Action/Adventure

[5.5] Brad Pitt voices one of cinema’s most famous adventure heroes for Dreamworks Animation’s Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Sinbad begins the tale as a man with loose morals who strikes a deal with Eris, the goddess of chaos (Michelle Pfeiffer), to steal a sacred book for her. Turns out that Sinbad has scruples, though, forcing Eris to steal the book herself and frame …

[5.5] Elisabeth Shue (Adventures in Babysitting) stars as a scientist working on an invisibility experiment for the U.S. military in this thriller from director Paul Verhoeven (Spetters, RoboCop). Things are looking good until her brilliant cohort and ex-boyfriend, played by Kevin Bacon, decides to be the first human subject. He successfully becomes invisible, but the transformation also weakens his state of mind and moral grounding. …

[6.0] [SPOILER WARNING] Part-way through production on 2017’s theatrical version of Justice League, director Zack Snyder suffered a tragic loss in his family and had to step away from the production. Joss Whedon (The Avengers) was then called in to finish the film and oversee re-shoots (Snyder retained sole directing credit). I suspect the studio also wanted Whedon to tighten up the pacing and bring …

[6.0] Sigourney Weaver returns in this fourth chapter of the Alien franchise, this time as an alien/human hybrid clone of her iconic Ripley character. It’s a refreshing change of pace for the character, invigorated by a curious connection to her former foes and a new devil-may-care attitude toward living or dying. In the script credited to Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story), Ripley …

[7.5] Four struggling women successfully rob a bank, but push their luck with additional robberies while the L.A. police is on their tail. Director F. Gary Gray (Friday, Straight Outta Compton) doesn’t glorify the crime in Set It Off. Instead, he and screenwriters Takashi Bufford and Kate Lanier show us what leads these women to such desperate measures. The script gives actors Jada Pinkett, Vivica …

[6.0] Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight) directs Sylvester Stallone in this serviceable, high altitude actioner about a mountain rescue team that gets embroiled with deadly thieves searching for money they’ve lost in the snow-topped Rockies during an airplane heist. Janine Turner (Northern Exposure) and Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) play Stallone’s estranged team members, both bitter at him …

[4.0] Robert Urich stars in this sci-fi adventure comedy about space pirates that pillage ice in a galaxy where water is scarce. But after being captured, Urich and his crew are sold to a princess (Mary Crosby) who orders them to help find her father, who may have found a new planet abundant with water. As a comedy, The Ice Pirates has exactly two comic …

[7.0] Citizens of Kansas City, Missouri, experience nuclear attack and radioactive fall-out in this horrific drama helmed by director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, Time After Time). Two-time Oscar winner Jason Robards leads the ensemble cast as a doctor who can barely maintain order at a hospital overwhelmed by incoming patients. The story is also told from the perspective of a …

[7.0] Director Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Bear, The Name of the Rose) takes us on a prehistoric adventure about three cave-dwelling early humans who embark on a search for fire after an attack by animalistic Neanderthals extinguishes the flame their tribe maintained for generations. Along the way, the three men encounter cannibals, sabre-tooth tigers, and wooly mammoths. They also meet a woman from another tribe who …

[6.5] Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, The Black Hole) stars as a police detective in this better-than-average monster movie about a giant alligator that terrorizes the Chicago suburbs. Screenwriter John Sayles (Passion Fish, Lone Star) probably deserves most of the credit, giving Forster and co-stars just enough character and backstory to elevate them above the two-dimensional pawns you usually find in these flicks. He also makes …

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