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Movie Reviews
'Ocean's 8': What's Bad for the Gander is Bad for the Goose
With these parameters for pardons of the motion picture variety long in place, I scoured my brain to find what great accomplishment or rationale gives Sandra Bullock's Debbie Ocean and her seven accomplices the right to heist a $150 million necklace at the Met Gala.

'Adrift': Cast Away in an Inconvenient Genre
Deeming myself the test canary that miners lower into the prohibiting depths, I emerged from "Adrift" rather impressed by its ability to render me uncomfortable and anticipatory, as well as to make me worry, at least for the length of the movie, for the well-being and destiny of its likable enough protagonists

'Solo: A Star Wars Story': The Stuff of Heroes
At worst, it is relatively harmless, your understanding of this outer space Western not dependent on a cognizance of the jargon and minutiae of George Lucas' cultural phenomenon. Plus, former Hippies who coordinate the viewing with a flashback might enjoy the light show.

'Book Club': Can Be Judged From Its Cover
Now, you know full well that one-by-one, each of our damsels in fretfulness is destined to wind up in at least a better place, if not perfectly fulfilled, by the closing credits. Don't be angry with me. Giving away the conclusion of "Sleeping Beauty" or any other fable wouldn't draw your ire.

'Life of the Party': Celebrates the Joys of Mediocrity
Light, frothy confections that specialized in proving that one can indeed turn lemons into lemonade, they featured silly but likeable characters who, through some unseen benevolent power or just sheer luck, were able to navigate a series of farcical and convoluted perplexions.

'Tully': The Helping Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Enters the nursery, Tully: part Mary Poppins, part Mother Theresa and part Kahlil Gibran in a 23-year-old, neo-hippie personage. Played with vivacious allure and no small amount of mystery by Mackenzie Davis, she is a dream come true.

'Avengers: Infinity War': Goldberger's Complaint
But the fact is, your blockbuster enrapturing of what seems to be almost everyone but myself is proving a challenge to my individualism. Hustling out of the theater with a pal eager to discuss how much he absolutely loved every pixel of your spectacle, I begged off, suddenly remembering I had a late-night dental appointment.

'I Feel Pretty': And So Will You
But what makes Schumer's portrayal so ingratiating beyond its temporary salve against cynicism, as well as a tutorial about the truly important things in life, is that it serves as a vital reminder, an aide-mémoire. While watching Renee conquer her lack of self-esteem offers us vicarious joy in the dark of the movie house, an implied benefit gives us a little something to take home.

'Ready Player One': It's All a Game
Although the film bounces back and forth between reality and its cause célèbre, virtual reality, we are ultimately relieved when we grok that beneath all the layers of surrealism and cutting-edge chimera, it's just good vs. evil fighting it out in high-tech trappings.

'Isle of Dogs': Will Wag Your Tail
Thus the best tack to take, if you can, is to sit back, relax and enjoy this genre heir to "Animal Farm" for its quirkily infatuating surface tale, allowing your brain's tumblers to bounce, adjust and absorb the subtextual, implied and exquisitely threaded hidden meanings at your own pace.

'The Leisure Seeker': Two for the Road
Shrouded in mystery, hope, despair and every other word the poets have employed to describe the inevitable, it is, along with love, the ultimate inscrutability.

'Love, Simon': You've Got Blackmail
A telling thumbnail sketch of Americana, it is both reminiscent and profoundly contemporizing, from the cliquish cafeteria coteries, to the time-honored camaraderies you will cherish forever, to Vice Principal Worth's (Tony Hale) humorously good-natured confiscation of cellphones. I could practically taste the delicious, frosting-topped cake served in my own lunchroom, only 10 cents extra.

'A Wrinkle in Time': Folds, Spindles and Doesn't Exhilarate
Insofar as the plot itself, the screenplay adapted by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell, though afforded all the galaxies to explore, charts a neo-"Alice in Wonderland," follow-the-dots style that, perhaps for fear of being untrue to the source material, fails to color outside the lines.

'Death Wish': What this World Doesn't Need Now
But you can't blame MGM or director Eli Roth for the untimely release of this heir apparent to what became the standard of vigilante ethos. Considering the ceaseless conveyor belt of mass shootings bloodying our landscape, there is never a good time.

'Black Panther': It's All Good
Wonderfully imaginative sets depicting the magic that is Wakanda, an advanced civilization that protects its scientific and natural resource secrets by posing as a Third World country, dramatically enhance the cultural dream at the core of the film's soul. Psst ... Wakanda is rich in vibranium, a metal of extraordinary properties, not the least of which is the source of Black Panther's superpowers. But y'know, wherever there's a secret there's a leaker. Hence, it only figures that bad guys of...

 
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