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MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

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The peaceful lives of Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and her goddaughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) in the Moors are about to change. When the kingdom of Ulstead's Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) proposes marriage to Aurora, she accepts. A dinner to honor the upcoming union at the castle of King John (Robert Lindsay) and Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) doesn't go as planned. A clash between future in-laws ends with Maleficent storming off and finding herself in danger. With the wedding in question, a war between humans and fairies is forthcoming.

Fans of the revisionist "Maleficent" (2014) will be enchanted once again with wondrous sets, costumes, effects and a sensational lead performance. This sequel, released 60 years after the debut of Walt Disney's animated "Sleeping Beauty" (based on Charles Perrault's tale "La Belle au bois Dormant"), suffers from

JOKER

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Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), working as a clown-for-hire, has dreams of becoming a stand-up comic in Gotham City. A rough upbringing and caring for ailing mother Penny (Frances Conroy) contribute to his mental health and downward spiral. After job problems and taking more than one beating, Arthur finally snaps - leading to a destined life of crime.

The darkest entry in DC Comics cinematic history, this standalone film is basically

DOWNTON ABBEY (2019)

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In 1927, excitement fills the halls of Downton Abbey. Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), his American wife Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern) and their family and staff frantically prepare for a visit by King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James). As the fateful day approaches, anything can happen - and it does.

The smashing television drama of the aristocratic Crawley family and their staff comes to the big screen in grand fashion. After the success of "Upstairs, Downstairs", British and PBS audiences craved more

IT CHAPTER TWO

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It's been 27 years since the terrifying clown Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) terrorized the town of Derry, Maine and the young members of the Losers Club. Now Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only club member to stay in Derry, knows that Pennywise has returned. He summons his grown up pals to fulfill their childhood pact and end this menace for good.

The final cinematic chapter, based on Stephen King's 1986 novel and the sequel to "It" (2017), is a satisfying slam-bang horror epic. Nearly three hours in length, it covers

OFFICIAL SECRETS

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In 2003, British intelligence specialist Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) received an NSA classified memo about the United States seeking Britain's help. The mission was to gather compromising information for the purpose of blackmailing United Nations Security Council members into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Morally against an illegal war, Gun became a whistleblower and leaked the memo to the press. She risked everything by defying the government, including her life and marriage to Kurdish refugee Yasar Gun (Adam Bakri).

Another effective performance by Keira Knightley gives this true-life political drama a huge boost. Based on the

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

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President Trumbull's (Morgan Freeman) bodyguard, U.S. Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), is framed for an attack that kills all but Banning and the comatose president. The wounded agent becomes a hunted man - desperate to prove his innocence.

The third entry in the Banning saga is a spirited thriller that keeps this series alive. A flawed and predictable story gets in the way with

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON

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Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young nursing home resident with Down syndrome, dreams of attending the professional wrestling school of his hero: The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). With a little help from his roommate Carl (Bruce Dern), he escapes the home to hopefully attain his goal. On the road, Zak connects with fugitive Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) - on the run for questionable dealings involving crab traps. Their friendship grows as he mentors Zak while traveling along the Southeast waterways to Tyler's destination of Florida. Eventually joining the pair is Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a nursing home worker sent to bring Zak back. Surprises await the trio on their quest.

Impressive performances lend credibility to this fanciful journey. Making his narrative feature acting debut, Zack Gottsagen is