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

‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ is a comic discovery


The Orchard

Life in remote parts of New Zealand must forge hardy souls, judging from the characters in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the gifted director Taika Waititi’s last film before heading off to Hollywood. Read more

Disney’s ‘The BFG’ is all about being BFF



Children’s book author Roald Dahl was ahead of his time. Read more

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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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

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