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'Sing Street' director John Carney talks the power of music

Can a song save your life? When John Carney's movie "Begin Again" - with Keira Knightley as a heartbroken balladeer and Mark Ruffalo as a career-in-crisis record exec - debuted at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, that was the original title. Read more

Movie review: 'Ratchet & Clank' jumps from video games to big screen

Based on a popular Playstation game, the sci-fi animated feature "Ratchet & Clank" seeks to capture the kid-friendly audience this weekend, as well as the gamer crowd who have a familiarity with the space-based game characters. The film is a basic hero story about Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor... Read more

Movie review: 'Pali Road' is a love story with an eerie twist

If it were possible for Nicholas Sparks and Rod Serling to collaborate on a movie, the result might be "Pali Road," a modestly budgeted and involving love story with an eerie twist. Read more

Movie review: 'Green Room' is a tension-filled thrill

Thrillingly suspenseful and laced with gut-busting macabre laughs, "Green Room" provides everything a fan would want in a survival drama. It's a Panzer tank of a movie, solid iron and well-nigh unstoppable. Read more

Movie review: 'Sing Street' is another charmer from director of 'Once'

A well-written song can resonate several pitches in a fast row, much like movies by Irish director John Carney. His Oscar-winning debut hit "Once" gave us a pair of songwriting collaborators on the Emerald Isle making sweet music together, having some good laughs and falling sort of in love - the... Read more

Movie review: 'Viva' is authentic depiction of life in Cuba

"Viva" is Rocky in drag and sequins, transplanted to Havana. The movie is pure formula, but it's surprisingly effective anyway, because director Paddy Breathnach and screenwriter Mark O'Halloran don't sugarcoat the reality of life on the island. Instead, they incorporate the hardscrabble nature o... Read more

Movie review: 'Papa' is a flop

"Papa: Hemingway in Cuba," directed by Bob Yari, trumpets itself as the first Hollywood movie to shoot on location in Cuba since the 1959 revolution. It is not, however, the first good Hollywood movie to shoot in Cuba since the 1959 revolution; apparently we'll have to wait for that. Read more

Movie review: Susan Sarandon sparkles in 'The Meddler,' a valentine to mothers

The smooth, cozy charm of writer-director Lorene Scafaria's "The Meddler" offers considerable seriocomic satisfaction in its story of a mother and a daughter, the meddler and the meddled with, respectively. I don't get the high-end praise for this medium entity. But as a performance vehicle it's ... Read more

Movie review: 'Keanu' is a funny caper with comedic duo Key and Peele � and one cute kitty

Here, kitty kitty kitty ... Read more

Family guide to new movie releases

'RATCHET & CLANK' Read more

'A Hologram for the King' has Tom Hanks, and that's enough

If you think about it, "A Hologram for the King" has kind of a high-school story feel to it. Guy ends up in a new place and has to find his feet, with a bunch of missteps along the way. He quickly meets a goofy but clever buddy who helps him navigate his new world. But then he finds himself and g... Read more

Movie review: 'My Big Night' is wicked showbiz satire out of Spain

Best known for his gruesome, over-the-top slapstick horror, Spanish writer-director Alex de la Iglesia ("The Last Circus," "800 Bullets") drops the grue and amps up the comedy with his best film yet, the wicked showbiz satire "My Big Night." Read more

Movie review: 'Green Room' is not your typical horror thriller

With only two major features to his credit, director/writer Jeremy Saulnier has already marked his distinctive cinematic territory. His well-regarded 2013 indie revenge saga, "Blue Ruin," introduced him as someone who could explore the sordid underbelly of America with an original eye. Read more

Movie review: 'Louder Than Bombs' is a disappointing English-language debut from Joachim Trier

Joachim Trier has quickly established himself as one of Europe's boldest stylists with his first two features, 2006's "Reprise" and 2011's "Oslo, August 31st," memorable, deeply moving films that achieve a rare balance between formal experimentation and stirring emotional content. Read more

Movie review: 'Papa: Hemingway in Cuba' is a dud

"Papa: Hemingway in Cuba" is the first American feature shot entirely on location in Havana since 1959. The movie makes a good argument for reinstating the American travel ban to the island, at least for Hollywood productions. Shot in 2014 with the assistance of the Cuban Film Institute, on a bud... Read more

Movie review: Casting isn't only problem with listless 'Nina'

Cynthia Mort's long-time-in-coming biopic about the trials and travails of the great Nina Simone has been harshly criticized going as far back as 2012, when word first got out that the "Young, Gifted, and Black" pianist and soul woman would be portrayed by Zoe Saldana with the aid of dark-brown m... Read more

'Once' director John Carney does it again with 'Sing Street'

The last time I had coffee with writer-director-Dubliner John Carney, it was nine years ago - the year of "Once." Carney's beguiling 2007 romance starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, for which the song "Falling Slowly" won the Oscar, took flight that January at the Sundance Film Festival, w... Read more

Movie review: 'Sing Street' is an '80s-flavored rock 'n roll love story

John Carney, writer and director of "Once," the little Irish movie that could, and did - and then did again as a hit stage musical - is back at the top of his game with the coming-of-age charmer, "Sing Street." Read more

Movie review: Messy, violent 'Snow White' sequel wastes its great actors

Parents need to know that "The Huntsman: Winter's War" is both a prequel and sequel to "Snow White and the Huntsman," following the origin story of how Eric (Chris Hemsworth) became a huntsman. Like its predecessor, the film is violent and dark, despite the fairytale references and themes. Kids m... Read more

Movie review: 'April and the Extraordinary World' is a fanciful and fantastic animated steampunk tale out of France

The animated French family film "April and the Extraordinary World" will have your imagination doing somersaults and cartwheels. Read more

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