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  • Remember how fun 'Independence Day' was in 1996? Sony hopes 'Resurgence' will bring you back there

    Remember how fun 'Independence Day' was in 1996? Sony hopes 'Resurgence' will bring you back there

    Nostalgia is a polar kind of thing. Those of us who get it really get it. Those who don't spend much of their time haranguing the first group, wondering why we continue to hang on to the gift card from the TCBY in our college town when we haven't been back there in years, and who ate TCBY after...

  • In the autism documentary 'Life, Animated,' a new kind of screen hero emerges

    In the autism documentary 'Life, Animated,' a new kind of screen hero emerges

    The morning after his movie screened at the LA Film Festival, Owen Suskind was pondering a question that might preoccupy any young man. “This movie will help me find a new girlfriend?” Owen, 25, asked his older brother, Walter. “Remember when we were talking about dating profiles?” Walter said....

  • Nonsensical 'Vigilante Diaries' goes gonzo

    Nonsensical 'Vigilante Diaries' goes gonzo

    Never accuse prolific B-movie impresario Christian Sesma of lacking ambition. In between cranking out feature-length horror and action films at a furious clip over the past few years, Sesma teamed with screenwriter-actor Paul Sloan to make the ultra-violent superhero Web series “Vigilante Diaries,”...

  • Hong Kong auteur Johnny To injects hospital drama 'Three' with virtuoso shoot-em-up

    Hong Kong auteur Johnny To injects hospital drama 'Three' with virtuoso shoot-em-up

    Leave it to director Johnnie To to follow a 3-D musical comedy about corporate malfeasance with a movie even harder to classify. On the heels of last year’s “Office,” To now offers “Three,” a gritty medical drama that evolves into a tense tale of cops and gangsters — and does so with a naturalness...

  • 'Sunrise,' a gritty tour through the mind of a grief-stricken Mumbai cop

    'Sunrise,' a gritty tour through the mind of a grief-stricken Mumbai cop

    “Sunrise,” the portrait of a grief-shattered Mumbai cop, takes place almost entirely at night, on streets drenched in monsoon rains. Fantasy and reality bleed into each other, the lurid cityscape inseparable from anguish in a story that revolves around the horror of child trafficking. Less compelling...

  • Voices evoke 100 years of the Emerald Isle in 'Older Than Ireland'

    Voices evoke 100 years of the Emerald Isle in 'Older Than Ireland'

    Filmmaker Alex Fegan may not unearth why the Emerald Isle is home to so many spirited centenarians, but their presence makes for a lovely and inspiring experience in the enjoyable documentary “Older Than Ireland.”  Fegan interviews 30 Irish folks 100 years of age or older (the eldest, at 113, was...

  • Timely doc 'Misconception' crunches the numbers on global population growth

    Timely doc 'Misconception' crunches the numbers on global population growth

    The timely, well-made documentary “Misconception” takes a three-pronged look at contemporary population growth and the real-world results of several complex issues surrounding the topic.  Although the facts here may speak for themselves — 80% of the world’s nations now average two children per...

  • Voyeuristic 'Intruder' goes light on chills

    Voyeuristic 'Intruder' goes light on chills

    Scottish-born actress and occasional scream-queen Louise Linton teamed up with director Travis Zariwny for the third time earlier this year for the much-buzzed-about remake of “Cabin Fever.” The chatter surrounding that picture may explain why the duo’s second collaboration, “Intruder,” is now...

  • 'A Conspiracy of Faith' marks darkest entry in Department Q trio

    'A Conspiracy of Faith' marks darkest entry in Department Q trio

    The third and most recent arrival in the Department Q series of crime thrillers, “A Conspiracy of Faith” marks the darkest and most gripping screen adaptation of the Jussi Adler-Olsen novels to date. Returning from a too-brief sick leave after his previous cold case investigations took a toll on...

  • Second entry in crime trilogy, 'The Absent One' is equal to the task

    Second entry in crime trilogy, 'The Absent One' is equal to the task

    Closely adhering to the classy template established the previous year with “The Keeper of Lost Causes,” 2014’s “Department Q: The Absent One” is an equally smart crime thriller that takes another unsavory journey into contemporary Denmark’s seamier underbelly. Experiencing a cold snap after their...

  • 'The Phenom' effectively dramatizes baseball's mind games

    'The Phenom' effectively dramatizes baseball's mind games

    Not every game is decided on the field; some are won and lost between the ears. That’s the point of view of writer-director Noah Buschel’s “The Phenom,” an unusual and affecting baseball drama where nearly all the action is internal. Johnny Simmons stars as Hopper Gibson, a talented young pitcher...

  • 'My Love, Don't Cross That River': Touching scenes from a 75-year Korean marriage

    'My Love, Don't Cross That River': Touching scenes from a 75-year Korean marriage

    The potent mix of joy and sorrow presented simply in the documentary “My Love, Don’t Cross That River” is enormously affecting, devastating in fact. Mo-young Jin’s film, a smash hit in Korea where it became the country’s biggest independent film ever, follows the 75-year marriage of Byong-man Jo...

  • 'The Fundamentals of Caring' stumbles down the road more traveled

    'The Fundamentals of Caring' stumbles down the road more traveled

    “The Fundamentals of Caring” is a strained, overly familiar tale of catharsis and redemption. Stars Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts work hard but are torpedoed by writer-director Rob Burnett’s wanting script (adapted from the novel by Jonathan Evison), thudding stabs at buoyancy and sluggish pacing....

  • 'The Duel' is an overdone, over-the-top exercise in western violence

    'The Duel' is an overdone, over-the-top exercise in western violence

    Sometimes a movie just tries to do too much, and shoots itself in the foot. Such is the case with “The Duel,” directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith from Matt Cook’s script, which appeared on the 2009 Black List. The story is an intriguing twist on the western genre, but in piling on other subgenres and...

  • The new documentary 'Unlocking the Cage' asks why corporations can get 'personhood' but intelligent animals can't

    The new documentary 'Unlocking the Cage' asks why corporations can get 'personhood' but intelligent animals can't

    Whatever your views on animal rights, the fleet, engaging documentary “Unlocking the Cage” from nonfiction legends Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker (“The War Room”) makes a worthy case for reconsidering the sturdiness of laws that explicitly separate humans from animals. With legal-thriller pacing...

  • Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano form an explosive friendship in 'Swiss Army Man'

    Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano form an explosive friendship in 'Swiss Army Man'

    Labeled “the farting corpse movie” at Sundance, the forcefully quirky “Swiss Army Man” certainly expels a lot in trying to convince you its bruised-emo wilderness yarn is whimsically imaginative. Its dynamic duo -- Paul Dano’s stranded neurotic and Daniel Radcliffe’s gaseous cadaver – may be one...

  • CBS and Paramount Pictures announce new guidelines on 'Star Trek' fan films

    CBS and Paramount Pictures announce new guidelines on 'Star Trek' fan films

    CBS and Paramount Pictures have a message for the “Star Trek” fan-film community: Live long and prosper … within limits. Six months after filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against the makers of an ambitious crowdfunded fan film called “Star Trek: Axanar,” Paramount and CBS issued new guidelines...

  • Sam Neill anchors 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople,' a hilarious, touching New Zealand odyssey

    Sam Neill anchors 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople,' a hilarious, touching New Zealand odyssey

    Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can't believe your luck. "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" is such a film. The wacky story of the way-unlikely alliance between an overweight reprobate of a teenager and a surly, wilderness...

  • Todd Solondz's 'Wiener-Dog' puts humanity in a tragicomic cage

    Todd Solondz's 'Wiener-Dog' puts humanity in a tragicomic cage

    Nothing softens up a hard-hearted auteur quite like the presence of a beloved animal. The Coen brothers demonstrated this conclusively a few years ago with “Inside Llewyn Davis,” an exquisite ode to loserdom that was brightened, and at times upstaged, by a winsome orange tabby cat. And even that...

  • Hong Sang-soo's 'Right Now, Wrong Then' an incisive tale of romantic possibility

    Hong Sang-soo's 'Right Now, Wrong Then' an incisive tale of romantic possibility

    The prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-soo is often accused of making the same movie over and over again — a criticism that can lose sight of the fact that repetition, in filmmaking and everyday reality, has become one of his signature themes. If anything, “Right Now, Wrong Then,” his finest...

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