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  • Unhinged

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Russell Crowe goes rogue in the brutal road rage thriller "Unhinged" (Solstice). In the absence of any effort at character development or any realistic restraint on the mayhem that results, what we're left with, under Derrick Borte's direction, is a bloody killing spree meant to justify retaliation in kind.

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  • Come Away

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Take "Peter Pan," add a dash of "Alice in Wonderland," stir in the poetry of William Butler Yeats and you have the recipe for "Come Away" (Relativity), an intriguing if slightly schizophrenic fairy tale.

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  • Divine Love

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Pity the poor contemporary artist who just doesn't know what to do about religion. Is it a bogeyman ready to pop out of the shadows and spoil everyone's fun? Is it an alien, outmoded, impenetrably mysterious hobby some misguided souls insist on continuing to practice? Or is faith a perennial theme just waiting to be dusted off and put to innovative use?

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  • Freaky

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The body-swapping genre is a well-established one in Hollywood. Although numerous other titles could be cited, it's perhaps most obviously typified by the various film adaptations of author Mary Rodgers' 1972 children's novel "Freaky Friday," made both for the big screen and TV.

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  • Mank

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Films that show the creative process of an earlier Hollywood era love to dollop out sagacious pearls. So it is with "Mank" (Netflix), in which MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer (Arliss Howard) explains the film industry to screenwriter Joseph Mankiewicz (Tom Pelphrey).

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  • The Life Ahead

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Six years after her most recent role in her son Edoardo Ponti's film "Human Voice," fabled actress Sophia Loren returns to the screen in "The Life Ahead" (Netflix). Already playing in theaters, the Italian-language drama, subtitled in English, will be available on the streaming service beginning Nov. 13.

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  • Martin Eden

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "The more he studied, the more vistas he caught of fields of knowledge yet unexplored, and the regret that days were only twenty-four hours long became a chronic complaint with him."

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  • Let Him Go

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The drama "Let Him Go" (Focus), writer-director Thomas Bezucha's adaptation of Larry Watson's 2013 novel, showcases a successful, if sometimes tense, marriage. But it's also a morally dicey affair in which characters' good and evil instincts are intertwined in a way that can only be untangled through subtle ethical assessment.

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  • The Witches

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Roald Dahl's eponymous 1983 novel, first brought to the big screen in a 1990 film helmed by Nicolas Roeg, gets a spirited second adaptation with "The Witches" (HBO Max). Problematic elements are mostly absent in this version. But director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis' dark comic fantasy is too intense for little kids while older ones may need guidance in sorting through a central characters' combination of wise Christian faith and white sorcery.

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  • Come Play

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- If the monster movie "Come Play" (Focus) is only reasonably effective in frightening its audience, it is at least refreshingly free of objectionable material, including gore. Thus, although it's not a film for small fry, it is a feature that can be enjoyed by the rest of the family.

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  • On the Rocks

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Understated in its approach and mature in its values, the low-key comedy "On the Rocks" (A24/Apple TV+) is an amiable enterprise suitable for a grown audience. In fact, it could have been an instructive film for teens as well were it not for a single burst of F-bombs from an extraneous source.

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  • Fishbowl

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- When a movie's plot consists of a grieving widower with three teen daughters attending a Catholic high school who becomes obsessed with the end of the world, dealing with spiritual themes would seem to be inevitable.

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  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- If nothing else, the sequel "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" (Amazon) has consistency on its side. In it, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen reprises his role as Borat Sagdiyev, an irrepressibly cheerful but pixelated Kazakh journalist he first played in 2006. As in that first film, moreover, his alter ego sets off on a cross-country tour of the United States, this time accompanied by his daughter, Tutar (Maria Bakalova).

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  • 'Clouds,' streaming, Disney+

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Based on Laura Sobiech's 2014 memoir "Fly a Little Higher," the heartwarming, winsome feature film "Clouds" is streaming on Disney+. Justin Baldoni directs from Kara Holden's sharply observed, thoughtful screenplay about the life of Sobiech's late son, Zach (Fin Argus).

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  • UPDATE: The Trial of the Chicago 7

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- As demonstrated by the popularity of his long-running TV series "The West Wing," Aaron Sorkin has a knack for making politics interesting. Nearly a decade-and-a-half after that show went dark, he brings his talents to bear as the writer and director of the fact-based drama "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix).

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  • Rebecca

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- British author Daphne du Maurier's bestselling 1938 gothic novel "Rebecca" has been dramatized multiple times over the years, most memorably in the 1940 movie starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.

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  • Honest Thief

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The title may be an oxymoron, but there's nothing paradoxical about "Honest Thief" (Open Road); it's a solid, entertaining action thriller. This fast-paced game of cat-and-mouse between a conflicted bank robber and a duo of crooked cops, directed and co-written (with Steve Allrich) by Mark Williams, offers its protagonist, should he prevail, two prizes: a shot at redemption and the love of a good woman.

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  • The War With Grandpa

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Humor goes AWOL during "The War With Grandpa" (101 Studios). While director Tom Hill's flimsy comedy, adapted from Robert Kimmel Smith's novel for children, is acceptable for older kids and their elders, they're unlikely to buy into its strained, unrealistic setup.

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  • Yellow Rose

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Yellow Rose" (Sony) is meant to be an inspiring immigrant's saga with a particular appeal to teen girls. A scene of underage drinking nudges this into adult territory, but just barely, so it doesn't necessarily preclude viewing by mature teens. There's no endorsement of the behavior -- it's just something that sets up how Rose Garcia (Eva Noblezada), the heroine, comes to work in a Texas honky-tonk, where she hopes to launch a country music career.

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