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  • Unforgettable

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The few adult viewers for whom it's suitable might be tempted to nickname the feverish domestic drama "Unforgettable" (Warner Bros.) "Wifie Dearest." That's because Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl), the obsessive, perfectionist ex-spouse at the center of the film's action, continually calls to mind Faye Dunaway's fuming, rage-prone persona as Joan Crawford in 1981's "Mommie Dearest."

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  • Gifted

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Endearing and well-acted, director Marc Webb's drama "Gifted" (Fox Searchlight) might have been a family-friendly movie. Elements in screenwriter Tom Flynn's script, however, make this thoughtful film -- which examines the proper balance between cultivating youthful talent and the need for even extraordinary kids to lead a normal life -- exclusively suitable for grown-ups and perhaps older teens.

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  • Free Fire

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The premise of "Free Fire" (A24) is that a single extended gunfight can sustain an entire film, provided the participants in the showdown keep making incongruously funny and mordant remarks.

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  • The Fate of the Furious

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Grown viewers willing to kick reality to the curb will have fun with the preposterous but lively auto-themed action adventure "The Fate of the Furious" (Universal). Dicey moral values and a high mayhem quotient, however, mean this seventh sequel to 2001's "The Fast and the Furious" is not a film for impressionable youngsters.

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  • Going in Style

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Despite its title, there's nothing very spiffy about "Going in Style" (Warner Bros.). In fact, this leaden caper comedy feels distinctly cut-rate. Director Zach Braff's remake of Martin Brest's 1979 film stars Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin as former co-workers and longtime best friends driven to desperation by financial woes. The company they used to work for is moving its operations overseas, and being restructured in a way that will eliminate their hard-earned pensions.

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  • Smurfs: The Lost Village

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- If you've always wondered, "Just what is a Smurfette?" then "Smurfs: The Lost Village" (Columbia) may be the film for you. Moviegoers not consumed by curiosity about that question, on the other hand, are likely to find this children's cartoon colorful but less than engaging.

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  • The Case for Christ

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Christian apologetics, the branch of theology devoted to proving the reasonableness of belief in Jesus, is almost as old as the faith itself. Three documents in this genre, for instance, survive from the writings of St. Justin Martyr, who died in the middle of the second century.

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  • The Zookeeper's Wife

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Moviegoers of goodwill may ask themselves, while watching the fact-based historical drama "The Zookeeper's Wife" (Focus), why they aren't enjoying themselves more. The story the film tells is undeniably inspiring. But the manner in which it's told is dramatically thin.

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  • The Blackcoat's Daughter

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- This year's crop of demon-possession plots -- that hardy stalwart of horror -- kicks off in high style with the very adult "The Blackcoat's Daughter" (A24). Although this story gives unusually short shrift to the rite of exorcism, which is portrayed even more casually and inaccurately than is usually the case in such dramas, the filmmakers have at least taken care to show an actual demon. That's rare these days.

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  • Ghost in the Shell

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Ghost in the Shell" (Paramount), director Rupert Sanders' murky, boring adaptation of a series of comics by Masamune Shirow, offers little beyond glitzy futuristic cityscapes. This live-action version of Shirow's sci-fi-themed manga -- first published in 1989 and previously the inspiration for two animated features -- is also somewhat exploitative.

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  • The Boss Baby

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Fans of Stewie Griffin, the "enfant terrible" of Fox-TV's "Family Guy," will know in advance just what effect the folks behind "The Boss Baby" (Fox) are aiming for with their incongruously mature title character.

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  • CHIPS

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Get your motor running, spring yourself from a cage out on Highway 9, do whatever it takes to get away from the mind-numbing, motorcycle-bedecked comedy "CHIPS" (Warner Bros.). The humor in this twist on the 1977-1983 NBC-TV drama series quickly skids off the road and into the gutter, where it remains.

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  • Slamma Jamma

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The well-intentioned sports drama "Slamma Jamma" (RiverRain Productions) occasionally comes to tepid life on basketball courts. But a weak script, together with production values indicative of a low budget, keep it hobbled as a story of redemption and Christian faith.

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  • Life

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Director Daniel Espinosa and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick adopt a serious tone in the ensemble sci-fi thriller "Life" (Columbia). Together with deft performances and some creative camera work, this unusually thoughtful mood serves to offset the familiarity of the film's humans-versus-predator premise.

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  • Saban's Power Rangers

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A Saturday morning children's show gets its third big-screen treatment with "Saban's Power Rangers" (Lionsgate). Regrettably, unlike the two previous films in the franchise, this latest incarnation of the popular 1990s program (then called "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers") is more suitable for late night TV, because of a preponderance of crass humor, off-color language and inappropriate sexual references.

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  • The Belko Experiment

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Faceless executives at corporate headquarters are never crueler to the field office than in "The Belko Experiment" (Orion), a poorly conceived drama that was probably intended as an allegory before wallowing in meaningless gore.

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  • Beauty and the Beast

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Disney's live-action adaptation of its beloved 1991 animated film "Beauty and the Beast" arrives in theaters amid a swirl of controversy over the updating of one of its characters into an openly gay man.

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