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Movie Reviews

'Star Trek Beyond': Once More Into the Allegory
Justin Lin's "Star Trek Beyond" has a built-in likability factor, just a few notches below Mom and apple pie. Therefore, in the never-ending quest for objectivity in film criticism, the question must be posed: If one had been in a coma since before Gene Roddenberry created the "Star Trek" phenomenon, and upon awakening
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'Ghostbusters': The Graces of Wraith
"Ghostbusters," the third film in the franchise originated by Aykroyd, Ramis and Reitman in 1984, reboots the saga of paranormal booga booga with four funny ladies starring in what is essentially a séance gone wild. Asserting that anything the male Ghostbusters could do, they can do wackier, it is a movie of moments and ideas,
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'The Secret Life of Pets': Won't be Secret Fur Long
While "The Secret Life of Pets" isn't quite "Lady and the Tramp" (1955), I've no problem mentioning the two kiddy flicks in the same sentence. Both are proof positive that you can learn a lot from the animals, especially the cartoon variety if they're as lovable as Max, a Jack Russell terrier voiced here by Louis
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'The Legend of Tarzan': Doesn't Monkey Around
David Yates, director of several "Harry Potter" films, does a respectable job of both preserving and translating for contemporary tastes "The Legend of Tarzan." Although a tad methodical, its high-minded social conscience, solid acting performances and scintillating integration of special effects make up for its occasionally
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'Independence Day: Resurgence': Oh No, Not Again
In one scene of director/co-writer Roland Emmerich's "Independence Day: Resurgence," brainy scientist Julius Levinson, played by Judd Hirsch, berates his equally brainy scientist son, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), thusly: "So, it takes the end of the world for a son to visit his father?" It is but one of a long list of
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'Finding Dory': It'll Find You
Watching "Finding Dory," the sequel to the 2003 megahit "Finding Nemo," it occurs that perhaps even children of John Birchers and Ku Klux Klan members exposed to the high-minded sentiments of this sugary tutorial in liberalism will leave the theater a bit more tolerant. However, while colorful, intelligent and starring
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'Maggie's Plan': Has a Comic Twist
Because it is very New York, sophisticated, intelligent, witty, provocative and well written, I think Woody Allen would like director Rebecca Miller's "Maggie's Plan," just in case he's reading. It is of course about love among the scholarly and introspective, the whys and wherefores therein, with a smart meditation
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'Love & Friendship': A Comedy of Manners & Manors
I think it was because I was a sleepy little kid in grammar school who didn't appreciate the advantage of a good education that I didn't fully enjoy writer-director Whit Stillman's "Love & Friendship." I also blame that era, wherein I spent most of my classroom time drawing sketches of cars and baseball stadiums, for
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'The Nice Guys': The Case of the Dueling Detectives
First of all, you should know that most of the people who meet their untimely and often gruesome demise in director Shane Black's wacky combination of comedy and murder are bad. Still, it takes a little getting used to the seesaw temperament in this throwback buddy movie dialed up to today's cynicism. But thanks to Black's
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'The Meddler': Mommy Nosiest
If you believe that contemporary movies are too full of gratuitous violence, non-stop action and inundating special effects, then you might call director-writer Lorene Scafaria's "The Meddler" the exception that proves the rule. Starring Susan Sarandon as Marnie Minervini, the loving helicopter mom who just can't keep out
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