ABC. Before the golden men get passed around, we revisit our critics’ takes on this year’s Best Picture nominees.

    • Amour

      Josh Bell: Three stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Four stars

      From our review: “Amour is in some ways more humane and compassionate than [writer-director Michael] Haneke’s previous work, but it retains the cold, detached style of his more provocative films, framing its simple domestic story almost like a clinical study of human frailty.” —JB

      See it: At Regal Cinemas Village Square.

    • Argo

      Josh Bell: Four stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Three and a half stars

      From our review: “It’s the kind of movie that wins Oscars, sure, but it’s also consistently entertaining and socially conscious without being heavy-handed.” —JB

      See it: In theaters and on DVD.

    • Beasts of the Southern Wild

      Josh Bell: Two and a half stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Three and a half stars

      From our review: “Just because something is different doesn’t make it successful, and all of the unique elements here never add up to a cohesive or satisfying whole.” —JB

      See it: At Regal Cinemas Village Square and on DVD.

    • Django Unchained

      Josh Bell: Three and a half stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Three and a half stars

      From our review: “Django is undoubtedly one of the most creative and striking movies of 2012, but it’s also one of the most exhausting.” —JB

      See it: In theaters.

    • Les Misérables

      Josh Bell: Two and a half stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Two and a half stars

      From our review: “There’s bombast a-plenty in the film’s gargantuan sets and the camera’s CGI swooping, but [director Tom] Hooper can’t establish a simple cinematic rhythm to save his life.” —MD

      See it: In theaters.

    • Life of Pi

      Josh Bell: Two and a half stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Three stars

      From our review: “The story lacks emotional engagement, especially whenever [director Ang] Lee returns to the clumsy framing sequence, and the fanciful tone is eventually at odds with the seriousness of Pi’s circumstances.” —JB

      See it: At Regal Cinemas Village Square.

    • Lincoln

      Josh Bell: Three and a half stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Two and a half stars

      From our review: “Even if Lincoln isn’t quite the mesmerizing figure the movie would like him to be, he’s still an essential part of this entertaining and engrossing story.” —JB

      See it: In theaters.

    • Silver Linings Playbook

      Josh Bell: Four stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Two and a half stars

      From our review: “Nothing rings true, least of all the crowd-pleasing notion that manic depression magically vanishes if you find the right partner.” —MD

      See it: In theaters.

    • Zero Dark Thirty

      Josh Bell: Four stars

      Mike D’Angelo: Three and a half stars

      From our review: “The film is ... unemphatically gripping—a data-driven procedural that acknowledges the needle-in-a-haystack nature of intelligence work.” —MD

      See it: In theaters.

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