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Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,

Opening This Week

  • The Circle

    The Circle (PG-13, 2017)

    The Circle is a gripping modern thriller starring Emma Watson ("Harry Potter"), Tom Hanks ("Sully") and John Boyega ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens"). ... read moreWhen Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world's largest and most powerful tech & social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company's founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity.

Top Box Office

  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious (PG-13, 2017)

    The latest installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise welcomes two Oscar-winning actresses: Charlize Theron plays Cipher, the latest villain to... read more
  • The Boss Baby

    The Boss Baby (PG, 2017)

    DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Bal... read more
  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast (PG, 2017)

    Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" is a live-action re-telling of the studio's animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as ... read more
  • Going in Style

    Going in Style (PG-13, 2017)

    Oscar winners Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby"), Michael Caine ("The Cider House Rules," "Hannah and Her Sisters") and Alan Arkin ("Little Miss S... read more
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village

    Smurfs: The Lost Village (PG, 2017)

    In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and t... read more
  • Disneynature Born In China

    Disneynature Born In China (G, 2017)

    Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film "Born In China" takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Followi... read more
  • Unforgettable

    Unforgettable (R, 2017)

    Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl) is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband, David (Geoff Stults), becomes happily engaged to J... read more
  • Gifted

    Gifted (PG-13, 2017)

    Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) - in a coastal town in Florida. Fran... read more
  • The Promise

    The Promise (PG-13, 2017)

    Empires fall, love survives. When Michael (Oscar Isaac), a brilliant medical student, meets Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), their shared Armenian heritage spa... read more
  • The Lost City of Z

    The Lost City of Z (PG-13, 2017)

    Based on author David Grann's nonfiction bestseller, "The Lost City of Z" tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie H... read more

More Movies In Theaters

  • Phoenix Forgotten

    Phoenix Forgotten (PG-13, 2017)

    Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplic... read moreable phenomenon became known as "The Phoenix Lights", and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history. Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed...
  • The Case for Christ

    The Case for Christ (PG, 2017)

    A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned ... read morehim a promotion to legal editor at the ChicagoTribune. But things weren't going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie's newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed-or didn't believe-as an avowed atheist. Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true. Based on Lee Strobel's award-winning bestselling book and starring Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Forster, THE CASE FOR CHRIST opens in theaters April 7. It's an ideal Easter-season movie for anyone who has ever pondered the existence of God ... and what role He could play in their lives.
  • Saban's Power Rangers

    Saban's Power Rangers (PG-13, 2017)

    A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island (PG-13, 2017)

    Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' "Kong: Skull Island" reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from d... read moreirector Jordan Vogt-Roberts ("The Kings of Summer"). In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific - as beautiful as it is treacherous - unaware that they're crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong. "Kong: Skull Island" stars Tom Hiddleston ("The Avengers," "Thor: The Dark World"), Samuel L. Jackson ("The Hateful Eight," "Avengers: Age of Ultron"), Oscar winner Brie Larson ("Room," "Trainwreck"), John Goodman ("Transformers: Age of Extinction," "Argo") and John C. Reilly ("Guardians of the Galaxy," "Step Brothers"). The international ensemble cast also includes Tian Jing ("Police Story: Lockdown"), Corey Hawkins ("Straight Outta Compton"), Jason Mitchell ("Straight Outta Compton"), John Ortiz ("Steve Jobs"), Thomas Mann ("Beautiful Creatures"), Shea Whigham ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Toby Kebbell ("Dawn of the Planet of the Apes") and Eugene Cordero ("The Kings of Summer"). Vogt-Roberts is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly. "Kong: Skull Island" is produced by Legendary's Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni with Mary Parent. The executive producers are Eric McLeod and Alex Garcia. The creative behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Larry Fong ("Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"), production designer Stefan Dechant (supervising art director "True Grit," "Avatar"), editor Christian Wagner (the "Fast & Furious" films), and costume designer Mary Vogt (the "Men in Black" films). The team also includes Oscar-winning makeup supervisor Bill Corso ("Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") and supervising stunt coordinator George Cottle ("Interstellar," "The Dark Knight Rises"). The legendary Kong is being brought to life at a whole new scale by Industrial Light & Magic, with two-time Oscar winner Stephen Rosenbaum ("Avatar," "Forrest Gump") serving as visual effects supervisor. To fully immerse audiences in the mysterious Skull Island, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and his cast and filmmaking team are filming across three continents over six months, capturing its primordial landscapes on Oahu, Hawaii - where filming commenced on October 2015 - on Australia's Gold Coast, and finally in Vietnam, where filming will take place across multiple locations, some of which have never before been seen on film. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, "Kong: Skull Island." The film will be released worldwide in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX beginning March 10, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
  • Free Fire

    Free Fire (R, 2017)

    Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying action comedy about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Acclai... read moremed filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film as he crafts a spectacular parody -- and biting critique -- of the insanity of gun violence. Everyone's got a gun, and absolutely no one is in control. Set in a colorful yet gritty 1970s Boston, Free Fire opens with Justine (Oscar (R) winner Brie Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman, and her wise-cracking associate Ord (Armie Hammer) arranging a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris (Cillian Murphy) and shifty South African gun runner Vernon (Sharlto Copley). What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on Battle Royale where it's every man (and woman) for themselves. Packed with witty one-liners, flamboyant characters and remarkable feats of cinematic gunplay, Free Fire is a full-throttle action extravaganza that keeps things fresh and fun with Wheatley's alternately buoyant and savage sense of humor. Swinging from the madcap to the macabre and back again, the film is an exhilarating experience that will leave you quite literally blown away
  • The Zookeeper's Wife

    The Zookeeper's Wife (PG-13, 2017)

    The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (por... read moretrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh of "The Broken Circle Breakdown"), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned - and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl of "Captain America: Civil War"). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance - and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.
  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell (PG-13, 2017)

    In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect so... read moreldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, "The Ghost in the Shell."
  • Get Out

    Get Out (R, 2017)

    Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Mis... read moresy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.
  • Logan

    Logan (R, 2017)

    It's 2029. Mutants are gone--or very nearly so. An isolated, despondent Logan is drinking his days away in a hideout on a remote stretch of the Mexica... read moren border, picking up petty cash as a driver for hire. His companions in exile are the outcast Caliban and an ailing Professor X, whose singular mind is plagued by worsening seizures. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy abruptly end when a mysterious woman appears with an urgent request--that Logan shepherd an extraordinary young girl to safety. Soon, the claws come out as Logan must face off against dark forces and a villain from his own past on a live-or-die mission, one that will set the time-worn warrior on a path toward fulfilling his destiny.
  • Life

    Life (R, 2017)

    Life tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in... read more human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.

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Top In Theater Reviews

  • Gifted (PG-13, 2017)

    Went in with low expectations and left blown away by this great film. McKenna Grace reminded me of... read more Drew Barrymore and Elle Fanning and she gives the best acting in a movie this year so far. (4-15-17)
  • The Fate of the Furious (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb1442511448
    Despite some plot holes, the Fate of the Furious is able to inject a good amount of fun and exciteme... read morent towards a franchise already fueled by its over-the-top action sequences and it's cheesy dialogue. The film's star-studded team in front and behind the camera continue to boost this high-octane ride and add more depth into this juggernaut known as the Fast & Furious. 4/5
  • The Fate of the Furious (PG-13, 2017)

    We have better start calling the actual "Fate of the Furious" because this feels like this could go ... read moreon forever. One of the things that Fate of the Furious failed to do is focus on the things that Furious 7 did not focus on often. Sure we got something new to the table, but the table needed new ideas to help this franchise go back to its original roots. Fans could love this film all they want, but once they get to the hanging of it, they'll probably forfeit the franchise like how these guys should've been a long time ago.
  • The Lost City of Z (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb720603734
    BURDEN OF HIS DREAMS - My Review of THE LOST CITY OF Z (4 Stars)

    Writer/Director James Gr... read moreay (THE IMMIGRANT, TWO LOVERS) has been slowly and steadily building an astounding career that would be similar to that of Francis Ford Coppola if people cared about movies now the way they did back in the 1970s. Instead, his films remain little seen despite garnering much respect. I doubt things will change with his latest, THE LOST CITY OF Z, based on the biography by David Grann, but he has made a stunning, thoughtful adventure epic nonetheless.

    Charlie Hunnam, in a role originally marked for Brad Pitt and then Benedict Cumberbatch, plays Percy Fawcett, an undecorated Major in the turn-of-the-century Royal Army, who has difficulty rising in the ranks due to his father's reputation. One character casually remarks, "He's been rather unfortunate in his choice of ancestors," which is a particularly well-written line that sets the stage early for the bigotry, misogyny and class divisions this film explores so well. Opportunity knocks when the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) plucks Fawcett to lead a map-making expedition along the disputed border between Brazil and Bolivia. He leaves behind his wife Nina (a terrific Sienna Miller) and their newborn son for years and is joined by a crew that includes an almost unrecognizable and wonderfully understated Robert Pattinson as Henry Costin. Their trip through the Amazon proves harrowing, but when they stumble upon some artifacts and learn of a Lost City, Fawcett gets a fire in his belly. If he can prove to the world that the inhabitants of the Amazon are wise artists instead of the stereotypical savages his fellow countrymen would have the world believe, then he could change the world.

    As depicted in the film, when he returned from his first tour, Fawcett became a crusader against his society's ills. In a thunderous sequence, he takes on the entire RGS with the news of his findings. Their white privilege won't allow them to believe him, but he insists on returning to find that elusive city. In addition to the jungle conditions, many other obstacles get in his way. Chief among them is World War I, depicted briefly but effectively. He also battled his wife and children, who resented his absence and his patriarchal insistence that Nina stay home instead of joining him on his adventures. They have an incredible showdown when Nina makes it clear that his adventurous life has come with a cost.

    It has been said that Fawcett inspired the Indiana Jones character, but those expecting a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK saga will be disappointed. This stately, patient, glorious film feels more like the love child of APOCALYPSE NOW, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, and a little FITZCARRALDO thrown in for good measure. Yes, there are some exciting action set pieces, but Gray seems more interested in Fawcett's internal journey than in crafting whiz-bang action. He even welcomes some surreal imagery, courtesy of the phenomenal cinematographer, Darius Khondji, as this mostly traditional story unfolds and it's what elevates the somewhat standard material to something that approaches art.

    Hunnam gives a confident, commanding performance, and all I kept thinking was how far he's come as an actor. Even from the first time I saw him in the original QUEER AS FOLK, he exuded star quality, but this film truly puts him on Brad Pitt's level. In fact, it's a good thing Pitt dropped out of the project yet retained his title as Producer. We see Fawcett for a 20 year period of time, from his 30s to his 50s, and it's easier and more credible to age up and actor like Hunnam than it is to age down Pitt. In a film filled with wonderful performances, Tom Holland (THE IMPOSSIBLE, SPIDER-MAN) also stands out as Fawcett's resentful son Jack. Since the times wouldn't allow for Nina's feminist aspirations to bear fruit, the dreams get transferred to Jack, and I found his point of view tremendously moving despite very limited screen time.

    For many, this film will feel too episodic, too much like a rambling novel, and at 140 minutes, I can understand that. For me, however, I loved the traditional three-act structure and the multiple returns to England. The stark contrasts between the two civilizations kept reminding me of what's at stake. Fawcett, to some, was an obsessive with blinders on, but in THE LOST CITY OF Z, he fought against social tyranny and an ordinary life. He risked the great unknown so that we could open our minds a little, and that is worth celebrating with this powerful, vivid film.
  • The Fate of the Furious (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb100000124099262
    The Fate of the Furious is the start of a new trilogy, according to Vin Diesel. A trilogy that cont... read moreinues the ridiculous path taken by Fast 5, 6, and 7, but bringing in more spy elements and pushing aside the heist part of the series.

    Much like Furious 7, this film finds the team of Dom, Letty, Hobbs, Roman, Tej, and Ramsey once again being targeted by someone. Last time, the team managed to take down Deckard Shaw, played by Jason Statham, who was out for revenge. Now, a tech-hacker-terrorist played by Charlize Theron forces Dom to turn his back on family and help her steal nuclear codes. Let me say this upfront, most of this movie doesn't make any logical sense. In fact, this movie probably makes less sense than all of the other previous films combined. But did that impact my viewing experience in the slightest? Not one bit.

    So even though this film can be perceived as the dumbest of the bunch, there's no denying just how fun it is. Embracing the silliness is an understatement. Dodging a submarine, redirecting a torpedo with your hand, arm curling a steel bench, and pretty much stopping World War 3 are only a few of the things the team have to do. However, there's a clear difference with this franchise than most. The F&F series has made it clear from the get-go that these stories always come down to family. So it may not seem like there are any consequences when they come out of fights without a single scratch, but if you buy into them as a family than it doesn't really matter how unrealistic the film can get.

    With the passing of Paul Walker, there's a bit of a gap that may never truly be filled again without Brian O'Conner, but they did the best they could in spreading out what would have been O'Conner's screen time. The Rock certainly gets a boost to second billed, after his limited presence in Furious 7. Between him, Diesel, Statham, Gibson, and Ludacris, there's probably close to 200 one-liners. And unlike with Triple X early this year, this Vin Diesel film actually made me laugh. They do a great job at giving each cast member their moment to shine. Particularly, the chemistry between Statham and The Rock really pops. If there's a world where Vin Diesel would let them have a spin-off film together, I'd be the first in line.

    Theron is very good as Cipher, though I'm not sure how much I like the hacking/terrorist side of the villain. The "God's Eye" was the least interesting part of the last movie and that's easily the case with Cipher. I'll buy into Dom's crew taking down anybody with the rules (or lack thereof) that the franchise has set, but I'm just not all that invested in street racers taking on techies. I'd rather have a villain that our heroes can punch, which is why the last few films have been so fun. Which makes it even weirder that they didn't decide to make Cipher physically capable, considering how good Theron was in Mad Max and how good she looks to be in the upcoming Atomic Blonde. Perhaps that was a missed opportunity.

    Overall, The Fate of the Furious once again ups the series in terms of ridiculousness and stupidity, which is exactly what I hoped for. It's not as touching as Furious 7 nor as fun as Fast 5, but it's no doubt a time worthwhile at the theaters.

    +Upping their game once again

    +Statham & The Rock

    +Family, family, family

    +Reinvents itself

    -Theron was good, but I don't care for that type of villain

  • The Lost City of Z (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb593189923
    I feel like I'm going nuts. We went to see this based on a raft of glowing reviews from people like ... read moreAnthony Lane and Peter Travers and it is without a shadow of a doubt the worst scripted, worst photographed, most poorly acted film I have seen in a cinema since I cannot remember.

    Charlie Hunnam manages to be worse that he was in 'Pacific Rim.' His English accent is less convincing than his American one. Platitudes and cliches drop from his lips like stones. The period detail is execrably bad; the editing is all over the place; entire shots are out of focus; the old-age make-up is terrible; in one scene the colour is so off that it looks like he's wearing salmon-pink lipstick in the WWI trenches.

    For heavens' sake do not spend money on this. Go watch 'Embrace of the Serpent' or rewatch 'Fitzcarraldo' instead.
  • The Fate of the Furious (PG-13, 2017)

    I've written before that all I demand from the ever-ascendant and popular Fast and Furious franchise... read more are its eye-popping action set pieces that teeter into madcap lunacy and impressive stunt work. A fiery meteor could crush all the characters, short of The Rock, and I wouldn't shed a tear. Despite the super serious plaudits about the importance of family and loyalty and blah blah blah, I'm only here for the action spectacle that obliterates the laws of physics. I've said before there's a fine line between stupid action and stupidly awesome action, and the Fast and Furious franchise has planted its flag like few others. Nobody today goes to the level of action spectacle that the Fast and Furious films achieve, bringing to life exciting action set pieces that feel fully plucked from the imagination of an exuberant child, and I don't mean that at all disparagingly. These movies deliver like few others nowadays. We're a long way from undercover cops and underground street racing. Vin Diesel and his team are essentially superheroes and their power involves doing amazing things with cars. I'm not a gearhead, I don't care a lick about automobiles, but I've come to eagerly anticipate this franchise. It delivers ridiculous action on a ridiculous scale like few others. It's earned my confidence. The Fate and the Furious, the eighth film, still delivers the high-octane goods even if it can't quite keep up with the best of the franchise's entries.

    Dom (Diesel) has been preaching the virtues of family for years but now he's turning his back on them. The notorious cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) extorts Dom into helping her get her hands on nuclear codes. Dom's crew (The Rock, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel) is wondering whether the man they know is still there. Government agent M. Nobody (Kurt Russell) reassembles the team to track down Dom, and they're working with some unexpected help. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) has been released from maximum-security prison to thwart Cipher.

    This is a franchise that soared to new heights of commercial success after it left behind its inhibitions of the imagination. It's a franchise that lives or dies depending upon its giddy action set pieces. As I wrote about Furious 7: "The set pieces of the last few films have been stunners, and at its height, the franchise can make you feel giddy like a child watching the unreal unfold with such delight. There's a tremendous and infectious high watching a well-executed action scene on such a large scale. With every movie our expectations are hungrier, and the franchise has found a way to satiate our action movie demands." Fortunately for the eighth film, there are two standout action set pieces that are some of the stronger ones in the history of the franchise. The first is a car chase through New York (though filmed primarily in Cleveland) that builds and changes as it continues, an essential element for any great action sequence to stretch forward. At one point Cipher takes control of an armada of hackable, self-driving cars and pilots them as a collective weapon of mass destruction. They resemble a herd of runaway bulls. The destructive fleet leads to some impressive sights such as a bevy of cars plummeting from a parking garage. It's a strong sequence that also finds room for the other characters to try and take down Dom, and it allows Dom the ability to outsmart them, adding the personal element. The other standout is the entire third act set around the Arctic Circle in Russia that climaxes with the dizzying heights of a nuclear sub chase and The Rock manually redirecting a speeding torpedo. There are multiple points of action and mini-goals that lead logically to the next, allowing escalation to mount. It's dangerously over-the-top even for this franchise and it's generally awesome and I loved it.

    Eight movies in and Fast and Furious is really becoming an expansive ensemble series. The core team has been picking up players here and there with each additional movie, building its diverse definition of a diverse family. This is getting to be a crowded film and there's just not enough room to go around for everyone to contribute meaningfully, which means it's more likely from here on out, unless there is some judicial pruning, that characters stay religiously archetypal. Ludacris is the tech guru, but isn't Emmanuel now also the tech guru, or does she only specialize in the tech subgroup of hacking? Why do I need Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride) to join the gang as the awkward rookie trying to look cool? Isn't that a milder version of what Tyrese Gibson offers as the comic relief bravado? Admittedly, I only started really paying attention to this franchise once it added The Rock, but I'm still unsure what Rodriguez brings to the dynamic beside history and romance. This general sense of the characters settling into their expected roles is exemplified in the in-car banter and one-liners. It appears often that they're just talking to themselves for these lines. I could do with far less Tyrese reaction shots and Rodriguez one-liners. Theron is also generally wasted as the new villain du jour. She's got the icy glare down and looks to be having fun, but she's not given anything interesting to do. Without going into greater spoilers, I will say that Dom's heel turn is wrapped up by the end of its 135-minute running time. No need to turn it into a multi-film arc.

    Paul Walker's character is understandably absent and I'd hate for them to bring him back after the very sweet and surprisingly poignant sendoff at the end of Furious 7, but he does still exist in this universe. I can agree with characters not wanting to get him involved in their dangerous missions across the globe, but at the end when they're all dining as one big family, wouldn't they also invite Dom's sister, brother-in-law, and their children too? It gets into the Avengers territory where you start wondering why the Avengers haven't assembled for the world-destroying threats from their respective solo film adventures.

    The best post-Rock addition to the franchise has easily been Statham (Spy) and he proves it with his limited but highly entertaining time on screen. His appearances were a fun disruption in the previous film and he served as the most formidable villain. Reintegrating him onto the team was a smart move because he adds charisma, unpredictability, and a new dynamic that also seeds conflict. It was also smart because more Statham means including hand-to-hand combat action sequences that can involve a higher degree of stunt choreography, even if the former Transporter is starting to show his age. His scenes with The Rock were a natural highlight. However, adding Deckard onto the team to tackle a bigger baddie presents some weird questions. By the film's end, everyone seems rather chummy with the man who straight up murdered their friend Han (Sung Kang). Sorry dude but it seems like everyone is rather relaxed with your murderer and big government having unlimited and regulation-free surveillance powers. My advice to future Fast and Furious installments, and there will be various, is to try and include as much Statham as possible (it's essentially a repeat of The Rock Rule).

    Where the movie has rougher terrain is in the area of drama and comedy. Look, nobody is going to confuse the Fast and the Furious films as great works of human drama. Director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton) takes over for James Wan (The Conjuring) who took over for Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond), and the discrepancy is noticeable. While having two excellent set pieces that place highly along the big board of the franchise, they're not as well shot. Gray's command of visuals is more than adequate but lacks the sizzle and vision of his predecessors. Wan was able to adopt the house _b_style of the franchise and deliver a satisfying though lesser experience (Lin is king). Gray has a harder time with the material. The CGI approaches cartoon levels at points and Gray doesn't better maintain tone. He doesn't know when to pull back, which is unusually exemplified in the comedy asides. Everything that gets a laugh will be repeated until it becomes somewhat annoying, in particular a scene with Statham and a baby. It begins fun and cheeky, and Statham even uses the baby carriage as part of the fight choreography, but then it overstays its welcome like the other comedy bits. The dramatic moments are also far too overwrought, even for this franchise. It can be a bit much.

    This is a franchise that revels in the ridiculous, that embraces being a big dumb action movie in the best way, delivering imaginative and often eye-popping action that deserves the full big screen treatment. Fate and the Furious falls somewhere in the middle of the franchise from a quality standpoint. It's not as good as seven, which wasn't as good as six, which wasn't as good as five, but it's still good enough. It's definitely lesser and the new director doesn't have the same natural feel for the preposterous as previous directors, and even after eight films I'm still mostly indifferent about the far majority of the characters on screen. As I've written before, though, thankfully the movie has the good sense to know what the audience is paying to see. It's here for the fast cars, eye-popping stunts, and gratuitously framed camera angles highlighting women's derrieres (I think there's a contractual law that a close-up of booty shorts must make a grand entrance in the opening minutes of every film). Fate and the Furious is just enough of what I want from the franchise, though it's getting harder to keep up with every new movie. Furious 9 and 10 are already in the works, and it's only a matter of time before we get Fast and Furious in Space. It's getting further and further removed from a sense of reality but as long as it keeps up with incrementally raised expectations and employs enough charming actors to compensate for Diesel's enormous lack of charisma, then they'll keep fans like me happy in the short run.

    Nate's Grade: B
  • Going in Style (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb1025970122
    There is something to be said for movies that have no particular ambition due to a level of self-awa... read morereness. There is something to be said for swallowing your pride, accepting the reality of the situation, and doing what you can with the given factors. It's admirable and with such unabashed pride in the face of acceptance there is charm to be found. A different, slightly quirky, break from the norm type charm and this is what Going in _b_style relies on to let its audience know it is well aware of what it is and that it has no qualms about it. If you don't have any qualms with the type of entertainment a movie like Going in _b_style promises to deliver then you likely won't have any issue with the movie either. Going in _b_style is exactly what one would expect it to be given it comes from screenwriter Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent, Hidden Figures) and by his pen is an updated version of the 1979 film of the same name that starred George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. That film, which I admittedly haven't seen, came from director Martin Brest who may or may not have the strangest filmography in the history of directors. The man, who made his big studio feature debut with the original Going in _b_style at the age of twenty-eight, would go on to direct the likes of such films as Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, and Meet Joe Black among others until he debuted Gigli in 2003 and hasn't worked since. If you're old enough you may recognize the guy as Dr. Miller from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but all of this is neither here nor there (though someone should really look into how one film was so detrimental to an otherwise prosperous career). The point is, what made Going in _b_style a movie worth re-making seems to have been absent from the consideration of the studio and filmmakers and more was simply an excuse to round up some of our best aging actors, throw them in a film together, and let the chemistry and credibility do the rest of the work. If one has seen the like-minded Last Vegas then you know this actually turns out fairly well and to no surprise Going in _b_style yields much the same results. A superfluous and completely unnecessary re-make, no doubt, but a frothy enough excursion you don't take seriously enough to be upset about.

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  • Beauty and the Beast (PG, 2017)

    - by fb733768972
    Whether you are a die-hard fan of the animated Disney classic or not, there's no denying that the wo... read morerld has been captivated by this "tale as old as time" for quite some time. They have been working on these live-action adaptations for a while now, and while they pretty much are just replicas of the existing animated films, it's the fact that they are done with absolute care that matters the most. This live-action version of Beauty and the Beast may have some elements that aren't for everyone, but it's definitely a story worth revisiting one more time. None of these remakes have to exist, but if they are all as good or even better than Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and now even Beauty and the Beast, I won't find myself complaining too much. While not perfect, this film had me smiling and wanting more. Here are my thoughts on 2017's Beauty and the Beast.

    While watching this years rendition of Beauty and the Beast, it will be impossible to not compare it to the original animated classic, due to the fact that most of the film is a replication of that dialogue. At a mere 80 minutes, the original film was short and to the point. This version is almost an hour longer, adding in new sequences, adding more depth to the character of Belle. Aside from that, this film is everything you've seen before, but done very, very well. The story of a woman learning to love a beast for who he is on the inside is still as relevant as ever. Although Emma Watson and Dan Stevens probably weren't interacting all that much, their chemistry felt very real and very present. Everyone seems to be complaining about accents throughout this film, but found it to be quite charming and elegant.

    Admittedly, not every film can have the realistic look of 2016's The Jungle Book, but there were more than a few instances that stood out here. Yes, the CGI work throughout this film was very well done, but when Belle has close interactions with the beast, it did feel slightly awkward at times. As for the secondary characters in the inanimate objects coming to life, that was the most authentic work in terms of CGI in my opinion. It truly looked as though these objects were coming to life in the castle. Not only in making characters come to life, the technology utilized throughout the course of Beauty and the Beast was note-worthy. Everything about this film was incredibly immersive and the music just elevated that.

    When you recreate a film like Beauty and the Beast, you don't really have a choice but to include the classic songs in some shape or form. Utilizing all of the same music, while still taking the time to execute a few side plots containing some very good new tracks, this film is full of fresh takes on the classic tale. There are a few aspects that seem to be overdone here, like the villain for instance. Gaston is perfectly cast in Luke Evans, but his character is a bit too rough and tough in this version. I know that you are supposed to dislike him as a character, but I straight up hated this version, but then again, I'm sure they were going for that. To add to the casting comment, I absolutely loved the casting choices for just about everyone and their vocals didn't bother me one bit. The music was brought to the big screen with care and these performers were seeming to be giving it their all.

    Looking back on my experience with this film, I didn't find myself complaining about too much, but the run time may be about 10-15 minutes too long. I felt as though there were quite a few sequences that dragged on a little too long, but I was clammering for more throughout some of them. The musical numbers are terrifically executed, the visuals are quite stunning at times, the casting is spot-on, and although I feel as though the villain is incredibly overdone and the CGI of the beast is quite noticeable, this is a harmlessly safe re-telling of the classic story. Highly recommended for newcomers and fans of the original. Great family entertainment with a solid lesson that will never age. As mentioned above, remakes are not necessary in my opinion, but if they are going to be as well-made as this, I don't think people should be complaining yet.
  • The Fate of the Furious (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb615721053
    Probably the most loudest and flamboyant movie in the series, and, ultimately, all that more enjoyab... read morele. Put your brain on hold and forget about such stupid things like gravity and the laws of physics. Enjoy the action and the fact that the main star of this isn't Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson, nor is it the cars, it's Jason Statham who really shines and is the star of this one and hopefully for the remaining two movies also.