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Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Richard Colson Baker, Danny Glover

Beyond the Lights

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The Story: An up-and-coming pop star, struggling with her rise to fame, falls in love with a humble police officer. The Lowdown: A mature, realistic romance that struggles due to a lack of cinematic style and dramatic tension.
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Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell

Whiplash

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The Story: A teen with dreams of becoming a great jazz drummer must survive his maniacal music teacher. The Lowdown: While it’s little more than your standard coming-of-age/chase-your-dreams type of drama (with considerably more swearing and jazz), the film is elevated with a perfect, expert climax that alone is worth admission.
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Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff, Adam Levy

Before I Go to Sleep

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The Story: A woman who loses her memory every time she sleeps tries to uncover the truth behind the accident that caused it. The Lowdown: A technically proficient film with a superb cast can’t overcome a flimsy, forgettable plot.
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Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters

John Wick

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The Story: A retired hit man heads out for revenge after his car is stolen and his dog is murdered. The Lowdown: Occasionally exceptional for being a simple, straightforward action picture, the film can’t sustain for its full running time, eventually unraveling into tedium.
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Starring: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone

20,000 Days on Earth

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In Brief: A curious, occasionally fascinating, but unfortunately uneven look at the life and work of musician Nick Cave, as seen through the eyes — or more accurately, the memory — of Cave himself. Like so many documentaries, 20,000 Days on Earth depends mostly on your interest in Cave, his music and his thoughts on life, art and himself. Occasional striking images and an interesting — but eventually too thin — motif of documenting one's life make for an original angle at which to tackle the documentary form, but this is ultimately a movie for fans, who should be easily satisfied. The film plays for one show on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. at Fine Arts Theatre.
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Starring: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato, Gerald McRaney

The Best of Me

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The Story: Old high school sweethearts reunited after the death of their mentor must look back on — and finally face — their past. The Lowdown: Run-of-the-mill goopy, melodramatic romance from the master of the form, novelist Nicholas Sparks.
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Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Billy Bob Thornton

The Judge

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The Story: A hotshot defense attorney is forced into defending his estranged dad’s murder charge. The Lowdown: A gooey mess of shameless Oscar bait clichés that’s watchable and little else.
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Starring: Nicolas Cage, Cassi Thomson, Chad Michael Murray, Lea Thompson, Nicky Whelan

Left Behind

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The Story: After people disappear due to the rapture, those left behind must deal with the chaos and aftermath. The Lowdown: A goofy, cheap, idiotic thriller with a disappointingly restrained Nicolas Cage performance at its center.
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Starring: Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominique Pinon

My Old Lady

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The Story: A down-on-his-luck failed writer inherits a Parisian apartment from his late father, only to find it inhabited by a mother and daughter, who — due to a quirk in French law — he must also take care of until the mother’s death. The Lowdown: A surprisingly dark look at the effects our parents — and their choices — have on children, but one that’s tonally uneven and a bit of a mess.
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Starring: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Johnny Skourtis

The Equalizer

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The Story: A home improvement store employee with a mysterious past takes on the Russian mob. The Lowdown: An incredibly uneven movie that oscillates between goofy, vaguely competent and out-and-out dumb, while managing to at least be a mildly entertaining distraction.
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Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne

This Is Where I Leave You

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The Story: After the death of their father, four siblings return home to deal with his death and their own pasts. The Lowdown: A flimsy, dull look at modern life, through the lens of vaguely sad middle-class Americans that says nothing new.
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Starring: Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo

No Good Deed

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The Story: An escaped convict terrorizes a woman home alone. The Lowdown: For such a sleazy concept, the outcome is especially tedious, something that doesn’t do much for the general dunderheaded character of the script.
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Starring: Harry Connick, Jr., Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman

Dolphin Tale 2

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The Story: A marine hospital struggles to find a partner for a tailless dolphin after her surrogate mother passes away. The Lowdown: Innocuous, dull familycentric drama that’s the kind of pap better suited for basic cable.
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Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich, Amila Terzimehic

The November Man

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The Story: A retired spy is pulled back into action and hunted by a former protégé. The Lowdown: A generally unlikable, convoluted, silly and worn out espionage thriller that’s needlessly overwrought and brainless.
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Starring: Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, Laura Dern, Alexander Ludwig, Clancy Brown

When the Game Stands Tall

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The Story: A high school football coach — burdened with an over-decade-long winning streak — must learn how to motivate his players and bond with his family. The Lowdown: A dull, preachy, troublesome film that’s dramatically inert and purely predictable from a storytelling standpoint.
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Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes

The Expendables 3

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The Story: The Expendables go after one of their own, a nefarious villain long thought dead. The Lowdown: A superbly uneven and overtly uninteresting journey into machismo and stuff blowing up.
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Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans, Jr., Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle, James D’Arcy

Let’s Be Cops

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The Story: Two bored pals take up pretending to be cops and become entangled in taking down a crew of mobsters. The Lowdown: Meandering, joyless tedium in the form of a buddy cop comedy.
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Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Alan Ritchson

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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The Story: Four mutated turtles and a plucky journalist try to stop an evil scientist and an even eviler samurai. The Lowdown: Bargain-basement Michael Bay pastiche and a lot of sound and fury make for a noisy, not very fun action flick.
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Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis, Dan Aykroyd, Lennie James

Get on Up

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The Story: The life and times of James Brown, from extreme poverty to the height of his fame and beyond. The Lowdown: While its non-linear narrative is interesting as filmmaking, it’s not enough to conceal the numerous biopic pitfalls that drag the film down.
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Starring: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Annie Parisse, Frances Sternhagen

And So it Goes

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The Story: A grumpy widower is forced to take in his estranged granddaughter, who he helps raise with a widowed neighbor. The Lowdown: An unfunny, flat piece of melodrama that wants desperately to be adult and a little bit raunchy but instead comes across as childish and boorish.