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Is it worth $10? No

“Project Almanac” takes the preposterous, makes it absurd and turns it into the ridiculous. It’s kind of fun in a total-trash-awful sort of way. But then it commits the biggest sin of all: It takes itself seriously in the last act, and in doing so the whole thing falls apart.

The story follows high school science geek David (Jonny Weston), his friends Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista), his sister Christina (Ginny Gardner) and his crush Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) as they construct a time machine in David’s basement. After breaking into their high school and stealing hydrogen they’re able to fit the time machine into David’s backpack, which is good because they also control it with a smartphone.

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Truly memorable Super Bowl commercials are either sexy, funny, exciting, or a combination of all three. And given how much the air time costs, they'd better be memorable: This year the average price for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl is $4.5 million, so call it a cool $9 million for the below Budweiser ad, let alone what the segment cost to produce. At this rate NBC, which is broadcasting the game, stands to pull in a cool $350 million when it's all said and done. Here's a taste of what's in store.

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Is it worth $10? Yes

Sad, beautiful, and determined to not leave a dry eye in the house, “Still Alice” is a devastating film you will not soon forget. Watching it requires an open heart, Kleenex, and bracing yourself to see an otherwise healthy woman undergo a horrible ordeal.

When we first meet Alice (Julianne Moore, “The Hours”) it’s her 50th birthday, and she’s happy. She teaches linguistics at Columbia University in New York City, where her husband John (Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”) is also employed. Their three kids are grown and on their own: Anna (Kate Bosworth, “Superman Returns”) and husband Charlie (Shane McRae) are ready for a baby, Tom (Hunter Parrish) is in medical school and Lydia (Kristen Stewart, “Twilight”) is an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

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Is it worth $10? Yes

Many films deal with the subject of race. Less do so while standing firmly in the corner of their angry white characters. That's not to say that "Black or White" is a modern day reboot of the controversial and KKK-championing ”The Birth of a Nation" (1915). Thankfully, it's a much more heartwarming time at the theater than that. It's a film that makes a case that race will always be a lingering issue because people of all colors are flawed, but most of all it is a film about family.

Kevin Costner, who has so gracefully become one of Hollywood's go-to old guys, plays Elliot Anderson, an attorney who is given sole custody of his eight-year-old mixed-race granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell) after his wife's sudden death. This development does not sit well with Rowena, the child's other grandmother played by Octavia Spencer in yet another powerhouse performance. Rowena feels that she should have full custody so that Eloise can grow up with a consciousness of her black roots and spend some time with Reggie (Andre Holland), her drug-addicted father.

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Is it worth $10? Yes

As the day begins for Robinson (this film is about manly men at sea, so last names only, thank you), he’s fired from his job as a submarine captain for a salvage company. “I lost my family to this job,” he crustily says, immediately making us question his values. It’s the only job he’s ever known – what’s he to do now?

Treasure hunt, that’s what. “Black Sea” follows Robinson (Jude Law) as he assembles a team of 12 seafarers to search for two tons of gold allegedly left behind by Hitler in the depths of the Black Sea. The crew has the expected mix of jaded veterans, wide-eyed newbies, cantankerous old cranks, and a chef who spits on the food to clean it.

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Is it worth $10? No

A movie like “Leviathan” should come with a drowsiness warning, like the ones seen on the sides of medicine bottles. No one should consume alcohol while watching it. This is counter-intuitive, as the last half of the movie is such a painfully boring slog that you will want to drink something alcoholic to get you through it. Making it even more difficult is the fact that, this being a Russian film, the characters on screen drink copious quantities of vodka. But resist! The combination of alcohol and the level of boredom could induce a coma. I’m no doctor, but I think that is a fair warning.

What makes this especially infuriating is that the first hour or so has such promise and potential. It is the story of Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), the citizen of a small coastal town in Russia. The corrupt mayor of the town, Vadim (Roman Madyanov), is seizing Kolya’s land. Kolya understands that he has to move, but thinks the price he is being paid is completely unfair. To help him in his fight for justice he calls in former Army buddy and Moscow lawyer Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov).

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Is it worth $10? Yes

Oscar Isaac ("In Secret" [2013]) plays Abel Morales, the ambitious owner of a New York City heating oil operation, circa 1981, in writer/director J.C. Chandor's ("All is Lost" [2013]) hard-boiled story of rackets, book-cooking, and power-plays. An aspiring captain of industry, Abel finds his plans disrupted by truck-jackers on one side and a nosy D.A. on the other. Meanwhile in "A Most Violent Year," Abel's wife Anna (Jessica Chastain) struggles to maintain a semblance of order in their business and their household which includes two young daughters.

Chandor fashions an old-school urban film where big-city backstabbing and dirty backroom deals are the norm. It's clear when Abel reassures District Attorney Lawrence (David Oyelowo ["Selma" (2014)], excellent) that his company follows "standard industry practices," he really means "We cheat like everybody else." Abel and Anna, almost blindly ambitious, exhibit the same amoral familism of Walter White in television's "Breaking Bad" or any member of a cinematic crime clan.

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Welcome!

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Formerly hudakonhollywood.com, this brand new, beautiful website exists thanks to the numerous contributors to the fundraising campaign and the tireless work of Dan Hudak and his staff to bring it to life!

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Want to be a film critic?

"How do I become a film critic?" is one of the most common questions film critics receive. Here's the best answer I can give you.

1) Don't do it. It's a job of constant pressure, unrelenting deadlines, often little pay and even less gratitude. And think about all the crap you have to sit through ("Sex Tape") -- it's not just about getting to see "The Avengers 2" before all your friends.

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