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Watching Duvall, Downey Jr. square off worthwhile in 'The Judge'

When a lifelong smartass-turned-superhero dips an insolent toe into tear-jerker territory, there's bound to be blowback. But that's a risk that Robert Downey Jr., the top-paid actor in Hollywood for two years running, can afford to take. In the case of "The Judge," it pretty much pays off, with a... Read more

'Automata' adds little new to sci-fi genre

"Automata" is yet another "Blade Runner" knock-off, a sci-fi dystopia about robots getting too smart for humanity's own good on an already sun-cooked Earth. Read more

'Alexander' a nice, pleasant, not bad, perfectly fine movie

Disney has taken a 40-year-old classic kids' tale and fashioned it into a modern family movie that, refreshingly, stars good old-fashioned humans instead of phantasmagorical animated creatures. Read more

Duvall, Downey Jr. give 'The Judge' a few worthy moments

"The Judge," a drama about family dysfunction and coming together under hard circumstances, pulls at the heartstrings so hard and so long that it feels more like a tug-of-war. Read more

Nazi zombies are back

Five years ago, a little Scandinavian zombie movie made waves among horror fans: "Dead Snow," in which defrosted yet still undead German soldiers from World War II terrorize a group on a ski vacation in contemporary Norway. It essentially ripped pages from "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Evil... Read more

'Men, Women & Children' offers raw-nerved portrait of Internet-infected suburbs

"Men, Women & Children," an existential hand-wringing masquerading as an ensemble drama, suggests it's going to have some Deep Thoughts about The Way We Live Now. Read more

Dominic West finally shakes his groove thing in 'Pride'

Sometimes, the spark of a movie can come from a photograph. That's the case with the new British comedy "Pride." Screenwriter Stephen Beresford had already settled on telling the true story of gay activists reaching across a cultural divide to help embattled coal miners during a desperate strike ... Read more

'Dracula Untold' entertaining, but not memorable

The fact "Dracula Untold" is opening in early October tells you everything you need to know about this latest retelling of Bram Stoker's bloodsucker story. Read more

Renner is more riveting than the movie around him in �Kill the Messenger�

"Kill the Messenger," the film about journalist Gary Webb's shocking newspaper stories that connected the Reagan Era CIA to America's crack epidemic, shows just how hard it is to film investigative journalism as a drama, and get it right. Read more

Formulaic 'Alexander' plays it safe

There was a time when the foundation of the Disney movie studio was company's animation movies and family friendly live-action film projects. The animation never went away. But the studio shifted movies about families for families from the big screen to the Disney or Disney XD channels. Read more

A 'Dracula' tale that might have been better left 'Untold'

So it wasn't the rains that kept the Turks from getting their cannons to Vienna, seizing the city and ending Western Civilization in the late 15th/early 16th centuries. Read more

Director a very good fit for 'Alexander' movie

It looks like an odd combination: Miguel Arteta, director of "Cedar Rapids" and "Youth in Revolt," now directing a Disney movie. Yet getting married a little over a year ago has changed Arteta's mood. Read more

Renner sinks his teeth into 'Kill the Messenger' journalist role

LOS ANGELES_Playing the skilled bowman Hawkeye in the "The Avengers" earned Jeremy Renner worldwide recognition. Read more

Phillippe works out some movie star foibles in the bloody thriller 'Catch Hell'

Say this for Ryan Phillippe's "Catch Hell": It may be a nasty, low budget exploitative genre thriller, but it's as timely as the latest batch of stolen celebrity cell phone photos and as pointed as every Hollywood type's nightmares about movie making in Louisiana, which has filmmaking incentives ... Read more

Duvall, Downey Jr. bring 'The Judge' to life

Director David Dobkin is lucky to have Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. starring in his new trial drama "The Judge." Their Oscar-caliber performances_including Downey's first outstanding performance since his Oscar-nominated effort in "Chaplin" more than two decades ago_give this familiar fami... Read more

'The Judge' has too much disorder in the court

"The Judge" dawdles, lingers, takes sidebars and recesses _much like a celebrity trial in which TV cameras have been allowed into the courtroom. Read more

For 'Judge' director Dobkin, directing is a choreography

LOS ANGELES_David Dobkin looks at film directing as a type of dance: It's his job to lead his actors while still giving them room to express themselves. In the case of his latest film "The Judge," that meant leading two veteran actors_" Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall_through a series of deep... Read more

'Mormons' documentary presents a diverse church, sugar-coated for your enjoyment

"Meet the Mormons" is a slick, upbeat Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-backed documentary that aims to answer the image of the church and its members "shaped by the media and popular culture." Read more

Renner brings richness and character to 'Messenger'

Without a standout performance by Jeremy Renner, "Kill the Messenger" would have been no more entertaining than a standard History Channel documentary. The clash of journalistic ethics and political posturing that goes on here has historical significance, but it is nowhere near as naturally compe... Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

ANNABELLE 1 1/2 stars. This prequel to The Conjuring is cheap, sleazy, uninteresting, and unscary. 1 hr. 38 R (intense sequences of disturbing violence and terror) - Tirdad Derakhshani Read more

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