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  • Baywatch

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Eye candy and escapism were the draw of the television series from which director Seth Gordon's action comedy "Baywatch" (Paramount) has been adapted. Whatever success the show -- which began on NBC but had a longer life in syndication -- may have had back in the 1990s, it takes more than an ensemble of good-looking people running around in bathing suits to sustain a feature film.

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  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- For better or worse, bathroom-themed gags have long been a staple of kids' movies. But the family road comedy "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" (Fox) carries this trend to excess.

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  • Everything, Everything

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Cynics beware: The teen-oriented romantic drama "Everything, Everything" (Warner Bros.) bears more than a little resemblance to one of those fairy tales involving a princess locked up in a castle who needs a handsome prince to rescue her.

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  • Alien: Covenant

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Once you've seen one vicious extraterrestrial gnaw its way out of a human body from the inside, you've seen 'em all. Or so at least the jaded -- or squeamish -- moviegoer might be tempted to think.

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  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Early on in "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" (Warner Bros.), the audience is treated to the sight of magically generated giant elephants swinging boulder-size wrecking balls at the ramparts of Camelot. It's an apt visual considering how ponderous this action fantasy turns out to be.

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  • Snatched

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's a kernel of goodness at the heart of the mother-daughter comedy "Snatched" (Fox). But the minority of grown viewers for whom the film is acceptable will have to wade through a veritable cesspool of bad taste to approach it.

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  • The Dinner

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "The Dinner" (The Orchard), a trenchant morality tale about the nature of evil and mankind's savage underpinnings, turns out to be as infuriatingly dense and labyrinthine as Dutch author Herman Koch's 2009 novel.

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  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Sound fundamental values underlie the spirited sci-fi follow-up "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Disney). But thematic elements demanding discernment, together with some less than family-friendly dialogue, make this return to the stars best for grown-ups.

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  • How to Be a Latin Lover

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There are so many plot threads going in "How to Be a Latin Lover" (Pantelion), they never quite come together. Rather, the film becomes a scattershot comedy wavering uncertainly between warm family fare and a sex farce.

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  • The Circle

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Big Brother is watching you, and he has nothing to do with the government. Such, at least in part, is the message of the confused cautionary tale "The Circle" (STX). While perfectly acceptable for a wide swath of grown-ups, director James Ponsoldt's adaptation of his co-writer Dave Eggers' novel includes a crucial scene that probably puts it over the line for all but the most mature teens.

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  • Phoenix Forgotten

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The sci-fi-themed horror tale "Phoenix Forgotten" (Cinelou) includes little objectionable material, other than some salty language in the dialogue. Yet the lack of any positive seasoning makes this reasonably wholesome dish (for grown-ups, at least) dull to the taste.

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  • Born in China

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Forget worrisome headlines about our trade deficit with China. Instead, relax and drown your concerns in the veritable tsunami of cuteness that flows from "Born in China" (Disney), a warm and fuzzy animal documentary, narrated by John Krasinski.

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  • The Promise

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The relatively little-known genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Turks 100 years ago is brought into sharp focus by "The Promise" (Open Road). Taking his cue from epics like "Doctor Zhivago," director Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda"), who co-wrote the screenplay with Robin Swicord, melds an important history lesson with a tender love story. Viewers will emerge with newfound knowledge of the enormity of the holocaust (1.5 million people killed between 1915 and 1922) while appreciating its profound impact on individuals and families.

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  • Unforgettable

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The few adult viewers for whom it's suitable might be tempted to nickname the feverish domestic drama "Unforgettable" (Warner Bros.) "Wifie Dearest." That's because Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl), the obsessive, perfectionist ex-spouse at the center of the film's action, continually calls to mind Faye Dunaway's fuming, rage-prone persona as Joan Crawford in 1981's "Mommie Dearest."

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  • Gifted

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Endearing and well-acted, director Marc Webb's drama "Gifted" (Fox Searchlight) might have been a family-friendly movie. Elements in screenwriter Tom Flynn's script, however, make this thoughtful film -- which examines the proper balance between cultivating youthful talent and the need for even extraordinary kids to lead a normal life -- exclusively suitable for grown-ups and perhaps older teens.

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  • Free Fire

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The premise of "Free Fire" (A24) is that a single extended gunfight can sustain an entire film, provided the participants in the showdown keep making incongruously funny and mordant remarks.

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