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: ‘Lady Bird’ Is A Great Coming Of Age Story And One Of 2017’s Best

Greta Gerwig made her solo directing debut with “Lady Bird,” and what a debut it is.

Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is the main character in the film. However, she refers to herself as Lady Bird and requests that everyone she knows call her by that name, too. The picture’s story follows Lady Bird through her senior year at a private Catholic high school and largely centers on the relationship between her and her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf).

As her last year in high school unfolds, Lady Bird and Marion clash numerous times, both over their family’s finances and Lady Bird’s plans for college.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 review

Director:
Francis Lawrence
Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Woody Harrelson
Donald Sutherland
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Julianne Moore
Elizabeth Banks
Mahershala Ali
Jeffrey Wright
Rated: PG-13

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” wastes no time getting started. There’s no flashback or ‘last time.’ The film opens up with Katniss Everdeen’s throat still injured after being attacked by a brainwashed Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson). Despite the injury giving her a raspy voice, though, it doesn’t hold her back from still being involved in the rebellion.

After some preliminary work, Everdeen joins a unit that includes Gale (Hemsworth) as well as Boggs (Ali) and is set to storm the Capitol and put an end to President Snow (Sutherland). The invasion process is met with a heavy challenge, though, when the Capitol inserts traps from the Hunger Games.

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Paper Towns review

Director:
Jake Schreier
Cast:
Nat Wolff
Cara Delevingne
Austin Abrams
Justice Smith
Halston Sage
Rated: PG-13

In “Paper Towns,” Nat Wolff plays Quentin, a high school student who is nearing the end of his senior year. As he goes through with his day-to-day routine of going to school, he still hopes to reconnect with his childhood friend Margo (Delevigne), a girl next door who has become one of the popular kids.

Quentin eventually gets his chance to spend time with Margo, who invites him out for a night of mischief. To his surprise, though, the next day Quentin finds out that Margo has gone off the grid and has seemingly disappeared. The vanishing sets Quentin, with the help of his friends, off on a road trip/adventure to find clues as to where Margo is.

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Unfriended review

Director
Levan Gabriadze
Cast:
Heather Sossaman
Matthew Bohrer
Courtney Halverson
Shelley Hennig
Moses Jacob Storm
Will Peltz
Renee Olstead
Rated: R

A group of high school friends decide to hang out on a Skype chat in “Unfriended,” a movie that completely takes place on a computer screen. It seems like a fairly average night for the group until an unidentified person joins their Skype chat.

The group soon begins to believe that the unidentified person is actually their friend who committed suicide after a series of extreme cyber bullying.

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Insurgent review

Director:
Robert Schwentke
Cast:
Kate Winslet
Shailene Woodley
Theo James
Miles Teller
Rated: PG-13

I certainly wasn’t expecting the second movie in the “Divergent” series to be a chore to sit through, but it was.

In the sequel to last year’s mediocre “Divergent,” “Insurgent” picks up not long after the first film ended. Tris, played by Shailene Woodley, and Four, played by Theo James, are on the run from the main factions of the city and are seeking out any kind of shelter.

Unfortunately, they have to stay on the run through many parts of the film. This problem increases when Jeanine, played by Kate Winslet, decides to search for Tris as she may be the one who can unlock secrets of the city.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 review

Director:
Francis Lawrence
Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence
Josh Hutcherson
Liam Hemsworth
Woody Harrelson
Donald Sutherland
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Julianne Moore
Rated: PG-13

The odds will certainly be in this movie’s favor at the box office this weekend.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” is the first in a two-part finale for the whole book- based movie series. The film picks up not long after the events of the previous installment, “Catching Fire” with Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, taken to the mysterious District 13.

District 13 is the home of the rebellion against the oppressive rule of the Capitol of Panem. Upon her arrival, Katniss meets the President of District 13, Alma Coin, played by Julianne Moore. Katniss soon learns that the District wants her to be the face and symbol of the rebellion.

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The Giver review

Director:
Phillip Noyce
Cast:
Jeff Bridges
Meryl Streep
Brenton Thwaites
Odeya Rush
Rated: PG-13

Based on a 1993 novel of the same name, “The Giver” follows the story of Jonas (Thwaites), a young man living in a society with no war, pain or suffering. This is made possible because there is no emotion or feeling. On the day when he finds out what he will do for a career in the dystopian future, Jonas learns that he will discover the history of his people from The Giver (Bridges).

As Jonas begins to learn from The Giver, he discovers emotion and passion in life, and he looks to share it with those around him. This is forbidden, though, and he becomes a target of the Chief Elder of the community (Streep).

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The Fault in Our Stars review

Director:
Josh Boone
Cast:
Shailene Woodley
Ansel Elgort
Nat Wolff
Laura Dern
Willem Dafoe
Rated: PG-13

Shailene Woodley plays a teen named Hazel,suffering from cancer and also a limited social life. This changes, though when she meets another teen named Gus who has to deal with cancer during a support group meeting.

The two start a friendship that eventually leads to a romance which takes both of them on an emotional journey.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review

If you liked “The Hunger Games,” then you will love “Catching Fire” because it is an improvement over the first one in nearly every way.

The film picks up not long after the first movie. Both Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson, are on a victory tour after winning the Hunger Games. Although it is all smiles on the outside, inside, both characters are conflicted.

Katniss is troubled both by post traumatic stress disorder from the first games along with the fact that her relationship with Peeta is actually fake. She has feelings for the character Gale Hawthorne, played by Liam Hemsworth. Peeta is troubled by the same fact that the relationship doesn’t exist.

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