In a crackling sharp movie about brilliant people solving very tough problems, it is endearing that the first and most important involves one of the earliest skills developed by mankind. Indeed, it is the skill that made it both possible […]
It’s not called “99 Houses” or “99 Foreclosures,” though that would be accurate. These buildings may be seen as “assets” or “derivatives” following the 2008 subprime financial meltdown by the banks and by the predatory dealmakers who swoop in, buy […]
Giulio Ricciarelli co-wrote and directed the German film “Labyrinth of Lies,” based on the real-life story of the courageous post-WWII German prosecutors who insisted on investigating the atrocities of the concentration camps and prosecuting those responsible. Surrounded by former Axis […]
We are honored to present this exclusive trailer for “Full of Grace,” the story of the Gospel from a mother’s point of view. Mary (Bahia Haifi) and Peter “The Rock” (Noam Jenkins) prepare to embark on a divine mission to […]
If you have vertigo or acrophobia, you will have trouble with “The Walk,” the story of Frenchman Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center. If you don’t have vertigo or acrophobia, you might have after […]
I have FREE tickets for tonight’s 8:00 pm showing of “Just Let Go” at both the AMC Hoffman Theater in Alexandria, Virginia and the AMC Tyson’s Corner, also in Virginia. To get your free tickets, send me an email ASAP […]
One night only in theaters: Just Let Go. Fathom Events, in partnership with Delilah Radio, Excel Entertainment and Propel Pictures, invites you to experience the inspirational true story of Chris Williams when Just Let Go comes to cinemas nationwide for […]
In 1969, when the federal government prohibited the firing of gays and lesbians, when it was illegal for them to congregate in a bar or even to have consensual sex, when police harassment and brutality was not only permitted but […]
Oh, to live in Nancy Meyers-land, where the 60’s and 70’s really are a golden age, where AARP-eligible Oscar winners go to be universally adored by bright young people, and where every sumptuously spacious but cozy home has the kitchen […]
Vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human Jonathan (Andy Samberg) fell in love in the first “Hotel Translyvania,” and in this sequel they get married and have a baby named Dennis. He has his father’s unruly red curls. But his grandfather […]
You might not think that a documentary about two men fighting over a severed leg would be funny, touching, and insightful, but it is. You might think that it would be a carnival freak show for the age of YouTube […]
“Endgame” is a heartwarming family film inspired by the true story of a championship middle school chess team from a school in a poor Texas community. It stars “Modern Family’s” Rico Rodriguez and two actors from “Napoleon Dynamite,” Efran Ramirez […]
There is no movie I am looking forward to this year more than “The Big Short,” based on the best book I read about the 2008 financial meltdown, written by Michael Lewis. It is directed by Adam McKay, who was […]
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.
“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 […]
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
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Pajama factory workers celebrate Labor Day in this musical number from “The Pajama Game” with Doris Day, John Raitt, and Carol Haney.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. She 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
“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 […]
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 — […]
We are delighted to have an exclusive clip from “Dinotrux,” the new series for kids on Netflix, available August 14, 2015.
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 […]
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 get bored with their idyllic but monotonous life on […]
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.
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Happy Independence Day! Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. “1776” makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned […]
“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 […]
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 […]
“We’re healers,” one of the male exotic dancers, explains to another in “Magic Mike XXL.” They’re here to bring a smile to women who have not, through tragically misguided oversight, been worshipped and adored. They have not been ap-PRE-ciated. They […]
“I’ll be back,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the first “Terminator” movie. He had the title role but only 16 lines, with about a total of 80 words. But those three words have become a legend. It now appears he meant […]
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 […]
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.
“Max” is a good, old-fashioned story of a boy and a dog who mend each other’s broken hearts. It is heartwarming without getting treacly, and frank without getting too disturbing. And it has adventure, romance, loss, and something to say […]
Yes, it is basically “Die Hard” and “Under Siege” in the mountains of Finland, if Bruce Willis was a kid on a rite-of-passage solo hunting trip. And instead of executive hostages in a big office building, the kid has to […]
“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 […]
“Subtle” is not a word that naturally comes to mind for a movie that features a bong in the shape of male genitalia (which is more powerful — the longing for weed or the ew-factor of a straight guy who […]
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, […]
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 […]
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!
“Grace Stirs Up Success” is the latest in the excellent “American Girl” series, all featuring spirited young heroines confronting real-life problems, and learning some important lessons. They always include a lot of fun and a loving family, too. In this […]
I loved every film I saw at AFI Docs this year, with a wide variety in subject matter and tone. There were intimate, personal stories, and movies about major global figures and forces. And I also saw an eye-popping demonstration […]
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.
Roger Ebert liked to refer to movies as an “empathy machine.” He said that the great gift of movies, more than any other art form, is the way they can put us inside the world, experiences, culture, and perspective of […]
AFI Docs (formerly SilverDocs) begins tonight in Washington, D.C. with another spectacular slate of documentary films. The opening night festivities feature “The Best of Enemies,” a terrific film about the battle of the upper-class, socially connected, classically educated, hyperverbal writers […]
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.
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 […]
Alden Films presents “Biblical Archeology of Israel,” including: ANCIENT ROOTS — a compilation of recent discoveries in archaeological research in Israel THE BOOK AND THE IDOL — Israel through the ages, from the stone age to biblical times EXPLORERS […]
Israeli filmmaker Sharon Mayman says that the idea for “The Farewell Party” came from the time that his boyfriend’s grandmother, age 92, was dying, and paramedics prolonged her suffering by “fighting for her life like she was 16 years old.” […]
“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 […]
One problem is that we really do not know very much about dinosaurs, especially live ones, and especially genetically tweaked live ones. A bigger problem is that we keep ignoring what we do know about humans. Over and over again […]
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 […]
Lifetime’s new reality series is “Preach,” following four powerful female leaders who believe God has given them the ability to heal the sick, see the future and rid people of their addictions. Known as “Prophetesses,” these women say that they […]
“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.
It is time to celebrate. Melissa McCarthy finally has the movie role she deserves. Writer/director Paul Feig, who directed her in “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” has wisely given her center stage and allowed her to be quirky and awkward, which […]
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 […]
I sometimes muse that it might be nice to have a rule that I spend no more time writing a review of a film than the screenwriter spent writing the script. If I had, this review could end right here, with […]
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.
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 […]
Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get it is via massive, catastrophic disasters lovingly created via CGI that feels more real than the emotions, characters, or dialog. […]
Writer/director Cameron Crowe presents us with an attractive and talented but messy and compromised hero in “Aloha,” and asks us to root for him. The problem is that the film itself is attractive, talent-filled, messy, and compromised, and harder to […]
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, […]
The Illuminate Film Festival opens today in Sedona, Arizona. Its mission is to be the premier film festival for “conscious cinema.” Dedicated to spreading enlightened ideas and pushing humanity forward, Illuminate is poised to become a landmark destination event and […]
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 […]
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.
It begins with an argument. Frank (George Clooney) is trying to tell us the story. But he is repeatedly interrupted by someone we will learn is Casey (Britt Robertson). “Try to be a little more upbeat,” she urges him. The […]
Blythe Danner gives a performance of exquisite sensitivity in “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” the story of a lonely widow. She plays Carol, a singer-turned teacher who retired 20 years ago after her husband died. Her friends in a […]
Tonight on New York PBS station WNET, “Treasures of New York: Friars Club” will explore the rich history of the exclusive private club through never-before-seen footage of Frairs roasts and interviews with some of the club’s most prominent members. Larry […]
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 […]
We are delighted to have a sneak peek at Netflix’s new Richie Rich series, premiering May 22, 2015.
Tonight on PBS, the brilliant documentary “1971” will be shown on the Independent Lens series. In 1971, a group of ordinary citizens broke into a small FBI office in Pennsylvania and shared with the world their findings on COINTELPRO, the […]
The highest-grossing movie of 2014 is also one of the most controversial. Director Clint Eastwood and producer-star Bradley Cooper have made a more subtle and nuanced film than either the people who loved it or the people who hated it […]
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 […]
The new “Supergirl” series on CBS stars Melissa Benoist (“Glee,” “Whiplash,” “Danny Collins”) as Superman’s Kryptonian cousin, with Calista Flockhart as her “Devil Wears Prada”-style boss. Former Superman (“Clark and Lois” Dean Cain and former Supergirl Helen Slater play her adoptive […]
Dude Perfect is the second largest sports channel on YouTube, with over 4.5 million subscribers and more than 556 million views. They are a group of five best friends (plus a panda) from Texas who love sports, comedy and living […]
This looks a bit too much like “Bruce Almighty,” but with the Monty Python guys playing aliens, I can’t help but be intrigued.
Mad Max (Tom Hardy, taking over from Mel Gibson) stamps on a two-headed lizard and then chews its head off. And that’s just in the first minute. That master of apocalyptic junkyard anarchy, George Miller, is back, bigger, wilder, madder […]
“Pitch Perfect 2″ is — bear with me — the musical comedy variation on the “Furious 7″ recipe for success. The sequel jettisons any pretense of seriousness of purpose, structural logic, or psychological authenticity, joyfully tosses off any pretense 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.
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 […]
Christina Noble is an Irish woman known as “Mama Tina” to thousands of Vietnamese children and their families. Her own childhood was one of poverty, abandonment, loss, and hardship, but her resilience and determination led her to give children half […]
Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon are both talented, beautiful actresses with savvy business acumen and strong entrepreneurial energy. Witherspoon’s accolades in 2014 included more than a Best Actress Oscar nomination for “Wild.” She also produced it, and another Oscar-nominated film, […]
If only salutory intentions and one good performance could save a film so fundamentally wrongly conceived. “Bravetown” starts out as “Footloose,” veers into “Ordinary People,” and ends up as “Swing Kids,” with jaw-dropping shifts in tone and focus and total […]
Comedies, especially dark ones, have a lot of freedom when it comes to narrative logic, but the emotional logic still has to ring true. No matter how crazy the storyline gets, the way the characters respond to it has to […]
A surf bum named Ian (Luke Wilson) is explaining the physics of the interaction between surfboard and wave: it’s an inanimate object in an ever-changing environment. One doesn’t move. One never stops moving in powerful and highly unpredictable ways. And […]
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 […]
Real-life spouses Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega talk about robots for the “Spare Parts” DVD/Blu-Ray, available today.
I was privileged to hear Nina Simone perform in concert and can’t wait to see this film.
Coming January 2016, starring Joseph Fiennes.
It may be a British costume drama based on a classic novel, but Thomas Hardy’s saga of a headstrong woman and the three marriage proposals from very different men is not the usual corsets and teacups. Far from the Madding […]
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) sums it up best. Speaking pretty much to himself but also to us in the audience, he notes that he is on a floating city trying to fight off a robot army with arrows. “It doesn’t make […]
In “Welcome to Me,” Kristen Wiig plays Alice, a depressed woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who wins $86 million in the lottery. She uses much of it to create a one-woman television series that feature monologues about her life […]
Fashion icon nonagenarian Iris Apfel is renowned for her taste and style. But people who see this movie, the last from documentary legend Albert Maysles, will remember her for her fearlessness and life force. Along with the signature big, round, […]
Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Far from the Madding Crowd is the story of headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits a farm and who receives marriage proposals from three very different men. A new version starring Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, […]
Matt Mamula co-directed “Just About Famous,” the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes famous, and it seemed […]
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced by Ken Burns, based on the book by book by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Everybody who […]
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams. I love this trailer.
I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia Currier.
Be careful what you wish for. You think it would be great to stay 29 forever? Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, […]