In this Jan. 23, 2018 photo, Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon, left, and Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot appear in New York to promote their 60-show tour this summer. While both bands have continued to make new music, expect the tour to focus on the hits.<br>Brian Ach/Invision/AP

When Def Leppard and Journey tour together, expect the hits

Def Leppard and Journey have hit the road together for a 60-show tour, but they promise there won’t be any squabbles over which band headlines each night.

Trevor Noah was in 'Black Panther' and nobody noticed

Trevor Noah had a completely missable role in “Black Panther” that you almost certainly missed unless you paid close attention to the closing credits.

Ron Howard gets a little help from his friends with 'Solo'

Ron Howard says his first thought when he took over as director of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" was the same as when it was announced he would be making a documentary on the Beatles. Both projects meant taking on the biggest icons in pop culture history. "I could tell from the moment it was announced, ’Ron, don’t (expletive) this up,’" Howard says.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ duo breathe new life into beloved characters

It’s always daunting to take on a character that’s been memorably played before by another actor. But stepping into an iconic role in a “Star Wars” movie? As Han Solo would say, “Never tell me the odds.”


Cumberbatch takes on a dream role in Showtime’s 'Patrick Melrose' -- thanks to Reddit

Benedict Cumberbatch was just answering a question from a fan -- not plotting his next project. One query that made a special impression: "If you could choose to be any other literary character in an upcoming role, who would it be and why?"

Waiting the hardest part for 'Solo’s' Alden Ehrenreich

The most difficult part about making "Solo: A Star Wars Story" for Alden Ehrenreich wasn’t the filming, but the long wait for the movie to get to theaters. It’s been two years since it was announced he would take on the iconic role of Han Solo in the tale of the roguish space smuggler’s early days.

Review: A scoundrel is born in Star Wars spinoff 'Solo'

If there’s one takeaway from “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” it’s that our favorite scoundrel had been through a lot before he ever met up with Luke, Obi-Wan and Leia.

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  • Review: Insane as ever, 'Deadpool 2' doesn’t disappoint

    At a recent screening of “Deadpool 2,” the audience didn’t get up when the end credits came up, patiently sitting through the scrolling names of visual effects supervisors and lighting specialists. Real “Deadpool” fans know to stick around until the ushers toss them out.

  • Mary Steenburgen knows how to coax a laugh but is equally at home with the dark side

    Mary Steenburgen can still see him, her father, waving from the top of a boxcar, dawn filling the sky behind him, many years and miles from where she is now, sitting in a glass house near a redwood, taking stock of her latest movie, her long Hollywood career and the wondrous and scary things learned in an Arkansas childhood.

  • Gillian Jacobs, Debby Ryan educated by ’Life of the Party’

    “Life of the Party”’s Debby Ryan only managed to find time to take a few college classes over the years because she’s been so busy working on TV and film projects since she was 13. Her co-star in the new comedy film, Gillian Jacobs, not only graduated from Julliard, but a major hunk of her acting career had her in “Community” college.

  • With her new movie 'Tully,' Diablo Cody delves into the dark side of parenting

    Tattooed wunderkind Diablo Cody burst onto the movie scene 11 years ago with the tale of a smack-talking pregnant teenager -- and a resume that included a stint as a stripper. Now 39 and the mother of three young boys, Cody is making the interview rounds to discuss "Tully," her third collaboration with "Juno" director Jason Reitman and the duo’s second film starring Charlize Theron.

  • 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' and 'Book Club' cater to audiences usually neglected during the summer

    The films on the list of wannabe blockbusters opening this summer have one thing in common: They’re aimed primarily at young men. From new installments in Marvel comic book franchises to flashy action pictures led by stars like Tom Cruise, Dwayne Johnson and Denzel Washington, every movie hopes to draw the lucrative "four quadrant" crowd -- but at the very least, dudes.

  • After 14 long years, 'Incredibles 2' picks up with its family of suburban superheroes

    Brad Bird stood in front of a full orchestra on the Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage on the Sony Pictures lot, his leg bouncing to the beat, a big grin on his face.

  • Review: It’s not all fun and games in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

    Every time I review a Marvel movie (with the exception of “Black Panther”), I can’t help but use a simile that popped up while reviewing “Captain America: Civil War.” These movies are like eating at a chain restaurant. It’s comforting because you know what you’re going to get, but it’s never anything new or exciting. To extend the metaphor to “Avengers: Infinity War” - which is a Part One, even if it isn’t named as such - this offering is a lot like ordering the sampler platter. It’s the stuff we know and like, in different combinations, but you’re not going to get a full meal of anything you particularly love.

  • Cast, crew reveal – or don’t reveal – 'Avengers: Infinity War' tidbits

    "Avengers: Infinity War" has the potential to be the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has so many heroes a scorecard may be necessary to keep track of all the players. Just for the press conference the weekend before the movie hits theaters, 24 cast and crew members talked about the film.

  • Minnesota songwriting vet Caitlyn Smith is firing up Nashville

    As people tend to do on the last day of the South by Southwest Music Conference, Caitlyn Smith was breathing easy.

  • Review: Netflix’s ’Kodachrome’ reminds that Ed Harris can make standard roles transcendent

    Ed Harris. The accomplished actor did not inspire “Kodachrome,” and he’s not the only thing in it, but when you’re looking for reasons to watch, his arresting performance stands way out.

  • Brothers Osborne are rising country stars with a new album, but Nashville still has challenges

    For proof that Brothers Osborne do things differently than most country stars, look no further than their music video for last year’s hit single, "It Ain’t My Fault." The video, a tribute to the 1991 movie "Point Break," features robbers wearing presidential masks on a heist. The one wearing the Donald Trump mask tries to steal from a church collection plate, and the one who looks like Bill Clinton ogles an attractive woman.

  • Carl Lumbly brings deep commitment to 'Supergirl' role

    Carl Lumbly’s parents didn’t allow him to read comic books while growing up in Minneapolis. The son of Jamaican immigrants was most definitely encouraged to read, but his family wanted him to concentrate on more serious writing. That was fine with Lumbly, as he fell in love with the all types of books, especially works of science fiction.

  • Illness can't stop Jeffrey Dean Morgan from talking about 'Rampage'

    Both TV and film audiences know that Jeffrey Dean Morgan can play tough guys. There are few characters on television now -- or ever -- who is a much of a switch hitter as Morgan is playing the bat-swinging Negan on "The Walking Dead." This goes along with hard-charging characters who should have a bad asterisk by their name from films like "The Losers," "Watchmen" and "Red Dawn."

  • Review: Offensively bad 'Super Troopers 2' shows Broken Lizard hasn't aged well

    Like many of a certain age, I was a fan of Broken Lizard's 2001 stoner cop cult classic "Super Troopers," which circulated smoky dorm rooms in the early 2000s. The energetic, silly and wordy comedy of the then-unknown troupe was absurd, naughty and endlessly quotable. Coming 17 years later, the crowdfunded sequel "Super Troopers 2" is a whole lot more of the same, resplendent mustaches and all. But have I grown up? Or is it that Broken Lizard hasn't? Because the second time around is an exercise in diminishing returns.

  • 'Grease' is still the word for Lorenzo Lamas

    It was a trip to the Academy Awards that set Lorenzo Lamas in motion to be part of one of the most successful movie musicals of all time: “Grease.” The film, which has taken in more than $188 million at the box office (second only to the live version of “Beauty and the Beast”), celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a special DVD release.

  • Yes, Miles Robbins has famous parents, but he wants a career like no one else

    It’s been less than 24 hours since Miles Robbins completed what he calls his first “high profile” interview, and he’s nervous. Nervous that he said too much, went too far, might be misunderstood.

  • Review: 'I Feel Pretty' is bold take on self-love, but premise takes it on superficially

    The Amy Schumer vehicle “I Feel Pretty” tackles a very real epidemic -- the crisis of confidence. Low self-esteem is part of the human condition for people of any age, gender or race, but it’s particularly virulent and destructive in the young female population, resulting in eating disorders, imposter syndrome, plastic surgery, billions of dollars spent on beauty products, diets, shapewear and generally a serious failure to thrive.

  • Amy Schumer responds to 'I Feel Pretty' backlash: 'The film wasn't what they thought it was about'

    Amy Schumer is feeling defensive about her upcoming flick, "I Feel Pretty." The comedian spoke to Vulture ahead of the movie's debut about how people were quick to bash the movie just from its trailer -- and attempted to set the record straight.

  • Kendrick Lamar makes history with Pulitzer Prize win

    Their names are inked in history books and on the walls of hallowed concert halls as winners of American music’s most esteemed award, the Pulitzer Prize for music: Aaron Copland, George Crumb, John Luther Adams, Ornette Coleman, Caroline Shaw and dozens more. Add to that list the man nicknamed Kung Fu Kenny.

  • Review: Phoenix descends into a New York underworld in 'You Were Never Really Here'

    Seven years ago, the gifted Scottish writer-director Lynne Ramsay made a bleak and unsettling domestic horror film titled "We Need to Talk About Kevin." Her latest feature, her fourth in nearly two decades, is a hypnotically grim New York crime thriller called "You Were Never Really Here."

  • 'The Walking Dead’s' Lennie James sticks up for his crossover to 'Fear the Walking Dead'

    Lennie James was filled with dread after being summoned to the house of Scott M. Gimple, the showrunner of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” several months ago. As he drove, he wondered if he would get out alive.

  • Rising rapper Saweetie is one to watch this year

    Diamonte Harper was feeling low when she wrote a song that would change her life.

  • Review: Nary a scare in 'Truth or Dare'

    In “Truth Or Dare,” a bunch of college kids go to Mexico and come back with something awful, contagious, and beyond the reach of Pepto-Bismol, or broad-spectrum antibiotics.

  • Review: 'Rampage' is big, dumb fun

    Dwayne Johnson has become a genre unto himself. Outfit the hulking former WWE star in a pair of cargo pants and a snug henley tee, and throw him into any extreme situation -- jungle-based video game, diesel-fueled car stuntery, beach crimes, fighting an earthquake, starring across Kevin Hart -- and it just works. So pairing Johnson with a giant albino gorilla in the video game adaptation “Rampage” feels right. The tagline reads “big meets bigger,” and that’s about all you need to know. Johnson, who usually dwarfs his co-stars, this time gets to feel small. It’s big all right -- big, dumb fun.

  • Review: Jon Hamm heads a murky spy movie 'Beirut'

    “Beirut” is a spy story. But what’s its mission?

  • Review: 'Sgt. Stubby' is a good dog-turned war hero, but his tale deserves heftier treatment

    The tale of friendly stray mutt-turned-war hero is the kind of true story built for cinematic adaptation. Director Richard Lanni, who has worked on documentary films and series about World War II, co-wrote the animated film “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” with veteran and Hollywood military advisor Mike Stokey. It depicts the inspiring and unlikely story of Stubby, a mutt who made his way from a training base in Connecticut to the trenches of France during World War I. For his heroic actions, Stubby became the most decorated dog in U.S. Army history, and a beloved figure at home stateside.

  • Review: A lonely teen finds the horse he needs in 'Lean on Pete'

    Making a film about a lonely boy and a horse means expectations of "The Black Stallion" variety are inevitable, but that's not where "Lean on Pete" is going. Not at all.

  • How John Krasinski’s newfound love for horror led to defying expectations with ’A Quiet Place’

    When John Krasinski took to the stage last month after the world premiere of his movie “A Quiet Place” at the South by Southwest Film Festival, he seemed startled and surprised not only by the intensity of the audience’s response but also, perhaps, even by the movie itself. “Who made that film and why?” he exhorted the crowd.

  • Review: 'Borg vs. McEnroe' expertly follows clash of tennis titans

    The sport of tennis is inherently dramatic, at once meditative and explosive, a study in individual struggle and triumph. Personality tics and habits under extreme pressure and stress are laid bare for the whole world to inspect, with all eyes focused on the court. The rivalry of BjBorg and John McEnroe, which came to a head at the 1980 Wimbledon final, pitted perfection against passion and captivated the world. Janus Metz’s film, “Borg vs. McEnroe,” following the events leading up to the match, takes the clash of the tennis titans to operatic new heights.

  • Review: 'Miracle Season' is flawed but inspirational

    Inspirational sports movies tend to be testosterone-heavy, so the all-girl volleyball movie "The Miracle Season" is a welcome twist on the familiar genre. Based on the true story of Iowa City's West High School girls' volleyball team who battled back from tragedy in 2011, "The Miracle Season" is a formulaic but rousing tale of teamwork, girl power and community, and a tearjerker to boot.

  • Emily Blunt opens up about stuttering, which afflicted actors from Marilyn Monroe to Bruce Willis

    Emily Blunt’s new movie “The Quiet Place” is about a family who tries to live silently, lest terrible things befall them. She won’t be speaking much - which is a tad unusual for the British actress. More often, her roles display flawless vocal abilities, via her American accents (“The Girl on the Train,” “Sicario”) and singing (“Into the Woods,” upcoming “Mary Poppins”).

  • Review: 'Chappaquiddick' holds Kennedy accountable for tragic incident

    “I’m not going to be president” are the first words uttered by U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) when his friends Joe (Ed Helms) and Paul (Jim Gaffigan) find him sopping wet in the backseat of a car parked outside of a house party on Chappaquiddick Island in the wee hours of July 19,1969. It’s not the car in which he left the party with Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara), and she is nowhere to be seen. Heavy weighs the crown of the last standing Kennedy son, and with one horrible mistake, he can see his future, which will never involve the White House.

  • Review: It’s parents gone wild in laugh-out-loud funny ’Blockers’

    Comedy writer Kay Cannon honed her writing chops on “30 Rock,” “New Girl” and all three Pitch Perfect films. Now she’s bringing her weirdo-girly sensibility to the director’s chair, making her directorial debut on the raunchy teen sex comedy “Blockers” (just say the synonym for the rooster illustrated on the title, and it’ll all make sense).

  • Kacey Musgraves talks breaking the formula and entering 'cosmic country' with third album

    Like athletes who wear the same undershirt or refuse to shave while on a hot streak, musicians also often embrace certain rituals - some pragmatic, some superstitious - in their efforts to deliver a peak performance.

  • Review: 'A Quiet Place' -- John Krasinski's hushed heart-pounder

    Actually, in space, someone can hear you scream.

  • Review: 'Journey's End': In the trenches with WWI soldiers

    Last year's movie about WWI, also known as Wonder Woman, made $1 billion around the globe, and that's probably not a realistic outcome for "Journey's End."

  • The Weeknd drops his EP 'My Dear Melancholy,'

    Remember when Rihanna breezily encouraged us to "cheers to the freakin’ weekend" on 2010’s "Loud"? We are hereby submitting a request to switch those lyrics to "the freakin’ Weeknd," because this guy seems to need our good wishes more than ever before.

  • Jack White on which 'Star Trek' captain he's like in the studio and why hip-hop feeds his bold new sound

    Jack White has been obsessed with the number three for as long as he can remember.

  • Review: Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' deftly melds mirth, mystery and pop culture

    For those of the millennial set who thought the great director Steven Spielberg -- he of "Jurassic Park," the "Indiana Jones" films and "E.T." -- was but a myth, given that he's passed on more frivolous fare in recent years to tackle subjects such as the Pentagon Papers ("The Post") and the Civil War ("Lincoln"), meet one of the men who taught a generation to love movies.

  • Review: 'God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness' is offensive and nonsensical

    The independent Christian film studio Pure Flix found themselves with a hit on their hands with the 2014 film “God’s Not Dead,” which grossed $62 million on a $2 million budget. It spawned a sequel, “God’s Not Dead 2,” which earned $25 million on a $5 million budget. And clearly they’re hoping box office success will strike again with the third film in the franchise, “God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness,” the debut effort of writer/director Michael Mason.

  • Review: 'Flower' takes root thanks to star Zoey Deutch

    The dark comedy "Flower," about a teenage girl who's too sexually advanced for her own good, opens memorably with the 17-year-old Erica (Zoey Deutch) servicing the local sheriff in his car, wherein she cheerfully blackmails him for cash in return for her not posting incriminating photos on the internet.

  • Review: Steven Soderbergh's 'Unsane' is insanely creepy

    You're never sure what the prolific, ever-rebellious Steven Soderbergh is going to do next. But from "Sex, Lies and Videotape" to "Erin Brockovich" to the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise, you know it's going to be different.

  • Bill Hader breaks out of the 'SNL' mold with HBO's 'Barry,' the story of a hit man with a dream

    Bill Hader looks nervous, glancing at pages held tightly in his hands as his fellow actors debate a character's morality in a rehearsal for "Macbeth." He's reticent but finally interjects in the familiar, Midwestern half-drawl he deployed for eight seasons on "Saturday Night Live. "I don't know, I think Shakespeare whiffed it." With increased aggravation, he builds a case from his own background that there's a possibility for redemption. It's a strange conclusion, but in the context of HBO's "Barry" -- a half-hour series featuring Hader as co-creator, star and, for the first time, director -- it follows its own sort of logic.

  • Review: Cute rom-com 'All I Wish' takes on greater depth with casting

    The most remarkable thing about "All I Wish," written and directed by Susan Walter, is the casting -- but what a difference it makes for this light romantic comedy. Star Sharon Stone was originally offered the mother role, but convinced Walter she should play the daughter, Senna, instead. So Senna became 46, not 25, and Stone stepped into one of her more winning roles in a long time. With an older woman as the lead, this cute rom-com takes on a greater depth and poignancy than it would have with standard 20-something stars.

  • Review: Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' is often captivating, but cultural sensitivity gets lost in translation

    What do you do after you've made yet another beautiful film in a career defined -- some might say stymied -- by an obsessive devotion to beauty?

  • Review: No spark in sick teen romance 'Midnight Sun'

    The ailing teen romance genre is a rite of passage for many young stars. Mandy Moore had "A Walk to Remember"; Shailene Woodley had "The Fault in Our Stars," and never forget the patient zero of these movies: the '70s cancer tearjerker "Love Story."

  • 'Portlandia' is ending, but these nine sketches will live on

    "Portlandia" aired its final episode March 22, which means you’ll have to find a new way to laugh at hipsters, DIYers and ultra-progressives. Over the course of eight seasons, the show's sketches that have sometimes irked the residents of the city being skewered. Portland can breathe a little easier knowing it’s no longer in the duo’s crosshairs, but it can’t escape from the bits that already exist, some of which are still hilarious. Here’s a look back at nine standouts.

  • Matt Danner happy to speak for new version of 'Muppet Babies'

    Matt Danner has been working in animation for more than two decades, starting while he was still in high school. Over the years, he's worked on a variety of programs, including "Gravity Falls," "The Looney Tunes Show," "Dan. Vs.," "Wander Over Yonder" and "WWE Slam City." None of those projects has excited him as much as being named the supervising director for the new version of "Muppet Babies."

  • Review: The talented Tessa Thompson, Melissa Leo can't rise above plodding material

    What happens when you send Melissa Leo and Tessa Thompson on a weekend road trip? The talent pairing alone seemed tantalizing enough to warrant further investigation, and I wish "Furlough" had supplied a better answer.

  • Review: 'Pacific Rim Uprising' manages to outpace its predecessor

    The "Pacific Rim" action franchise has a relatively simple premise -- giant robots and alien monsters clobber each other to smithereens -- but surprisingly, it's driven by a supremely radical embrace of collectivism, teamwork and empathy. This isn't necessarily a surprise, because it comes from the big, beating heart of Guillermo del Toro, who has always seen opportunities to focus on love and connection in moments of horror. Del Toro directed the first "Pacific Rim," and produced its sequel, "Pacific Rim Uprising," which he has left in the hands of director and co-writer Stephen S. DeKnight, who brings a singularly frenetic energy to his feature directorial debut that manages to outpace the first film.

  • New Syfy series goes up, up and away to 'Krypton'

    It worked for Batman. Now, it's Superman's turn.

  • No longer a novelty, the faith-based film business is trying new ways to attract audiences

    In late February, actor Dennis Quaid joined religious rock group MercyMe at a Dallas concert to sing -- and promote his new movie. The band has toured for much of the last year in support of the new film “I Can Only Imagine,” which tells the story of how lead singer Bart Millard wrote the bestselling Christian single ever after the death of his father.

  • Review: Hijacking political thriller '7 Days in Entebbe' is larger than life

    The gripping political thriller "7 Days in Entebbe" _ based on true events and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha -- opens, somewhat surprisingly, with a modern dance performance. It's a captivating choice that serves as an unlikely thematic throughline of the film about a high-stakes high-wire act of negotiation and military operation during a tumultuous period between Israel and Palestine in the late 1970s.

  • Do Oscars and Grammys indicate awards shows losing appeal?

    After Nielsen’s brutal morning-after report cards for the Oscars and Grammys this winter, it’s worth asking whether television viewers are losing interest in watching the entertainment industry’s most prominent people celebrate themselves.

  • Review: 'Tomb Raider' lacks story, but Vikander takes us on a fun ride

    Angelina Jolie left her indelible mark on Lara Croft back in the early 2000s, but this video game character constantly regenerates with impunity, whether we want her to or not. She’s resurfaced again, with a whole new look and level of sass, thanks to Oscar-winning star Alicia Vikander, Norwegian film director Roar Uthaug, and writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons and Evan Daugherty. In this origin story, they’ve reimagined Lara as an orphaned enfant terrible, an MMA-fighting, radical bike courier rebelling against her privileged past.

  • Review: 'Love, Simon' is so much more than a coming out story

    Does 2018 need an earnest coming out story about an upper-middle class cisgender white boy? At face value, the tale of “Love, Simon” could possibly seem a bit dated. But the teen comedy -- directed by Greg Berlanti, written by Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, based on the book “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli -- is impossibly infectious, and so much more than just a coming out story.

  • Sacramento plays its role well in 'Lady Bird' film

    "You clearly love Sacramento," says the Catholic nun and high school principal as she looks over the college essay written by one of her students. The teenager, who clearly thinks the city is uncool, shrugs and says she just pays attention to her surroundings. "Well, it comes across as love," says the nun. "Don't you think maybe they are the same thing, love and attention?"

  • Cory Finley’s 'Thoroughbreds' is a delectably twisted mean-girls noir

    “Empathy isn’t your strong suit.” That’s Amanda (Olivia Cooke) addressing her friend Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) in the sleek, withering psychological chiller “Thoroughbreds.” By that point her criticism will strike you as either laughably redundant or outrageously hypocritical, since Amanda is, if anything, even more removed from the normal spectrum of human emotions than Lily is.

  • Britt Robertson lays down the law in 'For the People'

    The job of an actor is to take on a character and emotionally navigate through the twists and turns writers create. In the case of the new ABC drama "For the People," the world includes everything from ethical dilemmas to dealing with politics that will unfold in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

  • Auli'I Cravalho's career continues to 'Rise'

    It's been a whirlwind 16 months for Auli'i Cravalho. She exploded out of obscurity at the end of 2016 when her Disney animated film, "Moana," opened. It was the Hawaii native who provided both the speaking and singing voice for the young girl whose bravery saves her people.

  • Folk group I’m With Her wasn’t meant to be a band, but then they all clicked

    Folk group I’m With Her became a band in a backward sort of way. Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Watkins first came together in 2014 for an off-the-cuff performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado. "It was the first time the three of us had sat down together to even mildly work up anything and it was a little happy awareness, ’Oh, this is cool, this is special, this sounds great,’" Watkins says of their set, which mostly featured covers. "Throughout that day we found ourselves singing together a few more times and after that day we texted each other - it kinda felt like a first date sorta thing, where you check back in: ’That was fun, right? We should do that again.’" The next logical step would be to start writing songs, right?

  • Katy Perry determined to find 'American Idol' star

    Katy Perry has become a mega music superstar around the world with a continuous stream of hit records, gigantic tours and even performing at the halftime of the Super Bowl. As if that wasn’t enough fame and glory, Perry now joins Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie to be a celebrity judge on the ABC revival of “American Idol.”

  • Review: 'A Wrinkle in Time' is a landmark film, but doesn’t always work

    Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” is a landmark film even before it hits the theaters. The adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s eerie, mystical young adult sci-fi novel from 1962 was budgeted at over $100 million, the largest budget a woman of color has been handed for a film. DuVernay is only the fourth female director to receive that kind of budget for a project, and in tackling the beloved “A Wrinkle in Time,” she has taken an enormous swing. That alone is worthy of recognition.

  • Review: Bruce Willis’ remake of 'Death Wish' is DOA

    Sometimes Bruce Willis and over-the-top screen violence are perverse, transgressive fun. Think of him running around on his bloody, glass-cut feet and mowing down a platoon of cocky Euro-baddies in “Die Hard.” Or killing John Travolta on the john in “Pulp Fiction.” And later, having escaped imprisonment in a creepy pawnshop, quietly weighing the lethal capacity of every weapon in stock before deciding to kill his kidnappers with a samurai sword. Those scenes were beautifully underplayed by Willis, giving the screen slaughter a comic edge. Clearly they were aiming for something similar in the remake of the 1974 Charles Bronson thriller “Death Wish.”

  • Analysis

    Surprises are a thing of the past in the new world of the Oscars

    What if they awarded the Oscars and not one of the winners was a real surprise, not a single solitary one? What would the show be like, would people be glad they watched or wish they’d played pinochle instead?

  • 'The Shape of Water' wins best picture at the 90th Academy Awards

    Bringing an end to one of the most wide open best picture races in years, "The Shape of Water" -- a fantastical fable about a mute woman who falls in love with an aquatic creature -- claimed the top prize Sunday night at the 90th Academy Awards, beating out a strong field of eight rivals that included box office hits like "Dunkirk" and "Get Out" as well as smaller, more intimate fare such as "Call Me By Your Name" and "Lady Bird."

  • analysis

    2018 Oscars: More diversity, fewer surprises

    After the extremely eventful 2017 Oscars, this year’s 90th Academy Awards seemed downright tame in comparison. There were no missteps or embarrassments, and very few surprises. Hosted for the second year in a row by Jimmy Kimmel, the night was a tame ending to a roller coaster of a fall/winter awards season in Hollywood, which was rocked by the exposure and ousting of serial sexual harassers and assaulters in the industry, launching the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

  • Rachel Morrison helped make 'Mudbound,' then 'Black Panther' -- and now, Oscars history

    Rachel Morrison is having a pretty big moment. Her work on “Mudbound” earned her an Oscar nomination for best cinematography. She happens to be the first woman ever nominated in that category. The stunning World War II-era saga follows two Mississippi families, one white, one black, with visuals so rich, beautiful and evocative that many shots could be framed as individual works of art.

  • Donald Glover finding success from 'Atlanta' to outer space

    Call him Childish Gambino. Call him Lando Calrissian. Call him Earnest Marks. Whatever you call Donald Glover, that name will be associated with the massive amount of success the actor/musician/producer is having.

  • How to throw a star-studded, Champagne-filled, award-winning Oscar party

    Best actor? Best picture? Best dressed? No one knows yet. This year's Academy Awards -- likely to dazzle, infuriate and inspire drinking games across America -- won't be handed out until Sunday.

  • Review: 'Red Sparrow' beautiful to look at, but it's empty and meaningless

    With her bottle-blonde locks, facility with a knife and dour Eastern European playground, Jennifer Lawrence's "Red Sparrow" is seemingly the 2018 version of Charlize Theron's "Atomic Blonde." But that's where the comparisons end. While the '80s Berlin-set "Atomic Blonde" was a violent, colorful, sexy and darkly absurdist film, Russian spy thriller "Red Sparrow," directed by Francis Lawrence, is epic, methodical and unfortunately plodding, jettisoning thrills for a stultifying moodiness.

  • After 'Black Panther' and 'The Last Jedi,' is this the era of the artisanal blockbuster?

    The supersized success of “Black Panther” didn’t just smash assumptions about what superheroes are allowed to look like, it has also proved that the best franchise films put the emphasis on the film, rather than the franchise. Following on the heels of Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” and James Mangold’s “Logan,” Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” is one more example of Hollywood’s most surprising trend — artisanal blockbusters.

  • Q&A

    Robert Plant on possibility of Led Zeppelin reunion: 'You’re talking to the wrong guy here'

    Since Led Zeppelin imploded in 1980, vocalist Robert Plant has worked in many different and rewarding situations. There were the 1950s-loving Honeydrippers, his Middle Eastern-flavored and blues collaborations with Zep’s Jimmy Page, the Grammy-winning acoustic pairing with Alison Krauss, and his two Americana-ish ensembles, Band of Joy and the Sensational Space Shifters.

  • Review: Female-driven 'Annihilation' is singularly adventurous

    Sometimes cinematic adaptations are conversations with source material rather than direct representations. No recent film more exemplifies this idea than Alex Garland’s bold, metaphysical and just plain weird “Annihilation,” adapted from Jeff VanderMeer’s book, the first in his “Southern Reach” trilogy. The result is a deeply challenging, big budget, female-driven sci-fi film, which begs a question -- how did this get made? Films as singularly adventurous as this don’t come around often.

  • Review: 'Game Night' needed to take more risk with comedy

    There’s no question the undisputed winner in the new comedy “Game Night” is the generally dependable Rachel McAdams. The infectious energetic and unfiltered exuberance she brings to the role of the super competitive Annie - one of a group of best friends who get together on a regular basis to play parlor and board games - turns what was little more than an extended episode of a television comedy series into more of a winning effort.

  • 'Game Night's' Kyle Chandler game for comedy challenge

    Kyle Chandler’s new movie, "Game Night," has him playing the older half of a pair of siblings - the other portrayed by Jason Bateman - who have been competitive all their lives. The older brother has dominated their rivalry even to the point of changing what has been a rather mundane weekly get-together to play board and parlor games into a kidnap mystery game. The comedy comes from how that fake abduction turns real.

  • Freeman leaned more on script than comics for 'Black Panther' role

    If he’s needed it, Martin Freeman could turn to a lot of source material while working on his most iconic film and TV roles. The English actor had the works of J.R.R. Tolkien to scan through when he played Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” film trilogy. There was even more material at his fingertips when he began playing Dr. John Watson in the British drama “Sherlock.”

  • Review: Nick Park's 'Early Man' wonderfully full of dated material

    Aardman Animations star Nick Park, the brilliant mind behind the adventures of "Wallace and Gromit," tries to outdo the Flintstones in his latest comedy, "Early Man." The film -- set at the exact moment the Stone and Bronze Ages collide -- milks humor out of primordial playfulness and primitive puns. On that level it scores big, but the film slightly misses the goal when it comes to the kind of humanity Park has presented over the years through "Wallace and Gromit" offerings.

  • Review: 'Black Panther' is a royally imaginative standout in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

    We didn’t know we’d been yearning for it until it arrived, but now that it’s here it’s unmistakable that the wait for a film like “Black Panther” has been way longer than it should have been.

  • Jenna Fischer gets maternal for two very different roles

    Over the next two months, Jenna Fischer will be playing moms in two very different projects: the Clint Eastwood-directed movie "The 15:17 to Paris," and a new ABC sitcom called "Splitting Up Together."

  • He’s America’s TV dad.

    Get to know 'This Is Us' star Milo Ventimiglia

    It’s just after 1 a.m. and Milo Ventimiglia, finally settling into his Minneapolis hotel room after a climactic Super Bowl night, can at long last sleep with one less secret to keep.

  • Review: In 'Fifty Shades Freed,' it’s still less of a partnership than a power struggle

    The Fifty Shades film franchise is a study in contradictions. It’s kinky, but conservative. It’s filled with plot, but none of it means anything. The adventurous sex turns out to be fairly vanilla monogamy. The films are bad, but they are entertaining. “Fifty Shades Freed,” the final film of the trilogy, just might be the most competently made yet - which is a shame for those expecting the high camp factor of “Fifty Shades Darker.”

  • Review: '15:17 to Paris' doesn't live up to thrilling true story

    In the summer of 2015, three young American men from Sacramento, Calif., boarded a train in Amsterdam, en route to Paris, while enjoying a time-honored rite of passage: a European backpacking trip. In Brussels, another young man boarded the train, with a backpack full of guns and 300 rounds of ammunition. After tussling with American teacher Mark Moogalian and shooting him in the neck, he found himself in a car with a trio of young Americans filled up with youthful bravado, military training and a desire to not die lying down. What other heady combination could inspire a person to tackle a shirtless man cocking an AK-47 in a confined space?

  • Review: 'Peter Rabbit' features gorgeous animation, violent mayhem

    Hollywood studios have recently been pillaging the literary canon of beloved children’s literature, digging up fodder for animated feature films. The best of these, like the Paddington movies, successfully meld nostalgia with modern and exciting filmmaking, while the more questionable ones, like the recent “Ferdinand” adaptation, manage to muddle the source material with too many pop songs and dirty jokes. The new “Peter Rabbit” adaptation manages to land right in the middle - the animation technology is top-notch, but the gentle spirit of Beatrix Potter’s books is subsumed into a chaotic, violent mayhem, manically soundtracked to the day’s hits.

  • Review: Helen Mirren does what she can to enliven the creaky haunted-house thriller 'Winchester'

    Whenever a movie opens in wide release without screening in advance for critics, those of us with a professional duty to seek it out immediately brace ourselves -- not without some eagerness -- for an experience of epic, unprecedented awfulness.

  • 'Black Panther': Here’s who will be on Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack

    Kendrick Lamar didn’t win the 2017 album of the year at the Grammys, but he’s about to put out the most highly-anticipated soundtrack of 2018. The rapper on Jan. 31 released the cover art and tracklist for "Black Panther: The Album," which comes out Feb. 9. (See the tracklist in its entirety below). The album features artists such as Future, SZA, 2 Chainz and Vince Staples. James Blake appears on two songs, and Lamar is on five.

  • Review: 'The Cage Fighter' a raw look at MMA life

    Visual effects artist Jeff Unay makes his directorial debut with the spare and brutal documentary “The Cage Fighter,” an unflinching portrait of a man finding himself in the ring. Using a fly-on-the-wall style, Unay captures the mind of a fighter through the life of Joe Carman, an aging mixed martial arts fighter who subjects his body and spirit to intense violence, despite the protestations of his family.

  • Review: 'In the Fade' puts us face-to-face with loss

    The German thriller “In the Fade” puts us face to face with loss, and with what happens when a world shatters, leaving only darkness in its wake. Katja (Diane Kruger) lives contentedly with her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar) and adorable young son Rocco; Nuri previously served jail time for drug dealing but has reformed and embraced family life. One day, Katja drops off Rocco at his father’s office and goes to visit her sister (Samia Chancrin). Returning later to collect them, she finds a nightmare: crowds, flashing lights, a building leveled by a bomb and a sad-eyed police officer with terrible news. The sound fades out around Katja - all we hear is her breathing, and, eventually, her screams.

  • Daniel Kaluuya celebrates his lead actor nomination for 'Get Out': 'There are no rules!'

    “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya was elated and bursting with infectious energy Tuesday after learning of his Oscar nomination for actor in a leading role and the movie’s nods for director, original screenplay and best picture.

  • More than a Western: Christian Bale stars in 'Hostiles'

    The frontier drama “Hostiles” stars Christian Bale as cavalry Capt. Joseph Blocker, a renowned Native American hater nearing retirement in 1892. His last assignment is to unwillingly escort a recently released Cheyenne war chief and his family on a dangerous trek from New Mexico back to his Montana homeland.

  • Review: 'Bilal' religious epic too big for animation

    The first animated feature film produced in Dubai, “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero,” tells the story of Bilal ibn Rabah, a companion of the prophet Muhammad, and the first muezzin, who called the Muslim faithful to prayer. It’s an ambitious undertaking for co-director and producer Ayman Jamal, who researched various historical accounts for years before establishing an animation studio in Dubai to produce the film, and the story itself is an epic tale of one man fighting for his freedom from slavery.

  • 'Coco' Oscar nominees say their song celebrates a Mexican culture that’s 'under attack'

    The day they were nominated for a Golden Globe for the song “Remember Me” in the Pixar animated film “Coco,” husband and wife Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez had to put down their terminally ill 11-month-old kitten, Finn McCool.

  • Diane Kruger hopes you don’t forget her name when the awards buzz fades

    Has Diane Kruger finally arrived? And what took her so long? The 41-year-old won a best actress prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival for her role in "In the Fade," delivering what many are calling the performance of a lifetime. In the movie, by German director Fatih Akin, Kruger plays a woman mourning her Turkish immigrant husband and their young son, who have been killed by neo-Nazis.

  • Q&A

    Jordan Peele talks Oscars, ‘Get Out’ and Whoopi Goldberg

    Jordan Peele has been dreaming of his Oscar moment since he was 13, but now that it’s happened, he can hardly believe it. The 38-year-old received Academy Award nominations last week for best picture, director and original screenplay for his directorial debut, “Get Out.” The star of the horror/satire, Daniel Kaluuya, was also nominated for best actor.

  • Surprised by these 5? The stories behind a quintet of unexpected Oscar nominees

    I knew “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” would earn nominations for its three stars and that voters would make way for Meryl Streep for a record-extending 21st time. But there were some Oscar nominations announced Tuesday that had me doing a double take, often with genuine joy. What happened? How did they pull it off? Let’s look at the stories behind five of the year’s more surprising nominees.

  • Bruno Mars crashes rap’s big party at the Grammys

    The Grammy Awards seemed poised to make this a triumphant year for rap at music’s showcase event — until Bruno Mars crashed the party. The song-and-dance man from Hawaii won all six awards he was nominated for on Sunday night, including the three most prestigious Grammys for song (”That’s What I Like”), record (”24K Magic”) and album of the year. His music also dominated the rhythm and blues categories.

  • Oscar winner JK Simmons, on pulling double duty in the new TV thriller 'Counterpart'

    On an ordinary morning, J.K. Simmons contemplates the "what ifs" in his life. The actor, 63, has played dozens of characters over the course of a decades-long career, including a neo-Nazi in the HBO series "Oz," an enigmatic music teacher in "Whiplash" and the guy who knows a thing or two in those Farmers Insurance commercials. But would those roles, and his other achievements, still have fallen into place if, at roughly 35 years old, a gig as an understudy on Broadway had gone differently?

  • Fergie made 'Peanuts' at the beginning of her career

    Don’t be surprised if during one of the episodes of the new Fox reality music competition series "The Four: Battle for Stardom," Fergie (born Stacy Ann Ferguson) turns to Sean Combs and says "You’re such a blockhead, Diddy." That would only mean the singer/actor/host is flashing back to one of her earliest jobs.

  • 'Logan' director James Mangold surprised that Wolverine film got him his first Oscar nod for adapted screenplay

    “Logan” director and screenwriter James Mangold has helped bring mainstream comic book films back to the Academy Awards.

  • Analysis: After years of criticism, the hashtag for this year’s Oscar nominations could be ItsAboutTime

    After years of criticism, the hashtag for this year’s Oscar nominations could be ItsAboutTime.

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