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‘Tommorowland’ snapshot review

TOMORROWLAND

Critical rating: 2½ stars out of four

Directed by: Brad Bird (“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” “The Incredibles,” “The Iron Giant”)

Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw and Thomas Robinson

Rated: PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements and language

The story: A scientifically curious young woman (Britt Robertson) learns of an alternate reality where humans have created inventions beyond our wildest dreams. She also learns that her reality is doomed unless she and an aging inventor (George Clooney) find a way to rid the world of its ever-increasing, human-created problems.

The scoop: Director and co-writer Brad Bird has done a masterful job creating an awe-inspiring look at an alternate reality that could represent humanity’s future. He has also crafted a story with an important and beautiful message: Human beings can build a wonderful future together, but only if they stop the self-destructive behavior that is destroying our lives and planet. Clooney and Robertson are likable in the lead roles, but the intricacies of the complex plot are difficult to decipher. This is largely due to uneven storytelling that leaves a host of important questions unanswered. In other words, “Tomorrowland” is beautiful and engaging, but it feels sloppy, particularly when judged in relation to Bird’s previous work.

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Video Verdict: Review of ‘Night at the Museum – Secret of the Tomb’

From left, Patrick Gallagher, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Rami Malek star in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”  Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

From left, Patrick Gallagher, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Rami Malek star in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The latest entry in the “Night at the Museum” franchise is the only major theatrical release making its way to home video this week.

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘The Judge,’ ‘Fury,’ ‘The Book of Life’ and ‘Before I Go to Sleep’

From left to right, Shia LaBeouf, Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman (rear), Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal star in the war drama “Fury”   Photo courtesy of Sony

From left to right, Shia LaBeouf, Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman (rear), Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal star in the war drama “Fury”Photo courtesy of Sony

There is a strong slate of home video releases this week, and it is anchored by a movie that helped actor Robert Duvall earn his seventh Academy Award nomination.

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘The Boxtrolls,’ ‘Lucy’ and ‘Annabelle’

The title characters from the stop-motion animated movie “The Boxtrolls” are sadly misunderstood.   Photo courtesy of Focus Features

The title characters from the stop-motion animated movie “The Boxtrolls” are sadly misunderstood.

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

This week’s major home video releases include two R-rated thrillers and a family friendly animated film.

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Love Is Strange’

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the chief suspect when his wife goes missing in the David Fincher thriller “Gone Girl.”  Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the chief suspect when his wife goes missing in the David Fincher thriller “Gone Girl.”

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

A pair of R-rated dramas anchor this week’s major home video releases.

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Top 10 Movies of 2014

From left to right, Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, Bradley Cooper plays Rocket, Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, Vin Diesel plays Groot and Dave Bautista plays Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  Forrest ranks the film among the best of 2014. Photo courtesy of Disney

From left to right, Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, Bradley Cooper plays Rocket, Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, Vin Diesel plays Groot and Dave Bautista plays Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Forrest ranks the film among the best of 2014.

Photo courtesy of Disney 

As we march into the new year and prepare ourselves for upcoming awards shows, it’s appropriate to reflect on the best movies of 2014. As usual, the year produced sure bets from well-known auteurs and a strong crop of art-house darlings, but we also had terrific pictures emerge from the much-derided cinematic mainstream. In fact, a number of blockbusters cracked my top 10. Following is the cream of the 2014 movie crop, complete with notes on how you can see them.

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Get On Up’

Ellar Coltrane stars in the Richard Linklater film “Boyhood.”  Photo courtesy of Paramount

Ellar Coltrane stars in the Richard Linklater film “Boyhood.”

Photo courtesy of Paramount

This week’s home video releases are anchored by a much-hyped project from writer-director Richard Linklater.

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