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June 2013
The Heat's Rap Sheet: Funny but Endlessly Profane

Laughs are consistent and abundant in this all-female take on the cop buddy genre. So are the f-bombs and misuses of God's name.

 
White House Down Gets No Thumbs Up

May prove to be a classic example where film critics and the masses part ways, as there is much to pick on but there were also cheers.

 
Shakespeare & Whedon's Worlds Mix Well in Much Ado About Nothing

Funny script and whimsical tone give movie lovers an escape from the more mindless stories where the highlight is something blowing up.

 
World War Z Grades Much Higher in the Alphabet

Plenty of action, a few amusing moments, a lot of zombies, and a whole lot of Brad Pitt. There are certainly worse combinations.

 
Bling Ring a Shiny Package with Nothing of Value Inside

A painfully slow pace plus amoral, self-obsessed teens behaving like idiots minus a good lesson equals a massive waste of time.

 
Monsters University: The Parental Guidance of Pixar Movies

Not even close to being on par with Pixar's Toy Story sequels, but a genial nature and thoroughgoing inoffensiveness make it palatable.

 
Tired Action Scenes Aside, Man of Steel is Serious, Substantial

Clear parallels to the life of Christ and themes of sacrifice, redemption and love elevate Superman's story above mere entertainment.

 
Before Midnight Beautifully Caps Trilogy Capturing Life, Love

Love is still central in this trilogy's third act, but now so much more life has been lived, and consequences can be Love’s kryptonite.

 
The Purge Flunks Philosophy to Favor Fright

Tries to make us ask deep questions, but really, a "kill or be killed" scenario does not raise the moral dilemma the filmmakers think.

 
Lewd Humor Tarnishes The Internship's Underdog Story

If you can tear your eyes from the geeked-out Google campus long enough to ponder the plot, you’ll realize you've seen this story before.

June 2013
Frances Ha a Delightful Ode to Late Bloomers

Just as reflective about universal emotional experiences as director Baumbach's previous work, but positively jubilant in comparison.

May 2013
Don't Wait for Tomorrow to See Not Today

In a summer of bloated blockbusters, this is one of the few movies everyone should see because of the message it sends: slavery is real.

 
Kings of Summer is No Moonrise Kingdom

Never quite finds its footing—emotionally, comedically or otherwise. It's simply too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

 
After Earth Points to Brighter Future for Shyamalan

At heart, a father-son story in which a young man is called upon to put dad's lessons into action. Not complex, but largely satisfying.

 
Clever 'Gotcha' Not Enough to See Now You See Me

Plays like a movie equivalent of a CBS procedural: high in concept, production artifice, and plot holes, while low in character depth.

 
Epic Never Quite Lives Up to Its Name

With such a title, the bar is immediately set too high for what’s a fairly conventional good vs. evil battle with spectacular visuals.

 
Hangover III: Hang It Up Already

Less a disaster than a standard disappointment, the biggest of which is Bradley Cooper, who phones it in post-Silver Linings Playbook.

 
Sixth Time Has Charm in Fast & Furious Series

For those who like to celebrate with a good action film, this is the place to start: humor, tension, non-stop action and more.

 
Ironically, Into Darkness is Too Light on Meaningful Ideas

There's enough action to enjoy it, but this new Star Trek installment continues to show unfulfilled promise and a lack of strong themes.

 
Leo & Luhrmann Make The Great Gatsby Matter

Baz Luhrmann captures the opulent decor and backs it with a hip-hop soundtrack that should feel out of place but works surprisingly well.

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