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Film: Out of the Past

by Ross Douthat
A review of True Grit

They arrive all at once, the year’s serious movies, in a Christmas rush that gluts theaters and dazes critics. After so many fine performances, so many sterling scripts, and so much directorial excellence, most reviewers limp into the new year a little overwhelmed, pining for the lowbrow longueurs of August and September, when the only question was how much snark to hurl at The Expendables or Piranha 3D.

Happily, this magazine’s fortnightly publishing schedule supplies a little more time to recover and reflect. But I still feel obliged to take December’s better films two at a time, lest I find myself still reviewing them in March.

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