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Movie Reviews

A man cub learns the laws of the jungle in this winning family film

Fierce tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba: Zootopia), slaughters a man who sought shelter in a jungle cave. But escaping Khan’s deadly eye, a toddler survives. The panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley: The Walk) takes pity on the pathetic man cub.

What is the acceptable human cost for our security?

If you could kill a terrorist by drone strike, would you? If a child was in the kill zone, could you still launch the missile?     Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren: Woman in Gold) has been obsessively tracking a terrorist. With his location finally pinpointed, she plans an elaborate capture, coordinating her British action with Kenyan and American forces.     Complications force the capture mission to be abandoned. Powell wants to go for the kill with a drone strike. But it’s not her call.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a terrible movie!

After saving Metropolis from the evil General Zod, Superman (Henry Cavill: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) is a controversial figure. Is he a savior come from the sky to rescue humanity or a terrifying alien who destroyed the better part of a city without consequences?     Among those fearing Superman is Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck: Gone Girl), whose years of fighting the worst of Gotham’s criminals have left him wary of all-powerful forces. He determines to kill the Man of Steel with kryptonite.

A sequel without a lot to say

Paris Portokalos (Elena Kampouris: American Odyssey) longs to escape her family. Her mother, Toula (Nia Vardalos: Star vs. The Forces of Evil), is clingy and desperate, her grandfather pressures her to get married and make babies at 17 and the rest of them are loud and obnoxious. Paris hopes to flee to college far, far away. Her mother counters by pressuring her daughter to stay close to home.

John Goodman proves a horror movie lives on the power of its monster

“I’m going to keep you alive.”         These words chill Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Mercy Street) when she wakes up chained to the wall of an underground bunker. Her savior is Howard (John Goodman: Love the Coopers), an ex-Navy man who tells his captive that he saved her as a disaster ended most life on Earth.

Disney gives kids a talk on racism that parents also need to hear

In the metropolis of Zootopia, predators and prey have evolved past biological impulses. Lions and lambs live together in harmony and work for the future of all mammal kind.     Everyone lives in peace, but not all things are equal. Predators tend to jobs that require forceful personalities, such as police officers or poli­ticians. Prey cluster in service fields. So Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin: Once Upon a Time) is laughed at for dreaming of joining the Zootopia police force.

One man soars toward his dream in this winning underdog tale

Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton: Legend) isn’t a winner. With braces on his legs and thick glasses covering most of his face, Eddie doesn’t look the Olympian. Yet that’s his dream, and when the braces come off, training begins.     But for what? He starts chucking javelins, attempting high jumps and lifting weights. Eddie breaks plenty of pairs of glasses — but no records — as he fumbles toward Olympic glory.

A Puritan family in the 1630s discovers harsher realities than nature

Cast out from their village for professing a stricter faith than their Puritan brethren, a lone family packs its worldly goods into a cart and rolls toward the deep, dark wood.     Father William (Ralph Ineson: Kingsman: The Secret Service) sees the banishment as proof of his superior faith. He welcomes hardship and torment, as they allow him to beg for God’s mercy. Mother Katherine (Kate Dickie: Take It Back and Start All Over) invests blind faith in God and husband.

A flawed but funny romantic comedy

Four New York women explore the complexities of love.     Alice (Dakota Johnson: 50 Shades of Grey) moves to the city to find herself. But single life in the big city is rough, and she can’t get her boyfriend back. Alone and hoping for a grand romance, she restarts her search for Mr. Right.

This Ferris Bueller of superheroes shows the Marvel squares how it’s done

Former Special Forces soldier Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds: Self/less) is a terrible hero, eking out a living as a mercenary. His main interests are having sex with his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin: Gotham), starting bar fights and cracking wise.     Then Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer. To buy time with Vanessa, he signs up for experimental treatments at a shady corporate facility. Unsurprisingly, Wade is subjected to terrible things.