movie review

Taron Egerton in Rocketman

Rocketman

Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell

Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

Rated: R

 

Coincidences abound in this fantastical take on the meteoric rise of Elton John despite his many personal struggles. Director Dexter Fletcher recently stepped in to finish “Bohemian Rhapsody,” for which Rami Malek just won the Oscar for his portrayal of another flamboyant rocker, Freddie Mercury. 

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Amy Adams and Christian Bale star in McKay’s ‘Vice’

Adam McKay likes taking those pesky parts of history we tend to forget and turn them into movies lest we forget why we are where we are today. Take “The Big Short” about the house lending meltdown of 2008. We don’t like to remember there were some who sounded the alarm bell about what was happening in plain sight and then it happened, sending the economy spiraling with it. 

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Hunter Killer

Starring: Gerard Butler

Directed by: Donovan Marsh

Rated: PG-13

 

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Life Itself

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonia Banderas

Directed by: Dan Fogelman

Rated: PG-13

 

Let this be a lesson: what works for television doesn’t always work for a feature film. Writer and director Dan Fogelman, the architect of the NBC hit series “This is Us,” spent his summer hiatus making this film for which the more correct title should have been “Life Bummer.”

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While this doesn’t have the emotional gut punch of “Munich,” it’s a solid companion piece for similar subject matter in its factual account about the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the SS officer largely responsible for Hitler’s “Final Solution,” which led to the deaths of over 6 million Jews during WWII.

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The romantic comedy genre has been overdue for a makeover and in this fresh new take is just the ticket. Easily, it’s one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen this summer as it carries a great storyline while allowing entry into a culture I knew virtually nothing about.

Think of a storyline as a branch, with elements of the story hung like ornaments from it. Then think of the brightest, most colorful ornaments and that is “Crazy Rich Asians,” from start to finish.

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If not for recent events, which demonstrate that we still have far to go to repair racial relations in this country, Spike Lee’s new movie would be more like a history lesson — and it is, only it seems we’ve haven’t learned much of anything in the last 40 years.

Set during the turbulent ‘70s, the movie begins with a fictitious race baiter (Alec Baldwin) starring in a black and white movie touting white supremacy, but the story moves quickly to Colorado Springs where the police department is trying to integrate its ranks.

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Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in Susanna Fogel's The Spy Who Dumped Me

‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’

Starring: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon

Directed by: Susanna Fogel

Rated: R

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The stars of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

Starring: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried

Directed by: Ol Parker

Rated: PG-13

Here we go with the feel-good movie of the summer. It’s a sugary sequel to “Mamma Mia,” which managed to gross over $600 million world-wide in 2008. This second verse is poised to do it again with a lot of talent in front and behind the camera making it all come together for a definite chick flick pleaser.

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Skyscraper

Halfway through the summer movie season, there are clear winners and losers at the box office and with critics. Superheroes and dinosaurs are at the top, but there, is a plethora of movies that have underperformed in what is already a season that has offered less to movie fans.

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