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Friday, January 20, 2017

In Theaters: XXX - RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, THE FOUNDER, SPLIT, TRESPASS AGAINST US

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This week in theaters we have a new Vin Diesel sequel, the very silly and over-the-top "XXX: Return of Xander Cage", the biopic "The Founder", which tells the story of a business cut-throat who also happens to be the man behind the McDonald's brand, and the new M. Night Shyamalan flick "Split" starring an insane James McAvoy. Also out in limited release is the crime drama "Trespass Against Us" starring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson.

Synopses, details, critical reception, trailers, clips and more after the jump.


XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE


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Official Synopsis

The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora's Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments. Packed with the series' signature deadpan wit and bad-ass attitude, "xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE" will raise the bar on extreme action with some of the most mind-blowing stunts to ever be caught on film.

Film Details

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  • Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Kris Wu, Tony Jaa, Ice Cube

  • Director: D.J. Caruso

  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

  • Running Time: 107 min.

  • Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language


Critical Reception

  • Rottentomatoes: 41% (28 fresh, 41 rotten, score: 4.7/10)
  • Metacritic: 42 out of 100 (4 positive, 11 mixed, 4 negative).

"XXX: Return of Xander Cage" was never meant to please the critics, which is why most reviews are either mixed or negative. You can't seriously expect a masterpiece if you've seen any of the previous two films. As far as sequels go, its reliance on set pieces means there's little story to speak of, and it doesn't take the franchise in any new direction. It's just there. It's dumb, but it's mostly harmless fun, and at least it doesn't take itself too seriously.





THE FOUNDER


the-founder

Official Synopsis

Directed by John Lee Hancock (SAVING MR. BANKS), THE FOUNDER features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel (THE WRESTLER) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. The film also stars Laura Dern as Ray Kroc's first wife Ethel; John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.

Film Details

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  • Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Laura Dern, Patrick Wilson

  • Director: John Lee Hancock

  • Genre: Biography, Drama, History

  • Running Time: 115 min.

  • Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language


Critical Reception

  • Rottentomatoes: 80% (89 fresh, 22 rotten, score: 7.0/10)
  • Metacritic: 68 out of 100 (29 positive, 10 mixed, 1 negative).

"The Founder" is a clever biopic that does more than just lay out a "success story" like most other biopics. It's an edgy portrait of a ruthless businessman, offering a cold but precise look into the creation of McDonald's as we know it today. It also features Michael Keaton's best performance to date.





SPLIT


split-movie

Official Synopsis

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him - as well as everyone around him - as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Film Details

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  • Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Betty Buckley

  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan

  • Genre: Horror, Thriller

  • Running Time: 117 min.

  • Rating: PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language


Critical Reception

  • Rottentomatoes: 77% (92 fresh, 27 rotten, score: 6.4/10)
  • Metacritic: 64 out of 100 (27 positive, 13 mixed, 2 negative).

M. Night Shyamalan returns in great form with "Split", a dizzying tale of multiple personalities that showcases a brilliant performance from James McAvoy and Shyamalan's best use of characters, dialogue and atmosphere in a long time.





TRESPASS AGAINST US


trespass-against-us

Official Synopsis

TRESPASS AGAINST US is set across three generations of the Cutler family who live as outlaws in their own anarchic corner of Britain's richest countryside. Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) is heir apparent to his bruising criminal father, Colby (Brendan Gleeson) and has been groomed to spend his life hunting, thieving and tormenting the police. But with his own son, Tyson (Georgie Smith) coming of age, Chad soon finds himself locked in a battle with his father for the future of his young family. When Colby learns of Chad's dreams for another life he sets out to tie his son and grandson into the archaic order that has bound the Cutler family for generations. He engineers a spectacular piece of criminal business involving a heist, a high-speed car chase and a manhunt, which leaves Chad bruised and bloodied and with his very freedom at stake. With the law cracking down and his father tightening his grip, Chad is forced into increasingly desperate measures. Featuring incredible performances - and an astonishing score by The Chemical Brothers - TRESPASS AGAINST US is at once an exhilarating crime thriller and a profoundly moving story about love and family.

Film Details

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  • Starring: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal, Rory Kinnear, Sean Harris

  • Director: Adam Smith

  • Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

  • Running Time: 99 min.

  • Rating: R for pervasive language, some disturbing behavior and brief graphic nudity


Critical Reception

  • Rottentomatoes: 56% (14 fresh, 11 rotten, score: 5.5/10)
  • Metacritic: 49 out of 100 (4 positive, 6 mixed, 2 negative).

"Trespass Against Us" is ambitious, but doesn't always hit its mark. It benefits from a pair of great performances by Gleeson and Fassbender, but the film's absurd, quirky style ends up flattening the already thin plot.







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