Justice League

Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher
Directed by Zack Snyder
Rating: 4/5- would most likely buy on DVD, but not in love with it.

There’s something about a superhero movie where the good guys team up to fight the bad ones that is just so appealing.

Set in a different universe than the Box Office hogs from Marvel comics, the DC heroes of Gotham, Metropolis, and elsewhere finally get together to kick some alien butt. This has been years in the making, with a slow crawl from Superman’s “Man of Steel” to introducing Batman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” to finally getting a Wonder Woman movie.

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Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Michael Pitt
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Rating: B

A woman is saved from a terrorist attack but only just so: her brain was the only part of her salvageable, and when she wakes up she discovers she is living in a cyborg body commanded by the military.

Christened as “Major” (Johansson), she is the first of her kind, and the title of the movie is a metaphor for how while made of metal parts, Major’s humanity remains in the ‘shell’ of a body. Major struggles to fit in society as everyone else sees her as human and all that is left of her past is a fog.

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Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor
Directed by Bill Condon
Rating: A

Disney takes audiences back to “a tale as old as time” in this live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, and it proves that it is timeless as well.

Belle is a blossoming young woman in a provincial town in France. She stands out for her passion of reading and is a headstrong, intelligent character. She takes care of the house when her father goes to the market, as her mother died when she was a baby and there is no one else to look after it. One day her father’s horse comes home alone and Belle discovers that he had become a prisoner in a castle hidden away in the woods. The master of the castle, a large two-legged ‘Beast,’ tells Belle her father will be imprisoned forever, but Belle manages to take his place instead.

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Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Rating: A

How far would you go to prove your faith?

In 17th century Japan, Catholics were persecuted for their belief in God and so many went into hiding. Two Jesuit priests from Portugal ask permission to travel to this dangerous country to seek out Father Ferreira (Neeson) who has been missing in Japan for years, and they believe to be in hiding.

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Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Russel Brand
Directed by Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
Rating: B+

Sometimes being too happy hurts people.

At least, that’s what Branch (Timberlake), the village downer, thinks. For 20 years the trolls have lived happily and peacefully away from the Bergens, a tribe of ugly and mean giants that made a tradition out of eating trolls because it was the one time a year they could feel pure happiness.

Poppy (Kendrick) has been planning the most festive of events to celebrate the 20 years she and her friends were saved by her father, the king. She ignore’s Branch’s warnings about attracting the Bergen’s attentions and comes to regret it when an exiled Bergen captures some of her friends.

Now, Poppy must brave the journey toward the Bergen’s village and find a way to get her friends back before they’re all eaten.

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Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
Directed by Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Musker, Chris Williams
Rating: A

Disney did it again. Their newest princess (or non-princess, according to Moana herself) takes to the waves and shows courage when no one else is up to face the challenge. Moana might just be my new favorite Disney character.

Moana comes from a proud line of chieftains and lives on a Polynesian island where peace and harmony work hand-in-hand. The only bit of mischief that ever seems to occur is from Moana, who has a strong calling to the ocean, and her grandmother, who seems to encourage it. Her father scolds her for getting near the water and doesn’t want anyone to pass the border of the reef.

When the coconuts collected during harvest have all gone rotten one day and the fishermen can’t collect any fish, signs of trouble worry the islanders. Only Moana is brave enough to seek Maui outside the safety of the island. Maui is a demigod, who was responsible for starting the curse that has pushed islanders to travel from island to island when it destroys their home. Only he can restore the islands back to a healthy, growing community, but he must be found first.

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The Help

Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by Tate Taylor
Based on the book by Kathryn Stockett
Rating: B-

In Jackson, Mississippi a young woman decides to stir up trouble by writing a controversial anthology of stories told by the perspective of “The Help,” but no one is willing to talk.

It’s a time in which the civil rights movement is only just beginning and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is making his voice heard. It’s said that Jackson is among the worst in the south to treat colored people and times are not getting any better.

An ambitious young woman named Skeeter (Stone) wants to let colored maids share their perspective of working for white families and raising white children only for the kids to grow up to behave like their parents. After recruiting one maid named Aibileen (Davis), she begins to uncover the troubled lives of colored people. Meanwhile, Skeeter’s interest in colored lives gets her shut out of her circle of friends who wish to preserve life as it is.

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