Despite Andy Samberg’s subpar hosting (“I didn’t see ‘Olive Kitteridge,’ only half of Kitteridge” — really? The take-off on the “Mad Man” Coke commercial couldn’t come up with anything other than killing someone with an Emmy? Really?) and truly awful […]
“Walt Before Mickey” is the story of Walt Disney’s earliest years in animation, filled with passion and imagination but also plagued by failures and setbacks. “American Pie’s” Thomas Ian Nicholas and “Napoleon Dynamite’s” Jon Heder play brothers Walt and Roy […]
The best documentaries — and the best movies and the best stories — are fascinatingly specific but universal as well. When actor/comedian Ravi Patel agreed to let his parents, Vasant and Champa, try to find him a wife according to […]
I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to remake “Point Break,” because it is such a perfect combination of silly and awesome, with my all-time favorite movie stunt. What could a remake be but superfluous? But I have to say, […]
Two desperate people who think they have nothing discover that there is still a lot more to lose in this fact-based story about an escaped prisoner and the woman he held captive. The story made headlines throughout the country. Ashley […]
The most terrifying image on movie screens this year is the ice blue eyes of crime boss Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger, played by Johnny Depp in “Black Mass.” They are at once opaque, implacable, and piercing. Depp’s performance as the man […]
This is why we can’t have nice things. As the brief history at the beginning of “Everest” points out, the first successful group to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain was led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing […]
The first Maze Runner movie had an arresting premise and a solid structure, literally and metaphorcally. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), with his memory wiped, arrived at a mysterious facility called The Glade, populated entirely by teenage boys. It turned out to […]
We are delighted to present this exclusive behind the scenes clip from the DVD extras for the delightful Monkey Kingdom.
Karina Longworth is the creator/narrator of the brilliant “You Must Remember This” podcast, which covers Hollywood history. Last season was entirely devoted to a mesmerizing narrative about the Charles Manson murders. The show has now moved to Slate’s Panoply podcast […]
When Luke Mercier (Dakota Goyo, Real Steel) heard some noise outside his house, he never could have guessed what he would find. Discovering a young polar bear cub that has been separated from its mother, Luke knows he has to […]
Please join me this Friday, September 18, 2015, for the adorable romantic comedy documentary “Meet the Patels.” I’ll be hosting a Q&A following the 7 pm show with the star, Ravi Patel.
“Black Mass” stars Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, now serving two consecutive life terms plus five years in prison for racketeering, drug dealing, and multiple murders, just a small part of the crime, terror, and mayhem he was responsible for […]
Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien today will go on a national “I am Latino in America” tour to create conversations that amplify the Latino voices on critical community issues. O’Brien is the author of Latino in America The tour kicks off […]
At a time when Jesus begins to understand that He is different from the other children, He turns to His parents for answers. But in trying to protect their child, Mary and Joseph are afraid to reveal all that they […]
Jerry Lewis has donated a large collection of movies and memorabilia to the Library of Congress, where it will be available for researchers, historians, and critics. “The Geisha Boy,” “The Bellboy,” “Cinderfella,” and “The Nutty Professor” are all among the […]
The 6th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival, taking place October 12 – 18, 2015 in the heart of New York City, will host an incredible lineup of over 300 films from 39 countries. In addition to film screenings throughout the […]
I have a limited number of tickets to give away to a Silver Spring, Maryland screening on September 17, 2015 of “Captive,” based on the true story of Ashley Smith, who was held hostage by a murderer and read aloud […]
Director: Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) Writer: Aaron Sorkin Subject: Steve Jobs Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, and Seth Rogen Opening: October 9, 2015 Me: there
A sweet new year to all who celebrate today. May you and all you love be inscribed in the book of life.
Sarah Colt’s two-part “American Experience” documentary about Walt Disney is a fascinating look at one of the towering figures not just of film history but of American history. Disney revolutionized film and the way we tell stories with his animated […]
Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Holiday”) has a new film with Anne Hathaway as a young wife and mother who is the CEO of a fast-growing start-up company and Robert De Niro as a retired executive who needs something to […]
This remake of the 1971 movie and 60’s television series about the WWII Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon, a visiting female journalist, and a German spy, stars Toby Jones, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Bill Nighy.
Patricia Clarkson stars as Wendy in Learning to Drive, the story of a New York writer who has to get her first driver’s license after her husband of 21 years leaves her for another woman. The license is just a […]
A heroic action-thriller, “The Finest Hours” is the remarkable true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. Presented in Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D, the film will transport audiences to the heart of the action, creating […]
“I buy them by the pound.”
Exciting news! There are rumors that Cate Blanchett will be playing red-headed comedy icon Lucille Ball in a new film produced by Ball’s children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. The screenplay will be by “West Wing’s” Aaron Sorkin, and […]
Morgan Matthews made a documentary about brilliant teenagers competing in the Math Olympiad, many of whom were on the autism spectrum, and that inspired his feature film, “A Brilliant Young Mind,” with “Ender’s Game” and “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield. Sally […]
Set in 1978, “Big Stone Gap” tells the story of the ever-ordinary Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) who lives a simple life with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs The Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor Drama, and hopes that […]
Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for “Norma Rae,” a real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. It was inspired […]
Pajama factory workers celebrate Labor Day in this musical number from “The Pajama Game” with Doris Day, John Raitt, and Carol Haney.
This is part 2 of my interview with Alex Sheremet about his book, Woody Allen: Reel to Real. You can read Part 1 here. He keeps coming back to a character’s taking moral judgement into his own hands to commit […]
James McAvoy plays the doctor who tried to play God, Victor Frankenstein, in this latest film based on the classic novel by Mary Shelley. Daniel Radcliffe plays his assistant, Igor, and the cast includes “Downton Abbey’s” Jessica Brown Findlay and […]
One of my favorite critics interviewed Hollywood’s legendary producer, Roger Corman, for New York Magazine’s Vulture, and it is a treat to read. Corman is by many measures the most successful filmmaker of all time because he made ultra low-budget […]
A teenage special ops agent who wants to experience a “normal” adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of high school is more challenging than international espionage, […]
Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me is a beautiful documentary about an ugly disease. Glen Campbell, one of the most popular and successful musical performers of all time, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. As memories, words, and some basic concepts […]
This is the most intriguing trailer I’ve seen in ages — a love story set in a world where everyone must be romantically paired and if they don’t get together fast enough they turn into animals.
It must be said. The refueled “Transporter” is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a star-making performance from Jason Statham. This reboot casts newcomer Ed Skrein who is the lower-priced spread […]
Katha Pollitt’s wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50’s, after her partner of seven years left her for another woman has been turned into a softened but still trenchant film. Patricia Clarkson […]
When the sad news came about the death of actor Dean Jones, those who remembered him most fondly mostly fell into two separate groups with not much overlap. Many baby boomers remembered him as the eternally fresh-faced star of Disney […]
Many feature films have imagined what would happen if a real or apparent nuclear attack precipitated war. None of them came close to the real-life story told in this documentary from Kevin Costner about Stanislav Petrov, the Russian Lt. Colonel, […]
As kids go back to school, it’s a good time to establish some rules about screen time. My recommended rules are below. This is increasingly important as kids are surrounded by screens everywhere — and by adults who themselves have […]
How to Change the World, the critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary, comes to select U.S. theaters this September 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. local time, presented by Fathom Events and Picturehouse Entertainment. The documentary looks at the very early days of […]
It isn’t getting to that point where you most often see your friends at funerals. It isn’t feeling stale because instead of promoting a new book, he’s going on some chirpy morning show to promote a reissue of his old […]
Happy September! Fall is when we see fewer sequels, superheroes and shootouts, more dramas based on real stories or best-selling books. Here’s what we have to look forward to this month: September 2 A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson’s […]
Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander star in “The Danish Girl,” directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”). It is the true story of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe and the artist Gerda Wegener who was first his wife and then her […]
The end of August is traditionally one of the year’s low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse “Straight Outta Compton” lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, […]
Alex Sheremet is the author of Woody Allen: Reel to Real, an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the most prolific and singular directors in history. He generously took time to answer my questions. Part 2 will be […]
This week, two movies are based on first-person accounts by writers telling their own real-life stories. In The New Yorker, Katha Pollitt wrote about getting her first driver’s license in her 50’s, after her partner of seven years left her […]
We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared. His series films included “Scream,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “The Hills Have Eyes.” My friend Simon Abrams interviewed […]
Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film “77 Chances.” It’s a “Groundhog Day”-style story about a young man who feels lost after the death of his mother. He meets a pretty girl and they have a wonderful evening […]
We mourn the passing of neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who illuminated the workings of the brain and set an example of grace and compassion that extended to the way he shared his thoughts about his terminal diagnosis. I first […]
Scott Feinberg talked to three actors with a combined age of 302 for The Hollywood Reporter. Patricia Morison (age 100), Norman Lloyd (age 100) and Connie Sawyer (age 102) shared memories and offered tips. All are in good health. “I […]
Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play friends on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness […]
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in this great rundown of the all-time worst movie accents. Critics vented frustration and fury, many picking Quentin Tarantino and Dick van Dyke, but I went with two actors who played Robin Hood:
Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order to help her teenage granddaughter. Tomlin plays the aptly named Elle (French for […]
Director Max Joseph brings some of the “Catfish” sensibility to “We Are Your Friends,” with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline about people in their 20’s who have big dreams but not much understanding about how to achieve them […]
In 1959, a movie called The World, The Flesh And The Devil imagined a post-apocalyptic world with three surviving humans. In the words of the 1960’s television series, “The Mod Squad,” they could be described as “one black, one white, […]
Evel Knievel was an international celebrity in the 1960’s-70’s, known for three things: showmanship, stunts that succeeded, and stunts that failed. He was recognized for jumping over 19 cars in his motorcycle, for crash-landing after trying to jump over the […]
Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior films, this one is filled […]
Jennifer Lawrence told the New York Times that she and Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together! It’s about two sisters, to be played by Lawrence and Schumer themselves. “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have […]
“Meet the Patels” is a warm, funny, and irresistibly captivating romantic comedy documentary about Ravi Patel’s efforts to find love according to the traditions of his family’s culture. His parents, Vasant and Champa Patel, are immigrants from the Gujarati region […]
Sara Silverman as the mother of a high school student? Even by Hollywood traditions of actresses being cast as mothers when they are barely older than the actors playing their children, that seems jarring. But Nat Wolff and Mickey Rourke […]
The Women’s List is coming to PBS as a part of the American Masters series on September 25, 2015, featuring: Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001 Gloria Allred, lawyer Laurie Anderson, artist Sara Blakely, entrepreneur Margaret Cho, comedian Edie […]
I am delighted to have some free passes to give away to a Washington DC, August 31, 2015 screening of “Learning to Drive“! It’s first come-first-served and tickets will go fast. To get your passes, click here. NOTE: Get there […]
Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, and Peter Sarsgaard find the genius behind the madness of Bobby Fischer in the upcoming film, “Pawn Sacrifice,” from one of my favorite directors, Edward Zwick.
A young down-and-out British shoe salesman named Harry Witherspoon takes his dead American uncle to Monte Carlo for the best time of his life—a week of fun, dancing, gambling and sun. If the young man fulfills his uncle’s request to […]
It is hard to think of a form of communication more contrary to the internal stillness and oneness of meditation than a movie. Meditation seeks to remove our minds and spirits from the distractions of the outside world to free […]
Neil Citron was the Musical Director for Ricki and The Flash starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Rick Springfield, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme. It was a lot of fun talking to him about helping Streep […]
Photographer Dennis Stock befriended James Dean and saw him as the symbol of a cultural upheaval that inspired him to a naturalism with his photos like what Dean was doing with his acting. Pattinson plays Stock and Dane Dehaan plays […]
CBC’s wonderful Wiretap podcast says goodbye after 11 years with this adorable short film featuring wisdom from elders to youngers, ages 7-93. It covers everything from taking off the training wheels to asking a girl to dance to being kind […]
Maybe someday there will be a good movie based on a videogame. But there’s no evidence of that possibility in the tiresome “Hitman: Agent 47″ based on the first-person shooter Hitman Trilogy. The game keeps the player’s interest through challenges […]
The New York Times reports: This month, the journal Pediatrics published a study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain activity in 3-to 5-year-old children as they listened to age-appropriate stories. The researchers found differences in brain activation […]
Ever wonder why Pixar’s movies always begin with a desk lamp? Watch Pixar’s first computer-animated short, released 29 years ago today.
I am pleased to have two copies of “Catching Faith” to give away. It is a faith-based story about a high school football star whose family is not as perfect as they seem. When he is caught drinking, he risks […]
Raffey Cassidy gives a performance of endless charm in “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism,” following her breakthrough appearance in “Tomorrowland,” where she stole the film from the grown-up stars including George Clooney. I was thrilled to get […]
From VeggieTales® and What’s in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer, Galaxy Buck – Mission to Sector 9 is a wild, galactic adventure that teaches kids a powerful lesson about trusting God. “‘Galaxy Buck’ is a new take on a classic […]
It was only 95 years ago that American women first got the right to vote.
When director and co-screenwriter Guy Ritchie needed someone to write a cool, sexy, sophisticated score for “The Man from UNCLE,” he went to Daniel Pemberton. The soundtrack is one of the best of the year and I had a lot […]
A new We Love Disney collection is coming out! And what a terrific line-up of songs and singers: 1. Friend Like Me (From Aladdin) – Ne-Yo 2. Part of Your World (From The Little Mermaid) – Jessie J 3. Can […]
It was great to hear that Tracy Morgan, who has been recovering from a serious automobile accident in June of 2014, will host the first “Saturday Night Live” episode of the 2015-2016 season. It will be a homecoming for the […]
Writer Bill Bryson came back to the US after 20 years in Great Britain and decided to reacquaint himself with his home country by walking the Appalachian Trail. And he took along a friend, or maybe a friend-ish, a cranky […]
“Show Me a Hero” is a new miniseries on HBO from David Simon (“The Wire”) and Paul Haggis (“Crash”), starring Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”). It is the story of racial, class, and political tensions in 1970’s Yonkers, New York, […]
Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, the brilliant screenwriter whose experiences during the McCarthy era inspired some of the greatest movies ever made about freedom. Trumbo was blacklisted but continued to write screenplays by having them attributed to “fronts,” men who […]
The D23 Expo for Disney fans featured surprise star appearances and glimpses of upcoming films, including this moment from a new “Inside Out” short to be included in the DVD release. It’s called “Riley’s First Date.”
While we wait for “Serial” to start up again, here are three podcasts so enthralling you may find yourself taking the long way home so you can keep listening, or just sit in the car on the driveway because you […]
Kate Winslet plays a glamorous woman who returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
“The Lost Key” is a documentary that explores contemporary society’s confusion of sex and intimacy, and how the ancient principles from Jewish theology can restore the holy connection between husbands and wives. I spoke to director Ricardo Adler, whose own […]
A new study from USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism documents the vastly over-proportionate portrayals of white males on film and in filmmaking. Their review of 700 top-grossing films from 2007-2014 found: Gender. Only 30.2% of the 30,835 speaking characters […]
“What does NWA stand for?” asks Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), who is offering to become the manager of a new rap group from the Compton area of Los Angeles. “No Whites Allowed?” “No,” Eric “Eazy-E” Wright answers: “N**** Wit Attitude.” […]
Guy Ritchie’s update of the 1960’s television spy series is sleek, sophisticated, and sexy, with lively banter, high style, and oodles of roguish retro charm. Henry Cavill (“Superman,” “The Tudors”) takes the Robert Vaughn role of Napoleon Solo, an army […]
“Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism” is a cute family fantasy, based on the series of books about a spunky orphan by Georgia Byng. Raffey Cassidy, the enchanting young star who was the highlight of “Tomorrowland,” is perfectly […]
This week’s 1960’s spy story, “The Man from UNCLE” is based on a television series from the 1964-68 of the same name. It was inspired by the James Bond films, and Bond creator Ian Fleming even contributed to the original […]
The smart alecks behind the Harvard Lampoon magazine parodies of Cosmopolitan and Time created their own magazine, the National Lampoon, in 1970, and it was like taking everything the Baby Boomers loved about the subversive humor of MAD Magazine and […]
Oscar nominated screenwriter Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games,” “Shattered Glass”) has a warning for “our next great screenwriters.” Hollywood will not help you. It will work against you. In a speech later adapted for an article on Medium, he explained: […]
The Star of the Day tomorrow on Turner Classic Movies is Ann-Margret. Her most iconic roles showcased her fiery hair, creamy skin, flashing turquoise eyes, gorgeous figure, seductive purr, and the unmatched energy and flair of her dancing. She was […]
And a special tribute to the late Eric “Eazy-E” Wright: And here is Fab Five Freddy back in the day taking to NWA for “Yo! MTV Raps” In the movie, we get a glimpse of the famous pool parties — […]
Many thanks to John Hanlon for including me in his new “Must-Read Reviews” feature, rounding up the sharpest, funniest, and angriest critic responses to “Fantastic Four.” Plus one from a guy who liked it! Be sure to check out his […]
Awards are big money, a huge influence on ticket-buyers. And that means studios spend big money to try to get them. Three-time Oscar nominee Edward Norton spoke out about the abuses of the system in an Indiewire interview. Not to […]
We are delighted to have an exclusive clip from “Dinotrux,” the new series for kids on Netflix, available August 14, 2015.
This is a fascinating article about the “Mostly Lost Films” festival at the Library of Congress theater. Experts of all kinds come together to try to identify the films through the smallest details indicating a time or place. [T]he “Mostly […]
I have an official Mockingjay pin to give away! To enter the contest, send an email to email@example.com and put Mockingjay in the subject line. Tell me your favorite character in “The Hunger Games” and don’t forget your address! (US […]
David Foster Wallace was a very private person who committed suicide in 2008. He is also one of the foremost authors of contemporary literature. After his death, writer David Lipsky published a book based on the audiotapes from a four-day […]
New from The Beginners Bible — Three New Testament stories: Jesus and His Miracles, The Good Samaritan, and The Prodigal Son, featuring an original theme song from Kathie Lee Gifford. This is a simple, accessible introduction to these timeless stories […]
Jeffrey Morris is known as FutureDude. He took that name because he was “frustrated as the guy who was into science and into arts and culture interconnected to science and technology and humanity and that sort of thing. I couldn’t […]
New on Netflix: Dinotrux! It’s based on the books by Chris Gall. Dinotrux are huge creatures are half dinosaur, half construction vehicle. Ty Rux is a Tyrannosaurus Trux, and his best friend Revvit is a razor-sharp Reptool. Together they fight […]
Dorothy McKim produced one of my favorite of the recent Disney short films, “Get a Horse,” which brought old-time Mickey Mouse into the era of 3D CGI with an eye-popping, with a hilariously intricate choreography that literally jumps out of […]
“Aren’t you allowed to have two dreams?” The person asking the question is Ricki (as she is now known), played by Meryl Streep. She has just accused her ex-husband, Pete (Kevin Kline), of not supporting her dream of playing rock […]
Form illuminates content in this imperfect but compelling film based on the real-life audiotapes of a four day interview of author David Foster Wallace in the final days of his book tour for Infinite Jest. The subject of the interview […]
“Shaun the Sheep is another adorably quirky animated film from Aardman, the folks behind “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run.” it is a wordless pleasure about a flock of sheep who have an adventure when they get bored with their […]
Three things a superhero movie should not be: dreary, dull, and tedious. Three things this movie is: see if you can guess. I am a huge fan of the comic book series Fantastic Four, which I first read as a […]
No writer has influenced me more than Louisa May Alcott, and it runs in the family. My mother’s name is Josephine, like Alcott’s most famous (and most autobiographical) character, and she was inspired by Little Women to insist on being […]
Ashley Smith made headlines when she touched the heart of the man who took her captive by reading to him from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. Her own book is Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage […]
The brother and sister team of Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel made this documentary romantic comedy about a 21st century Indian-American man facing some 16th century ideas about arranged marriages.
I am a big fan of Mamie Gummer, who has a recurring role on “The Good Wife” as opposing counsel Nancy Crozier and who played medical professionals in two television series, “Emily Owens, M.D.” and “Off the Map.” This week, […]
Slate has a very funny supercut inspired by a scene in “Paper Towns,” where Cara Delevingne climbs through the window of her next door neighbor, played by Nat Wolff. Apparently every movie about teenagers features someone climbing through a window.
The Film Experience has a put together a list of the 200 oldest movie stars, from age 82-105. It includes two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland (“Gone With the Wind”), John Wayne c0-star Maureen O’Hara, and century-old Norman Lloyd, who appeared […]
I love this supercut of Tom Cruise’s best running scenes, first because it shows the range of films he’s worked in over the decades, and the different ways different directors and cinematographers shoot the scenes (and some similarities), and because […]
Ed Asner stars in this new film about a young man who finds a book at his grandmother’s memorial, with a series of fantastical tales that his grandfather wrote for his grandmother. Each is a different romantic fantasy about how […]
August is usually one of the slowest months of the year for major movie releases, but this year we have some prospects that could include both blockbusters and indie critical darlings. I’m especially looking forward to: August 5 Shaun the […]
“Vacation” is a gross, dumb disappointment. If you want to see Ed Helms in a much better raunchy comedy, try the neglected gem Cedar Rapids. Helms plays a mild-mannered, small town insurance guy who is tapped at the last minute […]
DC Super Heroes Origami: 46 Folding Projects for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and More! is filled with great craft projects that incorporate some sneaky math lessons into origami versions of iconic superheroes.
You think you’ve seen it before? Well, it is a familiar situation. Hitchcock had an assassin waiting in a concert hall for the right moment to shoot and our hero trying to stop it — twice, in the original “Man […]
Once upon a time, network television news was dignified, objective, and delivered in stentorian, voice-of-God tones by white, vaguely Protestant men, in half-hour increments at the dinner hour. And then, in 1968, third-ranked network ABC, unable to compete with CBS […]
Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism is now a film starring Dominic Monaghan (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), Lesley Manville (“Maleficent”), Emily Watson (“The Theory of Everything”) and Joan Collins (ABC’s “Dynasty”) and Raffey Cassidy, […]
Joshua Oppenheimer has made “a companion piece” to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a million Indonesians in the mid-1960’s, “The Act of Killing.” In “The Look of Silence,” we see Adi, the brother of one of […]
My friend Kevin McCarthy asked Tom Cruise how he shot that incredible stunt that has him holding onto the side of a plane while it takes off for “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.” The 53-year-old actor did the stunt himself, […]
“Risen” is the story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer played by “Shakespeare In Love’s” Joseph Fiennes. It will be in theaters in January 2016.
Oprah Winfrey’s seven-chapter series “Belief” starts on October 18, 2015. It follows some of the world’s most fascinating spiritual journeys through the eyes of the believers. Episodes include: the largest peaceful gathering in the history of the world as a […]
Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker and her co-host A.J. Hakari for inviting me back to Movie Addict Headquarters to talk about Comic-Con and “Minions.” Check Out Movies Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Betty Jo Tucker on BlogTalkRadio with […]
I didn’t like the first one. I didn’t like the sequels. Keep that in mind when I tell you that I really did not like this latest in the gross-out, mean-spirited “Vacation” series, this time with the next generation going […]
A fascinating look at what made Warner Brothers cartoons work. Surprisingly, within these anarchic worlds, there were a lot of rules. This video has some very thoughtful commentary, including Leonard Maltin and Steven Spielberg.
This is a great time of year for families to share wonderful movies, and I am thrilled to have a terrific prize package of four great family movies to give away. To enter, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with […]
Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, the first woman to earn top honors in history at Oxford, fluent in six languages, and one of the great adventurers and scholars of the 20th century. Her spiritual home was the Middle East, where […]
Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn star in “Mississippi Grind,” about two gamblers, one successful, one not, who join forces and go on the road together.
“Ant-Man” begins with a flashback to 1989, with Michael Douglas appearing not as he looks to day but as he looked 25 years ago. How did they do that? Special effects that are called “digital make-up.” New York Magazine’s Vulture […]
New from PBS: Tales From the Royal Wardrobe. Historian Dr. Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, explains that the fascination with the clothes worn by the royals is not a recent development. And the monarchs have used and […]
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT I had a few more thoughts about Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” that didn’t fit into my review because they are too spoilery. First, our concerns over Schumer’s party girl character, also called Amy, are supposed […]
Thanks to my friend and fellow film critic Eddie Pasa for sharing this short film by Patrick Jean, the inspiration for this week’s “Pixels.”
The American Film Institute has its top 100 list and the Library of Congress has its National Film Registry. But how do movie critics around the world see our films? The BBC prepared a list of the 100 greatest American […]
My friend and fellow critic Michael Mirasol has shared another of his brilliantly edited supercuts of movie moments, and this is one of his best. There’s nothing the movies do better than chases!
Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart and Sofia Carson star as the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains in Disney’s “Descendants,” a live-action movie premiering July 31, 2015 on the Disney Channel.
Didactic and unabashedly manipulative, “Southpaw” borrows from almost every boxing movie ever made. It telegraphs every development and then, in case we missed it, tells us what just happened. The dialogue is purplish and melodramatic. The filmmaking is self-consciously arty, […]
Everyone has one. That unobtainable dream we longed for when we were first learning what it felt like to be in love. For most of us, these impossible-to-attain objects of our desire are like training wheels to keep us from […]
I never thought I’d see Max Headroom or “Fantasy Island” again, much less have to explain them to someone sitting next to me who was a toddler when they were on television, but Adam Sandler is still relentlessly working his […]
Lillete Dubey stars with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and Richard Gere in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, available now on DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming video. Dubey plays the formidable Mrs. Kapoor, the disapproving mother of the eternally optimistic proprietor […]
The wildly popular Goosebumps horror-comedy series for kids by R.L. Stine is now a movie!
Yes, a bit “Before Sunrise,” but there’s nothing wrong with that. And I love Chris Evans and Alice Eve. And love stories.
Common Sense Media has developed Digital Compass to help tweens learn about safety, privacy, and “digital citizenship,” as they begin to go online by themselves and get their first smartphones. Designed by Common Sense for middle schoolers, this engaging game helps […]
Twenty years ago this week, when there were only a few thousand websites and not one from a corporation or publication, I decided to publish movie reviews online from a parent’s point of view. In honor of that anniversary two […]
We mourn the loss of actor/singer/activist Theodore Bikel, who has died at age 91. The multi-lingual performer was the original Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” on Broadway and played the role of Tevye in “Fiddler on the […]
Amy Schumer appeared on Michael Ian Black’s brilliant interview series, “How to Be Amazing.” In this clip, she talks about creating her stand-up persona and “tricking people into listening.” You can download the hour-long interview for free, as well as […]
“Joy” reunites Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and writer/director David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Hustle”) in a multi-generational story, opening in December 2015.
“Ant-Man” has great special effects and a fun storyline but its real strength is the cast, several of my favorite performers. They may look familiar. Paul Rudd has been one of the most appealing actors in Hollywood since “Clueless” came […]
In Rocky, Sylvester Stallone played the title character, who got a one-in-a-million chance to fight the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). In this film, Rocky is training the son of Apollo Creed, played by one of my favorite young […]
San Diego Comic-Con is known for big, loud, and splashy promotions for movies and television series, especially those featuring superheroes. So it was a delight to come across the tiny “billboard” for “Ant-Man,” smaller than a shoebox, that was the […]
Both of the big nationwide releases this week have widely distributed trailers that include scenes that are not actually in the movie. I’ve written about this before. Sometimes the movie is still being edited as the trailer is being prepared. […]
The 2015 Kennedy Center honorees are: George Lucas Rita Moreno Cicely Tyson Carole King The Eagles Seiji Ozawa
Actor/director/producer Norman Lloyd appears in “Trainwreck” as the resident of an assisted living facility. He’s been an actor for 80 years. He was the villain in Hitchcock’s “Saboteur,” hanging from the hand of the Statue of Liberty. He worked with […]
Judd Apatow has made a bunch of raunchy comedies about man-children who have to learn to grow up and embrace the joys of intimacy and responsibility, and one raunchy comedy (“This is 40″) about a couple who have to learn […]
I was thrilled to be invited to be on two of the best panels at Comic-Con. Every year, movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives attendees the chance to talk back to the critics at “Your Opinion Sucks!” Each person is […]
Based on the stirring true story, Kate Mara and David Oyelowo star in the story of two desperate people whose lives are changed when he takes her hostage and she reads to him from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life. […]
The Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010 was The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos), an Argentinian film that is part cold-case detective story about a missing, perhaps murdered, girl, part love story. The […]
At the end of the last “Kung Fu Panda” movie we got a hint that our hero, an adopted son of a loving father, would get his first chance to meet his biological family. In this new chapter, Po (Jack […]
One thing I look for every year at San Diego Comic-Con is new technology. One looked like silly fun — you can insert your smartphone into a re-designed Mattel Viewmaster that will turn your photos into 3D. Also fun, from […]
Bella Heathcote (“Dark Shadows”) and Douglas Booth (“Romeo and Juliet”) play Jane and Mr. Bingley in the latest of innumerable movie and television adaptations of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. While I have not seen them all, I feel […]
It’s the mash-up that had to happen. In Scooby-Doo! & KISS:Rock & Roll Mystery, Daphne has an enormous crush on KISS member Starchild, so she tells her Mystery Inc. pals they’ve been summoned to solve a mystery at KISS World, […]
People camped out for days to see this panel — and it was worth it!
I was thrilled to be invited by Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media to appear on a panel discussion if and how to share our nerdy passions with our children. I was even more thrilled when I found out who […]
In my book, The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies, there is a discussion of “makeover movies.” Little girls and bigger ones see a lot of what I call “makeover movies:” in a crucial scene Our Heroine gets a new […]
Writer Katha Pollitt found herself learning how to drive for the first time when she was 52. She wrote about it ruefully in an essay that provides the title for Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories, which has now […]
Twin brothers known as The Krays” ran a brutal crime ring in 1960’s London. A new movie called “Legend” stars Tom Hardy as both of the identical twin brothers, Ronnie and Reggie Kray. A 1991 film called “The Krays” starred […]
The Minions should pay a little less attention to villains and a little more to penguins. Like “Madagascar’s” penguins, “Despicable Me’s” yellow minions were comic relief characters who took the lead in follow-up features. But the Minions are not quite […]
The longing for eternal life has inspired many stories, maybe most of them. What is creating a story itself if not a kind of search for immortality? Anne Rice created her series of books about vampires because the death of […]
The cutest items I saw on the Exhibition Hall this evening were these “Body Knockers” from famous movies. How many can you identify? One of the highlights of Preview Night is an exclusive sneak peek at some of the upcoming […]
Children with cancer learn two things, we hear in this documentary about a boy who is being treated for leukemia. They learn how to fight. And, because they are surrounded by caregivers, they learn compassion. When he was two, Miles […]
My friend Jen Chaney is one of the most knowledgeable and insightful writers about movies and pop culture I know. Her new book is an oral history of “Clueless,” based on interviews with writer/director Amy Heckerling and the stars and […]