The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. (IMDb)
It’s a dialogue-heavy courtroom drama with all the humour, high-stakes intensity, and fiery one-liners (“What’s your price?” “My life”) of an action film. The script and editing masterfully ramp up the pre-, during-, and post-protest tension simultaneously (adding in Abbie’s stand-up was a cool touch) and the cast is excellent (Rylance and Cohen are standouts). The prominence then disappearance of Seale’s poignant sub-plot is the only real misstep here (the ending is schmaltzy but effective).
8.5/10 (Amazing)

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

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The Madagascar animals join a struggling European circus to get back to New York, but find themselves being pursued by a psychotic animal control officer. (IMDb)
More entertaining than ever: The increased “fish out of water” animals vs. humans antics make for loads of hilarious action set pieces (see the insane truck then plane escape from Monte Carlo), the goofy one-off bits are taken to another level (see DuBois’ rousing French song; Rock’s gut-busting Afro-circus bit), and the new circus setting provides two infectious feel-good musical numbers. The plot, meanwhile, continually takes wonderfully unexpected turns (see the poignant return to the zoo).
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

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The animals try to fly back to New York City, but crash-land on an African wildlife refuge, where Alex is reunited with his parents. (IMDb)
Starts off a little rough with a cheesy flashback, yet another rendition of “Move It” (enough already), and a contrived four-fold character-growth set-up in a far-fetched multi-animal tribe, but the penguins keep you engaged (I’ll never tire of their hijinx) and the adventure plot sparked by a touching Alex-Marty moment picks things up with a number of memorable scenes both hilarious (see Julian’s sacrifice bit; the Penguins’ union negotiations) and moving (see the father-son dance diversion).
6.5/10 (Alright)