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Rio 2: May Be a Bit Too Much

By Sandra Olmsted

Director Carlos Saldanha’s head spinning sequel to Rio bombards the audience with tons of musical numbers, a wide variety of musical styles, a huge cast, and multiple plots and subplots. Rio 2, in fact, seems more of a ride on a Scrambler at a carnival than a celebration of Brazil’s Carnival.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: Ultimately it’s Irresistible

By Sandra Olmsted

In his latest and much anticipated film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, director Wes Anderson again uses his trademark visual style to bring this nostalgic, mostly enchanting romp to life. Although the film contains several layers of narratives, Anderson uses the visual style to keep the story straight through tricks like changing the aspect ratio for different section of the film and, of course, the various time periods look entirely different.

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The Face of Love Has Some Surprising Twists

By Sandra Olmsted

Director Arie Posin’s The Face of Love daftly combines a love story with a psychological thriller, which results in a surprisingly compelling story designed to keep the audience guessing what will happen next.

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Mr. Peabody and Sherman: A Rip-Roaring Space-Time Cartoon

By Sandra Olmsted

Just as quirky and puny as the original, director Rob Minkoff’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman has something for adults and kids — silliness and the same breakneck pace of the original Jay Ward produced and Ted Key created cartoon.

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Non-Stop: A Hitchcock Syle Thriller Up in the Air

By Sandra Olmsted

Director Jaume Collet-Serra and actor Liam Neeson, who made Unknown in 2011, reteam in Non-Stop, a thrill ride of a popcorn film which borrow heavily from Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Most of the action takes place in the confined space of an airliner over the Atlantic, and Bill Marks (Neeson), a depressed, alcoholic US Air Marshal, must save the plane, the crew, and the passengers while they all believe he is hijacking the plane.

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The Monuments Men: About Time

By Sandra Olmsted

Director George Clooney’s timely The Monument Men chronicles the real-life adventure of the American lead effort to save the cultural history of Europe as the Allied Forces pursued the retreating Nazi army across the continent. According to The Monuments Men Foundation website, the Monuments Men were a force of about 345 men and women representing thirteen nations who were mostly “museum directors, curators, art historians, artists, architects, and educators. Their job description was simple: to protect cultural treasures so far as war allowed.”

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