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‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’: Primates can’t win when hawks lurk in their ranks

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’: Primates can’t win when hawks lurk in their ranks

The film’s a pleaser and works seamlessly as a prequel and sequel. Nothing to go ape about, but a good way to cool your heels in the heat.

‘Life Itself’: Roger Ebert gets his movie, and it’s a romance with film, Chaz, Siskel

‘Life Itself’: Roger Ebert gets his movie, and it’s a romance with film, Chaz, Siskel

A documentary about film critic Ebert challenges the viewer to take stock of what a life well-lived should look like and what it might be like to confront death.

‘The Rover’: Back in ‘Mad Max’ territory, Guy Pearce will kill to get his car back

‘The Rover’: Back in ‘Mad Max’ territory, Guy Pearce will kill to get his car back

The post-apocalyptic Outback here is the result of an economic meltdown 10 years down the road, and signs of moral order are just a mirage.

‘The Signal’: Neo experience for nerd trio in derivative but mysterious sci-fi offering

‘The Signal’: Neo experience for nerd trio in derivative but mysterious sci-fi offering

The low-budget “Signal” starts out strong but starts to fade as references to other films pile up and the mood switches to mayhem.

‘Words and Pictures’: Paint by numbers, except for vibrant author-artist love story

‘Words and Pictures’: Paint by numbers, except for vibrant author-artist love story

A tale of warring, damaged-goods creatives at an elite prep school has a lot you’ve seen before, but their romance is free of convention and cliché.

‘Edge of Tomorrow’: Tom Cruise wins war with superbly clever time travel

‘Edge of Tomorrow’: Tom Cruise wins war with superbly clever time travel

It’s the invasion from “Saving Private Ryan” against a “Starship Troopers” foe with a “Groundhog Day” reset, but Cruise (and top-notch writing and directing) makes it work.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’: Mutant ’70s will delight fans, baffle most of humanity

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’: Mutant ’70s will delight fans, baffle most of humanity

There are some clever, brilliant nuances to this seventh film in the franchise, but relentless action and special FX flashing to and fro begins to take its toll.

‘Godzilla’: Big names, big ideas, big beasts in an update falling just short of awesome

‘Godzilla’: Big names, big ideas, big beasts in an update falling just short of awesome

It was so much more fun when the guy in the rubber suit kicked around train sets like a rock star having a bad day and you could take the silliness seriously.

‘Palo Alto’: Bored kids of privilege seek thrills, love, crafted by Coppola, Franco

‘Palo Alto’: Bored kids of privilege seek thrills, love, crafted by Coppola, Franco

A film of stories by James Franco is about kids floating precariously from one situation to the next, but also about Hollywood’s next generation of actors and directors.

‘Locke’: Tom Hardy alone in car becomes lesson in how to build cinematic tension

‘Locke’: Tom Hardy alone in car becomes lesson in how to build cinematic tension

A man driving around in crisis management mode might not sound like much of a movie, but Tom Hardy and director Steven Knight have they key to making ‘Locke’ click.

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