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.” […]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 […]
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 […]
“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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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!
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
I love the way Wil Wheaton sort of plays himself on “The Big Bang Theory.” The characters interact with him as Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: TNG” and star of “Stand By Me” (and “Serial Apeist 2″). But […]
David Gordon Green has directed intimate, natural dramas (“George Washington,” “All the Real Girls”) and wild comedies (“Pineapple Express,” “Eastbound and Down”). His new film, “Manglehorn,” is a gentle story with magical realism elements, starring Al Pacino as the title […]
Winston Graham’s Poldark novels about a dashing Revolutionary war veteran inspired a very successful 1977 PBS series, now remade with “Hobbit” star Aiden Turner in the title role. It is available today on DVD.
Dana Nachman is the director of the heartwarming documentary “Batkid Begins.” She talked to me about how one five-year-old cancer survivor’s Make a Wish story captivated the entire world. At the screening I attended there was audible weeping. I also […]
“Inside Out” is not just one of the best movies of the year (animated and live action). It is also one of the most psychologically profound and astute films about emotions and the mind ever made. It set the all-time […]
Win a copy of the sweet romance, “Old Fashioned,” from PureFlix. It set a record with the highest opening for faith film on less than 300 screens. Director and star of the film Rik Swartzwelder has said he wanted to […]
There’s no US release date set at the moment for this film, also known as “Leading Lady,” but I hope we get to see it. The actress is Katie McGrath, currently in “Jurassic World” and soon to appear in the […]
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years. She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children’s programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina characters […]
Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” She […]
“Hope Bridge” is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others […]
Coming next month on DVD, “No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie” is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real hero. A beloved […]
Underdog Kids is family film about a karate team of misfits, available on VOD and DVD July 7, 2015. Adam Irigoyen (Disney’s “Shake It Up!” and “Wizards of Waverly Place”), Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6, Nickelodeon’s “Supah Ninjas”), Cade Sutton […]
Lorne Balfe composed the score for “Terminator Genisys,” the fifth in the series, which takes place in three different time period, some very dystopian. He talked to me about creating a sound that conveyed the mechanistic themes and how he […]
NCIS star Cote de Pablo gives a behind the scenes look at the making of the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett produced miniseries, The Dovekeepers. Adapted from Alice Hoffman’s novel, “The Dovekeepers” follows a group of extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for […]
I asked actor/dancer Stephen “tWitch” Boss whether it was as much fun to make “Magic Mike XXL” as it looked, and he said, “Absolutely and even more. People have been asking me what I would say to guys that are […]
Martin Sheen and Amy Grant provide the voices in this animated animal adventure inspired by Noah’s Ark, from Entertainment One (eOne). “All Creatures Big and Small” will be available for free for a limited time on Google Play starting July […]
Thanks to Sam Adams and Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about our favorite movies from the perspective of a child. Here was my answer: “To Kill a Mockingbird” somehow captures the voice of the novel in […]
David and Christi Eaton wanted to help families devastated by suicide and those who struggle with thoughts of suicide. And so they wrote “Hope Bridge.” I spoke with them about how a busy couple with six children who had never […]
Coming in summer 2016 from Pixar.
“Honeyglue” follows the story of Morgan (Adriana Mather), who flips her conservative, protected life upside down after learning she has three months left to live. She sets out on a bucket list of adventures with a purse snatching ex-junkie cross […]
Big Game, now in theaters and on VOD, is an exciting action movie about Oskari, a Finnish kid on a solo hunting trip, who has to save the President of the United States when he is ejected from Air Force […]
Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”) stars in Dancer and The Dame. Gardell plays Rick Dancer, a wisecracking, disgruntled detective who is long past his prime. Only with the help of Princess, a fussy and fastidious canine cop, can Dancer break […]
Will Ferrell plays a devoted stepdad who gets into a competition for the kids’ attention and affection with their biological dad, played by Mark Wahlberg, in “Daddy’s Home.”
We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the DVD extras on Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. It’s a lot of fun to see Kevin James mess up his lines! It’s available on Digital HD June 30, 2015 and […]
“Infinitely Polar Bear” is the term a young girl uses in this film for bipolar disorder, the mental illness that her father struggled with as he cared for his daughters. And it lets us know that this sensitive, touching […]
Writer/director Patrick Brice talked to me about his funny and provocative new film, “The Overnight,” about a couple new to Los Angeles (Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling) who are invited to dinner at the lavish home of an impossibly hip […]
Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”), David Tennant (“Dr. Who”), and Billy Connolly (“Brave”) star in a family comedy about a vacation with relatives, where a couple discovers that it is very hard to keep a secret when there are children around. […]
Boz Yakin wrote and directed “Max,” the story of a weapons-sniffing military dog whose human partner is killed. So traumatized he can no longer work, he goes to live with the grieving family and is cared for by their younger […]
Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old (she turns 18 this July) was singled out, along with her father, […]
One of the greatest movie composers of all time, James Horner, died this week in a plane crash. His compositions added enormous depth and emotion to some of the all-time critical and audience triumphs, including the movie that broke the […]
Before “Inside Out,” there was another animated film that explored emotions and psychological and cognitive development. Based on the pioneering work of psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, animators John and Faith Hubley created “Everybody Rides the Carousel,” with segments illustrating Erikson’s stages […]
We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle, released today. The soundtrack is also available. And don’t forget to take a selfie with Curious George! When Curious George is asked to take […]
Antonia Bogdanovich is the co-writer and director of “Phantom Halo,” the story of two brothers and their father, a one-time Shakespearean actor who forces them to steal to support his gambling and alcohol addictions. The brothers are named for the […]
Ever wonder what your pets get up to while you’re away? Jenny Slate, Steve Coogan, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper and Louis C.K. will tell you all about it!
Thirty years ago, a college comedy called “Real Genius” was released, and it is good to see that it holds up well. It is even more apt in some ways now than it was when it came out. Tor’s Emily […]
Happy Father’s Day! And extra Father’s Day love to the two great dads in my life, my father and my husband. These are three of my favorite movie dads. Give the dad in your life an extra hug and ask […]
The first-ever animated feature from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special presents six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project, where everyday people sit down together to […]
This animated film is inspired by the life of Bilal Ibn Rabah, one of Muhammad’s most trusted companions and known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers.
Writer/director Maya Forbes did not just base her new film on her own childhood; she had her sister contribute to the soundtrack and cast her daughter as Amelia, the character inspired by Forbes herself. The film covers the period when […]
In honor of Father’s Day, my eBook, 50 Must-See Movies: Fathers is FREE through Monday, June 22, 2015. What do “Wall Street” and the “Star Wars” saga and, seemingly, about half the movies ever made have in common? They are about […]
In this clip, we meet two of the emotions living inside toddler-age Riley: Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black). I love the way emotions thought of as negative are shown here to play an essential and even constructive role.
Summer vacation is a great time to get kids into the habit of reading. Rude Cakes is deliciously imaginative and witty. Writer/illustrator Rowboat Watkins introduces us to the title pastries who are indeed very rude. They do not say please […]
LeBron James talks about how much he loves Cleveland in this clip from Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck,” with Bill Hader.
I am a big fan of critic Lisa Rosman, and her appreciation of “Rosemary’s Baby” for Word & Film is one of her best. On the surface, an Australian import about a mother and child haunted by a children’s book […]
My friend Susan Wloszczyna interviewed “Inside Out’s” co-writer/director Pete Docter for IndieWire. The film takes place primarily inside the mind and emotions of an 11-year-old girl who has just moved to a new home and a new city with her […]
Two of Hollywood’s top filmmakers have new books out, and both, unusually, are compilations of interviews with creative people. Judd Apatow, one of the most influential writer/director/producers of the last twenty years, has written Sick in the Head: Conversations About […]
Ben Foster plays Lance Armstrong and Chris O’Dowd plays David Walsh, the Irish journalist who uncovered the story about Armstrong’s use of dope and his lies. Walsh’s book is Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong.
Jimmy Cagney plays George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Happy Flag Day!
In 1996, David Lipsky was assigned by Rolling Stone to write a profile of author David Foster Wallace, and so they spent five days together while Wallace was finishing his promotional tour for his book, Infinite Jest. After Wallace committed […]
Of course the dinosaurs and the geniuses at ILM who created them are the real stars of “Jurassic World.” But the highest compliment we can pay the human performers is that they can hold their own next to the CGI […]
The Chicago Tribune asked actors and filmmakers what books they would like to see adapted for the screen. “Selma” director Ava DuVernay picked Octavia Butler’s time travel story Kindred. Ethan Hawke picked the provocative Story of the Eye by Georges […]
In 1975, a Boulder, Colorado county clerk issued six marriage licenses to gay couples, including Filipino-American Richard Adams and his Australian husband, Tony Sullivan. Richard immediately filed for a green card for Tony based on their marriage. But unlike most […]
“Pass the Light” follows 17-year-old high school student Steve Bellafiore (Cameron Palatas) as he decides to stand up against a congressional candidate’s use of religion to spread hatred and intolerance. Steve runs for Congress on a campaign of uniting the […]
“Spy” beat “Entourage” last weekend in the battle of the two R-rated raunchy comedies. The one featuring women in all the lead roles was first at the box office with a robust $29.1 million, and the one featuring men in […]
What if there really was a Jurassic World theme park? It would have a Jurassic World website just like this one. It has attraction wait times, fun facts, scheduled special events, and even some warnings not to tap on the […]
“Freedom” interweaves two stories of slavery. In one, an enslaved family led by Samuel (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) escapes via the Underground Railroad. In the other, set a century earlier, John Newton, the captain of a slave trader sails from Africa […]
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only […]
Working with real-life paleontologist Jack Horner to create a very scary new dinosaur!
Best-selling author Joseph Finder knows thrillers, and his list of the best heist stories is a great one. His newest book is The Fixer. It is the story of former investigative reporter Rick Hoffman who loses his job, his fiancée, […]
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up again in “Bridge of Spies,” with a screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen. It is based on the real-life story of an American lawyer recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to […]
“Where Was God?” is a documentary about “stories of hope after the storm,” the impact on the community of Moore, Oklahoma of an E5 storm with destructive power eight times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. I spoke to […]
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s story of ambition, murder, ghosts, witches, and madness.
Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan star in this film based on the fight to give women the right to vote in the UK. I wish it had been called “Suffragist,” the term the women themselves preferred (“suffragette” was used by […]
In this ad from Wells Fargo, a couple learns sign language to welcome their new daughter.
We are delighted to be able to share a clip from Dreamwork Dragons: Race to the Edge, coming from Netflix on June 26, 2015. Hiccup stumbles upon a mysterious, ancient treasure while exploring an abandoned, booby-trapped ship.
WINNERS OF THE 2015 CRITICS’ CHOICE TELEVISION AWARDS · Best Drama Series: The Americans (FX) · Best Actor in a Drama Series: Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul (AMC) · Best Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson, Empire (FOX) […]
The 1980’s cartoon series “Jem and the Holograms” is now a movie! It stars that Aubrey Peeples as Jem, Stefanie Scott as Kimber, Hayley Kiyoko as Aja, Aurora Perrineau as Shana, and Ryan Guzman as Rio, and it is scheduled […]
This new film from Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “Something’s Got to Give”) stars Anne Hathaway as a young executive with a new intern played by Robert De Niro.
Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow present four classic episodes on this new DVD from PBS Kids. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie read by Beth Howland, Owen read by Matthew Broderick, Two OId Potatoes and Me read by Jordan […]
The New Yorker has created a section with some of its best profiles of actresses, including Angela Bassett, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Tilda Swinton, and Katharine Hepburn. They are a treat to read and will inspire you to check out […]
Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, and Josh Lucas star in Wish You Well, a coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by David Baldacci, who also wrote the screenplay. Foy plays 12-year-old Louisa, who moves with her brother from New York […]
This is certainly turning out to be the year of the AI robot. This one stars Daniel Brühl and this time the robot is a child named EVA.
Tonight Turner Classic Movies has some time travel treats, including George Pal’s classic version of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine,” starring Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux. Also on the schedule is “Time After Time,” with Malcolm McDowell as Wells himself, […]
Minnie Mouse has a new business — a pet salon! And I have a copy to give away. All the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse friends are bringing their pets in for beauty treatments so they can participate in Pluto’s All-Star Pet […]
Picturehouse will be releasing “Big Stone Gap” this fall. It was filmed on location in Virginia and stars Ashley Judd as Ave Maria Mulligan, who lives a simple life with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs the real-life tourist attraction […]
Billy Gardell, star of television’s Mike & Molly, talked to me about his new film, Dancer & The Dame. He plays Rick Dancer. “He was once like a super detective and he kind of got obsessed chasing this bad guy […]
This new documentary tells the stories of the athletes who seek the freedom that comes from living in the moment and doing what makes us feel the most alive. This documentary written and directed by Jon Long (IMAX® Extreme) is […]
Daniel Tiger loves being outside and spending time with his family and friends. In these eight stories, he learns about swimming safely and visits the Enchanted Garden to pick strawberries. When a windstorm makes a mess of the playground, Daniel […]
Here’s a great sneak peek inside “Jurassic World,” coming to theaters on June 12, 2015.
Today we mourn the loss of actress/comedian Anne Meara, wife of Jerry Stiller and mother of actor/director Ben Stiller. Stiller and Meara were a comedy team who appeared frequently on the Ed Sullivan show. Their humor often focused on their […]
I’ve already written about great documentaries and feature films about the military to watch on Memorial Day. These recent documentaries about our 21st century conflicts give the military a chance to tell their own story. They are not pro-war or […]
The amazing Make-a-Wish story that captivated the world is now a movie, and I’ve been looking forward to it since I attended the event at last year’s Comic-Con. Can’t wait.
Brad Bird’s gorgeously imagined “Tomorrowland” is not just inspired by an area in the original Disneyland, celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, it is a tribute to the sensationally imaginative work of the “imagineers” and artists who created it and […]
Samantha Abbott (“How I Met Your Mother’s” Cobie Smulders) is a dedicated and passionate teacher at an inner-city Chicago high school. Just as she is coming to terms with her school closing, Samantha faces some life-changing and unexpected news: she […]
Brett Haley wrote and directed “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a bittersweet romance starring the luminous Blythe Danner as Carol, a widow taking some tentative steps toward love with Bill, a handsome new neighbor played by Sam Elliott. Haley […]
The wonderful Claire LaZebnik has written another terrific YA book. This one is Wrong About the Guy, the story of Ellie, a high school senior who lives with her mother, her musician stepfather, who has become unexpectedly famous as the […]
Reading Rainbow’s Kickstarter project has announced that its “Skybrary,” a subscription-based online library for kids, is here. Families can get access to more than 500 carefully selected books that children can read on smartphones or tablets, with new content added […]
The public interest and child advocacy groups that have charged Google and YouTube Kids with failing to meet their promise to screen videos and ensure that there is no material inappropriate for young children has come back to add new […]
It was a treat to talk to Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg), the award-winning, multi-platinum producer/composer who created the sensational soundtrack for Mad Max: Fury Road, ranging from orchestral to heavy metal, and now available for purchase. Coming up next, he […]
Seeds of Time is a documentary that seems like a terrifying science fiction story. It is about the efforts of Cary Fowler, funded by Bill Gates, to find, preserve, and store seeds from plants necessary for all life forms on […]
Zac Efron stars in “We Are Your Friends,” opening in August 2015.
A strange and lonely man tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life in this film, opening June 19, 2015.
One of my favorite critics interviewed one of my favorite actresses — Susan Wloszczyna spoke to Blythe Danner about her role in the bittersweet romance, “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Paltrow talks about introducing her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, to […]
Even the least ambitious films often include some philosophical questions about identity, meaning, and free will. But I enjoyed this list of philosophical films from The Guardian. All of them are worth seeing and all of the questions they raise […]
Carlos Pratt plays a real-life high school championship athlete in McFarland, USA, available on DVD and Blu-Ray June 2, 2015. Kevin Costner plays Coach Jim White, who has never coached running before when he helped a group of boys from […]
Miley Cyrus has founded a new nonprofit called Happy Hippies “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.” To help get the word out and help raise money, she is inviting her […]
250 words and a $99 entry fee can win you a movie theater. The Cape Ann Cinema is holding an essay contest to select the next owner. Owner Rob Newton says: I opened the living-room-style Cape Ann Community Cinema in […]
This looks a bit too much like “Bruce Almighty,” but with the Monty Python guys playing aliens, I can’t help but be intrigued.
Roger Ebert’s Great Movies ebook is on sale through May 24 for only $1.99. Whether you are a long-time film fan or just looking for something new on Netflix, you will want to have Ebert’s wise and witty appreciations of […]
Queen Latifah plays blues singer Bessie Smith in a new movie premiering on HBO May 16, 2015. Monique co-stars as Ma Rainey. Here is the real Bessie Smith.
Do you want to see a wild comedy with Sofia Vergara? Don’t waste your time with the dreary Hot Pursuit. Take a look at a much better film, Big Trouble, made in 2002, with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, based […]
It’s one thing to create a soundtrack for one story. But Tom Salta had to create one consistent theme for multiple potential storylines and outcomes for the latest version of HALO, called Spartan Strike. The game is available on Windows […]
There is only one person who should decide which toy is fun — the person who plays with it. Not the manufacturers or the retailers. President Obama wisely pointed this out by refusing to accept the labels on toys at […]
Some of my favorites from 50 Must-See Movies: Mothers (free this weekend!):
Disney’s “Tomorrowland” is coming soon! Here are some clues…
My beautiful and brilliant daughter, Rachel Apatoff, is a costume designer in Hollywood and she was interviewed on NPR today. A woman who worked with costume legends Edith Head and Bob Mackie was selling some of her possessions in a […]
Here is my wonderful dad, Newton Minow, on his famous “vast wasteland” speech, delivered to the National Association of Broadcasters on May 9, 1961, 54 years ago today. On Tuesday night, Chicago PBS station WTTW celebrated its 60th anniversary and […]
Happy 100th birthday to the writer/director/star of one of the greatest films of all time, Citizen Kane. Everyone should see that movie, and then everyone should see it again, listening to Roger Ebert’s shot-by-shot commentary, a master illuminating a master […]
In honor of Mother’s Day, my ebook 50 Must-See Movies: Mothers will be free on Amazon through Monday, May 8-11, 2015. No relationship is more primal, more fraught, more influential, more worried over, more nourishing when good and more devastating […]
Australian actor Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent,” “The Giver”) stars in “Ride,” a new film written, directed, and starring Oscar-winner Helen Hunt. She plays Jackie, an overprotective mother whose son Angelo (Thwaites) is about to start college and move into a dorm […]
J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults was the dark, sometimes savage story of small town politics, The Casual Vacancy. The title refers to an elected office that is vacated before the term is up, which in this story occurs in […]