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January 16, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
In the contrived and predictable yet fairly tense "Reasonable Doubt," Dominic Cooper ("The History Boys," "Mamma Mia") plays scrappy Chicago District Atty. Mitch Brockden, a rising star with a strong conviction record, a pretty wife (Erin Karpluk) and a newborn daughter. So, with much to lose, it's no great surprise (OK, in the real world it might be) when Mitch flees a fatal hit-and-run that occurs while he's driving drunk. Soon after, though, auto mechanic Clinton Davis (Samuel L. Jackson)
January 15, 2014 | By Todd Martens
In the last few years, Morrissey  has penned an autobiography and has even briefly alluded to a retirement , but the artist, activist and quite possibly rock 'n' roll's most-adored grouch has more music in his system. Morrissey on Wednesday unveiled his intention to release a new album in 2014, his first since 2009's "Years of Refusal. " Recording for the as-yet-untitled album is slated to begin later this month with noted producer Joseph Chiccarelli, whose accolades include a Grammy for his work with the White Stripes on the act's "Icky Thump.
January 9, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
The idea of treating murder as entertainment isn't at all new. Roman coliseums and Aztec ball courts witnessed plenty of blood. But the horror-action film "Raze" makes the idea feel rather modern, even urgent. Perhaps that's because director Josh C. Waller's self-assured debut coincides with the reign of the "Hunger Games" franchise. In fact, the unrelenting, fist-into-skull violence in "Raze" boasts all the realism missing from the PG-13 series while featuring a slew of young, athletic women, any of whom could be a cousin of Katniss.
January 2, 2014 | By J.C. Gabel
Rafael Bernal, born in 1915 in Mexico City, doesn't come to mind when one thinks of great detective novelists of the 1960s. There is little about him on the Internet in English, and none of his other novels, plays, story collections or histories have been translated. Although he wrote dozens of books, his 1969 novel, "The Mongolian Conspiracy," is considered his masterwork, but it was difficult to procure even an old dog-eared copy - until this past fall, when it was reissued by the folks at New Directions.
January 2, 2014 | By Lisa Rosen
When last we left Downton Abbey, the miracle of birth met with the tragedy of death. Poor Matthew Crawley met his end in a ditch - because actor Dan Stevens decided to move on. What would become of Lady Mary, new mother and widow? What would become of the rest of the lords and ladies, and those who attend them? When last we found Julian Fellowes, the series' creator and sole writer, he was in Manhattan promoting Season 4, which premieres on PBS' "Masterpiece" on Sunday. Having just heard the good news about the show's Golden Globe nod for dramatic series, as well as Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Maggie Smith and the ensemble, he was about to head out for a celebratory drink with members of the cast, including Stevens, who now lives in New York.
December 24, 2013 | By Anh Do
A man battling his former wife over child support and custody allegedly tried to hire an undercover detective to kill her, Orange County prosecutors allege. Authorities on Monday charged William John Wallace, 33, of Santa Ana with one felony count of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, and two felony counts of solicitation to commit murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. Authorities say Wallace hired a private investigator in August to find negative information about the woman, eager to use it against her in court, where child support payments would be decided.
December 18, 2013 | By Inkoo Kang
Hanging out is the ethos and raison d'être of writer-director Laura Colella's micro-budget indie, "Breakfast With Curtis," a drama too relaxed to dwell on conflict. Neighborly strife comes to a head in the film's first scene, when Syd (Theo Green), a childfree crank, blows his top at his 9-year-old neighbor (Jonah Parker) for throwing a rock at a cat. Tension then dissipates from the movie, leaving just enough friction to perhaps produce a second of static cling. That neighbor boy, Curtis, grows up to be a home-schooled 14-year-old with oversized glasses.
December 13, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
A Kansas man was arrested on terrorism charges in connection with a plot to blow up a car bomb at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, officials announced on Friday. Terry Lee Loewen, 58, described in a nationally televised news conference as an avionics technician who worked at the airport, was arrested Friday morning driving what he thought was a car bomb. “By the time you read this I will -- if everything went as planned -- have been martyred in the path of Allah,” Loewen wrote in a letter to a relative that was part of the criminal complaint released by the government.
December 11, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- Three members of a Mexican drug cartel were sentenced Wednesday to federal prison for a conspiracy to kidnap rival drug dealers in San Diego and take them to Mexico. The three suspected that the San Diego dealers were stealing their methamphetamine. They planned to take their targets to Mexico, where they would torture them until they paid for their freedom, according to court documents. In a recording by U.S. law enforcement, one of the cartel members was heard saying that one of the San Diego targets could be turned into "pozole" -- a term for a "soup" made by dissolving a body in acid.
December 9, 2013 | By Alan Eyerly
A high-stakes operation to assassinate Iran's warmongering intelligence chief takes several unexpected turns on “Big Man in Tehran,” Episode 311 of Showtime's “Homeland.” Tasked by the CIA with the near-suicide mission is Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), the disgraced congressman and world's most-wanted fugitive. After barely surviving a hazardous crossing from Iraq into Iran, he requests political asylum by falsely confessing to the deadly attack at CIA headquarters. The plan calls for Brody to kill Iranian spymaster Danesh Akbari (Houshang Touzie)
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