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April 2013
Place Beyond the Pines is Both Bleak and Beguiling

If points were awarded strictly on ambition, it's nothing short of epic. Unfortunately, director Clanfrance doesn't know when to say when.

 
Classic Jurassic Park Will Never Go Extinct

20 years ago this film set a new cinematic standard and, perhaps most amazing of all, it still meets our standards today.

March 2013
Melodrama Hampers Anything Positive about Temptation

A film so poorly plotted that it makes anything featuring Perry’s obnoxious Madea seem downright genius in comparison.

 
The Host Feeds on Two Hours of Your Time

If this sci-fi/romance mash-up is representative of the current state of either genre, those genres are in big trouble.

 
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Low on Plot, High on Action

Lots of fighting and explosions punctuated by moderately clever dialogue. "Pretty much exactly what I want," my male friend told me.

 
Nothing Too Crude about The Croods

A funny, family-friendly, family-affirming movie that parents will identify with and kids will love.

 
Fascinating Admission Makes the Grade

While most of the marketing suggests that it’s a charming romantic comedy with two likeable leads, that’s really only half of the story.

 
Brutal Olympus Has Fallen Insults Our Intelligence

Not the mindless action fun you've been hoping for. What makes the stupidity vile is the level of blood lust that fuels the good guy.

 
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is Short on Magic

A few genuine laughs along the way as Carell's Burt tries to forge a path forward, but this film’s third act is truly a head-scratcher.

 
The Call Hits Most of the Right Numbers

Proving that sometimes the best ideas are, indeed, the simplest ones, this nervy new thriller dials up a promising first two acts.

March 2013
Oz Not Great but Visually Powerful

A colorful, visually arresting prequel that could have used a bit more story development to justify its 2:10 running time.

 
Dead Man Down Defies a Few Action Movie Stereotypes

As unsatisfying as the conclusion is, the journey itself makes for a pretty fascinating morality tale... as far as action movies go.

 
STUCK is One Part Instruction, One Part Inspiration

More than a documentary, this film is a call to action on behalf of the 10 million children in orphanages worldwide.

 
Christian-Made Lost Medallion Fun but Confusing

Certainly a step in the right direction for the family-friendly genre, but the movie's broad approach holds it back in the end.

 
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, Jack the Giant Slayer's Fun

Old-fashioned storytelling and cleverly staged action sequences remind you of old favorites like The Princess Bride and Indiana Jones.

 
Phantom Torpedoes Itself

Somehow, Hollywood has made a submarine thriller that tests our patience and fails to engage the imagination, not an easy thing to do.

February 2013
Snitch is Action Plus Teachable Moments

Consider it a modern "scared straight" kind of story, one that fathers and sons should consider seeing together.

  • Susan Ellingburg |
  • February 22, 2013 |
  • comments
 
Escape from Planet Earth is Surprisingly Entertaining

The premise is well-worn and far from original, but the execution of this family-focused story has a few flashes of brilliance.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 15, 2013 |
  • comments
 
There's No Safe Haven from Poor Reviews

This Nicholas Sparks adaptation opened on Valentine’s Day but was forgotten by Presidents' Day.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • February 14, 2013 |
  • comments
 
A Good Day to Die Hard Nowhere Close to Series' Standards

The bulk of the film is nothing but elaborate nonsensical action sequences that don’t have any of the yippee-ki-yay of previous efforts.

  • Christa Banister |
  • February 14, 2013 |
  • comments
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