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  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
    Rating: 4.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – “The Age of Adaline” is a beautifully shot featherweight fantasy that remains charming as long as you don’t think about it too hard, or at all.  At one point one character asks another why he loves Adaline, and he replies “because she makes no sense.”  The same could be said for this movie.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
    Rating: 4.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – The title “Ex Machina” is a play on Deus ex machina, the stage/scenario term meaning god from the machine, or the basic happy ending. By cutting out the “Deus” in the phrase, the film is left with just the machine, and the humans.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
    Rating: 2.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – Sometimes, just casting a film with “names” is not enough to make it work. Jonah Hill and James Franco play cat-and-mouse for 100 minutes in “True Story,” but the narrative, the structure and their own inability to communicate their characters conspired against the overall experience.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
    Rating: 2.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – Disney has always imported a bit of its cutesy narratives into its nature films. The best ones seem to spring organically from the images on-screen and it becomes easy to forget the contrivances and get swept up in the story. In the lesser entries, these attempts to impose a Hollywood story structure on the lives of wild animals only highlight how artificial they all are.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
    Rating: 1.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – “The Longest Ride” is sentimental schlockmeister Nicholas Sparks’ latest attempt to remix “The Notebook.” It’s got an old man recounting lost love, handwritten letters, young lovers kissing in the rain, breakups, reunions, corny dialogue and of course those North Carolina backdrops. He’s playing all the same notes, but this time he’s lost the melody.

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
    Rating: 4.5/5.0

    CHICAGO – We’re born, we’re nurtured, we seek purpose and we die. In between there are a million decisions between the words of that opening sentence, and writer/director Noah Baumbach understands that intuitively in his great new film, “While We’re Young.”

  • HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
    Rating: 4.0/5.0

    CHICAGO – I’ve never classified myself as a “Fast & Furious” franchise fan. Nor have I been a hater. I’ve fallen somewhere in between – willingly watching the popcorn flicks but then quickly going about my life as fast as the furious action ended. Until “Furious 7”…

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