02:20 PM EDT 02/04/2014

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Super Bowl's Best Ads: Puppies & Horses & Muppets – Oh, My!

PEOPLE's TV Critic: The 8 Best Super Bowl Ads

Originally posted 02/03/2014 06:45AM

The commercials that aired during Sunday's Super Bowl to a large degree were already pre-broadcast. The big campaigns not only streamed online, but also preceded themselves with "teaser" versions.

As a result, their official arrivals tended to feel like a smallish baby dropped by a drooping stork. Then they were instantly viewed, discussed, graded up or down and made to run the gauntlet of social media.

In the future, everyone will be Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music Live! for 15 minutes. It won't be pretty.

This year's Super Bowl ads didn’t send out any real ripples – nothing like 2013's oddly sensational Go Daddy spot with Bar Refaeli making out with a gratefully passionate nerd. In general, they settled for cute, if not always as cute as they were supposed to be. A Volkswagen ad that imagined German engineers getting wings ended with a proctological gag that stayed within good taste but never escaped the fact that it was a proctological gag.

Here are the ones I liked best.

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Credit: AFP/Getty; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Brad Pitt Looks Better at 50 Than Any Other Man Who Has Ever Lived | Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro

Brad Pitt Looks Better at 50 Than Any Other Man Who Has Ever Lived

Originally posted 12/18/2013 01:00PM

Brad Pitt is 50 today. Let that sink in.

While he's not aging backwards, the two-time PEOPLE Sexiest Man Alive has certainly managed to hit the half-century mark as gracefully as a person can. Stare at this picture of Pitt on the cover of AARP magazine, and then compare him to some of our favorite major stars in the year they turned 50.

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Credit: Dave M. Benett/Wireimage
Fifth Child on the Way for Bruce Willis

Fifth Child on the Way for Bruce Willis

Originally posted 12/17/2013 06:15PM

This will be the second child together for the actor and wife Emma Heming-Willis, who are already parents to daughter Mabel

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Filed Under: Bruce Willis
Credit: Warner Bros.
See This, Skip That: From The Conjuring to Only God Forgives

See This, Skip That: From The Conjuring to Only God Forgives

Originally posted 07/19/2013 03:00PM

The Conjuring is terrific terror, but PEOPLE's critic says it's The Act of Killing that will really scare you.

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Credit: Landov
Inside Brad Pitt's Big Night in N.Y.C. – and Jersey! | Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt Shows World War Z in New York – and New Jersey!

Originally posted 05/23/2013 10:00AM

Brad Pitt stepped out solo Wednesday night to mingle with an impressive crowd of A-listers – but he didn't forget his fans, either.

Showing his new zombie thriller World War Z for the first time, hehosted a star-packed screening at New York City's Museum of Modern Art – then zipped to Hoboken, N.J., where he surprised moviegoers at a late-night sneak preview.

"They said we got to do a showing in the city and I said okay, but we can't do it without showing it to the people who we made the film for," he told the Jersey fans. "So we decided to do it than no other place than Jersey. We've got a monster film, it's epic, scary as hell and I guarantee it's the most intense thing you will see all summer."

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Adrianne Palicki Loves 'Goofball' Costar Channing Tatum

Adrianne Palicki Loves 'Goofball' Costar Channing Tatum

Originally posted 03/26/2013 08:30AM

Making G.I. Joe: Retaliation with Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis and the Rock, Adrianne Palicki was not one to be intimidated – not after all the noises they made.

"I'm more macho than all those guys," the actress, perhaps best known for TV's Friday Night Lights (2006-11), boasts to PEOPLE. "You spend that much time with them – you hear them burp, fart – you immediately become one of the dudes."

Tatum, it seems, also did something even more for the gang.

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Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage
Calling John McClane! Your Die Hard Director Needs Saving

Die Hard Director John McTiernan Heading to Prison

Originally posted 01/16/2013 05:00PM

This is a case for John McClane.

Die Hard director John McTiernan is headed to the slammer for a year, having lost his appeal to have his 2010 prison sentence overturned for lying to the FBI in a wiretapping case, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Like a scene out of a crime movie, the filmmaker, 62, pleaded guilty to hiring celebrity private investigator Anthony Pellicano to wiretap film producer Chuck Roven after they both worked on the movie Rollerball.

McTiernan had remained free on bail while he appealed the conviction (which was about lying, not wiretapping) to the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court in the land has now declined to review the case.

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Credit: FameFlynet
PHOTO: Rumer Willis Back on Beach in (Blue) Bikini

Rumer Willis Back on Beach in (Blue) Bikini

Originally posted 11/09/2012 12:00PM

Life's a beach, all right.

After showing off her bikini bod in Maui last weekend, Rumer Willis and boyfriend Jayson Blair hit the sand a few thousand miles away in Miami Beach, Fla., Thursday.

Rather then the little white number she sported in Hawaii, Willis wore a great-looking blue bikini, noting of the day's weather: "It is really cold here. I wasn't expecting it."

That night, Willis's outfit was something more modest. With her long hair flowing down her back and a long white dress, black bra and flat shoes ("more comfortable," she noted), she entertained a crowd of 800 locals and guests who gathered for the grand opening of the SLS Hotel South Beach.

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Credit: Claire Folger/Warner Bros.; Jojo Whilden/The Weinstein Company
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence Movies Get Oscar Buzz Going at Toronto Film Fest

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence Movies Get Oscar Buzz Going at Toronto Film Fest

Originally posted 09/06/2012 10:45AM

The calendar says it's still summer and the kids call it back to school, but I say it's Oscar season.

Yes, already! I know this because on Thursday the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) blows into Canada, with 372 movies in competition representing some 72 countries. Sure, some of the buzzy movies from Cannes and Venice pop up, but Toronto is where everything starts to shake out. As usual, the biggest of the A-listers will be in town, towing their Oscar-bait projects with them.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis open the festivities with the world premiere of their time-travel mind-bender Looper, about a mob hitman (Gordon-Levitt) hired to kill his own future self (Willis). I'm not sure why you'd take that gig if you were Hitman the Younger, but I'll take it on faith that the film offers a convincing explanation.

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Credit: Frank Masi
Review: The Expendables 2 Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously

The Expendables 2 Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously

Originally posted 08/16/2012 01:00PM

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Unlike its predecessor, The Expendables 2 gave me what I wanted almost immediately: impressive explosions, a frying pan used as a deadly weapon and an airborne motorcycle crashing into a helicopter.

In a sequel that doesn't take itself too seriously, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his band of muscle-bound misfits are ordered by the mysterious Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to break into an explosive-rigged safe, which should be a cakewalk. However, after a member of the group is killed by the villainous – wait for it – Vilain (delightfully played by a preening Jean-Claude Van Damme), the gang sets out for revenge, joined for the first time by a butt-kicking female (Chinese actress Yu Nan).

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