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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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Bwahahahahahaha! I believe the proper parenting reaction to this is, "I would kill him."

This little shit in Tallahassee, Florida, saw fit to completely destroy a Dollar Store. We have no idea why he's in such a rage, nor why his parents aren't around. We must, however, be grateful to the gentleman who recorded the rampage. Speaking of whom, he repeatedly refers to the kid as a "jit," which apparently means "juvenile in training." Indeed. And for the record, I have absolutely no problem with anything the guy who recorded the video does or says, nor do I have a problem with the guy who restrains the kid. They should be thanked, in fact, for stopping the madness. But this kid is definitely a little asshole.

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I’ve long held that if real life were divided into genres, war would not be an action movie, like so many Hollywood war movies are. Sure, the elements are there—guns, explosions, blood, death—but actual war is all too real and tragic an event to be treated as entertainment. No, actual war’s real life genre is horror. The blood and death are there, and so are the tension, dread, pain, suffering, and misery. Very few movies capture the true horror aspects of war, and even fewer have done it as successfully as Fury. In “Fury” we bear witness to: the sight of the skin from part of a man’s face splattered on the floor and wall of a tank; a man in unbearable agony--because he is on fire--shoot himself in the head; a man get his head blown off by cannon fire; a body get run over by a tank; children gunned down; and people hung from posts.

“Fury” begins with an SS officer on a white horse surveying a battlefield. Out of the shadows a man leaps from a tank, knocks him off of his horse, and stabs him repeatedly in the chest and face. As the man pulls his knife from the dead officer’s eye socket, we see he is Sgt. Collier (Brad Pitt), who is later revealed to have the awesome moniker “Wardaddy.” He hates SS officers with all his being. Sharing in his sentiment is his crew: Boyd 'Bible' Swan (Shira LaBeouf), Trini 'Gordo' Garcia (Michael Pena), and Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis (Jon Bernthal). During their last battle they lost a gunner. Upon getting back to headquarters, they find that he has been replaced by green as they come Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman).

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Is it worth $10? Yes

A somewhat nostalgic romp reminiscent of "The Pink Panther" movies, "Mortdecai" isn't hilarious or life changing, but it does provide a humorous and well acted mid-winter escape.

Johnny Depp, in all his mustached glory, plays Lord Charles Mortdecai, a swarmy British art collector/dealer. His faithful man servant, Jock (Paul Bettany), aids him on a quest to locate a priceless work of art that was stolen from a murdered art restorer. All the while, he struggles to keep the MI5, Russian mobsters, rival art dealers, terrorists, and his very combatant wife off his tail.

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Is it worth $10? No

Jennifer Lopez is having a tough time. Her latest album didn’t sell, and now she’s in the midst of another “American Idol” judging gig in which she’s window dressing to the main attraction. But “The Boy Next Door” is her redemption. Her step back to stardom, to the A-list. To mattering again rather than being an afterthought. All she needs is one box office hit, because when you’re a movie star you can do anything, right?

Wrong. Oh my goodness is this movie terrible. Atrocious. It’s the kind of bad that’ll make her go home to her peeps from “the block” to ponder what went wrong, only to receive blank stares and shoulder shrugs.

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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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