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Interview: Director John Goldschmidt on “Dough”

posted by Nell Minow

John Goldschmidt is the director and co-producer of the film “Dough,” a sweet comedy about an Orthodox Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) whose new assistant is a Muslim teenager from Darfur who has a side business dealing weed. The marijuana gets […]

Trailer: Snowden

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a new movie coming out about Edward Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, a master of paranoic drama with a historical focus. If you’re interested in the issue of government spying, national security, and whistleblowing, you should be sure to […]

The Meddler

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2016

Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is the irresistible force who, just before this movie starts, meets the immovable object: devastating grief in the loss of her husband. She does not have the vocabulary to process this loss. And so she tries to […]

May 2016: Movies This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Happy May! The blockbuster movie season officially starts this week with the latest superhero movie from Marvel, and the month will end with another superhero movie as well. But we’ll get some good smaller movies, too. Here’s what I’m looking […]

Trailer: The Magnificent Seven (and the Earlier Versions)

posted by Nell Minow

Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vinnie Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Pratt star in the remake of “The Magnificent Seven,” and they’ve released a teaser trailer: This is a good reminder to catch up on the two […]

Bono is Making a Film About the Psalms with Pastor Eugene Peterson

posted by Nell Minow

Rock star and humanitarian Bono and retired Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson have teamed up to release a new documentary about the book of Psalms.

Keanu

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2016

I laughed so much and so hard at this movie that by the time it was over I had become of those Key and Peele show parking valets. I just wanted to stand in front of a hotel in my […]

Ratchet & Clank

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2016

Roger Ebert famously declared that a video game could not be art, giving rise to howls of protest. I believe that videogames, like movies, can and will rise to the level of art. But movies like “Ratchet & Clank” will […]

Mother’s Day

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date:April 29, 2016
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Movie Release Date: April 29, 2016

I tried, Garry Marshall, I really did, but you finally broke me. I did my best to enjoy Valentine’s Day (I called it a tweet of a movie but gave it a B for being mildly entertaining) and New Year’s […]

Tale of Tales

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Movie Release Date:April 22, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Movie Release Date: April 22, 2016

Who ever said that fairy tales were for children? “Tale of Tales” is based on three stories from Giambattista Basile that go back a hundred years before the Brothers Grimm. Basile, whose book was subtitled “entertainment for little ones” was […]

Trailer: Equals

posted by Nell Minow

Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart star in a futuristic story about a time when emotions are outlawed and love is the worst crime of all.

Interview: Director Liza Johnson of “Elvis & Nixon”

posted by Nell Minow

Elvis & Nixon is inspired by the iconic, if improbable, meeting of two of the most towering, iconic — and widely impersonated — figures of the 20th century. Director Liza Johnson makes the film wise, witty, and enormously entertaining. In […]

Trailer: Time Traveller

posted by Nell Minow

This romantic drama is the story of a man in a coma who may be going back in time.

Contest: Win an Elvis & Nixon Tote Bag or Jacket!

posted by Nell Minow

The most-requested photo in the history of the National Archives has inspired a movie, Elvis & Nixon, about the improbable but true meeting of two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century. And I have some prizes to […]

Elvis & Nixon

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date:April 23, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language
Movie Release Date: April 23, 2016

Today it does not seem at all odd to see Beyoncé hanging out with the Obamas or a reality television star as a popular Presidential candidate. But in the before-social media days of 1970, celebrity culture was not as all-encompassing […]

Sing Street

posted by Nell Minow

You’re a teenager. Suddenly, nothing you thought you knew seems certain anymore. Your parents do not understand you. Your siblings don’t understand you. Your teachers don’t understand you. You don’t understand yourself — everything outside and inside of you seems […]

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:April 22, 2016
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: April 22, 2016

With a storyline as awkward and unfocused as its unwieldy title, “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is like a mashup of “Frozen,” “Lord of the Rings,” and the Narnia movies, without any of the heart or imagination of any of them. […]

Join Me Tonight at Filmfest DC

posted by Nell Minow

Travis Hopson of WETA Around Town, Jason Fraley of WTOP Radio, and I will join celebrated television movie critic Arch Campbell in a panel discussion about the world of movies, both on and off the screen. With Netflix and Amazon […]

Are You Getting the Most Out of Netflix?

posted by Nell Minow

TIME has a terrific list of Netflix hacks to make sure you are getting the most out of the streaming service. Most useful — adjusting streaming rate to get rid of the annoying buffer pauses. Sneakiest: erasing your history.

A Hologram for the King

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:April 22, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: April 22, 2016

“Hologram for the King” is an uneven but always-watchable film based on the book by Dave Eggers. Like Arthur Miller, David Mamet, and many others, Eggers chose a salesman as a central figure and metaphor to illustrate the mixture of […]

It Isn’t a Movie Critic’s Job to Affect Box Office — But We Do

posted by Nell Minow

Headlines crowed over the disparity between critics’ poor reviews of “Batman v. Superman” and the very healthy opening weekend box office. The leading trade publication, Variety, wondered “Do Critics Matter at the Box Office?” Fortune sneered, How ‘Batman v Superman’ […]

Trailer: The Family Fang with Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman

posted by Nell Minow

Jason Bateman directs and stars in “The Family Fang,” based on the book by Kevin Wilson, about the adult children of performance artists, who included them in their stunts, pranks, and displays. Nicole Kidman, Kathryn Hahn, and Christopher Walken co-star.

D23’s Salute to Voice Master Jim Cummings

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s D23 gathering is for its most devoted fans, and it treats them to gems like this tribute to one of its most talented voice performers, Jim Cummings. Watch him say the same thing as an astonishing variety of characters […]

Ebertfest 2016 — Highlights

posted by Nell Minow

Well, really, the entire Ebertfest film festival is a highlight. It truly is unlike any other film festival because it creates such a sense of community, in part because people come back year after year and in part because there […]

First Look at Emma Stone and Steve Carell in “Battle of the Sexes”

posted by Nell Minow

In the fall of 1973, there was no biggest story in sports than the challenge from former tennis champ Bobby Riggs to women players. He claimed that at age 55, decades after he retired in 1951, he could still beat […]

Trailer: The BFG

posted by Nell Minow

Roald Dahl’s book The BFG is about a Big Friendly Giant and a girl named Sophie. But not all giants are friendly. This trailer for the upcoming movie directed by Steven Spielberg looks every bit as magical as the story […]

The Jungle Book: Original Versions

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s splendid new “Jungle Book” from Disney may inspire families to check out the books that inspired it by Rudyard Kipling. Children may prefer his “Just-So” stories and “Rikki-tikki-tavi,” about a curious mongoose who saves the day. Families may […]

Autism Awareness Month on SundanceNow Doc Club Channel

posted by Nell Minow

The SundanceNOw Doc Club observes Autism Awareness Month by showing three inspiring films that follow the triumphs and hurdles of individuals on the Autism spectrum. These stories show that through art and self expression, untraditional methods, and efforts of entire […]

The Real Story: Genesis Potini, the “Dark Horse”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Dark Horse” is based on the true story of Maori speed chess champion Genesis Potini, who struggled with bipolar disorder but taught underprivileged children to play chess. Here is the real Genesis, who died in 2011.

Clip: Mowgli Meets Kaa in “The Jungle Book”

posted by Nell Minow

Scarlett Johansson plays Kaa the snake in this clip from the new live-action “Jungle Book.” Sterling Holloway, who also played Winnie the Pooh, provided the mesmerizing voice in the animated original.

The Jungle Book

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril
Movie Release Date:April 15, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril
Movie Release Date: April 15, 2016

The camera swoops behind the familiar Disney castle logo to take us to that magical place — you know, like the one that is found second star to the right and straight on ’til morning or through the wardrobe in […]

The Dark Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
Movie Release Date:April 15, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
Movie Release Date: April 15, 2016

It would be so easy — and so wrong — to make this true story of a Maori chess champion who struggles with mental illness as he teaches underprivileged kids into a safe, simple, saccharine, uplifting story. But writer/director James […]

Barbershop: The Next Cut

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Movie Release Date:April 15, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Movie Release Date: April 15, 2015

In 1991, Ice Cube was barely into his 20’s when he starred in Boyz N The Hood, one of the most powerful American films of the 20th century, a searing indictment of gang violence and a tribute to one of […]

Interview: James Napier Robertson on the Chess Drama “The Dark Horse”

posted by Nell Minow

James Napier Robertson is an actor turned writer and director from New Zealand who played hundreds of chess games with the real-life champion who inspired his film, “The Dark Horse,” and with the actor who had to learn chess — […]

Trailer: The American Side

posted by Nell Minow

Following a mysterious suicide at Niagara Falls, a low-rent detective unravels a conspiracy to build a revolutionary invention by the (real-life) enigmatic scientist, Nikola Tesla. This noir with a dark comic twist stars Matthew Broderick and Camilla Belle.

Ebertfest 2016

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, now known as Ebertfest, officially begins today, but last night hosted a screening of the delightful “Everybody Wants Some!!” Here’s the Q&A that followed, led off by Chaz Ebert. I’ll be there tomorrow! I’m looking forward […]

Teaser Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch in “Dr. Strange”

posted by Nell Minow

Why “Finding Dory” Will Be Another Crying Movie from Pixar

posted by Nell Minow

Indiewire’s Bill Desowitz has a great interview with “Finding Dory” writer/director Andrew Stanton. “Finding Nemo” is my favorite Pixar film, so perfect it was hard to imagine a sequel. So it was reassuring to hear that director Andrew Stanton felt […]

Behind the Scenes: The Jungle Book

posted by Nell Minow

Why it’s time to tell the story again: The voice talent:

Interview: Erik Lokkesmoe of Different Drummer

posted by Nell Minow

I saw Erik Lokkesmoe of Different Drummer at a screening of “Last Days in the Desert,” a moving, gorgeously photographed film with Ewan McGregeor as Jesus. I have been very impressed with his firm’s commitment to quality, inspiring media so […]

Frock Flicks on the Best Black and White Movie Costumes

posted by Nell Minow

I always love to see what the Frock Flicks ladies have to say and I especially loved the list of the five best black and white costumes. Of course Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress is on the list. But I had […]

MTV Movie Awards Tonight!

posted by Nell Minow

Tune in to MTV tonight for the annual movie awards show, this year hosted by Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. The awards and speeches will be silly and there will be way too much promotion of teen-friendly upcoming films but […]

Watch This Instead: “Troop Beverly Hills”

posted by Nell Minow

As I watched Melissa McCarthy in “The Boss,” I thought of the much funnier Troop Beverly Hills, starring Shelley Long as a pampered socialite who becomes the leader of a Girl Scout-type group of girls and turns out to be […]

Big Data: Movie Talk by Gender and Age

posted by Nell Minow

Polygraph has taken 2000 movie scripts and broken them down by gender, showing that in, for example Disney films, men have more than 60% of the lines, even in films like “Mulan,” which has a female lead and is explicitly […]

Adam Levine’s new Song for “Sing Street”

posted by Nell Minow

Adam Levine’s new song, “Go Now,” is featured in the new John Carney film about a group of teenagers in 1980’s Dublin who start in a band.

Demolition

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexual references, drug use, and disturbing behavior
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexual references, drug use, and disturbing behavior
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2016

As the title suggests, this is a movie about taking things apart, literally and spiritually. And Jake Gyllenhaal gives a performance of shattering intensity as Davis, a finance executive whose wife is killed in a car accident. At the hospital, […]

The Boss

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:April 8, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: April 8, 2016

Here is what Judd Apatow and Paul Feig know that Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone do not: a character can be hilariously obnoxious or endearing but not both, even when played by the irresistible McCarthy. Apatow and Feig have made […]

Trailer: Rogue One, the new Star Wars Chapter, with Felicity Jones

posted by Nell Minow

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker. It’s clear from the storm troopers and the musical theme that we’re in the “Star Wars” universe, but these are new characters and a new look […]

Interview: Marc Abraham, Director of “I Saw the Light”

posted by Nell Minow

Marc Abraham wrote and directed “I Saw the Light,” the Hank Williams story starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olson. Williams died at age 29 after years of poor health and substance abuse. In an interview, Abraham talked about the moments […]

Exclusive Clip: The Masked Saint

posted by Nell Minow

The faith-based action drama “The Masked Saint” is now available on VOD. The film won the award for Best Picture at the International Christian Film Festival in 2015. Inspired by true events in the life of former wrestler and pastor […]

Interview: Catherine Urbanek of “Courting Des Moines”

posted by Nell Minow

Catherine Urbanek stars in “Courting Des Moines,” a political romantic comedy with a series of cameos from real-life 2016 Presidential candidates and other real-life figures in Iowa for the caucuses that are the official start to the quadrennial race for […]

Exclusive Clip: No Letting Go

posted by Nell Minow

“No Letting Go” is a new film about a boy who struggles with mental illness and the impact that it has on his family. The film stars Kathy Najimy, Janet Hubert , Alysia Reiner, Jared Gilman, Richard Burgi, and Noah […]

The History of “All the President’s Men”

posted by Nell Minow

Washingtonian Magazine has a terrific behind-the-scenes round-up of comments to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Best Picture Oscar-winner All the President’s Men. Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Oscar-winner Jane Alexander, Robert Redford, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman and more give their candid […]

Happy Birthday Doris Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 92nd birthday to one of my favorite movie stars, Doris Day!

Trailer: Tale of Tales

posted by Nell Minow

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw writes: Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales is fabulous in every sense: a freaky portmanteau film based on the folk myths collected and published by the 16th-century Neapolitan poet and scholar Giambattista Basile – Garrone worked on […]

Can You Spot the Future Stars in these PBS Shows?

posted by Nell Minow

Mental Floss has a great round-up of early appearances by stars from Ben Affleck to Sarah Jessica Parker, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Keaton as they made their first screen appearances on PBS shows for kids.

April Movies 2016

posted by Nell Minow

Happy April! Coming this month: Biopics about real-life musicians and sometime bandmates Chet Baker and Miles Davis and follow-ups to two beloved ensemble films: “Dazed and Confused” from writer/director Richard Linklater and “Barbershop” from Ice Cube, and comedies about pushy […]

“The April Fools” with Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve

posted by Nell Minow

“The April Fools,” starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve, is featured in my book, 101 Must-See Movie Moments, for a scene where Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve (he’s an unhappy executive; she’s his boss’s unhappy trophy wife) meet a happily […]

Midnight Special

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and action
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and action
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2016

What would happen if someone appeared with strange special powers? What if the person with special powers was an eight year old boy? Would a religious group consider him an angel or maybe a savior? Would the government consider him […]

Everybody Wants Some!!

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date:April 1, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug use and some nudity
Movie Release Date: April 1, 2016

“Everybody Wants Some!!,” the “spiritual sequel” to Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, is so much fun that it is easy to overlook how sweet it is and how smart it is. Those who are hoping for the same combination of […]

The Movie-Making Families of Two Stars of “Everybody Wants Some!!”

posted by Nell Minow

The attractive young cast of Richard Linklater’s new film, “Everybody Wants Some!!” includes two actors who come from Hollywood families. Wyatt Russell, best known for “22 Jump Street,” plays a transfer student. He is the son of Goldie Hawn and […]

Rogerebert.com’s Women’s History Month Tribute

posted by Nell Minow

This week, in honor of Women’s History Month, on rogerebert.com women critics write about film. One featured essay is my appreciation of Nora Ephron, which notes that “Nora Ephron has been portrayed on screen by Diane Keaton, Sandra Dee, Meryl […]

Movie Mom on the Chris Brake Show!

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks very much to Chris Brake for inviting me on his show! It was a lot of fun. Here’s what he said about our conversation. Movie Mom talks Nora Ephron, the WFOD Hollywood Fantasy League, why Batman vs Superman and […]

Tribute: Patty Duke

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of Oscar-winner Patty Duke, who played the part of the blind and deaf child Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, first on the Broadway stage and then on film. Her discovery of language as the water […]

Trailer: Love and Friendship from Jane Austen and Whit Stillman

posted by Nell Minow

Jane Auten’s unfinished novel Lady Susan is an epistolary story — told via letters. The title character is a scheming, manipulative woman determined to find rich husbands for herself and her daughter. It is the basis for “Love and Friendship,” […]

Easter Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery of Easter movies includes “Ben Hur,” several different movie versions of the life of Jesus, a couple of choices just for kids, and a classic musical named for a classic song, Irving Berlin’s “Easter Parade.” There’s something for […]

Funny Little Bunnies — Disney Silly Symphonies

posted by Nell Minow

Easter always makes me think of this Disney classic.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — Deleted Scene

posted by Nell Minow

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be available for streaming on April 1, 2016 and on DVD/Blu-Ray on April 5. Here’s a sneak peek at a deleted scene that’s included with the extras, along with “Finn and the Villager”, “Jakku […]

Trailer: Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in “War Dogs”

posted by Nell Minow

Based on a true story and from Bradley Cooper’s production company, “War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that […]

Tribute: Ken Howard

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor and activist Ken Howard, who has died at age 72. He played Thomas Jefferson in the historical musical 1776. He starred in a television series called “The White Shadow” as a former NBA player […]

Before You See Batman v. Superman, Read This

posted by Nell Minow

I can’t say I recommend buying a ticket for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but anyone who decides to go should check out this primer to bring you up to date. It has some interesting background (Jenna Malone as […]

Tribute: Garry Shandling

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor/writer/comedian Garry Shandling, who died today at age 66. He created two of the most innovative and influential television shows of all time, both smart self-aware, : Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (1986–1990) and HBO’s […]

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2016

The original “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was a charming surprise, a fresh, honest story about a young woman trying to find a way to be true to herself despite her loving but overwhelmingly intrusive Greek-American family. This 15-years-later sequel […]

Trailer: LEGO Batman

posted by Nell Minow

This looks SO much better than “Batman v. Superman.”

Does This Police Dispatcher Sound Familiar?

posted by Nell Minow

The official description: Police Radio: Calls Received Through Radio From Female Dispatcher With Static And Squelch Pops; Close Perspective Here is what it sounds like: Dale Eisinger wrote about being haunted by this clip in The Daily Beast. Like the […]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2016

After the refreshing superhero palate-cleanser that was “Deadpool,” it’s tough to get back into the ponderous, self-important, choir-of-angels soundtrack, too long by at least 45 minutes, even the title is much too long, do we really need another scene (and […]

Trailer: Central Intelligence

posted by Nell Minow

It looks a little bit “The In-Laws,” a little bit “Spy,” and a lot every Kevin Hart movie ever made, but it also looks like it might be fun.

Fandango’s New Streaming Service

posted by Nell Minow

Fandango has announced a new streaming service, FandangoNow, expected to launch by March 30 in time for the HD digital release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on April 1, 2016. They plan to offer theater tickets with a kicker […]

Trailer: Ben-Hur

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston star in this remake of the Charlton Heston classic, “Ben-Hur,” the story of a falsely accused Jewish nobleman in the time of Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro).

On HBO: A Tribute to Nora Ephron From Her Son

posted by Nell Minow

“Everything is Copy,” the documentary about Nora Ephron by her son, premieres tonight at 9:00 on HBO. Ephron was the daughter of Hollywood screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron (“Desk Set”), who named her after Ibsen’s famous heroine of “A Doll’s […]

Trailer: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

posted by Nell Minow

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” based on the book by Ransom Riggs, stars Eva Green as a Professor X-style collector of young people with an assortment of special powers. Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kim Dickens co-star, and […]

Smile of the Week: Jinxy Jenkins, Lucky Lou

posted by Nell Minow

Computers Make Actors Younger and Prettier — Do They Help Them Act?

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post reports on the use of computers to make Paul Reubens look almost as young in his new movie, “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” as he did in his first Pee-wee movie, 36 years ago. In postproduction, artists digitally retouched his […]

Movies With the Biggest Critics/Audience Disagreement

posted by Nell Minow

PrettyFamous found the top 30 films with the largest disparity between critics and the audience, from “Boondock Saints” (audience 91%, critics 20%) to “Because I Said So” (audience 65%, critics 5%). You can read my F review of that one […]

Trailer: Jane Wants a Boyfriend

posted by Nell Minow

A woman on the autism spectrum begins to make a tentative effort towards a relationship in “Jane Wants a Boyfriend,” starring Louisa Krause, with Eliza Dushku as her sister.

Popcorn Garage Has Hidden Clues to 66 Movies — How Many Can You Find?

posted by Nell Minow

Popcorn Garage has hidden clues to 66 movies in this puzzle. How many can you find? The idol and the helmet in the photo below should be easy ones. Be careful — three wrong answers and you’re out!

Exclusive Clip: Fred Willard in “The Yank”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Yank” is an Irish-American comedy film starring Fred Willard (“Anchorman,” “Best in Show”), Kevin Farley (“The Waterboy,” “Tommy Boy”), Colm Meaney (“Hell on Wheels,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), Nicole Forester (“Guiding Light,” “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”), […]

Interview: Gavin Hood of “Eye in the Sky”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Gavin Hood says that his new thriller about drone warfare is “the grown-up version” of his last film, “Ender’s Game.” The Orson Scott Card sci-fi story written in the 1970’s anticipated much of today’s technology, including drone-styled remote machines […]

Strangely Prescient from 1995: “Die Hard With a Vengeance” on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

posted by Nell Minow

“Die Hard with a Vengeance,” the third of the “Die Hard” movies, came out in 1995. The script was original designed as a “Lethal Weapon” sequel, and though Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis had appeared in two of the […]

The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity
Movie Release Date:March 18, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements, and some partial nudity
Movie Release Date: March 18, 2016

I can’t help it. They’re all beginning to run together in my head. How many post-apocalyptic stories featuring hot young stars as the brave teen heroes who are the only ones who can save the day for freedom and middle […]

Hello, My Name is Doris

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 18, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 18, 2016

Thank you, Michael Showalter, for giving American treasure Sally Field a role that gives her a chance to show us not just what she is capable of but what it means to fully inhabit a character with enough sensitivity and […]

Movies for St. Patrick’s Day 2016

posted by Nell Minow

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrate Ireland with some great movies. 1. The Quiet Man John Wayne plays American Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who returns to in Innisfree, the small, beautiful Irish village where he was born, to buy his family’s old home. […]

Behind the Scenes With Charlton Heston and “The Ten Commandments”

posted by Nell Minow

“The Ten Commandments” is coming back to theaters for two days only, March 20 and 23, 2016, in more than 650 cinemas nationwide. Truly, this is a film that must be seen on the big screen to experience the epic […]

Interview: Cyrus Nowrasteh, Director of “The Young Messiah”

posted by Nell Minow

Cyrus Nowrasteh is the director of the new film about the early life of Jesus, The Young Messiah. In an interview, he talked about the challenge of casting a child to play the lead role and creating “the first Jesus […]

Indiana Jones 5 is Coming!

posted by Nell Minow

Clear your calendars for July 19, 2019 — Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are teaming up for a fifth Indiana Jones movie. Producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are also returning, but George Lucas is not. “Indiana Jones is one […]

Interview: John O’Boyle on the Easter Mysteries Musical

posted by Nell Minow

Easter Mysteries is an original, musical theater production about Christ’s death and resurrection, seen through the lens of his disciples and followers.  It is the first Passion Play ever told from Peter’s perspective, with iconic biblical characters portrayed by an […]

Miracles from Heaven

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material, including accident and medical issues
Movie Release Date:March 16, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material, including accident and medical issues
Movie Release Date: March 16, 2016

Christy Wilson Beam’s book title says it all: Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl and Her Amazing Story of Healing. In the book, she tells the story of her daughter Annabel, critically ill with an incurable digestive disorder, who fell […]

Trailer: A Beautiful Planet

posted by Nell Minow

Jennifer Lawrence narrates this documentary that shows us our planet as seen from outer space.

Special Theatrical Showing of “The Ten Commandments”

posted by Nell Minow

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies will present Cecil B. DeMille’s classic “The Ten Commandments” in more than 650 theaters around the country on March 20 and March 23, providing a rare opportunity to see one of the highest-grossing and […]

Trailer: The Kids Menu

posted by Nell Minow

In the film, Joe Cross travels across America to talk to a dozen nutrition experts who are making headway in conquering childhood obesity, including Food Network star Rachael Ray, former White House Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass, and […]

Trailer: Jack of the Red Hearts with AnnaSophia Robb

posted by Nell Minow

AnnaSophia Robb stars as a young woman who accepts a job as a caregiver for an autistic girl in “Jack of the Red Hearts” with Famke Jameson and Scott Cohen.

Smile of the Week: A Short Poem About Late-Life Love

posted by Nell Minow

“Love — the only reason that we’re alive.”

Trailer: “The Program” is About Lance Armstrong

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite directors (Stephen Frears of “The Queen”) and two of my favorite actors, Ben Foster and Chris O’Dowd star in the story Lance Armstrong, who was a worldwide symbol of determination and resilience until he was disgraced […]

Eye in the Sky

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violent images and language
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violent images and language
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2016

“Eye in the Sky” is a rare thriller that grips the mind and heart equally. Drones take our military closer than we have ever been before to the people and the activities of the enemy as they remove us further […]

The Young Messiah

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:March 11, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: March 11, 2016

We have a very clear picture of Jesus’s birth, and it is endlessly re-enacted and depicted each year at Christmas time. But we know almost nothing about His childhood, other than his astonishing the elders with his depth of knowledge. […]

Interview: Michael Showalter of “Hello, My Name is Doris”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director/actor Michael Showalter has a great eye for talent. The original “Wet Hot American Summer” was a career starting point for Bradley Cooper (who missed his Juilliard graduation to be on the set), David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Amy […]

ReelAbilities Film Festival in New York Highlights Films About and Made By People With Disabilities

posted by Nell Minow

The 8th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival kicks off today in New York City at the JCC Manhattan. Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo will be in attendance to introduce the festival and opening night film MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW. The ReelAbilities Film […]

Trailer: Ghostbusters with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones

posted by Nell Minow

Four of the funniest women in the world star in the “Ghostbusters” reboot.

Interview: Dawn Porter on the Abortion Documentary “Trapped”

posted by Nell Minow

Dawn Porter is the lawyer-turned-documentarian who directed and co-produced Trapped, a film about the new laws limiting access to abortion. Known as TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws, they are described by legislators as protecting the health and safety […]

Interview: The Producers of “Knight of Cups”

posted by Nell Minow

Director Terrence Malick makes films that are visually stunning and — depending on who you ask — either narratively challenging or frustratingly obscure. It was a pleasure to speak to three producers of his latest film, “Knight of Cups,” starring […]

Zootopia Breaks Box Office Records

posted by Nell Minow

Once again, only Hollywood executives are surprised when a great family film wins at the box office. “Zootopia” now has Disney Animation’s best opening box office ever, with over $73 million. Box Office for Weekend Ending March 6, 2016 | […]

The Real Story: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

posted by Nell Minow

Tina Fey’s new film, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, is “inspired by” not “based on” the true story of journalist Kim Barker, which is why the character’s name is one letter removed from her real-life inspiration: she is called Kim Baker. The […]

Tribute: Actress/First Lady Nancy Reagan

posted by Nell Minow

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan has died at age 94. She met Ronald Reagan when she was an actress named Nancy Davis and she had been confused with a similarly-named actress by investigators looking for Communist sympathizers in Hollywood. They […]

Trailer: The Light Between Oceans

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia who raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat.

YouTube Spaces Womens Project

posted by Nell Minow

YouTube Spaces has launched a new program for women filmmakers. 51 channels from 6 cities around the world with a combined subscriber reach of over 43 million subscribers produced content as part of a special YouTube initiative to spotlight and […]

Tribute: Pat Conroy

posted by Nell Minow

“A story untold could be the one that kills you.” The man who said that was the great Southern writer Pat Conroy, who told his own story of pain and abuse and loss through the characters in his books. Today […]

Of the Three Movies Released This Week, the One With the Most Racial and Gender Awareness is….Zootopia

posted by Nell Minow

The two live-action releases this week, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” and “London Has Fallen,” featured stereotyping and white actors playing characters of color. So it was especially refreshing to watch “Zootopia,” a Disney animated movie with talking animals, and discover some […]

Trailer: The Meddler

posted by Nell Minow

The latest from Lorene Scafaria, director of the delightful “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist,” is “The Meddler,” starring Susan Sarandon (with bagels!) and Rose Byrne.”

Star Wars Costumes on Display at Discovery Times Square

posted by Nell Minow

Discovery Times Square has a fabulous exhibit of “Star Wars” costumes and props, from all seven films, with fascinating behind the scenes details and commentary from the people who created the costumes — and the people who wore them. The […]

London Has Fallen

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and language throughout
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2016
D
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language throughout
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2016

“London Has Fallen” is a love letter from producer-star Gerard Butler to himself and every bit as dumb and dreary as that sounds. This sequel to the more violent of the two attack on the White House movies of 2013 […]

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, drug use and violent war images
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2016

When Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times reviewed the book that inspired “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” the memoir of journalist Kim Barker about her days covering US military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, she wrote: What’s remarkable about “The Taliban […]

Trapped

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2016

TRAP stands for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. “Trapped” is a powerful new documentary that focuses on efforts to cut off women’s access to abortion by imposing requirements and restrictions on clinics that have no relationship to health or safety. […]

Oscar Quiz Answers

posted by Nell Minow

1. What Oscar-winning director is the son and father of Oscar-winning performers and what was his connection to their award-winning films? Director John Huston won an Oscar for “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” and directed both his father, Walter […]

New on DVD: Kate and Mim-Mim

posted by Nell Minow

Kate & Mim-Mim was actually created by a husband and wife and is based on their daughter Kate and her stuffed bunny rabbit. Kate’s riding her bike for the first time without training wheels and she keeps falling. In Mimiloo, […]

Trailer: Finding Dory, from Pixar

posted by Nell Minow

I can’t wait for this!

Zootopia

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2016

Simmer down, out there. In this, the craziest of all political moments in US history, some people are going to tell you that Disney’s adorable “Zootopia” is full of subtext about issues like immigration and terrorism and the role of […]

Coming to Theaters — March 2016

posted by Nell Minow

Happy March! Here’s some of what we’ll be seeing in theaters this month. March 4, 2016 “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” Tina Fey and Margot Robbie star in this fact-based story of women reporters covering the war in Afghanistan. “Zootopia” Disney’s latest […]

“Gods of Egypt” Director Alex Proyas is as Ignorant About Critics as About Gods, Egypt, and How to Make a Good Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Aw, we hurt Alex Proyas’ feelings. His film, “Gods of Egypt,” is the first major failure of 2016, with a dismal 13% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, a break-the-bank budget of $140 million and a total first week […]

Watch the Oscar-Winning Animated Short: Bear Story

posted by Nell Minow

The excited filmmakers noted that this was Chile’s first Oscar — for this animated short about a bear taken from his family to be in a circus, an allegory for the families torn apart by Pinochet’s regime.

Oscars 2016: Best and Worst of the Broadcast

posted by Nell Minow

Best: Chris Rock’s pointed but fair — and very funny — opening monologue, making it clear that #oscarssowhite is a problem, that it is a long-term problem, that it is not as important as other manifestations of racism and other […]

Star Wars Shoes!

posted by Nell Minow

These are adorable! Some of them even have light saber heels, and the Chewbacca tribute shoes are furry. And the designer, Irregular Choice, has a sensational Alice in Wonderland (Disney version) selection as well.

Documentary: Becoming Bulletproof, the Story of Filmmakers with Disabilities

posted by Nell Minow

Becoming Bulletproof is the story of a movie-making group, many with disabilities, that gets together every summer in Vermont. The documentary about them is available now on iTunes and Amazon.

Fans Want the Maltese Falcon Statue Even More than Kasper Gutman Did

posted by Nell Minow

Seventy-five years ago, The Maltese Falcon was first released, the very first film from director John Huston (with his father, the distinguished actor Walter Huston, in a small non-speaking part for good luck). It was the third version of the […]

The Real Story: Eddie the Eagle

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s the real Eddie the Eagle telling his story. Smithsonian Magazine wrote: A quarter century ago British plasterer-turned-ski jumper Michael Edwards made a name for himself—Eddie the Eagle—by not skiing or jumping very well at the Winter Olympics in Calgary. […]

My Essay on “Bridge of Spies”

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to the Kansas City Star for inviting me to participate in their Oscar special supplement, with an essay on Best Picture nominee “Bridge of Spies.”

What Do Movies Teach Children About Money, Class, and Status?

posted by Nell Minow

Science of Us reports on a new paper about the way money, class, and status are portrayed in films for children. It is Benign Inequality: Frames of Poverty and Social Class Inequality in Children’s Movies published in the Journal of […]

Gods of Egypt

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality
Movie Release Date:February 26, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, and some sexuality
Movie Release Date: February 26, 2016

“Gods of Egypt” has more gods than IQ points. There are some grand and striking visuals and some well-staged fight scenes, but there are also effects that look like they were created for a 64-bit computer game and lines of […]

Eddie the Eagle

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking
Movie Release Date:February 26, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking
Movie Release Date: February 26, 2016

There are heroes who inspire us because they win, showing indomitable determination and courage, like Jesse Owens in Race. And then there are heroes who inspire us when they lose. They also have indomitable determination and courage. They just do […]

Trailer: Sing, a New Animated Film With Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, and Leslie Jones

posted by Nell Minow

Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Nick Kroll, and Leslie Jones star in “Sing,” about a singing competition.

Fandango’s Best Picture Movie Mashup

posted by Nell Minow

You won’t see a better tribute to this year’s eight Best Picture nominees than this one, from Fandango. It made me want to watch all of them all over again.

Moviepass Oscar Contest!

posted by Nell Minow

Moviepass is a great deal for movie lovers — one price for unlimited movie tickets. And they have a great Oscar contest — guess the final winners and you can win an entire year of MoviePass for free! The runner […]

Trailer: Pete’s Dragon with Bryce Dallas Howard

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s remake of “Pete’s Dragon” looks more like “How to Train Your Dragon” or “The Jungle Book” than the original musical version with Helen Reddy.

What We Learn from Character Introductions

posted by Nell Minow

Movies are short. They have to fit a whole story into a space that is usually just 90-120 minutes. So every single detail on the screen has to deliver information. This is a great explanation of how our first view […]

Watch Movies Banned by the National Legion of Decency on TCM

posted by Nell Minow

For more than 100 years, movies have been offending someone, and no group has spent more time on the front lines of “decency” battles than the Catholic Legion of Decency, later renamed the National Legion of Decency. They went all […]

Interview: The Frock Flicks Bloggers on Historical Movie Costumes and Their Favorite Designers

posted by Nell Minow

Frock Flicks is a wonderful blog from Trystan L. Bass, Sarah Lorraine, and Kendra Van Cleave, whose commentary on the historical accuracy and creative contribution of the costumes in historical movies and television is thoughtful, perceptive, and illuminating. They also […]

Trailer: Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell in a Hitman Romantic Comedy — “Mr. Right”

posted by Nell Minow

It’s just the usual romantic comedy set-up. An adorkably irresistible single woman just can’t find the right guy. And then she does, but there’s some cute reason they can’t live happily ever after for 90 minutes of endearing complications. The […]

Star Wars Fan Film Awards!

posted by Nell Minow

Are you a “Star Wars” fan? Would you like to make a movie? Enter the Star Wars Fan Film contest — and don’t forget to thank me in your acceptance speech!

Trailer: Mother’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Director Garry Marshall is working his way through the calendar with another all-star, multi-story holiday tribute. This time, it’s Mother’s Day, with Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Margo Martindale, Jason Sudeikis, and Timothy Olyphant.

Activity Sheets from Disney’s New DVD: The Lion Guard

posted by Nell Minow

New from Disney: The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, out on DVD February 23, 2016. Meet Kion, second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assumes the role of leader of “The Lion Guard,” an elite team of animals […]

The Real Story: “Race” and Jesse Owens

posted by Nell Minow

This week, “Race” tells the story of Olympian Jesse Owens. His achievement of setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan has been called the […]

Interview: Joseph Fiennes of “Risen”

posted by Nell Minow

Joseph Fiennes plays Clavius in “Risen,” the new Biblical epic about a Roman solider who witnesses Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and becomes a believer. It was a great honor and pleasure to talk with him about what drew him to […]

Race

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date:February 19, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and language
Movie Release Date: February 19, 2016

When Adolf Hitler wanted to send the world his message of German/Aryan supremacy at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, African-American runner Jesse Owens won four gold medals. It was the first time that Olympic events were seen everywhere via the films […]

Risen

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for Biblical violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date:February 19, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for Biblical violence including some disturbing images
Movie Release Date: February 19, 2016

“Risen” is a sober, reverent story of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a Roman soldier ordered to witness the crucifixion of Jesus and prevent his body from being stolen. When the rock placed in front of the tomb and sealed by Clavius […]

Screenwriter Ted Tally on the 25th Anniversary of “Silence of the Lambs”

posted by Nell Minow

“Silence of the Lambs” is one of only two films to sweep the Oscars, winning Best Picture, Actress, Actor, Director, and Adapted Screenplay. On the 25th anniversary, screenwriter Ted Tally spoke about the film to Rolling Stone’s Kory Grow. Here […]

Interview: “Race” Director Stephen Hopkins on Jesse Owens

posted by Nell Minow

“Race” is the story of Jesse Owens, one of the greatest athletes of all time, and an African-American whose four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics showed the world that Hitler’s propaganda — and America’s Jim Crow laws — […]

Behind the Scenes with the Costume Designer of “Pretty in Pink”

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Jen Chaney had a great interview with Marilyn Vance, who designed the wonderful costumes in the Molly Ringwald/Andrew McCarthy/Jon Cryer classic, “Pretty in Pink.” “I relate personally to this film,” says the Brooklyn native, who grew up, like […]

John Hanlon on the Oscar Nominees for Costume Design

posted by Nell Minow

My friend and fellow critic John Hanlon has a great piece on Where To Watch about the nominees for Best Costume Design Oscars this year, including Sandy Powell, who is competing with herself with nominations for both “Carol” and “Cinderella.”

Interview: Composer David Benjamin Steinberg of “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures”

posted by Nell Minow

David Benjamin Steinberg is a composer who recently created the score for a documentary about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe called “Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures.” In an interview, he talked about finding sounds that would complement the striking images in the […]

Watch “The Present”

posted by Nell Minow

This is a lovely film — highly recommended for all families.

Slate’s History of Movie Kisses

posted by Nell Minow

Slate has a great history of kisses in movies. Here are some of my favorite movie kisses: And here is Diane Keaton talking about the men she’s kissed in the movies and the ones she’d like to kiss!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Real-Life Movie Sweethearts

posted by Nell Minow

I love to recommend romantic movies for Valentine’s Day. This year, how about some movies starring real-life movie sweethearts? Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward made several films together, including “The Long, Hot Summer” and “Rachel Rachel” (he directed, she starred). […]

If Male Characters in Movie Scripts Were Described Like Female Characters

posted by Nell Minow

A producer in Hollywood has been tweeting the idiotic, objectifying, and sexist descriptions of female characters in movie scripts. He calls them all “Jane.” JANE, 28, athletic but sexy. A natural beauty. Most days she wears jeans, and she makes […]

The Off Camera Show

posted by Nell Minow

Anyone who loves movies should subscribe to the Off Camera Show on YouTube. This short black and white clips from interviews with filmmakers and musicians are exceptionally insightful, thanks to thoughtful questions from Sam Jones.

Celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday With Great Movies About the 16th President

posted by Nell Minow

Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln! Celebrate the birthday of our 16th President with some of the classic movies about his life. Reportedly, he has been portrayed more on screen than any other real-life character.  I was honored to be invited to […]

Rogerebert.com Critics Pay Tribute to Monkey Movies and Argue About Spoilers

posted by Nell Minow

My friends at Rogerebert.com saluted the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey with our favorite monkey movies, and ended up arguing about spoilers!

Trailer: “Criminal” with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ryan Reynolds

posted by Nell Minow

How to be Single

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content and strong language throughout
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Drew Barrymore — you know I love you but how does your Flower Films production company produce a film about female friendship and empowerment that barely passes the Bechdel test? And did we really need a thinly disguised remake of […]

Zoolander 2

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Kind of like fashion itself, we don’t really care whether “Zoolander 2″ is any good. We go because it is silly fun. The original Zoolander, released in 2001 just after the attacks on 9/11, was based on shorts Ben Stiller […]

Touched With Fire

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Movies are fascinated with mentally ill people but they usually do not do a very good job of portraying them accurately or compassionately. Too often they are serial killers (“Silence of the Lambs”). Even worse, many times they are adorable […]

Trailer: The Whole Truth with Keanu Reeves and Gugu Mbatha-Raw

posted by Nell Minow

Keanu Reeves, Renee Zellweger, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in the courtroom drama “The Whole Truth,” directed by “Frozen River’s” Courtney Hunt.

Create Your Own Zoolander Valentine!

posted by Nell Minow

Zoolander 2 and Valentine’s Day! Visit this site to show your valentine that your love is as true as Blue Steel!

Interview: Paul Dalio, Writer/Director of “Touched With Fire”

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Dalio is a rap artist, writer, and director whose own bipolar disorder inspired his new film, “Touched With Fire.” In an interview, he talked about how he portrayed the subjective experience of mania for the bipolar poets played by […]

Big Change at This Year’s Oscars: Thanked Names on Screen

posted by Nell Minow

Jezebel reports a long-overdue innovation in this year’s Oscar ceremony: nominees will have the opportunity to submit their list of people to thank before the show, so that they can run across the bottom of the screen. This will give […]

Deadpool

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date:February 12, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity
Movie Release Date: February 12, 2016

Frankly, exuberantly nasty — in the nicest possible way, Deadpool is not your father’s superhero. That is, unless your father is more like “Who’s your daddy?” all snarky wisecracks, 90’s pop culture references, and joyous mayhem. Deadpool is the po-mo […]

Beliefnet’s Movie Love Quotes Quiz

posted by Nell Minow

Check out this great quiz about great movie love quotes! If you beat my score (18), let me know!

Trailer: Screenagers, a Documentary About 21st Century Kids and Their Devices

posted by Nell Minow

Every parent should see “Screenagers,” which explores the unprecedented challenges families face over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Insights from authors and brain scientists provide a context for thoughts about how to best empower kids to navigate […]

The People and Movies That Inspired “Hail, Caesar!”

posted by Nell Minow

The Coen brothers love old movies, and we see evidence of that in many of their films, including “Barton Fink,” about a hapless playwright who come to Hollywood to write movies in the 1940’s, and with their remakes of the […]

Interview: Francis Gary Powers, Jr. on his Father, the Cold War, and “Bridge of Spies”

posted by Nell Minow

Bridge of Spies, out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week, tells the story of the tense negotiations for the exchange of a Soviet spy for an American U2 pilot and a graduate student. The pilot was Francis Gary Powers, who was flying […]

Joseph Gordon Levitt Wants to Know Your Thoughts on Technology and Democracy

posted by Nell Minow

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRECord project has a new initiative. He’s asking everyone to answer these questions: 1. Is today’s technology good or bad for Democracy? 2. How might the technology of the future be BAD for Democracy? 3. How might the […]

Interview: Nicholas Sparks on “The Choice”

posted by Nell Minow

Nicholas Sparks is one of the must successful and best-loved authors in the world. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 100 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 65 million […]

Black History Month 2016

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take time during Black History month to watch movies the Civil Rights movement, (“Eyes on the Prize,” “Selma,” “Boycott”), and movies that are themselves a part of black history and film history (add to that list: “Killer of […]

A Moving Tribute to a Father Through Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Jessica Ritchey wrote a touching essay for Rogerebert.com about the movies she watched in the year after her father died, and how watching them helped her to keep him close. I’ve been published several times by the time I see […]

Hail, Caesar!

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2016

The Coen brothers love old movies, and not just the classics. I remember reading an interview where they discussed their affection for “With Six You Get Eggroll,” which even Doris Day’s most fervent fans do not consider one of her […]

The Choice

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Movie Release Date:February 5, 2016
DVD Release Date:May 2, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Movie Release Date: February 5, 2016
DVD Release Date: May 2, 2016

Nicholas Sparks is one of the rare authors who has become a brand of his own, bigger than any of his movies. One reason is their predicability; fans know what to expect and they won’t be disappointed. The other reason […]

Trailer: LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings

posted by Nell Minow

Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of Game of Thrones) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But […]

Trailer: Me Before You

posted by Nell Minow

Me Before You, the international best-seller by Jojo Moyes, is the story of a wealthy young man paralyzed in an accident and the happy — if sometimes hapless — girl who takes a job as his caregiver. Emilia Clarke (“Game […]

Television Takes On Two of the Biggest Crime Stories of the Past 25 Years

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winner Richard Dreyfuss stars in the story of one of the biggest financial frauds of all time, Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme, with Blythe Danner as his wife. People who want to know more should watch the documentary “Chasing […]

Behind the Scenes: JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

posted by Nell Minow

I’m so excited about “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” with the first-even screenplay from Harry Potter author JK Rowling. It’s her first story set in the past and her first set in the United States. Here’s a behind […]

Happy Groundhog Day!

posted by Nell Minow

How many “Groundhog Days” did Bill Murray spend in Punxsutawney?

Interview: Producer Jim Whitaker on “The Finest Hours”

posted by Nell Minow

Producer Jim Whitaker says that when he first read The Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue, “every time it came to a different point in the story it just got more and more amazing. And in […]

Opening this Month: February 2016

posted by Nell Minow

Happy February! I love February. It’s short. It sometimes gets an extra day (yay! Leap year!). It has Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. And it means that the January movie doldrums are over. So let’s just remember to pronounce that […]

Interview: Ilya Tovbis on the DC Jewish Film Festival

posted by Nell Minow

Ilya Tovbis is director of the Washington DC Jewish Film Festival, which will take place from February 24-March 6, 2016. In an interview, he talked about what it means to be a “Jewish movie.” “It’s on one hand easy and […]

New on DVD — The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave

posted by Nell Minow

Five best friends set out on a courageous rescue packed with laughter, thrills and music in the all-new animated movie, The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave coming to DVD and Digital HD on February 2, 2016, from Universal […]

Behind the Scenes with Kung Fu Panda 3’s Bryan Cranston and Movietickets.com

posted by Nell Minow

The Finest Hours — The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“The Finest Hours,” in theaters today, stars Chris Pine and Eric Bana in the fact-based story of the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history. In February of 1952, two tanker ships were in distress during a terrible storm off […]

The Finest Hours

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2016

“In the Coast Guard they say you gotta go out. They don’t say you gotta come back in.” It was a big nor’easter storm off the coast of Massachusetts. It was February 1952, so communications technology was limited. And not […]

Kung Fu Panda 3

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 29, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 29, 2016

The only panda more “aw-worthy” than Po (Jack Black), is the National Zoo’s Tian Tian rolling in the snow.  In this third outing, the roly poly martial arts hero is still kind, humble, brave, and wiser than he knows. And, […]

Oscar Nominee: World of Tomorrow

posted by Nell Minow

“World of Tomorrow” turned up on several “best of the year” lists from movie critics. It has been nominated for an Oscar as best animated short film, and can be seen now on Vimeo (for a nominal fee) and Netflix […]

Exclusive Clip from The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave

posted by Nell Minow

The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave will be available on Digital HD and exclusively on DVD at Walmart on February 2, 2016. We are delighted to present an exclusive clip.

Guess the Oscars and Win 60 Years of Free Movies!

posted by Nell Minow

Dealflicks Inc, an online company offering movie ticket and concession deals for up to 60% off, has announced its national launch of their 1st annual “Predict the Oscars” contest. If someone guesses all 24 of the Oscars correctly, he or […]

Previous Posts

Interview: Director John Goldschmidt on "Dough"
John Goldschmidt is the director and co-producer of the film “Dough,” a sweet comedy about an Orthodox Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) whose new assistant is a Muslim teenager from Darfur who has a side business dealing weed. The marijuana ...

posted 3:40:09pm May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Janis Joplin on PBS American Masters
The two most dazzling life performances I have ever seen or will ever see were both by Janis Joplin. This week, the PBS American Masters series is her story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BecO7FgQnEc Here she is at the Monterey music ...

posted 1:58:52pm May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: Snowden
There's a new movie coming out about Edward Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, a master of paranoic drama with a historical focus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KyltHXrxVk If you're interested in the issue of government spying, national ...

posted 8:00:00am May. 02, 2016 | read full post »

The Meddler
Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is the irresistible force who, just before this movie starts, meets the immovable object: devastating grief in ...

posted 11:42:17am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

May 2016: Movies This Month
Happy May! The blockbuster movie season officially starts this week with the latest superhero movie from Marvel, and the month will end with another superhero movie as well. But we'll get some good smaller movies, too. Here's what I'm looking ...

posted 12:18:04am May. 01, 2016 | read full post »

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