• Latest 'Mission' is an action- and drama-packed joy ride

    By Michael PhilLips Chicago Tribune -
    Published: Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    With the new "Mission: Impossible" movie, even if it's the most assured and satisfying of the five so far, it sounds foolish to even mention the things the characters say in between screeching tires, gunfights, knife fights, motorcycle derring-do and the opening act featuring Tom...

  • 'Vacation' an over-the-top homage to its predecessor

    By Lindsay bahr The Associated Press -
    Published: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    The great American family road trip seems, in the 32 years since we first met the Griswolds, as antiquated a concept as ever. Middle class families fly now - device enabled, efficiency obsessed and always aware of the outside world. Families flew in 1983, too, of course. "National...

  • 'Paper Towns' hits all the right John Hughes-inspired notes

    By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service -
    Published: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    Starring Nat Wolff, Cara Delevinge, Austin Abrams; directed by Jake Schreier; 109 minutes; PG-13 for some language, drinking, sexuality and partial nudity - all involving teens. There's something incredibly satisfying about a well-executed high school film that hits all the right...

  • 'Vatican Tapes' is a sorry shadow of 'The Exorcist'

    By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service -
    Published: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    "THE VATICAN TAPES" Starring Michael Pena, Kathleen Robertson, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Dudley; directed by Mark Neveldine; 88 minutes; PG-13 for disturbing violent content, and some sexual references; D The antichrist is a woman. This may sound like a belief held by misogynist men's...

  • A pugilist parable of transformation in 'Southpaw'

    By Jake Coyle The Associated Press -
    Published: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    If you've ever wondered what might have happened to Job if he had a strong left hook, "Southpaw" may be the film for you. The rapid descent of light heavyweight champ Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Antoine Fuqua's boxing drama is of biblical proportions. Not weeks after Hope - rich,...

  • McKellen plays 'Mr. Holmes' like you've never seen him

    By Colin Covert Star Tribune (Minneapolis) -
    Published: Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hattie Morahan; directed by Bill Condon; 104 minutes; PG for thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking; B With Robert Downey Jr. making him a skull-cracking action hero on the big screen and Benedict...

  • Schumer, Hader shine in bawdy 'Trainwreck'

    By Lindsey bahr The Associated Press -
    Published: Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    Women can be jerks, too. Everyone knows that. And yet in the movies, the female schmuck is generally relegated to a side character. She's a friend. She's a villain. She's never the heroine. In the outdated rulebook of who we get to see on the big screen, leading ladies need to be...

  • 'Ant-Man' has a little hero and a lot to like

    By Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune -
    Published: Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    Starring Paul Rudd, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena; directed by Peyton Reed; 117 minutes; PG-13 for sci-fi action violence; B "Ant-Man" has been skittering around the development corridors of Hollywood so long, the earliest...

  • Winehouse documentary a gripping tale, told with force and grace

    By Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune -
    Published: Fri, Jul 10, 2015

    Starring Amy Winehouse; directed by Asif Kapadia; 128 minutes; R for language and drug material The saddest moment in Asif Kapadia's documentary "Amy," and there are many, occurs relatively late in the 27 years lived by its subject, Amy Winehouse. The North London singer-songwriter...

  • Same old found-footage horror, with a few twists in 'The Gallows'

    By michael Phillips Chicago Tribune -
    Published: Fri, Jul 10, 2015

    At the end of the last century, "The Blair Witch Project" popularized the notion of idiots in horror movies filming every second of their own imminent demise. A deliberately unpolished subgenre was born: found-footage horror, cheap to make (with some higher- budget exceptions,...

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