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‘Beatriz At Dinner’ Serves Up Subtle Yet Cutting Social Commentary On Today’s Divided America

On the heels of the mega-hit “Wonder Woman,” moviegoers were treated to yet another admirable heroine with an unwavering moral compass, this time in the form of a working-class Mexican immigrant in the delightfully demure industry darling “Beatriz at Dinner.” Unlike Wonder Woman, the frumpy,...

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‘Maudie’ Provides Moving Portrait Of The Redemptive Power Of Love

It’s too easy to overlook or mock the outcasts of society, rather than seeing them as fully human beings who simply want and deserve as much love and happiness as the rest of us. But the new movie “Maudie,” about the turbulent yet ultimately redemptive true-life romance between acclaimed painter...

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Gadot Shines As ‘Wonder Woman’: Latest Effort Ends DC Comics’ Losing Streak

One of the great joys of moviegoing is witnessing a performer take on a role so effortlessly, it’s as if he/she was born to play it. As millions of audience members will now likely attest after viewing “Wonder Woman,” the latest entry into the DC Comics’ movie universe shattered box office...

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Wonder Woman And The Feminine Genius

Wonder Woman vanquished the box office its opening weekend with $103.1 million in revenue. The film was the largest opening ever for a female director (Patty Jenkins), and the first big budget superhero movie featuring a female lead (Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman). Gadot’s acting and stunts are...

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‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5’ Isn’t So Much Bad As It Is Tired

“This is the famous Captain Jack Sparrow I’ve been searching for?” a stunned character from “Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales” chastises Sparrow upon first encountering the drunken, beleaguered pirate. I can’t think of a better way to summarize my sentiments regarding the...

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‘Alien: Covenant’: Interesting Elements Suffocated By Lack Of Charisma

It’s a very bad omen for a sci-fi blockbuster when the first time you become aware of the majority of the characters’ names occurs during the closing credits. Unfortunately, that’s precisely the predicament that weighs down, and ultimately suffocates, “Alien: Covenant,” acclaimed director...

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Everything, Everything

Cynics beware: The teen-oriented romantic drama “Everything, Everything” (Warner Bros.) bears more than a little resemblance to one of those fairy tales involving a princess locked up in a castle who needs a handsome prince to rescue her. Anachronistic thinking aside, director Stella Meghie’s...

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Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

For better or worse, bathroom-themed gags have long been a staple of kids’ movies. But the family road comedy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” (Fox) carries this trend to excess. Together with a noticeable lack of creative drive, writer-director David Bowers’ reliance on scatological...

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Snatched

There’s a kernel of goodness at the heart of the mother-daughter comedy “Snatched” (Fox). But the minority of grown viewers for whom the film is acceptable will have to wade through a veritable cesspool of bad taste to approach it. That’s a pity, because this fast-moving feature is...

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King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

Early on in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (Warner Bros.), the audience is treated to the sight of magically generated giant elephants swinging boulder-size wrecking balls at the ramparts of Camelot. It’s an apt visual considering how ponderous this action fantasy turns out to...

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2017 TCM Film Festival: Make ‘Em Laugh! – The Joy Continues

The main theme of the 2017 TCM Film Festival was “Make ‘Em Laugh: Comedy in the Movies.” Committing acts of comedy is an occupation fraught with danger. Appreciation of a pie in the face, a slip on a banana peel, the droll remark, the sly comeback, an embarrassing circumstance and the dry...

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How To Be A Latin Lover

There are so many plot threads going in “How to Be a Latin Lover” (Pantelion), they never quite come together. Rather, the film becomes a scattershot comedy wavering uncertainly between warm family fare and a sex farce. The uneven tone, together with long stretches of exposition that wind up...

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Sound fundamental values underlie the spirited sci-fi follow-up “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Disney). But thematic elements demanding discernment, together with some less than family-friendly dialogue, make this return to the stars best for grown-ups. That’s a shame because, in continuing...

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Born In China

Forget worrisome headlines about our trade deficit with China. Instead, relax and drown your concerns in the veritable tsunami of cuteness that flows from “Born in China” (Disney), a warm and fuzzy animal documentary, narrated by John Krasinski. The latest entry in the Disneynature series —...

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The Circle

Big Brother is watching you, and he has nothing to do with the government. Such, at least in part, is the message of the confused cautionary tale “The Circle” (STX). While perfectly acceptable for a wide swath of grown-ups, director James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of his co-writer Dave Eggers’...