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Will Smith is usually an asset for a movie. He's the kind of true movie star whose charisma can elevate even the most mediocre material. You'd think then that it would be a good thing to have not just one but two Will Smiths in a movie if you can. That was at least part of the idea behind "G…

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Having stayed rigorously close to his native New York for much of his career, writer-director James Gray has lately been making up for lost time. His last film, "The Lost City of Z," journeyed into the Amazon, circa early 20th century. His latest, "Ad Astra," skitters across the solar system…

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"Hustlers " saves all of its tricks for the end. It's a banger of an ending, too, which is something that so few films manage to nail. The emotion, the stakes, the character development and the why of it all hit around the same time. This, you think, is the movie. Then suddenly it's over jus…

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It can be a cheesy thing when a novel is split up and spread out over a handful of films, but Stephen King's "It" is not one of those books.

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The 12-year-old protagonists of "Good Boys" have mastered the use of lingo like "lit" and "burn," but they are foggier on just exactly what a tampon is and swear that a nymphomaniac is someone who has sex on land and on sea. They are tantalizingly close to young adulthood and yet tragically …

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There is a certain mindless pleasure in the "Fallen" movies. Watching Gerard Butler muscle his way through increasingly preposterous obstacles as a Secret Service agent can be amusing and oddly transfixing at the same time. It's mass entertainment that makes a courtesy stop in theaters befor…

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The idea behind "Where'd You Go, Bernadette " is tantalizing — a woman goes missing and her 15-year-old daughter tries to piece together where she went. In the process, the daughter discovers a whole wonderful life that she knew nothing about — that her shut-in, agoraphobic mother who delega…

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Thinking about finally getting off of Facebook? "The Great Hack ," a new documentary on Netflix, might just be the push you were looking for. At the very least, you'll probably never take another online personality test. It's meant to scare and influence you, and probably even for good reaso…

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Peter Parker might be forgiven for craving a vacation as "Spider-Man: Far From Home" begins. After an emotional and strenuous last few movies with the Avengers, a break sounds nice. "I didn't think I had to save the world this summer," he complains.

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Would any fictional gadget be more coveted by Hollywood executives than the memory-erasing "Men in Black" neuralyzer? Imagine the lucrative benefits of being able to, with a single flash, make moviegoers forget the film they just saw. Franchises would be endlessly renewable. IP could last forever.

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Watching "Late Night," an enjoyably zippy if scattershot comedy about a veteran late-night host and her fresh-faced new writing hire, a persistent thought runs through your head: How have we been abiding without a steady supply of leading roles like this for Emma Thompson, and why haven't we…

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If the sweet, animated 2016 film "The Secret Life of Pets" was mostly for kids, its new sequel might be for another segment of the audience altogether — whoever is buying the tickets. Amid the cute critter shenanigans, this one has plenty of lessons for the parents.

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Movies can be blessedly simple. As the first "John Wick" showed, all you really need is a car, a gun, a dead dog and Keanu Reeves. Who needs "kiss kiss" when you've got plenty of "bang bang"?

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There's something irreconcilable about "Poms ," a movie about women in a retirement community who start a cheerleading club. The film wants us to laugh at the idea of older women trying to be cheerleaders, but also be inspired and empowered by their determination. There may have been a way t…

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It's got an adorable hero from an iconic media brand who is voiced by a proven box office master at snark. But, somehow, "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" never really gets arresting.

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Satisfaction is a complicated concept in Marvel Land. On the one hand, every morsel of pre-release information is obsessively pored over in feverish anticipation. But by the time the movie is coming out, a sudden hush comes over die-hard fans who, to avoid spoilers, have abandoned their phon…

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La Llorona, a woman who according to Mexican legend murdered her own children and now wanders the earth looking for them, snatching other unsuspecting tots and drowning them, gets her close-up in a major Hollywood film, Warner Bros.' "The Curse of La Llorona ." It's a pretty terrifying bedti…

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The original "Dumbo" was released in the summer of 1941 while Germany was spreading across Europe and war was breaking out in the Pacific. Crafted as a simpler Disney fable after the more extravagant "Fantasia" disappointed at the box office, "Dumbo" — only 64 minutes in length — took flight…

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Jordan Peele has tightened his grip in "Us," a less satirical and more slaughterhouse horror parable than the writer-director's astonishing debut, "Get Out," that despite its deficiencies will leave all who enter its shadowy world convinced of Peele's growing command as a singular conjurer o…

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There's always that moment on roller coasters when the lap bar gets locked down and you slowly, agonizingly ride up to the first drop. You know the next few minutes are going to be harrowing — you just don't know how bad. So here's a warning about the new animated amusement park film "Wonder…

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Imagine you're a 20-something living in New York City and you spot a particularly nice and structured green leather handbag on the subway. Do you report it to the MTA? Ignore it and move on? Claim it and its contents for yourself? Return to the owner?

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Born in the 3-D land rush, "How to Train Your Dragon" has never quite shrugged off the bland corporate sheen attached to it from the start. But almost a decade since taking flight in 2010, these movies have made up for their lack of fire with enough sincerity and genuine sense of wonder to s…

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Alita is just like a typical teenage girl. She loves chocolate, breaks curfew and crushes on a bad boy with floppy hair, a leather jacket and a motorcycle. But Alita isn't typical in other ways. For one, she can slice apart a single falling tear with her ferocious battle sword.

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Not to kick off this review with a spoiler alert, but after seeing "What Men Want" the answer to what men want is probably the same as what women want: Not to be ripped off by yet another dubious rom-com like this.

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"The LEGO Movie" is a hard act to follow. Its world was so fresh and vibrant and unexpected, it's no wonder that it spawned a number of spinoffs of varying quality. But the big test was always going to be the sequel and whether or not it could recreate the magic of the first.

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The premise for "Arctic " is so simple it's almost silly to describe: Stranded man tries to survive. It's also been done more than a few times in movies, so it's understandable if hearing that invokes a yawn. And yet with barely any dialogue, traditional storytelling methods or even a cute p…

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Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah Price, or Mr. Glass, as he prefers to be called, was by far the most compelling part of M. Night Shyamalan's slow-burn comic book send-up "Unbreakable." A brilliant, tortured manipulator and superhero enthusiast suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta (i.e. brittle …

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How much of a sweet tooth do you have when it comes to movies? It's a question you might want to consider before stepping out for "A Dog's Way Home ," W. Bruce Cameron adaptation of his book about a dog who finds her way back to her owner across 400 miles of Colorado terrain, because this is…

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In retrospect, it's actually kind of surprising that there hasn't been an escape room-themed horror movie until now. The popular interactive mystery games are kind of mini films. There's a built-in set, stakes, opportunities for conflict and teamwork and a logical start and finish. It's cert…

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Blow your nose, and you'll miss the split-second shot of a younger Donald Trump in "Vice," Adam McKay's exhaustingly entertaining (and entertainingly exhausting) Dick Cheney movie. But make no mistake: the filmmaker wants us to be thinking about Trump. What he's telling us — implicitly, then…

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"Mary, Queen of Scots " is an ambitious re-imagining of the Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I saga with modern flourishes and bold performances from Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. But the film, for all its prestige and edginess, its lofty goals and contemporary messages, is not a particularly en…

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In one of Julia Roberts' many heartbreaking scenes in "Ben is Back" — and they're pretty much all heartbreaking — she lays down the law to her 19-year-old son, a recovering drug addict who's shown up unexpectedly for Christmas.

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In a battle between the internet and John C. Reilly, who among us wouldn't root for the latter? Leave us IMDb.com and a few podcasts, John, but by all means, go smashy-smashy with the rest.

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With hollow eyes and sagging cheeks, the flabby white mask of Michael Myers is horror's great blank slate. Project your fears here, it says. Myers doesn't speak. His movements never rise beyond a deliberate gait (well, aside from all the stabbing and strangling). Even his name is purposefull…

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Nearly a half-century has passed since the majestic moment when Neil Armstrong stepped carefully onto the lunar landscape, left foot first, taking that giant leap for mankind. Whether you were alive then and glued to the TV, or relived it later through that iconic, grainy NASA footage, what …

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Wash Westmoreland's "Colette" is a very British movie about a very French feminist icon. A handsome and lively period film, it's too timid to capture the ravenous appetites of the literary force that was Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. But with Keira Knightley playing the prolific and trailblazin…

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There's a "where are they now" at the end of "White Boy Rick ," an astonishing true story about a teenager in a rough part of Detroit in the 1980s who became an undercover FBI informant, that might have served the movie better had the audience been aware from the beginning.

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A decaying and haunted manor in the post-World War II English countryside, a grieving family on the verge of madness and class divisions make "The Little Stranger " a darkly intriguing specimen. But the Lenny Abrahamson-directed adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel is all moody teases with n…

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Danish director Michael Noer's "Papillon " remake, adapted from both Henri Charriere's autobiography and the 1973 Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman film, is a sumptuous-looking but slow-moving prison drama that at times will have you dreaming about an escape of your own.

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Mark Wahlberg's "Mile 22 " character James Silva has a tick where he snaps a yellow rubber bracelet against his wrist. He does this many, many times throughout this all-out assault of a movie, which seems to have been shot and edited with the singular purpose of leaving the audience confused…

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We're going to need a bigger boat for all these shark movies.