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Gods of Egypt
Gods of Egypt   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
Wow! Where to start? The effects-driven (into the ground!) "Gods of Egypt" is so screwy, yet so lame, its already-infamous whitewashed casting issues are the least of its troubles. more
The Lady in the Van
The Lady in the Van   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
In 1974, by reluctant invitation, a homeless but not vanless woman by the name of Mary Shepherd parked her banged-up vehicle in the driveway of the Camden Town home belonging to playwright, novelist and humorist Alan Bennett. A former concert pianist of shadowy circumstance, Shepherd was well-known as a vagabond in this rapidly gentrifying part of London. With a mixture of timidity, kindness, inertia and privileged guilt, Bennett let her stay on his patio. For 15 years. more
Deadpool
Deadpool   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
A fairly funny trashing of its own glib self, "Deadpool" is a movie about an unkillable wisenheimer who never shuts up, even while enduring or inflicting enough putrid brutality to earn an X or a NC-17 rating just a few years ago. more
Hail, Caesar!
Hail, Caesar!   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
With any sort of comedy set in Old Hollywood, the characters' names become weirdly important because, well ... they just are. In "Hail, Caesar!" there's a smooth British director by the name of Laurence Lorenz, whose trademark billing is "Laurence Lorenz presents." The studio head, mentioned but not seen, is a Mr. Nick Skank (think Joseph Schenck, a real-life mogul). Dueling Hedda Hopper-brand gossip columnists, who happen to be identical twin sisters, go by Thora Tacker and Thessaly Tacker. more
Kung Fu Panda 3
Kung Fu Panda 3   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Katie Walsh
A third installment in a franchise isn't always great. But sometimes, it can be a comforting guarantee of a good time at the movies, as is the case with "Kung Fu Panda 3." The first two installments have been met with rapturous reception and box office success, and this one will no doubt follow in their footsteps -- with good reason. The engaging and heartfelt story, coupled with eye-popping animation, makes "Kung Fu Panda 3" a total knockout. more
The Finest Hours
The Finest Hours   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
It's 2016. We're far enough along on the digital effects timeline to make the call: The waves are looking good! Digitally animated waves are looking better all the time, in fact, even when filmmakers push allegedly realistically scaled waves to heights approaching that enormous wall of water in "Interstellar." more
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
Everything in director Michael Bay's cinematic vocabulary -- the glamorizing slo-mo, the falling bomb point-of-view shots, the low-angle framing of his heroes with blue sky, fireballs or an American flag in the background -- suggests not real life, or the way things might have happened, but a Michael Bay movie. more
The Revenant
The Revenant   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
The gorgeously brutal first hour of "The Revenant" marks the peak of director Alejandro G. Inarritu's glittering if not quite golden career. For a while his new movie's really something. Then, as Leonardo DiCaprio crawls across miles and miles of mighty pretty scenery filmed in Canada, Montana and Argentina, gradually it turns into not much of anything. more
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Katie Walsh
The persistence of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" as a cultural text is rather baffling. The mischievous singing rodents were created in 1958 for a novelty record, which makes them 57 years old. You're probably familiar with that record, as it usually gets some air time this season, and features that inimitably high-pitched ear worm chorus, "Please, Christmas, don't be late." It's amazing to think that that song has been tormenting parents for nearly six decades now. more
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens   ( of 4)

Chicago Tribune: Michael Phillips
FILM REVIEW: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS more
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