REVIEW: ‘Beautiful Boy’ emotionally captures the struggles of addiction

The difficult struggles of addiction, and the impacts it has on family members, are explored heavily in this movie starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet.

Carell plays David Sheff, a father whose son Nic (Chalamet) is addicted to methamphetamine and other drugs. The movie begins with David identifying his son’s issues and looking at the solutions that are on the table.

However, despite continued efforts, the addiction remains a problem for Nic, and the situation puts continuous strain on both main characters, as well as their relationship.

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REVIEW: ‘Boy Erased’ is a powerful look at a tragic subject

The horrific, despicable practice of gay conversion “therapy” is depicted in this film, based on the true story of Garrard Conley, who wrote a memoir with the same name.

The film tells a version of the true story through the character Jared (Lucas Hedges). The son of a Baptist preacher, Jared is a young man who just after starting college is forced to go to a gay conversion establishment.

The movie opens with Jared starting his time at the conversion facility, and from there, showcases a series of flashbacks where it details how Jared was forcibly outed and why his parents Marshall (Russell Crowe) and Nancy (Nicole Kidman) reacted the way they did.

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REVIEW: ‘Widows’ is a disappointing time at the theater.

A trio of women going through grief are quickly forced into action in this new heist flick.

“Widows” takes place in an area of Chicago and follows a group of women, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki). At the movie’s onset, the three have never met each other, but their husbands all work closely. However, their work includes pulling off criminal heists.

The film picks up with one of these jobs, helmed by Veronica’s husband Harry (Liam Neeson), going wrong and the whole crew getting killed. Not only does this put the three women in the grieving process, but the job their husbands attempted has left a sort of trail, putting them in danger. As a result, they decide to go through with a plan originally written up by Harry and pull off the heist to begin new lives.

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REVIEW: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a bland band biopic

The pacing in this movie was so fast. Maybe that would work for, I dunno, a biopic about the band Rush, but not Queen.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” tells the tale of the band Queen, with a significant focus on the life of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). The picture follows Mercury during his time in college where he discovers the band, all the way to his performance during the Live Aid concert.

As it goes on, the film covers Mercury’s sexual orientation, his creation of the song that shares the same name of the movie, his struggle with drugs and disagreements he had with other members of Queen.

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REVIEW: ‘Hate U Give,’ while not perfect, still has impact

A novel with subject matter quite relevant to what’s happened in the United States over the past several years was adapted to the big screen in fairly convincing fashion.

The Hate U Give,” originally a book, is a film telling the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who lives in a mostly African American neighborhood, but attends a predominantly white private institution. The film picks up with Starr heading into a weekend, where she eventually attends a house party. There, she meets a childhood friend named Khalil (Algee Smith), who offers to drive her home.

Along the drive back home, Khalil is pulled over by a white police officer and, while leaning in the car to check on Starr, is shot and killed. What follows is a situation where Starr has to deal with speaking about the incident with law enforcement, the press, and her friends and relatives. As a result, the situation creates a lot of stress for the high schooler.

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REVIEW: ‘A Star is Born’ will hook you in with passionate musical scenes

I’ll admit, when I hear the title, I think of the song at the end of the Disney “Hercules” movie.

In all seriousness, “A Star is Born” is actually a remake of a 1937 film with the same name. In fact, along with this most recent adaptation, that 1937 movie has been remade two other times in 1954 and 1976. This newest version was directed and co-written by Bradley Cooper, who also stars in the film as the lead character Jack.

Jack is a successful musician with plenty of hits, but also faces problems. Not only does one of his ears have a medical issue, but he’s also suffering from alcoholism. Despite, this, though, he meets a talented singer named Ally (Lady Gaga) who’s been overlooked her whole life. Not only do the two strike up a relationship, but Jack also helps Ally get her talent noticed. A strain remains, though, because of Jack’s health.

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REVIEW: ‘White Boy Rick’ dragged down by story, characters

The latest gang/crime drama has released to theaters, but this one comes with a bit of a twist.

“White Boy Rick,” based on a true story, follows Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt). Rick lives in Detroit with his father Richard (Matthew McConaughey), who sells firearms in poor neighborhoods. As this process continues, local and federal law enforcement agencies become aware of Richard’s dealings and look to put an end to it.

However, instead of arresting him, the FBI and local detectives give Richard an out by giving Rick the opportunity to be an undercover informant and make controlled drug deals. Rick takes the offer and begins to work undercover, but soon comes to terms with the dangers associated with the role.

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REVIEW: While flawed, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is an engaging take on a wild true story

Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee has returned to the directors chair, this time to helm a crime/cop drama that’s actually based on a true story.

Taking place in the 1970s, “BlacKkKlansman” follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a recent addition to a police department in Colorado. As a rookie in the department, Ron initially works in the records division. However, he eventually convinces the chief to get a chance in undercover detective work.

After a short time in the new division, Ron ends up taking a chance by phone to call a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. In doing so, Ron is able to keep track of the local Klan’s strategies and if they’re seeking to do anything violent. To make the investigation even more effective, Ron works with Flip (Adam Driver), a fellow detective who takes Ron’s place during in-person meetings with the Klan.

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REVIEW: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a charming, insightful romcom

Subjects such as wealth, power and differences in the social hierarchy based on income are all packaged and put before audiences in this summer romcom.

As the name implies, the film centers around very affluent Asian individuals. However, the main protagonist Rachel (Constance Wu), isn’t one of them. Rachel is an economics professor living in New York City and is in a relationship with Nick Young (Henry Golding). The two are a happy couple, yet when Nick invites Rachel to his best friend’s wedding, she finds out that he’s been hiding something.

It turns out that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and holds great influence in Singapore. Upon arriving in Singapore, Rachel experiences some of the perks of her boyfriend’s wealth, but at the same time, their relationship becomes strained. This is mainly because Rachel isn’t remotely close to being a rich person, and some of the individuals close to Nick look down on her for it.

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REVIEW: ‘Mile 22’ is an awful action picture to end the summer

Collaborations between Director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg have been OK. But this latest one… Oof.

In their new team-up, Mark Wahlberg plays James Silva, the head of a special operations unit under the leadership of the CIA. The story picks up with the team at United States embassy in a country that is never specified throughout this feature. The audience soon learns that the unit is there because there is an informant named Li Noor who has a computer drive with the location of nuclear weapon materials.

That informant, played by Iko Uwais, wants something in return, though: asylum in the United States. As a result, the team take the informant on a 22 mile trip to an airfield to get him out of the country and reveal where the materials may be. However, Noor is a target in the country, making the journey dangerous for the CIA team.

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