“Midway,” the true story of one of World War II’s most decisive naval battles, features many of Roland Emmerich’s directorial strengths, but also a variety of his worst tendencies.

Ang Lee can use cutting-edge technology to make some beautiful films. Scenes from “The Life of Pi” are still etched in my brain. There’s also the case, as with “Gemini Man,” that all that technology can’t bridge the mind-cracking gap that is the Uncanny Valley. Lee can shoot it in as many fr…

James Gray’s new science fiction film is poetic and beautiful. It is both grounded in reality and emotion while simultaneously taking us on a thrill ride through our own solar system. It’s one of the most creative and inspired movies you’ll see all year.

Cache Valley author Amanda Luzzader was named Utah’s 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers during the organization’s annual gathering, the Quills Conference.

The “Has Fallen” series (I can’t believe I just typed those series of words) is now a trilogy. First Olympus fell, then London, and now an angel. They’ve all been quite mediocre action outings and “Angel Has Fallen” is no different.

There’s a fine art to making an approachable, raunchy comedy, especially if your subjects are 12-year-olds. “Superbad” was one thing — those were high schoolers. In “Good Boys,” we’re dealing with “tweens,” kids going through their most awkward stages of life. It’s a hoot.

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” may not be directed by Guillermo del Toro — he’s listed as a having a hand in the screenplay and producing — but his unique influence is felt all over the place. So many horror movies, especially PG-13-rated ones, feel stale. This one feels a little freshe…

Mátyás (my cousin), Gábor (my kinda-lover), and I (Anna) were being hunted by Buda-Pest guards for helping the Pratheria (magical folk). We had been split up trying to keep safe and do our part to help in the brewing war, and had recently been accidentally reunited after running into each ot…

The official title is “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” We’ve now entered the phase of modern cinema where popular franchises “present” other movies in hopes that they become franchises, seemingly creating an endless feedback loop of them that never cease (it also has two ampe…

If you don’t think that a 90-minute farce with a tiny cast can be as entertaining as a full-scale musical comedy, then you obviously haven’t seen the Lyric Repertory Company’s current production of “Murder for Two.”

If you loved “The Barber of Seville” when it was performed during the 2018 Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre season — and who didn’t? — you should make a beeline for the current production of “The Marriage of Figaro.” It’s another great comic opera with the same hilarious characters,…

“Master Class” is another wild card in the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s 2019 season. Like the previous “Bravo, Caruso!,” this drama is an homage to one of the 20th century’s operatic superstars, the late Maria Callas.

The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre launched its 2019 main-stage offerings with a rousting production of “Newsies,” an old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing musical.

If you’re shopping for family-friendly, child-oriented summer entertainment, look no further than the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s ongoing production of the musical fantasy “Mary Poppins.”

When performing one of the greatest works in the whole canon of American musical theater, the quality bar is naturally set sky-high. The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s ongoing production of the classic “West Side Story” easily vaults that bar and continues into the heavens.

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” attempts to wrap up the “Endgame” storyline, while simultaneously blazing a new path for the Marvel Comic Universe, or MCU. And yet, what this newest installment in the storied, but fractured, “Spider-Man” franchise does is tedious, well-worn and adds no new creat…

Given gifted performers and inspired direction, an intimate small-cast play can still have a big dramatic impact. Local audiences were treated to a perfect example of that theatrical lesson when the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre recently debuted the drama “Bravo, Caruso!”

The ongoing production of “Mamma Mia!” by the Lyric Repertory Company is pure mindless fluff, exactly as this juke box musical featuring 1970’s hits by the Swedish pop group Abba was meant to be. It’s also rollicking good fun.

The “Toy Story” franchise has an uncanny ability to peel back the layers of humanity to find out what really makes us tick. Sure, they’re toys, but what they go through, the problems they encounter and the emotions they deal with are all deeply human.

Listless and unimaginative are the adjectives that come to mind when trying to best describe “Men in Black International.” For a well-known blockbuster franchise starring two charismatic leads, this installment falls dreadfully, and somewhat surprisingly, flat.

LOGAN, Utah — Cache Valley native Jocelyn Wellings remembers going to the Summerfest Arts Faire as a little girl and making her own art at the “creation station” or hanging out and watching live music next to her father, who worked the sound.

The first “Secret Life of Pets” movie was marketed with silly clips of what animals do when humans aren’t around. They were charming little short films. The first film should’ve been more like that and less like a full movie-length narrative that we’re used to. The second film almost achieve…

Usually, superhero movies tend to become bogged down in scenes or dialogue that strictly exists for exposition purposes. So much of these movies are spent explaining character origins, motivations and why the bad guys are doing what they’re doing. “Dark Phoenix,” the latest in the “X-Men” fr…

Part of the genius of Gareth Edward’s 2014 “Godzilla” reboot was realizing that the humans were simply inconsequential bystanders, the equivalent of a swarm of ants about to be crushed by a giant boot. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” doesn’t understand this and it’s worse for it.

These Disney live-action remakes are more effective when they don’t tell the exact same story that the animated version told. “Beauty and the Beast” was essentially the same thing, whereas “Maleficent” told us a familiar story but from a different point of view. The new “Aladdin” is more lik…

The “John Wick” franchise is the perfect counterpart to superhero fever. The series is now on its third movie, so it’s well known. But it creates a setting in which the action is a more intimate affair. John Wick is simply trying to save himself. He doesn’t care about saving the world. And y…

Any parent who’s seen their kids watching a random “Pokémon” anime or has been dragged to one of the various “Pokémon” movies, might think “Oh no! Here we go again.” Those anime movies are usually geared toward the kids and have very little in the way of adult entertainment. Have no fear tho…

“Ugly Dolls” is based on of a toy line of dolls that aren’t all that ugly to begin with. It’s not like they’re Garbage Pail Kids or anything; they’re plush and huggable. Sure, they might have one eye or a lopsided face, but they’re still fuzzy little dolls that kids can cuddle. So, it’s a li…

The culmination of the Marvel cinematic universe is, surprisingly, a thoughtful, poignant adventure that allows for its popular characters to feel and experience the human condition. It’s unexpectedly emotional and character-driven rather than action-driven. It’s the first Marvel movie of its kind.

In a sea of computer animated kid movies, the Laika studio does things pain-stakingly different. Stop motion animation is a completely different beast when it comes to the animation process. The arduous task of meticulously placing and replacing figurines until a moving picture is created is…

After so many super-serious superhero movies, DC needed something like “Shazam!” to lighten the mood. All the movies leading up to “Justice League” — save “Wonder Woman” — have been somber affairs. Even the kooky “Aquaman,” the successor to “Justice,” was too full of itself. “Shazam!” is a n…

It seems like right after the first superhero movie of the season hits theaters that the summer movie season is suddenly thrust upon us. In box office land the summer season starts in March or April; it’s hard to tell anymore. This year’s “Captain Marvel” kicked things off, but it would seem…

Director Jordan Peele’s “Us,” the follow up to “Get Out,” is inventive and technically sound, all while being somewhat of a narrative mess. It’s an engaging, scary film that seems to stumble over itself in the end. But, boy oh boy, what a journey it is until you get to the end.

We don’t get many superheroine movies. Usually our super-people are appended with “man” and that limits the sort of wide diversity there is in the world. So, it’s kind of a shame that a movie like “Captain Marvel,” a concept with such promise, could fall just a tad flat compared to the other…

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