Category: "Reviews (New Releases)"

Ant-Man Review

In the midst of “The Avengers” and the countless other successful films that Marvel Studios has turned into the mega-franchise of the last decade, “Ant-Man” has never felt like a priority. It has taken the studio ages to figure out how Ant-Man, who originated as a founding member of the Avengers in the comics, would […]

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Trainwreck Review

Amy Schumer has made the jump to the big screen in a big way with “Trainwreck.” The comedian whose Comedy Central show has gathered a well-deserved fan base couldn’t have made a better choice than to team up with Judd Apatow to bring her self-deprecating and shameless sense of humor to a movie genre in […]

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Jurassic World Review

When it comes to “Jurassic World,” critics will be damned. To date, the film has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide, good for fifth most all time, so nothing anyone was going to say could influence the desire to watch this highly anticipated return to Isla Nublar and the world first created by Steven Spielberg. […]

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Inside Out Review

When Pixar announced “Up” and “Monsters Inc.” director Pete Docter’s “Untitled Pixar Film that Takes You Inside the Mind,” there was little doubt that the animation giant and its brilliant minds had yet another work of genius in development. Flash forward and the revolutionary studio has not disappointed with this endlessly creative, whimsical journey now […]

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Mad Max: Fury Road Review

As hard as I tried, I could not get into George Miller’s “Mad Max” or “The Road Warrior.” Although the latter at least proved to be a more developed post-apocalyptic Australia concept with progressive action, it felt like a violent costume party for people who like things with engines. Now, 30 years after “Beyond Thunderdome,” […]

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Chicago Critics Film Festival: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Review

Has the light-hearted coming-of-age cancer drama become a “thing?”

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

The task of bringing together Earth’s mightiest heroes took Joss Whedon into uncharted territory with 2012’s “The Avengers,” and, despite the weight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on his shoulders, the results were staggeringly entertaining. The task of making a sequel to that ground-breaking, monumental event film, however, and being expected to deliver on par […]

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American Sniper Review

Stories of American soldiers — their bravery in the field, their struggles to return to civilian life — have been well documented by Hollywood. The first thing to think about, therefore, is what makes each a necessary or unique story to tell. “American Sniper” tells of the life and years of service of Chris Kyle, […]

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Whiplash Review

Jazz music and psychology create a furious cinematic swell in Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” a striking breakthrough effort that will have toes tapping and pulses racing. Centered on a 19-year-old aspiring Jazz drummer pushed to his limits for better and for worse (usually worse) by a merciless instructor, “Whiplash” tells a simple story of how far […]

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The Interview Review

When major theater chains decided not to show “The Interview” because of terrorism threats from North Korean hackers, Hollywood saw an unparalleled degree of hype surrounding a film that otherwise would’ve received a moderate spotlight at best. But while news buzz for this comedy about a TV host and his producer being recruited to assassinate […]

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The Imitation Game Review

Biopics have become so commonplace today that they often lack the prestige they carried 10-20 years ago. So when one stands out, it deserves an extra bit of recognition and praise, and “The Imitation Game” is one such film, commanded by a fascinating performance from Benedict Cumberbatch.

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Into the Woods Review

How I’ve never seen a stage version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” is still a head-scratcher. My high school theatre department put on the twisted fairy tale the year after I graduated (much to my disappointment) and it has eluded me ever since. The point, excuse my digression, is it’s very rare for me […]

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

Did Peter Jackson really just conclude his second Middle Earth trilogy? His take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” was a completely exhausting adventure that in many ways feels like seven films, not three, while “The Hobbit” trilogy feels exactly like it is on paper: one straightforward adventure broken into three parts. “The […]

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Birdman Review

Washed up celebrities, surrealism, truth and the theatre converge into an extraordinary film from Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Amores Perros,” “21 Grams”), a master of weaving multiple story lines together tackling dark but powerful themes about human nature and love. “Birdman” does not veer from these themes, but it is a dramatic structural shift for Iñárritu; […]

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Review

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” takes a drastic turn from the previous two entries of North America’s biggest active movie franchise, but any fan of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy could tell you that was coming; what doesn’t change is the series’ devotion to character-driven drama. In fact, it takes center stage.

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