June 14, 2019 - Pixar's most iconic franchise continues with next week's theatrical release of Toy Story 4. We've got an early, spoiler-free review of the ambitious sequel arriving nine summers after Toy Story 3. Read it here.
Now streaming on Netflix, Murder Mystery reunites Just Go With It stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. They play an American couple on their delayed European honeymoon
who are invited to a sumptuous boat party in which the host (Terence Stamp) is murdered. Luke Evans and Gemma Arterton co-star in this PG-13 mystery comedy from the writer of Zodiac and The Amazing Spider-Man and director Kyle Newacheck ("Workaholics"). Don't miss our full review.
Now in theaters, Men in Black: International gives us a new pair of government agents keeping alien life forms at bay and under wraps. Thor: Ragnarok's Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson team up as Agents H and M on a worldwide adventure, with The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani providing comic relief vocally and Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson chipping in support as the heads of the US and UK MIB divisions. F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) directs this label-defying extension from the writers of the original Iron Man. Full review.
June 7, 2019 - Dark Phoenix most likely marks the end of the generation of X-Men films that began with 2011's First Class. Jean Grey's iconic comic books arc gets another go on the big screen,
this time with "Game of Thrones" Sophie Turner playing the conflicted character. Veteran X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut and James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult return, but even the measured response to Bryan Singer's last outing is better than critical reaction to this film, which many can't find a reason to justify. Jessica Chastain joins the fray as an alien shape-shifter. Review.
Also opening today is another sequel that should flourish commercially: The Secret Life of Pets 2. Illumination follows up their 2016 mega hit with three interwoven, loosely-connected narratives involving the household animals from the original film. Max (now voiced by Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) meet a sage country dog (Harrison Ford). The bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) tries his hand at superherodom. And Gidget (Jenny Slate) has to take on the mindset of a cat to retrieve Max's beloved chew toy. Our review.
Now playing in limited release, Late Night stars Mindy Kaling as a chemical plant worker turned diversity hire as the only woman on the writing staff of a long-running talk show that has lost its luster. Emma Thompson plays the series' host in this R-rated comedy that Kaling herself wrote. Full review.
May 31, 2019 - Elton John gets the biopic treatment in Rocketman. Dexter Fletcher, the uncredited director who completed production on last year's Oscar-winning blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody, tells the story of the English singer, songwriter, and pianist using much of his respected catalog. Kingsman's Taron Egerton plays the musician, who battles addiction while finding success in 1970s America. Full review.
Octavia Spencer gets lead role duties in Ma, a horror film from her The Help director and friend Tate Taylor. Spencer plays a veterinary assistant who offers her basement and alcohol buying services to small town teenagers looking to party. The R-rated diversion provides plenty of laughs before the thrills. Our review.
May 23, 2019 - Aladdin is the newest big budget live-action Disney film to remake an animated classic. This one, from Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie, casts Will Smith as the all-powerful genie of the lamp who is awakened after a 10,000-year slumber by an Agrabah "street rat" (Mena Massoud), who asks him to turn him into a prince to win over the fetching princess (Naomi Scott) he has met in disguise in the marketplace. Featuring a new song as well as the beloved ones from the original, this lavish new Aladdin will open first at the box office, despite mixed reviews like ours.
Also opening today, to more unanimously favorable reviews is Booksmart, a comedy about two studious best friends (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who decide to cut loose on the eve of their high school graduation. Directed by Olivia Wilde, the R-rated comedy features appearances by Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, and Billie Lourd. Our review.
Expanding today after a limited debut last weekend, Photograph returns writer-director Ritesh Batra to his native India for a new romantic drama in the vein of his crowd-pleasing The Lunchbox. It tells the story of a Mumbai street photographer who gets a would-be customer to pose as his girlfriend for the benefit of his aging grandmother who has been nagging him to settle down. Full review.
May 17, 2019 - Now in theaters, The Sun Is Also a Star adapts the bestselling YA novel by Nicola Yoon (author of Everything, Everything). It tells the story of a Jamaican girl (Yara Shahidi) and a Korean-American boy (Charles Melton) who cross paths on the eve of her family's scheduled deportation. This single-day teen romance is directed by Ry Russo-Young (Before I Fall) and adapted by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip). Our film review.
May 10, 2019 - Today's theatrical release of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu marks a first for the long-running Japanese franchise. It is the first live-action film. Adapted from the video game of the same name, this PG-rated adventure sees a young man (Justice Smith) investigating his father's disappearance in Ryme City, with the help of Dad's Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), who he understands. Kathryn Newton and Bill Nighy co-star in this film from director Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens, Goosebumps). Don't miss our review.
May 2, 2019 - Opening in theaters today, UglyDolls gives the computer-animated feature film treatment to a line of dolls. Kelly Clarkson voices Moxy, a pink doll who dreams of heading to the Big World and being assigned to bring joy to a child. Instead, she and her friends wind up at the Institute of Perfection, where they are viewed as abominations by the superficial leader Lou (voiced by Nick Jonas). Featuring songs by Glenn Slater, this musical hails from STXfilms and Reel FX Animation. Our review.
Also opening, The Intruder finds a young married couple (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) buying a charming house in Napa Valley, only to find the man selling it to them (Dennis Quaid) is having trouble letting it go. This PG-13 Screen Gems thriller hails from the director of Traffik and the writer of Obsessed. Full review.
Finally, Long Shot stars Seth Rogen as a principled New York journalist and Charlize Theron as the Secretary of State (his former babysitter). She hires him to be a speech writer as she mounts a 2020 presidential campaign and their professional relationship becomes more. Jonathan Levine (50/50, Warm Bodies) directs this R-rated romantic comedy from writers of The Post and "The Sarah Silverman Program." Andy Serkis, Alexander Skarsgard, Bob Odenkirk, O'Shea Jackson Jr., and June Diane Raphael co-star. Full review.
April 25, 2019 - Opening in theaters tonight, Avengers: Endgame is expected to break all kinds of box office records with an anticipated over $300 million first weekend launch. This epic three-hour finale to three phases and eleven years of superhero movies sees the surviving Avengers responding after Thanos snapped half of the Earth's population into dust. Don't miss our spoiler-free review.
April 19, 2019 - From the producers of The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona finds a widow (Linda Cardellini) and her two children targeted by the fabled crying woman of Mexican folklore in 1973 Los Angeles. Directed by Michael Chaves (The Conjuring 3), this R-rated horror film opens in theaters today. Read our review.
April 12, 2019 - In theaters today, Missing Link is the fifth from Laika, the studio that made Coraline. It tells the story of 19th century monster hunter Sir Lionel Frost voiced by Hugh Jackman) who is summoned to the Pacific Northwest by a talking Sasquatch (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Chris Butler (Kubo and the Two Strings) writes and directs this PG-rated comic adventure whose voice cast also features Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, and Stephen Fry. Our review.
April 4, 2019 - Now in theaters, Pet Sematary offers a new filming of Stephen King's classic horror novel. Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, First Man) stars as an emergency room doctor who moves his family of four to rural Maine, where their land includes an unsettling sight: a pet cemetery with unusual powers. John Lithgow co-stars in this spooky remake from directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. Full review.
Expanding today, The Mustang tells the story of Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a convict nearing release who gets involved taming horses as part of a prison inmate program. Jason Mitchell and Bruce Dern co-star in this R-rated drama from first-time writer-director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and executive producer Robert Redford. Full review.
In DC's Shazam!, fourteen-year-old foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is suddenly bestowed with great powers when an aging wizard (Djimon Hounsou) unlocks his full potential (turning him into Zachary Levi). Lights Out director David F. Sandberg directs this PG-13 comic adventure, which co-stars Mark Strong as antagonist Dr. Sivana and It's Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy's best friend/confidante. Don't miss our review.
March 27, 2019 - The latest big-budget, mixed-medium update of a classic Disney animated film is Dumbo from director Tim Burton. Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin star in this colorful new take on Walt's classic. It follows a traveling circus where an elephant is born with giant ears. It opens tomorrow night, but wait no more for our film review.
March 23, 2019 - Another superhero gets a moment in the spotlight with the upcoming
release of Shazam!. Fourteen-year-old foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is suddenly bestowed with great powers when an aging wizard (Djimon Hounsou) unlocks his full potential (turning him into Zachary Levi). Lights Out director David F. Sandberg directs this PG-13 comic adventure, which co-stars Mark Strong as antagonist Dr. Sivana and It's Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy's best friend/confidante. The movie opens April 5th, but you can read our review right now!
March 22, 2019 - In theaters now, Jordan Peele's Us returns the Academy Award-winning writer-director of Get Out to horror. This film finds a family of four's vacation in Santa Cruz turned upside down by the presence of threatening doppelgangers. Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker lead the cast of this critically acclaimed R-rated film. Our review.
March 19, 2019 - Now in theaters, Sebastián Lelio's Gloria Bell remakes his own 2013 film Gloria. It stars Julianne Moore as a fiftysomething divorcée who begins a relationship with a recently-divorced man (John Turturro) still tied to his family. Co-starring Michael Cera, Brad Garrett, and Holland Taylor, this R-rated dramedy has expanded in limited release. Our review.
Our newest Blu-ray review covers Eighth Grade, one of last year's best and best-reviewed films. The feature filmmaking debut of comedian Bo Burnham, it spends the final week of middle school with Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher), a nice and not terribly popular eighth grader. Lionsgate's Blu-ray + Digital edition includes a commentary by Burnham and Fisher, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, and a music video. Don't miss our review.
March 12, 2019 - We're giving away one Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code combo pack of Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet. Identify Disney characters who make cameos in the jam-packed animated sequel and enter every day through Thursday to increase your odds! Giveaway
March 6, 2019 - Now in theaters and coming soon to Netflix, the action thriller Triple Frontier finds Oscar-winning writer Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker) and acclaimed writer-director J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year, All Is Lost) joining forces to tell the story of a group of retired special ops agents reuniting to do one big, dangerous, expensive job down in South America. The ensemble cast includes Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal. Full review
March 5, 2019 - Expanding this weekend is Climax, the trippy new film written and directed by Gaspar Noe (Enter the Void). Set in an abandoned boarding school in the winter of 1996, this A24 film sees a collective of dance students being affected by a Sangria bowl apparently spiked with LSD. Full review.
March 3, 2019 - Opening Friday, Captain Marvel is the twenty-first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to give the lead role to a woman. Brie Larson plays Vers, a mystery woman embroiled in an alien war until she crash lands in 1995 California. Co-starring Jude Law, Annette Bening, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, this PG-13 intergalactic adventure is expected to continue Marvel's box office reign despite some online trolling. Our review.
February 28, 2019 - Now in theaters, Greta, a thriller from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan stars Isabelle Huppert (Elle, Amour) as a lonely French widow in New York City who befriends a young waitress (Chloe Grace Moretz) under false pretenses. Upon discovering that fact, the friendship swiftly evolves into some severe stalking. Co-starring Maika Monroe and Stephen Rea, this R-rated Focus Features release opens in 2,400 theaters. Our review.
February 25, 2019 - Our newest Blu-ray review looks at Mid90s, the directorial debut of Jonah Hill. Based on his own adolescence, it centers on an undersized 13-year-old (Sunny Suljic) who befriends a group of skateboarders in 1990s Los Angeles. Co-starring Lucas Hedges and Katherine Waterston, this brisk, well-received coming-of-age story is joined by deleted scenes, an audio commentary, and Digital HD in A24/Lionsgate's recent release. Full review.
February 15, 2019 - Nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography), the German drama Never Look Away expands in theaters. From Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the writer-director of the esteemed Oscar winner The Lives of Others, this over 3-hour production centers on a boy whose aunt gets treated by Nazi doctors, something he has to address as he grows up and develops into an artist. Boasting cinematography from America's Caleb Deschannel and starring Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer, and Saskia Rosendahl, this plays like several films in one. Read the review.
February 13, 2019 - Pitch Perfect's Rebel Wilson plays a New York architect who suddenly finds herself in the middle of colorful romantic comedy in the romantic comedy Isn't It Romantic. Sending up and celebrating the genre's well-worn conventions, this witty PG-13 satire co-stars Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, and Priyanka Chopra. Don't miss our review.
February 8, 2019 - Now in theaters, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part provides a direct follow-up to 2014's beloved The Lego Movie. Five years later, Bricksburg has become Apocalypseburg. lagued by visions of calamity, Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) meets a cool space traveler named Rex, while the rest of the gang is welcomed into the Systar system by a shape-shifting Queen (Tiffany Haddish) who wishes to marry Batman (Will Arnett). This colorful adventure should top the box office for weeks to come. Our review.
January 28, 2019 - Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film, the Lebanese drama Capernaum tells the story of a troubled, impoverished young boy who runs away from home and finds himself taking care of the infant son of an Ethopian refugee while plotting his old escape. Written and directed by Nadine Labaki, this powerful drama demands to be seen. Full review.
January 25, 2019 - Joe Cornish, the writer-director of Attack the Block, tackles Arthurian legend in the family comic adventure The Kid Who Would Be King, now in theaters. A quartet of modern-day British children find themselves at the center of mystical adventure when one of them pulls the fabled Excalibur out of a construction site. Film review.
January 22, 2019 - Nominees for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced this morning at 8:20 AM Eastern/5:20 AM Pacific. You can watch the announcement live right here:
January 18, 2019 - Expanding in theaters today is Stan & Ollie, the Golden Globe-nominated film dramatizing the final European stage tour of legendary intercontinental comedy duo Laurel and Hardy (played by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly). Jeff Pope (Philomena) wrote this PG-rated tale of an enduring friendship and a shared love for making people laugh. Read more.
January 17, 2019 Our newest review covers this week's Blu-ray + DVD + Digital release of Once Upon a Deadpool, which finds the Merc with a Mouth (Ryan Reynolds) presenting a PG-13 version of the summer blockbuster Deadpool 2 to a captive Fred Savage in a set modeled after the former child actor's The Princess Bride bedroom. Fox's two-disc set is surprisingly quick and disappointingly devoid of bonus features, but the movie is funny, even as it raises questions about its existence. Full review.
January 10, 2019 - In theaters tonight, The Upside remakes the hit feel-good French film Les Intouchables with Kevin Hart playing an ex-con turned life auxiliary and Bryan Cranston playing the quadriplegic billionaire taking a chance on him. Nicole Kidman and Julianna Margulies co-star in this American remake directed by Neil Burger. Full review.
Also, continuing to expand from its limited December debut, If Beale Street Could Talk marks writer-director Barry Jenkins' follow-up to his 2016 Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight. Adapting James Baldwin's 1970s novel, it tells the story of a black New York couple (Kiki Layne and Stephan James) whose relationship is complicated when the man is falsely accused and wrongfully imprisoned for rape. This beautiful drama is expected to compete for major Oscars, but could miss out in some top categories. Our review.
January 6, 2019 - Our first Blu-ray review of the new year covers Support the Girls, which recently won Best Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle. This indie comedy from writer-director Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess) stars Regina Hall as the manager of a Texas sports bar which has to endure employee drama, competition from a giant national chain, and an attempted robbery. Now available from Magnolia, this basic Blu-ray gets a detailed review.
January 2, 2019 - The new year presents an opportunity to reflect on all the films that 2018 had to offer, which I do in my Top 40 Films of 2018, a year in review celebrating the assortment of highs last year's unusually strong slate of cinema had to offer. While a complete list of 1 through 200 is still coming, for now check out The Best, many of which are still playing in theaters.
December 27, 2018 - The year's final Blu-ray review covers Paul Schrader's timely, acclaimed drama First Reformed, which stars Ethan Hawke as the pastor of a small, sleepy New York congregation who is troubled by a parishioner's anguish. Singled out for a host of Best Actor and Original Screenplay nominations and awards, this stylish slow-burner is joined by a Schrader audio commentary and a making-of featurette on Lionsgate/A24's Blu-ray + Digital edition. Read more.
December 19, 2018 - One of the year's last remaining mysteries gets solved with this week's release of Welcome to Marwen. Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future) turns the acclaimed 2010 documentary Marwencol into a narrative feature with Steve Carell playing Mark Hogancamp, who escapes PTSD caused by brutal assault by wearing shoes and staging World War II stories with dolls in detailed miniature worlds he's created outside his home, brought to life with motion-capture animation. This misfire opens wide, destined to fail. Full review.
Opening on Christmas Day, Vice offers an unconventional biopic of former Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale). Adam McKay wrote and directed this creative portrait of Cheney's rise from twice-arrested ne'erdowell to one of the most powerful people in the world. Amy Adams plays his wife Lynne, Sam Rockwell is George W. Bush, and Steve Carell portrays former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Full film review.
December 14, 2018 - Now available to stream on Netflix is Roma, the most critically acclaimed film of 2018. Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkban, Y Tu Mamá También) wrote, directed, photographed, and produced this personal drama set in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Looking at life for an upper class family through the eyes of its live-in housekeeper (Yalitza Aparicio), this beautiful, heartbreaking, synopsis-defying gem ought to be seen on the big screen and heard on the best of sound systems. Film review.
December 13, 2018 - Mary Poppins Returns opens in theaters next week, but you can read our early review right now. This sequel to Disney's classic 1964 musical finds Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returning to Cherry Tree Lane during The Great Slump, this time to help a new generation of Banks children while their father Michael (Ben Whishaw) scrambles to pay off a bank loan. Broadway's Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, and Dick Van Dyke co-star in this colorful Golden Globe nominee expected to be one of the big hits of the Christmas movie season. Check out our spoiler-free review while you wait for opening day.
December 12, 2018 - Opening this week in theaters, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse offers a fresh new take on the popular comic book universe. This Sony Pictures Animation feature centers on Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales, who is bit by a radioactive spider and learns...there are a bunch of Spider-mans out there, including one who just died and another who doesn't want to mentor him. Full of heart, excitement, and stylish visuals, this universally acclaimed adventure has emerged as the film to beat in this year's competitive Best Animated Feature category and as one for you to see when it opens. Full review.
Now playing in theaters for just two weeks, Once Upon a Deadpool takes Deadpool 2 and reworks it into a PG-13 version. Borrowing a design from The Princess Bride, this new edit finds a kidnapped Fred Savage as the audience to a storytelling Deadpool, with around 20 minutes of new content making up for about 20 minutes of material cut from the theatrical release. A puzzling, largely unprecedented release that may simply introduce the franchise to China, where it has previously been unable to play over censorship concerns. One dollar from every ticket will go to a cancer charity. Read our review.
December 11, 2018 - Another monarchy film expands this week after a limited release. Mary Queen of Scots stars three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart, the queen of Scotland who has a claim to England's throne as well. Post-Reformation, that is occupied by Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) and tension brews over distance over succession plans and questioned allegiances. Stage director Josie Rourke makes her film debut with this technically sound drama adapted for the screen by Beau Willimon ("House of Cards", The Ides of March). Our review.
December 7, 2018 - Expanding today after a big splash is The Favourite, a buzzed-about awards contender from director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer). Set in early 18th century England, the film focuses on the monarchy of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), whose closest aide (Rachel Weisz) begins to feel threatened after her cousin Abigail (Emma Stone), a newly appointed skullery maid, moves in on the queen. A lavish period production, this comedy should fare well in technical categories, but could leave you cold. Review.
Coming to Netflix right before Christmas and select theaters slightly sooner is Bird Box, a thriller adapted from the best-selling Josh Malerman novel. Sandra Bullock plays a pregnant California woman who narrowly escapes an apocalypse in which people looking outside are compelled to kill themselves. Co-starring John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson, and Lil Rel Howery, this R-rated thriller is written for the screen by Eric Heisserer (Arrival, Lights Out) and directed by Susanne Bier (In a Better World). Full review here.
December 6, 2018 - Nominees for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards will be announced this morning at 8 AM Eastern/5 PM Pacific. You can watch the live stream right here:
December 2, 2018 - Our latest Blu-ray review covers Juliet, Naked, a romantic comedy adapted from the book by Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity). This tells the tale of Annie (Rose Byrne), who begins an e-mail correspondence with Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), the reclusive '90s rock icon her boyfriend (Chris O'Dowd) is obsessed with. Jesse Peretz (Our Idiot Brother) directs this transatlantic comedy which counts Judd Apatow among its producers. Now available, Lionsgate's release includes a making-of featurette and a digital copy. Full review.
November 27, 2018 - Animation and superheroes consistently perform well at the box office, but, despite boasting both, Teen Titans GO! To the Movies, the witty musical comedy adventure adapted from Cartoon Network's TV series did not draw huge crowds in theaters over the summer. That just makes it your duty to check out the film in Warner Bros.' Blu-ray + DVD + Digital combo pack which includes a deleted song, sing-alongs, a Lil Yachty music video, a multi-language reel, and split-screen animatics. Don't miss our review.
November 21, 2018 - Now in theaters, Creed II catches up with Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of Rocky Balboa's (Sylvester Stallone) friend/rival Apollo Creed. In this sequel, Creed twice fights the son of Rocky IV nemesis Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad also return. Full review.
November 18, 2018 - The late Burt Reynolds has one final hurrah in The Last Movie Star, a semiautobiographical vehicle in which Reynolds plays an aging former movie star who flies to Tennessee to accept a lifetime achievement award at a dinky film festival that gives him an opportunity to revisit his hometown. Ariel Winter ("Modern Family"), Clark Duke, and Boyhood's Ellar Coltrane co-star in this R-rated dramedy, which is joined by an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette in Lionsgate/A24's Blu-ray. Read the review.
November 16, 2018 - Expanding after a lackluster debut in four theaters is The Front Runner, Jason Reitman's drama about the promising, short-lived 1988 presidential campaign of Colorado senator Gary Hart. Hugh Jackman plays the charismatic politician, whose career is rocked by a scandal uncovered by journalists from the Miami Herald. The large ensemble cast includes Alfred Molina and Reitman veterans Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons. Read our review before the movie disappears from theaters.
November 15, 2018 - Opening in select theaters nationwide in tandem with its streaming debut is Netflix's The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the eighteenth film written and directed by the Coen brothers. This anthology serves up six distinct western shorts all concerned with mortality. Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Zoe Kazan, and Tom Waits are among those who star in these offbeat, original works. Full review.
Beginning its rollout this weekend is Green Book, a film whose award season credentials seemed confirmed once it won the People's Choice Award at September's Toronto International Film Festival. Inspired by a true story, this dramedy sees a gruff, racist Italian-American New Yorker (Viggo Mortensen) serving as chauffeur and personal assistant to a successful black, gay musician (Moonlight's Mahershala Ali) on a road trip through the south in the early 1960s. Peter Farrelly directs this insultingly bad crowdpleaser. Full review.
November 14, 2018 - A week before it opens in theaters, we bring you a review of Ralph Breaks the Internet, Walt Disney Animation Studios' 57th feature (and only third sequel). This follow-up to the 2012 hit sees Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope venturing into the Internet in an effort to save the girl's broken down arcade game. Bigger than its predecessor and loaded with funny, timely references, this sequel is sure to extend Disney Animation's critically and commercially winning streak. Full review.
Also lifting its critics' embargo this morning is Instant Family, a comedy from Daddy's Home duo Sean Anders and John Morris which instantly takes its place among the year's very worst films. Inspired by a true story, this sees an affluent couple (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne) fostering a challenging trio of Latinx siblings and learning to love. Find out what makes it so terrible in our full review.
November 12, 2018 - Now in theaters, Overlord mixes war and horror with surprisingly good results. J.J. Abrams produced this original film written by Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips) and Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) about a group of American troops' whose mission to knock out a Nazi communication tower in Paris finds the enemy performing some extreme and disturbing experiments. Don't miss our review.
November 11, 2018 - Now on DVD, Paul Rudd's less-seen summer film sees him playing Morris "Moe" Berg, a veteran MLB catcher who became an American spy during World War II. Berg is assigned to assess whether the physicist Werner Heisenberg (Mark Strong) has the capability to give Nazi Germany the atomic bomb. Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, and Paul Giamatti co-star in this limited release IFC historical drama, which is joined by deleted scenes on Paramount's DVD. Our review.
November 9, 2018 - Now in theaters and expected to open in first place by a wide margin, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch gives us Illumination Entertainment's computer-animated feature filming of the classic children's book. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the furry green Christmas hater in this colorful, mediocre retelling. Review.
Expanding this week is Boy Erased, a moving adaptation of Garrard Conley's memoir about coming out as gay and being sent to conversion therapy as a southern teenager. Lucas Hedges stars in the lead role, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman play his opposite parents, and Joel Edgerton directs, writes, and plays lead "therapist" Victor Sykes. Don't miss our review.
Also expanding from its four-theater opening last weekend is A Private War, a film that stars Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike as longtime war correspondent Marie Colvin. Documentary-seasoned Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) makes his narrative directing debut in this R-rated dramatization that co-stars Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, and Stanley Tucci. Full review.
Finally, last weekend's big #1 opener, Bohemian Rhapsody, looks to continue to play well with the general public. This conventional yet effective PG-13 biopic of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Queen is reviewed right here.
November 6, 2018 - Now available on Blu-ray, Mandy ranks among the best-reviewed films of 2018. This phantasmagorical horror film from director Panos Cosmatos stars Nicolas Cage as a 1980s lumberjack whose life is interrupted when his girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) gets taken by a cult with otherworldly connections. This bizarre, unrated, nightmarish genre-bender is joined by deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. Full review.
November 2, 2018 - Among today's wide theatrical releases is The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney's nice-looking but thin fantasy loosely adapted from the fairy tale and ballet. Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) stars as Clara, who journeys into the worlds her recently deceased mother used to reign. Keira Knightley,Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman co-star as Sugar Plum, Mother Ginger, and Godfather Drosselmeyer, respectively. This troubled production, credited to both directors Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston, is detailed in our full review.
Expanding to 180 locations after two weeks in limited release is the Oscar hopeful Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which stars Melissa McCarthy as biographer turned literary forger Lee Israel in this stirring true drama from director Marielle Heller and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener. McCarthy and her prominent co-star Richard E. Grant playing Israel's unwitting partner in crime should both garner awards for their rich performances here. Full review.
After posting the best limited release debut of the year, Suspiria spreads to 275 theaters. This remake of the 1977 Dario Argento classic from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino arrests and unnerves with an atmospheric tale of occult happenings at a prestigious ballet academy in late-'70s Berlin. Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, and Chloe Grace Moretz star in this epic horror flick. Our review.
October 30, 2018 - Our newest Blu-ray review covers You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay's acclaimed follow-up to 2011's We Need to Talk About Kevin. In a tour-de-force performance, Joaquin Phoenix stars as Joe, a tormented Gulf War veteran now in the dangerous business of tracking down missing girls. Check out the review.
October 26, 2018 - Jonah Hill makes his directing debut on mid90s, a coming-of-age tale set in the final decade of the 20th century. The film centers on Stevie (Sunny Suljic), a 13-year-old Los Angeles kid who spends summer hanging with kids at a skate park. Katherine Waterston and Lucas Hedges co-star in this short yet ambitious and highly nostaglic indie. Read on...
Also opening in wide release is Hunter Killer, a submarine action thriller starring Gerard Butler as a Navy man tapped to captain a submarine to respond when a Russian coup seems to be on the verge of launching a third world war. Gary Oldman, Common, and Linda Cardellini also star in this R-rated production from the ordinarily direct-to-video Summit Premiere. Read all about it.
October 19, 2018 - Now in theaters, Halloween provides a sequel to John Carpenter's classic 1978 horror film on its fortieth anniversary.A bitter, aging Laurie Stode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and two generations of her descendants have to deal with the fabled boogeyman that is Michael Myers after the deadly killer escapes and is loose again in Haddonfield. David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) directs this sequel from a script he wrote with Danny McBride. Full review.
Now playing nationwide: The Hate U Give, a critically acclaimed adaptation of the YA novel by Angie Thomas. George Tillman Jr. directs a cast led by The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg. The timely, thought-provoking drama centers on a black teenaged girl who witnesses the police shooting of her childhood friend. Read more.
Expanding after a strong opening in limited release, Beautiful Boy stars Steve Carell as a journalist troubled by the descent of his teenaged son (Timothee Chalamet) into metamphetamine addiction. Based on atrue story, this drama from the director of The Broken Circle Breakdown co-stars Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, and Timothy Hutton. Read our review.
October 12, 2018 - We have reviews of four new theatrical releases today, with a fifth on the way.
First up is First Man, the latest film from Academy Award-winning La La Land director Damien Chazelle. It tells the story of astronaut Neil Armstrong, who piloted NASA'S Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969. Unconventional and wondrous, First Man has garnered high praise and will likely be a major presence throughout the award season. Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong, Claire Foy portrays his wife Janet, and the large supporting cast includes Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, and Corey Stoll. Blast off with full review.
Opening not quite as wide but to strong reviews and much anticipation is Bad Times at the El Royale, Drew Goddard's directing follow-up to The Cabin in the Woods. Set at a run-down Lake Tahoe hotel at the end of the 1960s, this R-rated film brings together seven strangers for a mystery involving stolen loot. Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, and Chris Hemsworth head the talented cast of this atmospheric slow burn. Full review.
Expanding today is The Old Man & the Gun, an appealing true story of cops and robbers that marks Robert Redford's final film as actor. He plays Forrest Tucker who in the early '80s robs a series of banks in a gentlemanly fashion. Sissy Spacek plays a love interest kept in the dark while Casey Affleck plays the Dallas detective determined to catch him. David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Pete's Dragon) adapted and directed this PG-13 caper. Read more.
Finally, the Netflix original 22 July returns director Paul Greengrass to the docudrama. This time out, the United 93 and Captain Phillips director recreates Norway's deadliest terrorist attack, targeting an island summer camp in 2011. Greengrass, who also wrote the screenplay from Ĺsne Seierstad's book, uses an all-Norwegian cast, but the English language. Read the review.
October 4, 2018 - Now playing in theaters and expected to take first place at the box office is Venom. The Spider-Man universe villain gets his own standalone film, as investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) gets mixed up with a potent alien symbiote that takes control of his body. Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed co-star in this poorly-reviewed film from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and Sony. Don't miss our review.
Expanding in theaters today is The Sisters Brothers, a western from director Jacques Aubiard (Rust and Bone), adapted from Patrick deWitt's 2011 novel. John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix star as outlaw siblings at a crossroads in the 1880s. Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed co-star in this offbeat indie from Annapurna Pictures. Full review right here.
September 30, 2018 - Opening in theaters this Friday, A Star Is Born is the first sure awards contender of the season. The fourth version of the film to date, this one is directed, produced, and co-written by Bradley Cooper who also stars as Jackson Maine, an accomplished but alcoholic musician who comes to mentor a young, aspiring singer-songwriter named Ally (Lady Gaga). Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, and Dave Chappelle co-star in this dramatic R-rated film sure to gain accolades through the Oscars. Full review.
September 26, 2018 - Warner Animation Group's Smallfoot serves up comedy, music, and a dark story involving a Yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) whose account of an encounter with the fabled Smallfoot (human beings) gets him banished from his high altitude community, setting him off an adventure to prove to all he's not crazy. James Corden voices an opportunistic nature documentarian who crosses pathes with the large creature. From director Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge), this PG-rated family film opens wide in theaters this week. Zendaya is Meeche.
September 21, 2018 - Arriving a month before the Goosebumps sequel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls aims to be the family horror film of the season. Adapted from the award-winning 1970s children's novel, this PG-rated fantasy sees an orphaned boy (Owen Vaccaro) moving in with his eccentric uncle (Jack Black), who reveals himself to be a warlock and the neighbor of a witch (Cate Blanchett). Marking Eli Roth's first PG rating, this Amblin Entertainment production has just enough substance and diversion to warrant a look. Read more.
Dan Fogelman, seasoned screenwriter (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and creator of NBC's "This Is Us", returns to the director's chair after his underperforming 2015 debut Danny Collins with Life Itself. Consisting of four acts linked across generations, this R-rated dramedy is drawing some of the worst reviews of the season. Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, and Mandy Patinkin are among the large cast. Full review.
September 14, 2018 - Now in theaters, The Predator looks to revive Fox's sci-fi action franchise. Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Iron Man 3) directs and co-wrote this standalone adventure which pits the deadly alien creature against a gang of ex-military misfits (led by Boyd Holbrook), an autistic kid (Room's Jacob Tremblay), and a scientist (Olivia Munn) in a suburban setting. Fred Dekker (The Monster Squad) co-wrote this R-rated sequel. Full review.
Also now in theaters, White Boy Rick tells the true story of Rick Wershe Jr., who as a 14-year-old Detroit resident became an undercover informant to the FBI. Newcomer Richie Merritt plays the title character, while Matthew McConaughey portrays his arms-dealing father in this R-rated drama from director Yann DeMange ('71). Don't miss our full revivew.
September 7, 2018 - The fall movie season kicks off today with the release of The Nun, a spin-off to the lucrative Warner Bros./New Line horror franchise that began with The Conjuring. Set decades before that film, this one sees a Vatican-enlisted miracle hunter (Demian Bichir), a young nun about to take her vows (Taissa Farmiga), and a French-Canadian (Jonas Bloquet) journeying to the Romanian abbey where a nun has hanged herself and evil appears to be afoot. This coolly-reviewed outing is about to dominate the box office this first weekend of September. Our review.
September 5, 2018 - Our newest theatrical review covers Juliet, Naked, a romantic comedy adapted from the novel by Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity), in which a British woman (Rose Byrne) breaks up with her longtime boyfriend (Chris O'Dowd) and begins an e-mail relationship with Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), the reclusive American rocker her ex was obsessed with. Jesse Peretz (Our Idiot Brother) directs this R-rated transAtlantic film, which counts Judd Apatow among its producers. Full review.
August 31, 2018 - Expanding today after a strong opening in four theaters last weekend is Searching, the acclaimed mystery from first-time writer-director Aneesh Chaganty. John Cho stars as a widowed father whose teenaged daughter goes missing. Debra Messing plays the seasoned detective assigned to help him track her down in a PG-13 film that plays out on smartphone and computer screens. Don't miss our review.
Lenny Abrahamson, the Academy Award-nominated director of Room, follows up that acclaimed thriller with The Little Stranger, a Gothic horror film adapted from the Sarah Walters novel. Domhnall Gleeson plays a doctor who frequents a declining old mansion in post-World War II England that is home to a PTSD-stricken veteran (Will Poulter) and his bachelorette sister (Ruth Wilson). Charlotte Rampling lends support in this R-rated limited release. Read more.
The sci-fi hybrid Kin from first-time writer-directors the Baker Brothers tells the story of an adopted teenager (Myles Truitt) who takes a road trip with his ex-con older brother (Jack Reynor) as the two try to flea vengeful criminals (led by James Franco). Zoë Kravitz and Dennis Quaid co-star in this PG-13 adventure that is now in wide release. Read the full review.
August 29, 2018 - Opening wide mid-week, Operation Finale tells the true story of Israel spies tracking down one of the deadliest Nazi war criminals in 1960s Buenos Aires. Oscar Isaac plays the Mossad agent leading the charge to bring Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) back to Israel for trial. Chris Weitz (About a Boy) directs this PG-13 drama which co-stars Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Nick Kroll. Read on...
August 24, 2018 - Now in theaters, The Happytime Murders from director Brian Henson (The Muppet Christmas Carol) tells the story of a former Los Angeles police detective turned private eye who reunites with the department to consult on the investigation of a series of murders of puppets from a TV series about to enter syndication. Melissa McCarthy headlines a human cast that also includes Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, and Maya Rudolph. This R-rated comedy opens wide from STXfilms. Full review.
August 17, 2018 - The prehistoric adventure Alpha tells the story of a young hunter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) separated from his tribe and presumed dead but who actually persists at a reunion attempt with the help of a similarly separated wolf. Albert Hughes of the Hughes Brothers directed and co-wrote this now-playing PG-13 film. Our review.
August 15, 2018 - In theaters today, Crazy Rich Asians is notable for being the first American film with a predominantly Asian cast in twenty-five years. This adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel sees NYU economic teacher Rachel (Constance Wu) traveling with her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to Singapore where she discovers her boyfriend comes from one of China's wealthiest families. The large cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong, and Awkwafina. Film review.
August 10, 2018 - The Meg brings those aboard an underwater research facility face to face with a Megalodon, a 75-foot prehistoric shark long believed extinct. Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, and Cliff Curtis are part of an international cast that comes second to shark thrills in this $150 million production from National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub. Don't miss our review.
Spike Lee is earning the best reviews he's had in decades for BlacKkKlansman, a true drama about an African American Colorado Springs police detective (John David Washington) who in the 1970s infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with the assistance of a fellow cop (Adam Driver). Lee's passionate drama offers historical perspective on racism and white supremacy in the nation. Full review.
August 3, 2018 - Now in theaters, Disney's Christopher Robin tells the story of a grown-up version of Winnie the Pooh's friend (Ewan McGregor) having lost his wonder in post-WWII London. Fortunately, Pooh and company return to set the workaholic father right in this stately live-action drama with CG animation from director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) and writers of Spotlight and Hidden Figures. Full review.
Also now playing, the action-comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon as two California women who get thrown into the dangerous world of international espionage when a valuable flash drive beloning to an ex puts them at the center of CIA and MI6 dealings. Susanna Fogel (Life Partners) directs and co-writes this R-rated romp which also features Justin Theoroux, Sam Heughan, and Paul Reiser. Our review.
The YA adaptation The Darkest Minds is set in a dystopian future where children are either wiped out by a virus or put in internment camps and feared for their powers. Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson makes her live-action debut on this underwhelming fantasy starring The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg. Our full review.
July 25, 2018 - Opening in theaters tomorrow night, Mission: Impossible - Fallout keeps the Tom Cruise action franchise running and fresh.Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, this critically acclaimed sixth installment sends Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team out in search of stolen plutonium with which a terrorist group is planning a nuclear attack. Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett join the cast while Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan, Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin reprise their roles from past installments. Don't miss Our review.
July 23, 2018 - From Academy Award-nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), the indie dramedy Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, a Portland cartoonist trying to overcome alcohol addiction in 1970s California. Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black co-star in this true story, which is now in theaters. Full review.
July 22, 2018 - Expanding this weekend after a formidable opening on the coasts, the independent film Eighth Grade marks a must-see writing and directing debut for comedian Bo Burnham. An A24 release, this centers on a 14-year-old girl (Elsie Fisher) and her single father (Josh Hamilton) during her trying final week of middle school. Don't miss the movie or our review of it.
July 20, 2018 - Ten years after the blockbuster original, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again opens in theaters. This dual-narrative sequel catches up with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she prepares to reopen her mother's newly restored hotel in Greece while also fleshing out the backstory of her mother (Lily James) and three potential fathers in the late-'70s. Ol Parker wrote and directed this new ABBA jukebox musical, while Meryl Streep and Cher make appearances. Full review.
July 18, 2018 - Opening in theaters tomorrow is The Equalizer 2, the first sequel of Denzel Washington's career. The actor reunites with director Antoine Fuqua to follow up their well-performing 2014 thriller about an unassuming man who pursues street justice for those who have been wronged. Pedro Pascal, Moonlight's Ashton Sanders, and Academy Award winner Melissa Leo co-star in this R-rated action flick. Full review.
July 12, 2018 - Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno in Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson's latest big action vehicle. Johnson plays a military-seasoned amputee who takes any means necessary to get inside a giant Hong Kong building which is both on fire and housing his wife (Neve Campbell) and their twin children. Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence) writes and directs this ridiculous PG-13 thriller. Read more.
July 6, 2018 - The documentary Whitney details the swift rise and tragic, prolonged fall of Whitney Houston. Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) directs a film that includes new interviews with the singer's surviving family members and colleagues including mother Cissy Houston and ex-husband Bobby Brown. Our review.
July 4, 2018 - A lucrative Blumhouse horror franchise returns to the beginning with The First Purge. This prequel shows where the social experiment that sees all crime legal for one night began, with low-income citizens of Staten Island enticed by pay to volunteer for the project. James DeMonaco returns to write, but passes the directing reins to Gerard McMurray in this commercial play. Review.
July 1, 2018 - Now in theaters, the basketball comedy Uncle Drew adapts a series of Pepsi commercials featuring NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving. Irving plays the aging eponymous blacktop legend who reunites his old team (Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Chris Webber) to help a desperate coach (Lil Rel Howery) try to win the annual Rucker Classic. Don't miss our full review.
June 30, 2018 - Ant-Man and the Wasp, the third and smallest Marvel Studios release of the year, opens in theaters next week and we've got an early review. Paul Rudd reprises his role as ex-con turned superhero Scott Lang, who is summoned by the scientist (Michael Douglas) who gave him the powerful dimension-changing suit to help find the long-lost Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). Evangeline Lilly and Michael Pena return, while Walton Goggins and Hannah John-Kamen join the fray as new threats. Full review.
June 21, 2018 - Opening in theaters tonight is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the sequel to 2015's blockbuster reboot. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return, this time joining forces to save dinosaurs from extinction...only to get mixed up with a corporation with ulterior motives. Rafe Spall and James Cromwell join the cast, while Jeff Goldblum cameos. Read our review.
June 15, 2018 - Incredibles 2 marks the much-anticipated return of Pixar's family of superheroes. This time around, Elastigirl is tasked to fulfill world-saving missions while Mr. Incredible stays home and watches the kids. Brad Bird again writes and directs this inventive adventure that is now setting box office records around the world. Read our full review.
June 8, 2018 - In theaters today, Ocean's Eight revives Steven Soderbergh's action-comedy franchise with an all-female sequel starring Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean (Danny's sister), who quickly uses her parole to hatch a heist of a $150 million diamond necklace from the Met Gala. Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Awkwafina co-star in this PG-13 caper directed and co-written by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games). Full review.
The horror film Hereditary, from first-time writer-director Ari Aster has earned glowing reviews. It centers on a family coping with grief after the death of a grandmother. Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, and Broadway's Milly Shapiro star in this offbeat A24-distributed thriller that loses its way. Our review.
Opening today in limited release, Won't You Be My Neighbor? celebrates the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, whose "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" shaped children's television and children for decades. Rogers' widow, children, friends, and colleagues recall his unorthodox methods in this appealing PG-13 documentary from Oscar-winning 20 Feet from Stardom director Morgan Neville. Read the review.
Recent Film Reviews:
• Atomic Blonde - Charlize Theron plays a British agent trying to orchestrate the safe evacuation of a critical ally at the time of the Berlin Wall's fall. Co-starring James McAvoy and John Goodman, this '80s music-packed R-rated action thriller marks the first directing credit for longtime stunt coordinator David Leitch.
Recent Blu-ray and DVD Reviews:
• Going In Style (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) - A remake of the 1979 movie of the same name, this PG-13 comedy stars Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin as three old friends and former co-workers who decide to rob a bank after their company's pension plan goes broke. From Hidden Figures scribe Ted Melfi and Garden State director Zach Braff, the film is joined by deleted scenes on Blu-ray and a solo Braff commentary on both discs.
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This site was created on January 6, 2001. It was last updated on June 14, 2019.