Video Reviews

Can’t we just blow up a helicopter like the old days anymore? Do we have to replace it with half-rendered computer effects? Rambo would not be proud.

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There’s plenty of action, of course, but it’s the heart and humor, delivered consistently throughout Guardians of the Galaxy, that make this tongue-in-cheek space opera the perfect fit for the 21st Century.

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Besides being an invaluable primer on the life of a man who was omnipresent in any discussion about movies for over 40 years, Life Itself has a surprising amount of raw emotion.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction isn’t so much a movie as it is a 165-minute propaganda film made to appeal to the widest demographic possible — but mainly for China.

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It may be set in some kind of vague dystopian near-future, but The Rover isn’t a sci-fi story at all. The dusty Australian backdrop, the heightened mood of constant danger, and Guy Pearce’s mysterious loner character give the deceptively simple film away as a spaghetti western.

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The heavy lifting in the character department is all done by Angelina Jolie because Maleficent has little more than a couple of thinly developed and somewhat jarring plot points to turn her from innocent faery to malevolent witch.

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Singer has a way of juggling an ensemble cast that includes almost 20 mutants that keeps X-Men: Days of Future Past on solid enough footing even when its multiple reality timeline bends and almost breaks.

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The challenge for “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards was to utilize the big studio budget to respect the tenets of the kaiju film, take the premise dead seriously, and create some actual awe-inspiring cinematic moments. Considering the limitations of the genre, I’d say he more than succeeded.

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As cutting-edge as its technology is, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 stubbornly adheres to old-school comic conventions. When it’s not tending directly to the emotional core of Peter Parker, it can sometimes feel like an episode of the cheesy ’60s Batman TV series.

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“Under the Skin” is thrillingly alive, hearkening back to the heyday of ’70s art cinema.

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Mike Flanagan is the co-writer and director of Oculus, which was developed with co-screenwriter Jeff Howard from Flanagan’s own 2006 short film. By design, it’s a psychological thriller masquerading as a haunted house movie, and Flanagan wisely avoids cheap jump scares in favor of letting the dread develop naturally.

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‘Sabotage’ has a ton of forced macho camaraderie among its actors and a series of grisly murders that even Hannibal Lecter would find classless.

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The know-it-alls, the geeks, the jocks, the smart-asses, and the Jesus freaks are clearly defined groups, and it can be tough if you don’t fit in anywhere.

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The leather man panties and hyper-stylized violence is back! Plus, more boobs! 300: Rise of an Empire is a teenage boy’s wet dream.

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Costner is essentially playing the same over-the-hill, reluctant-but-badass gun-toting hero that Willis has been playing for years, and in 3 Days to Kill, he’s even saddled with something more challenging than killing bad guys with names like The Albino and The Wolf — keeping a teenage daughter out of trouble.

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