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Will Smith stars as Nicky Spurgeon and Margot Robbie is his protégée Jess Barrett, two con artists who fall for one another but find themselves on the opposite side of a job involving a greedy Formula One driver (Rodrigo Santoro). The film plays fast and loose with some of the logic surrounding the jobs Nicky and his crew pull but directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa inject the film with a sense of fun that helps us brush any of these concerns aside. Smith is in his element, effortlessly charming and in command, and it’s good to have him back. 3 Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 104 minutes. AMC, CAR, SAV.
When high school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) finds out that her better-looking friends keep her around just so they can look better, she goes about trying to upend the social order, finding her confidence in the process. As teen movies go, this is pretty standard stuff though it benefits greatly from the chemistry generated by Whitman and Robbie Amell as a dim-bulb football star who agrees to help change her image. 2 ½ Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated PG-13. 90 minutes. AMC, CAR, SAV.
A Most Violent Year
Oscar Isaac stars as Abel Morales, a businessman in 1981 New York trying to expand his company through legitimate means. However, he finds out the hard way that this is not the way to get ahead, something his more experienced wife (Jessica Chastain) is well-aware of. Director J.C. Chandor’s find’s the proper tone for this urban drama yet a sense of urgency is missing as the story never builds a head of steam, taking far too long to get to the meat of the plot. 2 ½ Stars (Chuck Koplinski) Rated R. 125 minutes. ART.
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