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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1 / *** (PG-13)
Posted Wednesday, November 26, at 11:32 AM
Lionsgate Films presents a film directed by Francis Lawrence. Written by Peter Craig and Danny Strong and Suzanne Collins. Based on the novel "Mockingjay" by Collins. Running time: 123 min. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material)...

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Interstellar / ***˝ (PG-13)
Posted Monday, November 24, at 11:19 AM

Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures present a film directed by Christopher Nolan. Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan. Running time: 169 min. Rated PG-13 (for some intense perilous action and brief strong language). "You're familiar with the phrase 'man's reach exceeds his grasp'? It's a lie: man's grasp exceeds his nerve."...

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Mike Nichols (1931-2014)
Posted Friday, November 21, at 1:01 AM

If someone were to create a cineaste major for higher education (which may have been done), the introductory courses would most certainly contain a few movies from Mike Nichols. The renowned director redefined cinema with movies like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966), "The Graduate" (1967)--for which he won his Best Direction Oscar--and "Carnal Knowledge" (1971). In fact, Nichols's films would populate every level of such an education trajectory...

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Nightcrawler / **** (R)
Posted Monday, November 17, at 10:31 PM

Open Road Films presents a film written and directed by Dan Gilroy. Running time: 117 min. Rated R (for violence including graphic images, and for language). My wife and I watch the morning news just about everyday. It's the only newscast we watch regularly. ...

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St. Vincent / *** (PG-13)
Posted Tuesday, November 11, at 10:10 PM

The Weinstein Company presents a film written and directed by Theodore Melfi. Running time: 102 min. Rated PG-13 (for mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language). Hollywood has done its best over the years to teach us that we need other people to point out our flaws and help us grow toward being better. ...

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Fury / **** (R)
Posted Wednesday, November 5, at 10:06 PM

Columbia Pictures presents a film written and directed by David Ayer. Running time: 134 min. Rated R (for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language). "Ideals are peaceful. History is violent." --Sgt. Don Collier, "Fury" French filmmaker Francois Truffaut is often cited as having said, "There is no such thing as an anti-war film." I've always had a problem with this notion. ...

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Annabelle / ** (R)
Posted Wednesday, October 15, at 8:16 PM

New Line Cinema presents a film directed by John R. Leonetti. Written by Gary Dauberman. Running time: 90 min. Rated R (for intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror). I suppose most of us have a deep-rooted fear of dolls coming to life in some way or another. ...

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Gone Girl / **** (R)
Posted Sunday, October 12, at 8:08 PM

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by David Fincher. Written by Gillian Flynn, based on her novel. Running time: 149 min. Rated R (for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language). "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely players. They have their exits and entrances, and one man in his time will play many parts..."...

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The Maze Runner / *** (PG-13)
Posted Friday, September 26, at 6:37 PM

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by Wes Ball. Written by Noah Oppenheim and Grant Pierce Myers and T.S. Nowlin. Based on the novel by James Dashner. Running time: 113 min. Rated PG-13 (for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, including some disturbing images)...

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The Expendables 3 / ** (PG-13)
Posted Saturday, September 20, at 12:56 AM

Lionsgate presents a film directed by Patrick Hughes. Written by Sylvester Stallone and Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt. Based on characters created by David Callaham. Running time: 126 min. Rated PG-13 (for violence including sustain gun battles and fight scenes, and for language)...

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Joan Rivers (1933-2014)
Posted Thursday, September 4, at 10:34 PM

I became aware of Joan Rivers as I did most celebrities as a child; she was on TV. It didn't matter if they were a movie star or a television star, a comedian or rock star. I saw them on TV. Rivers was a TV presence. I knew she was a comedian, but I never seemed to catch her act when I was young. Today I know why...

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / ** (PG-13)
Posted Monday, August 25, at 11:19 PM

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present a film directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec and Evan Daugherty. Based on the comic book by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. Running time: 101 min. Rated PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence)...

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For / **˝ (R)
Posted Sunday, August 24, at 5:19 PM

Dimension Films and Miramax present of film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller. Written by Frank Miller, based on his graphic novel series. Running time: 102 min. Rated R (for strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and brief drug use)...

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Into the Storm / ** (PG-13)
Posted Sunday, August 17, at 11:24 AM

New Line Cinema presents a film directed by Steven Quale. Written by John Swetnam. Running time: 89 min. Rated PG-13 (for sequences of intense destruction and peril, and language including some sexual references). While we all can't help watching a car crash, there's something about the scale of destruction that comes along with tornadoes that makes me question the reverence involved in turning them into summertime entertainment. ...

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Robin Williams (1951-2014)
Posted Monday, August 11, at 10:20 PM

Comedian and actor Robin Williams has lost his lifelong battle with his own inner demons. The voice of the Genie in Disney's "Aladdin" was found dead today in his California home of an apparent suicide. Williams' acting and stand up was often characterized as manic, which may have been due to his battles with his own personality. ...

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Guardians of the Galaxy / ***˝ (PG-13)
Posted Sunday, August 3, at 10:39 AM

Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios present a film directed by Peter Gunn. Written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman. Based on the comic book by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Running time: 121 min. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and for some language)...

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Lucy / **˝ (R)
Posted Monday, July 28, at 10:53 PM

Universal Pictures presents a film written and directed by Luc Besson. Running time: 90 min. Rated R (for strong violence, disturbing images and sexuality). Luc Besson's new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is one of the more interesting action movies to come along recently. ...

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / **** (PG-13)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, at 8:14 PM

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by Matt Reeves. Written by Mark Bomback and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Based on characters created by Jaffa & Silver and inspired by the novel "Le Planéte des Singes" by Pierre Boulle. Running time: 130 min. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief strong language)...

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22 Jump Street / *** (R)
Posted Friday, July 4, at 10:32 PM

Columbia Pictures and MGM present a film directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. Written by Michael Bacall and Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman from a story by Bacall & Jonah Hill. Based on the television series "21 Jump Street" created by Patrick Hasburgh & Stephen J. Canell. Running time: 112 min. Rated R (for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence)...

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Transformers: Age of Extinction / * (PG-13)
Posted Thursday, July 3, at 7:28 PM

Paramount Pictures and Hasbro present a film directed by Michael Bay. Written by Ehren Kruger. Running time: 165 min. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief innuendo). After seeing "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" in 2011, I promised myself I would never darken the door of a Transformers movie again as long as Michael Bay directed it. ...

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A Penny in the Well
ANDREW D. WELLS
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Andrew is a professionally trained actor and stage director. He was a reporter for the daily newspaper The Marshall Democrat News. He has been critiquing film since Mr. Lucas released the first of his "Star Wars" prequels in 1999. His reviews can also be seen at his blog site.
Hot topics
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1 / *** (PG-13)
(0 ~ 11:32 AM, Nov 26)

Interstellar / ***˝ (PG-13)
(0 ~ 11:19 AM, Nov 24)

Mike Nichols (1931-2014)
(0 ~ 1:01 AM, Nov 21)

Nightcrawler / **** (R)
(0 ~ 10:31 PM, Nov 17)

St. Vincent / *** (PG-13)
(0 ~ 10:10 PM, Nov 11)