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Beyond the Sea
Good 83 Points 2004

The Peter Principle personified: Kevin Spacey reached his level of incompetence by writing, directing and starring in Beyond the Sea, a surreal biopic of Bobby Darin. The starring part was mostly fine.

The writing and directing parts, not so much.

Darin’s terrific songs make the movie an…

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  • BrianSez – Regarding "Wick's Review":
Great 66 Points 1991

A glamorous take on the gangster who gave us modern Las Vegas, Bugsy was Hollywood legend Warren Beatty’s last great role, complemented in no small measure by the potent chemistry he achieved with future wife Annette Bening.

Though a commercial disappointment, the movie has aged well, full of …

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Very Good 85 Points 1995

Lesser Scorsese crime movie. Can’t shake the shadow of Goodfellas, especially given the central presence of De Niro and Pesci. Still, a good Scorsese crime movie with an A list cast ain’t chopped liver.

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Creed II
Very Good 66 Points 2018

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise lives on, now centered on a new generation and an African-American hero. This all works and provides a dose of social relevance, making Creed II a solid entrant in the Rocky canon. It’s also a better than average boxing movie, largely because it follows the …

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WikChip Image Behind most good men is a father figure
Eye in the Sky
Really Great 86 Points 2015

21st century war gets personal in the heart-pounding Eye in the Sky, one of the best 21st century war movies yet.1 Helen Mirren’s steely colonel directs a global military response to Islamist terror, adroitly coordinating activity in Kenya, Nevada, Hawaii, Bejing and Singapore from two rooms …

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Good Kill
Really Great 83 Points 2015

Obama’s War on Terror comes alive in Good Kill. Set in 2010, after the second POTUS to prosecute the Islamist War dramatically escalated drone warfare, it unflinchingly portrays the toll on airmen and their families from a new kind of combat in an incompetently defined war. Albeit fictional, it…

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Hands of Stone
Good 66 Points 2016

Hands of Stone is a ham-fisted biopic of boxing great Roberto Durán. Raging Bull it’s not, notwithstanding Robert De Niro in a major role. That said, it does provide clear insight into Durán’s impoverished childhood, rise to prominence and fall from grace after his “No Mas” capitulation to Suga…

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WikChip Image Ana de Armas has star quality.
Last Vegas
Great 66 Points 2013

Last Vegas nails its high concept to a T, starting with the T it nails to its ass, er Las. Vegas bachelor party, geriatric style sums it up. Low-brow formula doesn’t preclude accomplished execution however, especially given major star power, considerable chemistry and ample cheesecake – Kin…

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Lay the Favorite
Very Good 66 Points 2012

True stories bear a burden when they get turned into movies. Stay true to the story and the movie will be less than spectacular. Punch it up and get accused of selling out.

Lay the Favorite falls prey to the former as it recounts a real young woman’s underground education. The indomitable…

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Lost in America
Good 66 Points 1985

Lost in America’s reputation exceeds its reality. Modestly funny in 1985, its four memorable scenes live on in the mind’s eye, but fail to sustain this mere 91 minute movie. Turns out its nest-egg wasn’t enough.

Not that it doesn’t have a great line here and there.

Don’t use “nest”! D…

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WikChip Video "Oh I know, you mean the $100,000 box."