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Trailer: Batkid Begins

posted by Nell Minow

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.

A Clip from A.D. The Bible Continues — Jesus Appears to Saul

posted by Nell Minow

Jesus appears to Saul to turn him towards righteousness in this clip from Episode 8 of “A.D. The Bible Continues,” premiering Sunday, May 24, 2015, at 9/8c on NBC.

Tomorrowland’s Inspirations

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: Unexpected with Cobie Smulders

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Tomorrowland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015

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 […]

I’ll See You in My Dreams

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:May 22, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: May 22, 2015

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 […]

Interview: Brett Haley, Writer/Director of “I’ll See You in My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Friar’s Club Documentary — Tonight on WNET and Online

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Alamo Drafthouse Tells Audience Members to Turn Off Their Cell Phones with Lewis Black of “Inside Out”

posted by Nell Minow

Lewis Black plays Anger in Pixar’s new film, “Inside Out.” So who better to remind the audience to TURN OFF THEIR CELL PHONES!

Interview: Junkie XL, Composer of “Mad Max: Fury Road”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Sandy McLeod on “Seeds of Time”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: We Are Your Friends

posted by Nell Minow

Zac Efron stars in “We Are Your Friends,” opening in August 2015.

Trailer: Al Pacino in “Manglehorn”

posted by Nell Minow

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.

Blythe Danner Talks to Susan Wloszczyna About “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

American Sniper

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2015

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 […]

Great Films with Philosophical Themes

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Carlos Pratts of “McFarland USA”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Would You Like to Win a Movie Theater With an Essay?

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: Absolutely Anything with Simon Pegg and the Monty Python Guys

posted by Nell Minow

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: Fury Road

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

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

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date:May 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language
Movie Release Date: May 15, 2015

“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 […]

Get Roger Ebert’s Great Movies eBook for $1.99 Until May 24, 2015

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Trailer: Queen Latifah Plays Bessie Smith on HBO

posted by Nell Minow

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.

A Better Movie with Sofia Vergara

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Tomorrowland: Clues

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s “Tomorrowland” is coming soon!  Here are some clues…

A Lovely Tribute to Movie Mothers

posted by Nell Minow

Rachel Apatoff on NPR

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Orson Welles: Happy First Century

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Noble

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, including some violent and sexual situations
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

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 […]

Hot Pursuit

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language and some drug material
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

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, […]

Bravetown

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language, drug use and brief sexuality
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

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 […]

The D Train

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

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 […]

Ride

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:May 8, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: May 8, 2015

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 […]

Interview: Brenton Thwaites of “Ride”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Interview: Jonny Campbell, Director of J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Indiana Jones Exhibit at the National Geographic Museum

posted by Nell Minow

On May 14, 2015, an Indiana Jones exhibit comes to Washington, D.C.’s National Geographic Museum. It is an immersive experience, exploring the science and history of field archeology, featuring iconic props and behind-the-scenes production materials, including: * A vast and […]

Behind the Scenes: Pitch Perfect 2

posted by Nell Minow

Clip: Spare Parts DVD Extra With Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega Talk Robots and SPARE PARTS

posted by Nell Minow

Real-life spouses Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega talk about robots for the “Spare Parts” DVD/Blu-Ray, available today.

Tomorrowland: Meet Casey

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s “Tomorrowland” opens Memorial Day weekend.  Britt Robertson (“The Longest Ride”) plays Casey.

MVP of the Month: Matthias Schoenaerts of “A Little Chaos” and “Far from the Madding Crowd”

posted by Nell Minow

Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts is this month’s MVP and best screen boyfriend, playing patient, decent, devoted, outdoorsy lovers in two different costume dramas. In “Far from the Madding Crowd” he plays farmer Gabriel Oak and in “A Little Chaos” he […]

Interview: Brian Bonnick Explains the Stunning New Technology of IMAX Laser Projection

posted by Nell Minow

The Smithsonian calls it a “reimagination of the movie-theater experience.” Its Arbus IMAX Theater at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum is one of only four theaters in the United States and the only one on the East coast to […]

May the 4th Be With You — Happy Star Wars Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Star Wars Day (“May the 4th Be With You”) by checking out the Star Wars Instagram photos. One of the highlights is Darth Vader’s selfie.

Native Americans Refuse to Work on Adam Sandler’s New Film

posted by Nell Minow

Adam Sandler is currently filming “The Ridiculous Six,” reportedly a comic version of the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven.” According to Indian Country Today Media, a group of Native American actors walked off the set because they were offended by […]

Trailer: Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man”

posted by Nell Minow

Woody Allen’s new movie has Joaquin Phoenix as a depressed middle-aged professor who finds new joy and meaning in the love a beautiful young student. This is a recurring theme in Allen’s films, but this trailer suggests that it may […]

Trailer: What Happened, Miss Simone? — Nina Simone Documentary

posted by Nell Minow

I was privileged to hear Nina Simone perform in concert and can’t wait to see this film.

Interview: Alex Garland of “Ex Machina”

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Garland is the screenwriter of thought-provoking sci-fi films like “28 Days Later” and “Never Let Me Go.”  He wrote and for the first time directed “Ex Machina,” a fascinating story about Caleb, a computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson), invited to […]

Marvel/Disney — Where are the Natasha Dolls?

posted by Nell Minow

Jenna Busch and the wonderful folks of Legion of Leia and Heroic Girls are asking an important question: #wheresnatasha? Remember last year when the #WheresGamora hashtag called out the lack of Gamora toys in the Guardians of the Galaxy toy […]

Trailer: “Risen” — A Non-Believer Witnesses Christ’s Resurrection

posted by Nell Minow

Coming January 2016, starring Joseph Fiennes.

May 2015 — Movies Opening This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Fasten your seatbelts!  Summer movies are here.  Tonight “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will explode into theaters.  It’s already a blockbuster overseas. And for those of you who are looking for something more literary, “Far from the Madding Crowd” opens today […]

Far from the Madding Crowd

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015

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 […]

Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Welcome to Me

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015

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 […]

Iris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2015

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, […]

Original Version: Far from the Madding Crowd

posted by Nell Minow

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, […]

Meryl Streep Supports Women Screenwriters

posted by Nell Minow

Meryl Streep has made a contribution to a lab program for women over 40 who write movies. The only program of its kind, The Writers Lab evolved in recognition of the absence of the female voice in narrative film, along […]

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary “Just About Famous”

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros

posted by Nell Minow

I had so much fun at last year’s Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is the third time the MPAA has teamed up with media and technology partners […]

Trailer: The Little Prince

posted by Nell Minow

The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer.

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in “Big Game”

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Song from the Forest

posted by Nell Minow

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.

The Age of Adaline

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015

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, […]

The Water Diviner

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:April 24, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for war violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: April 24, 2015

Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, “The Water Diviner” is an absorbing drama about Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer (Russell Crowe, making his directing debut as well) who travels to Turkey […]

Critics Write About Our First Encounters with Star Wars

posted by Nell Minow

The latest Criticwire survey asks for our first encounters with “Star Wars.” I had a lot of fun writing about mine: A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, or at least that’s how it seems now, my […]

Behind the Scenes with Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens May 1, 2015.

Trailer: Aurora

posted by Nell Minow

When will humans (at least those in movies) figure out that putting machines in charge is never a good idea?

Movies for Earth Day 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Earth Day with some of these great films about our planet, its beauties and its challenges: 1. An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary makes a powerful case for the dire effects of climate change — and an even […]

Former Disney Head Dick Cook Has a New Studio to Make Family Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I am a big fan of former Disney studio head Dick Cook, and was delighted to hear that he will be heading up a new $150 million studio to make family movies.  “Our mission will always be to provide the […]

Fandango’s New “We Love Movies” Program

posted by Nell Minow

Fandango, the nation’s leading digital destination for moviegoers with 36 million unique visitors per month, announced today the May 6 launch of “We Love Movies,” celebrating the joys of moviegoing. The summer-long program will feature celebrity events, VIP movie screenings, […]

Exclusive Clip: Maya the Bee

posted by Nell Minow

The Adventures of Maya the Bee is a classic children’s book from Germany, originally published more than 100 years ago, about a brave little bee who breaks the rules by leaving the hive but saves the day when she warns […]

The Hobbit: The Definitive Movie Posters

posted by Nell Minow

The Hobbit: The Definitive Movie Posters is a gorgeous new book and a must-have for all would-be denizens of Middle Earth.

Ebertfest #3 — The “Ida” Panel

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Matt Zoller Seitz, Sheila O’Malley, and Todd Rendleman for our superb discussion about this year’s Oscar winner for best foreign language movie, “Ida.”

Movies vs. Science — The Worst Science Mistakes on Film

posted by Nell Minow

The Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum used to have a great little video with a claymation Albert Einstein shaking his head over the many mistakes in sci-fi movies. “They’re breaking my rule!” he exclaimed. As the animated genius went on […]

Trailer: Ant-Man

posted by Nell Minow

Okay, I admit I was skeptical. I was thinking along the lines of Teeny Little Super Guy from Sesame Street. But I love Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll and this trailer has me sold.

Movie Scenes in Grocery Stores — Featuring Macaulay Culkin, Michael Keaton, Natalie Portman, Steve Martin, Ryan Gosling, and More

posted by Nell Minow

Check out Slate’s compilation of movie scenes set in grocery stores.  It has a lot of my favorites, but leaves out this classic with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, from the fact-based “Yours, Mine, and Ours.”

Ebertfest 2015, Part 2

posted by Nell Minow

It was a great honor to be included on today’s panel of movie critics, along with superstars Godfrey Cheshire, Scott Foundas, Matt Zoller Seitz, Rebecca Theodore Vachon, Richard Roeper, Susan Wloszczyna, Michael Phillips, Brian Tallarico, and Sam Fragoso.

GI Film Festival — Coming to DC May 18-24

posted by Nell Minow

I was very lucky to be able to attend a preview of the upcoming 9th annual GI Film Festival, coming to Washington, D.C. and Fairfax, Virginia May 18-24, 2015.  Brandon Millett and Laura Law-Millett started the festival, the first ever […]

Trailer — Star Wars: The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow

Monkey Kingdom

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015

Disneynature’s annual wild kingdom-style nature documentary is predictably adorable but surprisingly absorbing. The toque macaque monkeys of Sri Lanka live in the 12th century ruins of Polonnaruwa in a society as rigidly structured and ruthlessly enforced as a high school […]

Ex Machina

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, language, sexual references and some violence
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015

Movies about artificial intelligence or computers achieving consciousness are, of course, really about what it means to be human. When software and hardware combine to mimic or exceed human qualities in “Her,” “Chappie,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Terminator,” or the […]

True Story

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date:April 17, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some disturbing material
Movie Release Date: April 17, 2015

A reporter in disgrace for fabricating details of a story sits across the table from an orange-jumpsuited prisoner, accused of murdering his wife and three children. They have more in common than either of them expected. They are both outcasts. […]

The Real Story: True Story with Jonah Hill and James Franco

posted by Nell Minow

“True Story” opens this week, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. It is based on the real-life experiences of a disgraced journalist and the murderer who took his name. The movie is about a reporter fired by the New York […]

Exclusive Clip: Paddington

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the adorable “Paddington,” available on DVD/Blu-Ray April 28, 2015.

Trailer: Misery Loves Comedy

posted by Nell Minow

I love comedy and stand-up and can’t wait to see this documentary. Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Judd Apatow, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David, and Jon Favreau are among over 60 famous funny people featured in this hilarious […]

Wild Kratts: Shark-Tastic

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:April 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: April 14, 2015

PBS’s Wild Kratts is one of my favorite series for families. I love the relationship between the two real-life Kratt brothers and their enthusiasm and sense of adventure. The episodes have a nice balance between adventure, humor, and information about […]

Interview: Georgie Henley of “Sisterhood of Night”

posted by Nell Minow

Georgie Henley stars in “Sisterhood of the Night,” a story of intense teenage girl friendships and bullying, based on a story by Steven Millhauser. I have been a big fan since she played Lucy in the Narnia movies, and it […]

Trailer: The Road Within Starring Dev Patel and Zoe Kravitz

posted by Nell Minow

The Famous Families of the Longest Ride Cast

posted by Nell Minow

The cast of this week’s big release, the Nicholas Sparks movie “The Longest Ride,” includes three actors with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in their family trees. It’s a good reminder to check out some of their best films. Scott […]

Behind the Scenes — Avengers: Age of Ultron

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: I’ll See You in My Dreams with Blythe Danner

posted by Nell Minow

Blythe Danner is the American equivalent to Helen Mirren — endlessly elegant, witty, radiant. I can’t wait to see this film, which shares its name with the Gus Kahn song and the biopic about Gus Kahn starring Danny Thomas and […]

The Longest Ride

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date:April 10, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Movie Release Date: April 10, 2015

Another spring, another Nicholas Sparks movie. I don’t mind (much) that they are so rigidly formulaic. Every one of them centers on (1) water, (2) letters, and (3) somebody dying. All genre films follow some sort of formula, and we […]

Interview: Cecilia De Mille Presley on Her Grandfather Cecil B. De Mille

posted by Nell Minow

The great director Cecil B. De Mille, known for his grand, lavish epics like Claudette Colbert’s sizzling Cleopatra and the Biblical epics The Ten Commandments and Samson & Delilah, and Best Picture Oscar winner The Greatest Show on Earth deserves […]

Cinderella-Thon Podcast: Movie Addict Headquarters

posted by Nell Minow

I had a blast talking all things Cinderella on Movie Addict Headquarters with Betty Jo Tucker, Mack Bates, and A.J. Hakari. Who’s the best evil stepmother? What little-known versions of the story should you be sure to see? And who’s […]

What Makes Your Hometown Special?

posted by Nell Minow

I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord site, where he invites collaboration on music and films from everyone.  His latest is an invitation to tell him — and the audience — about what it is that only the locals know in your […]

Trailer: Max

posted by Nell Minow

A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience in “Max,” with Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church, and Jay Hernandez, scheduled for June 26, 2015.

Furious 7

posted by Nell Minow

Who would have picked the Fast & Furious series as the one that would defy the odds and just keep getting better? In part that is because the first one was not very good. And the second wasn’t either. It […]

#Notamovie on Slate’s The Gist — You Can Inspire a TMBG Song!

posted by Nell Minow

Wouldn’t you like to be immortalized with a song title for one of the coolest bands ever, They Might Be Giants? You have two more days to tweet titles of imaginary movies to @slategist using the hashtag #NotAMovie — the […]

Trailer — Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

posted by Nell Minow

“Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” chronicles the Australia-based Christian band, Hillsong UNITED. Directed by Michael John Warren, the film follows the band as they record their next album and explores the history of Hillsong, a 30-year journey from a tiny church […]

Own a Piece of “Gone With the Wind”

posted by Nell Minow

Costumes, props, and memorabilia from one of the greatest films of all time will be sold at Heritage Auction’s “Gone With the Wind” sale, April 18-19, 2015.

Happy Passover!

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a great Rube Goldberg-style contraption tribute to Passover from the folks at Technion. And here’s a glimpse of how they put it together.

While We’re Young

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015

“While We’re Young” opens with an exchange from Ibsen’s “The Master Builder” about what happens when the young come knocking at the door. But it might just as well begin with the wry Amish aphorism, “We grow too soon old […]

Interview: Jean-Michel Cousteau of “Secret Ocean 3D”

posted by Nell Minow

Jean-Michel Cousteau has carried on the legacy of his famous father, Jacques Cousteau, who first allowed the world to see the creatures that live in the water, through deep-sea diving and his pioneering underwater photography. Now his son has used […]

The Woman in Gold — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s “The Woman in Gold” stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who fought to get the portrait of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer returned to her family. The painting, considered an Austrian national treasure, was taken from Bloch-Bauer’s family by […]

Interview: Writer/Director Noah Baumbach of “While We’re Young”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Noah Baumbach talked to me about his new film, “While We’re Young,” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple. They befriend a young couple played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, and the movie has a […]

Join Me Next Month at the Bentonville Film Festival with Geena Davis, Celebrating Women and Diversity in Film

posted by Nell Minow

Join me next month in Bentonville, Arkansas, for the Bentonville Film Festival with Geena Davis!

April 2015: Movies Opening This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Happy April!  Here’s what I’m looking forward to in theaters this month.  It’s very intriguing that three movies opening in April have themes about eternal youth or transplanting consciousness, while another originally scheduled for this month, Pierce Brosnan’s “The Moon […]

The Woman in Gold

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2015

The very title is a form of theft. When Gustav Klimt painted the portrait that gives this film its name, he called it “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.” She was a warm, vibrant young woman who was a vital part of […]

Interview: The Woman in Gold’s Simon Curtis and E. Randol Schoenberg

posted by Nell Minow

Director Simon Curtis told me, “My last film was My Week with Marilyn, and this one is my century with Maria.”  He is referring to “The Woman in Gold,” with Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, who brought a lawsuit to […]

Faith-Based Movie Picks — The Today Show

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Easter and Passover, the Today Show has some good suggestions for faith-based movies, from the very serious and respectful to the light-hearted.

Another “Star is Born” Movie? Possibly, with Bradley Cooper as Director and Beyonce to Star!

posted by Nell Minow

A movie that’s already been done three times (at least) may just get yet another remake if the rumors are true that Bradley Cooper will direct and Beyoncé will appear in “A Star is Born.”  The original 1937 version, said […]

Exclusive Clip and Contest: What Would Jesus Do — The Journey Continues

posted by Nell Minow

We are honored to present an exclusive clip from “WWJD (What Would Jesus Do): The Journey Continues,” inspired by the best-selling classic book In His Steps. WWJD: The Journey Continues is available on DVD and Digital HD March 31, 2015. […]

Behind the Scenes: Furious 7

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Amy S. Weber of the Bullying Movie “A Girl Like Her”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Amy S. Weber first became interested in the problem of bullying when she was producing educational films for young people in 1996, over about a 10 year period. “I was working with mostly teenagers on real life stories documenting […]

Trailer: Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in “Pixels,” a Comedy About the Attack of the Aliens Modeled on Classic Video Games

posted by Nell Minow

Actress Speaks Up Against Absurd Hollywood Casting Conventions

posted by Nell Minow

Cheers to the understandably anonymous “Miss L,” an actress in Hollywood, for her Tumblr posting real-life casting information that shows how limited and misogynistic Hollywood casting is.  Casting Call Woe shows actual casting call notices, most of which require actresses […]

Trailer: Paper Towns with Nat Wolff

posted by Nell Minow

The Wrecking Crew

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date:March 27. 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language, thematic elements and smoking images
Movie Release Date: March 27. 2015

Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you’ve argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumentally talented performers had a […]

Home

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2015

“Home” is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form. Yes, it is hitting the dreaded “send […]

Ebertfest 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I’ll be there!  From Chaz Ebert’s blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard’s silent opus in 3D, “Adieu Au Langage” (“Goodbye To Language”). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but […]

Apps for Movie Fans

posted by Nell Minow

Geek Dad has a great list of apps for movie lovers, including MoviePass, which gives you unlimited movie tickets for one set fee.  I’d add Flixter from Rotten Tomatoes and of course my favorite, IMDB.

Pretty Woman — 25 Years Later

posted by Nell Minow

The cast and director of “Pretty Woman” reunited on the Today Show to reminisce about the movie that, improbably, made us root for a predatory finance guy and a prostitute to live happily ever after. They discussed the original script, […]

Supercut: Gangsters

posted by Nell Minow

Movies have been fascinated by gangsters from the beginning, and this stylishly compiled supercut shows us some of the best well worth appreciating not just the art of the actor but also of the director, cinematographer, and production and costume […]

Trailer: Boychoir with Dustin Hoffman, Debra Winger, and Eddie Izzard

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Simon Pegg and Lake Bell in “Man Up”

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Costume Designer Colleen Atwood of “Into the Woods”

posted by Nell Minow

Stephen Sondheim’s dark take on fairy tales, Into the Woods, out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week, includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, and Chris Pine, but equally important is the contribution from another superstar, three-time Oscar winning costume […]

Interview: Tom Berenger of “Lonesome Dove Church”

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Berenger stars in Lonesome Dove Church, available March 24, 2015 on DVD. He spoke to me about the role and why Westerns have such enduring appeal.  And I have a copy of the DVD to give away!  Send me […]

Trailer — Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

posted by Nell Minow

Smile of the Week: Soul Pancake on the Power of Accepting Compliments

posted by Nell Minow

My very wise mother always says, “If someone pays you a compliment, don’t argue or deflect it.  Just lower your eyes and say, ‘Thank you.’”  This wonderful film from the great folks at Soul Pancake shows exactly how important that […]

How Do Movies Change to Convey Modern Technology?

posted by Nell Minow

I love this exploration of how cinematic storytelling has evolved to reflect the role that technology plays in our lives, especially in the way we absorb and convey information, especially the discussion of the elegant use of text in the […]

Interview: Robert Kenner of “Merchants of Doubt”

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Kenner’s Merchants of Doubt is a deeply unsettling documentary about the way corporations divert money they should be spending on making better products more effectively to spend it instead on undermining science and scientists. By creating fake “public interest” […]

Want to See A Movie With Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Olaf the Snowman’s Josh Gad?

posted by Nell Minow

I am quite fond of a little film from 2008 called “The Rocker,” starring Rainn Wilson. And it’s even more fun now, as three of its actors have become big stars. Wilson plays a drummer who was let go just […]

Trailer: Dial a Prayer

posted by Nell Minow

Brittany Snow (“Pitch Perfect”) and William H. Macy star in “Dial a Prayer,” about a troubled young woman who takes a job praying for and with anyone who calls in.

Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015

Jean-Michel Cousteau begins this dazzling underwater documentary with archival footage of his father’s pioneering work in showing us life in the other two-thirds of the planet. And then he uses the latest technology to bring those flickering monotone images up […]

Insurgent

posted by Nell Minow

This second in the “Divergent” series suffers from sequel-itis. The exuberance of the premise buoyed the first episode, as we and the central character, Tris (Shailene Woodley) explored the post-apocalyptic world that divided all citizens into strictly segregated factions. But […]

Danny Collins

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date:March 20, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date: March 20, 2015

Movie stories often begin with the hero or heroine having everything and then losing it or having nothing and then finding it. But some of the best combine them both, as Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) has […]

The Gunman

posted by Nell Minow

Stars too often produce the kind of movie they want to star in, instead of the kind of movie anyone wants to watch. Co-writer/producer/star Sean Penn is clearly trying to make The Gunman a thinking person’s thriller. You can hear […]

Interview: Dan Fogelman, Writer/Director of “Danny Collins”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Fogelman wrote “Cars,” “Tangled,” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” and now for the first time has directed with “Danny Collins,” starring Al Pacino and Annette Bening.  Fogelman told me he was wasting time on the internet because he did not […]

Watch These Stunning Winners of the Drone Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

Drones will literally change our view of the world and it is very exciting to see the possibilities in the winners of this year’s New York City Drone Film Festival.  You can get a Superman’s-eye view:  

Danny Collins: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” “Tangled,” “Crazy Stupid Love”) saw the headline: musician Steve Tilston received a letter written to him 34 years earlier by John Lennon, including his phone number and an invitation to call. That inspired Fogelman’s new film, […]

Box Office: Cinderella, Run All Night, and New Data on Moviegoers

posted by Nell Minow

You probably were not surprised to learn that not only was Cinderella at the top of the box office last weekend, but it made a whopping $70 million, sure to be one of the highest opening weekend takes of the […]

For St. Patrick’s Day: Opening Scene of “The Quiet Man”

posted by Nell Minow

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Trailer: Alex of Venice

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Derek Luke (“Empire”) star in “Alex of Venice,” about a woman struggling to meet her commitments at home and at work after her husband (director Chris Messina of “The Mindy Project”) leaves her.

Trailer: Ride with Helen Hunt and Luke Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

It kind of looks like a reverse “Gidget,” but with Helen Hunt writing and directing as well as starring, there’s reason to hope that it will be pretty good.

Contest: Win a DVD of “Bankstas”

posted by Nell Minow

“Bank$tas” is a wild, raunchy comedy about a couple of guys trying to outsmart the crooks running a corrupt investment bank. Alan Thicke, Laura Vandervoort, and Joe Dinicol star, and I have a copy to give away! To enter, send […]

Trailer: Where Hope Grows

posted by Nell Minow

Where Hope Grows is the story of a former professional baseball player sent to an early retirement due to his panic attacks at the plate. Even though he had all the talent for the big leagues, he struggles with the curveballs life […]

Cinderella’s Costumes — A Lot of Sewing and A Little Movie Magic

posted by Nell Minow

In Disney’s animated version, Cinderella has some very handy mice to help sew her dress for the ball.  The costumes for this week’s live-action version, designed by Sandy Powell, required the work of many, many humans.  For the wedding dress […]

MPAA Ratings and Community Differences on Sex and Violence

posted by Nell Minow

Joan Graves heads up the MPAA’s ratings board and she is the only member whose name is public. She talked to The Wrap about some intriguing regional difference in views on sex and violence. “The South is concerned about using […]

A New Trailer for “Tomorrowland”

posted by Nell Minow

This is our first real glimpse at “Tomorrowland” from Brad Bird (“The Incredibles” and “The Iron Giant”). I love the way it incorporates the 1950’s aesthetics of what the future would look like. This looks like it’s going to be […]

Trailer: Mr. Holmes

posted by Nell Minow

Do you know which character has been most often portrayed in movies? Hint: there are now two different but both very popular television series about this character as well. Of course it is Sherlock Holmes. Yet another Sherlock Holmes movie […]

Smile of the Week: Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. Delivers a Bionic Arm

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Downey Jr. and Albert Manero, a #CollectiveProject student who founded Limbitless, surprised a very special child with a new bionic 3D printed arm at no cost to the family. To learn more about Albert and the #CollectiveProject visit: Microsoft […]

Cinderella

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 13, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2015

Here’s what’s magical — a fairy tale told in 2015 that is true to the spirit of the classic story by Charles Perrault but is still fresh and real despite the dozens of re-imaginings and the seismic shifts in culture […]

Run All Night

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Movie Release Date: March 13, 2014

Two guys with the understanding of what they have lost and what they have paid to be where they are that only comes with sit opposite each other, drinks on the table between them. They must, at last, reckon with […]

Behind the Scenes: First Look at “Furious 7″

posted by Nell Minow

The last of the “Fast and Furious” series is coming and we have a sneak peek.

Interview: Writer/Director Tom McCarthy of the Adam Sandler Fantasy “The Cobbler”

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of writer/director Tom McCarthy (Win Win, “The Station Agent,” The Visitor), and was delighted to get a chance to talk to him about his new film, co-written with Paul Sado, “The Cobbler.”  It is a […]

Trailer: Little Boy — WWII Story of a Boy and His Dad

posted by Nell Minow

In “Little Boy,” Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, and Kevin James star in the story of a child who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad home from World War II alive. It was written directed by […]

Interview: Jordan Trovillion of “Horse Camp”

posted by Nell Minow

Horse Camp is a heartwarming story of a young girl’s adventures at summer camp. I really enjoyed talking to Jordan Trovillion, who plays Kathy, a shy girl who goes from having no friends to having one close friend to abandoning […]

Exclusive Clip: Confessions of a Prodigal Son

posted by Nell Minow

We are proud to be able to share an exclusive clip from the new film Confessions of a Prodigal Son, starring Kevin Sorbo. It is a modern retelling of the classic biblical story, premiering on DVD and Digital HD March […]

Trailer: Documentary About Illustrator Hilary Knight of “Eloise” and “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle”

posted by Nell Minow

I have loved Hilary Knight’s illustrations for as long as I can remember. The words about Eloise, the little girl who lives in New York’s Plaza Hotel, were written by nightclub singer Kay Thompson. But the illustrations were by Hilary […]

Christian Movie Madness Tournament

posted by Nell Minow

ChristianCinema.com is hosting the First Annual Christian “Movie Madness” Tournament. Audiences can vote for their favorite films in a bracket-style tournament competition, based on basketball’s March Madness tournament. ChristianCinema.com hopes to promote great films and create industry-wide buzz about audience-favorite […]

Fashion Week Announcement: Zoolander 2!

posted by Nell Minow

Guess who showed up on the Valentino runway for Paris fashion week! Derek Zoolander and Hansel! And Blue Steel, of course. Derek (Ben Stiller) wears a custom Night Butterflies brocade suit with hand-embroidered overcoat and black Creeper shoes. Hansel (Owen […]

New Trailer: Pixar’s Inside Out

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: David Milchard of Russell Madness — Plus Copies to Give Away!

posted by Nell Minow

David Milchard stars in “Russell Madness” as the father of a family who inherits a wrestling arena.  But I think he would agree that the real stars of the film are the talking monkey and dog. He took the time […]

Contest: Libera Angels Sing — Libera in America

posted by Nell Minow

The Libera boys choir performed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and it was recorded for a PBS special. I am thrilled to have a copy of this glorious performance on DVD, […]

The Real Winner At the Box Office This Week: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow

The headlines about the box office over the weekend are misleading. “Chappie” was number one in overall revenue, but still disappointing. The top box office winner in a given week is usually in the $20-40 million range, with special-effects films […]

The Sound of Music Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

A glorious new 50th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Sound of Music is out this week, featuring commentary, behind the scenes footage, and all kinds of extras — sure to be one of your “favorite things.”   This box-office champ is one […]

If You Love Cookie on “Empire” — More From Taraji P. Henson

posted by Nell Minow

The breakout hit of the television season is the steamy, soapy, musical melodrama “Empire,” and the breakout star (long overdue) is the fabulous Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, just out of prison after 17 years and determined to get […]

Contest: Win a Flintstones WWE DVD/Blu-Ray — Stone Age Smackdown!

posted by Nell Minow

When Fred Flintstone has an idea to make money that involves putting Barney in the ring with the Stone Age WWE all-stars, what can possibly go wrong? This week, we find out in The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown, […]

Trailer: Self/Less with Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds

posted by Nell Minow

Actors love body-switching roles. In “Self/Less,” Ryan Reynolds takes on his second (after the disappointing “The Change-Up”), one of four films he will appear in this year. In this film, as in the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy All of Me), […]

Leon Wieseltier Loves Turner Classic Movies

posted by Nell Minow

When I turn on the television, unless there is some specific program I am planning to watch I always start with Turner Classic Movies to see what’s on there. And much of the time, that’s where I stop. It’s also […]

Watch This Year’s Documentary Oscar Winner Free Online: CitizenFour

posted by Nell Minow

“CitizenFour,” the Oscar-winning documentary about Edward Snowden, is free online. Whether you consider him a hero or a traitor, it is well worth watching, and considering the fragile balance between privacy and national security — and who decides.

What Movies Do You Watch Over and Over?

posted by Nell Minow

A couple of weeks ago, “The Best Years of Our Lives” was on TCM and I decided to watch the first few moments to enjoy again scenes I have enjoyed many, many times. I promised myself I would go to […]

Tribute: Documentary Pioneer Albert Maysles

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of film visionary Albert Maysles, who with his brother David, showed us a new way to see film and a new way to see the world.  They were the first Americans to create intimate, unstructured documentary […]

Trailer: The Lady in the Van with Maggie Smith

posted by Nell Minow

Writer Alan Bennett (“The Madness of King George”) was not sure about the right way to respond when a near-homeless woman in a fragile mental state moved her dilapidated van in front of his house. He did not want her […]

Unfinished Business

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some strong risque sexual content/graphic nudity, and for language and drug use
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

“Unfinished Business” is a story about three renegade renegades from bureaucracy going up against The Man and the importance of the individual in an era of soul-grinding corporatism. But the movie itself is clearly the product of institutional over-management, as […]

Chappie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

So, basically, no one here saw “Terminator.” Or “Frankenstein.” But maybe they did see “Robocop?” Or “Short Circuit?” Writer/director Neill Blomkamp likes sci-fi allegories of social and political conflicts, as we saw in “District 9″ and “Elysium.” Here he imagines […]

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

A documentary called “Young @ Heart” had a choir of singers in their 80’s performing contemporary rock songs.  The very fact of their age and experience gave an unexpectedly profound meaning to the words.  And in “The Second Best Exotic […]

Merchants of Doubt

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date:March 6, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Movie Release Date: March 6, 2015

Do you remember the tobacco executives standing up before a Congressional Committee, their right hands raised, each of them swearing that they did not believe that tobacco caused cancer?  That was in 1994, three decades after the US Surgeon General’s […]

MVP of the Week: Dev Patel

posted by Nell Minow

British-born actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom) is competing with himself this week as the star of two big releases. In the sequel “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” he returns as Sonny Kapoor, the ever-optimistic proprietor of the […]

A Tribute to Unlikeable Women in the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed the recent series on “Unlikeable Women” from the folks at Bitch Flicks. I remember a panel of women filmmakers at Comic-Con all agreeing that the code word for making female characters meek and pliable (and giving all […]

WIN Tickets to “Danny Collins” With Al Pacino and Annette Bening

posted by Nell Minow

WIN tickets to a free showing of Al Pacino’s new film, “Danny Collins,” in Washington D.C. on March 11, 2015. Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as aging 1970’s rocker Danny Collins. But when his manager (Christopher Plummer) […]

Screenwriter Graham Moore on Writing About Smart People

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most touching moments of the 2015 Oscars broadcast was from Graham Moore, a 28-year-old screenwriter who won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for “The Imitation Game,” based on mathematician Alan Turing’s word to solve the Enigma code […]

Trailer: A Royal Night Out

posted by Nell Minow

It’s like a real-life “Roman Holiday.”  According to this film, on the night victory was declared in WWII, Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister, Princess Margaret were given permission by their father (the “King’s Speech” guy) for […]

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

posted by Nell Minow

And don’t forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T!

Opening this Month: March 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Happy March! Looking forward to warmer days and better movies. Some of what we’re looking forward to this month: March 6 “Chappie,” from “District 9’s” Neill Blomkamp, is the story of a robot whose artificial intelligence may just rise to […]

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, “Star Trek’s” half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony.  The […]

Trailer: Like Sunday, Like Rain with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester

posted by Nell Minow

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of “Focus,” here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that “con” comes from “confidence.” A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in […]

Trailer: Love & Mercy with Paul Dano and John Cusack as Brian Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

“Love & Mercy” tells the story of Brian Wilson, the brilliant but troubled member of the Beach Boys.

Contest: Win an Insurgent T-Shirt

posted by Nell Minow

Getting ready for the second film in the “Divergent” series? Not sure you have just the right thing to wear? I’m here to solve your problem! I have an “Insurgent” t-shirt (Size L) to give away! Send me an email […]

Toys That Impair Imagination: The Over-Licensing of Children’s Toys

posted by Nell Minow

It’s always tempting to give children toys from the movies and television programs they love, and some of them are high-quality or even educational. But Melissa Atkins Wardy has a very good argument that the licensing of media tie-ins has […]

Interview: Ryan Potter, Hiro in “Big Hero 6″

posted by Nell Minow

Ryan Potter provided the voice for Hiro in this week’s DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week, the Oscar-winning Big Hero 6. Talking to him on the phone, it was easy to imagine I was talking to Hiro himself. Other than a […]

Contest: Win My Little Pony: Adventures of the Cutie Mark Crusaders

posted by Nell Minow

Win a copy of this week’s release of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Adventures Of The Cutie Mark Crusaders! Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com and tell me your favorite real-life or fictional horse. Don’t forget your address! (US […]

Oscars 2015 — Highlights and Low Points, Plus All the Winners

posted by Nell Minow

It’s kind of unfair that Neil Patrick Harris is so good at so many things, but it sure does make him the ideal Oscar host. Showing the same grace, wit, charm, and star power he brought to the Tony and […]

Watch for#Askhermore Questions on the Red Carpet

posted by Nell Minow

The Representation Project, using the hashtag #askhermore, is urging reporters on the red carpet to ask women about more than their clothes, jewelry, and manicures. They’ll be live-tweeting tonight, and encourage everyone to tweet the questions we want to hear […]

Clip: Richard Gere in “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

posted by Nell Minow

Now that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is full up with its long-term residents, co-managers Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) and Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) have a dream of expansion, and they’ve found just the place: The Second Best Exotic Marigold […]

Awards: Independent Spirit and Razzies 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight’s the big night. The Oscars. And that means that yesterday two of the other most significant movie awards were announced. The Independent Spirit awards are given to the people who make movies outside the studio system. These are passion […]

Mixmaster Baymax: from the “Big Hero 6″ DVD Extras

posted by Nell Minow

Big Hero 6 will be out on DVD/Blu-Ray February 24, 2015. Here’s a cute clip from the DVD extras.

The Most Over-Used Lines in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful screenwriters’ blog Go Into the Story has assembled a terrific list of the most over-used lines of dialog we have heard far too often in movies.  The lines usually mentioned as the most frequent: “Let’s get out of […]

Disney’s New Cinderella: Midnight

posted by Nell Minow

A sneak peek at Disney’s new “Cinderella,” opening March 13, 2015.

The Breakfast Club — 30 Years Later

posted by Nell Minow

“The Breakfast Club,” is one of the best of the John Hughes films about teenagers. No American filmmaker portrayed the lives of contemporary teenagers with as much affection, sensitivity, and understanding as Hughes, with Molly Ringwald the very best of […]

Black Reel Awards: Selma Ties the Record

posted by Nell Minow

It is a great honor to be one of the voters for the Black Reel Awards and I am so proud of our winners this year, with “Selma” deservedly tying the record set by “Precious” with eight awards. Outstanding Motion […]

Previous Posts

Trailer: Batkid Begins
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JMUw4Ndpbdw?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0"] The amazing Make-a-Wish story that captivated the world is now a movie, and I've been looking forward to it ...

posted 8:00:33am May. 23, 2015 | read full post »

A Clip from A.D. The Bible Continues -- Jesus Appears to Saul
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHhESz-i9wY[/youtube] Jesus appears to Saul to turn him towards righteousness in this clip from Episode 8 of "A.D. The Bible Continues," premiering Sunday, May 24, 2015, at 9/8c on NBC. ...

posted 10:52:40pm May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Tomorrowland's Inspirations
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 ...

posted 8:03:49am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Unexpected with Cobie Smulders
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzq7dfZn31k 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, ...

posted 8:00:48am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Tomorrowland
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 ...

posted 7:10:31am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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