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  • 'Monster Trucks' review: Fun fuels this effects-driven action-family hybrid

    'Monster Trucks' review: Fun fuels this effects-driven action-family hybrid

    One of the best things about the 1988 comedy "Big" was Tom Hanks' main character, a kid stuck in an adult's body who used his playful imagination to rise through the ranks of a toy company. At one point, he pitches the idea of a robot toy that turns into a bug, arguing that kids will prefer something...

  • 'Ma' movie review: Modern dance meets religious allegory

    'Ma' movie review: Modern dance meets religious allegory

    Celia Rowlson-Hall has the body of a tomboy, the brain of a feminist and an imagination quite unlike anyone else. In her dance-based, dreamlike feature debut, the svelte young woman tends to appear either draped in an oversized pink T-shirt or stripped down to a pair of men's Y-front briefs and...

  • '20th Century Women' review: Annette Bening leads a village in raising teen son

    '20th Century Women' review: Annette Bening leads a village in raising teen son

    Set in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1979, the easygoing, wonderfully acted "20th Century Women" is a movie about a boy and the estrogen in his life. The boy comes from writer-director Mike Mills' memories of growing up in a benevolent, amorphous, vexing, highly stimulating matriarchy. The filmmaker...

  • 'Mifune: The Last Samurai' review: Portrait of dynamic Japanese star

    'Mifune: The Last Samurai' review: Portrait of dynamic Japanese star

    One of the great action heroes and movie stars in any language, Toshiro Mifune of "Rashomon," "Seven Samurai," "Yojimbo" and so many other pictures is the subject of a Gene Siskel Film Center retrospective this month. It'll be a great way to heat up your January. Called "The Magnificent Mifune,"...

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