Joy review


  • David O. Russell


  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Robert De Niro
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Edgar Ramierez
  • Virginia Madsen
  • Isabella Rossellini
  • Rated: PG-13

“Joy” is inspired by the true story of businesswoman Joy Mangano (played by Lawrence) and details her rise from a person struggling to get by to an inventor who starts her own company. The story begins with Joy working a dead end job, having to take care of her mother who doesn’t do anything but watch soaps, having to raise her children and dealing with her ex-husband.

During a boat outing with her father Rudy (De Niro) and his new girlfriend Trudy, an accident happens that gives Joy the idea to create a new type of mop. What follows is her story of trying to manufacture her invention and get it out to market just as shopping channels are being introduced to the public.

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The Walk review

Robert Zemeckis
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Ben Kingsley
Charlotte Le Bon
Cesar Domboy
James Badge Dale
Rated: PG

“The Walk” follows the true story of French high wire artist Philippe Petit (Gordon-Levitt) who attempted a crossing between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the 1970s. The film begins with Petit’s childhood and explores how he discovered his passion for wire walking, when he realized his dream of walking across the iconic New York City buildings and what he needed to do in order to make it all happen.

Along the way, the movie introduces accomplices to Petit who assist in sneaking their way through the then under construction towers and setting up the high rise wires.

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Straight Outta Compton review

F. Gary Gray
O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Corey Hawkins
Jason Mitchell
Neil Brown Jr.
Aldis Hodge
Paul Giamatti
Rated: R

“Straight Outta Compton” tells the story of the N.W.A., a west coast rap group that caused a monumental shift in the whole genre. Founding members of the group included Andre “Dr. Dre” Romelle Young (Hawkins), Eric “Eazy E” Wright (Mitchell), O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson (Jackson Jr.), Lorenzo “MC Ren” Patterson (Hodge) and Antoine “DJ Yella” Carraby (Brown Jr.).

The film follows their rise, from creating their first album to going on tour and the eventual group break-up that occurred in the early 1990s.

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American Sniper review

Clint Eastwood
Bradley Cooper
Sienna Miller
Kyle Gallner
Rated: R

After a few stumbles like “Jersey Boys” and “Hereafter,” Clint Eastwood has once again found his directing groove with “American Sniper.”

Real life Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle’s life is explored in the film, which mainly focuses on Kyle’s four tours of service in the military during the Iraq War. While the movie gives a full look at what Kyle experiences in battle, there is also a view of how it affects him when he goes home.

The movie transitions back and forth between Kyle’s life overseas and how it affects him when he returns to his family in the states and has to deal with post traumatic stress disorder.

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Big Eyes review

Tim Burton
Amy Adams
Christoph Waltz
Terence Stamp
Rated: PG-13

Tim Burton’s latest outing as a director is a bit different this time around. Instead of being a movie with fantasy elements, Burton’s “Big Eyes” closely follows the true story of Margaret Keane (Adams), an artist whose work was wrongly credited to her husband Walter Keane (Waltz).

The movie shows how the two met, how the false credit was created and how Walter took advantage of it for financial gain. The movie also shows how Margaret eventually took a stand for her own art work.

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Unbroken review

Angelina Jolie
Jack O;Connell
Domhnall Gleeson
Takamasa Ishihara
Rated: PG-13

“Unbroken” tells the true life story of World War II veteran and Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini (O’Connell). Following his competing at the 1936 Olympics, Zamperini joined the war effort and served as part of a bomber crew. On one of the missions Zamperini’s plane fails and only he and two other members of the crew survive. The three are left to survive in the vast Pacific ocean for weeks upon weeks until they are spotted by the Japanese armed forces.

The film then shows Zamperini’s time in a prisoner of war camp in Japan, where he comes into contact with a strict, brutal guard nicknamed “The Bird” (Ishihara).

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Selma review

Ava DuVernay
David Oyelowo
Carmen Ejogo
Tom Wilkinson
Dylan Baker
Tim Roth
Rated: PG-13

As the title suggests, “Selma” tells the story of Martin Luther King’s (Oyelowo) leadership during the Civil Rights Movement during the march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. The film starts off by showing why the movement comes to Selma and chronicles all of the events leading to the march through the state.

While the movie is focused on King’s journey in leading the movement, it also gives time to show the reactions of prominent figures such as President Lyndon B. Johnson (Wilkinson) and Alabama Governor George Wallace (Roth), as well as how the entire civil rights movement weighs on King’s family life.

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The Theory of Everything review

James Marsh
Eddie Redmayne
Felicity Jones
David Thewlis
Harry Lloyd
Rated: PG-13

The life and relationship of world famous physicist Stephen Hawking is explored in “The Theory of Everything.”

The film begins with Hawking during his education career and follows through the discovery of his illness and eventually his well known life’s work.

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Wild review

Jean-Marc Vallee
Reese Witherspoon
Laura Dern
Thomas Sadoski
Rated: R

“Wild” follows the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who walked 1,000 miles on what is known as the Pacific Crest Trail and documented it in a book. Reese Witherspoon plays Strayed, who goes on the journey as a way of healing herself following multiple traumatic and tragic events in her life.

As she goes along her journey, Strayed meets a number of different characters and personalities and begins to recover as a person.

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Get on Up review

Tate Taylor
Chadwick Boseman
Nelsan Ellis
Dan Aykroyd
Viola Davis
Octavia Spencer
Rated: PG-13

The harsh upbringing and rise to stardom is explored in “Get on Up,” which chronicles the life and music of singer James Brown. The movie shows his life as a child growing up in Georgia, how he became a singer and his eventual decline.

The film also shows some of the hardships he had in his own family life.

“Get on Up” breaks away from a traditional format of story-telling, as the film goes back and forth between different stages of Brown’s life. This helps the movie to an extent, since it is at least an attempt to break away from the normal biopic style.

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