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October 31, 2014
"Nightcrawler" – a wake up call for news networks?
By Carl Kozlowski

We can’t say that we haven’t been warned. It’s been nearly 40 years since “Network” burned up movie screens on its way to winning Best Picture, over 32 years since Don Henley unleashed his dark-as-coal masterpiece“Dirty Laundry” onto the world’s radio stations, and 12 years since Michael Moore showed us all how dangerous local TV news was becoming to our psyches in“Bowling for Columbine.”

Now comes the new movie “Nightcrawler,” an almost indescribably great movie that...

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What makes a man truly good – as in noble, brave and heroic? Is it the ability to fight evil in a war, or the willingness to help others even when there’s great emotional or monetary sacrifice involved? And can a man attain greatness even when he is deeply flawed in some significant ways?

Those questions are explored in two new and very different movies, “Fury” and “St. Vincent,” that offer audiences the riches of unpredictable and fresh writing, bold performances and superb...

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October 17, 2014
Film review: 'Men, Women and Children'
By Carl Kozlowski

We live in a world with more communication tools than ever before, yet we seem to be losing the ability to talk straight with each other. Between texting, TV, Tivo, Roku, and role-playing games alone, we rarely enjoy each other’s simple company and the lost art of conversation.  We can embrace more of the world, yet we hear about loneliness more than ever.

Jason Reitman’s new movie “Men Women & Children” tackles these issues head-on, with the incisive and powerful dramedy...

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October 10, 2014
Disney focuses on family fun in new live-action film
By Carl Kozlowski

Remember when Disney used to put out a new live-action kids’ movie every month, like “The Cat From Outer Space” and “Escape from Witch Mountain”? But ever since “The Little Mermaid” and “Toy Story,” it seems that all the effort put into making great family films comes from animated flicks.

Thankfully, the new movie “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is here to save the day, bringing back the sense of gleefully anarchic joy and adventure...

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October 03, 2014
Movie Review: 'Gone Girl'
By Carl Kozlowski

As Catholics and Christians, the ideal is to have marriage last for a lifetime. But as we also know, there sometimes are circumstances so difficult that they result in annulments and civil divorces. And in our tragic, sin-absorbed world, sometimes marriages even go so far awry that they result in murder.

The new movie “Gone Girl” portrays one of those toxic marriages, and shows how things deteriorated from a fairy-tale beginning. Yet while that is a dark theme, and while the movie takes...

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September 26, 2014
'The Equalizer' review
By Carl Kozlowski

Denzel Washington has long established himself as one of the classiest actors in Hollywood, rarely if ever engaging in sex scenes and nearly always playing men of deeply heroic character. His new movie "The Equalizer" - a reinvention of a beloved 1980s TV thriller that ran on CBS, about a retired British secret agent who stepped in vigilante-style to solve New Yorkers' crime-related problems when the police could not - maintains those moral traditions, but there are a few elements of...

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September 19, 2014
'A Walk Among the Tombstones' review
By Carl Kozlowski

Ever since he reinvented himself as an action star in the 2009 surprise hit “Taken,” Liam Neeson has succeeded Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leading cinematic butt-kicker of our times. Yet while his string of thrillers has been fun and generally well-produced, they have begun to take on a sense of sameness, leaving serious viewers wishing that Neeson would dial things down a notch and again show some of the gravitas he used to classic effect in his prior career as...

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The transition from summer movie season to fall is easily the worst stretch of the year for film fans, with Hollywood using the first week of September to scrape the dregs from the bottom of its creative barrel. Families have one glimmer of hope this weekend with “Dolphin Tale 2,” the sequel to the much-loved “Dolphin Tale,” and can be assured that it’s good clean fun for anyone.

But I’m going to try and draw attention to one more underappreciated effort, “God Help the...

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September 05, 2014
'Magic in the Moonlight' movie review
By Carl Kozlowski

Woody Allen turns 79 this year, easily putting him in an age bracket where he could have long since retired. But unlike 84-year-old Clint Eastwood, whose last several films have grown increasingly tedious and uneven, Allen has been enjoying a remarkable career renaissance for the past decade since he finally decided to leave New York City behind and expand his artistic palette to include some of the world’s most glamorous locations, including Barcelona, Paris, London and Rome.

The...

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August 29, 2014
Movie Review: 'The Trip to Italy'
By Carl Kozlowski

It’s easy to forget that America isn’t the only country that produces film stars, and that the people we consider our top comedic or dramatic actors might be surpassed by completely different performers in other nations. A perfect case in point is Steve Coogan, a hugely popular comic actor and writer in England who had only nibbles of cult-level success in the US until he co-wrote and starred with Judi Dench in “Philomena” last year and that film both became a hit and earned him a...

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January 26, 2015

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