Chris Evans

Film Review: Gifted

by Carrie Kahn on April 7, 2017

Talented cast is the real gift in otherwise predictable family drama

Young Mary (Mckenna Grace) embodies the title with her exceptional math prowess.

Director Marc Webb’s new film Gifted asks us to not only buy a 7-year-old girl as an MIT-level math genius, but also hunky Captain America star Chris Evans as a former Boston University philosophy professor; I’m not sure which characterization requires the greater suspension of disbelief, but there’s a post-film discussion point for you. While somewhat predictable, Webb’s picture pleasantly surprises by not being nearly as hokey as the trailer would lead you to believe, and by actually offering up some emotionally heartfelt sincerity.
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You want the most action-packed, entertaining, thought-provoking Marvel movie to date? Aye aye, Captain!!

See Cap Run. Run, Cap, Run.

See Cap Run. Run, Cap, Run.

Remember Batman v. Superman? If you don’t, then congrats. If you do, rest assured that Captain America: Civil War will wash the bad taste from your mouth. The new movie has a remarkably similar plot to BvS but every bit is a million times superior. In fact, it’s so much better that you won’t even recognize the similarities upon first viewing. The benefits of watching Captain America: Civil War don’t end there — the third Captain America film is probably the best Marvel movie yet! A bold statement, you may think. Well, there is nary a moment in CA:CW that isn’t entertaining or driving the story forward. It explores thought-provoking themes of social class, abuse of power, government regulations, and sacrifice, all while delivering high levels of fun. What’s most impressive about Captain America: Civil War is its ability to utilize what we already know about each character to fuel the story we’re seeing, meanwhile teasing us with stories to come. It’s like the Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that’s just about the highest compliment I can give it.

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Not so much a movie as it is an issue of a comic book series drawn by a great artist.

Just one of the impressive splash pages from Age of Ultron

You’ve already decided if you’re seeing Avengers Age of Ultron. You are. Of course you are. Everybody who sees movies on a regular basis is seeing this movie, and you’re not making a bad decision. You’ll see things on screen that can only exist in the world of modern big budget comic book cinema. This means you’ll get the good with the bad. You’ll get some action scenes that are truly fun to look at, displaying true artistry from the stunt team, choreographers, and effects house. What you won’t get are the stakes that will make you truly feel these scenes.

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Captain America is in a post-Avengers world.

New suit.  New foe.  Same tude.

New suit. New foe. Same tude.

The surprise 2011 hit, Captain America: The First Avenger, succeeded because the iconic yet campy superhero received a modern injection of cinematic energy and solid storytelling.  The main reason for the Captain’s successful re-emergence into mainstream pop culture was the charisma and multi-generational appeal of actor Chris Evans.  Evans returns in his third stint as the star-spangled rescuer in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a film with another solid plot extracted from the Marvel universe, a fantastic grip on character arcs and relationships, and an epic sense of scale that, obviously, takes place in a post-Avengers universe.

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Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson in THE AVENGERS

starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow

written by: Joss Whedon (story and screenplay), Zak Penn (story)

directed by: Joss Whedon

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference

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starring: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Joel McHale, Chris Pratt, Martin Freeman, Zachary Quinto, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Ed Begley Jr., Anthony Mackie, Dave Annable

written by: Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden

directed by: Mark Mylod

MPAA: Rated R for sexual content and language

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