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  • The Goldfinch

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A 17th-century Dutch masterpiece becomes a complex souvenir in the patchy drama "The Goldfinch" (Warner Bros./Amazon). Though initially intriguing, director John Crowley's adaptation of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2013 best-seller flags long before its taxing two-and-a-half-hour running time is spent.

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  • It: Chapter Two

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The three-hour tour that went so disastrously wrong for the future denizen of Gilligan's Island was a mere picnic compared to the patience-trying endurance test that is "It: Chapter Two" (Warner Bros.). Viewers misguided enough to subject themselves to the experience, moreover, will find that this seemingly endless follow-up to the 2017 adaptation of horror maven Stephen King's novel is marked by off-kilter morality.

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  • Bennett's War

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Loosely based on the case histories of real-life wounded veterans, writer-director Alex Ranarivelo's endearing sports drama "Bennett's War" (Forrest) is a portrait of courage in the face of adversity. Well-suited to an audience of grown-ups, the film may also pass muster with the parents of older teens willing to overlook some barracks-style talk in the dialogue.

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  • Don't Let Go

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- An intriguing premise gets the thriller "Don't Let Go" (OTL Releasing) off to a strong start. By the time it reaches the finish line, though, director and co-writer (with Drew Daywalt) Jacob Estes' film has long since been hobbled by implausibility. While its underlying values are sound, moreover, bloody images and vulgar talk suggest this one is best for an older audience.

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  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Film fans generally and viewers of faith in particular will find much to appreciate in the heartwarming drama "The Peanut Butter Falcon" (Roadside). Themes of friendship, brotherhood and redemption are woven into a story that resonates with Gospel values.

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  • Overcomer

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "If you want to send a message," Hollywood stalwart Sam Goldwyn is said to have remarked -- with regard to someone's yen to make a "meaningful" movie -- "use Western Union." While telegrams may have been overtaken by more recent technology, the advice remains sound, as the faith- and sports-themed drama "Overcomer" (Sony), alas, proves.

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  • Angel Has Fallen

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Good personal values vie with relentless gory combat in "Angel Has Fallen" (Lionsgate). The result is an action sequel that's too graphic for those seeking casual entertainment. This third installment in the series focusing on dedicated and highly skilled Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) opens with him under consideration as a possible successor to the agency's retiring chief, David Gentry (Lance Reddick).

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  • Ready or Not

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The honeymoon is over even before it begins in the nuptial-themed horror fantasy "Ready or Not" (Fox Searchlight). Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's film starts with a sketchy, complicated premise and eventually becomes a thoroughly unpleasant slog through a series of increasingly gruesome encounters in the lead-up to a climactic sequence that must be among the bloodiest ever filmed.

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  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Based on the 2012 best-seller by Maria Semple, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" (Annapurna) tells the story of Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett), a fantastic mother but an otherwise abominable human being who disappears from her home after an intervention.

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  • Blinded by the Light

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Abundant charm and an insightful depiction of the ups and downs of both friendship and family life make "Blinded by the Light" (Warner Bros.) -- writer-director Gurinder Chadha's touching fact-based mix of drama and comedy -- a winner.

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  • Good Boys

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- It's rare that even the premise of a mainstream movie can be characterized as immoral. Yet such is the case with the supposed comedy "Good Boys" (Universal). In an era practically devoid of taboos, someone in Hollywood apparently thought it would be edgy to make an R-rated buddy movie featuring a trio of tweens. As a result, three youthful actors, Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams, are shamefully exploited as they follow a script that has them interacting with sex toys, online pornography and drugs.

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  • 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's blood in the water in the shark-themed thriller "47 Meters Down: Uncaged" (Entertainment Studios). Crafting a jumpy follow-up to his 2017 original, returning director and co-writer (once again with Ernest Riera) Johannes Roberts ramps up the gore but also explores themes of altruism, cooperation and family unity on the way to a coincidental ending that strains credulity.

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  • The Angry Birds Movie 2

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Much feathery fun is packed into "The Angry Birds Movie 2" (Sony), the latest animated installment in the franchise based on the addictive phone app. In fact, in every respect, it's far superior to, and more intelligent than, the 2016 original.

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  • The Kitchen

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- What's cooking in "The Kitchen" (Warner Bros.)? A morally muddled stew of fatal feminism. Meet put-upon mob wives Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss). The trio ekes out a marginal existence in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, circa 1978.

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  • Brian Banks

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Dramas of the falsely accused fighting against a broken legal system are reliably inspiring. With the sports star formula additionally worked in, "Brian Banks" (Bleecker Street) might seem to ace it.

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  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Classic horror motifs are given fresh life in the fun chiller "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" (Lionsgate). However, while the film is essentially a bloodless affair, other elements make it best for grownups.

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  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Teenage and grown viewers will find much to cheer about in "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" (Paramount). As for younger fans of its source material, the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series "Dora the Explorer," however, parents may need to exercise just a bit of caution.

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  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "The Art of Racing in the Rain" (Fox 2000), an otherwise benign drama about a man and his dog, adapted from the novel by Garth Stein, is marred by a treatment of reincarnation that prevents endorsement of it for impressionable viewers.

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