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  • Come Play

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- If the monster movie "Come Play" (Focus) is only reasonably effective in frightening its audience, it is at least refreshingly free of objectionable material, including gore. Thus, although it's not a film for small fry, it is a feature that can be enjoyed by the rest of the family.

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  • On the Rocks

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Understated in its approach and mature in its values, the low-key comedy "On the Rocks" (A24/Apple TV+) is an amiable enterprise suitable for a grown audience. In fact, it could have been an instructive film for teens as well were it not for a single burst of F-bombs from an extraneous source.

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  • Fishbowl

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- When a movie's plot consists of a grieving widower with three teen daughters attending a Catholic high school who becomes obsessed with the end of the world, dealing with spiritual themes would seem to be inevitable.

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  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- If nothing else, the sequel "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (Amazon) has consistency on its side. In it, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen reprises his role as Borat Sagdiyev, an irrepressibly cheerful but pixelated Kazakh journalist he first played in 2006. As in that first film, moreover, his alter ego sets off on a cross-country tour of the United States, this time accompanied by his daughter, Tutar (Maria Bakalova).

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  • 'Clouds,' streaming, Disney+

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Based on Laura Sobiech's 2014 memoir "Fly a Little Higher," the heartwarming, winsome feature film "Clouds" is streaming on Disney+. Justin Baldoni directs from Kara Holden's sharply observed, thoughtful screenplay about the life of Sobiech's late son, Zach (Fin Argus).

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  • UPDATE: The Trial of the Chicago 7

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- As demonstrated by the popularity of his long-running TV series "The West Wing," Aaron Sorkin has a knack for making politics interesting. Nearly a decade-and-a-half after that show went dark, he brings his talents to bear as the writer and director of the fact-based drama "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix).

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  • Rebecca

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- British author Daphne du Maurier's bestselling 1938 gothic novel "Rebecca" has been dramatized multiple times over the years, most memorably in the 1940 movie starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.

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  • Honest Thief

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The title may be an oxymoron, but there's nothing paradoxical about "Honest Thief" (Open Road); it's a solid, entertaining action thriller. This fast-paced game of cat-and-mouse between a conflicted bank robber and a duo of crooked cops, directed and co-written (with Steve Allrich) by Mark Williams, offers its protagonist, should he prevail, two prizes: a shot at redemption and the love of a good woman.

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  • The War With Grandpa

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Humor goes AWOL during "The War With Grandpa" (101 Studios). While director Tom Hill's flimsy comedy, adapted from Robert Kimmel Smith's novel for children, is acceptable for older kids and their elders, they're unlikely to buy into its strained, unrealistic setup.

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  • Yellow Rose

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Yellow Rose" (Sony) is meant to be an inspiring immigrant's saga with a particular appeal to teen girls. A scene of underage drinking nudges this into adult territory, but just barely, so it doesn't necessarily preclude viewing by mature teens. There's no endorsement of the behavior -- it's just something that sets up how Rose Garcia (Eva Noblezada), the heroine, comes to work in a Texas honky-tonk, where she hopes to launch a country music career.

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  • 'The Boys in the Band,' streaming, Netflix

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- It may be hard to imagine now, but back in 1968, one way to stir controversy was to write a play about homosexuals. Mart Crowley did so, and the result was an off-Broadway hit and a successful 1970 film helmed by William Friedkin.

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  • Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "The family that prays together stays together." Although he popularized rather than originated that pithy saying, the sentence aptly sums up the message of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton (1909-1992), who advocated it both tirelessly and with great success.

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  • Kajillionaire

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Essentially a lesbian love story, "Kajillionaire" (Focus) is also a barren comedy mostly populated by unsympathetic characters whose eccentricities are more obnoxious than endearing and resting on underlying ideas about life and death that cannot be harmonized with revealed truth.

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  • The Devil All the Time

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Satan does seem to be having his way around the clock in the harrowingly grim, mayhem-ridden drama "The Devil All the Time" (Netflix). In fact, various forms of perversity are so pervasive in the film that it skirts the border of the offensive.

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  • Antebellum

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Far-fetched and ham-fisted, the grim fantasy "Antebellum" (Lionsgate) is marked by an outlook on timely racial issues that lacks both balance and a humane spirit. Written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, the film also is tainted by a pursuit of revenge that viewers committed to Christian values will recognize as appealing to its audience's worst impulses.

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  • Infidel

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Though it claims to be based on true events, the political thriller "Infidel" (Cloudburst) might as well have a soundtrack of axes being ground. In dealing with religious conflict in Iran, it stereotypes Muslims as having beaky noses, scowling constantly and being prone to wishing, and committing, violence on those who disrespect Islam.

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