Category: "Reviews (Archive)"

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

At long last, a return to the world of “Harry Potter” — and a test to see what kind of legs “Potter”-themed but Potter-less stories might have on the big screen. Directed by franchise mainstay David Yates with a script by no less than J.K. Rowling herself, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has […]

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Moana Review

The Disney fairytale mold sets sail for Polynesia in “Moana,” the studio’s latest animated musical featuring a strong female lead character, and a film hoping to build off the success of “Frozen” and “Tangled.” Although audiences are unlikely to be as familiar with ancient Polynesian mythology as they were with the stories of Rapunzel or […]

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Tower Review

At the onset, it might seem insensitive to tell the story of a deadly mass shooting using rotoscope animation, but after you settle into the style of filmmaker Keith Maitland’s “Tower,” you realize how useful (and even powerful) a tool animation can be to tell a story that largely exists in fragments of witnesses’ memories.

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Suicide Squad Review

DC Entertainment has this superhero movie business all backwards. They’ve jumped straight to the orgy without taking time to acquaint us more intimately with the individuals. It didn’t work all that well in “Batman vs. Superman,” but we held out hope that a team- up of lesser-known supervillains under the direction of David Ayer (“End of Watch,” “Fury”) could get the DC universe on track. Instead, “Suicide Squad” is a mess.

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High Fidelity Review

There’s always been an inexplicable connection between music, love and the movies. Certain songs always seem to set the tone for various kinds of love and romance in film, whether the light-hearted or the dramatic. “High Fidelity” not only uses the power of that emotional mixture, but also focuses on it and attempts to understand it.

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Star Trek Beyond Review

The third mission of the U.S.S Enterprise in the rebooted alternative timeline version of the original “Star Trek” goes a little less boldly than its two predecessors, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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The Notebook Review

There is no brighter gem in movies than a love story told right. That is “The Notebook.” Romance is central to hundreds of thousands of films, but few are told as well as this film tells it. Between Nicholas Sparks’ heart-wrenching story, director Nick Cassevetes’ attention to setting and mood and the acting brilliance and universally good looks of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, a bigger emotional punch is hard to come by.

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Roman Holiday Review

With so much garbage being dished out these days by Hollywood under the label of “romantic comedy,” films like “Roman Holiday” never grow old. The timeless fairytale elements like a princess trying to disguise herself as a commoner and the classic routine of two people being dishonest with each other while falling in love only gets better when played against the live backdrop of Rome.

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Across the Universe Review

Julie Taymor’s Beatles movie musical “Across the Universe” has multiple personalities. At one point you’re watching a drama–then a music video–then an art piece–then an actual stage musical–then a raging acid trip–and back to a drama again. The good news is the film leaves you with its strongest form: drama musical, and it leaves you feeling good.

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Review

The big question heading into “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” was whether The Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer could make their brand of pop music humor work in a format that lasts longer than three minutes. Not surprisingly, it’s in different three-minute clips that “Popstar” works best.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Review

After “Days of Future Past” bridged together the two generations of big screen X-Men into an epic time-travel blockbuster, it didn’t leave a whole lot of ceiling for future “X- Men” movies. Nevertheless, 20th Century Fox, director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg were quick to deliver “X-Men: Apocalypse,” bringing the X-Men’s biggest villain to […]

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St. Vincent Review

“St. Vincent” sticks to the script. You know, the story about the cantankerous grouch who forms an unlikely bond with a younger, usually troubled child with his opposite temperament. A tried and true formula. Despite lacking in originality, however, this classic storyline plays out in enjoyable fashion in “St. Vincent” thanks in large part to […]

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Review

The premise of “Neighbors,” a comedy about a couple with a baby getting into a prank war with a bunch of fraternity guys, seems unlikely to yield one good film, let alone two. Well, although “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” is made mostly of recycled materials, it’s shockingly one of the better comedy sequels in recent […]

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Hell or High Water Review

In a year when the quality of life in middle America small towns has come back into focus, “Hell or High Water” feels like an important film, perhaps more important than it might have been had it been released prior to 2016. But it’s not just timeliness that makes this a good movie. There are […]

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Sing Street Review

It’s official — John Carney is the master of the modern day movie musical. The filmmaker who broke onto the scene and stole indie movie fans’ hearts with “Once” has a gift for crafting films and original music that work together seamlessly to tell emotionally compelling stories. “Sing Street” is probably his most personal effort […]

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