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Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth

The Boy Next Door

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The Story: A recently separated wife and mother sleeps with her young neighbor, only to bring his violent, obsessive nature upon her family. The Lowdown: Trashy nonsense that might be fun if it weren’t so inept and laboriously dumb.
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Starring: (Voices) Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Sam Palladio, Elijah Kelley, Meredith Anne Bull

Strange Magic

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The Story: This retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has fairies and their dark, evil counterparts duking it out, accompanied by pop songs. The Lowdown: A sanitized, airless kids movie that looks expensive but has no sense of whimsy or imagination.
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Starring: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Olivia Thirlby, Jenifer Lewis

The Wedding Ringer

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The Story: A friendless groom hires a professional best man to help him with his wedding. The Lowdown: A likable Kevin Hart performance isn’t enough to prop up this tired, hokey comedy.
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Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Wei Tang, Leehom Wang, Viola Davis

Blackhat

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The Story: After a rogue hacker melts down a Chinese nuclear plant, an imprisoned hacker is set free to help track him down. The Lowdown: Occasionally far-fetched, sometimes idiotic and often run-of-the-mill action flick that tries to spruce itself up with some topicality.
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Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott

Taken 3

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The Story: After his ex-wife’s murdered and the crime is pinned on him, lumbering superspy Bryan Mills goes after the Russian mobsters responsible. The Lowdown: Dumb, pointless, noisy follow-up to the popular franchise and simply more of the same.
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Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, Michael Kenneth Williams

The Gambler

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The Story: An English professor with a horrific gambling problem finds himself owing a lot of money to a lot of dangerous people. The Lowdown: While watching a man self-destruct for 100 minutes might not sound like the most fun time one could have at the movies, a smart script and game cast make it…
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Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Rami Malek

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

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The Story: With the magical tablet that allows museum exhibits to come to life slowly corroding and failing, the museum night watchman who oversees it heads to London to find out the tablet's secrets. The Lowdown: More of the same from this drab little franchise, a mish-mash of generally unfunny comedy and flat adventure.
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Starring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco

Top Five

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The Story: A comedian and actor — who’s trying his best to be taken as a serious artist — spends the day with a New York Times reporter on the weekend of his wedding to a reality star and the opening of his new, big film. The Lowdown: While it takes its time to get…
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Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Jamie Foxx, Chrisoph Waltz, Jennifer Aniston

Horrible Bosses 2

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The Story: The three best friends at the center of Horrible Bosses are screwed out of a business deal and concoct a kidnapping plan to save themselves. The Lowdown: A generally entertaining — if none too spectacular — comedy with a few clever bits that’s held up by its cast.
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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,…
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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…