2010’s

[6.0] It’s another Marvel movie! And it’s on the high-end of average, like most of their releases. This one is all about a new character, a pilot named Carol Danvers, who becomes the title hero. She doesn’t know who she is or where she came from. She might be an alien. Or she might not. The bad guys might not be bad. The good guys …

[4.5] Tim Burton’s big-screen adaptation of Dan Curtis’ cult TV show Dark Shadows wants to be a comedy about a vampire transplanted from centuries past into the 1970s. That movie – one that focused on the vampire’s relationships with his surviving relatives, perhaps gaining their trust by helping them financially — could have been a good one. And thirty minutes into the movie, it looks …

[6.0] Writer/director Dean DeBlois wraps up the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy with a mostly satisfying finale. In this third film, young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his comrades discover a second, rare Night Fury dragon — and it’s a female. Hiccup’s dragon Toothless naturally falls in love with the new Fury, but when a nasty dragon-napper sets his targets on the two lovers, …

[6.5] In this revenge drama from writer/director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Black Mass), Christian Bale seeks vigilante justice after Woody Harrelson murders his brother over gambling debt. Casey Affleck plays the brother, a young man suffering from post-traumatic stress after four tours of duty in Iraq. The rest of the esteemed cast includes Willem DaFoe, Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard. Out of the …

[7.5] Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and ChloĆ« Grace Moretz (Kick Ass) co-star in this satisfying horror-thriller about a naive young woman (Moretz) who returns a lost purse to a lonely widow (Huppert). The two strike up a friendship, but Huppert becomes too needy. When Moretz tries to break off the relationship… well, let’s just say a lot of bad things start to happen. Greta starts out …

[6.0] Melissa McCarthy shifts gears with a dramatic turn in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the true story of celebrity biographer Lee Israel, who after decades of success writing best-selling books about the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Estee Lauder, and Tallulah Bankhead, found herself in a desperate dry spell in the early ’90s. She turned to forgery to make ends meet, selling fake private letters …

[7.0] Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer) brings his off-kilter humor to this dark period-piece comedy about a poor but clever scullery maid (Emma Stone) who ingratiates herself to England’s ailing Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) with intentions of replacing the Queen’s longtime confidante and political proxy (Rachel Weisz). You can think of it as a quirky retelling of All About Eve. The …

[9.0] Writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April, About a Boy) casts his son Lucas (Manchester by the Sea, Boy Erased) alongside Julia Roberts in this emotionally gut-wrenching story of a mother trying to keep the peace at home when her drug-addicted teen comes home for Christmas. Lucas plays the addict, whose been clean and sober for a few months leading up to the movie’s opening. …

[7.0] Ethan Embry stars as a husband and father who moves his family to a new home where a mentally ill man (Pruitt Taylor Vince) committed murder. Embry’s character is a painter, and through supernatural means, develops a connection to the killer through his paintings. Before long, the killer begins murdering children and directly seeks out Embry’s daughter (Kiara Glasco). After repeated encounters with the …

[8.0] Christian Bale once again transforms himself completely to become former vice-president Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s (The Big Short) new film, Vice. The film is a pastiche of Cheney’s political career, driven in large part by his relationship with wife Lynne (Amy Adams) and daughters Liz and Mary. McKay is careful to keep Vice a pitch-black comedy at all times, but he also does …

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