The Washington Post has an article about a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies,” with some disturbing conclusions about parents’ ability to make good decisions about the impact some media […]
The New York Times asks, Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time? In a 2013 study, researchers found that children ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them from an electronic book had lower reading […]
Producers Todd and Jedd Wider generously took time to answer my questions about their documentary, “Mentor,” the story of two teenagers who committed suicide following relentless bullying. The film, which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 […]
The latest in Disney’s animated Tinkerbell series adds Ginnifer Goodwin to the cast. Coming in March of 2015, it explores the ancient myth of a mysterious creature whose distant roar sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell’s friend Fawn, an animal […]
Stephen Lang is best known for playing the villain in “Avatar.” But in “23 Blast,” based on the real-life story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player who lost his vision but stayed on the team, Lang plays a […]
Filmed as though it was almost entirely one long, stunning, audacious, breathless and breathtaking shot, “Birdman” (subtitled “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance”) explodes with ideas and visions, adopting the language of dreams to explore and upend the very idea of […]
This is a movie directed by two stunt men, which means it is pretty much a first-person shooter video game projected onto a movie screen. But that also means that it is directed by people who really know stunts and […]
23 Blast is the name of a football play, and “23 Blast” is based on the real story of Travis Freeman, a high school football star who lost his sight, but, with the help of a courageous coach and committed […]
Available in select theaters and nationwide VOD beginning Nov 21! For more info, please visit: http://littlehopewasarson.com. January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt, 10 churches burn to the ground in just over a month igniting the largest criminal […]
I’m very excited about the next Avengers movie, coming out next spring, and it’s a great trailer with the bleak images, random ballerinas, and creepy re-do of the classic song from “Pinocchio” (Disney loves to dip into its own archive, […]
The documentary “Art and Craft” is the extraordinary story of two men. One is Mark Landis, an artist who created counterfeit paintings and then disguised himself as various philanthropist personas and donated them to art museums over three decades. The […]
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it. Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available […]
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable (“The Good Wife,” “Happiness”). But his extensive career has included wild comedies (“Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” “Anchorman 2″), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in […]
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It’s always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty […]
You didn’t think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, […]
David Suchet (PBS’ Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need […]
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: “Moana,” with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”) in […]
Here’s a cute reminder on movie theater manners.
Writer/director Ted Melfi got Bill Murray to appear in his first film by calling him. Murray does not have an agent or a manager. He has an 800 number. And Melfi left message after message until Murray finally called back […]
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about how important it is to watch a movie as it was filmed. If it was made on film stock, is it unfair to the artists’ vision to watch […]
Pixar artist Armand Baltazar has a forthcoming three-book children’s series called Timeless, about a world in which all time periods come together, and all nows are at the same time. A boy and friends from different time periods must rescue […]
Get ready for Halloween with Scholastic’s “Day of the Dead” DVD, featuring four spooky (but not too scary) tales. In the title story, by Bob Barner and narrated by Rita Moreno, two children celebrate their ancestors on this Latin American […]
History, Winston Churchill reminds us, is written by the victors. But sometimes those victors have some second thoughts, more complex thoughts, about the nature of heroism, patriotism, and the spoils (in both senses) of war. And sometimes people want to […]
Jorge Gutierrez (Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre”) is co-writer and director of a dazzling new animated film that all but explodes off the screen in a kaleidoscope of color and energy and a love of life and storytelling and colorful characters and […]
A crude, inconsiderate, bitter slacker — Bill Murray could play that in his sleep. And it would be pretty good. But he doesn’t. Bill Murray gives a beautiful, wise, complex performance as Vincent, an angry old man who drinks too […]
Before I turn to whitesplaining this film, I will begin by suggesting that you read what Aisha Harris at Slate and what my friends and fellow critics Travis Hopson and Stephen Boone have to say first. If I did not […]
Every year I look forward to Dr. Toy’s list of the best toys and games for kids. Steveanne Auerbach is the author of Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/ Smart Toys and a respected expert on toys that encourage learning and imagination. […]
“Dear White People” is fresh, provocative, timely, and very funny. In the tradition of “Higher Learning” and “School Daze,” it is the story of four black students at an Ivy League college, all making different choices about adapting or challenging […]
Interviewing David Dobkin was a double pleasure for me. First, I loved the film he co-wrote and directed, “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. And second, he is the son of old friends Jim and Irma Dobkin, […]
New York really brought it to this year’s Comic-Con! Lots of Maleficents this year, and lots of Harvey Dents. Here are some of the best costumes I saw. (All photos copyright 2014 Nell Minow)
“Old-Fashioned” will be in theater for Valentine’s Day 2015.
Zane is the pseudonym of the author of steamy novels and founder of two publishing imprints. “Addicted,” which opens on Friday, is based on her novel about a woman who risks her loving marriage with three affairs due to sexual […]
This was my first time at New York Comic-Con and it was a blast. Highlights included: About 30 people dressed as Deadpool danced onstage to “We Need a Hero.” Just Dance 2015 had a great set up right in the […]
It’s a Cinderella story times two. Carissa and Michael Alvarado had a romance right out of a fairy tale. And then their creative and professional dreams came true. One moment they were uploading six-second covers of popular songs to Vine […]
It’s funny how every so often there are multiple movies about the same subject or idea. I can understand when there were three movies about farm families at the time (“Country,” “The River,” “Places in the Heart”) when small farms […]
Pennsylvania native Courtney Baxter attends Pace University in Manhattan as a double major in Economics and Film Studies. In her early teens, Courtney filmed over a dozen national commercials and also appeared in television shows such as Gossip Girl, 30 […]
One of the most highly anticipated films of the year is Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” starring Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey. An intriguing website invites fans to explore the world of the movie.
Thanks, as always, to my pal Nick DiGilio for having me on the show at WGN to talk about “Boxtrolls,” “Gone Girl,” and some of the best movie teachers.
Here’s what New York Comic-Con attendees got to see yesterday — a sizzle reel from Disney’s upcoming “Big Hero 6.”
The winners of the Boxtrolls t-shirts are: Kristen M, Hawaii Lainie K, Pennsylvania Many thanks to all who entered! Keep checking for more contests soon.
One of my favorite songs, performed by many of my favorite performers. Here’s the guide to who’s who.
Robert Downey Jr. gives his best performance since “Chaplin” in “The Judge,” an absorbing story of family, redemption and home. Downey co-produced and stars as Hank Palmer, a Chicago criminal defense attorney known for doing whatever it takes to get […]
Sometimes an honest, crusading, investigative reporter uncovers corruption and deceit and the result is triumph, a Pulitzer Prize, humiliating resignations and criminal convictions of the guilty and an Oscar-winning movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. And sometimes, instead, the […]
We’ve all had them. Some days, nothing goes right. The classic children’s book from Judith Viorst is about a little boy who wakes up with gum in his hair to a day that includes a dentist appointment, kissing on television, […]
In a sad case of life imitating art, Robert Downey, Jr., lost his mother just before the release of “The Judge,” in which he plays a brash lawyer who must return home for his mother’s funeral. Downey’s tribute to his […]
I’m excited about my first-ever visit to New York Comic-Con, which opens tonight at the Javits Center in Manhattan. I’ll be there Saturday and Sunday. Highlights will include a 75th anniversary celebration for Marvel, glimpses of upcoming films like Disney’s […]
In honor of this week’s release of the glorious Diamond Edition of Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty,” the studio has released some crafts projects for families to enjoy.
An overly optimistic, yet inept, alien race named Boov, led by Captain Smek, invades Earth to hide from their mortal enemy and make it a new home.Convinced they are doing a favour, they begin to relocate the human race, but […]
I’m a big fan of Common Sense Media. I helped them get started and have been very impressed by how much they have achieved. They have just awarded their first-ever seal of approval to this week’s release of “Alexander and […]
I love “The Book of Life,” the spectacular new animated film produced by Guillermo del Toro, with voice talent that includes Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube. It has adventure, music, laughter, great music, and lots of […]
Great news! The 2015 Critics Choice Awards will be broadcast on A and E! This is one of my favorite events of the awards season, and I hope to be there on January 15, 2015. Stay tuned for more details!
“The Good Lie” is a moving, inspiring story of Lost Boys (and a girl) from Sudan to immigrate to the US, a must-see for middle and high schoolers and their families. This featurette takes us behind the scenes and focuses […]
Bill Smitrovich appeared most recently in “The November Man” with Pierce Brosnan as a CIA official with some secrets even his colleagues did not know. He has had an extensive and varied career in theater (“Of Mice and Men”), television […]
A mischievous little girl named Ava and a “liger” (part lion, part tiger) named Lala go on an adventure in a magical land filled with animals in “Ava & Lala.” I have two copies of this charming DVD to give […]
Many thanks to Jenna Busch and the Legion of Leia for bringing to my attention this total fabulousness. Super-comfy-looking Batmobile slippers, now available at Hot Topics: And what better activity to engage in while wearing Batmobile slippers than playing your very own […]
How We Got to Now is a new PBS series with Steven Johnson explaining how six inventions and innovations transformed the future to create our world. They are: REFRIGERATION – How our mastery of “cold on demand” helped give birth […]
Meet the Mormons is a feature-length documentary that tells the stories of six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world. The film will appear in theaters across the United States beginning on October […]
First it was a concept album of ethereally bittersweet songs from the French group Dionysos, and then it was a graphic novel, and now, writer/musician Matthias Malzieu has brought his tenderhearted fantasy love story to the screen in the animated […]
“Left Behind” is being marketed as Christian entertainment, but it does not qualify in either category. It is far inferior to the modestly budgeted but sincere straight-to-DVD starring Kirk Cameron, based on the blockbuster best-selling book series by Tim LaHaye […]
P.T. Anderson is one of the most fascinating filmmakers of all time, writing and producing brilliant movies like “Boogie Nights” to “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “The Master.” His latest film looks like an Elmore Leonard-style story of low-down […]
Brooke Shields, Drake Bell, and Matthew Lillard star in “Under Wraps,” which will be out on DVD October 14, 2014. Danny and older sister Eleanor fall into an adventure of a lifetime when Danny accidentally unleashes a centuries old curse […]
Amy (Rosamund Pike) is watching television, vitally, even viscerally enthralled by what is happening on screen. The look on her face, mingled fascination and calculation, a hint of tooth and claw under her placid, golden girl beauty, is one of […]
“The Good Lie” wisely casts Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll, who are outstanding as always, as sympathetic employment agency representatives helping refugees from Sudan find work in Kansas. And then it even more wisely keeps those characters in the background […]
The Recess Monkeys and Sparky the Fire Dog are here to help families learn about fire safety.
We are thrilled to be the first to release this exclusive clip from next week’s “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day,” starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, based on the classic book by Judith Viorst.
I am so excited about this! Steve Taravella, author of the wonderful Mary Wickes: I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before, and I will host an tribute to Wickes at DC’s Hill Center on November 16, 2014. And we will […]
Christian Bale and Sir Ben Kingsley star in “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the story of Moses and the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It opens this December.
Happy October! This month is when we start to get the big, award-hopeful fall releases. Some of the highlights of what’s ahead this month include: October 3: “Gone Girl,” with Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, and Tyler Perry in the sizzling […]
Fans of The Princess Bride, which means pretty much everyone, will love the new book from Cary Elwes (Westley), who takes us behind the scenes for the inside story of the making of the film, from his nervous audition (his imitation […]
Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling into the easy conventions of many faith-based films. Bakke has a […]
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week’s “Gone Girl.” She’s been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It’s a good excuse to check out some of her […]
One of my favorite writers provides insights into one of my favorite (if flawed) movies — Matt Zoller Seitz created a beautiful video essay about Bob Fosse’s autobiographical “All That Jazz” for the Criterion Edition, and then they were unable […]
Be sure to tune in to PBS tomorrow night for what is sure to be one of the highlights from one of the all-time best series on PBS: “The Makers,” the story of women in America. Tomorrow’s episode is about […]
Once upon a time, there was no internet. And instead of bloggers and pundits and tweets we had something called public intellectuals, people who read widely, thought deeply, and wrote long, passionate, carefully reasoned, thoroughly documented and beautifully written articles […]
Based on a true story, “The Good Lie” is about young survivors of the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983. These children traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years […]
The gorgeous Hollywood Costume exhibit that has been getting rave reviews and massive crowds at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is coming to Los Angeles, its final stop. The costumes will be on display from October 2, 2014 […]
Coming November 7, 2014: Disney’s newest animated feature, “Big Hero Six,” about a loveable robot and the nerdy kids who have to save the day. If you want to get to know the characters better, read the graphic novels or […]
Many thanks to Dana Stevens and the Slate Spoiler Special podcast for inviting me to talk about “The Boxtrolls.”
Every story has at least two sides, especially the story of a relationship. Writer/director Ned Benson explores romance and loss from the perspective of the man (James McAvoy) and the woman (Jessica Chastain) in two separate films, “The Disappearance of […]
When you see the adorable “Boxtrolls” movie, you will want to dress like a boxtroll! Luckily for you, I have two Boxtrolls shirts to give away, one child size small, one adult size small (or child size large). To enter, […]
In 1977, a 27-year-old woman named Robyn Davidson took a dog and four camels and walked 1700 miles across the Australian desert. A National Geographic photographer met up with her four times to cover it for the magazine. That led […]
LAIKA Studios (Paranorman and Coraline) has created another loveably crooked world, this time inspired by Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters! (The Ratbridge Chronicles). It’s their first period setting, a sort of slightly bent Edwardian with a touch of steampunk, in the […]
The only thing nicer than having a real-life friend who could circumvent any obstacle of power or law or, you know, logic to deliver the roughest but most just of rough justice would be to have that friend be Denzel […]
Simon Pegg stars as Hector in this gentle fable based on the whimsical French novel by psychiatrist Francois Lelord. Like Lelord, Hector is a psychiatrist. He has a “tidy” life with a nice girlfriend named Clara (“Gone Girl’s” Rosamund Pike), nice […]
Many thanks to Criticwire for inviting me to participate in an intriguing survey: what films would you give to aliens to explain life on earth? Here’s what I wrote: I’d have to include a silent comedy, something that would be […]
Thanks to Matthew Rissien for this parody of “All About the Bass.” For something a little more spiritual, here’s Barbra Streisand singing the beautiful hymn “Avinu Malkeinu.” Translation: Our Father, Our King Be gracious and answer our prayers For we […]
Yesterday, I was honored to attend the Second Global Symposium on Gender in Media, held a the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. The keynote was delivered by Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in […]
College students start a sham Christian charity in Believe Me, written and directed by Will Bakke. We’re honored to have an exclusive early look.
In honor of the release of “The Boxtrolls” this week, I’m sharing some of the photos I took in July at Comic-Con, where I interviewed the cast and filmmakers and attended an “Eat Like a Boxtroll” lunch made up of […]
One of my favorite critics writes about one of his favorite movies in The Atlantic: the highlight of Christopher Orr’s outstanding series on the Coen Brothers‘ films is his essay on Miller’s Crossing. Whether you’re a fan of the Coens […]
One of the best new shows of the year is Anthony Anderson’s “Black-ish.” Anderson plays Andre “Dre” Johnson has a great job, a beautiful mixed-race doctor wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the mostly-white suburbs. […]
Mia Wasikowska plays real-life adventurer Robyn Davidson in “Tracks,” based on the 1980 international best-seller about her 1700-mile walk across Australia with four camels. A thoughtful interview with Davidson in The Australian describes her: Davidson is an enigma. With her […]
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. Parents and teachers who want to learn more can find out how to […]
There’s a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey […]
Alpha and Omega are back! And we are lucky to have an exclusive clip. It is available on Digital HD and On Demand tomorrow, and will be available on DVD at Walmart on October 7. Runt, Kate and Humphrey’s Omega […]
Children have more choices than ever on television, but some of the best viewing for kids is online. Common Sense Media has a great list of family-friendly YouTube stars. I’d add EvanTube to the list. Newsweek calls him The Most […]
The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, “Fiddler on the Roof,” which opened […]
Indiewire has a gorgeous array of Instagram feeds from Hollywood cinematographers. Be sure to talke a look so you can follow them.
Fast Company has an article about Omni Consumer Products, a “de-fictionalizing” company that looks for products in movies and television that do not really exist and makes them available. As the sole proprietor of Omni Consumer Products, [Pete] Hottelet is constantly […]
You can make a good movie about slackers, for example “Slackers,” from Richard Linklater and “Clerks” from Kevin Smith. But you can’t make a good movie by a slacker, and Smith does not seem willing to be anything more. There […]
A toddler carries his little potty out in front of the house so he can try out his new-found skill in public. Twice. Plus another time when the contents of the potty are first displayed for the family and then […]
Yes, it’s another dystopic YA trilogy (actually, there’s a fourth volume, a prequel), and yes, only a teenager with fabulous cheekbones can save the day. But “The Maze Runner” is not a lesser repeat. It is a worthy addition to […]
Any fan of film history and design will love this magnificent new book devoted to the iconic movie posters and other artwork from John Alvin, assembled and written by his widow, Andrea Alvin. John Alvin’s 40 years of movie poster […]
My deepest thanks to Tara Sonenshine for allowing me to publish her thoughtful comments on “Calvary,” starring Brendan Gleeson as a troubled priest in a small Irish town. It is a moving story of betrayal, despair, faith, and sacrifice. Faith […]
Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her “Sense and Sensibility” screenplay. She wrote and stars in “Effie Gray,” with Dakota Fanning, the real-life story of the Victorian art critic, John Ruskin (David Suchet), and his much-younger bride, Effie Gray. Tom […]
It is always a treat to see the worthy awardees of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grants.” The foundations awards are unique because you cannot apply for them and there are no restrictions on the use of the money given to […]
It was on September 17, 1789 that the US Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was not added until later, but let’s celebrate that, too. How many can you name? This will help you remember them.
Inspired by Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” this is the story of a weekend at a country house that includes a famous actress, her discontented son, and people who love the wrong people and are angry at each other — sometimes at […]
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence re-team in “Serena,” which looks very intriguing but does not yet have a US release date. Stay tuned.
Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series from Disney Junior featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many curiosities, but when Ella and her friends’ appetite for fun lands them in some […]
Country star Kellie Pickler joins the cast in “Beauty and the Beet,” from the Veggie Tales folks, coming out October 14, 2014. (With a name like that, it was just a question of time!) BEAUTY AND THE BEET, a brand-new […]
A great video for Back to School from the hilarious Holderness family!
James Franco has a new series on AOL Originals. He’ll be re-enacting classic movie scenes combined with other classic movie scenes.
Coming in 2015, “Paper Planes” stars Sam Worthington (“Avatar”).
I told you this was going to be great! Janelle Monae sings about “The Power of Yet” to remind us that if we can’t do something, we just have to keep trying.
I am delighted that all of the 153 episodes of “Gilmore Girls” will be available on Netflix, starting in October. This show had some of the most delightfully quirky characters and some of the most witty dialog in television history. Melissa McCarthy […]
Patricia Clarkson plays a sometimes-outrageous and insensitive mother of adult children in “Last Weekend,” written and co-directed by Tom Dolby. I’m delighted to be able to share an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse. Here’s the trailer.
The young human stars of Dolphin Tale, Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, are back for the delightful sequel. They conducted a charming Q&A session after a screening in Washington, D.C., always remembering to say “Good question!” to the children who […]
Author Dennis Lehane writes about a world of desperation, fear, and damaged people inflicting further damage. His novels have been filmed as “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone.” And now his short story, “Animal Rescue,” has been turned into “The […]
The warmest, wisest, most pleasurable live-action family film of the year is “Dolphin Tale 2,” even better than the 2011 original. This really is that rare movie for the whole family. The first film was inspired by the true story […]
This is an amazing deal. For a limited time, Amazon is offering a collection of 100 Warner Brothers classics at 75 percent off. Best of Warner Bros 100 Film Collection, including 22 Best Picture winners, a limited edition 27 x […]
The critics screening of this week’s release, “No Good Deed,” was cancelled just hours before we were supposed to see it. The reason: “There is a plot twist in the film that they do not want to reveal as it […]
Watch how Pixar uses the colors of the rainbow to create a mood, tell a story, and delight the eye.
We remember the unspeakable tragedy of 9/11 today as the losses of those devastating hours continue to bolster our resolve to eradicate terrorism and keep our families safe. CNN has updates on some of the people who helped us understand […]
Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me to talk about the movies I am most looking forward to this fall, along with my fellow critics Mack Bates and A.J. Hakari!
I wonder why there are three (so far) different stories coming out that tell us the same saga of an up-and-down romance from two different perspectives (POV, or point of view). “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” starring James McAvoy and […]
Every family will enjoy the 50th anniversary edition of the glorious Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Lesley Ann Warren, with Celeste Holm as the fairy godmother, Jo Van Fleet as the evil stepmother, and Walter Pidgeon and Ginger Rogers as […]
I love the Academy Originals series on YouTube. The latest asks actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers to name the first film that made them laugh.
I’m delighted to share some of the behind-the-scenes artistry that went into LAIKA Studios’ “The Boxtrolls.” You can see some of what I found so enchanting on my visit to the studio last spring.
Passion, betrayal, unprecedented power, triumph, failure, devastating loss, personal and professional turmoil, and triumph again, played out against the most tumultuous events of the 20th century — that is the real-life story of the Roosevelts, especially the two who served […]
SundanceNow Doc Club is a streaming video service for documentary lovers, a user-friendly place to go to find and watch quality documentaries, free of advertising interruptions. Doc Club offers a carefully curated selection of acclaimed documentaries, hand-picked by experts led […]
David Duchovny, Tim Hutton, and Hope Davis star in Louder than Words, a fact-based story about parents who find a way to pay tribute to the daughter they lost by building The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a state of the […]
I got to visit my pals at the Jeff and Jer show when I was in San Diego last week!
I am very excited about my friend Kevin Sampson’s new Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about diversity in the film industry. I’m supporting him — I hope many others will as well. This is a story that needs to […]
The NAACP has an all-star line-up of performers reminding parents to read to their children, including Bill Withers and Tatyana Ali. Take a listen — and follow their advice. There is no greater gift you can give your kids than […]
Talk about a win-win — take a look at Prizeo, where celebrities offer chances to win once-in-a-lifetime, dream-come-true prizes to people who support their charitable causes. Sir Paul McCartney, Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Jeff Gordon, One Direction, Lady Antebellum, Hunter […]
Can it really be two decades since we first met Friends? The beloved television series about the six 20-somethings who were all there for each other premiered 20 years ago, and in honor of that anniversary, a real-life version of […]
“The Song” follows aspiring singer-songwriter Jed King (Alan Powell) as he struggles to catch a break and escape the long shadow of his father, a country music legend. After reluctantly accepting a gig at a local vineyard harvest festival, Jed […]
Tomorrow on Oprah’s OWN channel is the premiere of “Help Desk,” with Gotham Chopra and a bunch of experts who sit at tables on the sidewalk like a lemonade stand, giving out advice to passers-by.
Can’t help it — I’m looking forward to this.
Fathom Events, BY Experience and National Theatre Live are presenting a live performance of Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire broadcast to select cinemas nationwide directly from London’s Young Vic Theatre in an extraordinary one-night event, Tuesday, September […]
Naomi Judd and Robert Loggia star in “Evergreen Christmas,” on DVD and VOD November 4, 2014. Leaving her seemingly glamorous Hollywood life on hold, Evie Lee is forced to return to her small hometown of Balsam Falls, Tennessee and her […]
“The One I Love” is pretty good as a movie and sublime as an exercise, especially an acting exercise. Just describing details about the story will require a huge spoiler alert, which I will insert below before giving away some […]
“The Identical” is an incompetent mishmash of mawkish sentimentality larded with a few pleasant musical numbers and some random asides about Israel. I’m not making this up. It is inspired by an intriguing fact. Elvis Presley was a twin. His […]
Joan Rivers has died at age 81. More abrasive than her trademark raspy voice, Rivers wanted to be an actress but became famous as a comedian, in an era when comedy was almost completely all-male. She did act, appearing on […]
ABC will be airing a tribute to the classic educational series “Schoolhouse Rock” on September 7. Now parents can sing along to “I’m Just a Bill” and “Conjunction Junction” and share with their kids these delightful and remarkably informative gems. […]
In “Thunder and the House of Magic,” a little cat named Thunder stumbles into an old mansion owned by a retired magician, filled with all kinds of tricks, machines and curios. When the magician’s greedy nephew puts the house up […]
SNL’s Bill Hader has a great list of the top 200 movies anyone interested in comedy should see. And of course that means that they’re great choices for anyone who likes to laugh. I love all of his choices and […]
I’m really looking forward to “Sonic Highways,” a new HBO series premiering in October. Dave Grohl crosses the country with the Foo Fighters to make music, recording a different track in each studio, and talks to a wide range of […]
It is annoying enough when someone near you in a movie theater takes out a cell phone to text. Imagine how it would be if you then saw the text on the screen. That’s what a Chinese theater is experimenting […]
Screen time is a treat, not a right. It’s a good idea to make sure that it comes only after homework, chores, other kinds of play, and family time. Make sure there is some quiet time each day as well. […]
The Ice Bucket Challenge has brought a lot of money and attention to a devastating illness, ALS or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s Disease for the the New York Yankee who had to leave baseball when he was […]
This month, TCM has an excellent series of films about the Jewish experience, every Tuesday. TCM proudly presents The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a weekly showcase of movies focusing on Jewish history and heritage as portrayed onscreen. […]
A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids. Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of […]
Happy September! There isn’t much new in theaters this Friday, but next week things start to pick up. Here’s the best of what’s coming in theaters this month: September 12: “Dolphin Tale 2″ This sequel to the endearing fact-based “Dolphin […]
Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for this real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. Doris Day plays a union […]
A few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014: A good summer for food movies: “The Chef,” “The 100-Foot Journey,” and “The Trip to Italy” had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention […]
Leonard Maltin was only 17 years old when he was offered the chance to create his guide to movies on television. For many years, I kept the latest copy on my desk and anyone who came into my office could […]
“Let’s Be Cops” is a dumb movie that wants to be like “Lethal Weapon” or “The Other Guys,” a comedy action film about buddies with badges. It’s moderate box office returns are possibly in part because the unrest in Ferguson […]
Two hit tunes from the hottest pop divas are both called “Bang Bang.” One is Beyoncé’s sultry, glamorous cover of the Cher oldie in this teaser for her HBO special. Ariana Grande, Jesse J, and Nicki Minaj have an unrelated […]
The football-headed Arnold and all his pals are here in this box set with all 99 adventures from the beloved Nickelodeon series. It’s available exclusively at Walmart, but I have a copy to give away! Send me an email with […]
Dylan Brody is a comedy writer and stand-up performer dubbed “brilliant” by Robin Williams. It was Williams’ tragic suicide that inspired Brody to write a moving essay about his own struggles with depression. Brody generously took time to talk with me […]
Sacla staged an impromptu Opera in the food aisles of a London grocery store. They planted five secret opera singers who were disguised as casual shoppers and store staff amongst the groceries who broke into song bringing the foodhall to […]
Juliette Lewis stars as a rocker-turned suburban mother of a newborn in “Kelly and Cal.” Here she tries to make friends with the other mothers, who treat her like mean girls shooing off a freshman who wants to sit at […]
Love is strange. As this movie opens, a deeply devoted couple of more than three decades wakes up and prepares for a big, important, emotional, happy occasion. They bicker a little bit, but it is clear to them and to […]
Top directors do more than movies. Take a look at these clips from Emmy-nominated television series and these music videos made by some of the most talented directors working in Hollywood, including Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), […]
Newcomer Daniel Schechter, who wrote one of my favorite neglected gems, The Big Bad Swim, worked with an all-star cast in “Life of Crime,” which he adapted from The Switch by Elmore Leonard and directed. It is set in 1970’s Detroit and […]
Pierce Brosnan knows what it is like to play a spy in a big-budget, glamorous, blockbuster. He was the most urbane of Bonds in four movies. He knows what it is to play a seedier spy in a prestige, mildly […]
“Thunder and the House of Magic” opens September 5, 2014.
This is hilarious and, I have to say, accurate. Thank you, John Atkinson of Wrong Hands!
I’m really looking forward to “Dolphin Tale 2,” even more so after seeing this music video by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the young actress who reprises her role as Hazel from the original film. Cozi’s song, which she wrote and performs herself, […]
Jane Lynch, Danny Glover, Brooke Shields, Bailee Madison, and Drake Bell provide the voices for “Adventure Planet,” an animated adventure for the whole family out today on DVD. Norva and Jorpe are siblings who live in the tropical forests of […]
Joey Fatone hosts the new HUB Network reality series “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” a real-life “Freaky Friday,” with parents and kids switching places. It airs Saturdays at 7 (6 Central).
I got a kick out of seeing what happened when Total Film asked the celebrities on junkets to interview each other.
It’s hard to imagine that there will be a more tender love story on screen this year than John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in “Love is Strange,” from writer/director Ira Sachs. They play a long-time couple who get married after […]
“When the Game Stands Tall” is based on the real-life story of the De La Salle High School Spartans football team, which had the longest winning streak of any team in any sport at any level 151 games in a […]
Schools are eliminating curricula to teach cursive writing, based on the assumption that what matters is keyboarding skills. But studies show that writing by hand helps you process and learn more effectively. It is important for fine motor skills as […]
Taylor Swift, who can be seen in “The Giver,” debuts her first pop album with this adorable video. There have been some online discussions about whether Swift is racially insensitive or even racist. That is a subjective assessment viewers will […]
Produced by a team of Deaf campers & staff from Deaf Film Camp 2014 at Camp Mark Seven.
“Love is Strange,” a tender, beautifully written and performed love story about a three decade relationship, stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. The MPAA has given the movie an R rating even though there is nothing in the film that […]
Hamlet asked it best. “To be, or not to be: That is the question.” We struggle through, worrying about whether someone likes us or whether we will be accepted at the school of our choice. Those seem like serious problems. […]
If you want to not just see but hear an eyeball being pulverized, then see “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.” If you want to see and hear it in the company of an audience who thinks that’s funny, […]
This dreary assemblage of every possible sports cliché has one thing in common with the game it portrays. Every time it seems to be going somewhere, it stops. More frustratingly, it wastes the opportunity to tell a good story by […]
This year has already seen a remarkable and perhaps unprecedented number of Christian and Biblically-based films, from big-budget epics like “Noah” and “Son of God” to small faith-oriented films like “God’s Not Dead.” There is an excellent summary of four Christian […]
One of the handsomest men alive spends almost the entire movie wearing a huge round paper maché head in “Frank,” a moving film inspired by the real-life story of the late Frank Sidebottom. Michael Fassbender plays Frank, a sweet-natured but […]
Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group […]
Get your food delivery menus ready. Unplug your phone. All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. They include scenes cut in syndication that have not been on television since the original broadcast. And of course they […]
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was born in Sweden. His family emigrated to […]
Don Pardo’s face was not familiar. But his voice was instantly recognizable. We mourn the loss of one of the great announcers in broadcast history, who died on Monday at age 96. The cast of “Saturday Night Live,” where he […]
Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week’s movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident. As she hovers between life and death, she […]
Remember when I explained how movie theater lobbyists created a loophole in the rules requiring places that serve food to let you know the calories and fat content of your purchases? I don’t think it’s likely to happen, but it’s […]
We are delighted to have an exclusive clip from the warm-hearted family film, Home Is Where the Heart Is — and even more delighted to have two copies to give away. “Trophy Wife’s” Bailee Madison, Laura Bell Bundy (“Heart of […]