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  • The Secret Life of Pets

    The Secret Life of Pets

    ★★½

    Worth the cliché Incredible Journey storyline for the little, random animal quirks and the dog that headbangs to System of a Down.

    (Basically this is kid-lite fare. A large ensemble of animals in full-on charm mode. How endearing you actually find it may depend on whether you are more interested in saying, "Awwww!" at the animal fluffballs, or excited about a plot--the latter is lame, the former is very possible.

    Not much to actually analyze here. This is visual kid Kool-Aid. Puffy morals and fluffy storylines come with the territory.)

  • Ocean's Eleven

    Ocean's Eleven

    ★★★★

    Ocean's Eleven is a spry little film. At its core it's a twisting heist: a team of criminals looking to steal money from a Las Vegas casino. You can debate how original it is (it's a remake, after all, and Vegas heist films are hardly rare to begin with), but the execution of the idea dots all the I's and crosses all the T's to create an engaging experience.

    While the story centers largely on Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and…

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  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    ★★★★★

    In college I was an English major with a minor in Journalism. I went that route because Journalism was the only English-related minor that, at my University, an English major could take. But as I went through the classes to get my minor, I came to realize two things:

    1. I had a deep love of what newspaper do and a respect for the people who write the stories.

    2. My personality would never hold up in the journalistic world.…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell needs to pause for a moment and look at the career of Tim Burton. Tim Burton started off as an intriguing, creative director, but then he fell in love with Johnny Depp and Helen Bonham Carter and he stopped making movies, he started making backyard jungle gyms for his new infatuations to play about in. Quality tanked, movies sucked, life goes on because there are plenty of movies out there to watch that aren't Burton/Carter/Depp lovefests.

    David…