John. P. Hanlon

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Articles by John. P. Hanlon

'The Call' Review ' Little More than a Wrong Number

In the film that garnered her an Oscar nomination, Abigail Breslin played a girl whose life was changed because of a phone call. In Little Miss Sunshine, a phone call–and the consequential message that followed– informed her character that she

'The Call' Review ' Little More than a Wrong Number

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor Edition

There are few sure things in life. The sun will rise tomorrow, Katherine Heigl will make another terrible romantic comedy and Daniel Day-Lewis will win his third best actor Oscar tomorrow are the closest things we have. If the latter

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor Edition

'Bullet to the Head' Review: Action Pic as Subtle as Its Title

It’s tough to remember now, but Sylvester Stallone is an Oscar-nominated actor. Honored for his title role in Rocky (1976), Stallone helped us forget that nod by starring in so many mediocre action films that fail to challenge him or

'Bullet to the Head' Review: Action Pic as Subtle as Its Title

"Movie 43" Review: Morally Repugnant Comedy Swims in the Gutter

There’s an old argument that the release of a tasteless film a few weeks before the Oscars can dramatically damage a nominee’s chances of winning. The best example of this occurred when the comedy Norbit hit theaters in 2007– a

"Movie 43" Review: Morally Repugnant Comedy Swims in the Gutter

'Amour' Review: Film Offers Unflinching Look at Aging Process

Yesterday’s Oscar nominations gave us a few major surprises. From the snub of Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) to the exclusion of Ben Affleck (“Argo”) in the directorial race, many critics were wondering what the Academy was thinking.

'Amour' Review: Film Offers Unflinching Look at Aging Process

Parental Guidance Review: A Joyless and Crude Comedy

“This is unbelievable,” Alice (Marisa Tomei) cries out in the new movie, Parental Guidance. Truer words have seldom been spoken in a film. It is unbelievable that such great comedic talent–Tomei, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler, to name a few–have

Parental Guidance Review: A Joyless and Crude Comedy

'The Impossible' Review: True Tale Proves Emotionally Captivating

It’s been about eight years since a massive tsunami devastated muchof the Asian continent. The tsunami hit the day after Christmas in 2004 andkilled more than 100,000 people. It also affected millions of otherfamilies who were in the area or

'The Impossible' Review: True Tale Proves Emotionally Captivating

'Hyde Park on Hudson' Review: Quirky but Enticing Historical Drama

The choice to cast former “Ghostbuster” Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was a clever one indeed. Murray, known predominantly as a comic actor whose quirky roles have made him a must-see star

'Hyde Park on Hudson' Review: Quirky but Enticing Historical Drama

'A Royal Affair' Review: Intriguing Look at Power and Privilege

There is something innately human about the three main characters in “A Royal Affair.” Despite the inarguable fact that all three greatly influenced the future of Denmark, these characters are all presented as relatable and fully-dimensional people who – sometimes

'A Royal Affair' Review: Intriguing Look at Power and Privilege

'Fun Size' Review: Trashy and Raunchy Comedy Easily Offends

The new movie “Fun Size” is one of the strangest film concoctions I’ve ever seen. Like candy corn eaten with ketchup, the film attempts to combine two disparate genres–family drama and raunchy comedy– and comes up short in both areas.

'Fun Size' Review: Trashy and Raunchy Comedy Easily Offends

'Chasing Mavericks' Review: Great on Water, Drowns on Land

There is something noble about Jay Moriarity, the main character in the new film, “Chasing Mavericks.” Jay is eight when the story begins but despite his youth, he fervently wants to learn how to surf. He insists. He starts surfing

'Chasing Mavericks' Review:  Great on Water, Drowns on Land

'Won't Back Down' Review: These Moms Are Done 'Waiting for 'Superman''

“Won’t Back Down” begins around the same point where the 2010 documentary “Waiting for Superman” ended. One of the final scenes in “Superman,” which panned the impact some teachers unions have on public education, showed parents waiting to learn if

'Won't Back Down' Review: These Moms Are Done 'Waiting for 'Superman''

'Perks of Being a Wallflower' Review: Instant Teen Classic

“I didn’t think anyone noticed me,” Charlie (Logan Lerman) says while leaving a party in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Charlie is the new student in school and was invited to the event by high school friends Patrick (Ezra

'Perks of Being a Wallflower' Review: Instant Teen Classic

'Dredd' Review: Action-Packed but Empty of Everthing Else

Yes, folks. Dredd keeps his helmet on in this one. That’s the biggest news to come out of “Dredd 3D,” which arrives in theaters 17 years after Sylvester Stallone’s “Judge Dredd”floundered at the box office. In the new adaptation of

'Dredd' Review: Action-Packed but Empty of Everthing Else

'End of Watch' Review: Found Footage Gimmick Enlivens Cop Drama

Thereare two main characters in the gritty cop thriller “End of Watch” but for much ofits running time, it feels like there are only two characters inthe whole film. The plot so revolves around Officers Brian Taylor (JakeGyllenhaal) and Mike

'End of Watch' Review: Found Footage Gimmick Enlivens Cop Drama

'The Words' Review: Two Tales Can't Equal One Compelling Story

“Don’t you know words ruin everything?” So says Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid), the author of a new book detailing the rise of a successful writer who publishes another man’s manuscript as his own in the new drama “The Words.” Both

'The Words' Review: Two Tales Can't Equal One Compelling Story

'Lawless' Review: Violent, Compelling Drama Deserves Oscar Buzz

“It is not the violence that sets men apart. It is the distance that he is prepared to go.” So says Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy) in the new Prohibition-era drama, “Lawless.” The fact-based film focuses on three brothers selling outlawed

'Lawless' Review: Violent, Compelling Drama Deserves Oscar Buzz