Greyhound is a totally Tom Hanks war movie [Apple TV+ review]

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Greyhound review Apple TV+: Tom Hanks World War II movie: Tom Hanks wrote this nuts-and-bolts movie about naval warfare.
Tom Hanks wrote this nuts-and-bolts movie about naval warfare.
Photo: Apple TV+

Tom Hanks is here to rescue a cargo convoy from the Nazis — and presumably you from your free time. His new movie, Greyhound, is being released straight to Apple TV+ this Friday after COVID-19 scuttled the film’s theatrical release. This means there’s nothing between you and some old-school, flag-waving thrills.

In fact, Greyhound is the very definition of old school. There’s no fuss, no muss: just a man, his crew and some German U-boats hiding out in the gray fog of World War II, ready to pounce on American soldiers.

Little Voice has a mechanical heart and an auto-tuned soul [Apple TV+ review]

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Sean Teale and Brittany O'Grady star in the contrived musical romance Little Voice.
Sean Teale and Brittany O'Grady star in musical romance Little Voice.
Photo: Apple TV+

The latest lightweight Apple TV+ crowdpleaser comes from producer J.J. Abrams, songwriter Sara Bareilles and writer Jessie Nelson. Little Voice, which debuts on Apple’s streaming service on July 10, hits every single beat you expect — and none you don’t.

There’s little chance you won’t experience precisely the emotional journey and reaction you’re anticipating just from looking at the show’s promotional materials.

If you wanna watch a scrappy, model-beautiful singer finally find her voice with help from a supportive and kooky family of zany outsiders, and then live her dream of being a star, then yeah, come on in.

Dear… is a timely reminder that we can do better [Apple TV+ review]

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Oprah Winfrey reads a letter from a fan in Apple TV+ show Dear...
One episode of Dear... focuses on Oprah Winfrey.
Photo: Apple TV+

So far, the Apple TV+ shows affiliated with Oprah Winfrey (or approved by her) represent some of the streaming service’s safest offerings. And her spirit, to say nothing of her face, is all over the inspiring series Dear…

Each episode focuses on a single celebrity and the moving fan letters they receive highlighting the star’s impact on regular people. A such, it takes the form of part-biography, part-tribute to its famous subjects.

Dear… certainly does not stand out as one of the most hard-hitting journalistic exercises you’ll see. But as puff pieces go, the episodes prove both persuasive and reasonably inspiring. The show plays like a MasterClass with lessons about community building and standing up for yourself.

Who on earth is Dads for? [Apple TV+ review]

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Dads review: Glen Henry and his daughter, one of many subjects in the enthusiastically weightless Apple TV+ documentary Dads.
Glen Henry and his daughter, one of many subjects in the enthusiastically weightless Dads.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ secured another handsomely produced, blandly pleasant, absolute mediocrity when it purchased Bryce Dallas Howard’s feature documentary debut, Dads. What’s Dads about, you ask? Why dads, of course. Next question.

Up until now, Apple TV+ hasn’t been the most cautious content provider. Apple execs lavished money on a lot of utter nonsense with enormous price tags because they seemed to aesthetically fit in with the rest of the company’s design scheme. HomeCentral Park, See — none of them are good television, but they’d look good testing TVs on a showroom floor, which seems to be the prevailing ethos for a lot of the Apple TV+ purchases.

Dads, released Friday just in time to remind you to forget Father’s Day, is much the same and quite a bit less.

Final episode of Defending Jacob delivers no easy answers [Apple TV+ review]

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Defending Jacob review: The Apple TV+ crime drama Defending Jacobcomes to a powerful conclusion.
The Apple TV+ crime drama comes to a powerful conclusion.
Photo: Apple TV+

Breakout Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob comes to a gutsy and strong conclusion by leaving its characters, and its audience, in the lurch. This is the smartest decision the show’s creators could have made.

The limited series’ ending, which premieres Friday, shifts everything we’ve seen so far into an entirely new light. It likely will haunt you for some time to come.

Spoiler alert: Details about “After,” the final episode of Defending Jacob, follow.

Bob’s Burgers creator can’t make lightning strike twice in Central Park [Apple TV+ review]

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Central Park is here to do exactly what focus groups say you want it to.
Central Park is here to do exactly what focus groups say you want it to.
Image: Apple TV+

Despite an impressive pedigree and a marketable cast, new Apple TV+ show Central Park seems primed to annoy as many people as it will please.

You must put up with an awful lot of very trendy singing and songwriting, and an overly precious approach to character and plotting, to get to the meager delights within.

Defending Jacob turns over its final card in penultimate episode [Apple TV+ review]

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Defending Jacob review: The Apple TV+ crime drama hurtles toward its horrible end.
The Apple TV+ crime drama hurtles toward its horrible end.
Photo: Apple TV+

Defending Jacob closes in on its shocking and horrible conclusion this week. It’s been clear for a while that things will never get straightened out fully for the Barber family after Jacob’s murder trial. Whether the teen lands in jail or not, things will end badly.

The Apple TV+ crime drama’s seventh episode, titled “Job,” proves this in spectacularly agonizing fashion.

Defending Jacob nears boiling point in ‘Wishful Thinking’ [Apple TV+ review]

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Betty Gabriel and Chris Evans anchor the uniformly strong crime drama Defending Jacob.
Betty Gabriel and Chris Evans anchor uniformly strong crime drama Defending Jacob.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ crime drama Defending Jacob nears its climax in Episode 6. The writers crank up the tension and the danger in ways that finally take the series out of the ordinary and into the more obviously fictional and generic.

Thankfully, director Morten Tyldum knows how to handle a flagrant crime show incident without it seeming more overblown than the series can handle. (Spoiler alert: Some key plot details will follow.)

Defending Jacob takes an unsettling turn in 5th episode [Apple TV+ review]

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J.K. Simmons takes Defending Jacob to an unsettling new place.
J.K. Simmons takes us to an unsettling new place in this week's episode.
Photo: Apple TV+

Things start to get unbearably tense and inhumane as pressure builds on the Barber family in Defending Jacob’s fifth episode, “Visitors.” The show takes a number of risks that may pay rich dividends in future episodes — as long as the showrunners remember not to flinch.

New guest stars — including veteran actor J.K. Simmons — and old vendettas surface in Friday’s new episode. And the Barbers head toward what might turn out to be a moral dead end if they want to stop their son, Jacob, from going to prison. Can we say climax?

Defending Jacob delves into trust issues in stellar 4th episode [Review]

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Defending Jacob
Apple TV+'s Defending Jacob stays strong in its fourth episode.
Photo: Apple TV+

In its fourth episode, stellar Apple TV+ show Defending Jacob shows every member of the Barber family starting to crack as young Jacob moves closer to his murder trial. As the characters head toward revelations and uncomfortable conclusions, they start to stall for time in irresponsible, sometimes dangerous ways.

As the situation unfolds, their relationships with each other start to fray.