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Human touch lacking

STILL ALICE: Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, Alec Baldwin, Hunter Parrish. Directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. Rated M (Mature themes and infrequent coarse language) 101 minutes By Kurt Jensen THE real depredations of Alzheimer’s disease and its toll on the families of the afflicted are not on display in the flawed drama Still Alice. Iris, the ... Read More »

Brief history of Hawking

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING: Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Charlie Cox. Directed by James Marsh. Rated PG (Mild themes). 123 minutes  By Kurt Jensen COSMOLOGY and metaphysics, both challenging enough as academic topics, don’t blend well into an autobiographical film. That’s the lesson of The Theory of Everything. With a script by Andrew McCarten – based ... Read More »

Stepping out for equality

SELMA: Starring Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Tom Wilkinson. Directed by Ava DuVernay. Rated M (Violence and coarse language) 127 minutes By John Mulderig ARRIVING on screens almost precisely 50 years after the events it portrays unfolded, director Ava DuVernay’s fact-based drama Selma compellingly recreates a crucial battle in the long struggle for African-American equality. Adult subject ... Read More »

Forgiveness overlooked

UNBROKEN: Starring Jack OíConnell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Miyavi, Jai Courtney. Directed by Angelina Jolie. Rated M (Mature themes and violence). 137 minutes By John Mulderig POSITIVE values permeate the inspirational fact-based drama Unbroken. Despite its admirable qualities, however, the film also represents something of a missed opportunity. That’s because, in bringing Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling account of one United States ... Read More »

Annie gets a makeover

ANNIE: Starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Canavale. Directed by Will Gluck. Rated PG (Mild themes) 118 minutes. By Joseph McAleer THE you-know-what will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar, in Annie. It’s an exuberant adaptation of the 1977 Broadway musical – which previously became a 1982 film – about the little orphan with big ... Read More »

Perfect film for families

PADDINGTON: Starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington. Directed by Paul King. Rated G. 95 minutes  By Veronica Kopinski IT’S rare that a touted “family” film can create the right balance and live up to its genre classification by genuinely entertaining both children and adults alike. But Paddington, ... Read More »

Bill’s a ‘saintly character’

ST VINCENT: Starring Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Watts, Scott Adsit. Directed by Ted Melfi. Rated M (Mature themes, violence, sex scene and coarse language). Running time: 102 minutes By John Mulderig AN unlikely babysitter also serves as an unusual image of sanctity in the fundamentally endearing drama St Vincent. While writer-director Ted Melfi’s feature debut has a broadly appealing message, aspects ... Read More »

A sad, bilious journey

BIRDMAN: Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. 119 mins. Rated: MA15+ (Strong coarse language)  TALKY, pretentious and filled with existential angst when the characters aren’t preoccupied with spitting curses, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is visually dazzling. Morally, though, it’s dead weight. This black ... Read More »

Suspense and excitement

Interstellar: Starrin  Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Bill Irwin. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Rated M. Running time 169 mins.  AS befits a sprawling space epic, Interstellar aims high. While its ambitions are admirable, and its visuals dazzling, the film’s roughly three-hour running time tries patience. Other aesthetic miscalculations, combined with morally problematic elements, ultimately make for something of a flawed liftoff. ... Read More »

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