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Movie Reviews

A fun but mindless action movie puts the plot out to pasture in order to focus on effects and fun

A man with no name rides into a dustbowl of a western town. No, he’s not Clint Eastwood, but it’s a reasonable facsimile.     The man is Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig: Defiance), a former bank robber who lost his memory around the same time he got a mysterious metal cuff on his wrist. When Lonergan is caught in town, local cattle baron Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford: Morning Glory) demands the right to hang the robber.

This patriotic hero had more dimension in comicsCaptain America: The First Avenger

Writing a negative review of Captain America: The First Avenger makes me feel a traitor. But here goes. On paper the Cap (Chris Evans: Puncture) is a pretty good idea: He wears a costume that pays tribute to the stars and stripes. He fights Nazis with gusto. And unlike other action heroes, his virtue is beyond reproach.

A decade of magical movies ends with a spellbinding film

Dirty, exhausted and ready to embrace his fate, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) enters the forest for a showdown with the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes: Clash of the Titans). Most moviegoers know how the story ends, yet the movie audience gasped as the battle began. That’s the power of Potter.

Three friends prove the best revenge makes for great comedy

Everyone has had a moment of wanting to kill the boss. Maybe it’s a fleeting thought after a bad meeting or a constant daydream in a hostile work environment. Either way, typically, calmer heads prevail and no lives are lost.     In Horrible Bosses, calmer heads don’t prevail, and it’s pretty damn funny.

A silly old bear and his buddies prove you don’t need 3D to make great animation

Since Walt Disney last visited the Hundred Acre Woods, animation has seen the advent of 3D, computer rendering and gross-out humor. This no-frills revisit to the classic story of Winnie the Pooh is a return to hand-drawn animation.

A southern-fried catastrophe ruins Pixar’s stellar run at the top of animation.

After 16 years of producing the most lauded animation in the film industry, Pixar has earned the blind trust of critics and audiences alike. This is why the horrible, thoughtless cash grab of Cars 2 seems like such a betrayal. It’s like finding out your favorite uncle secretly enjoys kicking puppies.

JJ Abrams writes a love note to Stephen Spielberg with aliens, explosions and boyish wonder

Did you ever wonder what would have happened if ET had been found by the government instead of that adorable moppet Elliott?

While some of this sci-fi flick’s multi-faceted plot is beyond preposterous, it’s still good fun.

Here’s a rarity: The Green Lantern is a sci-fi movie that strays from the well-trampled aliens vs. Earth-guy story. What’s especially rare in sci-fi films is a plot that is multi-threaded and multi-faceted with enough twists to maintain interest. In The Green Lantern we are given not only a genuine, self-effacing super-hero but also a mad scientist who’s just as smart as our hero and who comes within a hair of taking over the world.

In this follow-up, the guys travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding, and what happens in Bangkok can be imagined.

There’s a big joke in this movie somewhere, but I can’t tell you what or where it is. Perhaps it’s the serious raunchiness that pervades. Maybe the producers of II made a ton of money from I, so they figured, What the heck, they laughed once, they’ll laugh again.

An excellent origins story is bogged down by too many mutants with no motivation

In the swinging 1960s, two mutant men set very different goals for themselves. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy: Gnomeo and Juliet) is hoping to use his telepathic abilities to score college co-eds — oh, and to unite other mutants, in hopes of celebrating the beauty of genetics. Shoah survivor Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender: Jane Eyre) is set on using his metal manipulating skills to hunt down and murder the Nazis who experimented on him and killed his mother.