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

These two documentaries about Syria need to be seen

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Grasshopper Films

In the documentary film “Last Men in Aleppo,” available on iTunes, a Syrian civilian rescue squad known as the White Helmets rushes to a bombed-out apartment building on a residential street in Aleppo. Read more

‘Everything, Everything’ leaves something to be desired

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MGM Pictures

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is a real thing. The teen romance “Everything, Everything,” about a girl with SCID who can’t leave her house for fear of dying from a common cold — it’s like being allergic to everything, she says — is not. Read more

‘Wimpy Kid 4’ is a long, gross haul

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20th Century Fox

Poor Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott. Read more

‘The Lovers’ feels as real as the couple next door

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Robb Rosenfeld

In “The Lovers,” a sly but forgiving sex comedy by Azazel Jacobs, Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a couple trapped in a marriage as drab as the dun-colored walls of their nondescript suburban house. Their characters, Mary and Michael, never argue or come to psychodramatic blows. T... Read more

The literary life of Emily Dickinson comes alive in ‘A Quiet Passion’

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Music Box Films

How do you make a movie about Emily Dickinson? How do you capture the inner flame of a woman whose outward life mostly consisted of parlor conversation with her family and quiet hours spent writing poetry in her room? How do you dramatize a life lived almost entirely in the mind — and a de... Read more

‘Alien: Covenant’ gets back to basics

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20th Century Fox

How viewers feel about Ridley Scott’s latest addition to the “Alien” franchise may come down to how dedicated they are to exploring the background of this universe he created with the original in 1979. With “Prometheus” five years ago and now “Alien: Cove... Read more

‘Snatched’ forgets to bring laughs with it

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20th Century Fox

The promising young writer Katie Dippold, who penned “The Heat” and “Ghostbusters,” strikes out with her third feature, “Snatched.” This mother-daughter kidnapping comedy starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn is a huge disappointment, and for Schumer, this... Read more

‘Hounds of Love’ thriller bites deep

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Gunpowder & Sky

“Hounds of Love,” a kidnapping crime drama set in 1987 in Perth, Australia, bears a passing similarity to “The Square,” another Aussie thriller though it’s from nearly a decade ago. Read more

‘King Arthur’ deserves to be dethroned

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Warner Bros.

Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is what might happen if you gave a couple of 13-year-olds $100 million and told them to go make a movie about the knights of the round table. There’d be giant elephants, video-game villains, “Lord of the Rings... Read more

‘Graduation’ uses father-daughter story to examine the nature of morality

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Sundance Selects

It’s a paradox that parents spend years preparing their children to leave home and live independently, then regret the results. Read more

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