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Movie Reviews

'Going in Style': Bank Heist Steals Your Heart
  My first inclination when hearing that Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman would star in director Zach Braff's remake of 1979's "Going in Style," which featured George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was to scream "Sacrilege!" But I was at a funeral and, fearing the outburst might be
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'Ghost in the Shell': Machine Politics
Viewing director Rupert Sanders' highly imaginative "Ghost in the Shell," based on Shirow Masamune's Japanese comic series, it occurred to me: How do I know I'm not a cyborg, installed by some great Machiavellian organization to surreptitiously spread their deceptions through my film criticisms? It can't be .. I'm
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'Life': No Bowl of Cherries
I'm tempted to give away the ending of director Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an extremely tense but run-of-the-mill outer space adventure that was heading for an only so-so rating even before its curiously misanthropic finish. I'd be doing you a favor. Sure to be shocked, the viewer is left wondering why Espinosa,
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'Beauty and the Beast': The Fairy Tale as Civics Lesson
"Beauty and the Beast" is much more than "escapist entertainment," a term I rail at. I couldn't slip into a theater for a few thrills, spills and worse yet, laughter, when I know outside Rome is burning. That's just the kind of hairpin I am. I believe society should be fashioned in a manner so enlightened that there
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'Kong: Skull Island': Serious Monkey Business
While director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' "Kong: Skull Island" asserts independence from the original, 1933 legend, as well as the 1976 and 2005 remakes, it is all the same, a throwback, a good old adventure yarn. To quote an eloquent teen in the theater lobby who ruminated it afterward with his pals, "That was a most satisfying
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'Logan': Makes Some Sharp Points
Judged solely on its surface value, director James Mangold's "Logan," the third and reputedly final escapade of the Wolverine/Marvel Comics/superhero/X-Men series, rates a six on my excitement scale. However, bear in mind that loyal adherents of this franchise evaluate their cherished, alternate world of right, wrong and not so
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'Get Out': Guess Who's Coming to be Terrorized?
It is an eerie, unsettling experience when your every instinct smells dangerous deceit and yet numerous people claiming authority discount your fears as just so much paranoia and curious distrust. Worse even yet is when such shifty characters then try to convince you, despite their most egregious actions, that they have only your best interests
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'Lion': A Prince of the Jungle
Watching Garth Davis' "Lion," about a 5-year-old Indian boy who gets lost thousands of miles from his home, the innate humanitarian in you wonders just how many years of do-gooding it might take to put a dent in the horrific squalor the tale depicts. The poverty, the social equivalent of that stench-filled restaurant bathroom that
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'The Comedian': Requiem for a Funnyman
It's too bad I can't give you the Goldberger Guarantee for director Taylor Hackford's "The Comedian," an assurance of positive viewership I occasionally offer to close friends when I'm fairly confident they'll enjoy a particular movie. The warranty promises refund of the ticket price if any of those pals
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'20th Century Women': Vive la Différence
Folks who require a certain amount of shock, awe and disturbingly aberrant behavior in their cinema might do well to skip filmmaker Mike Mills' highly intelligent "20th Century Women" and perhaps instead focus on the 3-ring circus currently posing as our national body politic. However, if you're the sort who still believes
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