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‘Lone Ranger’ is goofy and then grim

Saying the new “Lone Ranger” has “tone issues” is just code for “I could have done without the bad guy tearing out somebody’s heart and taking a bite out of it.”

The folks who did the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies go overboard with the violence in what is essentially a playful spin on a myth — or a TV version of a legend.

‘Red’ paints the town with action, quirk

“Red” is everything we’d hoped Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables” would be but wasn’t. It’s kooky, brawny, brainy (OK, maybe we didn’t expect that from Sly) and outfitted with a geezer-ish cast of the highest order. Best of all, it features one of 2010’s funniest scenes: Oscar winner Helen Mirren — in elegant gown and clunky combat boots — commandeering an enormous automatic machine gun and mowing down a garage-full of government goons.

‘Jackass 3D’: Not screened for critics

What is it?: Johnny Knoxville and his band of crazies do more death-defying, totally stupid stunts ... this time in 3-D. Why didn’t Paramount screen it for critics?: We asked. Haven’t received an answer. But it’s safe to assume that no review could dissuade “Jackass” fans from showing up.
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‘Wall Street’ a shrewd sequel by Stone

Director Oliver Stone never met an easy-to-grasp visual metaphor that he couldn’t shamelessly exploit. That probably explains why there are multiple shots of children blowing bubbles in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” The bubbles float high into the sky, impossibly big against the bright blue sky. And then, just when you think the bubble might float forever ... pop.
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Coppola nails the message in ‘Bling Ring’

It must be tough, being “average” and “middle class” and living within sniffing distance of L.A.’s rich and beautiful people. The designer clothes, the pricey homes, flashy cars and flashier jewelry must seem just within reach, especially to the young and avaricious.
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Another take: ‘Bling Ring’ has no zing

Shame on Sofia Coppola. Her father, Francis Ford Coppola, has done so much to associate the family name with fine filmmaking and she nearly wiped it out with one movie, “The Bling Ring.” It’s almost impossible to believe the director who gave us the masterful “Lost in Translation” is responsible for what only laughingly passes as a feature film.
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‘World War Z’ deploys familiar themes

“World War Z” promised to be some sort of ultimate zombie movie experience, and it’s hard to call it that. But the first 25 minutes or so of this “Contagion”-meets-“28 Days Later” thriller will leave you breathless. And the rest of it serves up novel and often entertaining solutions to the various “zombie problems” that this overexposed genre presents. Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace”) hurls us straight into the action. Barely five minutes into the film, ex-U.N. trouble-shooter Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), his wife (Mireille Enos) and two kids are ...
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The closer you look, the less you see

The razzle dazzles but the smoke never quite hides the mirrors in “Now You See Me,” a super-slick new magicians’ heist picture that demonstrates, once again, how tough it is to make “magic” work as a movie subject. A medium that is, by definition, a trick has a very hard time making the illusions real, realistic and anything anyone would be impressed by. Ask “Burt Wonderstone.” Ask “The Illusionist.”
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Colleen Atwood: A costuming queen speaks … but not to us

Quincy-reared costume designer Colleen Atwood has won two Academy Awards for her work on "Chicago" (2003) and "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005). She's been nominated five other times, for films including "Little Women" (1994), "Beloved" (1998) and "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004), and worked with directors like Tim Burton, J.J. Abrams, Kevin Costner, and Jonathan Demme.
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A ‘Potter’ film with room to play

A great treachery is revealed, a great light is snuffed out and the final quest is set up in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” an emotional and involving installment in the hit-or-miss “Harry” movie series.