Thursday, August 17, 2017

THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD

THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD movie poster
An International Court of Justice trial to convict vicious dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) needs the testimony of notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) has the dangerous job of getting Kincaid from England to the Hague trial. But there's a mole in her office and the only person she can trust is ex-boyfriend Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), an expert bodyguard. The hitman and bodyguard are mortal enemies and must work together to overcome all of the obstacles in their way.

Non-stop mayhem and witty banter give this familiar plot an entertaining lift. This movie rests squarely on the shoulders of its

LOGAN LUCKY

LOGAN LUCKY movie poster
Down on his luck and out of work, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) and his equally unlucky one-armed brother Clyde (Adam Driver) attempt to put an end to the family curse by executing an intricate robbery during a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. They enlist the aid of their sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). One Problem: Bang is in prison and needs to be busted out. A complication for Jimmy is his need to be a part of his young daughter Sadie's (Farrah Mackenzie) life. His ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) and her husband Moody (David Denman) are about to move away and take Sadie with them. Success at the raceway could turn things around.

Steven Soderbergh returns to the director's chair with this entertaining and often-hilarious heist caper. This time around, he takes the casino-setting plot of his "Ocean's Eleven" series and

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WIND RIVER

WIND RIVER poster
When local game tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) discovers the body of a young woman in the icy wilderness on the remote Native American Reservation of Wind River, rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent in to investigate. Not used to the rough conditions of Wyoming's winter, Jane relies on Lambert's help in solving the mysterious death.

An interesting story and well-developed characters lift this chiller to above-average. Director/writer Taylor Sheridan, who wrote "Hell or High Water" and "Sicario", has created another fascinating modern "western". What makes this movie standout is not so much the mystery, but the performances. Taking center stage is Jeremy Renner as the rugged tracker who is haunted by

Friday, August 4, 2017

THE DARK TOWER

Young Jake Chambers' (Tom Taylor) nightmares about an otherworldly battle between good and evil are about to prove true. Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey), a deadly sorcerer known as the Man in Black, seeks out Jake to complete his diabolical plan. The young Chambers is the key to destroying The Dark Tower, which binds time and space. Standing in the sorcerer's way is revenge-minded Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger. The fate of the universe is at stake.

An anemic and predictable plot is the downfall of the first screen version of Stephen King's novel series. Even having not read the books, I can't imagine fans being happy with this abridged (only 95 minutes) and mediocre mix of

KIDNAP

Kidnap movie poster
When her son Frankie (Sage Correa) is abducted from the park they are visiting, a frantic Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) will stop at nothing to save him. Without her cell phone, she takes off after the the kidnappers in a high-speed chase. Karla will rescue her child at all costs.

Halle Berry's believably fierce performance and some outrageous chase sequences keep this mindless and mildly entertaining "B" movie from totally veering off the road. Throwing logic out the window, it's surprising that the tires on her minivan aren't

Thursday, August 3, 2017

DETROIT

Detroit movie still
During the 1967 race riots in Detroit, a police raid at the Algiers Motel results in the deaths of three African American men. Night watchman Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega) gets caught up in the escalating violence during a brutal interrogation led by a racist police officer (Will Poulter) that ends in tragedy.

A striking dramatization blended with graphic newsreel footage makes this

Thursday, July 27, 2017

ATOMIC BLONDE

ATOMIC BLONDE movie poster
Near the end of the Cold War, deadly MI6 operative Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is sent to a divided Berlin to retrieve a list of spies that all sides are after and to unveil a double agent. She also wants to find out who killed another British spy who had ties to her. Partnering with station chief David Percival (James McAvoy), Lorraine uses her unique set of skills to accomplish the mission.

Wild action sequences mixed with high fashion keep this standard, but complicated spy plot from falling apart. The fun is in watching

Thursday, July 20, 2017

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

Alpha, a futuristic city made up of thousands of different species from across the universe, is threatened by an unknown force. Commander Filitt (Clive Owen) sends government operatives Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne) to the endangered city to identify and stop the menacing intruders. Complicating matters is the fact that womanizer Valerian is starting to fall for his beautiful partner.

A colorful galaxy of fun for the eyes and ears that doesn't have much for the brain. But it's still worth a matinee for sci-fi lovers. Based on the French comics series "Valérian and Laureline", director/co-writer Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") throws everything at the screen and some of it sticks. Out-of-this-world sets, characters, effects and 3D cover nicely for a

DUNKIRK (2017)

When the Germans trapped hundreds of thousands of British and Allied forces on the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940, a desperate rescue attempt resulted in saving nearly 400,000 lives. The evacuation is presented in three interconnected parts. By land: British soldier Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) takes extreme measures with Gibson (Aneurin Barnard), Alex (Harry Styles) and others to return home safely. By sea: civilian Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance), one of many taking their boats to save the besieged troops, heads across the English Channel with his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Peter's friend George (Barry Keoghan). On their journey they pick up a scarred survivor (Cillian Murphy) who violently refuses to return to Dunkirk. By air: a handful of pilots lend support by trying to take down attacking Nazi planes. With his fuel running low, Farrier (Tom Hardy) keeps up the battle in the sky as long as possible.

Director/writer Christopher Nolan masterfully revives the

Friday, July 14, 2017

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES movie poster
After a deadly confrontation with an army led by a crazed Colonel (Woody Harrelson) results in tragedy, ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) sets out in search of revenge. His quest uncovers the Colonel's encampment where captured apes are being used as slave labor for an unknown project. When the enemies meet, a battle ensues that could decide the future of both species and the planet.

This third chapter in the rebooted series is the darkest and most emotional to date. Motion-capture performances bring the CGI characters to life with

Friday, July 7, 2017

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING poster
With his first Avengers mission completed, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) returns home to Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and possibly a normal life with friends and classmates. His attempts at becoming the friendly neighborhood superhero are clumsy at best. Closely monitored by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and his right-hand man Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Peter must find his way in the Avengers' universe. He gets his chance when new villain Vulture (Michael Keaton) threatens New York City.

This refreshing new spin on the Spider-Man legend is fun and

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BABY DRIVER

Indebted to crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), music-loving Baby (Ansel Elgort) expertly drives the getaway car for robberies. After his debt is paid, Baby is coerced into driving for one last doomed heist. His life and the life of his girlfriend Debora (Lily James) are at stake.

Edgar Wright, the genius director of films like "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", is behind the wheel of this inventive cops-and-robbers tale. The bare-bones plot, written by Wright, takes a back seat to the songs from Baby's mix-tapes that

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
War is raging between humans and Transformers. With Optimus Prime missing, it's up to hunted inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) to step in and help save mankind. Joined by Bumblebee and some friendly Autobots, Yeager seeks out the reason why they keep returning to Earth. Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), an authority on the history

Thursday, June 15, 2017

CARS 3

CARS 3 movie poster
After years of being top dog, the legendary Lightning McQueen (the voice of Owen Wilson) is starting to show his age. With competition from newcomers like the aggressive Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), McQueen must get back up to speed. Encouraged by his old friends in Radiator Springs, Lightning finds help in the form of his sponsor's new owner Sterling (Nathan Fillion) - a wealthy business car who has plans to turn him into a racing brand. Also on board is trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who has dreams of her own. The race is on.

Breathtaking race sequences, dazzling animation and familiar characters save "Cars 3" from

Thursday, June 8, 2017

THE MUMMY (2017)

THE MUMMY 2017 movie poster
American soldiers Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his pal Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), who steal rare artifacts while on missions in the Middle East, accidentally unearth an ancient tomb-like prison after a battle with insurgents. Unknowingly releasing evil Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), Nick is now cursed to help her fulfill her terrifying destiny. With unexpected help from

Thursday, June 1, 2017

WONDER WOMAN

WONDER WOMAN movie poster
Diana (Gal Gadot), daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), has grown up on the island of Themyscira, where Amazons are trained to be warriors. Sheltered from training by her mother, she is secretly taught the art of combat by her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright). When hunted pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes near the island, Diana rescues him and learns about the raging war in the outside world. The warrior princess is determined to leave her island home with Trevor and seek out the Greek God of War Ares to kill him and put an end to World War I.

"Wonder Woman" takes flight with bursts of action, strong lead performances and witty dialogue. A slow deliberate opening sheds light on the upbringing of this superhero. The peaceful island existence is soon shattered by

Thursday, May 25, 2017

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
Looking to lift the curse of the Flying Dutchman from his father Will (Orlando Bloom), Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) seeks the powerful and legendary Trident of Poseidon to accomplish this task. The only person capable of finding the Trident is Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who needs it to save his own life. Ghostly anti-pirate Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his crew, inadvertently released from their watery grave by Jack, are out for revenge against Sparrow - who sent them to their doom. Also in the search is feisty astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), seeking answers to her origins. Hunted for various crimes,

Friday, May 19, 2017

ALIEN: COVENANT

Alien: Covenant movie poster
The spaceship Covenant, en route to a distant planet with a cargo of hibernating settlers, is forced to land on a nearby uncharted planet when an accident befalls the ship. The crew that includes Oram (Billy Crudup), Daniels (Katherine Waterston), Tennessee (Danny McBride), Lope (Demián Bichir), Karine (Carmen Ejogo), Ricks (Jussie Smollett), the android Walter (Michael Fassbender) and others are confronted with an unimaginable horror. They must fight for their lives in this alien world.

Thrills, chills and buckets of gore add up to

Friday, May 12, 2017

SNATCHED

SNATCHED movie poster
After her boyfriend breaks up with her just before their non-refundable exotic vacation, Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) cons her mother Linda (Goldie Hawn) into going along for some fun and relaxation. But their good times in Ecuador end when the pair are kidnapped and held for ransom in Colombia. Frantic attempts to escape ensue.

Boisterous humor and good chemistry between the two stars give this predictable comedy an entertaining boost. There's nothing here you haven't seen before, but the teaming of Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn is

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword movie poster
Raised in a brothel after his royal parents are murdered by his treacherous uncle Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up streetwise and unaware of his roots. He is forced to face his legacy when he pulls the legendary sword from the stone. Seeking his rightful place on England's throne, Arthur joins the Resistance while learning to embrace the power of Excalibur.

Striking visuals and a dynamic lead performance can't save this muddled origins story of the

Friday, May 5, 2017

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (the voice of Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (the voice of Vin Diesel) are busy battling a gigantic monster to save valuable batteries for Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), the leader of the Sovereign race. In return, Ayesha will release Gamora's estranged sister Nebula (Karen Gillan). But Rocket steals the batteries and the Guardians find themselves being pursued across the galaxy by the Sovereign and their hired hunter Yondu (Michael Rooker), who raised Peter from a young boy. While on the run, the Guardians encounter Ego (Kurt Russell), who claims to be Peter's real father. Life is about to get complicated and a new threat to the galaxy awaits.

The Guardians return in grand style with explosive

Friday, April 14, 2017

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS

While on his honeymoon with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in Cuba, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is forced into helping cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) in her mad attempt to hold world leaders accountable for their actions. With the threat of nuclear destruction, it's up to Dom's crew to find him and put an end to Cipher's plan.

High-speed chases fuel another frenetic entry in this indestructible series. If you're searching for intricate plotting and award-worthy performances, look elsewhere. This is nothing more than

COLOSSAL

COLOSSAL movie poster
Thrown out by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) for being an alcoholic and out of work, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) heads back to her family's small-town home for a change in life. She becomes a waitress at her childhood friend Oscar's (Jason Sudeikis) bar and spends the after-hours drinking with Oscar  and his buddies Garth (Tim Blake Nelson) and Joel (Austin Stowell). One day, she awakens with a hangover to news reports that a giant creature has attacked Seoul. This monster appears each night at the same time, makes weird gestures and disappears in a cloud of lightning. Gloria soon realizes that the creature is

Friday, April 7, 2017

GIFTED

GIFTED movie
Frank Adler (Chris Evans) struggles to make a living as a boat repairman in Florida while raising his young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace), who was left in his care after his sister committed suicide. Mary is a strong-willed child prodigy with uncanny mathematical skills that she inherited from her mother. When her first-grade teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate) discovers her abilities, it isn't long before a normal school life disintegrates. Frank's estranged mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) learns about

Friday, March 31, 2017

THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE

THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE
Before the start of World War II in Poland, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh)and his wife Antonina (Jessica Chastain) have a good life as the caretakers of the Warsaw Zoo. When the Nazis invade their country, the heroic couple risk everything to save their animals and the lives of people trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto. Standing in their way is

THE BOSS BABY

THE BOSS BABY movie poster
The arrival of a bossy baby brother (the voice of Alec Baldwin) upsets the perfect life young Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) has with his mom (Lisa Kudrow) and dad (Jimmy Kimmel). This newborn family member talks, wears a suit and carries a briefcase. Is it Tim's imagination or is this really happening? The Boss Baby has an agenda. He was sent by the heavenly Babycorp to stop a plot by Puppyco, where both parents work, to take affection away from babies. Now the brothers must

GHOST IN THE SHELL

Ghost in the Shell movie poster
Supposedly saved from a terrible crash, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is a human who has been cyber-enhanced to be the perfect soldier. Part of the Section 9 task force in the near future, Major seeks to stop a terrorist who is killing employees of Hanka Robotics and is capable of hacking people's minds to control them. While on this mission, she uncovers lies about her past and must find the truth before others are hurt.

Stunning visuals don't compensate for the

Friday, March 24, 2017

T2 TRAINSPOTTING

Away from home for twenty years, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to reconnect and make amends for past misdeeds with old friends Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Spud, hooked on heroin, entertains thoughts of becoming a writer after attempting suicide. Sick Boy, a cocaine addict, is operating a failing pub while using his girlfriend Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) for blackmailing sexual activities. Begbie, serving a 25-year prison sentence, escapes to seek revenge against Mark. Age hasn't mellowed the former buddies and changes are in store before

LIFE

LIFE movie poster
Six scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a single-celled organism in a soil sample from Mars. What starts as joy at finding proof of life beyond Earth soon turns to terror when the tentacled entity, which they have named "Calvin", becomes dangerous. A fight for survival begins.

Stellar effects and a fine cast make this outer space chiller a quality popcorn flick. It's a passable clone of "Alien". This isn't a spoiler, since the trailer makes the plot perfectly clear. After a slow start that gets all of the scientific facts of space station living out of the way, director Daniel Espinosa ("Safe House") cuts right to the chase. Many jumps, scares and a fair amount of

Friday, March 17, 2017

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Only true love can save a young prince (Dan Stevens), cursed to live life in his castle as a beast. When Belle (Emma Watson) arrives at the castle to save her imprisoned father (Kevin Kline), the Beast releases him in exchange for her. Over time, she becomes fond of the hideous creature and his enchanted staff. When the villagers attack, led by Belle's unwanted suitor Gaston (Luke Evans), she must make a life-changing decision.

While 1991's cartoon classic (the first animated feature to be nominated in the Academy Awards' Best Picture category) is still the winner, this new version is absolutely charming. This time around, real people ably take the place of their two-dimensional counterparts - with an assist from some fabulous CG effects. Director Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") paints a mesmerizing picture that's filled with lavish sets and costumes, colorful characters and unforgettable music.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

An expedition to an uncharted South Pacific island during the final days of the Vietnam War in the early 1970s has catastrophic results. Scientists Bill Randa (John Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), British tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and a military escort commanded by Lt. Col. Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) find themselves fighting for survival in a land of dangerous creatures dominated by the gigantic ape Kong. Their only help comes from

Thursday, March 2, 2017

LOGAN

In the near future on the Mexican border, a boozing and worn-out Logan (Hugh Jackman) makes a living as a chauffeur while caring for the ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) with the help of albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). When a desperate woman (Elizabeth Rodriguez) convinces Logan to help a pursued young mutant (Dafne Keen), Wolverine is drawn into the battle against the evil Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) and his ruthless head of security Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). The survival of the mutant population depends on the outcome of the race to reach a safe haven.

The darkest and arguably the best of the Wolverine adventures is an emotional journey that's marked by bursts of bloody violence. It has been reported that this is Hugh Jackman's

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

GET OUT

Interracial couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) take their dating to the next level: a weekend getaway to meet her parents. The rural estate of Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford) seems peaceful and they appear to welcome him into their family. But some startling discoveries give Chris a sense of danger and the need to get out.

Heightened suspense and a gripping story make this a top-grade thriller. First-time director Jordan Peele, comedy partner of Keegan-Michael Key, proves with this movie that he can give up his day job. He also wrote this film, which takes the horror genre to a new level. Peele has much to say about society and race with an

Friday, February 17, 2017

THE GREAT WALL

Hunted European mercenaries William Garin (Matt Damon) and Pero Tovar (Pedro Pascal), searching for black powder, are taken prisoner at the Great Wall of China by the military Nameless Order. They get caught up in the battle to defend the country from an army of supernatural creatures.

Massive sets, lavish costumes, outstanding special effects and a cast of thousands can't keep this wannabe epic fantasy from tumbling down. With a budget of $135 million, this is the most expensive film shot mostly in China and the first

A UNITED KINGDOM

In the late 1940s, King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) fell in love with Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London. Their interracial marriage at the beginning of apartheid in South Africa created an international incident that changed the course of African history.

Strong performances by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike raise the quality of this by-the-numbers look at a fascinating true-life story. Unfortunately, the political unrest between the British government and the South Africans and the disapproval on both sides that resulted from this forbidden union take a

Thursday, February 9, 2017

FIFTY SHADES DARKER

After breaking off her romance with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) takes a job in Seattle at a publishing firm. But Christian can't live without Ana and makes an aggressive attempt to win her back. Standing in his way are her new boss Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) and Grey's own past.

More sex, dangerous situations and a hint of mystery make this high quality soft-core porn slightly better than

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

Bound by a blood oath to the ruthless Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back into the deadly profession. With D'Antonio looking to take control of an international assassins' guild, Wick must travel to Rome and face the world's deadliest killers to accomplish his mission.

Cutting right to the chase, this latest chapter in the life of John Wick is a bloody good show. Chad Stahelski, who directed 2014's "John Wick" with David Leitch, returns to pile up

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

Used to working alone, Batman (the voice of Will Arnett) may need some help to save Gotham City from destruction. The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) is looking to become the Caped Crusader's most hated enemy and has put a plan in motion to accomplish his mission. Bruce Wayne's newly adopted orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), Alfred the Butler (Ralph Fiennes), Commissioner James Gordon (Hector Elizondo) and Gordon's daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson) are ready to defend the city.

While not quite as awesome and creative as 2014's "The Lego Movie", this stand-alone Batman adventure is absolutely

Friday, February 3, 2017

THE SPACE BETWEEN US

In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that astronaut Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery) is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A DOG'S PURPOSE

A dog (the voice of Josh Gad) seeks the purpose of life while experiencing several reincarnations with different owners. Rescued from a locked vehicle by young Ethan (Bryce Gheisar) and his mother (Juliet Rylance), Golden Retriever Bailey becomes the life-long family pet. He stays by the side of teenage Ethan (K.J. Apa) through his struggles with an alcoholic father (Luke Kirby) and a romance with neighbor Hannah (Britt Robertson). After this fulfilling life, Bailey's soul is reborn as a female German Shepherd police dog partnered with the lonely Carlos (John Ortiz), a Corgi adopted by college student Maya (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and an Australian Shepherd/St. Bernard mix who ends up with

Friday, January 20, 2017

xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE

Presumed dead, former government operative and extreme athlete Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) returns when a powerful weapon that can control satellites and bring them crashing back to Earth is stolen. With his old boss Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) gone, Cage now must report to the aggressive Jane Marke (Toni Collette). Xander assembles a team of daredevils to keep the deadly device out of the hands of alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) and save the world.

Explosive action, non-stop stunts and a barrage of barely passable special effects cover up the thinnest of familiar plots. Director D.J. Caruso ("Eagle Eye") seems keenly aware that the story is threadbare and the dialogue is goofy at best. He wisely maintains a frenetic pace (filled with scantily-clad women and beefcake men) that keeps the audience from thinking about the film's shortcomings. Vin Diesel is a believable action star, but he has

SPLIT

Teenagers Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) fight for survival after being kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy). He has 23 different, some dangerous personalities. The 24th and most deadly may be on its way.

Director/writer M. Night Shyamalan returns with a chilling and disturbing slice of psychological horror. James McAvoy's brilliant portrayal of a man suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder is the reason to see this film. Bouncing back and forth between personalities, at one point in rapid succession, has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, the plot's unfolding doesn't live up to his performance. Chief among the supporting cast is Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch") as an abused teen who finds

Friday, January 13, 2017

LIVE BY NIGHT

In the 1920s, Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), the son of Boston cop Thomas Coughlin (Brendan Gleeson), chooses a life of crime over law enforcement. His love for a gangster's mistress (Sienna Miller) and a stretch in prison take Joe from Boston to profitable illegal operations in Florida with his longtime partner Dion Bartolo (Chris Messina). Here his life becomes more dangerously complicated with gangsters, a Tampa sheriff (Chris Cooper), the sheriff's daughter (Elle Fanning) and finding a new

PATRIOTS DAY

Following the attack on the 2013 Boston Marathon, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins the manhunt to catch the bombers before they can strike again. Among those participating in the aftermath and intense search are Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Mayor of Boston Thomas Menino (Vincent Curatola) and Watertown Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J. K. Simmons).

Based on the actual events surrounding
the horrific bombing, this gripping drama maintains a high level of suspense throughout. While the facts and outcome are well-known, director/co-writer Peter Berg delivers an interesting account with many edge-of-your-seat moments. This is yet

Friday, January 6, 2017

A MONSTER CALLS

ROG'S VIEWPOINT - Having to deal with his mother's (Felicity Jones) illness, an unsympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and bullies at school, 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) gets unexpected help from a tree monster (Liam Neeson - voice and performance-capture). The "Monster" comes to the young boy at night to tell stories that will

HIDDEN FIGURES

ROG'S VIEWPOINT - Desperate to beat Russia at putting a man in space, NASA enlisted the help of a group of African-American female mathematicians. Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) lead this group of women who became the brains behind
the operation to put John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit and bring him safely back to Earth. Based on a little known true story, this inspiring and heartfelt film entertains while it reveals a piece of  U.S. history that has been all but buried for way too long. Director/co-writer Theodore Melfi has assembled a terrific cast to bring