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movie reviews

Transformers: Age of Extinction

0

Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci

Directed by: Michael Bay

Michael Bay has done the impossible. With Transformers: Age of Extinction, the start of a – everyone duck! – second trilogy in his metalhead franchise, the Bay-man has made the worst and most worthless Transformers movie yet. I know, hard to believe, right? How could any summer blockbuster be as dull, dumb and soul-sucking as the first three Transformers movies? Step right up. Bay, with the help of screenwriter Ehren Kruger, is telling the same damn story as he did before. But th... | More »

Begin Again

6

Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, Adam Levine

Directed by: John Carney

No disease. No teens dying. And yet Begin Again, from writer-director John Carney (the Irish dream-weaver of Once), hits the summer sweet spot by breezing in on waves of humor, heartache and ravishing romance. And irresistible music you can't get out of your head. Sure, Carney is redoing Once with bigger stars and a richer budget. Amazingly, you don't hate him for pulling it off. Begin Again wins you over by not overplaying its hand, allowing some feelings to go unexpressed. Dan, t... | More »

Snowpiercer

7

Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

I felt lip-smacking anticipation about seeing Snowpiercer, the first English–language film from South Korean menace maestro Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother). Just imagine: It's 17 years into the future. The world has frozen over, leaving almost everyone popsicles. The survivors are all living on a high-speed train – yup, the Snowpiercer – that keeps cracking through arctic blocks and zipping around the planet's periphery. Not everyone is equal. The have-nots, led by... | More »

June 19, 2014

Think Like a Man Too

3

Kevin Hart

Directed by: Tim Story

This will be quick. If you laughed at Tim Story's first Think, based on Steve Harvey's bestselling advice book for women, you'll probably ride along for this jacked-up, Vegas-set sequel in which dudes and dolls offer sexist approaches to throwing a bachelor party. The only reason I'd Think again is the return of Kevin Hart, who mines comic gold out of sloppy seconds. | More »

Third Person

4

Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde

Directed by: Paul Haggis

I don't like this movie. I don't like how it walks, talks, struts and sells itself. I find it contrived, tortured, humorless, infuriating and interminable. And yet if you care anything about film and the creative drive that still exists in the people who make them, then Third Person needs to be seen. Even if it's just to argue about it. Paul Haggis who wrote and directed Third Person, isn't dead inside like the hacks who work consistently in Hollywood. This Canadian maveri... | More »

Jersey Boys

5

John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

It's the Four Seasons live. The band stomps the stage as Frankie Valli's iconic falsetto wails "Walk Like a Man" – four blue-collar Jersey boys in prom tuxes using music to rank out a girl who busted their balls: "Oh, how you tried to cut me down to size/Tellin' dirty lies to my friends." Eat your heart out, Justin Timberlake. The moves? The finger-snapping swagger? The sweaty, sexualized energy that drives a crowd wild? It's all there. At least it is if you buy a t... | More »

June 12, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2

7

Jay Baruchel

Directed by: Dean DeBlois

The first How to Train Your Dragon, in 2010, was a crazy-good time. The sequel is more. It's thrilling, a soaring blend of 3D animation and spectacular storytelling that swerves daringly to honor the healing chaos of family, human and dragon. Writer-director Dean DeBlois picks up with Hiccup (voiced with sly, whiny wit by Jay Baruchel), who has coaxed his village, led by his viking dad (Gerard Butler), to live in peace with mythical creatures. On his dragon steed, Toothless, Hiccup disco... | More »

The Rover

6

Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce, Scoot McNairy

Directed by: David Michôd

Maybe you’ve had your fill of post-apocalyptic road films. Snap out of it. The Rover is the work of Aussie writer-director David Michôd, whose 2010 debut feature, Animal Kingdom, is reason enough to follow him anywhere. Set a decade hence, The Rover shows us a landscape where an economic cataclysm has reduced everything to a desert. Eric, played by the mesmerizing Guy Pearce, would be happy to drink his life away in a shitty shell of a bar. But three criminals – an American... | More »

June 5, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

7

Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

Directed by: Doug Liman

It shouldn't work. A human-versus-aliens epic that keeps repeating the same scene over and over again as if the comic tilt of Groundhog Day had turned suddenly dangerous. But Edge of Tomorrow will keep you on edge. Guaranteed. Tom Cruise had me at hello, playing Maj. William Cage, a glorified PR guy in uniform. During an interview with hawklike Gen. Brigham (Brendan Gleeson, chewing hungrily on a tasty role), Cage is condescending as hell, offering to help the general with his image in ... | More »

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