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Jennifer Lawrence endures the hell of other people in Darren Aronofsky’s darkly exhilarating ‘mother
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:45:00 PDT

There’s a moment early on in “mother!,” a thrilling descent into house-of-horrors madness from writer-director Darren Aronofsky, that suggests the proverbial calm before the storm.

A lovely young housewife (Jennifer Lawrence), not sure which color to paint her living room, decides to consult the...


‘Friend Request’ review: Serial killer offs college students through social media
BaltimoreSun.com / Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 PDT

The Facebook-themed horror movie "Friend Request" spooks its way into theaters this weekend, hoping to turn up audiences who are ready for autumn temperatures, Halloween and things that go bump in the night. Shockingly, "Friend Request" delivers. This scare-fest is so gloriously dumb that it is...


‘Brad’s Status’ review: Ben Stiller is an envious dad on the verge of an empty nest
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:38:00 PDT

We're all familiar with the danger of the late-night Instagram scroll. Got anxiety? It's a surefire way to make it worse. Brad (Ben Stiller) has anxiety. He has insomnia and a general sense of discomfit, ennui and malaise. There's no reason for Brad to feel this way — he has a nice, comfortable...


‘Marjorie Prime’ review: Jon Hamm stars in tale of a haunting, but comforting, future
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:02:00 PDT

"It's always nice to be lied to." Those words are tossed off with a chuckle early on in "Marjorie Prime," but by the end they have acquired an almost prophetic significance.

Beautiful untruths and half-truths abound in Michael Almereyda's quietly shimmering new movie, which takes place in a somewhat...


‘Kingsman: Golden Circle’ review: James Bond for idiots
BaltimoreSun.com / Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:45:00 PDT

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” offers everything — several bored Oscar winners, two scenes featuring death by meat grinder, Elton John mugging in close-up — except a good time. It’s a tiny bit more bizarre and depraved than the 2014 “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” and I watched it (which I don’t...


‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’ is a few pieces short of the animated franchise’s standard
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:15:00 PDT

If you're of a certain age and childless, it's entirely possible you haven't the foggiest idea what a “Ninjago” — of the latest Lego movie — might be. Apparently it is both a show and a toy, but that's as far as I got into the Wikipedia listing. With the wild success of both “The Lego Movie” and...


‘Stronger’ review: Jake Gyllenhaal leads a higher grade of inspirational true-life drama
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:20:00 PDT

“Stronger” is a movie you need to see, no matter how much you think you don’t need to see it.

A less effective version of the same fact-based story, even with the same actors doing the same excellent work — it’s Jake Gyllenhaal’s finest, truest two hours on film — might creak and groan with “inspirational...


Danielle Macdonald’s star-is-born performance elevates the hip-hop fairy tale ‘Patti Cakes’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:20:00 PDT

Patricia Dombrowski, a twentysomething New Jersey bartender and aspiring rap star played by the terrific Australian actress Danielle Macdonald, goes by many aliases. To her best friend and biggest fan, Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), she’s mostly “Killa P” and sometimes “Patti Cakes,” which also serves...


John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson tour buildings and emotions in the quietly captivating ‘Columbus’
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 3 Aug 2017 09:05:00 PDT

In one of the many conversations that animate “Columbus,” a serenely intelligent first feature from the Korean American writer-director Kogonada, a part-time librarian named Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) and her co-worker Gabriel (Rory Culkin) discuss a tricky double standard. As Gabriel notes, someone...


‘Good Time’ review: The crook (a thief), his life and his brother
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:58:00 PDT

The most legitimately divisive movie of the moment, right alongside (and more urgent than) “Detroit,” the unnerving crime thriller “Good Time” moves like a streak, barely able to keep up with its characters.

The reckless, selfish, charismatic man at its core, Constantine “Connie” Nikas, is a small-time...


Animated ‘Leap!’ is fun when it dances, but the storytelling? Oof!
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:15:00 PDT

The animated feature “Leap!” pirouettes onto screens hoping to snag the attention of young audiences during the dog days of summer.

This Canadian production, originally titled “Ballerina,” finally hits U.S. theaters equipped with a Carly Rae Jepsen summer jam, “Cut to the Feeling.” But you'll spend...


Increasingly aimless ‘The Trip to Spain’ gets a bit lost in La Mancha
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:30:00 PDT

The paradox of “The Trip” movies is that they are always holding out the promise of new experiences — new cities to explore, new dishes to savor, new historic and literary landmarks to reflect upon — even as they adhere to a pattern of repetition and reassurance that is pretty much the opposite...


‘Crown Heights’ tells a timely, fact-based tale of wrongful incarceration
BaltimoreSun.com / Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:40:00 PDT

An uncaring system putting blameless men behind bars has been a cinematic staple as far back as Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man" and likely further. But few examples have been as effective as the fact-based "Crown Heights."

Winner of Sundance's coveted audience award in dramatic competition,...


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