Movies

‘The Boxtrolls’ has demented charm

A spooky surrealism has been the specialty of the Oregon-based animation studio Laika, the Pacific Northwest purveyors of 3-D stop-motion.


‘The Equalizer’: Denzel Washington solid, film not

If you were lucky enough to catch Denzel Washington in “A Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway, you saw the hugely charismatic actor portray, in an iconic role, the full complexity of a human being: strengths and weaknesses, attributes and flaws, durability and vulnerability. All topped off, of course, with that boyish Washington charm.


'A Walk Among the Tombstones' works well until it doesn't

In between doing "Taken" sequels and cashing paychecks for dross like "Battleship" and "Wrath of the Titans," Liam Neeson manages to sneak in projects of real quality – films that remind viewers of the strength, sensitivity and wounded vulnerability that made us love him in the first place.


'Maze Runner' doesn't find its own path

If you see one film about walled-in males this fall, it should be the savage and powerful British prison drama "Starred Up," a superlatively acted father-son story played out behind bars and starring up-and-coming Jack O'Connell.


A-list cast can’t save ‘This Is Where I Leave You’

Somebody dies. Family gathers to mourn. Everybody’s stuck in one house, with all their quirks and foibles and enough emotional baggage to fill an aircraft carrier. What could go wrong? Ha ha. What couldn’t?


'The Drop' a tense, atmospheric crime thriller

"The Drop," a taut, atmospheric, exceedingly well-written thriller adapted by Dennis Lehane from one of his short stories, commits one of the most egregious sins in fiction, introducing an adorable puppy early in the proceedings, only to trot it out at regular intervals to stoke the audience's growing sense of impending doom. "That's a good-looking dog," goes a running line in the film. Its usual predicate — "it would be a shame if anything happened to it" – remains queasily implicit.


‘Dolphin 2’ an immersive adventure

Containing all the elements that made the 2011 original boy and his dolphin story a hit with audiences and critics, Charles Martin Smith’s “Dolphin Tale 2” is another engaging film inspired by the real-life inhabitants of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.


‘Identical’: Shake, rattle and replicate

Here’s a bit of Elvis Presley trivia that might surprise some: The King was a twin. His brother was stillborn, and Presley, by some accounts, was haunted and fascinated by this twist of fate. He always wondered what his life would have been like had his brother survived.


'Gone Girl,' 'Unbroken' lead drumbeat of fall

Unable to find her second directing project, Angelina Jolie took to sifting through “generals.”


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