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Articles by Diana beechener

Three tweens make us laugh while learning the ins and outs of the grownup world

      Tweens Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) call themselves the Beanbag Boys. Best friends since they were five, they happily fill their days with roleplaying, hiding from Thor’s creepy little sister and trying to puzzle out the grownup world. 
Scary snakes are more believable than the story 
     Mara (Alice Englert) follows the dogma of her father Lemuel (Walton Goggins), the preacher of an Appalachian Pentecostal community that proves their faith by handling venomous snakes. 
      Lapsed believer Augie (Thomas Mann) wants Mara to leave the mountain with him for the bigger world. She fears that people off the mountain are under the devil’s sway.
Rivals must work together to start a new film franchise in this fun action flick 
      Luke Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) is a world-class tracker. He always finds his target, and his hulking figure makes quite the impression. He has been bested only by Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a disgraced ex-MI6 agent turned baddie. 
A woman learns the power of grief and family in this gorgeous film
     Billi (Awkwafina) is close to her Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao). From Nai Nai’s home in China, they talk by phone and share a special teasing bond. 
A nerd learns be a real man — perils and all
     Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) lives a small, quiet existence. A brutal mugging further entrenches Casey. He feels weak, terrified and incapable of protecting himself. Home from the hospital, afraid to go out after dark, his life becomes even smaller. 

This delightful horror movie worries a family with a hurricane — and worse 


With a Category 5 hurricane targeting her family home, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) drives in to find her father. She braves police blockades, floodwaters and abandoned vehicles only to find a barking dog but apparently no dad. 


On summer vacation, Peter Parker finds his place in the world


WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Infinity War, which you should have seen by now. 


Woody discovers his purpose in this hilarious sequel


      After spending his life as the favorite toy, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) is in for a rude awakening. His new charge, Bonnie, is a spunky little girl with boundless imagination who loves to play. But she’s not that interested in playing with Woody. 

     Now, Woody’s left in the closet to watch others have fun. 


Zombie movies get a quirky comedy sendup 


      In the sleepy town of Centerville, everything seems routine. Police Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and his Deputy Ronnie (Adam Driver) ride lazily through the streets, stopping at the local diner for coffee and checking on a farmer’s missing chicken.


Women make a charming challenge to the boys’ comedy club


      The only woman in a field of men, Katherine Newberry (Emma Thompson) is at the top of the late-night game. She has countless awards, uncompromising standards and a massive legacy. She doesn’t have ratings, however.