• By Kenneth Turan | Los Angeles Times
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American movies are traditionally of two minds about our military might, celebrating it in John Wayne epics and mocking it in everything from “MASH” to “Dr. Strangelove.” But “War Machine” has decided, with exceptional results, that it wants it both ways.

  • By Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald
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In “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel duke it out and the audience loses. Ever since director Zack Snyder first announced the movie at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, the frenzy of anticipation has reached "Star Wars" proportions.

  • By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service
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Of all the post-apocalyptic young adult trifles, the “Divergent” series has been the sexiest — thanks to the steamy make outs between stars Theo James and Shailene Woodley — but it’s also strangely the most sanitized. In the third installment, “Allegiant” (or rather “The Divergent Series: Al…

  • By Rene Rodriguez | Miami Herald
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The best way to approach “10 Cloverfield Lane” is to put all that “Cloverfield” business out of your mind and enjoy the movie for what it is: a taut, expertly-calibrated thriller, set almost entirely within cramped quarters, about three strangers trying to figure out if they can trust each other.

  • By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service
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Who are animated feature films for these days? Traditionally seen as children’s entertainment, the higher quality entries in this genre have hit a sweet spot with enough sophisticated jokes for parents to enjoy, coupled with cutesy animation to delight children. Disney’s latest film, “Zootop…

  • By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service
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A cheery tale of unlikely sporting triumph, “Eddie the Eagle,” directed by Dexter Fletcher, offers up a retro feel-good yarn about the power of determination. While it’s often cookie-cutter sports movie conventional, you’d have to be stone-hearted to remain un-charmed by the story of real-li…

  • By Rick Bentley | The Fresno Bee
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The multiple gold medal-winning effort by Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin is one of the most important moments in sports and world history. It’s a defining moment because of how Owens faced a bigotry of international proportions and came out of it as a champion.

  • By Rick Bentley | The Fresno Bee
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“Risen” is more “The Last Temptation of Christ” than “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” It’s a film that comes wrapped in the theological teachings of the Bible but is really a procedural drama that looks to fill in the gaps left between the crucifixion and the ascension.

  • By Katie Walsh | Tribune News Service
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It must be a sign of superhero fatigue that studios are injecting life into the genre via characters who declare that they want nothing to do with heroics. While the posse of baddies known as the DC Comics “Suicide Squad” will roll into theaters this summer, Marvel is unveiling their own fou…

  • By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service
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The Coen Brothers’ latest comedy “Hail, Caesar!” is a loving tribute to the era of classical Hollywood, meticulously crafted with layers of reference, inside jokes, and tidbits of history that will excite any film buff. Not to fret if you haven’t caught up with every episode of the Hollywood…

  • By Colin Covert | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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When I heard that the 2009 genre fiction mashup “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” would be reincarnated as a horror-soaked rom-com, I passed through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief. Denial (“They couldn’t be that stupid”) was followed by anger (“This is heresy”), bargaining (“No way will I w…

  • By Jocelyn Noveck The Associated Press
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If you’re one of those people — and I’m with you — who roll your eyes when handed a pair of 3D glasses at the multiplex, wondering if all this rigmarole is REALLY necessary, then take heart: The lovely, color-popping visuals in “Kung Fu Panda 3” are well worth those darned glasses.

  • By Cary Darling Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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“The Finest Hours,” based on the true story of the valiant 1952 Coast Guard rescue of a sinking oil tanker off the coast of Massachusetts, splits in two much like the wounded vessel at its heart.

  • By Steven Zeitchik | Los Angeles Times
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Big props for “The Revenant”? Lots of love for “Mad Max”? Yep. Matt Damon? Of course. But when the 88th Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles there were plenty of surprises, starting with Damon’s director. Here are six of the juicy ones:

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  • By Colin Covert | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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There’s no kill like overkill. If sheer film combat bloodshed were an antiwar commentary, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” would win the Nobel Peace Prize. Watching Michael Bay’s 2½-hour exercise in machismo porn is like experiencing the death of 1,000 cuts, except that the hemorr…

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  • By Michael Phillips | Chicago Tribune
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I drove by a four-screen neighborhood theater the other day, and the marquee said, simply: STAR WARS. Playing on all four screens. There was a time, before the Force awakened, when other movies existed.

  • By Glenn Whipp | Los Angeles Times
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LOS ANGELES — Oscar voters — they’re just like us! At the same time that lines were snaking around multiplexes nationwide, academy members crowded Wilshire Boulevard outside the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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  • By Katie Walsh | Tribune News Service
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It’s OK if you’re skeptical about the Will Ferrell vs. Mark Wahlberg vehicle “Daddy’s Home.” The trailers have showcased obvious, lowest common denominator humor that doesn’t look too promising. But the reality is that the film, directed by comedy vet Sean Anders, is much funnier than it app…

  • By Michael Phillips | Chicago Tribune
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“The Hateful Eight” is an ultrawide bore. If you have the option, and you’re committed to seeing the thing, you should see Quentin Tarantino’s latest in one of its 100 or so limited-release “roadshow” screenings, projected on film, complete with overture (a lovely, eerie one from composer th…

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A Jedi cried after seeing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the Cinemark Market Heights theater on Thursday.

  • By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service
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A lot of very talented and likable people came together to make “Sisters.” Stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are much beloved for their iconic TV characters, longtime “Saturday Night Live” writer Paula Pell contributes the screenplay, and “Pitch Perfect” director Jason Moore takes on helming du…

  • By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service
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“You can do good or you can do well, but sooner or later they make you choose.” This is the choice given to young Will Holloway (Kit Harington) from his former mentor and current antagonist Harry Pearce (Peter Firth). Both men are rogue MI-5 (think British CIA) agents, working both together …

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  • By Michael Phillips | Chicago Tribune
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A flurry of haymakers in the form of boxing movie cliches, “Southpaw” was conceived as a loose remake of “The Champ” — Wallace Beery in 1931, Jon Voight in 1979 — tailored for Marshall Mathers, also known as Eminem. The rage-iest rap star on the planet took the initial meetings with director…

  • By Colin Covert | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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Adam Sandler’s output has been so terrible for so long that the opening logo of his Happy Madison productions became the anti-Miramax. Viewing it before his movies promised that what you’re about to see will be third-rate idiocy.

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  • By Colin Covert | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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in the current crop of follow-up films brought back to the screen by popular demand, few will delight 7-year-olds like “Minions.” The appeal of these deferential little yellow creatures, looking like Twinkies cross-bred with gelatin pill capsules, helped push the “Despicable Me” franchise to…

  • By Lindsey Bahr and Roger Moore The Associated Press and Tribune News Service
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Cameron Crowe loves a good failure story, and specifically what happens after a disastrous fall from the top. If Crowe were a character in his own film, the fiasco of “Aloha,” and nearly all of his post-“Almost Famous” movies, would provide the perfect intro. 

  • By Rene Rodriguez | Miami Herald
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When Iron Man and his band of merry do-gooders start smashing box office records at the multiplex this weekend with “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the clamor will ring in the official start of the summer movie season. Between now and Labor Day, Hollywood will unleash a wave of sequels, remakes, …

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  • Rick Bentley | The Fresno Bee
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Movies based on books by Nicholas Sparks — “The Notebook,” “The Lucky One,” “Dear John” and now “The Longest Ride” — follow a predictable pattern. Attractive people meet, fall in love, deal with some adversity and then live happily ever after.

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LOS ANGELES — Ahead of Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards, Associated Press film writer Lindsey Bahr shares her predictions for a ceremony that could be a nail-biter. 

  • Rick Bentley | The Fresno Bee Roger Moore | Tribune News Service
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No one said the masochism part of the story in “Fifty Shades of Grey” had to do with what the audience would be put through.

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Since Christmas, my Facebook newsfeed has been flooded with comments about the new movie “American Sniper.” Being the only military connection many people from my hometown have, I’ve even received Facebook messages from old friends asking if I’ve seen it and what I think about the movie.