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Review: Affleck's stylish 'Live by Night' is by the numbers

13 Jan 2017

Ben Affleck is no doubt an ambitious and tasteful filmmaker, but he's gotten himself in a bit of hot water with the bloated period gangster epic "Live by Night."

 

Review: In 'Patriots Day,' a community disarms terrorism

13 Jan 2017

Bombs detonated in the center of Boston are disarmed by bonds of family and community in Peter Berg's "Patriots Day," a stirring ode to civic life in the age of terrorism.

 

Review: New Ken Loach film is a searing call for humanity, decency

06 Jan 2017

Just like a Michael Moore documentary, there's nothing subtle about a Ken Loach drama.

 

Review: Bening shines as a '70s mom, trying to figure it out

30 Dec 2016

Way too many films out there are heavy on plot and exposition, light on atmosphere and character development. It's safe to say "20th Century Women" isn't one of them.

 

Review: The banal looks beautiful in poetic 'Paterson'

30 Dec 2016

Waking up. Making coffee. Walking to work. Talking to coworkers. Coming home. Walking the dog. Going to the bar. Repeating it all again. These are the mundane activities Jim Jarmusch's "Paterson " is made of.

 

Review: Videogame pic 'Assassin's Creed' is anything but fun

23 Dec 2016

In "Assassin's Creed," a death row inmate is saved by a shadowy organization because they need him to unlock the memories of his 15th century ancestor Aguilar to find the location of an apple that contains the genetic code to free will because Marion Cotillard wants to end violence ... or something.

 

Review: 'A Monster Calls' is a universal picture of grief

23 Dec 2016

If you're not crying by the third act of "A Monster Calls," you may want to have your humanity checked.

 

Review: Scorsese's 'Silence' is a gorgeous, tedious journey

23 Dec 2016

Martin Scorsese's "Silence" is not an easy film to watch. At times it's grotesquely violent, at others tediously slow.

 

Review: Star power can't correct awry path of 'Passengers'

23 Dec 2016

We seem to be shooting our best movie stars into outer space with alarming frequency.

 

Review: Wilson's words sing in Washington's 'Fences'

23 Dec 2016

The blue music of "Fences" sings with a ferocious beauty in Denzel Washington's long-in-coming adaptation of August Wilson's masterpiece of African-American survival and sorrow.

 

Review: 'Sing' sings along, with humor and poignancy

22 Dec 2016

One can imagine the pitch meeting: It's "American Idol," but animated, and everyone's an animal.

 

Review: Oscar-caliber cast can't elevate 'Collateral Beauty'

16 Dec 2016

With its cast of Oscar-caliber actors and pervasive theme of loss, "Collateral Beauty" should have been a deeply moving tear-jerker. Instead, it comes off as a melodramatic contrivance.

 

Review: 'Rogue One' is a dark, exhilarating blast

16 Dec 2016

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" seemed suspicious on paper, like any film saddled with the dreaded "spinoff" label. 

 

In 'Barry,' a young Obama, long before 'hope'

16 Dec 2016

Not since young Abe have the early formations of an American president inspired as much moviemaking as Barack Obama's early life.

 

Review: A poet on the run in startlingly great 'Neruda'

09 Dec 2016

Chilean director Pablo Larrain is on a hero's quest to destroy the conventional biopic it seems.

 

Review: 'Office Christmas Party' throws a holiday rager

09 Dec 2016

Movie-wise, the office Christmas party is the great dismantler of white-collar worker-bee life.

 

Review: Ebullient 'La La Land' is something to sing about

09 Dec 2016

Musical lovers, take a bow. Your favorite art form is having quite the cultural moment.

 

Review: 'Man Down' waits too long to deliver worthy message

01 Dec 2016

"Man Down" carries a poignant message about American veterans' mental health needs, but you may give up on the movie before it gets there.

 

Review: Chastain enlivens political thriller 'Miss Sloane'

01 Dec 2016

There's never a hair out of place in "Miss Sloane," a painstakingly slick political thriller from director John Madden about a brilliant lone wolf lobbyist consumed with the win.

 

Review: In 'Jackie,' a fractured Kennedy fable

01 Dec 2016

History, lately run amok, is ordered with such tidy, forceful finesse by Natalie Portman's Jacqueline Kennedy in the piercing "Jackie." 

 

Review: Set sail with the spirited, familiar 'Moana'

24 Nov 2016

Stop me if this sounds familiar: A Disney animation film about a bright and spirited young woman who feels stifled by outmoded expectations and dreams of exploring beyond the confines of her home.

 

Review: Can you go home again? The lovely 'Lion' says yes

24 Nov 2016

There are two ways to view "Lion." One is as a heart-warming tale of love beyond boundaries and the incandescent pull of home. The more cynical view is that it's a two-hour advertisement for the wonders of Google Earth.

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