Back in 1995, the classic children’s film “Toy Story” purported to show audiences what playthings get up to when they aren’t being observed by people. Now “The Secret Life of Pets” (Universal) does much the same for domesticated animals.
Anne Fontaine, director of “Coco Before Chanel” and “Gemma Bovery,” released her most recent work, “The Innocents,” about a group of Benedictine nuns in Warsaw, Poland, raped by soldiers after World War II and the doctor who comes to their aid.
A loud summertime diversion, the movie wants to provide something for everybody — at least those seeking a history lesson, a passionate romance, or a rousing adventure in which the good guys are easy to distinguish from the bad. And yet, despite also offering many stabs at humor, the topsy-turvy, tongue-in-cheek quality reminiscent of Gilbert and Sullivan is mostly inadvertent.
NEW YORK (CNS) — Like its source material, Roald Dahl’s eponymous1982 children’s book, “The BFG” (Disney) comes packed with specialized terms for its own fantasy elements. A golden phizzwizard, for instance, is the best kind of dream, while frobscottle is a fizzy drink that produces a less-than-dreamy intestinal reaction referred to as whizpopping. As gentle […]
It’s little cause for surprise that “The Purge: Election Year” (Universal) sticks to the commercially tried-and-true formula of its franchise predecessors by appealing to the very impulses it pretends to condemn.
NEW YORK (CNS) — Something like pondering leftovers discovered in the back of the refrigerator, a movie studio decided, “Hey! This hasn’t gone bad!” The result is “Independence Day: Resurgence” (Fox), a reprise of the hit alien-fighting epic of 20 years ago in which the nations of the world united to fight a common foe, […]
NEW YORK (CNS) –- The ambitious historical drama “Free State of Jones” (STX) considers a little-known aspect of the Civil War: armed dissent within the South born of opposition to how the war was being conducted and to the principal reason it began. Earnest and frequently riveting, the movie revolves around Newton Knight, the Mississippi […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — The formula of shark movies has changed little in the 40 years since the rubbery star of “Jaws” menaced the New England coastline. So the makers of “The Shallows” (Columbia) have to struggle to give their minimalist version of girl vs. Carcharodon carcharias fresh threats and suspense. The great white predator […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — A high IQ is not a prerequisite for seeing “Central Intelligence” (Warner Bros.). What this dimwitted action comedy demands instead are stamina and perseverance. Yet another entry in the long roster of buddy films, as directed and co-written by Rawson Marshall Thurber, “Central Intelligence” aims high with a pair of oversized […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — Fans of the 2003 animated adventure “Finding Nemo” have reason to rejoice: The long wait for a sequel is over, and the follow-up, “Finding Dory” (Disney), once again turns vast expanses of salt water into tasty taffy. The result is a dandy treat for moviegoers of almost all ages. The buoyant […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — There’s a moral underlying the magic-themed thriller “Now You See Me 2” (Summit). It concerns being true to yourself while not always believing in what you see. Such, it seems, is the code magicians live by. We know this because Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), the magic debunker and secret friend of […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — Anyone who has ever doubted the genius of Catholic novelist J.R.R. Tolkien need look no further than the heavy-handed video game adaptation “Warcraft” (Universal) for confirmation of his gifts. Populated by orcs, wizards, dwarves and elves, as well as more or less ordinary human beings, director and co-writer Duncan Jones’ film […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — There’s not much magic in “The Conjuring 2” (Warner Bros.). What this possession-themed horror story does have are two principal spirits haunting folks throughout — one of them a demon nun. The twisted “sister” (Bonnie Aarons) in question may lack a sharp-edged ruler. But she does boast sunken green eyes, pointy […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — Genetic engineering explained so that 13-year-old boys can easily comprehend it is one of the features of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (Paramount). Deep thoughts about science aren’t the point of this, the second film in the franchise since its 2014 reboot. They’re more like passing considerations as […]
NEW YORK (CNS) — The folks behind the grand-scale weepie “Me Before You” (Warner Bros.) clearly intend their audience to come to the multiplex armed with an abundant supply of tissues. Regrettably, though, any tears shed by viewers of faith will turn out to be bitter ones. What begins as a charming love story with […]