American Sniper brings the realities of war home

Bradley Cooper in The American Sniper.

At age 84, Clint Eastwood reminds us that, no matter the war, too many soldiers face challenging battles when they come home. While his film American Sniper may advertise itself as the story of one military hero, the director focuses on how our nation fails to support all of our military ...

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Counting down to the Oscars: previous winners

Viola Davis in The Help.

As we count down to Oscar, broadcast and cable outlets offer movie choices with Academy Award pedigrees. Take a look at what’s available on broadcast and cable television this weekend. Funny Girl (1968) When Barbra Streisand traveled to Hollywood, in 1967, to begin filming the movie version of ...

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Selecting the Oscar nominees

Will Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' be the big winner in Academy Award nominations?

What a good movie year 2014 turned out to be. Until mid-summer, we felt trapped by sequels, remakes and overdone epics, with occasional exceptions. Fortunately the change of seasons brought a fresh roster of films to restore our belief in what moviemakers can create when they look beyond ...

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Unbroken celebrates Zamperini’s bravery

Jack O'Connell as Louis Zamperini in 'Unbroken.'

If good intentions make a great film, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken lands at the top of the list. From its opening combat sequence, this adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Louis Zamperini looks like a film that knows what it wants to be. As we follow the initial confrontation, we get ...

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Into the Woods captures the Sondheim magic

Meryl Streep as the witch in Into the Woods.

Yes, Into the Woods can still sing. On its inspired journey from stage to screen, this musical from Stephen Sondheim retains all of its magic from the stage as it transforms into a rich visual experience. Rather than recreate the theatricality of the original, director Rob Marshall reimagines ...

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Inherent Vice explores the hunger for escape

Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice.

Yes, Paul Thomas Anderson has a sense of humor. After creating one absorbing drama after another — from Magnolia to There Will Be Blood to The Master — Anderson reminds us how funny he can be when he chooses to chill. With the irreverent Inherent Vice, this director in search of meaning ...

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Wild traces emotional and physical journey

Reese Witherspoon in Wild.

Her weathered face suggests she has been outdoors for some time, while her eyes define her purpose. Suddenly, accidentally, her hiking boot slips down a ravine, out of reach. How will she be able to continue her journey through the wild? With anger, candor and resolve, Reese Witherspoon ...

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