REVIEW

Christopher Nolan Takes Seat With the Greats, With Stirring Movie ‘Dunkirk’

Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” takes off like a rocket. After a few introductory messages onscreen, bullets start flying almost immediately as British soldiers struggle to escape to England ahead of the advancing Germans. With strong performances from Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branaugh and top-lining Fionn Whitehead, moviegoers not only hear and see, but also feel every blast, every wave, every airplane attack....

Gal Godot Not Your Mother’s Wonder Woman in New Film (video)

Gal Gadot hits the big-screen as “Wonder Woman” this weekend adding another female superhero in lead role to Hollywood’s Parthenon, where they have have been under represented in movies for years. Gadot will join Melissa Benoist, who stars in the CW’s “Supergirl” television series, as the only superhero women in lead roles. The film also stars Robin Wright, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and Elena Anaya....

King Kong: Scull Island: Not Your Dad’s Or Grand Dad’s Monster Movie (Video)

“King Kong” is a timeless tale about beauty and the beast, whether it’s Fay Wray in the original 1933 film, Jessica Lange in the 1976 remake or any of the six other movies featuring the monster. Now, Kong is ready to take another bow in “King Kong: Scull Island.” The ensemble cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary and John C. Reilly....

Eddie Redmayne Makes Believers in Fantastical World of ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston, daughter of “Law & Order’s” Sam Waterston, turn in two extraordinary acting performances in “Fantastic Beasts,” a movie that captures the spirit and the adventure of the entire Harry Potter, J. R. Rowling saga. Colin Farrell, as Percival Gravess perfect as well. Also on board are Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton and Dan Fogler. ...

‘Edge of Seventeen’ Lifts Teen Angst Back to Head of the Class (video)

“Edge Of Seventeen” is an able-bodied companion piece to the triptych of great John Hughes teen comedies–“16 Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club” (1985) and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986). If Hughes was king of teen angst, then Kelly Fremon Craig is the new pretender to the throne. The cast includes Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson, Alexander Calvert, Eric Keenleyside, Blake Jenner and Kyra Sedgewick. ...

Ben Affleck Crunches the Numbers in ‘The Accountant’ With Uneven Results

Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant,” is a taut thriller, with an excellent cast, that starts out in superb fashion (almost like “LA Confidential”), then suffers about an hour of poor, narrative mishmash, before rebounding for a stellar climax. The action thriller, directed by Gavin O'Connor and written by Bill Dubuque, stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow....

Sully Reveals Price of Heroism in ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Plane Crash

“Sully,” a Clint Eastwood film starring Tom Hanks, is one of the most compelling movies of the year. Hard to believe the “Miracle on the Hudson” happened seven years ago. Even harder to believe is the cruel second-guessing faced by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles following their heroic actions. The backstory is almost as compelling as the landing itself. The subtle message is the airline would rather he tried to save the plane....

Ron Howard’s ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ a Finely Crafted Tale of Obsession

Ron Howard’s movies are always beautifully made and beautifully told, with flawless photography and solid casting. His newest epic, “In The Heart Of The Sea,” scores on all counts. It tells the tale of Herman Melville and the journey that led him to write his epic 19th century novel “Moby Dick.” Directed by Ron Howard, the film stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson....

Sylvester Stallone Fights for Title Again in Rocky Spin ‘Creed’ (video)

Sylvester Stallone’s “Creed,” the latest end-run on his Rocky mythology, ebbs and flows, but mostly delivers the “Rocky” ethos thanks to direction by “Fruitvale Station’s” Ryan Coogler and a sensational performance by Michael B. Jordan. Jordan, who also starred in “Fruitvale,” essays Adonis Johnson, the son of famous boxer Apollo Creed, who battled Rocky in earlier films. The picture also stars Tessa Thompson as Bianca, a local singer who becomes involved with Adonis and Phylicia Rashad as Apollo’s widow. ...

Sandra Bullock Lifts ‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ Above Stale Political Satire

Sandra Bullock delivers perhaps the performance of her career in her new movie “Our Brand Is Crisis,” and that’s saying a lot, given her Oscar-winning performance in 2010’s “Blind Side,” and Oscar nomination for her role in last year’s “Gravity.” Despite mixed early reviews, I loved it. The strong supporting cast includes Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Joaquim de Almeida, Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd....

Johnny Depp Redeems Himself as ‘Black Mass’ Gangster Whitey Bulger

Johnny Depp returns to form in “Black Mass,” the stylish, sinewy story about infamous gangster Whitey Bulger. His criminal exploits were at the epicenter of corruption, drugs, extortion and murder in South Boston for four decades. “Black Mass” could land Depp in solid Oscar contention along with stellar performances from Joel Edgarton, Kevin Bacon, Rory Cochrane and Benedict Cumberbatch. Director Scott Cooper keeps the focus on the story and keeps it moving in a brisk, workmanlike fashion....

Dwayne Johnson Is a Rock, Literally, as California Crumbles in San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson’s new film “San Andreas” takes a plausible possibility like a major California earthquake, and stretches it into an unimaginable calamity, in the grand tradition of disaster movies like The “Poseidon Adventure” (1972) and Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day.” Paul Giamatti, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario and Archie Panjabi–Kalinda from TV’s “The Good Wife”–round out the supporting cast....

‘Mad Max: Fury Road:’ Dystopian Hell-on-Wheels Escapism at Its Best

The original “Max Max” movie in 1979 may not have given birth to the post-apocalyptic, anti-hero action film, but it certainly put the genre on the map. Now, the new reboot “Mad Max: Fury Road,” is being screened at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival. Who knew? Miller is the master of the post-apocalyptic, hell-on-wheels genre, and he delivers in his latest outing, starring Tom Hardy in place of Mel Gibson and Charlize Theron as his love interest....

Eric Clapton, Rock’s Premiere Guitarist, Celebrates 70th Birthday in NYC

It was billed as Eric Clapton’s 70th birthday celebration (his birthday was in March), but the Madison Square Garden gathering Sunday night was more a reaffirmation of Clapton as one of rock’s premier guitarists ever. From John Mayall, Cream and Blind Faith to Derek and the Dominoes and numerous superb solo efforts, Clapton is the soundtrack of our lives for the rock and roll generation that came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. The Sunday night show, a follow-up to a Friday’s performance, included standout performances by Doyle Bramhall II, John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Jimmie Vaughan....

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys,’ Adaptation More Hits Than Misses

Clint Eastwood was a wild card choice to direct the big screen adaption of Jersey Boys, the wildly successful Broadway musical, and the movie is a miasma of both hits and misses. Eastwood’s decision to use Jersey Boys vet John Lloyd Young to essay lead singer Frankie Valli (nee Castelluccio) was both a bold and smart. The rest of the group, Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda and Erich Bergen, are brilliant as well....

Tom Cruise Meets His Match; Emily Blunt Kicks Ass in Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise’s new movie “Edge Of Tomorrow” is one of the best things he’s ever done on film, thanks to Director Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”). But Emily Blunt steals the picture. It’s her first action role, and she comes across as one major bad ass. And that’s saying a lot given Cruise’s usual over-the-top performance. It’s on par with his roles in “The Color of Money” and “The Fourth Of July.” Acting stalwarts Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson are superb here as well....
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