Print Reviews

American Sniper is a tense, heart-wrenching, vivid account of war and the stranglehold it places upon the human mind. However, it was cautiously made, presumably not to upset the surviving family and friends.

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Wow. What happened to Michael Mann?

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This electrifying film puts the tension, the fear, the courage, and the tragedy in perspective, and dramatizes it through the struggles of people, not rhetoric.

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Larry “Doc” Sportello is surprised when his former girlfriend shows up on his doorstep and explains and a plot involving her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. The plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon.

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The movie wants to be about courage and resilience, but it’s painted in so many broad strokes and tired clichés that it doesn’t quite register on that level.

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The Imitation Game is an enjoyable and well-done biopic that lacks a certain intangible hook which holds it back in my mind from a Best Picture nomination, despite some of the nods it has already gotten.

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With his new film Big Eyes, Tim Burton and collaborators suffer from what I like to call bad history teacher syndrome. They are too interested in the what and not enough in the how or the why.

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A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

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A kitschy 1981 3D movie is restored and re-released in theaters for a slow rollout across the country.

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“Wild” breaks the mold of other trip-as-self-discovery films with a refreshing honesty.

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The third and final entry in The Hobbit trilogy is by far the strongest of the three. It gives a faithful and lovingly-crafted foray into Middle Earth for fans of the book and new fans alike, while being able to incorporate lore from other writings of Tolkien into the mix and tying all six films together as a unit, binding them with common story elements and ties to each other.

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Chris Rock makes his writing/directing debut in Top Five, a showbiz romantic comedy that is loose, sometimes broad and often hilarious.

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Very, very rarely a movie comes along that transcends the perceived limitations of being a “horror” or “scary” movie and becomes a full-fledged work of art. The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, and The Shining are some examples, and now you can add The Babadook, showing exclusively in Kansas City starting Friday at Screenland Armour, to that list as well.

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Both Whiplash and Nightcrawler are models of fast-paced, engaging storytelling that leaves a mark.

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There are a few hard-nosed, pointed remarks from Hawking—one of the most brilliant minds of the century—and very few truly selfish moments, despite the fact that even as a purely inspirational figure, he’s earned them. The same goes for Jones’ Jane, whose sacrifices just keep piling up. This renders the portrayals, however remarkable the performances are, too saintly and mawkish.

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