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Taking aim at the best and worst of movies and television.

‘Wiener-Dog’ not just another shaggy-dog story

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Annapurna Pictures

Nothing softens up a hard-hearted auteur quite like the presence of a beloved animal. Read more

‘The Legend of Tarzan’ doesn’t swing as much as it should

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Warner Bros.

One of the exciting things about seeing trailers for The Legend of Tarzan was how much of an update it looked like compared to past efforts over the last 40 years. Read more

‘Our Kind of Traitor’ is a thriller with few thrills

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Studio Canal

Our Kind of Traitor has all the earmarks of an enjoyable, if disposable, contemporary thriller: intrigue, exotic locales, evil Russians, Moneypenny from the James Bond movie Spectre, a John le Carré pedigree, and Ewan McGregor looking... Read more

‘De Palma’ doc is a friendly reflection on a long career

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A24

The weirdly touching documentary De Palma is catnip for cinephiles, at least those who haven’t written off its subject, filmmaker and eternal provocateur Brian De Palma, decades ago as a hopeless, unrepentant, voyeuristic, Hitchcock-addicted perv. Read more

‘The Purge: Election Year’ mirrors national mood

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Universal Pictures

Writer/director James DeMonaco stumbled into a box-office goldmine with his 2013 film The Purge. The $3 million horror film, set in an America where there’s an annual 12-hour period when all crimes — including murder — are legal, raked in more tha... Read more

‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is more sleep aid than cinema

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20th Century Fox

From the metallic shell of the 1996 smash Independence Day, director Roland Emmerich has pulled a seriously lousy sequel, dripping with alien goo and incoherence. Read more

‘The Neon Demon’ is all heat and no light

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Broad Green Pictures

The Neon Demon, the latest mind-bender from out-there director Nicolas Winding Refn, is a two-hour fever dream about back-stabbing models with paper-thin bodies — and personalities. Sometimes it’s bizarre in a good, David Lynch kind of way; other times, ... Read more

‘The Shallows' is the perfect summer splash

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Columbia Pictures

Every summer needs a movie that’s as sun-drenched and easy-breezy as The Shallows, the Blake Lively vehicle that pits surfer vs. shark. On a triple digit day, you won’t be sorry to duck into this quick 87-minute caper of bikini-clad aquatic peril that’s... Read more

Movie ‘The Wait’ dares to go big

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Alberto Novelli

L’Attesa — also known as The Wait — is atmospheric and moody, serious and full of portent, and if it weren’t so good, it would probably be unbearable. Read more

‘Free State of Jones’ is burdened by too much story, detail

Free State of Jones

There’s an intriguing, if not widely known, series of events at the center of the Civil War movie Free State of Jones. It’s one of those wartime curiosities that slips through the pages of American history, becoming a mere asterisk amid a larger story of bat... Read more

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