Butler County Times Gazette
by Garon Cockrell
2013's Most Popular Films So Far
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By Garon Cockrell
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June 18, 2013 11:15 a.m.

2013 has already been a busy year for film, with several box office hits and perhaps even a few early awards contenders already having come and gone at the cinema. Here's a quick rundown of some of the year's most buzz-worthy films as we approach the midway point of 2013.
The Great Gatsby
The latest adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's renowned novel is the grandest of all. Criticized by some for an ambitious soundtrack (yes, it includes Jay-Z) and excessive glitz, the film is actually captivating, and quite true to the book. Leonardo DiCaprio does Gatsby justice and then some. The Verdict: See it!
Star Trek Into Darkness
The newest Star Trek features the introduction of villain Khan in the rebooted series, and the film doesn't disappoint. JJ Abrams has established a wonderfully entertaining tone with his modern Star Trek franchise. The Verdict: See it!
Now You See Me
This goofy magician heist film is a fun and inventive ride about a team of magicians creating a national stir by stealing money with tricks. However, the film keeps the audience guessing as much by omission and incoherence as by cleverness. The Verdict: Go if you're bored.
The Hangover Part III
The boys are back in Vegas, and once again it's more about high stakes shenanigans than gambling at Caesar's or taking in a show at ARIA. It can't capture the charm of the first film, but if you're a fan of the franchise you'll get your laughs. The Verdict: Great for fans.
Fast & Furious 6
Fast 5 established a shocking revival of this franchise. The acting has improved, the storyline became a bit deeper, and the action stayed engaging. Impressively, #6 keeps up these trends, delivering another outstanding "Fast" installment. The Verdict: See it!
Man Of Steel
This new Superman film has Producer Christopher Nolan's touch all over it, and at times you can feel (and hear, thanks to Hans Zimmer) the relation to the Dark Knight franchise. However, one leaves the film wishing Nolan had actually directed. The film is disjointed and a bit too explosion-centric. It's fun, but it's not on Batman's level. The Verdict: See it, but tamper expectations first.
The Place Beyond The Pines
Billed as gripping and original, this film featuring Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling in a dark crime drama that establishes an intriguing tone, and not much else. Too long, often dull, and oddly focusing often on the least compelling of its numerous story lines, this one is a bit of a letdown. The Verdict: Skip it. Watching Ryan Gosling as a silent badass is only fun so many times.
This Is The End
This apocalypse comedy features many of Hollywood's best young comic actors (James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill among others) playing themselves. The actors create personae for themselves that are delightfully self-deprecating and hysterical to watch. It's weird, but it's incredibly funny. The Verdict: See it!

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