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  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The beloved characters created by Beatrix Potter in her series of children's books stray even further from their amiable roots in "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway" (Columbia). A blend of live action and computer-generated animation, this follow-up to the 2018 film features a similar array of anthropomorphic animals. Will Gluck, who returns as director and co-writer -- this time with Patrick Burleigh -- retains the manic pace and snarky humor of the kickoff, thus maintaining a tone entirely alien to that of Potter's gentle fables.

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  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Do-it-yourself demon fighters Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren are at it again in "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" (Warner Bros.). The apparent draw this time being that, instead of combating possession, they're trying to undo a curse.

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  • A Quiet Place Part II

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "A Quiet Place Part II" (Paramount) drains away the suspense, analogies and underlying message about family bonds from the 2018 original in order to set up a franchise reminiscent of an immersive dystopian theme-park ride.

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  • Spirit Untamed

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Pedigree is important where horses are concerned, and the equine-themed animated adventure "Spirit Untamed" (Universal) comes with a multimedia lineage. It descends both from the 2002 film "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" and the ongoing Netflix series "Spirit Riding Free," which first aired in 2017.

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  • Cruella

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Adults who want nothing more than to watch two gifted actresses camp it up will likely be satisfied with director Craig Gillespie's glossy romp "Cruella" (Disney). Parents on the lookout for safe family fare, not so much.

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  • Profile

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In 2015, a French journalist who now calls herself Anna Erelle published the memoir "In the Skin of a Jihadist." It recounted her effort to infiltrate the online recruitment process by which ISIS drew Europeans to join their campaign of terror in the Middle East. The project eventually proved so perilous that Erelle not only had to change her name but still lives under 24-hour police protection.

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  • Spiral: From the Book of Saw

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Given that "Spiral: From the Book of Saw" (Lionsgate) is the ninth installment -- albeit, technically, a reboot -- in the soul-coarsening "Saw" franchise, its release prompts reflection on who would find these films entertaining.

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  • Finding You

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In adapting Jenny B. Jones' 2011 young adult novel "There I'll Find You" into a big-screen romantic comedy, writer-director Brian Baugh has shortened its title to "Finding You" (Roadside).

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  • Those Who Wish Me Dead

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Two vulnerable characters form a bond amid perilous circumstances in the thriller "Those Who Wish Me Dead" (Warner Bros.). While the film's path heads toward redemption for one and recovery for the other, detours and details along the journey make it strictly a trip for grown-ups.

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  • Monster

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Though it's adapted from a book that's over a decade old, "Monster" (Netflix), director Anthony Mandler's screen version of Walter Dean Myers' 1999 novel for young adults, feels remarkably timely. This tale of a Harlem youth caught up in the criminal justice system gains credibility, moreover, by avoiding pat answers.

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  • Wrath of Man

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Though it comes wrapped up in a slick package, the actioner "Wrath of Man" (MGM) is, in essence, a morally crude tale of do-it-yourself justice. Since it invites viewers to sympathize with its protagonist's relentless quest for revenge, moreover, the film is fundamentally at odds with scriptural values.

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  • Here Today

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- In adapting his script partner Alan Zweibel's short story "The Prize" into the seriocomedy "Here Today" (Sony), director and co-writer Billy Crystal sets out to blend breezy humor with poignant drama. Unfortunately, the film -- in which he also stars as aging TV comedy writer Charlie Burnz -- falls flat in both respects.

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  • Separation

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- While certainly deserving of a place in the annals of schlock horror, "Separation" (Open Road) fails to secure entree into the pantheon of the genre. Working from a screenplay by Nick Amadeus and Josh Braun, director William Brent Bell grafts a cringe-inducing domestic drama -- in which almost all the interiors are very dark, and everyone behaves badly -- onto a ghost story involving haunted puppets.

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  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Innovative producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the team behind 2018's "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," unleash nothing less than a robot apocalypse in the animated comedy "The Mitchells vs. the Machines" (Netflix).

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