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  • Alice in Wonderland

    Alice in Wonderland

    ★★★½

    Proving Tim Burton, Lewis Carroll, and Disney a sound match, Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" is an engaging, sometimes exuberant fantasy film that finds the director's distinct signature coupling colorfully with the author's sharply drawn world and the studio's grand sensibilities. The elements work in concert to result in something vividly rendered and entertainingly told.

    "Alice in Wonderland" sees Mia Wasikowska's Alice, a young woman finding her way apart from a society of spirit-quieting norms and stiff structure, journeying to a…

  • TMNT

    TMNT

    ★★★★

    A surprisingly engaging animated action film, Kevin Munroe's "TMNT" offers what may be the best cinematic take on Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so far. Spry animation and action beats, along with a solid story, make the film a thoroughly enjoyable look at the sewer-dwelling heroes.

    Unfolding in media res in relation to turtle lore, "TMNT" revolves around the four teenaged turtles, separated by life and growth, coming back together to engage in a battle against an ancient…

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  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    "Inception," at its most basic, is two things. It is a heist film dressed in science fiction conventions; and it is a study of a man trying to free himself from a near-suffocating past. "Inception," at its more complex, is a cerebral pop-masterpiece. It is an enthralling combination of thought-provoking, layered story-telling and sumptuous aesthetics enhanced by near-flawless editing, sound design, effects, and musical score. Driven by a pitch-perfect cast and the confident directorial hand of Christopher Nolan, "Inception" is a brilliant and unrivaled piece of filmmaking.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    "Whiplash," Damien Chazelle's 107-minute-long ode to mentors, musicians, and motivation, is a taut and mesmerizing piece of filmmaking. A quick-moving and engrossing drama that explores the roles of teacher and learner, parent and child, Chazelle builds a film that brims with energy and emotion, bursts with authentic character beats, and soars with a percussive and narrative brilliance.
    With its powerful performances, crackling direction, and riveting story, "Whiplash" is a truly great piece of work.

    Chazelle's story is built around Miles…