movie review

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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Amy Schumer and Rory Scovel in I Feel Pretty

‘I Feel Pretty’

Starring: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams

Directed by: Amy Kohn, Marc Silverstein

Rated: PG-13

Just hearing the title of this makes me want to break into the song from “West Side Story.” It’s Maria’s big number as she sways and preens in front of the mirror. There is a lot of that going on in this movie, too, but it may be just an illusion and not a celebration of love at first sight.

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The animated cast of Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson's latest film

A few months ago, sitting through the trailer for this movie, I heard comments around me like “weird,” “interesting,” and, yes, it is kind of weird and interesting. After all it is a Wes Anderson movie so that’s to be expected.

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Never has quiet been so creepy as in this horror story with a heart. Starring real life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and directed by Krasinski as well, this is a post-apocalyptic nightmare where, as the title indicates, just one little bump can lead to terrifying consequences.

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Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (2018)

The first rule of reboot is make it better than the first version. This doesn’t so much break the rule as it ignore the rule. The biggest change from Angelina Jolie’s two features as adventure seeker Lara Croft to this Alicia Vikander version is an obvious shift from sexy to athletic. Vikander has even been taken to task on social media for her androgynous look by gamers and fans of the video game on which these movies are based.

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Wow. Marvelous Marvel Studios has done it again. “Black Panther” broke all kinds of box office records over its first weekend — advance sales, sales per theater and more — with this highly anticipated movie. “Hype” is a dirty word for most movies because they fail to meet the high expectations, but “Black Panther” comes so close to accomplishing this save for some wobbly direction and a little superhero fatigue. And don’t let that take away from a great movie experience.

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The biggest appeal prior to seeing this was the fact that “Late Late Show” host James Corden was voicing the part of Peter Rabbit. I confess a major crush on the cuddly Mr. Corden, and it turns out he’s a pretty good rabbit, too.

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Francis Mcdormand as Mildred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

Starring: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Rated: R

In Martin McDonagh’s prolific history as a writer, most of his work has been for the stage. To date, his best-known screen work is “In Bruges,” which today enjoys an almost cult following.

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Why do all the Marvel Comics super guys and gals seem to be having a much better time than this dreary bunch assembled to for this DC Comics latest “save the world” episode? The recent “Thor” installment proved that it was possible to ward of the evil forces of the universe and still have fun doing it.

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Cast of Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Starring: Kenneth Branaugh, Michelle Pfeiffer

Directed by: Kenneth Branaugh

Rated: PG-13

Unfair as it may be, there will be comparisons between this version of the Agatha Christie novel and the 1974 adaptation that was an immensely satisfying piece of entertainment. With a distance of over 30 years between the two films, I have no quibble with the idea of a redo. But the actual redo is a different story — literally.

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