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Marjorie Baumgarten

Contributing Writer, Film

TWITTER: @moviemarge

Marjorie Baumgarten is a film critic and contributing writer at The Austin Chronicle, where she has worked in many capacities since the paper's founding in 1981. She served as the Chronicle's Film Reviews editor for 25 years.

104 articles in 2006   •   page 1 of 3

The Good Shepherd

Matt Damon abandons the cat-and-mouse theatrics of his Bourne identity to play the reserved fictional functionary whose life serves as the prism through which this film examines the early years of the CIA.

Film Review, Dec. 22, 2006

The Bridesmaid

Claude Chabrol's latest film is based on a Ruth Rendell novel and, though not one of his best films, is still a good reminder of the madness that sometimes lurks in plain sight.

Film Review, Dec. 15, 2006


The ever-astonishing filmmaker Mel Gibson continues his (probably unintentional) study of the mortification of the flesh through the ages.

Film Review, Dec. 8, 2006

Unaccompanied Minors

Calling John Hughes: Former Freaks and Geekster Paul Feig has got your number.

Film Review, Dec. 8, 2006

Heading South

North American women of a certain age, who are sex tourists at a Haitian resort in the late Seventies, provide grist for this French film's study of social and economic contrasts.

Film Review, Dec. 1, 2006


Like the very word this documentary examines, F*ck can be found all over the place.

Film Review, Dec. 1, 2006

Déjà Vu

If the science fiction in Déjà Vu has more to do with fiction than science, it’s not as though this Denzel Washington picture ever pauses long enough for that realization to fully take hold.

Film Review, Nov. 24, 2006

The Fountain

Like some epic figure of yore, writer/director Aronofsky has allowed his hubris to get the better of him: The Fountain is a dry well.

Film Review, Nov. 24, 2006

Shut Up and Sing

The Dixie Chicks' struggle with the conflicting demands of art and commerce as portrayed in this documentary shows that they're still not ready to make nice.

Film Review, Nov. 17, 2006

Happy Feet

Raise your flippers in praise of these animated yet flightless fowl, who sing and dance and fight the eco-wars.

Film Review, Nov. 16, 2006

Army of Shadows

Although made in 1969, this French masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Melville is receiving its first stateside release.

Film Review, Nov. 10, 2006

Boynton Beach Club

Although this movie about residents of an “active adult” retirement community in Florida has a certain niche-market appeal, it’s really a movie for anyone who enjoys a solid romantic comedy.

Film Review, Nov. 10, 2006

Bobcat Goldthwait on 'Sleeping Dogs Lie'

Screens Feature, Nov. 10, 2006

13 (Tzameti)

This first feature by Georgian-born French immigrant, Gela Babluani, marks a memorable debut: It's a taut and stylish thriller despite its brutal psychological duress.

Film Review, Nov. 3, 2006

The Queen

This Helen Mirren starrer provides a glimpse of the British monarchy at a contemporary crossroads between supreme dominance and utter irrelevancy.

Film Review, Oct. 27, 2006

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

Montiel's debut feature about growing up in Astoria, Queens, in the mid-Eighties is full of the filmmaker's instinctive brio and inchoate ideas and the elaborations of a brilliant ensemble cast.

Film Review, Oct. 27, 2006

Death of a President

More sleight of hand than persuasive drama, this what-if story about the aftermath of a presidential assassination is technically seamless but dramatically hollow.

Film Review, Oct. 27, 2006

One Night With the King

Despite a title that makes it sound like a tell-all about a one-night-stand with Elvis Presley, this movie is actually about the Jewish heroine, Queen Esther.

Film Review, Oct. 20, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

The first half of the film continues Clint Eastwood's ongoing deconstruction of America's hero myths but then detours into some uncharacteristically sentimental mulch.

Film Review, Oct. 20, 2006

The Image Formed

Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival

Screens Feature, Oct. 20, 2006


It's another Truman Capote picture about how the author wrote In Cold Blood – and it stands solidly on its own merits.

Film Review, Oct. 13, 2006

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Chinese film by veteran Zhang Yimou is a tale about good intentions and missed opportunities.

Film Review, Oct. 13, 2006

The Last King of Scotland

Forest Whitaker becomes dictator Idi Amin in a ferocious performance that often dwarfs the more ordinary aspects of this picture.

Film Review, Oct. 13, 2006

49 Up

This British series is one of the great achievements of the cinema, one that reveals how an observant camera plus the passage of time can capture reality.

Film Review, Oct. 6, 2006

Viva Pedro!

Eight re-releases in two weeks lead up to 'Volver'

Screens Feature, Oct. 6, 2006

The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Documentary about Lennon's political activism and time spent in New York basks in the legend's presence but offers little new on the subject.

Film Review, Sep. 29, 2006


William H. Macy stars in this film penned by David Mamet about one man's long night's journey of the soul.

Film Review, Sep. 29, 2006

Out, In, and Onscreen

The 19th Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival

Screens Feature, Sep. 29, 2006

All the King's Men

Despite an A-list cast and director, it's astonishing how bad this movie is.

Film Review, Sep. 22, 2006

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Everyone complains about the perceived shortcomings of the MPAA, Hollywood's movie-ratings board, but nobody does anything. Nobody, that is, until activist documentarian Kirby Dick.

Film Review, Sep. 22, 2006

No Limits

Austin at the Toronto International Film Festival

Screens Feature, Sep. 22, 2006

Tales of the Rat Fink

Ron Mann's Tales of the Rat Fink is an ebullient survey of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's life that revs along with the zest a souped-up hot rod.

Film Review, Sep. 15, 2006

The Ground Truth

Far from being just one more documentary wishing to expose alternative truths about the war in Iraq, Foulkrod's film instead airs some of the hard-won truths learned by American soldiers.

Film Review, Sep. 15, 2006


The story of the friendship and contrasting paths to success of two natural ballplayers, both of whom appear to be too old to be playing teens, Crossover tries hard but never makes the leap.

Film Review, Sep. 8, 2006


Although Hollywoodland stokes the dying embers of uncertainty regarding the 1959 death of George Reeves, TV's Superman, it nevertheless seems that the result should be more provocative and scandalous.

Film Review, Sep. 8, 2006


Mike Judge's underrated comedy Idiocracy is the story of a man who awakes 500 years in the future to find a society so dumbed-down that he instantly becomes the smartest person alive.

Film Review, Sep. 7, 2006

The Illusionist

Surprisingly, this atmospheric movie starring some of the greatest actors of our time is a dull and enervating bore.

Film Review, Aug. 24, 2006

World Trade Center

This is not the 9/11 film we expected from Stone, who tells the fact-based story of two individuals who somehow survived the collapse of the World Trade Center and with a remarkable economy of expressionistic detail and bombast.

Film Review, Aug. 11, 2006

Searching for Once Upon a Time

Why Monument Valley – again part of the Netflix / Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow this summer – is such a magnetic place for me

Screens Feature, Aug. 11, 2006

America: Freedom to Fascism

Although grounded in Libertarian theory, this documentary by producer-turned-director Aaron Russo presents provocative material about the perceived illegality of income taxes – and various freedom-restricting consequences of the new world order.

Film Review, Jul. 28, 2006

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