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Snapshot review: ‘Terminator Genisys’

TERMINATOR GENISYS

Critical rating: 3½ stars out of four

Directed by: Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”)

Starring: Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger and J.K. Simmons

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language

The story: The fifth installment in this long-running science-fiction franchise takes viewers to the future and past with a story that relies heavily on time travel. Much of the action centers on Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), who was played by Michael Biehn in the 1984 original. Viewers watch as Kyle is sent back to 1984 to save Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). Presumably this would result in a replay of the first movie, but Kyle lands in a timeline that has been significantly changed. In fact, there is a point where humanity’s prophesized savior, John Connor, becomes mankind’s biggest threat.

The scoop: “Terminator Genisys” is a fitting tribute to all the films that came before and the most entertaining franchise entry since 1991’s “Judgment Day.” Like the first two movies, the film is sometimes silly, often funny and always action packed. It’s a great summer blockbuster.

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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: ‘Barefoot’

Evan Rachel Wood, left, and Scott Speedman star in the offbeat romance “Barefoot.”

Evan Rachel Wood, left, and Scott Speedman star in the offbeat romance “Barefoot.”

It is an extremely slow week for home video, as no major theatrical releases made the transition to the small screen.

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Video Verdict: ‘Dark Skies’

Keri Russell plays the mother of a family haunted by strange happenings in the horror film “Dark Skies.”

Keri Russell plays the mother of a family haunted by strange happenings in the horror film “Dark Skies.”

A horror film about malevolent aliens is the only major theatrical release moving to home video this week.

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