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  • Evan Peters and Barhad Abdi elevate glib, overdone 'The Pirates of Somalia'

    Evan Peters and Barhad Abdi elevate glib, overdone 'The Pirates of Somalia'

    Serving as something of a flipside to 2013’s Tom Hanks-starring “Captain Phillips,” Brian Buckley’s “The Pirates of Somalia,” based on a memoir by Jay Bahadur, finds itself navigating some choppy tonal waters prior to emerging as an engagingly performed take on recent world events. Bahadur’s seemingly...

  • Friday's TV highlights: The CW's 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' on KTLA

    Friday's TV highlights: The CW's 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' on KTLA

    SERIES MacGyver After 32 college students become stranded on a research ship in the Arctic Ocean, with no heat and fires breaking out on the vessel, Mac (Lucas Till) tries to provide survival tips to the group via a video chat. Elsewhere, Jack (George Eads) kidnaps Elwood (guest star Billy Baldwin),...

  • Human Barbie can't save 'The Doll' from its own incompetent horror

    Human Barbie can't save 'The Doll' from its own incompetent horror

    Cheap-looking horror is sometimes scarier than the better-made fright flicks, because shoestring budgets and amateurish acting gives a production a shot of real danger as though anything could happen at any moment. But there are limits to how much of an edge a movie gets from incompetence — as...

  • 'The Shape of Water' and other movie picks for Dec. 8

    'The Shape of Water' and other movie picks for Dec. 8

    Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang. Blade Runner 2049 You can quibble with aspects of it, but as shaped by Denis Villeneuve and his masterful creative team, this high-end sequel puts you firmly and unassailably in another world of its own devising, and that is no...

  • Stephen Sondheim, experimenter. Listen to 'Pacific Overtures' and 'Forum'

    Stephen Sondheim, experimenter. Listen to 'Pacific Overtures' and 'Forum'

    Stephen Sondheim’s music has become so familiar that it’s easy to forget how experimental it is. As two of the lyricist-composer’s scores are performed live in Los Angeles, listeners can renew an appreciation for his willingness to break rules as he developed distinct sounds for projects literally...

  • 'Company Town' takes aim at factory owners in Arkansas

    'Company Town' takes aim at factory owners in Arkansas

    Paper products titan Georgia-Pacific and its owners, Koch Industries, are taken to the proverbial woodshed in the trenchant, disturbing documentary “Company Town.” This powerful film, directed by Natalie Kottke-Masocco, who co-wrote with co-director Erica Sardarian, contends that an unusually high...

  • By naming the 'Silence Breakers' as 'Person of the Year,' Time rebukes last year's winner, Donald Trump

    By naming the 'Silence Breakers' as 'Person of the Year,' Time rebukes last year's winner, Donald Trump

    Call it the irony of the year. On Wednesday, Time magazine announced that its 2017 person of the year was not an individual, but a movement — the so-called “Silence Breakers” who’d spoken up and sparked a cultural reckoning around sexual harassment and assault. They are the faces, famous and not-so-famous,...

  • Violent animated sci-fi 'Cinderella the Cat' strays far from source

    Violent animated sci-fi 'Cinderella the Cat' strays far from source

    The Italian animated feature “Cinderella the Cat” uses little more than the title of Giambattista Basile’s 17th century version of the Cinderella story. The title character is reduced to a minor, non-speaking figure in this violent sci-fi tale of crime and vengeance. Cinderella’s admirable father...

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