Movie Reviews

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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.

AMillionWaystoDieintheWest-053014.jpg Even with a few funny moments, writer/director Seth MacFarlane's latest comedy "A Million Ways to Die in the West" is a bumbling retelling of old jokes that hit far too many of the same notes to actually work. What starts as a promising comedic concept spins into familiar territory and overstays its welcome, hanging a talented cast out to dry.

XMen-052314.jpg Convoluted third act and all, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is a fun and inventive rollercoaster of a superhero movie that uses a tremendous cast and a mostly excellent script to deliver an exciting entry in a familiar franchise.

Godzilla-051614.jpg Even with a clunky and rushed first act, Gareth Edwards' remake of "Godzilla" is a masterful array of harrowing scenes that shows there is quite a bit more to making a monster movie than smashing things. With nearly seamless special effects and good performances all around, "Godzilla" is the type of movie that resists the urge to turn characters into superheroes.

TheAmazingSpiderMan-050214.jpg Even with some impressive CGI and a talented cast, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" spins a predictable web of superhero and sequel clichés, leaving the audience with decent main characters but a story too obvious to even attempt to break new ground. We may like Spidey, yet the action scenes the movie depends on have so little actual suspense it often feels like a bloated CGI experiment.

Theotherwoman-042514.jpg Mostly thanks to less toilet humor than many of its contemporaries, "The Other Woman" is a funny high-concept movie with some memorable moments from Leslie Mann and even Kate Upton, making for an entertaining little revenge fantasy about making a man pay for his unscrupulous lifestyle.

Oculus-041114.jpg Even though it's not entirely original, "Oculus" is a somewhat masterful blend of horror elements that builds on Stephen King's "The Shining" and comes up with a terrifying experience likely much too intense for the squeamish. With a tiny budget and a largely unknown cast, writer/director Mike Flanagan reminds us that the best horror films stem from a fairly simple idea.

CaptianAmerica-040414.jpg Even though it starts out as fun and refreshing, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" takes an interesting theme and wastes it by reusing just about every hero movie cliché in the book, leaving us with little more than a half-baked premise for world domination and a series of underwhelming action sequences.