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‘Detroit’ Review: Kathryn Bigelow’s Unrelenting Drama Packs A Wallop But Is A Tough Sit

Norman Jewison’s Best Picture Oscar winner In the Heat of the Night, a searing and sadly timeless study of race relations through the prism of a murder investigation in a small Southern town, had its New York premiere August 2, 1967 — about the same time the infamous Detroit riots took place. It also was during the same exact week where, 50 years later, a new movie putting the spotlight on that time is set to open. I have seen Jewison’s powerful and enlightening movie… Read

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‘Shot Caller’ Review: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Plays A Game Of Survival In Gripping Prison Drama

With Game of Thrones having just returned to HBO with new episodes this week, all eyes are on the man who plays Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, a fine actor who has landed another current project also definitely worth checking out. In the new film Shot Callerwhich had its world premiere at the LA Film Festival and now is debuting on DirecTV’s premium service before getting a theatrical and VOD run starting August 18, Coster-Waldau could not be more different from his G… Read

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‘Dunkirk’ Review: Christopher Nolan Makes A Film About War That Hitchcock Would Have Loved

Dunkirk

If Alfred Hitchcock were alive and still making films, Dunkirk is a movie he might have made, even if in his lifetime he didn’t tackle what turns out to be a surprisingly stirring tale of pure survival in war. The telling of the Dunkirk evacuation of eventually about 300,000 soldiers in the spring of 1940 has provided a challenge met with great success for writer-director Christopher Nolan. It retains the scale of some of his larger films such as the Dark Knight series, In… Read

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‘Girls Trip’ Review: Wild New Orleans Romp Is Worth Its Weight In Comedy Gold

Call it a smoother Rough Night, a black Bridesmaids, an all-female Hangover. Whatever label you put on Girls Trip doesn’t matter. It is the knock-out funniest comedy of 2017 in terms of laughs per minute. Sit in an audience with this thing and you just might miss half the dialogue over the consistent roars from the crowd. It’s one of those movies that we just don’t see made successfully as much anymore because the tone between humor, raunch and heart is more difficult to… Read

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‘Loaded’ Review: Mary McCormack Gives AMC’s Big-Bucks Brit Comedy Real Bite

Loaded

Debuting tonight on AMC, the tech-themed Loaded is far from merely a British version of HBO’s Silicon Valley and, in fact, a lot smarter and more fun that it might seem. Adding to the combination of four friends who become instant multi-millionaires from the sale of their app, Mary McCormack delivers a blistering, brassy performance as the American corporate VP who arrives to show there is a new sheriff in old London town. Having already aired this year on Channel 4 in… Read

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‘Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets’ Review: Luc Besson’s Dazzling Visual Creation Overcomes Some Wooden Acting

Director Luc Besson has long wanted to make the 1967 French graphic serial Valerian and Laureline into a movie since the 70’s. This was even before Star Wars became such a sensation, and in fact many think the Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezeires creation perhaps inspired that landmark 1977 film. As I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), it certainly inspired Besson, and now — with a reputed budget upward of $200 million — he finally has brought his… Read

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‘Friends From College’ Review: Netflix’s Keegan-Michael Key Comedy Gets An “F”

Friends From College

There’s a fascination many Americans have with their college years, but it’s doubtful even that sentimentality and reminiscence will find much to latch onto in the annoying and disappointing Friends From College, which launches July 14 on Netflix. Led by the usually always on-point Keegan-Michael Key as an adulterous and critically acclaimed novelist looking to cash in, this New York City regathering of self-centered and unappealing Harvard alums two decades on from their… Read

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‘The Strain’ Final Season & ‘Salvation’ Review: Not All Ends Of The World Are Created Equal

The Strain Salvation

With the debut tonight of the dismal Salvation on CBS and the July 16 premiere of the fourth and final season of FX's The Strain, it is clear that the end of the world continues to take on many forms — and not all of them appealing. Collapsing into that category is Salvation, the summer series starring Charlie Rowe, Santiago Cabrera, Jennifer Finnigan, Jacqueline Byers, Rachel Drance, Shazi Raja and Ian Anthony Dale about an asteroid scheduled to smash into Earth in less… Read

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‘A Ghost Story’ Review: Casey Affleck & Rooney Mara In Surreal, Hypnotic Meditation On Life And Loss

Don’t be confused by the title of A Ghost Story. I can just imagine the reaction of some unwitting horror-film lovers wandering into a multiplex to see the film on the basis of that title alone. This is measured, minimalist filmmaking to its core, almost making Terrence Malick seem like an action helmer by comparison. But it is not false advertising or in the least bit misleading if you consider the subject matter of this, yes, haunting film that apparently arose in the… Read

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‘Will’ Review: TNT’s Young Shakespeare Drama Not So Dynamic, Not So Bawdy

Will TNT

Despite its esteemed Elizabethan pedigree behind the camera, the July 10-debuting Will on TNT is not the stuff of which Peak TV stardust is made. With a late-20th century soundtrack and grand ambitions to tell the punkish tale of William Shakespeare's arrival in 16th century London in search of fame and a platform for his writing, the series created by Craig Pearce is mediocre and easily forgettable, as I say in my video review above. Fronted by newcomer Laurie Davidson… Read

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Review: Tom Holland As Teen Superhero-In-Training Powers Highflying Franchise Reboot

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Actually, Spider-BOY might have been a better title. Sony Pictures, now joining the Marvel Universe, has rebooted the cash-cow Spider-Man franchise with a decidedly new and different approach that makes the sixth film to carry the webslinger’s moniker perhaps the most financially promising yet. After three outings with Tobey Maguire and another two with Andrew Garfield, the studio finally decided to bring Spider-Man fully into the Marvel cinematic canon with Spider-Man: Ho… Read

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‘The House’ Review: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler & Clever Premise Can’t Save A No-Dice Script

When a studio declines to show a movie for critics in advance these days, you probably can be assured they know it won’t be getting rave reviews. In the case of the new comedy The House, which opened over the weekend sans any critics screenings, that turned out to be true. The audience also seemed to smell a trainwreck as Deadline projected a dismal three-day gross of $8.7 million, well below expectations for a laugher starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. So, having it… Read