Shailene Woodley

Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ a Lesson for Our Times

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

CHICAGO – The experience of director Oliver Stone, to look underneath the slimy rocks of government secrecy and bureaucracy, produces an excellent history lesson in “Snowden,” an overview of Edward Snowden, a whistleblower against the government who is still in exile.

Shortage of Spark Makes ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ a Second-String Effort

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

CHICAGO – “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” does nothing to change the “Divergent” series status as an off brand Young Adult epic. As we’ve seen with “The Hunger Games,” these Young Adult franchises can be lots of fun and be faithful to their source material. But “Insurgent” has the same problem as the first two “Harry Potter” films – it’s too faithful, coupled with a dearth of inspiration behind the camera.

Tearjerking ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is ‘The Notebook’ of This Decade

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

CHICAGO – Sure, I’ll admit it. With so many new films to screen and review, I’ll choose the sci-fi action/thriller from the man behind the Bourne flicks over a movie that’s being called “the greatest romance story of this decade”.

‘Divergent’ Wastes Talented Cast on Joyless Adaptation

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

CHICAGO – Despite the best efforts of a game Shailene Woodley and likely future star Theo James, Neil Burger’s “Divergent,” based on the hit book by Veronica Roth, is a joyless, soulless, humorless dud. It is repetitious to the point of parody, never feels like it exists in anything approximating reality, and, like so many “Hunger Games” wannabes, forgets that it’s the characters of that franchise that matter and not the goofy machinations of the plot.

Riveting ‘The Spectacular Now’ Finds Rare Truth in Young Characters

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

CHICAGO – Sundance hit (and Chicago Critics Film Festival Closing Night film) “The Spectacular Now” finally opens in Chicago tomorrow, August 9, 2013 and the film’s already-impressive legion of fans is only going to grow as this stunning achievement hits more markets around the country.

George Clooney Stars in Stunning ‘The Descendants’

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

CHICAGO – If one looks solely at the central male characters, it can seem remarkably easy to classify Alexander Payne’s movies under the subgenre heading of “mid-life crisis comedies”: Jim McAllister (“Election”), Warren Schmidt (“About Schmidt”), Miles (“Sideways”), and now the memorable protagonist of his stellar new dramedy “The Descendants,” Matt King.

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