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  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Stylish but wayward, director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn's action sequel "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (Fox) spoils its own fun by refusing all hint of restraint. This leads to cartoonish but gruesome mayhem as well as a distasteful bedroom sequence that, together with other over-the-top elements, push the proceedings beyond the boundaries of acceptability.

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  • Mother

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Even as its end credits roll, there's a great deal that remains puzzling about the chaotic, exhausting, genre-blending allegory "Mother!" (Paramount). What's all too apparent, however, is that the film's treatment of religion -- one of the major themes it seeks to address -- is relentlessly negative and briefly sacrilegious.

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  • American Assassin

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The award for the most obvious film title of the year goes to "American Assassin" (CBS Films), an action thriller about -- you guessed it -- a professional killer from the United States, specifically Rhode Island.

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  • Home Again

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Genteel decorum prevails in the romantic comedy "Home Again" (Open Road). At least, it does so everywhere beyond the confines of its protagonist's bedroom. The result is a morally mixed film in which kindly characters follow the misguided marital and sexual dictates of contemporary society.

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  • It

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Moviegoers looking for nothing more than to be unsettled will likely be satisfied with the horror adaptation "It" (Warner Bros.). However, while director Andy Muschietti's generally effective screen version of Stephen King's 1986 novel promotes friendship and fear-conquering solidarity, it also includes some grisly sights that, taken together with other elements, make it suitable for few.

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  • The Good Catholic

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A self-identified romantic comedy built around a priest's struggle with his vocation is bound to be doubtful fare for viewers of faith. And so it proves with "The Good Catholic" (Broad Green).

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  • Tulip Fever

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Horticulture was never as steamy -- or silly -- as in "Tulip Fever" (Weinstein), a period drama based on the 1999 novel by Deborah Moggach. Despite a handsome cast, lavish sets and a script by no less than Tom Stoppard ("Shakespeare in Love"), the film never transcends above a bodice-ripping soap opera, venturing dangerously close to soft-porn territory.

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  • Birth of the Dragon

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- No one goes to a kung fu movie to savor plot nuances. They're all about tightly choreographed kicks and punches, and pleasing epigrammatic dialogue about near-monastic discipline and self-control, mixed in with a dusting of Asian spice.

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  • All Saints

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Sincere but less than slick, the low-key, fact-based drama "All Saints" (Sony) celebrates Christian faith and family life. Believers, accordingly, will likely be inclined to overlook its artistic shortcomings.

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  • Good Time

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Gritty and intense, the ironically titled crime drama "Good Time" (A24) actually charts some very grim hours in the lives of its central characters. In doing so, the film conducts viewers on a journey through a bleak urban landscape many entertainment oriented moviegoers may not care to visit.

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  • Leap

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Ballet enthusiasts of all ages should jump at the chance to see the charming animated film "Leap!" (Weinstein). Set in 1880s France, and originally entitled "Ballerina," this French-Canadian movie, produced by L'Atelier Animation and directed with brio by Eric Summer and Eric Warin, is a visual wonder.

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  • Logan Lucky

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Director Steven Soderbergh reinvents his "Ocean's Eleven" trilogy with a backwoods twist in "Logan Lucky" (Bleecker Street), a zany heist caper. Instead of suave leading men like George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who rob casinos with sophistication and flair, Rebecca Blunt's screenplay presents a band of mismatched misfits from West Virginia who turn to crime in the hope of a better life beyond the trailer park.

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  • The Hitman's Bodyguard

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Morality is never allowed to get in the way of style as Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds find creative ways to dispatch a host of extras in the excessively mayhem-ridden action flick "The Hitman's Bodyguard" (Summit).

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  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Much of the action in the animated children's comedy "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" (Open Road) unfolds at a frenzied pace. Yet, for all the sound and fury, this is in the end a bland film, unlikely to please any but the least discerning viewers.

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  • The Glass Castle

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Anyone who's endured the ignominy of grinding poverty with an alcoholic, out-of- work parent understands that there's nothing ennobling about the experience. It's something to endure, to escape if one can, and it leaves deep psychic scars for which later wealth is weak compensation. It's not an experience to be sentimentalized.

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  • Annabelle: Creation

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Most of the mayhem wreaked by the figurine-haunting demon at the center of the horror prequel "Annabelle: Creation" (Warner Bros.) is restrained. Yet, as the film progresses, director David F. Sandberg and his collaborators allow their imagery to become briefly but disturbingly graphic.

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