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'Southside with You' review: When Barry met Michelle

For roughly half of its Obama-trim 84 minutes, "Southside with You" gets by on pleasantly fraudulent biopic charm, more like the movies than life. The conversation sounds more like writing than talking, and the heightened, slightly stilted formality of the exchanges comes across sometimes in dramatically...

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  • 'Florence Foster Jenkins' review: Sour notes all around

    'Florence Foster Jenkins' review: Sour notes all around

    Perhaps not every quirky true story needs a biopic starring Meryl Streep, as evidenced by Stephen Frears' bizarre "Florence Foster Jenkins," the story of a wealthy older woman who launched an amateur singing career in the 1940s, despite her distinct lack of talent. It's a film that dares you to...

  • 'Phantom Boy' review: A boy with cancer and special powers helps catch a crook

    'Phantom Boy' review: A boy with cancer and special powers helps catch a crook

    If you're content with slick, cynically commercial computer-animated froth, stick with "Ice Age: Collision Course." But if you want moving and artful cartoon adventures, look to the French, whose delightful, hand-drawn features include "Persepolis," "The Illusionist," "Tales of the Night," and...

  • 'Nine Lives' review: No way, no meow can this movie be saved, even by Kevin Spacey

    'Nine Lives' review: No way, no meow can this movie be saved, even by Kevin Spacey

    At this point, the prospect of another chapter in the "Saw" series might conceivably be worse — or, perhaps, one of those movies in which the French director Bruno Dumont tries to pass off his ponderous metaphysical misanthropy as "light and funny." Really, though, one would be hard-pressed to...

  • 'Suicide Squad' review: Will Smith, Margot Robbie stand out in mega-stuffed superhero mess

    'Suicide Squad' review: Will Smith, Margot Robbie stand out in mega-stuffed superhero mess

    Three "if"s, a "when" and a "but" regarding the new DC Comics movie "Suicide Squad" starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Viola Davis: IF you were to make a better film than the one writer-director David Ayer has made, you'd still hire Smith. He takes top billing as Deadshot, the world's...

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