Movie Reviews

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thedrop-091214.jpg Utilizing the old cliché of less being more, Michaël R. Roskam's "The Drop" takes a good cast led by Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini and turns it into a mostly compelling gangster tale, delving into the lives of low-level hoodlums looking to avoid irrelevancy.

Forrestgump-090514.jpg With an IMAX release to celebrate its 20th anniversary, iconic Tom Hanks vehicle "Forrest Gump" is back with all of the memorable rock anthems and one-liners that made it a cultural icon when it was released in 1994. Though it has grown no less sentimental, "Forrest Gump" two decades later plays like a mostly clever period piece that doesn't need to be as deep as it intends.

novemberman-090214.jpg If the preview for director Roger Donaldson's "The November Man" made you feel like it was going to be a lazy R-rated James Bond experience, the movie itself does little to suggest otherwise. With Pierce Brosnan in the lead as a scorned special agent with a quick trigger finger, "The November Man" shows a little bit of promise before ultimately melting into an incomprehensible mess.

sincity-082214.jpg Even as an obvious rehashing of the same elements from the first entry, "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is still a richly stylized and entertaining noir experience that is better than your average sequel. Thanks to a great cast and Robert Rodriguez's creative camera, here's a movie that avoids being the bland regurgitation of noir storylines that it appeared destined to be.

Letusbecops-081514.jpg Even within the buddy comedy genre not particularly known for sophistication, "Let's Be Cops" manages to not only redefine the idea of low-brow but also make two very funny actors as unfunny as possible. Here's a movie that easily wins the prize for most obvious comedy idea of the year, as it's a sloppily tossed together bit of high-concept Hollywood that seems to be going through the motions.

intothestorm-080814.jpg There is a time and place for movies like "Into the Storm," though that place may not be the big screen. Even with some decent special effects and even a couple of well-placed cheap thrills, "Into the Storm" is a straight-to-TV release masquerading as a real movie, delivering neither the silly fun of "Twister" nor the goofy theatrics of the D-movies it clearly idolizes.

Guardiansofthegalaxy-080114.jpg Marvel's latest cinematic entry, "Guardians of the Galaxy," is an exhilarating bit of light summer fun that is a nice antidote for over-pumped action movies that take themselves way too seriously. Built around a funny performance from Chris Pratt, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is an action-comedy that does the comedy quite a bit better than the action.

lucy-072514.jpg Enormous leaps in logic and all, "Lucy" is a silly but ultimately fun sci-fi B-movie that knows how absurd it is but plunges forward anyway. With Scarlett Johansson proving that she can be an action hero on her own and some nice moments with Morgan Freeman, here's a movie that counters the sleep-inducing, special effects dominated action blockbusters that have plagued theaters all summer long.

Sextapes-071814.jpg Ever since Cameron Diaz starred in breakout comedy hit "There's Something About Mary," she's been one of the go-to actresses for adult-geared comedy - for better or for worse. With "Sex Tape," we end up with a promising idea gone completely sour, an amalgamation of lazy jokes and flat-out wackiness that might be difficult to engage with for anyone sick of the tired routine of sex jokes.

dawnofplanetoftheapes-071114.jpg Thanks to a smart and exhilarating first half and powerful finale, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the best action movie of the summer in a year of more than a few mind-numbing duds. Improving on some of the flaws of the intriguing reboot "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "Dawn" digs deep into the characters and comes up with a sophisticated sci-fi action epic.

Tammy-2-070314.jpg The problem with Melissa McCarthy's new comedy "Tammy" isn't that she's forgotten how to be funny; it's that the filmmakers are incapable of seeing her on-screen as anything other than a cartoon character. And so we drift from one lazy joke to another, cramming in as much slapstick as possible and going where many, many other comedies have already gone before.

Transfomers-063014.jpg When the most unrealistic thing that happens in a movie isn't the flying dinosaur robots, there's likely a fundamental problem. Though director Michael Bay gives it his usual all-out effort, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is another irredeemable mess of dimwitted dialog, soul-imploding action sequences and loud noises crammed together in an effort to beat audiences into submission.

jerseyboys-062014.jpg The good news for director Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" is that the music works, elevating it from a tedious rehashing of familiar elements to an occasionally inspired movie that nearly overcomes its shortcomings. To be sure, the rise of Frankie Valli and the rest of his band, the Four Seasons, is an amazing success story.

22jumpstreet-061314.jpg Even as one of the better comedy sequels in a while, "22 Jump Street" is a mixed bag of odd jokes that shows some promise but ultimately settles for the most ridiculous punch line available. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill both have their moments, though the movie as a whole is bogged down by hitting the same note one too many times.

EdgeofTomorrow-060614.jpg Tom Cruise's latest action flick, "Edge of Tomorrow," proves that talent can make a good movie out of just about any material. Instead of a bland combination of "Groundhog Day" and "Starship Troopers," director Doug Liman helps turn "Edge of Tomorrow" into an entertaining movie about one man stuck in the absolute wrong place and time.