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Trailer: Finding Dory

posted by Nell Minow

The sequel to “Finding Nemo” is “Finding Dory,” with Ellen DeGeneres as the forgetful blue tang. Pixar has just released the trailer for the film, which will be out in 2016.

Coming to Theaters: Women of Faith — An Amazing Joyful Journey

posted by Nell Minow

Women of Faith, the world’s largest producer of inspirational events for Christian women, announces the organization’s first-ever event for cinemas, Women of Faith: An Amazing Joyful Journey with screenings starting February 18, 2016. BY Experience, pioneers of live cinema events, […]

Trailer: Friends and Romans

posted by Nell Minow

Nick DeMaio, (Michael Rispoli) is an aspiring actor who is perpetually typecast as “Gangster # 3″ in films about the Mob. In an attempt to be taken seriously, he and his Staten Island buddies decide to stage a play—and not […]

The 33

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

There are other numbers they could have used in the title. 121 — that is how old the Chilean Copiapó mine was when it collapsed in 2010. 2300 — that is how many feet underground the men were when it […]

My All American

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rate PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rate PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

If I wrote this review the way writer-director Angelo Pizzo wrote the script for “My All American,” it would be something like this: I saw a movie. It was about football. Freddie Steinmark worked hard and inspired his team, but […]

Spotlight

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 13, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language including sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 13, 2015

“Spotlight” is about the ultimate betrayal of trust from an institution that literally represented the Word of God to many people. And it is about whether we will continue to have institutions that serve the essential function of monitoring the […]

Trumbo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:November 11, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: November 11, 2015

The post-WWII era was one of great relief and great fear. The Nazis had been defeated, but at the cost of bringing into the world the horror of atomic weapons. It was a certainty that the next war would be […]

Exclusive Trailer: Robo-Dog

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to premiere the exclusive trailer for “Robo-Dog,”coming on January 5, 2016 on DVD and digital. He sits, plays fetch and he can move at super speed, bark at incredible volume and speak like a human being! He’s […]

Trailer: “Christmas Eve” with Patrick Stewart, Gary Cole, and Jon Heder

posted by Nell Minow

When a power outage traps six different groups of New Yorkers inside elevators on Christmas Eve, they find that laughter, romance, and a little holiday magic will get them through – and change their lives in unexpected ways. Sometimes life […]

Clip: The Best Years of Our Lives

posted by Nell Minow

“The Best Years of Our Lives” is about returning WWII veterans, very appropriate for Veteran’s Day. It is one of my favorite films, and this scene is one of my 101 Must-See Movie Moments. Here is what I wrote about […]

For Veteran’s Day: The Way We Get By

posted by Nell Minow

Director Aron Gaudet is the son of a “greeter,” one of the volunteers in Maine who make sure that every soldier coming through the airport gets a warm showing of appreciation. He told me, “We started seeing these parallels, too, […]

Lost Preston Sturges Film: Hotel Haywire

posted by Nell Minow

A column by Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times about 700 “lost” Paramount films caught my attention. The first paragraph mentioned one of my favorite movies, “Alias Nick Beal,” with Ray Milland as Satan bargaining for the soul of a […]

Trailer: Sally Field in “Hello, My Name is Doris”

posted by Nell Minow

Sally Field stars with Tyne Daly and Max Greenfield in “Hello, My Name is Doris,” about a woman who takes an unexpected adventure.

Google Star of the Day: Hedy Lamarr

posted by Nell Minow

Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood history, Hedy Lamarr. She was also an inventor! Here she is with James Stewart. Happy 101st birthday, Hedy!

What are the Most Successful Film Franchises?

posted by Nell Minow

PrettyFamous examined the most successful film franchises of all time. [C}haracter-driven franchises with plenty of edge-of-the-seat moments can spur on the production of final chapters, sequels and prequels for years to come. The most recent example is, of course, the […]

Interview: Johann Johannsson, Composer of “Sicario”

posted by Nell Minow

Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic composer who created the moody, evocative score for the intense law enforcement drama, “Sicario.” Previously, he wrote the score for the Stephen Hawking film, “The Theory of Everything.” It was a pleasure to speak with […]

This Week at the Box Office — The G Sweet Spot

posted by Nell Minow

Why why why why why is it so hard for Hollywood to figure out that there is a wildly enthusiastic audience for G-rated movies? The only major G-rated release of the year is “The Peanuts Movie,” which opened last Friday […]

Interview: Sarah Gavron on “Suffragette”

posted by Nell Minow

Sarah Gavron directed “Suffragette,” starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Meryl Streep in the story of some of the women who fought in the decades-long struggle to give women voting rights in the UK. I spoke to her in an […]

Trailer: Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

posted by Nell Minow

I’m a big fan of Bryan Greenberg — and of movie romances — and this looks great. Greenberg and his co-star, Jamie Chung, just got married, so that chemistry between them is the real deal.

Trailer: Chi-Raq

posted by Nell Minow

Spike Lee updates the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes for this provocative new film about women who lead a rebellion against violence by withholding their…affection.

Spectre

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and languag
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

I thought “Skyfall” was the best Bond film ever, from the Adele theme song to the storyline that literally brought Bond (Daniel Craig) home. “Spectre” picks up where “Skyfall” left off, M (Dame Judi Dench) dead, the headquarters destroyed, the […]

The Peanuts Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015

I admit that I approached this film with some of the same trepidation Charlie Brown approaches the football, knowing Lucy’s history of pulling it out of the way at the last second. I’m a fan of Charles Schultz’s original comic […]

Miss You Already

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2015

Friendship has the best aspects of romantic love and the best of family love, and the worst of both as well. Your friends as are close to you as anyone in the world, which means you can rely on them […]

Which Bond is the Best? Critics Pick

posted by Nell Minow

The International Family Film Festival — November 6-8 in Los Angeles

posted by Nell Minow

The 20th annual International Family Film Festival opens tomorrow in Hollywood with a great schedule of films and activities. They will bestow their “Friz” award on a Disney animation legend, Floyd Norman. There are panels for filmmakers on financing, producing, […]

Interview: “Armor of Light,” the Documentary about Faith and Guns

posted by Nell Minow

Armor of Light is a thought-provoking new documentary with important insights for everyone on all sides of the debate on guns. Documentarian Abigail Disney made a film about two people who are making a faith-based case for addressing gun violence […]

Exclusive Clip — Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Our favorite elf is back! And we are thrilled to have an exclusive clip. Jim Parsons (“Big Bang Theory”) takes over the role of Buddy in this animated version to the family favorite, “Elf,” with songs from the hit Broadway […]

Interview: “Chaplains” Director Martin Doblmeier

posted by Nell Minow

Martin Doblmeier has made more than thirty movies about faith. The latest from his Journey Films is “Chaplains,” showing this month on PBS. It is a profound and moving documentary about chaplains of many different faiths in a variety of […]

Owlegories

posted by Nell Minow

“Owlegories” is a new “gospel-centered” animated series and app for kids, designed to teach them about God through the amazing things found in nature. They are Biblical allegories told by owls. It is a bright, colorful, and accessible series. I […]

Toy Story that Time Forgot

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2014
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2014
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2015

Pixar’s adorable 2014 Toy Story holiday special is now available on DVD/Blu-Ray. In Toy Story that Time Forgot Bonnie brings her toys to a friend’s house and then leaves them to play a videogame. Buzz, Woody, and the gang discover […]

Clip and Contest: Shelby, a Magical Holiday Tail

posted by Nell Minow

New from Anchor Bay! “Shelby, A Magical Holiday Tail,” the Dove®-family-approved movie for all ages, arrives on Digital HD Oct. 23 and on DVD and On Demand Nov. 3, 2015. Rescue dog Shelby (voice of Rob Schneider) manages to escape […]

Coming to Theaters — November 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Some big names are coming to theaters this month! No name is bigger than Bond, James Bond, and Daniel Craig’s last Bond film opens this week, with Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, and “Sherlock” star Andrew Scott. And, the new Peanuts […]

Trailer: Jake Gyllenhaal in “Demolition”

posted by Nell Minow

Crimson Peak: The Art of Darkness

posted by Nell Minow

Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Mia Wasikowska play the leads in Guillermo del Toro’s new psychological horror film, “Crimson Peak,” but it is the house that is the star of the film. Del Toro’s brilliant visuals immerse the audience in […]

Happy Halloween! Watch the Silly Symphonies Skeleton Dance!

posted by Nell Minow

What Halloween Movies Made the Most Money?

posted by Nell Minow

  Data curated by prettyfamous.com and findthedata.com and sourced from Gracenote.

Burnt

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

Tormented but brilliant chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) invites the sous chef he hopes to persuade to come work for him to lunch. At Burger King. They are both food snobs. She does not want to touch anything in the […]

Our Brand is Crisis

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

As we gear up for one of the most improbable and even outlandish Presidential campaigns in US history, we get a movie based on a real-life Presidential campaign in Bolivia, with imported American political consultants transplanting the media-savvy, scorched-earth, mud-slinging […]

Suffragette

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

How do you persuade politicians to give you the vote when you do not have the capacity to vote them out if they deny it? That was the problem faced by women in later 19th and early 20th century Great […]

Armor of Light

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 30, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 30, 2015

What does it truly mean to be “pro-life?” For many who consider themselves conservatives, it means to be anti-abortion. For many who consider themselves liberals, it means to be against gun violence. One leading evangelical minister, a founder of the […]

Inside Out: Behind the Scenes of Riley’s First Date

posted by Nell Minow

The cast of “Inside Out” takes us behind the scenes for the short sequel on the DVD/Blu-Ray: “Riley’s First Date.”

A Possible Horror-Movie Museum in Colorado?

posted by Nell Minow

Would you go to a museum devoted to horror movies? That’s the idea behind an $11.5 million proposal to turn the location used for one of the most terrifying movies of all time into a museum, archive, and film production […]

This Week at the Box Office — Record-Setting Flops

posted by Nell Minow

The Wall Street Journal reports that none of the new nationwide releases reached the top of the box office last weekend and one or two of them may end up breaking the record for worst-ever ticket sales. A frightening showing […]

Juliette Binoche and Director Patricia Riggen on “The 33″

posted by Nell Minow

At a special screening of “The 33″ at Washington DC’s Newseum, director Patricia Riggen, stars Juliette Binoche and Lou Diamond Phillips, and producer Mike Medavoy spoke about making a movie about the rescue of 33 Chilean miners. I was able […]

Toy Story of Terror

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2013
DVD Release Date:October 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2013
DVD Release Date: October 28, 2015

Pixar’s 21-minute “Toy Story of Terror,” made for television, is available on DVD and Blu-Ray and is a perfect Halloween treat for the whole family. The toys live with Bonnie now, and she and her mother are on a road […]

More Halloween Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Halloween, the Indiewire critics discuss the non-horror movies that scared them most. There are some great choices on the list, including Julianne Moore in “Safe,” about a woman who is being poisoned — or thinks she is […]

Family Movies for Halloween 2015

posted by Nell Minow

  Halloween gives kids a thrilling opportunity to act out their dreams and pretend to be characters with great power. But it can also be scary and even overwhelming for the littlest trick-or-treaters. An introduction to the holiday with videos […]

Tribute: Maureen O’Hara

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of one of the great stars of the golden age of Hollywood, Maureen O’Hara. The Irish-born actress was made for technicolor. Her fiery hair, creamy skin, and green eyes made her an icon of classic films, […]

Interview: Leonard Maltin on His New Classic Movie Guide

posted by Nell Minow

The third edition of Leonard Maltin’s indispensible guide to older movies is now called Turner Classic Movies Presents Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. It is even more important than ever in the era of […]

Missing Movies from Classic Hollywood

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Hiltzik writes in the LA Times: [As many as] 700 titles [are] assumed to be nestled in the vaults of Universal Pictures, which inherited Paramount’s 1930s and 1940s film archive from its forebear MCA, which acquired the collection in […]

Concept Art for “Aladdin” — from the New Diamond Edition

posted by Nell Minow

It is a great treat to get to see the original designs for “Aladdin,” from the new Diamond Edition.

Behind the Scenes: Trumbo with Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren

posted by Nell Minow

Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s acclaimed career comes to a crushing halt in the late 1940s when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. Directed by Jay Roach, Trumbo recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win […]

The Last Witch Hunter

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2015

A witch would have to cast a spell over me to make me sit through this big, dumb, dull, dud again. And that’s too bad, because I like Vin Diesel and I can easily be put in the mood for […]

Truth

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2016

Often a movie “based on a true story” confirms and extends our understanding of what happened. This film, based on the “true story” that led to the departure of one of the most respected newsmen of all time, Dan Rather, […]

Steve Jobs

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:September 23, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: September 23, 2014

If you want a straightforward, fact-checked biography of Apple visionary Steve Jobs, watch Alex Gibney’s documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man In the Machine, or the Ashton Kutcher biopic (better than its reputation), simply titled Jobs. You can read the meticulously […]

Interview: James Vanderbilt on “Truth,” With Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford

posted by Nell Minow

James Vanderbilt wrote and directed Truth, based on journalist Mary Mapes’ book about the controversial story that ended her career at CBS News. Working with Dan Rather, she produced a news story with explosive allegations about President George W. Bush’s […]

Happy Back to the Future Day! What Did the Movie Get Right?

posted by Nell Minow

A Tribute to the 92nd Anniversary of Disney Animation

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Star Wars — The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow

Oh, boy! Get your tickets now. They’re going fast.

This Week at the Box Office: Goosebumps Beats Crimson Peak and Spielberg/Hanks

posted by Nell Minow

Once again, a PG-rated film wins the box office. “Goosebumps” came in ahead of the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks drama, “Bridge of Spies,” and last week’s other scary movie, the big budget “Crimson Peak.” They were third and fourth, with holdover […]

MVP of the Week: Amy Ryan

posted by Nell Minow

Our MVP this week is one of my favorite actresses, Amy Ryan. I have been a huge fan since I saw her in “Gone Baby Gone,” where she played the mother of the missing child. And she was wonderful with […]

Interview: Dan Romer, Composer of the Score for “Beasts of No Nation”

posted by Nell Minow

Dan Romer composed the score for Finders Keepers, a documentary about two men fighting over the ownership of a severed leg. “I saw the film and I mean I love it. You know I was laughing all the way through, […]

Animated Short: The Long Spoons

posted by Nell Minow

The parable of the long spoons is beautifully told in this short video, “One Human Family, Food for All.”

Match Yourself With a Movie Character — Try Charactour!

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a cool new website that is kind of like Match.com, except that it matches you with a movie character!  Charactour.com lets you find your movie dream date or remix your favorite character to create your own ideal match.

Tales of Halloween

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

True to its name, “Tales of Halloween” is a collection of ten short horror stories of the type that Boy Scouts might tell around a campfire late at night. That’s both its strength and weakness. The movie begins on Halloween […]

Behind the Scenes: Crimson Peak

posted by Nell Minow

Bridge of Spies

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2016

Following World War II, Lord de l’Isle and Dudley was harshly criticized when he organized a legal defense fund for a Nazi general. He responded, “Had I met General Manstein during the war I would have shot him on sight. […]

Room

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) wakes up on his fifth birthday and says hello to everything in his world. Through his eyes, and his narration, we gradually come to understand that his world is so entirely circumscribed by the walls of his […]

Goosebumps

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 25, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2016

Screenwriters Mike White (“School of Rock”) and Darren Lemke (“Turbo,””Lost”) bring just the right blend of scary, funny, and heartwarming in this first film based on the books by tween favorite R.L. Stine, the man who put the BOO in […]

Trailer: The Good Dinosaur

posted by Nell Minow

Frances McDormand, Sam Elliott, Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin, and Steve Zahn provide the voices in “The Good Dinosaur,” with songs from Taylor Swift. It will be in theaters for Thanksgiving.

A Ballerina’s Tale

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2015

“A Ballerina’s Tale” — the title suggests a fairy story, with sugar plums and a happily ever after ending. But this documentary about Misty Copeland is a story about the brutal hard work and resolve necessary to create those exquisitely […]

Interview: Brie Larson of “Room”

posted by Nell Minow

Brie Larson is one of the most talented and dedicated young actors in Hollywood and also one of my favorite people to interview. We first spoke when she was still a teenager about her appearance in Hoot. And I was […]

Trailer: the Jesse Owens Story, “Race”

posted by Nell Minow

Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons, Carice van Houten, Shanice Banton, and William Hurt star in this film about Jesse Owens, who defied Hitler’s claims about Aryan supremacy to win four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Here […]

Exclusive Clip: Lucky Dog

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to share an exclusive clip from a new family film, Lucky Dog, available today on VOD, Amazon streaming, and iTunes. Lucky (David DeLuise) and Amy (Cat Deely) are dogs in puppy love! When their human owners start […]

Trailer: “Hail, Caesar!” from the Coen Brothers

posted by Nell Minow

I don’t just want to see this movie. I want to see all the movies that they are making in it. With Channing Tatum as a Gene Kelly-style dancer in a sailor’s uniform, George Clooney as the star of a […]

A Look at Remakes (And Not All of Them Are Terrible)

posted by Nell Minow

The blogger behind Phyllis Loves Classic Movies held an invitational blogathon on a subject many people have strong feelings about: remakes. Phyllis herself took on one, or I should say, two of my favorites: “My Favorite Wife” with Irene Dunne […]

Celebrate Columbus Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Christopher Columbus has not yet had the movie he deserves, but I prefer the Fredric March version to the later movies.  And I recommend a brilliant and completely engrossing biography from biographer Laurence Bergreen called Columbus: The Four Voyages.  He […]

Interview: Writer-Director John Swetnam of the Dance film “Breaking Through”

posted by Nell Minow

John Swetnam is the director of “Breaking Through,” the story of a young dancer who achieves viral fame and then sees it strain her relationships with her friends. I talked to him about the best way to film dancers “There […]

Interview: Jon Gries of “Endgame” (and “Get Shorty” and “Napoleon Dynamite”)

posted by Nell Minow

I’m a big fan of actor Jon Gries, who always brings something very specific and interesting to his roles. In “Endgame,” the story of a championship chess team from a school in a poor community from writer/director Carmen Marron, it […]

Meryl Streep Calls for More Women Film Critics

posted by Nell Minow

The Hollywood Reporter quotes Meryl Streep on the disproportionate number of male film critics on Rotten Tomatoes:  “The word isn’t ‘disheartening,’ it’s ‘infuriating,’” she said. “I submit to you that men and women are not the same. They like different […]

Big Stone Gap

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief suggestive material
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2015

Even in small towns, big things can happen. Sometimes the most famous movie star in the world stops by and makes international headlines. And even bigger things happen, too — they just don’t get into the newspapers. Adriana Trigiani’s best-selling […]

Freeheld

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Movie Release Date:October 9, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Movie Release Date: October 9, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2016

Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), a 23-year veteran of the police force, learns that she has terminal cancer. And then she learns something even more devastating — that her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) is not eligible for the […]

Exclusive Clip: Romantic Comedy “You Cast a Spell on Me”

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to premiere an exclusive clip from the bewitching romantic comedy “You Cast A Spell On Me,” starring Ryan McPartlin (“Chuck”) and Nikki Deloach (“Awkward”), now available on Digital HD and On Demand.

Tribute: Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor/producer Kevin Corcoran, a child star in classic Disney movies and then a producer and director. Kevin was one of several Corcoran siblings to appear on television and in movies in the 1950’s-60’s. His sister […]

Contest: Signed Golden Shoes Shirts and Soccer Ball!

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to be able to share a really exciting giveaway! You can win signed shirts and a soccer ball from the new family movie “Golden Shoes.” A boy whose dad is missing in action and mom is in […]

Interview: Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel on the Documentary “Finders Keepers”

posted by Nell Minow

Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel have made some of my favorite documentaries, including “King of Kong” and “Make Believe,” bringing us into worlds that at first seem exotic and downright weird and seamlessly making us feel a part of […]

List: Movies about Peter Pan

posted by Nell Minow

James M. Barrie’s play “Peter Pan” premiered in 1904 and the story of the boy who wouldn’t grow up is still one of the best-loved of all time. This week the prequel “Pan” opens up in theaters, with Hugh Jackman, […]

Interview: Adriana Trigiani of “Big Stone Gap”

posted by Nell Minow

Adriana Trigiani really is from a coal mining town in Virginia called Big Stone Gap and the biggest movie star in the world did choke on a chicken bone there. Now if that is not enough to inspire a book […]

Carolyn Hax on the Toughest Media Question Parents Face

posted by Nell Minow

I am a huge fan of advice columnist Carolyn Hax, whose compassionate and insightful responses are always illuminating and often very funny. And I love the witty meta-commentary in the accompanying illustrations from Nick Galifianakis. Today, Hax was asked the […]

Trailer: Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara in “Trash”

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: “Back in Time” — Documentary About the Making of “Back to the Future”

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: A Bigger Splash with Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, and Dakota Johnson

posted by Nell Minow

The lives of a famous rock star and a filmmaker, (Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts) vacationing on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria are disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter (Ralph […]

Interview: Adam LaVorgna of “Masterless”

posted by Nell Minow

Adam LaVorgna became an actor very young and was in the cast of the television series “Brooklyn Bridge” and “7th Heaven” before he was out of his teens. He loved the cast but he felt lost. He tried to use […]

Lauren Bradshaw’s “Martian”-inspired Google Searches

posted by Nell Minow

I love this wonderful article by my friend and fellow critic, Lauren Bradshaw, about the ten Google searches she made after viewing “The Martian.”

Interview: Goran Visnjic of “The Journey Home”

posted by Nell Minow

Goran Visnjic stars in the family movie adventure The Journey Home, with Dakota Goyo as an Canadian boy who is determined to bring a polar bear cub back to its mother. The scenery is spectacular and the story is heartwarming […]

Exclusive Clip: Golden Shoes

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the new family movie about soccer, “Golden Shoes.” As long as he could remember, eight-year-old Christian Larou (Christian Koza) dreamed of being a great soccer player like his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo. […]

Fandango’s How to Survive in Space

posted by Nell Minow

The Martian

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2016
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2016

In a crackling sharp movie about brilliant people solving very tough problems, it is endearing that the first and most important involves one of the earliest skills developed by mankind. Indeed, it is the skill that made it both possible […]

99 Homes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

It’s not called “99 Houses” or “99 Foreclosures,” though that is how they are seen by some of the characters in the film. The banks and the predatory dealmakers may think of these buildings as “assets” or “derivatives” following the […]

October 2015: Movies Opening This Month

posted by Nell Minow

Happy October! This is going to be a great month for movies, with some scary Halloween stories and some big, awards-worthy dramas, mostly based on true stories, and featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Here’s what’s coming this month: FRIDAY, […]

Interview: Giulio Ricciarelli of Holocaust Drama “Labyrinth of Lies”

posted by Nell Minow

Giulio Ricciarelli co-wrote and directed the German film “Labyrinth of Lies,” based on the real-life story of the courageous post-WWII German prosecutors who insisted on investigating the atrocities of the concentration camps and prosecuting those responsible. Surrounded by former Axis […]

Exclusive Trailer: Full of Grace, The Gospel from a Mother’s Viewpoint

posted by Nell Minow

We are honored to present this exclusive trailer for “Full of Grace,” the story of the Gospel from a mother’s point of view. Mary (Bahia Haifi) and Peter “The Rock” (Noam Jenkins) prepare to embark on a divine mission to […]

Happy 80th Birthday, Julie Andrews!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 80th birthday, Julie Andrews! With not one but two iconic movie musical roles, Julie Andrews will always be remembered for “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins.” But this multi-talented performer with one of the clearest sopranos ever recored […]

The Walk

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 4, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Movie Release Date: October 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 4, 2016

If you have vertigo or acrophobia, you will have trouble with “The Walk,” the story of Frenchman Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center. If you don’t have vertigo or acrophobia, you might have after […]

Trailer: “Truth” with Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Redford plays Dan Rather, one of the most respected journalists in television, whose career collapsed after he reported a story about George W. Bush’s military service that turned out to be based on forged documents. Cate Blanchett and Topher […]

FREE Tickets to TONIGHT’s showing of “Just Let Go”

posted by Nell Minow

I have FREE tickets for tonight’s 8:00 pm showing of “Just Let Go” at both the AMC Hoffman Theater in Alexandria, Virginia and the AMC Tyson’s Corner, also in Virginia. To get your free tickets, send me an email ASAP […]

FREE Tickets to “Pan” this Saturday Morning in Washington DC

posted by Nell Minow

This “Peter Pan” prequel opens next week but I am giving away tickets for a special pre-opening screening this Saturday morning in Washington, D.C.. You win a family pack of FOUR tickets if you are one of the first people […]

Tomorrow Night Only: Forgiveness Story “Just Let Go”

posted by Nell Minow

One night only in theaters: Just Let Go. Fathom Events, in partnership with Delilah Radio, Excel Entertainment and Propel Pictures, invites you to experience the inspirational true story of Chris Williams when Just Let Go comes to cinemas nationwide for […]

Join Me in Washington DC for The Third Series of Saucy Pre-Code Films

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to be joining Margaret Talbot for our third series of pre-code films at Washington DC’s Hill Center, starting October 4, 2015 at 4 pm, with the delectable “Madam Satan.” It is one of the nuttiest films ever […]

Nancy Meyers Talks About “The Intern”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Nancy Meyers talks about getting the idea for “The Intern” and the title character played by Robert De Niro.

Make Yourself Into a Peanuts Character!

posted by Nell Minow

Ever wanted to pal around with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Pigpen, Marcy, and the gang? This app will let you turn yourself into a Peanuts character!

FREE Tickets to “99 Homes” with Laura Dern and Andrew Garfield

posted by Nell Minow

I have 40 pairs of ticket to give away to the outstanding drama “99 Homes,” starring Andrew Garfield as a construction worker who loses his home in a post-subprime meltdown foreclosure. Desperate to support his mother and son, he takes […]

Interview: Randall Wallace on the Braveheart Life

posted by Nell Minow

Randall Wallace tells his story, from seminarian to songwriter to screenwriter of the Oscar-winning “Braveheart” and other inspiring films in his new book, Living the Braveheart Life: Finding the Courage to Follow Your Heart. It was a great pleasure to […]

The BBC Will Launch Its Own Streaming Service

posted by Nell Minow

If you’re a Masterpiece Theatre/BBC in America fan, prepare for greatness. The BBC is going to start its own channel for streaming video in 2016. According to the Atlantic: The archives the BBC (affectionately called “The Beeb” in the U.K.) […]

Stonewall

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015

In 1969, when the federal government prohibited the firing of gays and lesbians, when it was illegal for them to congregate in a bar or even to have consensual sex, when police harassment and brutality was not only permitted but […]

The Intern

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

Oh, to live in Nancy Meyers-land, where the 60’s and 70’s really are a golden age, where AARP-eligible Oscar winners go to be universally adored by bright young people, and where every sumptuously spacious but cozy home has the kitchen […]

Hotel Transylvania 2

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2016
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: September 25, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2016

Vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human Jonathan (Andy Samberg) fell in love in the first “Hotel Translyvania,” and in this sequel they get married and have a baby named Dennis. He has his father’s unruly red curls. But his grandfather […]

Yoko Ono Wants Us to Smile

posted by Nell Minow

My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. yoko ono Yoko Ono said that in 1967. Now she is trying to make it come […]

This Week in Inscrutable MPAA Movie Ratings

posted by Nell Minow

Here is the MPAA rating for “Hotel Transylvania 2″ Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor And here is the rating for the first “Hotel Transylvania” Rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images Can […]

Two Teenagers Watched Every Oscar-Winning Movie and the AFI Top 100 and Wrote About It

posted by Nell Minow

It is a lot of fun to see what a couple of Gen Z teenagers have to say about classic films. It turns out that when these two teenage sisters sat down to watch every Best Picture Oscar winner and […]

Interview: Writer-Director Carmen Marron of “Endgame”

posted by Nell Minow

“Endgame” is a heartwarming family film inspired by the true story of a championship middle school chess team from a school in a poor Texas community. It stars “Modern Family’s” Rico Rodriguez and two actors from “Napoleon Dynamite,” Efran Ramirez […]

Trailer: The Big Short with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Christian Bale

posted by Nell Minow

There is no movie I am looking forward to this year more than “The Big Short,” based on the best book I read about the 2008 financial meltdown, written by Michael Lewis. It is directed by Adam McKay, who was […]

Guest Post from Tara Sonenshine on “Meet the Patels,” Marriage, Yom Kippur, and the Pope

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Tara Sonenshine for this thoughtful commentary: It’s Yom Kippur, The Pope is Arriving, and “Meet the Patels” is in Theaters….Let’s Celebrate “Tradition” I am very glad to have met the Patels last night via the new film, […]

Interview: Ashley Smith Robinson, the Real-Life Captive Who Inspired the Movie

posted by Nell Minow

Ashley Smith Robinson was a recovering drug addict, a widow in her 20’s, and a mother who desperately wanted to be able to prove that she could care for her little girl. Brian Nichols was a desperate man about to […]

Behind the Scenes: Pan

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Director Khoa Le of “Walt Before Mickey”

posted by Nell Minow

“Walt Before Mickey” is the story of Walt Disney’s earliest years in animation, filled with passion and imagination but also plagued by failures and setbacks. “American Pie’s” Thomas Ian Nicholas and “Napoleon Dynamite’s” Jon Heder play brothers Walt and Roy […]

Meet the Patels

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, brief suggestive images and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, brief suggestive images and incidental smoking
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

The best documentaries — and the best movies and the best stories — are fascinatingly specific but universal as well. When actor/comedian Ravi Patel agreed to let his parents, Vasant and Champa, try to find him a wife according to […]

Trailer: The Point Break Remake

posted by Nell Minow

I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to remake “Point Break,” because it is such a perfect combination of silly and awesome, with my all-time favorite movie stunt. What could a remake be but superfluous? But I have to say, […]

Captive

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

Two desperate people who think they have nothing discover that there is still a lot more to lose in this fact-based story about an escaped prisoner and the woman he held captive. The story made headlines throughout the country. Ashley […]

Black Mass

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015

The most terrifying image on movie screens this year is the ice blue eyes of crime boss Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger, played by Johnny Depp in “Black Mass.” They are at once opaque, implacable, and piercing. Depp’s performance as the man […]

Everest

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date:January 18, 2016
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date: January 18, 2016

This is why we can’t have nice things. As the brief history at the beginning of “Everest” points out, the first successful group to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain was led by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing […]

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2015

The first Maze Runner movie had an arresting premise and a solid structure, literally and metaphorcally. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), with his memory wiped, arrived at a mysterious facility called The Glade, populated entirely by teenage boys. It turned out to […]

Exclusive Clip: Monkey Kingdom DVD Extra

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to present this exclusive behind the scenes clip from the DVD extras for the delightful Monkey Kingdom.

Exclusive Clip: The Journey Home

posted by Nell Minow

When Luke Mercier (Dakota Goyo, Real Steel) heard some noise outside his house, he never could have guessed what he would find. Discovering a young polar bear cub that has been separated from its mother, Luke knows he has to […]

Join Me this Week at the Bethesda Row Theater for “Meet the Patels” and a Q&A with Ravi Patel!

posted by Nell Minow

Please join me this Friday, September 18, 2015, for the adorable romantic comedy documentary “Meet the Patels.” I’ll be hosting a Q&A following the 7 pm show with the star, Ravi Patel.

The Real Story: Whitey Bulger

posted by Nell Minow

“Black Mass” stars Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, now serving two consecutive life terms plus five years in prison for racketeering, drug dealing, and multiple murders, just a small part of the crime, terror, and mayhem he was responsible for […]

Behind the Scenes: “The Young Messiah,” the Story of the Early Years of Jesus

posted by Nell Minow

At a time when Jesus begins to understand that He is different from the other children, He turns to His parents for answers. But in trying to protect their child, Mary and Joseph are afraid to reveal all that they […]

Jerry Lewis Donates Archive to the Library of Congress

posted by Nell Minow

Jerry Lewis has donated a large collection of movies and memorabilia to the Library of Congress, where it will be available for researchers, historians, and critics. “The Geisha Boy,” “The Bellboy,” “Cinderfella,” and “The Nutty Professor” are all among the […]

New York City’s Independent Film Festival 2015

posted by Nell Minow

The 6th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival, taking place October 12 – 18, 2015 in the heart of New York City, will host an incredible lineup of over 300 films from 39 countries. In addition to film screenings throughout the […]

FREE TICKETS to a screening of “Captive” with Kate Mara and David Oyelowo in the True Story of the Hostage Who Read Purpose Driven Life to Her Captor

posted by Nell Minow

I have a limited number of tickets to give away to a Silver Spring, Maryland screening on September 17, 2015 of “Captive,” based on the true story of Ashley Smith, who was held hostage by a murderer and read aloud […]

Trailer: Michael Fassbender in “Steve Jobs”

posted by Nell Minow

Director: Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) Writer: Aaron Sorkin Subject: Steve Jobs Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, and Seth Rogen Opening: October 9, 2015 Me: there

FREE TICKETS to “The Intern” with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in Washington DC on Sept 17, 2105

posted by Nell Minow

Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Holiday”) has a new film with Anne Hathaway as a young wife and mother who is the CEO of a fast-growing start-up company and Robert De Niro as a retired executive who needs something to […]

Trailer: Dad’s Army

posted by Nell Minow

This remake of the 1971 movie and 60’s television series about the WWII Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon, a visiting female journalist, and a German spy, stars Toby Jones, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Bill Nighy.

Interview: Patricia Clarkson on “Learning to Drive”

posted by Nell Minow

Patricia Clarkson stars as Wendy in Learning to Drive, the story of a New York writer who has to get her first driver’s license after her husband of 21 years leaves her for another woman. The license is just a […]

Clip: Tom Hiddleston is Hank Williams in “I Saw the Light”

posted by Nell Minow

This Man Has a Collection of 15,000 Movies

posted by Nell Minow

“I buy them by the pound.”

In Production: Rumors of Cate Blanchett as Lucille Ball and a “Galaxy Quest” TV Series

posted by Nell Minow

Exciting news! There are rumors that Cate Blanchett will be playing red-headed comedy icon Lucille Ball in a new film produced by Ball’s children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. The screenplay will be by “West Wing’s” Aaron Sorkin, and […]

Trailer: Bradley Cooper Plays a Chef in “Burnt”

posted by Nell Minow

Interview: Director Morgan Matthews on “A Brilliant Young Mind”

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Matthews made a documentary about brilliant teenagers competing in the Math Olympiad, many of whom were on the autism spectrum, and that inspired his feature film, “A Brilliant Young Mind,” with “Ender’s Game” and “Hugo” star Asa Butterfield. Sally […]

Trailer: Big Stone Gap with Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Jenna Elfman, and Patrick Wilson

posted by Nell Minow

Set in 1978, “Big Stone Gap” tells the story of the ever-ordinary Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) who lives a simple life with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs The Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor Drama, and hopes that […]

Labor Day 2015: Movies About Workers

posted by Nell Minow

Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for “Norma Rae,” a real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. It was inspired […]

Celebrate Labor Day With “The Pajama Game!”

posted by Nell Minow

Pajama factory workers celebrate Labor Day in this musical number from “The Pajama Game” with Doris Day, John Raitt, and Carol Haney.

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 2)

posted by Nell Minow

This is part 2 of my interview with Alex Sheremet about his book, Woody Allen: Reel to Real. You can read Part 1 here. He keeps coming back to a character’s taking moral judgement into his own hands to commit […]

Trailer: Victor Frankenstein

posted by Nell Minow

James McAvoy plays the doctor who tried to play God, Victor Frankenstein, in this latest film based on the classic novel by Mary Shelley.  Daniel Radcliffe plays his assistant, Igor, and the cast includes “Downton Abbey’s” Jessica Brown Findlay and […]

Simon Abrams Interviews Legendary Producer Roger Corman

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite critics interviewed Hollywood’s legendary producer, Roger Corman, for New York Magazine’s Vulture, and it is a treat to read. Corman is by many measures the most successful filmmaker of all time because he made ultra low-budget […]

Trailer: Barely Lethal with Jessica Alba, Samuel L. Jackson, and Hailee Steinfeld

posted by Nell Minow

A teenage special ops agent who wants to experience a “normal” adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of high school is more challenging than international espionage, […]

Interview: Kim Campbell on Caring for Glen Campbell and “I’ll Be Me”

posted by Nell Minow

Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me is a beautiful documentary about an ugly disease. Glen Campbell, one of the most popular and successful musical performers of all time, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. As memories, words, and some basic concepts […]

The Adorable BB-8 Drone from the New “Star Wars” Meets Some Adorable Puppies

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: The Lobster, an Offbeat Sci-Fi Romance with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz

posted by Nell Minow

This is the most intriguing trailer I’ve seen in ages — a love story set in a world where everyone must be romantically paired and if they don’t get together fast enough they turn into animals.

The Transporter Refueled

posted by Nell Minow

It must be said. The refueled “Transporter” is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a star-making performance from Jason Statham. This reboot casts newcomer Ed Skrein who is the lower-priced spread […]

Learning to Drive

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:September 4, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: September 4, 2015

Katha Pollitt’s wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50’s, after her partner of seven years left her for another woman has been turned into a softened but still trenchant film. Patricia Clarkson […]

Tribute: Dean Jones

posted by Nell Minow

When the sad news came about the death of actor Dean Jones, those who remembered him most fondly mostly fell into two separate groups with not much overlap. Many baby boomers remembered him as the eternally fresh-faced star of Disney […]

Trailer: The True Story of “The Man Who Saved the World”

posted by Nell Minow

Many feature films have imagined what would happen if a real or apparent nuclear attack precipitated war. None of them came close to the real-life story told in this documentary from Kevin Costner about Stanislav Petrov, the Russian Lt. Colonel, […]

In Theaters For One Night Only: How to Change the World

posted by Nell Minow

How to Change the World, the critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary, comes to select U.S. theaters this September 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. local time, presented by Fathom Events and Picturehouse Entertainment. The documentary looks at the very early days of […]

A Walk in the Woods

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date:September 2, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual references
Movie Release Date: September 2, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2015

It isn’t getting to that point where you most often see your friends at funerals. It isn’t feeling stale because instead of promoting a new book, he’s going on some chirpy morning show to promote a reissue of his old […]

AJ Hakari, Mack Bates, Betty Jo Tucker and I Talk About the Fall Movies 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Opening This Month: September 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Happy September! Fall is when we see fewer sequels, superheroes and shootouts, more dramas based on real stories or best-selling books. Here’s what we have to look forward to this month: September 2 A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson’s […]

Trailer: Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl”

posted by Nell Minow

Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander star in “The Danish Girl,” directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”). It is the true story of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe and the artist Gerda Wegener who was first his wife and then her […]

Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?

posted by Nell Minow

The end of August is traditionally one of the year’s low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse “Straight Outta Compton” lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, […]

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 1)

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Sheremet is the author of Woody Allen: Reel to Real, an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the most prolific and singular directors in history. He generously took time to answer my questions. Part 2 will be […]

Opening this Week: A Walk in the Woods and Learning to Drive

posted by Nell Minow

This week, two movies are based on first-person accounts by writers telling their own real-life stories. In The New Yorker, Katha Pollitt wrote about getting her first driver’s license in her 50’s, after her partner of seven years left her […]

Tribute: Wes Craven

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared.  His series films included “Scream,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “The Hills Have Eyes.” My friend Simon Abrams interviewed […]

Interview: Rachel Hendrix of “77 Chances”

posted by Nell Minow

Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film “77 Chances.” It’s a “Groundhog Day”-style story about a young man who feels lost after the death of his mother. He meets a pretty girl and they have a wonderful evening […]

Three Hundred Year-Old Actors Are Still Working

posted by Nell Minow

Scott Feinberg talked to three actors with a combined age of 302 for The Hollywood Reporter. Patricia Morison (age 100), Norman Lloyd (age 100) and Connie Sawyer (age 102) shared memories and offered tips. All are in good health. “I […]

Trailer: Youth with Michael Caine

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play friends on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness […]

Worst Accents in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Indiewire for including me in this great rundown of the all-time worst movie accents. Critics vented frustration and fury, many picking Quentin Tarantino and Dick van Dyke, but I went with two actors who played Robin Hood:

Grandma

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date:February 8, 2016
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2016

Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order to help her teenage granddaughter. Tomlin plays the aptly named Elle (French for […]

We Are Your Friends

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2015
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2015

Director Max Joseph brings some of the “Catfish” sensibility to “We Are Your Friends,” with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline about people in their 20’s who have big dreams but not much understanding about how to achieve them […]

Z for Zachariah

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date:October 19, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015
DVD Release Date: October 19, 2015

In 1959, a movie called The World, The Flesh And The Devil imagined a post-apocalyptic world with three surviving humans. In the words of the 1960’s television series, “The Mod Squad,” they could be described as “one black, one white, […]

Being Evel

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015

Evel Knievel was an international celebrity in the 1960’s-70’s, known for three things: showmanship, stunts that succeeded, and stunts that failed. He was recognized for jumping over 19 cars in his motorcycle, for crash-landing after trying to jump over the […]

Rosenwald

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015

Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior films, this one is filled […]

Possibly the Greatest Pairing Since Lennon and McCartney: Lawrence and Shumer

posted by Nell Minow

Jennifer Lawrence told the New York Times that she and Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together! It’s about two sisters, to be played by Lawrence and Schumer themselves. “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have […]

Interview: Ravi and Geeta Patel on the Adorable Documentary “Meet the Patels”

posted by Nell Minow

“Meet the Patels” is a warm, funny, and irresistibly captivating romantic comedy documentary about Ravi Patel’s efforts to find love according to the traditions of his family’s culture. His parents, Vasant and Champa Patel, are immigrants from the Gujarati region […]

Trailer: Love the Coopers, a Family Christmas Story with Diane Keaton, John Goodman, and Olivia Wilde

posted by Nell Minow

Trailer: Ashby with Mickey Rourke, Emma Roberts, and Nat Wolff

posted by Nell Minow

Sara Silverman as the mother of a high school student? Even by Hollywood traditions of actresses being cast as mothers when they are barely older than the actors playing their children, that seems jarring. But Nat Wolff and Mickey Rourke […]

Coming on PBS: The Women’s List, With Margaret Cho, Madeleine Albright, Betsey Johnson, Shonda Rhimes, and More

posted by Nell Minow

The Women’s List is coming to PBS as a part of the American Masters series on September 25, 2015, featuring: Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001 Gloria Allred, lawyer Laurie Anderson, artist Sara Blakely, entrepreneur Margaret Cho, comedian Edie […]

FREE Tickets to an August 31, 2015 Screening of “Learning to Drive”

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have some free passes to give away to a Washington DC, August 31, 2015 screening of “Learning to Drive“! It’s first come-first-served and tickets will go fast. To get your passes, click here. NOTE: Get there […]

A New Film About the Tortured Chess Genius, Bobby Fischer: Behind the Scenes

posted by Nell Minow

Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, and Peter Sarsgaard find the genius behind the madness of Bobby Fischer in the upcoming film, “Pawn Sacrifice,” from one of my favorite directors, Edward Zwick.

Trailer: Lucky Stiff — A Musical About Death, Money, Love, and Theft

posted by Nell Minow

A young down-and-out British shoe salesman named Harry Witherspoon takes his dead American uncle to Monte Carlo for the best time of his life—a week of fun, dancing, gambling and sun. If the young man fulfills his uncle’s request to […]

Gurukulam

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 22, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 22, 2015

It is hard to think of a form of communication more contrary to the internal stillness and oneness of meditation than a movie. Meditation seeks to remove our minds and spirits from the distractions of the outside world to free […]

Interview: Neil Citron Talks About the Music in Meryl Streep’s “Ricki and the Flash”

posted by Nell Minow

Neil Citron was the Musical Director for Ricki and The Flash starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Rick Springfield, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme. It was a lot of fun talking to him about helping Streep […]

Trailer: Dane Dehaan as James Dean and Robert Pattinson as his Photographer Friend in “Life”

posted by Nell Minow

Photographer Dennis Stock befriended James Dean and saw him as the symbol of a cultural upheaval that inspired him to a naturalism with his photos like what Dean was doing with his acting. Pattinson plays Stock and Dane Dehaan plays […]

Advice From Your Elders and a Goodbye from Wiretap

posted by Nell Minow

CBC’s wonderful Wiretap podcast says goodbye after 11 years with this adorable short film featuring wisdom from elders to youngers, ages 7-93. It covers everything from taking off the training wheels to asking a girl to dance to being kind […]

Hitman: Agent 47

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language
Movie Release Date:August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date:December 28, 2015
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language
Movie Release Date: August 21, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 28, 2015

Maybe someday there will be a good movie based on a videogame. But there’s no evidence of that possibility in the tiresome “Hitman: Agent 47″ based on the first-person shooter Hitman Trilogy. The game keeps the player’s interest through challenges […]

Luxo Jr. — Pixar’s First Film Short Came out 29 Years Ago Today

posted by Nell Minow

Ever wonder why Pixar’s movies always begin with a desk lamp? Watch Pixar’s first computer-animated short, released 29 years ago today.

Contest: Win a DVD of the Football Drama “Catching Faith”

posted by Nell Minow

I am pleased to have two copies of “Catching Faith” to give away. It is a faith-based story about a high school football star whose family is not as perfect as they seem. When he is caught drinking, he risks […]

Interview: Raffey Cassidy of “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism”

posted by Nell Minow

Raffey Cassidy gives a performance of endless charm in “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism,” following her breakthrough appearance in “Tomorrowland,” where she stole the film from the grown-up stars including George Clooney. I was thrilled to get […]

New Christian Series for Kids: Galaxy Buck

posted by Nell Minow

From VeggieTales® and What’s in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer, Galaxy Buck – Mission to Sector 9 is a wild, galactic adventure that teaches kids a powerful lesson about trusting God. “‘Galaxy Buck’ is a new take on a classic […]

Interview: Daniel Pemberton, Composer of the “Man from UNCLE” Score

posted by Nell Minow

When director and co-screenwriter Guy Ritchie needed someone to write a cool, sexy, sophisticated score for “The Man from UNCLE,” he went to Daniel Pemberton. The soundtrack is one of the best of the year and I had a lot […]

Trailer: Nick Nolte and Robert Redford Hike the Appalachian Trail in “A Walk in the Woods”

posted by Nell Minow

Writer Bill Bryson came back to the US after 20 years in Great Britain and decided to reacquaint himself with his home country by walking the Appalachian Trail. And he took along a friend, or maybe a friend-ish, a cranky […]

Previous Posts

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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! ...

posted 11:31:02am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

Trailer: "Criminal" with Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Ryan Reynolds
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNfRQ4NBjUU[/youtube] ...

posted 8:01:22am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How to be Single
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 "He's ...

posted 5:40:06pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

Zoolander 2
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, ...

posted 5:22:04pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

Touched With Fire
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 wise ...

posted 5:12:04pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

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