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Love in the Time of Genocide: ‘The Promise’ Review

(2017—Director: Terry George) ★★★ (out of 5 stars) For much of his career, Irish writer-director Terry George drew from his experiences of the Irish “Troubles” to craft absorbing tales of perseverance in an oppressive landscape. This ranges from Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite getting framed and imprisoned for a crime they didn’t commit in 1993’s In the Name of the …

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Family and Heartbreak: ‘This Is Us’ Review

— By Carly Twehous — Randall is a moderately successful lawyer, with a wife, two daughters, and an estranged, terminally ill biological father who’s now living in the guest bedroom. Kevin is the dreamer of improbable dreams, whose face is plastered on every billboard across America, but loses a piece of his soul every time he steps in front of …

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The Challenges of Parenthood: ‘Gifted’ Review

(2017—Director: Marc Webb) ★★★ (out of 5 stars)   Parenthood is difficult, especially on where a parent should steer their young children, given the talents they have begun to show. Do parents raise their children in a conventional way or do they throttle them towards the first talent they recognize or one that runs in the family? Is the correct …

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A Monster House…in Space! – ‘Life’ Review

(2017—Director: Daniel Espinosa) ★★★ (out of 5 stars) With the Alien franchise delivering a new installment in a few months and just a few years removed from the emotional and visual roller-coaster that was 2013’s Gravity, I felt positive about this new ensemble sci-fi thriller directed by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Child 44). It boasts an international ensemble cast, …

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A Pleasant Surprise: ‘The Case for Christ’ Stands out Among Christian Films

(2017—Director: Jon Gunn) ★★★ (out of 5 stars) Preachy, typically fideistic stories with unrestrained acting and incompetent filmmaking are often the norms in Christian films. As such, they easily become the fodder of mainstream and high-brow filmgoers, discouraging Christians worldwide. Fortunately, this is mostly not the case with The Case for Christ, a biographical drama about its real-life protagonist—today a Christian …

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With Great Power: ‘Daredevil’ Season One Review

–By Carly Twehous– “I’m not seeking forgiveness for what I’ve done, Father,” Matt Murdock intones in the dark confessional. “I’m asking forgiveness for what I’m about to do.” Such a statement carries a profound desire to do what is right, coupled with a bleak acknowledgement of a world that perverts even the most noble intentions. Matt Murdock is a blind …

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Freedom Lies Beyond the Zoo: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ Review

(2017—Director: Niki Caro) ★★★ (out of 5 stars) The Holocaust film is an example of a subgenre whose towering signature work arguably set an insurmountable bar for future similar works. Say “Holocaust film” and nine out of ten people will immediately think of the 1993 Best Picture-Oscar winning drama Schindler’s List, which many would argue no later Holocaust film has matched. …

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Ever Just the Same, Barely a Surprise: ‘Beauty & the Beast’ Review

(2017- Director: Bill Condon) ★★★1/2 (out of 5 stars) Reviewing films like this remake of Disney’s 1991 animated classic tends to frustrate me as a film critic who desires for films to stand as apart as possible while also cementing a unique footprint within all of cinema. That’s a tough outlook, especially since the success of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland and …

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Movie Review: On the Dark and Light in Star Wars

The grittiness of “Rogue One” doesn’t place the story outside the Star Wars moral universe—it shows the contours of that universe in even greater relief. By Dr. Thomas P. Harmon The newest Star Wars movie is different. That is not a controversial observation. Many of the features that shout “Star Wars!” have been deliberately removed: the opening crawl, the John …

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‘Logan’: Hugh Jackman’s Send-Off as Wolverine

(2017- Director: James Mangold) ★★★ 1/2 (out of 5 stars) Many have credited 2000’s X-Men for spearheading the second generation of comic book cinema that has largely taken over the entertainment industry today. Moviegoers acquainted themselves with other comic book properties arriving on the big screen while also making successful the eight succeeding X-Men installments. Then, when stars Hugh Jackman …