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Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

A 'Child Of God,' Or Maybe Not

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:03pm

The very prolific James Franco directs a Cormac McCarthy adaptation that struggles to overcome a repulsive main character with whom it's almost impossible to empathize.

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A 'War Story' With Big Ambitions And Mixed Results

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:03pm

The drama War Story is trying to wrap itself around both a personal story of a traumatized journalist and some larger social issues. Despite a strong central performance, it succeeds only partially.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 1:58pm

The eight-part drama that begins Thursday stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a British baroness with an Israeli passport. She's a fearless actor in a show full of kidnappings, seductions and betrayals.

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Sem-ANN-tics

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

Don't get too annoyed with this final round. Like "annoyed," every answer contains the consecutive letters "A-N-N" somewhere within it. This game separates the canniest from the wannabes.

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Movie Math

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

If Pythagoras were alive today, we think he'd be a movie buff. Multiply your film knowledge by your math skills in this quiz that asks you to perform computations with the numbers in movie titles.

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Can I Kick It? No, You Can't

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

Listen, we're not your parents. We're not about to tell you what you can and can't do. Besides, the songs in this game, all of which contain the word "can't" in the title, take care of that for us.

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It's Eezy

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

We're spotlighting both the most common and least common English letters in this game — E and Z. Every clue points to a word or phrase containing "E-E-Z" spelled consecutively. Easy!

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Can't Place The Place Name

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

Fame knows no geographic bounds in this game about celebrity-city name mashups. In what Florida city does the singer of "Nasty" hang out? That's "Janet Jacksonville."

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Luke Song: Hat's Entertainment!

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

The milliner famous for designing Aretha Franklin's 2009 Inauguration chapeau plays a game about real people and fictional characters with iconic headgear.

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John U. Bacon: Old MacDonald Went To College

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:38am

A sportswriter and a former Michigan Wolverines football player imagine the college days of a nursery rhyme farmer in this quiz about animal mascots and the noises they make.

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Where Love's Concerned, This 'Magic Barrel' Is No Magic Bullet

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:03am

Anya Ulinich's new graphic novel is inspired by Bernard Malamud's "The Barrel" — both star choosy loners looking for love. But Malamud's swoony violins and lit candles don't apply to Lena Finkle.

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'Guardians Of The Galaxy': Let's Hear It For F.U.N.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 8:45am

The most surprising thing about the latest film in the Marvel Universe may be as simple as its genre: while it certainly has your space battles and big fights, it's a straight-up comedy.

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Book News: George W. Bush Coming Out With Biography Of His Father

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 6:16am

Also: a novel by Oscar Hijuelos will be published posthumously; Stephen Marche on the inevitability of literary failure.

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This 'Suitcase' Is Packed With Sharp, Funny, Tragic Tales

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 6:03am

Yelena Akhtiorskaya's debut is a funny, sometimes heartbreaking, uniquely American chronicle of a family of Soviet immigrants who've transplanted a bit of their home to Brooklyn's Brighton Beach.

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As Volunteerism Explodes In Popularity, Who's It Helping Most?

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:07am

More young adults and teens are swapping sun tanning and sightseeing on vacations for working in orphanages, building schools and teaching English abroad.

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Best Seat In The House Of Worship: The Temple Hollywood Built

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:07am

Built in the late 1920s by movie moguls, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple is a Los Angeles landmark — and also a statement the LA Jewish community made to itself, and to the city.

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Why Are Theater Tickets Cheaper On The West End Than On Broadway?

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 4:24pm

In London, a matinee ticket for Matilda costs about $60; in New York, it's $137. What's going on? The West End has weaker unions and subsidized theater, while Broadway has amenities.

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'Sharknado' Part Deux: The Laughably Bad Epic Strikes Back

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 3:00pm

Syfy channel has cornered the market on a new kind of film: a movie that's played completely straight, but constructed to look cheesy and easy to ridicule. The best example? Sharknado 2, the sequel to a film so bad it became huge success. Can the network strike gold twice by being stupid on purpose?

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Who's The Man? Hollywood Heroes Defined Masculinity For Millions

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 3:00pm

From silent stars to John Wayne to Iron Man, film critic Bob Mondello looks at the role that Hollywood has played in defining manliness, and how that definition has changed over several decades.

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'Sharknado 2': Winner And Still Chomp

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 1:40pm

Look, of course Sharknado 2 is stupid. That's not the question. The question is whether it still makes a good party game.

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