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The LEGO Movie Review

Whatever stigma exists about movies based on toys both in general and in your mind, “The LEGO Movie” will dismantle it — brick by glorious brick. The writer/director combo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “21 Jump Street”) prove themselves yet again as masterful comic storytellers with an endless […]

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Despicable Me 2 Review

They’ve done it again. The 2010 hit “Despicable Me” offered up a kind of family-friendly entertainment that only a cold-hearted cynic could actually despise. Its “Looney Tunes”-like slapstick offered light and lovable counter-programming to the visually stunning and emotion- filled animated films of the big studios such as DreamWorks and Pixar. In “Despicable Me 2,” […]

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The Wolf of Wall Street Review

The man made famous for glorifying the mob moves over to Wall Street —Martin Scorsese’s latest, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” based on the memoir of crooked stockbroker millionaire Jordan Belfort, is a tale of excess: money, drugs, profanity, nudity, sex — even (pardon the cliché) rock ‘n roll, given the soundtrack. So how does […]

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American Hustle Review

If you’re an actor with any degree of prominence, you’ve probably asked your agent to get you into the next David O. Russell picture. Including “American Hustle,” the dude has helped his actors to 11 Oscar nominations in his last three films, with a nod in every major acting category each of the last two […]

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The Way Way Back Review

Summertime — there’s no season more influential in a young person’s coming of age. Being out of school means a chance for a new experiences and self-discovery, and spending that time in a new location always feels like a fresh start. In “The Way Way Back,” Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (“The Descendants”) portray the […]

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This Is the End Review

Even an outrageous stoner comedy can successfully appeal to a wide audience with a little ingenuity. “This Is the End” could’ve stopped at being a comedy in which a bunch of friends are faced with the apocalypse, but what really makes Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s film work is that there’s a big glass window […]

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12 Years a Slave Review

Slavery is rightfully considered the darkest mark on America’s 237-year history. It was the issue that defined 19th Century America, and one of many examples in humanity’s narrative of the oppression of one people at the hands of another. “12 Years a Slave”  is a brutal but necessary reminder of that evil. It is a […]

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Inside Llewyn Davis Review

Nothing the Coen Brothers ever do is really a change of pace, but “Inside Llewyn Davis” is about as close to one as you’re likely to get from the filmmaking duo that has rolled out nothing but critically acclaimed hits since 2008 Best Picture winner “No Country for Old Men.” Even with a three-year break […]

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Frances Ha Review

Tales of 20-somethings in New York City epitomize the independent film scene, as does the star and co-writer of “Frances Ha,” Greta Gerwig, the indisputable indie queen. Together with writer and director Noah Baumbach, “Frances” is practically the comfort food of independent film, a genre label usually reserved for something edgy and different. However, despite […]

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Her Review

It’s not as hard to imagine artificial intelligence becoming a reality as it was 10 or 20  years ago. So even though “Her” is just a riff on the “robot who learns to love” plot from movies as far back as arguable “Pinocchio,” writer/director Spike Jonze makes this futuristic concept much more accessible and capable […]

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Frozen Review

A little before 2000, Disney began to phase out its animated movie musicals. It wasn’t that people stopped wanting enchantment at the movie theater, but rather a cold, hard fiscal decision: the films continued to gross less and less and newer ideas for family entertainment were capturing audience attention and dollars.

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The Pirates! Band of Misfits Review

Aardman Animations has probably been more consistent than Pixar, especially of late, yet the stop-motion powerhouse doesn’t get half the attention. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” didn’t buck the box-office trend, but it proves that even with the most generic of premises, Aardman knows how to appeal to a diverse audience.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

For those not easily smitten by J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy tales, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was a substantial letdown from “The Lord of the Rings” films, and the thought of enduring another immensely long trilogy too much to bear. But even they’ll agree with the biggest fans of “An Unexpected Journey” that part two, “The […]

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Nebraska Review

Aging is hard, as it accepting your lot in life. “Nebraska” adds another poignant story about life’s tragic beauty to Alexander Payne’s filmography and it’s likely the most universally accessible of all his previous efforts.

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Holiday Movie Preview 2013

You’ve probably already seen “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and if not, you’re still in luck. Thanks to awards season, plenty else is coming your way for the next five weeks to close out 2013 at the movies. Below I’ve listed the 10 films I’m most excited for that I believe will deliver, and six films […]

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