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Talking canines shine in fluffy but fun family comedy ‘Show Dogs’
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526724601

Funnyman Will Arnett gets upstaged by a streetwise canine in the amusing, featherweight family comedy “Show Dogs.” Think “Best in Show” meets “Miss Congeniality” — but with talking animals.

When baby panda Ling Li is kidnapped (bear-napped?) by traffickers, FBI agent Frank (Arnett, in appealing...

‘Book Club’ review: Fonda, Bergen, Keaton and Steenburgen prove to be sexy and funny at any age
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526724601

Fonda. Bergen . Keaton . Steenburgen. "Book Club." Sure, "Avengers: Infinity War" came out a few weeks ago, but now this is the greatest crossover event in history. Four of the most iconic actresses of the 20th century come together for a film in which their book club reads "50 Shades of Grey"?...

Ryan Reynolds takes a comic high dive into ‘Deadpool 2’
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526724601

“Deadpool 2” is just like “Deadpool” only more so. It’s actually a fair bit better — funnier, more inventive than the 2016 smash (which made $783 million worldwide, on a sensible $58 million production budget), and more consistent in its chosen tone and style: ultraviolent screwball comedy.

The...

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ review: A solid look at Han’s life before he became a rogue-for-hire
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526638202

In the summer of 1977, Ron Howard made his directorial debut with “Grand Theft Auto,” a merrily destructive low-budget fairy tale that found its way into a lot of newly twinned multiplexes that summer of ’77.

Audiences liked Howard. An entire generation grew up with the guy, best known as Opie...

Review: Gabrielle Union home-invasion thriller ‘Breaking In’ could use some breathing room
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526119802

The home-invasion thriller “Breaking In,” the tale of a young mom battling a quartet of burglars to save her children, is fairly brilliant Mother’s Day programming (or counterprogramming), which is why it’s a shame that the movie itself, starring a stern Gabrielle Union, isn’t more fun.

Thrillers...

Review: The documentary ‘RBG’ shows the formidable soft power of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526119802

No other Supreme Court justice, living or dead, has had a hold on the American popular imagination like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But if you think never is heard a discouraging word where she is concerned, the stirring documentary "RBG" sets you straight from the start.

Though it sounds unlikely for...

‘Life of the Party’ review: Back to school with Melissa McCarthy
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526119802

The back-to-school genre of collegiate comedies has given us “Old School” (Will Ferrell), “Back to School” (Rodney Dangerfield) and “Horse Feathers” (the Marx Brothers), among others. Melissa McCarthy joins that class list in the ramshackle, amiable “Life of the Party,” about a woman, freshly dumped...

‘Sollers Point’ offers understanding without resolution, and that’s fine
BaltimoreSun.com / 1526033402

Dilemmas are many in the works of writer-director Matthew Porterfield, solutions few. And that’s what makes his movies special — nothing comes wrapped in a neat little package when it comes to his flawed heroes, but audiences understand where they’re coming from, and by the end of the film, are...

Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis breathe the miracle of life into the dark motherhood story of ‘T
BaltimoreSun.com / 1525515001

“Tully”: unusually hard-edged family dramedy or straight-up domestic horror flick? A few parents might find themselves wondering not long after Marlo (a terrific Charlize Theron), who doesn’t seem to have slept in years, gives birth to her third child.

As the 4 a.m. feedings begin (again), the...

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ review: After its psycho mood swings, that ending will create a buzz
BaltimoreSun.com / 1524910203

“Avengers: Infinity War” is a lot of movie. You can hate it and still say that much with confidence. Its various, overlapping fan bases won’t hold what they don’t like against it, I bet. “A lot,” though, doesn’t mean it’s much fun or even very good.

No hate here, honestly. The film has its momentary...

‘Lean on Pete’ review: A horse story of a different, darker color
BaltimoreSun.com / 1524305401

When we first see 15-year-old Charley Thompson, the human center of the devastating new film “Lean on Pete,” he’s jogging on the streets of Portland, Ore., a long way from the bohemian coffee bars and “Portlandia” cliches of popular culture. This is the other side of the tracks, the America all...

‘Super Troopers 2’ review: Has it aged, or have we?
BaltimoreSun.com / 1524305401

Like many of a certain age, I was a fan of Broken Lizard's 2001 stoner cop cult classic “Super Troopers,” which circulated smoky dorm rooms in the early aughts. The energetic, silly and wordy comedy of the then-unknown troupe was absurd, naughty and endlessly quotable.

Seventeen years later, the...

‘I Feel Pretty’ review: Amy Schumer’s fable about fat-shaming is frankly depressing
BaltimoreSun.com / 1524305401

In a 2015 sketch aired on Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer,” the one called “New Body,” Schumer played a woman shopping for a wardrobe for the body she’s always wanted. The clothing store clerk, thin and deadpan, is the perfect foil for Schumer’s chipper, play-along reactions. With those two...

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