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  • Stirring doc 'Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower' captures emergence of a young leader

    Stirring doc 'Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower' captures emergence of a young leader

    Hong Kong high school student Joshua Wong certainly doesn’t look like the type of person who could pull hundreds of thousands of teenagers away from their electronics and get them to rally behind a formidable resistance movement. But that’s the compelling point of entry for the skillfully immersive...

  • Sci-fi drama '96 Souls' is straight-faced silly

    Sci-fi drama '96 Souls' is straight-faced silly

    In “96 Souls,” writer-director Stanley Jacobs undertakes the difficult task of executing a completely nutty premise with absolute sincerity. It’s the tale of a scientist, Dr. Jack Sutree (Grinnell Morris), who has been working on a “Smell-o-Vision” of sorts — a breakthrough that would enable one...

  • Patience is rewarded in suspenseful 'Berlin Syndrome'

    Patience is rewarded in suspenseful 'Berlin Syndrome'

    Director Cate Shortland and screenwriter Shaun Grant are often too reserved in adapting Melanie Joosten’s 2011 suspense novel, “Berlin Syndrome,” but when it counts, they deliver the necessary nail-biting anxiety. Telling the story of a psychopath and his sex-slave, the film balances the clinical...

  • Thriller 'Drone' embodies its title and not in a good way

    Thriller 'Drone' embodies its title and not in a good way

    Utterly dull thriller “Drone” tries to raise ethical and moral questions about modern warfare, but the audience can only dwell on the illogical plot and unsympathetic characters — if they can engage at all. The otherwise talented cast and the controversial issue itself deserve far better treatment...

  • Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Meyers tangle in thriller 'Black Butterfly'

    Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Meyers tangle in thriller 'Black Butterfly'

    Following in the footsteps of “Deathtrap” and Stephen King’s “Misery,” the thriller “Black Butterfly” doesn’t exactly reinvent its “twisty cat-and-mouse game in an isolated location” plot. But thanks to tight direction by Brian Goodman and lively performances from Antonio Banderas and Jonathan...

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