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Movie Reviews

A young woman aspires to rhyme her way out of her dying town

      Patti Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald: The Rachels) spends her waking hours serving drunks in a dim bar in the bowels of New Jersey. When she’s not being harassed by customers, Patti must wrangle her mother, a hopeless alcoholic who uses the karaoke nights at Patti’s bar to relive her dreams of singing professionally. In her free time, Patti is the primary caregiver for her grandmother, who has accrued enough medical bills to keep Patti and her mother in debt for life.
Great chemistry more than makes up for the horrendous plot and gory action
     Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds: Life) lost his cache, girlfriend and lifestyle after a client was murdered. From elite bodyguard he dropped to glorified, bitter babysitter.       His ex, Interpol agent Amelia (Elodie Yung: The Defenders), offers him a way back. But the high-profile client he’s to protect is infamous hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson: Kong: Skull Island). 
A terrifying doll gets an old-fashioned horror origin in this clever scare movie
    Moving from a dreary orphanage to a secluded country mansion could be these girls’ dream come true. Instead, it’s their nightmare.      Their welcome by Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia: Riviera) is gruff. They’re warned that his wife is an invalid and that they must not approach the locked room on the second floor. Immediately intrigued, the girls entertain themselves by making up spooky stories about Mr. Mullins and his mysterious wife.

A powerful film about abuses of power 

     It’s 1967 and Detroit is descending into chaos. A police raid escalates into rioting in the burning city. Police and the National Guard storm the streets to bring order. Instead they bring more turmoil and violence. People are shot and businesses destroyed in a city war zone.      Larry (Algee Smith: The New Edition Story) and Fred (Jacob Latimore: Collateral Beauty) seek refuge at the Algiers Motel, renting a room for the night.

Charlize Theron beats her way through Berlin in this fantastic spy thriller

Ten days before the Berlin Wall falls, the KGB kills MI-6’s best agent. The list he acquired of all the operatives working on both sides of the Iron Curtain is in the wind. The list also identifies Satchel, a notorious double agent who plagues the British government.

No scares, but plenty of philosophic pondering

Death comes calling on the ordinary life of M (Rooney Mara: The Discovery) and C (Casey Affleck: Manchester by the Sea). C dies in a car wreck, leaving M alone in the world.     Only she isn’t alone.     C has followed M home. Covered now in an autopsy sheet, C is witness to M’s mourning, grief and eventual acceptance. Clearly, he is seeking closure with his wife. Yet when M moves, C stays behind.

Brilliant action in this new take on the storied retreat

In 1940, the outlook was bleak for the Allied Forces. The German army had driven British and French troops all the way to the beaches of France, trapping them against the sea. In Dunkirk, 400,000 soldiers waited for evacuation from France, scanning the seas for British destroyers as the Germans approached.     German planes swoop over the massed troops, dropping bombs and spraying bullets. German U-boats sink vessels carrying troops from the slaughter on the beaches. England faces the reality that the war could be lost.

A love story so funny it has to be true

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani: Silicon Valley) is trying to live both American and Pakistani dreams. His parents want him to be a devout Muslim, choose an honorable profession like the law and agree to an arranged marriage with a nice Pakistani woman. Kumail pretends to buy into these goals, but his dream is making a living as a comedian.

After three tries, Marvel gets it right

Peter Parker (Tom Holland: The Lost City of Z) hoped his internship with Stark Industries would lead to more excitement than neighborhood watch duty. The high-schooler is recruited by Ironman Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.: Captain America: Civil War), to fight against Captain America, then sent back to school and allowed to use his new powers, and his neat Stark-industry suit, only to stop small crimes.     After fighting superheroes, Parker gets no thrill from AP Chemistry.

Sam Elliott shows what an old cowboy can do ­without his spurs and hat

Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott: The Ranch) has made a career of being That Guy. The actor with the smooth baritone is a commercial success, but he’s proud of only one of the many movies he’s made, The Hero, an old-school Western.     Once the image of America’s cowboy, the ultimate specimen of masculinity, the 71-year-old actor is reduced to doing voiceovers in hokey commercials. Divorced and at odds with his daughter, he has only one friend, his drug dealer.