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It May Be Titled 'The Hobbit', But It's All About the Dragon

A shapeshifter, gigantic spiders, and a barrel-battle escape create exhilarating suspense in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, but best of all is a deliciously devious incendiary beast.

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Part 5: The Return of the Auteur

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Film

Monkey Business (Part 1: May)

Talk about frontloading your approach. Each week in this first full month of patented popcorn movies finds another famous franchise icon making a major blockbuster bow. Only truly disastrous results from these guaranteed crowd-pleasers will keep the coffers from clogging with cash.

Film

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

Demented and punctuated by Depp's scowls and "oofs," Jack Sparrow's stunty bits are mostly amusing and sometimes even surprising.

Reviews

Elizabethtown: Widescreen Special Collector's Edition (2005)

The DVD of Elizabethtown is called the Widescreen Special Collector's Edition, though there's not one thing special about it.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Elizabethtown (2005)

Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown does not know how to end.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

As history, it is mightily revisionist -- a blacksmith named turns inadvertent defender of Jerusalem, devoted to the notion that Muslims and Christians can get along.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Ned Kelly (2003)

Ned might have been a criminal in the eyes of the law, but to working class Australians he was a hero wrongly accused.

Daniel Mudie Cunningham
Film

Troy (2004)

According to Troy, war is all about reputation.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

No in-betweeners in this reductive view of the world: characters and choices are good or evil.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Johnny Depp spent time learning to swordfight, so that Captain Jack Sparrow could be poised and everready -- in a word, the Muhammad Ali of swordfighters.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Ingenious and mesmerizing, Johnny Depp embodies the film's essential fantasy, that a pirate's life is exciting and unfettered.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

It's useful to remember that, offscreen, both good and bad tend to be tricksy.

Cynthia Fuchs

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