REVIEW: Don’t waste grey matter on ‘The Gray Man’

Netflix keeps getting films with big name actors and they continue to be disappointing.

Ryan Gosling stars as “Six” in “Gray Man,” a member of a CIA program that turns ex-cons into black ops agents. The film picks up with Six coming across a drive with sensitive information during his latest mission.

Six learns that that the drive has proof of major wrong-doing by the CIA, and opts to try to get it in the hands of a clean higher up that can take action. However, this puts a target on his back, with former-CIA agent turned mercenary Lloyd (Chris Evans) being the one leading the chase.

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REVIEW: ‘Hustle’ has enough highlights to be worth seeing

As a Timberwolves fan, I was happy to see Minnesota star basketball player Anthony Edwards featured in this film.

Unfortunately, he plays an antagonistic character in “Hustle,” so the audience isn’t supposed to like him. Quite the dilemma.

The main focus of “Hustle,” though, is Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler), a scout for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers team. At the film’s start, Sugerman appears to have a chance at moving up from a scout to an assistant coach, but the promotion is dashed when a change of ownership takes place.

Sugerman is at first upset about having to go abroad to scout players again, but his mentality changes when he comes across a street-ball player named Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez) in Spain. Sugerman knows it’s a long shot because the 76ers don’t appear entirely interested in Cruz because of his lack of association play, but Sandler’s character still brings him to the United States, convinced that the player can get drafted by a pro team.

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REVIEW: Latest ‘Chainsaw Massacre’ is a total mess

This franchise has really only had one good sequel and that one had someone dual-wielding chainsaws. Something this movie, among other things, lacks.

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is supposed to be a direct sequel to the 1974 horror classic, ignoring all of the other pictures in the series. The film is set nearly 50 years after the original picture, and picks up with a group of young adults moving to a small, rural Texas town.

There, they plan to invite several other young professionals to revitalize a dilapidated community. Unfortunately, their presence ends up disturbing the fearsome killer Leatherface, who’s been in hiding since the conclusion of the first movie.

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REVIEW: The past looms large in quality Netflix entry ‘Lost Daughter’

Longtime actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has made her feature directorial debut with this new Netflix film, and it’s a solid starting point.

Leda, portrayed by Olivia Colman, is the star of the “The Lost Daughter.” A writer and a professor, Leda is on a vacation in Greece during the film for some time to herself.

As she’s settling in, she meets another family who’s on vacation. As Leda begins to interact with the family more, mostly with the matriarch who has a young daughter, it causes her to look back on her own past, and the decisions she made as a parent.

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REVIEW: Don’t look at the screen when ‘Don’t Look Up’ is on

So, this movie sure got people talking.

“Don’t Look Up” is the latest feature from director/writer Adam McKay, and centers on a scenario where there’s a comet headed toward Earth. The scientists who discover the comet, Randall (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) immediately inform the federal government after their discovery, with the hope that action is taken.

Unfortunately, they’re not exactly met with a warm welcome at the White House. The president, played by Meryl Streep, is much more concerned with optics and doesn’t particularly trust scientific evidence. As a result, Randall and Kate have to try to work with an ineffective head of state, while also trying to get air-time in a world where’s there’s apparently just one television show.

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REVIEW: ‘Mitchells Vs The Machines’ never rises above mediocre

This movie and the new “Matrix” in a few weeks is only reinforcing my concern about a robot uprising.

As the title implies, this movie is about a family, named the Mitchells, taking on evil bots. While the whole family is included, though, the main focus is on Katie (Abbi Jacobson), a teen who’s preparing to go to college in California to study film. Her academic path has put her at odds with her dad Rick (Danny McBride), though, who’s never been interested in technology and enjoys the outdoors much more.

Knowing that he has one last chance to connect with his daughter before she leaves for school, Rick decides to take Katie, as well as his son Aaron (Michael Rianda) and wife Linda (Maya Rudolph) on a college move-in road trip. Unfortunately, their journey is interrupted by the robots who’re in the midst of a global takeover because of an A.I. gone bad.

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REVIEW: Despite star power, Netflix’s ‘Red Notice’ is a dud

Film is an interesting medium. Movies can be both an amazing piece of art and a product to make profit.

Sometimes, though, a movie feels too much like it’s just a product, and that’s how “Red Notice” comes across.

In this new Netflix movie, Dwayne Johnson stars as John Hartley, an FBI agent who’s working with Interpol to arrest one of the best art thieves in the world, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Nolan’s latest target to steal is a rare Egyptian artifact, as only three of its kind exist in the world.

After a chase, both Nolan and John get set up by another art thief, who goes by The Bishop (Gal Gadot). Both are sent to prison, as John has been framed as an accomplice, and now must work together to take down Bishop and, potentially, get the Egyptian artifact in the process.

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REVIEW: ‘Power of the Dog’ is a well crafted character study that digs deep

The concept of masculinity is explored and deconstructed in this new Netflix feature, set where the prairies meet the Rocky Mountains.

“Power of the Dog,” directed by Jane Campion, takes place during the 1920s in Montana. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Phil Burbank in the film, a tough cattle rancher with a rough personality.

While Phil seems mystified by the life of a rancher in the western side of the nation, his brother George (Jesse Plemons) is less fascinated by the cowboy career and has ambitions of settling down. He does just that when he meets and later marries a restaurant owner named Rose (Kirsten Dunst). The film then follows how Phil often finds himself at odds with the rest of his family.

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REVIEW: ‘Tick, Tick… Boom’ is an enjoyable, touching tribute

The legacy of late composer Jonathan Larson is honored in this new Netflix feature, based on his own autobiographical musical, “Tick, Tick… Boom.”

Andrew Garfield stars as Larson in the movie, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film has a framing device of Larson of performing “Tick, Tick… Boom” as a one man show, where he tells the story of himself in 1990, struggling to get a new production off the ground.

That production is “Superbia,” and the story Larson tells includes details about how he worked at a small diner, his strained relationships because of his focus on his work and how he grieved for friends he lost to the AIDS epidemic.

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REVIEW: ‘Passing’ swings for the fences, but it’s a miss for Netflix

The 1920s are brought to life in this new Netflix feature, with a black and white look reminiscent of movies from the era.

“Passing” stars Tessa Thompson as Irene, a light-skinned black woman who lives in Harlem with with her husband, an African American doctor (Andre Holland), and two sons. The movie picks up with Irene out and about one day where she runs into a friend from high school.

That friend is Clare (Ruth Negga), who is African American, but because of her light skin and blonde hair, “passes” as white. The film explores the friendship between Clare and Irene, and how it relates to race and class.

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