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  • Get Out

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Is the thriller "Get Out" (Universal) as good as all get out? Well, not exactly. Clever social commentary from writer-director Jordan Peele does add heft to the proceedings. But late scenes featuring some gory encounters, together with swearing throughout, make his film a rugged ride even for grown-ups.

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  • Fist Fight

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- We have to inquire: What kinds of audience laughter are the makers of the misbegotten "Fist Fight" (Warner Bros.) going for? Broad guffaws at human frailties? Nope, none of that. Expansive hoots at outrageous physical comedy? Again, not here.

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  • The Great Wall

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Those seeking nothing more from a movie than sheer spectacle may be satisfied with director Zhang Yimou's visually interesting but thoroughly implausible action adventure "The Great Wall" (Universal).

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  • A Cure for Wellness

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The Swiss spa that serves as the primary setting for the creepy, but otherwise pointless horror exercise "A Cure for Wellness" (Fox) operates, it seems, on the Hotel California plan.

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  • John Wick: Chapter 2

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The stylized, nearly cartoonish nihilism and resulting high body count in "John Wick: Chapter 2" (Lionsgate) create most of the apparent appeal of this second drama about a professional assassin.

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  • The Lego Batman Movie

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In 2014's "The Lego Movie," Will Arnett voiced an amusingly self-absorbed version of Gotham City's Dark Knight. With the entertaining spinoff "The Lego Batman Movie" (Warner Bros.), Arnett's character, together with his inflated ego, takes center stage.

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  • Fifty Shades Darker

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- To beat or not to beat, that is the question in the sordid sequel "Fifty Shades Darker" (Universal). Sensible people won't care a whip, er, a whit what the answer is. Extending a franchise whose appeal seems to be that it offers armchair submissives the erotic equivalent of ordering Fra Diavolo sauce in an Italian restaurant, director James Foley pads out his adaptation of E.L. James' novel -- the second in a trilogy, heaven help us -- with nonsexual scenes that range from the boring to the ridiculous. So anyone with a higher interest than mere prurience will be disappointed.

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  • Moonlight

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Considered as an exploration of the African-American experience in contemporary society, writer-director Barry Jenkins' powerfully understated drama "Moonlight" (A24) makes a compelling statement.

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  • The Comedian

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- If a movie's going to be titled "The Comedian" (Sony Classics), and the phrase isn't intended ironically, since the film is about a stand-up comic, the audience has a right to expect that some mirth, at least, awaits therein.

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  • Lion

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The incredible true story of one orphan's 20-year odyssey to find his way back home roars to cinematic life in "Lion" (Weinstein). Taken from his native India as a boy, Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel) grew to manhood in a loving adoptive family in Australia. But he was haunted by his lost childhood and the beloved mother (Priyanka Bose) he left behind. His 2013 memoir (written with Larry Buttrose), "A Long Way Home," inspired this poignant and uplifting film, directed by Garth Davis.

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  • Rings

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's something about being tossed down a well and left for dead that can make a girl really cranky. Hence, "Rings" (Paramount), the third film in an American horror franchise based on a 1998 Japanese feature. The series concerns a spooky black-and-white video, viewers of which are doomed to die seven days after watching it. Like a chain letter, it has to be shared and viewed by another person, otherwise Samara (Bonnie Morgan) emerges from her watery grave on video screens to exact her human toll.

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  • The Space Between Us

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Moral blemishes mar the science fiction-tinged romance "The Space Between Us" (STX), making it unsuitable for youngsters and teens. Dramatically, director Peter Chelsom and screenwriter Allan Loeb waste a promising premise as they imagine the life story of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield), the first human born on Mars.

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  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (Screen Gems) is the sixth -- and presumably last -- in a series of video game-based films that began back in 2002. The movies have always kept their connection to the console on open display. This makes them ideal for those who like their zombies, shootouts and occasionally gory incidents of flesh-eating served up with a minimum of story line or dialogue. For anyone beyond the fan base, though, frustration -- and a possible headache -- awaits.

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  • Gold

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Little glitters in "Gold" (Weinstein). To put it another way, there's a sour taste to this loosely fact-based story that a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the lead role fails to dispel.

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  • The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The parable of the prodigal son gets a soapy Hollywood treatment in "The Resurrection of Gavin Stone" (BH Tilt/High Top), a faith-based comedy-drama. The eponymous character (Brett Dalton) is a washed-up former child star whose bad-boy antics land him in big trouble during a visit to his home town in Illinois. Sentenced to perform 200 hours of community service and unable to leave the state, Gavin reluctantly moves back in with his estranged father, Waylon (Neil Flynn), a carpenter (hint, hint).

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  • A Dog's Purpose

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- While cats are said to be blessed with nine lives, the clever canine at the center of "A Dog's Purpose" (Universal) -- voiced by Josh Gad -- guides us through his adventures over four eventful lifetimes. Repeatedly reincarnated, he (and, for one stint, she) returns in the guise of various breeds and encounters a range of human caregivers.

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  • The Founder

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In chronicling the early history of McDonald's, "The Founder" (Weinstein) makes compelling food for thought, if not exactly a happy meal. The drama is based on the true story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), the traveling salesman who initially befriended the McDonald brothers, Richard (Nick Offerman) and Maurice (John Carroll Lynch), but eventually steamrolled over them. Robert Siegel's screenplay strives to set the record straight about who was actually responsible for the food service behemoth -- which today feeds 1 percent of the world's population, every single day.

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  • XXX: Return of Xander Cage

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Somewhere behind the macho posturing that predominates in the action sequel "XXX: Return of Xander Cage" (Paramount), there's a plot and a back story. Viewers are unlikely to care about the former and will have to be long in the tooth to recall the latter since this is the third in a series of films that began with 2002's "XXX" and hasn't been added to since 2005.

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  • 20th Century Women

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The moral compass in "20th Century Women" (A24), writer-director Mike Mills' rambling, unfiltered drama -- loosely based on his adolescence in 1970s Santa Barbara, California -- is not one of the characters. Rather, it's President Jimmy Carter.

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  • Split

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Split" (Universal), the latest psychological thriller from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, posits that victims of childhood sexual abuse are not only prone to dissociative identity disorder -- split personalities -- but also that each persona can have unique physical characteristics.

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  • The Bye Bye Man

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Don't think it! Don't say it!" Such is the frantic, oft-repeated mantra of the bewitched and bewildered -- not to mention generic -- characters who populate "The Bye Bye Man" (STX). Their struggle to evade the malevolent specter of the title (Doug Jones) ultimately proves more tiresome than terrifying.

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  • Sleepless

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's little chance of catching a quick nap during "Sleepless" (Open Road), a noisy, vulgar, and highly violent police drama. Based on the 2011 French film "Nuit Blanche" ("Sleepless Night"), this tense thriller, directed by Baran bo Odar, involves a complex game of cat-and-mouse between law enforcement and drug dealers on the mean streets of Las Vegas.

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  • Patriots Day

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- While "Patriots Day" (Lionsgate) is an effective dramatization of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its violent aftermath, the film is also an unsparing portrayal of those events. Thus it can only be recommended for the sturdiest adult viewers.

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