It’s the Princess and the Pauper with Disney star Selena Gomez and two Gossip Girls in a story about a Texas waitress who takes the place of a selfish heiress in the glamorous title city. There’s also a touch of […]
“Larry Crowne” is such a perfectly pleasant movie that it may not be until you walk toward the exit that you realize that something is missing. Until then, the good spirits of stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, clearly enjoying […]
And swords, kung fu, guns, blasters, aliens, and He-who-must-not-be-named.
I feel like Goldilocks. It’s not as good as the first one, but it’s not as awful as the second one. So, if that doesn’t make it just right, at least it makes it better than the second one and […]
“Page One” takes us behind the scenes at the New York times in a year of turmoil and transition. We see how its media reporters cover their own industry. We see the release of the first Wikileaks material and how […]
Congratulations to the winner of “The Adjustment Bureau” on DVD, Pam H. of Kennewick, WA. Thanks to all who entered!
Congratulations to the winner of the T-shirt, Amy S. of San Diego, CA. Thanks so much to all who entered!
Happy Independence Day! There’s only one possible pick of the week for the 4th of July. This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost […]
A California law that would prevent the sale of violent video games to children has been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The 2005 California law has never been enforced because it was found unconstitutional in the lower court as […]
Beastly This modern-day version of Beauty and the Beast is surprisingly appealing. In an era of bullies and mean girls, “Gossip Girls” and “Pretty Little Liars,” it’s nice to have such a tenderhearted fairy tale. Sucker Punch Girls in thigh-hi […]
A Unitarian minister must find a way to bring to her own life what she has encouraged in others in this moving documentary, Raw Faith.
A sad farewell to actor Peter Falk, who died this week at age 83. Perhaps best remembered for his long-running television show, Columbo, his passing reminds us of his wide-ranging work as everything from a singing gangster to an animated […]
Award-winning author Brian Selznick has a trailer for his new book, Wonderstruck. His last book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret was an enthralling story inspired by the great George Melies that was told through alternating pictures and text. It is […]
I love summer movies with their crashes, chases, explosions, superheroes, and sequels as much as anyone, but after a while they all run together. But good documentaries are unforgettable. There is something about real-life characters inviting us into their lives […]
Are you a fan of comedy based on the sole premise that it is funny to see a beautiful woman make outrageously crude and narcissistic statements? Then go watch Sarah Silverman. This movie will only show you how much better […]
Pixar has made another enchanting film, witty, touching, and utterly delightful. It is “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation,” a brief opener followed by the less delightful “Cars 2.” In “Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation,” Ken and Barbie are disappointed at being left […]
I loved “Buck,” the new documentary about Buck Brannaman, the real-life horse whisperer who inspired the book and movie. The film is extraordinarily moving. Buck’s gift for animals is a wonder, but it is his understanding of people and his […]
When did “My Little Pony” get so cool? According to BNET’s Constantine von Hoffman, the new Hub series “is the new, hip thing among the geekerati.” I love this presentation from a high school student whose assignment was to examine the […]
“Louder than a Bomb” is a new documentary about Chicago’s poetry slam competition for high schoolers. Watching these teenagers thrill to finding their own voices and hearing each other’s stories makes it one of the most inspiring films of the […]
I’m delighted to have this exclusive clip from the delightfully silly Veggie Tales: Live! Sing Yourself Silly. I have two copies to give away! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “silly” in the subject line and tell me your […]
John Bengston has tracked down the original locations for the three biggest comedy stars of the silent era. His books are a treasure trove for historians and film lovers, reminding us that these early films are not just masterpieces of […]
DVD pick of the week: The Adjustment Bureau is thought-provoking, exciting, and swooningly romantic. Writer/director George Nolfi takes on the biggest questions of all — faith and doubt, fate and free will, God, love, the meaning of existence — with […]
A tribute to all fathers, everywhere — a look at Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, based on the real-life father of author Harper Lee.
Monika Bartyzel has an excellent and insightful essay on Movies.com called Girls on Film: Why Supporting Female Characters Matter. Funny men like Seth Rogen and Jason Segal act as the everyman with a witty sarcastic edge, and since men dominate […]
My updated gallery of the greatest movie dads is now up, with some new additions including “Up” and “The King’s Speech.” Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, especially my own magnificent dad and to my kids’ wonderful […]
Win one of these cool vintage-inspired Green Lantern t-shirts from the wonderful folks at Junk Food! Send me an email at email@example.com with “Green Lantern” in the subject line and your t-shirt size and address in the message. I’ll make […]
Director Sue Bourne talked to me about her new documentary, “Jig,” the story of the Irish dancing world championships. It is thrilling, touching, and inspiring, with unforgettable characters and stories and dancing that would make Michael Flatley stand up and […]
Cinema Blend has the best discussions I’ve seen about when you should pay the extra for the 3D glasses. The factors they consider include whether the movie was filmed in 3D or had the effects added in post-production, whether it […]
It used to be that a comedian who wanted to be in movies had to make an armed services comedy. Now, we stick them in domestic stories about daddies who need to learn that the family is more important than […]
Let’s get right down to it with the superhero essentials checklist. Cool powers? Check. Interesting villain? Check. Interesting girlfriend? Half a check. Aliens? Check. Fancy gala party? I’m not sure why that appears to be a crucial part of every […]
It took 2000 hours and almost a quarter million bricks!
DVD pick of the week: The Grace Card This unpretentious but sincere film about the power of anger and the greater power of forgiveness has quiet power, and its final scenes are moving and inspirational. Also on DVD this week: […]
Don McGlynn is the director of a raise-the-roof documentary about gospel music fittingly called “Rejoice and Shout.” It is a thrilling compendium filled with history but more importantly, filled with music. The people are wonderful and McGlynn gives us full […]
It’s the last day of third grade and redheaded Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) is looking forward to the greatest summer ever. She has big plans for herself and her three best friends, a summer of dares and thrills and adventures. […]
There’s a great interview in the Washington Post with local author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor about the forthcoming final installment to her popular Alice series of novels, Incredibly Alice. “Alice is fictional, though she is like the daughter that I never had. […]
Thanks for the great questions! Q: This movie I saw on TV many years ago. A marine battleship or aircraft carrier is at sea and suddenly passes through a time “bubble” and is transported back in time… That’s all I […]
A couple of kids who are deeply in love with making movies have made a movie about kids deeply in love with making movies, and it is one of the most joyously thrilling treats of the summer, a love letter […]
Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is engaged in the saddest of tasks, clearing out his late father’s home, choosing what to take, what to give away, what no one will want. He brings his father’s dog home with him, giving him a […]
ABC Family has a new series about two families who discover that their teenage daughters were switched at birth. The girl who grew up with a single hairdresser mom and the girl who grew up in the wealthy home of […]
Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed in London’s Globe Theatre. The original open-roof theatre, made of wood-and-thatch was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s company of actors and was destroyed by fire in 1613. American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, worked tirelessly […]
The latest in the wonderful “Family Movie Night” series from Wal-Mart and P&G is “Field of Vision,” the story of a high school football star who has to choose between his team and his conscience when he sees filmed evidence […]
Common Sense Media has a great list of the best apps to encourage young readers. This is a wonderful way to introduce children to the pleasures of books. I was especially taken with Icarus Swinebuckle. Parents can read aloud, with […]
US Magazine critic Thelma Adams has a blog post about one of the most common questions I get asked: where are the parents in movies about kids? She quotes my comments: Nell Minow, the Movie Mom, told me “This is the […]
Slate has taken data from Rotten Tomatoes to compute the career trajectories of actors and directors. The results are unexpected — would anyone guess that the actor with the best reviews is….Daniel Autueil? And the worst actress…Jennifer Love Hewitt? I’m […]
The two most interesting aspects of the X-Men are absorbingly explored in this prequel that takes us back to the childhoods of rival mutants Magneto and Professor Xavier, played in the first three films by classically trained Shakespearian actors Ian […]
Director John Houston’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” released this week for the first time on Blu-Ray, is a magnificent spectacle, based on a story by Rudyard Kipling. Michael Caine and Sean Connery star as British sergeants and adventurers […]
Happy birthday to Marilyn Monroe, that star of stars. She continues to bewitch us nearly a half century after her death. Yet another movie about her is currently in the works, with Michelle Williams as the former Norma Jean Baker. […]
This looks like one of those little indies that reminds us why we really do love little indies.
“Hangover 2″ got slammed by the critics, with only a 35 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But I liked it. I don’t usually comment on other critics’ reviews, but this time I think it is worth taking a moment […]
On those dark nights of the soul, when we consider not just life but Life, and Meaning, and our place in the cosmos, our lives don’t play out in our minds in sequence. Images and snatches of words flicker back […]
Jessica Winter has a great list on Slate of breakthrough performances with an unusual focus. I always love the thrill of discovering a new talent; it is one of the greatest pleasures the movies bring us. But Ms. Winter makes […]
From “Carousel” by Rodgers and Hammerstein — Happy June!
Mike Mills is a graphic designer-turned film-maker. His new movie, “Beginners,” is inspired by his own experience. Ewan McGregor plays Oliver, a graphic designer whose father, at age 74, came out and declared that he would spend the rest of […]