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Starring Charlize Theron, the insanely violent romp “Atomic Blonde” (rated R) topples our expectations with a refreshing blast of creativity that twists a standard espionage movie into a bad-ass cardiac arrest thriller. Theron oozes lethal power as an assassination-skilled British agent who teams up with James McAvoy to locate a lost list of counterspies. A modern action classic, the film ignores genre sensibilities, subverts gender roles and wreaks mayhem with almost gleeful nastiness.

COLIN COVERT

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