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“The Lone Ranger” – The cinematic whipping boy of the season. Yes, director Gore (“The Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy) Verbinski’s wildly ambitious $225 million revisionist take on the titular masked man (charmingly played by Armie Hammer) and his faithful Indian sidekick Tonto (Johnny Depp, terrific) is too long and tonally inconsistent at times. But it still provides more entertainment bang-for-the-buck than just about any Hollywood movie in current release. Don’t believe the haters. (A-).
“Pacific Rim” – Guillermo del Toro’s outrageously entertaining, brilliantly directed “Transformers Meet Godzilla'” mash-up restores a sense of awe and wonder to summer tentpole movies. Plus, it’s the only film since “Avatar” that truly demands to be seen in 3-D. (A).
New on DVD:
“Admission” – Tina Fey and Paul Rudd make a cute couple in this mildly appealing collegiate comedy, but an indispensable Lily Tomlin steals the show as Fey’s feisty, ’60s survivor Mom. Considering the talent involved, this should have been a lot sharper and funnier than it is. (B -).
“Dead Man Down” – Dopey, if stylish revenge melodrama whose superb cast (including Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Isabelle Huppert, Dominic Cooper and Terrence Howard) outclasses the hackneyed material. The first English-language film by Niels Arden Oplev who helmed the original Swedish “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” (C.)
“The Gatekeepers” – An Oscar-nominated documentary composed of interviews with former members of Shin Bet, Israel’s top-secret security agency. This fantastically compelling work belongs in the same league as previous non-fiction masterpieces like “The Sorrow and the Pity” and “The Fog of War.” (A.)
“Spring Breakers” – Visually stunning, if emotionally chilly tale of four college girls (including Disney Channel sweethearts Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) who commit armed robbery to finance their spring break trip to Florida. As the charismatic small time drug dealer/wannabe rapper who takes them under their wings, James Franco is a total hoot. The most accessible film yet by bad boy auteur Harmony (“Gummo”) Korine, but still not for everyone. (A-).
“Temptation-Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”–Tyler Perry strikes again with another howlingly awful melodrama. Amateurishly written, directed and acted (tabloid magnet Kim Kardashian stinks up the screen in her screen debut), it positively reeks of cynicism and Perry’s inflated ego. (D.)