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Review: Fifth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ flick forced to fight bloat

24 May 2017

The opening scene of the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” is a fitting metaphor for where we stand in this long franchise: A creaky old galleon is unceremoniously yanked up from the ocean depths and the only things aboard are cranky old ghosts.

 
 

Review: Even The Rock’s biceps can’t lift up ‘Baywatch’

24 May 2017

Of this, dear moviegoer, rest assured: Dwayne Johnson’s biceps still ripple and glisten in the sunlight. So do his triceps, pecs, abs, delts, quads, lats and the other 600 or so muscles of the human body.

 

Review: Pitt goes all out in flawed satire ‘War Machine’

24 May 2017

Here’s a general rule of thumb: If you’re going to rely heavily on voiceover to tell your movie’s story, and exclusively so in the first 15 minutes with an assault of colorful character introductions, you’d do well to make sure the narrator is a compelling one.

 

Review: Bryan Cranston shines in moody, escapist 'Wakefield'

19 May 2017

Have you ever fantasized about one day walking away from your well-ordered life? Just ditching work and the humdrum routine of life? You have? Then, before you go, you need to see the curiously brilliant film "Wakefield."

 

Review: Sniper flick 'The Wall' shoots itself in the foot

12 May 2017

Not long into the film "The Wall," two U.S. soldiers find themselves pinned down by sniper fire in a remote part of Iraq. One gets on the radio and screams, "Requesting extraction!" You'll know the feeling.

 

Review: In 'Alien: Covenant,' a return to gut-busting horror

11 May 2017

Ah, the siren song of John Denver. Who among us can resist it? Certainly, not the crew of the Covenant, a vessel powered by a golden sail cruising through space with 2,000 "colonists" in hyper sleep and years to go until they reach their destination.

 

Review: Guy Ritchie reinvents 'King Arthur' to mixed results

12 May 2017

Deep into Guy Ritchie's "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," a bad guy who we've never met before informs Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) and his mates that they'd better be at the castle before dark if they want to see "the boy" and "the girl" again. 

 

Review: Timing couldn't be better for doc on Assange

05 May 2017

With all the weighty and momentous issues raised in "Risk," Laura Poitras' fascinating, thorny, and remarkably timely documentary on Julian Assange, one of the more subtly illuminating scenes is about something as inconsequential as a haircut.

 

Review: Rot of American wealth is on 'The Dinner' menu

05 May 2017

It's fitting that the first images you see in the riveting family drama "The Dinner" are of food. 

 

Review: 'Guardians' returns and it's better than the first

28 Apr 2017

In James Gunn's sequel to his swashbuckling space Western, the Guardians of the Galaxy do their version of "The Empire Strikes Back." 

 

Review: Clunky 'Sleight' showcases new lead Jacob Latimore

28 Apr 2017

Perhaps the greatest trick of "Sleight" is how its two charismatic leads magically make its clunky and overwrought elements almost disappear.

 

Review: An uneasy mishmash, 'Unforgettable' is forgettable

21 Apr 2017

True story: Right after the final line of "Unforgettable" was uttered, I felt a sudden stinging on the side of my face. Someone in a nearby row at the multiplex had thrown a roasted peanut toward the screen, in what I can only assume was frustration or scorn, and it landed on me.

 

Review: When the bullets fly, 'Free Fire' comes to a crawl

21 Apr 2017

The shootout, often a ballet, is a battle royale in Ben Wheatley's "Free Fire."

 

Review: Love triangle undoes historical epic 'The Promise'

21 Apr 2017

The Armenian Genocide is a curiously unexplored moment in our modern history, cinematically speaking. That fact alone makes director and co-writer Terry George's "The Promise" intriguing enough. 

 

Review: Emily Dickinson tale 'A Quiet Passion' burns bright

14 Apr 2017

There is something deeply funny and also beautiful about the idea that it would take a British man in his 70s to make the definitive film about one of America's greatest female poets.

 

Review: 'The Lost City of Z' is a mesmerizing adventure

14 Apr 2017

Modest and majestic at once, the films of James Gray patiently burrow their way into the souls of their characters and, maybe, into you. 

 

Review: 'Fate of the Furious' ups action, dials down story

14 Apr 2017

"The Fast and the Furious" hasn't become a billion-dollar global franchise because of its scintillating dialogue and high-minded drama. 

 

Review: 'Their Finest' stylishly blends wit, romance in WWII

07 Apr 2017

"Their Finest" is a movie about making a movie, specifically a glossy propaganda film meant to bolster morale in Britain in the darkest days of the Second World War. 

 

Review: Math film 'Gifted' is less than the sum of its parts

07 Apr 2017

There are several positive factors in the mixed equation that is "Gifted," starring Chris Evans and the appealing 10-year-old Mckenna Grace.

 

Review: In 'Colossal,' the inner monsters are literal

05 Apr 2017

The Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo makes funny, fantastical, Frankenstein-like films that playfully combine small-scale with big-concept.

 

Review: 'The Zookeeper's Wife' tells a riveting true story

31 Mar 2017

In German-occupied Poland during the darkest days of World War II, a zookeeper and his wife managed to save the lives hundreds of Jewish people, many of whom were detained in the Warsaw Ghetto, by giving them shelter and refuge on the zoo grounds. 

 

Review: In 'The Boss Baby,' it's clear who wears the diapers

31 Mar 2017

Some of the best animated films have been inspired by fairy tales, ancient Greek fables or mythology. Now comes one clearly inspired by, of all people, David Mamet.

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