The gifted young pianist Ethan Bortnick stars in “Anything is Possible,” about a young boy who becomes separated from his mother, Army Lieutenant Margaret Peters (Lacy Chabert), when she goes missing during a tsunami rescue mission in Japan. Back home in Detroit, […]
Laika, the stop-motion animation studio behind two of my favorite films of the past ten years, “ParaNorman” and “Coraline,” has released the teaser trailer for its 2014 release, “The Box Trolls,” and it looks amazing. Nice nod to non-traditional families […]
Are you worried about what the NSA knows about you? Then this is ten times scarier.
Caldecott award-winner Paul O. Zelinsky (Z Is for Moose) was asked for some of his favorite illustrated books for children. He provided two lists, one of classics and another of lesser-known books that are worth seeking out. I was especially […]
Two of the all-time great actresses play a long-time couple who must find a way to cope with the indignities of aging — and the greater indignities of the way they are treated by their families and the legal system. […]
This documentary is a portrait of the generation of the mid-century Jewish comics that includes Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl, and Jerry Stiller, who appear telling jokes and telling their stories. And it is the story of […]
Director Spike Lee has assembled a list of movies that he says all aspiring filmmakers should see. It’s a list everyone should look at, filled with canon classics like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Hoop Dreams,” and “Dog Day […]
In honor of this week’s release of “Smurfs 2,” how many of these questions can you answer? 1. The Smurfs were created by a comic artist from what country? 2. How tall are Smurfs? 3. Who created Smurfette? 4. What […]
He has a couple of Oscars and is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, but I don’t think we fully appreciate Denzel Washington, in my opinion the finest actor working in Hollywood today. As we look forward to “2 […]
I’m quoted in this story about films for children that have material that may be too complicated or adult for their level of maturity. “I think the real issue is the quicker cuts and more explosive effects,” Minow told NBCNews.com. […]
Mick Jagger turns 70 today! Happy birthday Mick — celebrate him by viewing two of this summer’s best documentaries, “Muscle Schoals” and “20 Feet from Stardom,” or some of these other great screen appearances: Gimme Shelter The third in the […]
I very much enjoyed Scott Nye’s article for rogerebert.com about plot holes in movies that are summerily — if not satisfyingly — dealt with via some line of dialogue. If you watch big budget entertainments, there’s no escaping these sorts […]
Here’s a lovely scene from one of this year’s best independent films, “The Spectacular Now,” starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller (who will also both appear in the upcoming “Divergent”). Director James Ponsoldt says: This is one of my favorite scenes […]
The first X-Men spin-off movie with Hugh Jackman as the super-healing, never-aging mutant who shoots blades out of his knuckles was called “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” This one is called “The Wolverine.” Got it? Wolverine is the, well, lone wolf of […]
I attended the press conference for “Gravity” at Comic-Con and can tell you it looks like one of the most extraordinary films of the year. Take a look at the new trailer:
Comic-Con is all about the new and surprising, but I’ve come to look forward to some things that I especially enjoy every year. One is The Black Panel, and this year was one of the best, with Comic-Con’s best panel […]
New York Magazine’s Vulture blog has a sobering statistical analysis from Amand Dobbins showing that women play significant roles in a very small percentage of feature films. The 2013 lineup is all superheroes and crass man-boy bonding. Granted, studios release […]
Photographer Sam Cornwell took one second of video a day of his new son, Indigo, and it is breathtaking to see him go from newborn to first steps. Guaranteed heart-melter.
No question. There were hundreds of dazzling displays at Comic-Con. You could have your picture taken with “Walking Dead” zombies or frozen Han Solo or Lego Superman. But Predator, as he so often does, dominated. There was a limited edition […]
I love the costumes at Comic-Con. They are colorful expressions of enthusiasm and personality. And I believe they are what financial types call a leading indicator of the popularity of particular movies, games, and television shows. This year, I noticed […]
Highlights of Comic-Con 2013 so far: 1. The bathrooms here are sponsored by “The Bates Motel” television series, so they are labeled “Norma” and “Norman.” 2. I attended cool behind-the-scenes panels with the composers of superhero movie scores and the […]
The tooth fairy is one of childhood’s most treasured myths, a lovely tribute to a bittersweet rite of passage that allows each family to crate their own traditions. (Our tooth fairy left a book.) There’s an awful movie with The […]
Why do we spend so much time in movies watching young people fall in love? Why is the wedding so often the happy ending? “Still Mine” is a beautifully performed true-life tale of a couple who have been deeply in […]
Catherine Zeta Jones seems to be making a habit of appearing in the dumbed-down sequels to big, all-star franchises. First there was “Oceans 12,” and now there’s an utterly thankless role in “Red 2,” a stylish but empty follow-up to […]
The sadly timely release of Sundance award-winner “Fruitvale Station” begins with the shocking real-life cell phone footage shot in a San Francisco subway station on New Year’s Eve 2008. A young black man named Oscar Grant was handcuffed and lying […]
Coming in December is one of this year’s biggest holiday releases, “Saving Mr. Banks,” the story of Walt Disney’s efforts to persuade British author P.L. Travers to allow him to make a movie about Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson and Tom […]
Who declared this the summer of the animated snails? In Twentieth Century Fox’s “Epic,” a snail and slug duo stole the spotlight from the human characters, even the Beyoncé-voiced nature queen. The end credits of Pixar’s “Monsters University” features not […]
It is unusual for an actor to star in two major studio feature films opening the same week. Studios understandably do not want to split the fans by making them choose between two options. Even though the audiences for the […]
More than halfway through the year, we have not seen a single high-profile romantic comedy. Once a reliable staple of the cineplex, the “we know they are destined to be together before they do” movie starring America’s sweethearts like Meg […]
Are you a “Damages” fan? Fancy yourself one of Cruella DeVille’s furry fashions? Glenn Close is auctioning off the clothes she wore as Patty Hughes and many other characters to raise money for her charity combating the stigma of […]
On Wednesday I’ll be back at Comic-Con! This year’s highlights will include a 50th anniversary tribute to “Dr. Who” and a farewell appearance by “Breaking Bad,” about to start its final season. There will be preview clips from a new […]
I have a lot of affection for the teen beach movies of the 1960’s starring the late Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, with guest stars including Buster Keaton and “Little” Stevie Wonder. There was a nice update, “Back to the […]
It is with special sadness that we bid farewell to the talented young actor who played Finn on “Glee,” Cory Monteith. The cause of death is not yet known but he struggled with substance abuse. Here he tells Ellen Degeneres […]
I’m delighted to be participating in the classic movie blogathon about great film duos. My choice is Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis, who co-starred in two classics, “The Old Maid” and “Old Acquaintance.” They were natural opposites, and their battles […]
I love “This American Life.” For 17 years, Ira Glass has been sharing our stories, funny, wrenching, scary, romantic, always engaging and illuminating. He tells Buzzfeed how he feels 500 episodes later. Definitely worth a look, especially at the list […]
It’s often more fun to read about a bad movie than a good one (more fun to write about a bad one, too). “The Lone Ranger” is not a terrible movie. It does not inspire the kind of horrified hyperbole […]
Did you know that the word “robot” was invented by Czech writer Karl Capek for a play produced in 1920 called R.U.R? In honor of today’s release of “Pacific Rim,” take a look at some of the other great movie […]
I admit it. I’m hooked. Coming in 2014.
I know there’s only one question you have about this movie, and the answer is yes. If you ever wanted to see a movie with giant monsters battling giant robots, this is it. And if you ever wanted to see […]
We are very excited to present an exclusive look at the new film starring Ricky Schroder, a family western called “Our Wild Hearts.” This is a family movie on and behind the screen. Schroder’s wife and daughter approached him with […]
Yes, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the classic book, but the original was a lot of fun and this one looks like a blast.
Many thanks to Tom Sanchez for his thoughtful and perceptive review of my book, 101 Must-See Movie Moments (Must-See Movies) –in other words, he liked it! Nell Minow is old-school, like a critic should be. She has seen untold thousands […]
Susan Wloszczyna has a terrific column on RogerEbert.com and the headline gets right to the point. DEAR HOLLYWOOD: HIRING WOMEN DIRECTORS COULD RESCUE THE SUPERHERO MOVIE. LOVE, HALF THE HUMAN RACE And where is that Wonder Woman movie, […]
The 4th of July weekend is always one of the biggest box office weeks of the year and this year broke the record again. Sequel Despicable Me 2 was the undisputed champ, with a whalloping $82 million, helped out a bit by […]
I’m delighted that one of the all-time great romantic thrillers is being released for the first time on Blu-Ray this week. Director Stanley Donen out-Hitchcock’s Alfred Hitchcock with this witty, elegant, sophisticated bonbon starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. It […]
“Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes has adapted a new version of “Romeo and Juliet,” starring “True Grit’s” Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, and Paul Giamatti, premiering in October.
For more than a century the movies have been telling us the story of America through westerns, and each decade gets the version it deserves. We have seen films range from the optimistic, heroic, and racially insensitive movies of the […]
I love Amy Poehler‘s series of advice videos for girls — good advice for everyone. I love this one about the importance of quiet. And this one about the importance of being nice.
Kevin Hart’s new stand-up movie is short (about 75 minutes). And, as he will repeatedly remind you, so is he. There’s a brief prologue where guests at a rooftop party accuse him of not being in touch with his father, […]
Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker star in this musical opening in November about a struggling single mother who sends her son to her parents’ home for Christmas. It is adapted from a Langston Hughes story and directed by […]
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Oscar winners for the screenplay of “The Descendants,” have written, produced, and directed an endearing coming-of-age story called “The Way Way Back,” appearing in it as well. At times it seems there have been as […]
I had a lot of fun on Tim Gordon’s Blogtalk radio show talking about “Despicable Me” and “Let Me Explain.
The wonderful James Cromwell (“Babe”) and Genevieve Bujold star in “Still Mine,” a touching love story, opening July 12.
Heitor Pereira is a Brazilian musician and composer who has gone from Simply Red to Hollywood, creating movie scores for films like “Madagascar,” “The Holiday,” and “Bee Movie.” He talked to me about the challenge of scoring a sequel with […]
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won a screenwriting Oscar for “The Descendants” and won the next day’s headlines by imitating Angelina Jolie’s leg-out pose when they accepted it. I talked to them about “The Way Way Back,” which they wrote, […]
Is there more to the story of “Despicable Me” after Gru (Steve Carell) isn’t despicable anymore? The original, with Gru and Vector (Jason Segal) as warring super-villains, was one of the best animated films and one of the best family […]
Be sure to tune into PBS tomorrow to see the annual “Capitol 4th” concert in front of the Capitol Building. This year’s “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS welcomes back host Tom Bergeron, the two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality (“Dancing With […]
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 very happy birthday to the magnificent Olivia de Havilland, the last of the greats from the golden era of Hollywood. This double Oscar winner (for “The Heiress” and “To Each His Own,” plus nominations for “Gone […]
The very funny Jeff Allen answered my questions about his new DVD, Apostles of Comedy: Onwards & Upwards. When did you first know you were funny? I thought I was funny when I started stand up comedy in Chicago; the […]
The latest in the terrific series of American Girls movies is the story of Saige (Sidney Fullmer), a talented artist and a horse-lover. She is devastated to learn that due to budget cuts, there will be no more art class […]