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Review: 'The Storyteller' spins an unconvincing fairy tale

“Everything happens for a reason,” says one of the characters in this feeble feel-good movie that blends childhood trauma, “Peter Pan” and dementia into its family friendly tale. While “The Storyteller” aspires to be a feature-length Hallmark card, it only manages dollar-store sentimentality in...

  • Review: In documentary 'The Dawn Wall,' not every obstacle is vertical

    Review: In documentary 'The Dawn Wall,' not every obstacle is vertical

    Chronicling the daring attempt of a pair of rock climbers to scale the notoriously steep face of Yosemite’s El Capitan, “The Dawn Wall” transcends initial conventional sports documentary trappings, emerging as an affecting portrait of conquering personal limitations. It was January 2015 when Tommy...

  • Review: 'American Chaos' attempts to make sense of what led to President Trump

    Review: 'American Chaos' attempts to make sense of what led to President Trump

    While an argument can be made for it being either “too late” or “too soon,” James D. Stern’s “American Chaos” nevertheless serves as a handy look back on the poll-defying perfect storm that cleared Donald Trump’s path to the White House. Coming from a family of Democrats, self-admitted political...

  • Review: Thriller 'Lost Child' chills to the bone

    Review: Thriller 'Lost Child' chills to the bone

    A film about a psychically wounded vet reluctantly bonding with a child may sound like something you’ve seen before, but you haven’t seen “Lost Child.” Directed by Ramaa Mosley from a script she wrote with Tim Macy, the slow-burning thriller walks a fine line, balancing elements of psychological...

  • Review: Fear the walking undead of studio castoff 'Patient Zero'

    Review: Fear the walking undead of studio castoff 'Patient Zero'

    Likable actors including Matt Smith (sporting a jarring Midwest American accent) and Natalie Dormer (sounding like she stepped directly off the set of “Game of Thrones”) inject what little life there is in “Patient Zero,” a post-apocalyptic pandemic movie that's more grade-Z than “World War Z.”...

  • Review: Mario Van Peebles takes aim at gun violence in ‘Armed,’ but be prepared to duck

    Review: Mario Van Peebles takes aim at gun violence in ‘Armed,’ but be prepared to duck

    Over aerial shots of Southern California on a beautiful summer day, talk radio hosts and their callers chirpily debate gun control and the meaning of the 4th of July in the opening moments of Mario Van Peebles’ “Armed.” Similarly, the ending features a fusillade of news clips and statistics pertaining...

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