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A United Kingdom

A United Kingdom  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- The historical drama "A United Kingdom" (Fox Searchlight) tells the story of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), an African royal who faced down mid-20th-century racial prejudice to marry Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white office worker he met in post-World War II London.  ...
11:38 AM EDT, Thu March 23, 2017
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La La Land

La La Land  (Rating:
     
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Is the fêted "La La Land" really so great? Yes, if you like sheer escapist films and golden-era Hollywood films. Also, it's pretty much a quasi-musical. It doesn't try too hard, and is very tongue-in-cheek about what it purports to be, so it's an overall light and uplifting...
11:23 AM EDT, Thu March 16, 2017
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Fences

Fences  (Rating:
     
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  In my humble opinion, good plays will make good film-plays – even if not given the full film treatment. Bad plays ... well, you get the picture. "Fences" is a good play. Denzel Washington's Oscar-nominated film is an adaptation of a Pulitzer-Prize-winning 1983 August...
12:14 PM EST, Thu March 02, 2017
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A Cure for Wellness

A Cure for Wellness  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- The Swiss spa that serves as the primary setting for the creepy, but otherwise pointless horror exercise "A Cure for Wellness" (Fox) operates, it seems, on the Hotel California plan.     As fans of the Eagles' 1977 hit will recall, that means,...
12:55 PM EST, Thu February 23, 2017
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John Wick: Chapter 2  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- The stylized, nearly cartoonish nihilism and resulting high body count in "John Wick: Chapter 2" (Lionsgate) create most of the apparent appeal of this second drama about a professional assassin.    The rest, as directed by Chad Stahelski from Derek...
12:48 PM EST, Thu February 23, 2017
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The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- In 2014's "The Lego Movie," Will Arnett voiced an amusingly self-absorbed version of Gotham City's Dark Knight. With the entertaining spinoff "The Lego Batman Movie" (Warner Bros.), Arnett's character, together with his inflated ego, takes center stage.  ...
12:44 PM EST, Thu February 23, 2017
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Arrival

Arrival  (Rating:
     
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The Oscar-nominated sci-fi film "Arrival" is a vacuous, insipid waste of time, in my humble opinion. I can't stand alien movies, but everyone assured me this wasn't an alien movie, or not your typical alien movie. It is. "E.T." and "Close Encounters of the Third...
11:46 AM EST, Thu February 16, 2017
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Gold

Gold  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Little glitters in "Gold" (Weinstein). To put it another way, there's a sour taste to this loosely fact-based story that a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the lead role fails to dispel.    McConaughey plays Kenny Wells, a scrappy...
2:24 PM EST, Wed February 08, 2017
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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (Screen Gems) is the sixth -- and presumably last -- in a series of video game-based films that began back in 2002.    The movies have always kept their connection to the console on open display. This makes them...
2:19 PM EST, Wed February 08, 2017
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The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Moral blemishes mar the science fiction-tinged romance "The Space Between Us" (STX), making it unsuitable for youngsters and teens.     Dramatically, director Peter Chelsom and screenwriter Allan Loeb waste a promising premise as they imagine the...
2:15 PM EST, Wed February 08, 2017
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Split  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Split" (Universal), the latest psychological thriller from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, posits that victims of childhood sexual abuse are not only prone to dissociative identity disorder -- split personalities -- but also that each persona can have unique physical...
2:37 PM EST, Thu January 26, 2017
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The Bye Bye Man  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Don't think it! Don't say it!" Such is the frantic, oft-repeated mantra of the bewitched and bewildered -- not to mention generic -- characters who populate "The Bye Bye Man" (STX). Their struggle to evade the malevolent specter of the title (Doug Jones)...
2:35 PM EST, Thu January 26, 2017
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Sleepless

Sleepless  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's little chance of catching a quick nap during "Sleepless" (Open Road), a noisy, vulgar, and highly violent police drama.    Based on the 2011 French film "Nuit Blanche" ("Sleepless Night"), this tense thriller, directed...
2:31 PM EST, Thu January 26, 2017
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Silence  (Rating:
     
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The new Martin Scorsese film, "Silence," based on the 1966 historical novel (with the same title) by Japanese Catholic, Shûsaku Endô, is a worthy and nuanced take on: missionary activity, Christianity, the priesthood, the sacraments, religious persecution, torture, suffering,...
2:30 PM EST, Thu January 19, 2017
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La La Land

La La Land  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Though it's set in present-day Los Angeles, the comedy-drama "La La Land" (Lionsgate) takes a spirited stab at reviving the musicals of Hollywood's golden age.    Writer-director Damien Chazelle ("Whiplash") dreams big in this...
2:55 PM EST, Thu January 12, 2017
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Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- The struggles of the civil rights era provide the backdrop for the appealing fact-based drama "Hidden Figures" (Fox 2000). Along with a personalized insight into the injustices that still prevailed in American society in the early 1960s, director Theodore Melfi's adaptation...
2:51 PM EST, Thu January 12, 2017
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Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea  (Rating:
     
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Kenneth Lonergan, writer-director of the Oscar-buzzy Amazon Studios' "Manchester By the Sea" is a playwright, and his films reflect that: minute detail to human discourse and a wallowing in emotionally-charged depths. Lonergan's mother is Jewish and his father is Irish –...
2:12 PM EST, Wed January 04, 2017
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Miss Sloane  (Rating:
     
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A striking performance from Jessica Chastain as the ruthless Washington lobbyist of the title propels director John Madden's forceful study of political corruption. The win-at-all-costs wheeler-dealer shocks her colleagues when, driven by personal conviction, she abruptly changes sides in the fight...
11:13 AM EST, Fri December 23, 2016
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The Bounce Back  (Rating:
     
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Pleasantly compact romance in which the author of a best-selling self-help book (Shemar Moore) and a therapist (Nadine Velazquez) clash over what she considers his pat answers to life's complicated dilemmas, their snappy exchange goes viral and they're launched on a nationwide media tour --...
11:12 AM EST, Fri December 23, 2016
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- With "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," last year's promising reignition of the iconic franchise, "The Force Awakens," gains a worthy -- and equally family-friendly -- companion.     Interstellar derring-do is once again the order of...
11:05 AM EST, Fri December 23, 2016
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Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Collateral Beauty" (Warner Bros.) is a strange, pretentious drama about overcoming grief.     While that's obviously a subject about which a good film -- perhaps many of them -- might be made, the treatment of it in director David Frankel's...
10:53 AM EST, Fri December 23, 2016
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Believe  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Evangelical Christian faith hovers in the background of the holiday-themed drama "Believe" (Freestyle). Though not as rose-colored in its outlook as some religiously-inspired projects, the movie -- which is suitable for most age groups -- lacks polish.  ...
12:48 PM EST, Thu December 15, 2016
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Loving  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Dignity and understatement are usually noble qualities in a film. "Loving" (Focus), the fact-based story behind a landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision, is so restrained and decorous, however, that it nearly obscures the historical significance of the events it recounts.  ...
12:47 PM EST, Thu December 15, 2016
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Office Christmas Party  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Cubicle drones cuts loose in "Office Christmas Party" (Paramount). The result is a sleazy soiree, an "Animal House" toga wingding for the spreading-middle and receding-hairline set.    What matters here is that seemingly respectable bourgeois...
12:35 PM EST, Thu December 15, 2016
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Incarnate

Incarnate  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Somewhere in the planning stages of "Incarnate" (BH Tilt), someone must have thought it would be a good idea to combine elements of Christopher Nolan's 2010 tour de force "Inception" with tropes that have been familiar to moviegoers at least since Linda Blair's...
3:16 PM EST, Thu December 08, 2016
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Rules Don't Apply

Rules Don't Apply  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Warren Beatty wrote, directed and stars in "Rules Don't Apply" (Fox), a loosely fact-based tale set within the secretive world of eccentric industrialist Howard Hughes (1905-1976).    Part romantic comedy, part biopic, the film suffers from...
3:11 PM EST, Thu December 01, 2016
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The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- A sense of missed opportunities looms over the coming-of-age comedy "The Edge of Seventeen" (STX).    The film features many of its genre's familiar elements: a precocious, angst-ridden teen girl, awkwardness with the opposite sex, a sense of...
2:47 PM EST, Wed November 23, 2016
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Fans of British novelist P.G. Wodehouse have a special place in their hearts for one of his most memorable comic creations, a shy and eccentric newt fancier with the immortal name Augustus Fink-Nottle.     Gussie, as his pal Bertie Wooster always called him,...
2:43 PM EST, Wed November 23, 2016
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Don't Breathe

Don't Breathe  (Rating:
     
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"Don't Breathe" is an 88-minute, solid thriller that left me wanting more. It is a much-ballyhooed suspense-thriller from 38-year-old Uruguayan horror-meister Fede Alvarez that I was very eager to see. I don't do straight-up horror/slasher films, but I sensed that "Don't...
12:43 PM EST, Fri November 18, 2016
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Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- What Tilda Swinton can conceive, Benedict Cumberbatch can achieve in "Doctor Strange" (Disney).    As directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson, this first big-screen adventure for the Marvel Comics superhero who debuted in print back in 1963 showcases...
9:24 AM EST, Fri November 11, 2016
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Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge  (Rating:
     
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Mel Gibson has done it again. "Hacksaw Ridge" is the cinematic event of 2016-2017.   "HR" is the true story of Private Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist from Virginia who enlists in World War II, but – as a conscientious objector – staunchly refuses...
11:18 AM EDT, Thu November 03, 2016
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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- One thing you can say for the title character in "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (Paramount), the fellow does enjoy a good punch in the face.     Whether giving or receiving the jabs, Tom Cruise -- in his second venture as the former Army officer turned...
3:45 PM EDT, Wed October 26, 2016
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Keeping Up With the Joneses

Keeping Up With the Joneses  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- "I am everyday people." Such was Sly and the Family Stone's boast in a classic 1968 song, and a similar sentiment pervades the action comedy "Keeping Up With the Joneses" (Fox).    Despite its celebration of the lives of honest, decent,...
3:41 PM EDT, Wed October 26, 2016
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Max Steel

Max Steel  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Yet another action figure leaps off the toy store shelves and onto the big screen in "Max Steel" (Open Road), the coming-of-age chronicle of a Mattel-made superhero.    A human-alien hybrid (think G.I. Joe crossed with a Transformer), the eponymous...
3:38 PM EDT, Wed October 26, 2016
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Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Kids the same age as its preteen main character are clearly the target audience for "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life" (Lionsgate/CBS Films).    But numerous elements in the film seem ill-suited to such youthful viewership. In particular,...
12:07 PM EDT, Thu October 20, 2016
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Voiceless

Voiceless  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- An overheated tone and characters' questionable tactics in the struggle against abortion undercut the obviously good intentions behind the pro-life drama "Voiceless" (ArtAffects).    While it's clearly meant to serve as a cinematic rallying...
12:02 PM EDT, Thu October 20, 2016
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The Accountant

The Accountant  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- In effect, the action-drama "The Accountant" (Warner Bros.) argues that those with autism have a license to kill as well as to abet a litany of other criminal activities.    If this summation makes the movie sound preposterous and morally bankrupt,...
11:57 AM EDT, Thu October 20, 2016
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Denial

Denial  (Rating:
     
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A new film aptly entitled "Denial" – about a famous Holocaust-denial court case – is a jewel. I hope it will be used in classrooms. I will be doing some “spoilers” in this review in order to pick apart the storyline, as well as the reality of dealing...
11:57 AM EDT, Thu October 13, 2016
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Priceless

Priceless  (Rating:
     
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I'm debating whether to include a teensy little spoiler of the new Christian film "Priceless." But this is a review, and I must divulge the subject of the film: human trafficking. The title, of course, is apt. It's a line of dialogue as well as a prominent theme in the film. Human...
3:24 PM EDT, Thu October 06, 2016
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Snowden

Snowden  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Few figures on the contemporary scene are as controversial as Edward Snowden, the former intelligence officer who, in 2013, revealed to the press the existence of a secret National Security Agency program for the collection of mass data that he considered abusive.  ...
2:08 PM EDT, Thu September 29, 2016
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Blair Witch

Blair Witch  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Turning the 1999 ultra-low-budget "The Blair Witch Project" into a franchise has meant turning the saga into a conventional slasher film with little suspense and predictable setups.    Now, it might as well be a drinking game: "Another stick...
2:02 PM EDT, Thu September 29, 2016
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The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- A chivalrous parable that showcases self-sacrificing heroism, "The Magnificent Seven" (Columbia) can be read as illustrating, in microcosm, Catholic theology's theory of a just war.    Essentially, that teaching holds that, just as an individual...
1:59 PM EDT, Thu September 29, 2016
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When the Bough Breaks

When the Bough Breaks  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- If you recall the familiar nursery lullaby, you'll know that "When the Bough Breaks" (Screen Gems) foretells doom for both cradle and baby.    So it comes as no surprise that this lurid thriller about the desperate measures prospective parents...
12:39 PM EDT, Thu September 22, 2016
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The Wild Life

The Wild Life  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Daniel Defoe is spinning in his grave.    The English author's celebrated 1719 novel "Robinson Crusoe," which set the standard for thrilling, realistic adventure fiction, has morphed into a 3-D animated kiddie comedy called "The Wild Life"...
12:23 PM EDT, Thu September 22, 2016
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The Disappointments Room

The Disappointments Room  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Mixing a psychological drama with the dependable haunted-house formula must have sounded appealing to the makers of "The Disappointments Room" (Rogue).    Unfortunately, nothing in this morally bereft story works. A meandering plot line about the...
12:20 PM EDT, Thu September 22, 2016
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Bridget Jones's Baby

Bridget Jones's Baby  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Typically, romantic comedies do not revolve around characters our youth-crazed culture tends to dismiss as middle-aged. "Bridget Jones's Baby" (Universal) is a charming exception.    An over-40 heroine and her two mature suitors prove more than...
12:14 PM EDT, Thu September 22, 2016
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Mechanic: Resurrection  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- For Arthur Bishop, the protagonist of the "Mechanic" franchise, the sole purpose of existence is to effectively dispatch bad people using elaborate, spectacular methods in exotic locales.     The fact that he targets only villains means there's...
2:31 PM EDT, Thu September 08, 2016
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The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Beginning with 1979's "The Europeans," the producer-director team of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, whose partnership was already of 15 years standing, churned out a succession of high-quality period films. The duo's pictures were famous for their lush cinematography,...
2:26 PM EDT, Thu September 08, 2016
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Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Few films come to the screen with the kind of storied pedigree that lies behind "Ben-Hur" (Paramount).    Subtitled "A Tale of the Christ," Civil War Gen. Lew Wallace's best-selling 1880 novel, which had previously been made into a...
3:14 PM EDT, Wed August 24, 2016
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Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings  (Rating:
     
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EW YORK (CNS) -- While it uses animation to recount the fantastical adventures of a young boy, "Kubo and the Two Strings" (Focus) is not really suitable for the most youthful moviegoers.    Adolescents and grownups, on the other hand, will likely have no difficulty...
3:08 PM EDT, Wed August 24, 2016
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Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Like the World War II-era New York socialite it profiles, "Florence Foster Jenkins" (Paramount), a charmingly eccentric blend of comedy and drama, has its heart in the right place.     Yet moral complications are integral to this fact-based story,...
3:02 PM EDT, Wed August 24, 2016
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The Little Prince  (Rating:
     
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The beloved classic, "The Little Prince," recently was released simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix, and it will not disappoint fans of the fable. Jeff Bridges' rich, warm, craggy American voice brings to life Saint-Exupéry, the author and aviator. Three different kinds...
3:45 PM EDT, Thu August 18, 2016
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Indignation

Indignation  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Set in the early 1950s, the challenging drama "Indignation" (Summit) portrays a version of American society that in many ways -- and for both good and ill -- no longer exists.    It's a world where an intellectually gifted young Jewish man might...
3:10 PM EDT, Mon August 15, 2016
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Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Initially stylish but ultimately ridiculous and chaotic, the DC comics-based adventure "Suicide Squad" (Warner Bros.) also features some dubious moral values. Add to that the film's lurid atmosphere overall and its appeal, along with its appropriate audience, dwindles...
2:53 PM EDT, Mon August 15, 2016
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The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets  (Rating:
     
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With a juicy, promising title and a screen populated with adorable, fuzzy furballs of varied shapes and sizes, the animated smash hit "The Secret Life of Pets" is a fun summer escapade for all ages. The different personalities of species and dog breeds are, well, typecast. The goofy guinea...
3:09 PM EDT, Wed August 03, 2016
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Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Fifty years after its debut on television, "Star Trek" bursts onto the big screen again in its 13th feature-film outing.     While the bad luck dreaded by triskaidekaphobes fails to curse the aesthetics of this latest production, there is an unwelcome...
1:14 PM EDT, Fri July 29, 2016
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Ice Age: Collision Course

Ice Age: Collision Course  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Weakly constructed and inappropriate, in some respects, for its target audience, "Ice Age: Collision Course" (Fox) has little to recommend it.     This fifth installment of the animated franchise for children that dates back to 2002 also is tainted...
1:10 PM EDT, Fri July 29, 2016
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Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism

Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism  (Rating:
     
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I'm going to call the latest documentary on John Paul II an "almost perfect documentary." Its title is "Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism." Why is it almost perfect? It is Rolls Royce super-classy in every way; the production values are off the chain;...
2:32 PM EDT, Wed July 13, 2016
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'Free State of Jones'

'Free State of Jones'  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) –- The ambitious historical drama "Free State of Jones" (STX) considers a little-known aspect of the Civil War: armed dissent within the South born of opposition to how the war was being conducted and to the principal reason it began.    Earnest...
3:43 PM EDT, Wed July 06, 2016
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'Independence Day: Resurgence'

'Independence Day: Resurgence'  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Something like pondering leftovers discovered in the back of the refrigerator, a movie studio decided, "Hey! This hasn't gone bad!"    The result is "Independence Day: Resurgence" (Fox), a reprise of the hit alien-fighting epic of...
3:38 PM EDT, Wed July 06, 2016
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'The BFG'

'The BFG'  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Like its source material, Roald Dahl's eponymous1982 children's book, "The BFG" (Disney) comes packed with specialized terms for its own fantasy elements.     A golden phizzwizard, for instance, is the best kind of dream, while frobscottle...
3:16 PM EDT, Wed July 06, 2016
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'The Purge: Election Year'  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- It's little cause for surprise that "The Purge: Election Year" (Universal) sticks to the commercially tried-and-true formula of its franchise predecessors by appealing to the very impulses it pretends to condemn.     With equal predictability,...
3:11 PM EDT, Wed July 06, 2016
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'The Legend of Tarzan'  (Rating:
     
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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Just beneath the surface of "The Legend of Tarzan" (Warner Bros.), a Gilbert and Sullivan opera is trying to claw its way out.    That's not to say the latest big-screen take on Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Lord of the Jungle" creation...
2:30 PM EDT, Fri July 01, 2016
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'The Innocents'  (Rating:
     
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"The Innocents" is a truly religious film. Religious films focus on God, not the trappings of God or His human mouthpieces. “The Innocents” is about nuns - and we can never have too many films about nuns! It is set in a convent in Poland in 1945 (at the end of World War...
10:37 AM EDT, Thu June 30, 2016
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'Spotlight'  (Rating:
     
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"Spotlight" tells the story of a team of intrepid investigative reporters at the Boston Globe who broke the Catholic Church's clergy sex abuse story in January 2002 – mainly concerning the Archdiocese of Boston. For starters, this is not a Church-bashing film even though it easily...
12:40 PM EST, Wed November 18, 2015
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'Jem and the Holograms'  (Rating:
     
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  “Jem and the Holograms” is a live-action “tween” movie based on the animated TV series of the same name that aired from 1985 to1988. Although I have been informed by some fans of the TV series that the film is not cleaving exactly to the TV version,...
9:34 AM EST, Tue November 03, 2015
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'Hyena Road'   (Rating:
     
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  "Hyena Road" is the latest film about the war with no end in sight … Afghanistan. Canadian writer-director-actor Paul Gross delivers what is now a standard, sand-infiltrated, khaki-camo screen adventure in the nouveau tradition of "Jarhead," "Hurt Locker"...
10:47 AM EDT, Tue October 20, 2015
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'Pawn Sacrifices'  (Rating:
     
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  I'm declaring the riveting and flawless "Pawn Sacrifice" – the story of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer, played with acting genius by Tobey Maguire – the best film of 2015. This film has it all: high drama, low drama, human drama, international intrigue, unbeatable...
12:26 PM EDT, Mon October 05, 2015
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'War Room'  (Rating:
     
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  "War Room" is a winning film about prayer. A film about prayer? How do you make such a thing? Why would you make such a thing? Who would make such a thing? Obviously, the Kendrick Brothers are at it again ("Facing Giants," "Fireproof," "Courageous")....
11:46 AM EDT, Thu September 17, 2015
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'90 Minutes in Heaven'  (Rating:
     
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"90 Minutes in Heaven" is the screen version of a book by the same name that came out several years ago. It is a memoir, a firsthand account of a Christian pastor's near-death experience. The book is excellent. The film? Far from it. In fact, it fails pretty miserably as a film, and also...
10:37 AM EDT, Tue September 08, 2015
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'The Gift'

'The Gift'  (Rating:
     
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  Looking for a tight, suspenseful thriller? Look no further than "The Gift," the weak-titled, but strongly-executed directorial debut of the ever-fascinating Joel Edgerton – who also wrote the screenplay and stars in the film. The trailer is not a trailer but a spoiler –...
10:57 AM EDT, Mon August 17, 2015
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'I am Potential'

'I am Potential'   (Rating:
     
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  The new movie, "I Am Potential," is based on the true story of the Hughes Family whose son was born without eyes and unable to walk. I almost didn't want to even tell you that, because I had the experience of coming at the story cold, and was hit by the element of surprise at...
11:38 AM EDT, Thu July 30, 2015
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'Self/less'  (Rating:
     
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The idea and ideology of "transhumanism" (that human beings are basically just brains in containers, and that if we could just find a way to upload our brains into computers or robots or such, we could live on forever) is the subject of the new film "Self/less." It was also the subject...
11:03 AM EDT, Thu July 16, 2015
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Inside Out  (Rating:
     
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"Inside Out," the new Pixar movie about Riley, an 11-year-old girl whose world is turned upside down when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, is good – but not great. It's very much a kids’ movie – with knowing asides to parents, as these films...
4:25 PM EDT, Mon June 29, 2015
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'Fury Road'

'Fury Road'  (Rating:
     
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  Oftentimes I am sure I'm going to like a movie and am very disappointed. Rarely am I sure I will detest a movie and turn out liking it. "Mad Max: Fury Road" is one of those latter films. Although named for "Mad Max," this is not his movie. It's really Imperator...
11:05 AM EDT, Mon June 01, 2015
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'Far from the Madding Crowd'

'Far from the Madding Crowd'   (Rating:
     
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Fans of "Pride and Prejudice" will love the new adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel, "Far From the Madding Crowd." It's a romance of class divisions as well as gender divisions – in the sense that a fiercely independent and independently wealthy female sees...
12:18 PM EDT, Tue May 19, 2015
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'Ex Machina'   (Rating:
     
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Editor’s note – The Message occasionally publishes reviews of films rated R, and this is one of them. Pauline Sister Helena Burns reviews “Ex Machina,” which earned its R rating due to full-frontal female nudity and some gore. Although not suitable for children...
11:44 AM EDT, Mon May 04, 2015
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'Little Boy'  (Rating:
     
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  "Little Boy" is a new film by Alejandro Monteverde (who brought us "Bella"). I am a big fan of "Bella," and was looking forward to Monteverde's second major film. Most unfortunately, I must report that this is a misconceived film. If it were not, I would...
12:25 PM EDT, Mon April 13, 2015
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