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Review: NASCAR, faith and Afghanistan awkwardly collide in song-inspired ‘God Bless the Broken Road
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

The growing faith-based film industry is on a quest for content: Stories that will cross over and connect with audiences beyond the preexisting one. Mostly, the content has come in the form of true stories, or based on the Bible, medical miracles or visions of Jesus, not to mention the political...

‘The Nun’ review: Latest ‘Conjuring’ chapter a ‘70s throwback gothic horror epic
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

Step aside, "Halloween." Forget it, "Paranormal Activity." Nice try, "Scream." "The Conjuring" franchise (or the "Conjuring Cinematic Universe," the "CCU") has steadily become the most dependable horror film franchise of late, conquering the box office with good old-fashioned and flawlessly executed...

‘Peppermint’ review: Jennifer Garner out for vengeance in superviolent action flick
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

How to revive a movie star's flagging career? Take up guns, obviously. Following in the time-honored tradition of "Taken," "John Wick," "Atomic Blonde" and "Death Wish," Jennifer Garner arms up in the vigilante mom action-thriller "Peppermint." That's both literally and figuratively, as Garner...

Review: Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’ is a snarky, gory reboot with some ugly baggage
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

More than once in “The Predator,” a slicked-up, snarked-out piece of action-comedy bloodletting from the writer-director Shane Black, the characters pause to debate whether their enemy really deserves the name he’s been given. Considering the relative patience and sophistication with which this...

Review: ‘Unbroken: Path to Redemption’ continues story of Louis Zamperini with a focus on faith
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

“Didn't we already get an ‘Unbroken' movie?” you might ask. Nevertheless, faith-based film distributor PureFlix serves up “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” as a coda, or a minor corrective, to Angelina Jolie's 2014 film about the amazing World War II survival story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini.

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Review: Nicolas Cage fever-dream revenge thriller ‘Mandy’ may blow you away
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

Take a prog-rock album cover, cross it with a trashy 1980s horror paperback, throw in one gloriously gonzo Nicolas Cage performance, and that’s “Mandy.” Director Panos Cosmatos’ visionary revenge thriller is a dreamy genre exercise that’ll appeal to connoisseurs — though it may flummox anyone just...

Review: A newcomer, an Oscar winner and a true-life drug story fuel ‘White Boy Rick’
BaltimoreSun.com / 1536919802

Even in the well-trod genre that is the ’80s drug movie, the true-life story of teen drug kingpin Ricky Wershe Jr., a.k.a. White Boy Rick, stands out.

The baby-faced baller moved serious weight in Detroit in the mid-1980s, and the legend surrounding him is larger than the real, tragic story. Director...

Review: A flawed but vital milestone, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ pays exuberant tribute to Sing
BaltimoreSun.com / 1534587002

Before it whisks you off on the sunniest, most extravagant Singaporean holiday imaginable, “Crazy Rich Asians” begins on a curiously dark and stormy night.

When Eleanor Young (a mesmerizing Michelle Yeoh) arrives dripping wet at an exclusive London hotel, the snob at the front desk declines her...

Review: Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg pack action-thriller ‘Mile 22’ with maximum overkil
BaltimoreSun.com / 1534587002

How was your latest drive to the airport? Hopefully a lot less complicated and violent than the one Mark Wahlberg undertakes in his latest outing with frequent collaborator Peter Berg in “Mile 22.” Working from a wordy, wham-bam script by debut screenwriter and spy novelist Lea Carpenter (story...

‘Dog Days’ review: Humans’ best friend helps forge connections
BaltimoreSun.com / 1533895802

 

"Dog Days," an omnibus comedy about the unique ability of dogs to connect us to others and ourselves, is the kind of mildly amusing, pandering film that shows up in movie theaters at random times throughout the year when nothing else notable is playing and people are willing to watch just about...

‘The Meg’ review: We’re gonna need a bigger ocean
BaltimoreSun.com / 1533895802

Have sharks jumped the Fonzie? Seems like it’s always Shark Week around here, and “here” means everywhere.

Think of how long it has been since the first “Jaws” (1975). A digital effects revolution and a generation later, “Deep Blue Sea” (1999) closed out the century with some forgettably entertaining...

Review: Spike Lee at his peak, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ uses the past to explain where we are to
BaltimoreSun.com / 1533895802

Before Black Lives Matter and I Can't Breathe became hashtags — before hashtags even existed — Spike Lee was making movies exploring social justice issues and savaging societal racism. "BlacKkKlansman" is his latest, and it is one of his best.

Several things are remarkable about this film, which...

‘The Darkest Minds’ review: One YA dystopia too many
BaltimoreSun.com / 1533377403

 Kids under the age of 18 are being persecuted by adults for their special powers in "The Darkest Minds ," an adaptation of book one of Alexandra Bracken's young adult trilogy that's about five years and 15 movie dystopias too late to feel the least bit fresh or interesting.

And it's not for lack...

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