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Amit Rahav as Yanky and Shira Haasas as Esty in “Unorthodox.”<br>Anika Molnar/Netflix

Actress in a limited series or movie becomes the most competitive Emmy category

The year in television brought a crop of compelling limited series centered on the female experience, including “Mrs. America,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Unbelievable” and “Unorthodox” — and with it a rich array of parts for women.


Movie review: Hanks heads up another WWII flick in 'Greyhound'

He’s Forrest Gump. He’s Mr. Rogers. He’s Woody. But with all the famous titles Tom Hanks has owned, few have fit as snugly and as smoothly as “captain” — whether it’s fending off Somali pirates in “Captain Phillips,” landing a plane on the Hudson in “Sully,” finding his way back to Earth in “Apollo 13” or commanding World War II troops in “Saving Private Ryan.”


Low-priced Peacock service the newest feather in NBCUniversal’s cap

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service debuted nationwide Wednesday, betting that weary consumers will tolerate a few commercials in exchange for a low-priced offering that includes news, sports and thousands of hours of TV shows.


The 'Dixie'-less Chicks make a thrilling return with a painfully vivid breakup album

The Chicks didn’t need to drop the "Dixie" from their name to raise suspicions about their reverence for American tradition. Announced late last month — just weeks before the July 17 release of "Gaslighter," the trio’s first studio album in 14 years — the name change was framed as part of a widespread racial reckoning that’s led many to reconsider words and symbols from the Civil War-era South.

Movie review: Unlikely pair can’t escape time loop in romantic comedy ‘Palm Springs’

We’ve probably all been to a wedding that felt like it would never end. For Sarah (Cristin Milioti), that wedding is her younger sister’s, where she’s drowning herself in red wine and extremely unprepared to give a speech. Now imagine living that nightmarish day again, and again, and again.



Movie Review: 'The Outpost' is both a riveting war movie and a cautionary tale

On October 3, 2009, a group of soldiers stationed at an isolated base in the Hindu Kush endured what would become one of the bloodiest confrontations in the U.S. war in Afghanistan: the Battle of Kamdesh, a punishing 12-hour assault from hundreds of Taliban forces that wound up costing several American lives and becoming a particularly grievous example of poor military judgment, and its most dire consequences for the people forced to carry it out.


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  • Eastwood's ankle forced production shift for 'The Outpost'

    An accident requiring two screws in his ankle nearly prevented Scott Eastwood from portraying a real life soldier in Afghanistan in "The Outpost" — a role that required a level of athleticism.


  • The wait is almost over: TV debut of 'Hamilton' near

    The day marking the celebration of our national story is almost upon us. An occasion sure to spread joy throughout the land as Americans reflect on the sacrifices of the Founding Fathers and consider what their labors on behalf of democratic government have wrought. I speak, of course, of that special date, the Third of July. Otherwise known as "Hamilton" Day.


  • ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ will take on Gen Z in Comedy Central revival

    Comedy Central is bringing back MTV’s iconically crude animated comedy “Beavis and Butt-Head” for an additional two seasons through a sprawling deal with producer Mike Judge.


  • The Dixie Chicks officially change their name to The Chicks

    The band's social media accounts and website were changed on Thursday to the refer to the new name for the band, which is made up of Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer.


  • 10 movies about fatherhood to watch for Father’s Day

    June 21 is Father’s Day, and some of us might be looking for some movies about fatherhood, in all its complexities -- so here are 10 of my favorites from the past couple of decades. Here’s to all of our dads, on screen and off.


  • Maude Apatow is ready to move out of her parents’ shadow, into the spotlight

    Just before the coronavirus became a global pandemic, Maude Apatow was planning on finally moving out of her parents’ house. She’d found a few apartments that piqued her interest and scheduled times to tour them. But when the city went on lockdown, she put her plans on hold, instead hunkering down in Brentwood, Calif., with her mom, dad and 17-year-old sister.


  • Spike Lee talks ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ his role as an artist in tumultuous times

    When Spike Lee phoned in for an interview last week, New York was still in the throes of demonstrations against police brutality, a lockdown brought on by COVID-19 and the civic unrest and economic crisis that have ensued.


  • Movie review: 'Artemis Fowl' is a regrettable fairy tale

    When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Disney quickly scrambled to cancel or postpone the theatrical releases of their highest profile titles. But with Kenneth Branagh’s "Artemis Fowl," an adaptation of Irish author Eoin Colfer’s fantasy novels, the mouse house decided to dump it onto Disney+ two weeks after it was slated for release. It’s a good decision, offering up some fresh content for kids just out of school, but it’s also wise because "Artemis Fowl" wouldn’t have been worth the wait for the big screen. It’s barely worth the time to stream.


  • Indie artists unite against racism on 90-track album

    Indie music artists are joining in the chorus of voices decrying police brutality on the black community. Phantogram, Jesse Malin, Jay Watts, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Bartees Strange, Lonemoon, Rogue Wave, Lateef the Truthspeaker, Crashing Hotels, Nick Andre, Worriers, Sulene, Superchunk and Damon & Naomi are among the acts who have contributed to “Talk - Action = Zero,” a compilation album of previously unreleased music, demos, live recordings and other material now available on bandcamp.com.


  • Improv helps Ben Schwartz move from bit player to star

    Before Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch stride onstage to do long-form improv, the comedy duo, at Schwartz’s behest, always share a hug. “I love you,” Schwartz utters every time. “OK,” Middleditch often responds, not exactly saying “yes, and” to the gesture but sheepishly acknowledging his affection, nonetheless.


  • WWII movie 'Greyhound,' starring Tom Hanks, to open on Apple TV+ instead of in theaters

    "Greyhound," a World War II naval drama filmed aboard the USS Kidd Naval Museum in Baton Rouge, La., will premiere on Apple TV+ rather than in theaters.


  • Concert industry plans socially distant shows as states start to reopen

    The last time bassist Jon Jones played a concert with his country group Eli Young Band was March 8. He hopes to hit the stage again in June to launch a new drive-in concert series in his first return to live music with fans since the devastating coronavirus.


  • New, remixed tunes address realities of quarantine

    NEW YORK — With masks over their mouths and gloves on their hands, country superstar Luke Combs and his band went to a music studio — in separate rooms — and recorded a new song reflecting the mood of a world dramatically altered by the spreading coronavirus.


  • Book review

    ‘If It Bleeds’ reaffirms Stephen King’s skill, creativity

    Stephen King’s affinity for the novella form goes back to the early stages of his long, prolific career. In 1982, King published “Different Seasons,” a quartet of long stories that contained some of his finest work, and eventually led to some memorable film adaptations, among them “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Stand by Me.” Since then, at roughly 10-year intervals, King has produced three similar volumes that have allowed him to play with a wide variety of themes, scenes and settings. The latest of these, “If It Bleeds,” contains four new, exceptionally compelling novellas that reaffirm his mastery of the form.


  • What would Mary Poppins do during the lockdown? Julie Andrews launches a podcast

    “Mom and I are both fans of podcasts, and we had been planning to do one for quite some time,” says Emma Walton Hamilton, Andrews’ eldest daughter and longtime cowriter-collaborator. “It’s a lovely extension of what we’ve already been doing with our own children’s books and children’s programming. And because of the virus, American Public Media was kind enough to fast-track the podcast. It’s kept us very busy.”


  • Thundercat is finally in tune with himself

    They all know Thundercat here: the weathered, seen-it-all counterman who reserves the lanes, the acne-ridden teenager handing out floppy and slick leather shoes, the waiter bringing heaping platters of fruit and bowls of matzo ball soup. To them, the interstellar jazz bassist is practically family. But don't mistake this for "Cheers." The Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City is no insular neighborhood tavern, but rather one of the most popular social nexuses in Los Angeles (at least in pre-pandemic days). It attracts everyone from stoned Valley high schoolers to the Los Angeles Lakers, young working-class families to those old enough to remember when bowling was televised every Saturday afternoon on ABC. And one regular is Thundercat, née Stephen Bruner, who never fails to abide.


  • Phone-only Quibi aims for bite of digital entertainment

    Quibi — a snappy amalgam of “quick” and “bite” — is a mobile phone-only platform that releases its snack-sized installments of movies and TV shows each weekday.


  • Mandy Moore is living out her music dreams

    There was a time not too long ago when Mandy Moore thought the best part of her life might be behind her. Though she once had dreams of being a serious singer-songwriter, she hadn’t made music in years. Her acting career, once thriving, had been left for dead. The unending rejection of an actor’s life had annihilated much of her spirit, and an unhappy marriage had taken care of the rest. She felt unseen. Disposable. She was past 30. She figured her time was up.


  • Hollywood productions react to the coronavirus threat: 'No job is worth endangering people getting sick'

    For decades, films and TV series have served up countless imaginary catastrophes that have brought the planet to its knees, from natural disasters to alien invasions to, yes, rampaging pandemics. But as the world grapples with the rapidly growing coronavirus crisis, Hollywood is finding that reality is far more frightening.


  • Movie review: In 'Bloodshot,' Vin Diesel glowers and growls as a bionic assassin

    In "Bloodshot," former elite U.S. commando Ray Garrison, played by Vin Diesel, dies before the opening credits. He then wakes up on a hospital gurney inside a gleaming skyscraper to find that his body has been donated by the military to science -- specifically the firm Rising Spirit Technologies, whose founder Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce, sporting a bionic arm, two-day stubble and an untrustworthy twinkle in his eye) has resuscitated Ray, turning him into a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier.


  • Michael W. Smith looks back: 'I've got an extraordinary redemption story'

    Michael W. Smith has posted some eye-popping stats over the years. His many accomplishments include releasing 30-plus top 10 albums. That certainly qualifies him as one of the genre’s most successful artists. Yet, he has also triumphed as a crossover act on the pop charts during a solo career that extends back to the early ’80s.


  • The missing parents in 7 Pixar movies, ranked by emotional impact

    Although Pixar does not lean on parental death as storytelling device to the degree that classic animated Disney films do ("Bambi" and "Cinderella" lead a long list), the studio has often disappeared a mom or dad -- either temporarily or permanently -- to further the narrative.


  • Q&A

    Pratt, Holland discuss lending their voices to Pixar's 'Onward'

    Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, who have also shared the screen in the box office juggernauts "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame," spoke to The Los Angeles Times about delving into the "Onward's" emotional depths, embracing nerdy fantasy pursuits and pressing onward through the ups and downs of Marvel superstardom.


  • At Vet Tv, 'don't expect anything to be politically correct, professional or honorable'

    Streaming network Vet Tv is marketed directly to members and veterans of the armed forces. The staff says its crude sense of humor is reflective of a large portion of the military — whether civilians would understand it or not.


  • Meet the soldier competing on 'The Voice'

    Fort Knox-based Army recruiting college instructor Samuel Wilco decided to audition for 'The Voice' because it's his wife's favorite show.


  • Nathaniel Rateliff kicks off solo tour in Minneapolis

    “This isn’t any signal of the Night Sweats being over,” the Denver-based singer/songwriter assured fans of his regular band, who count the Twin Cities among their top markets. “I just needed to do something for myself for a little while.”


  • Film Review: Inventive twist on 'The Invisible Man' empathizes with heroine’s domestic abuse horror

    To reinvent H.G. Wells’ 1897 story, which is best known as the 1933 James Whale classic horror film, director Leigh Whannell has flipped the notion of invisibility. In this take, invisibility is no superpower, and no affliction, like the bandage-wrapped Claude Rains, but rather, it’s a threat.


  • 'I kind of got forced to apologize': Pete Davidson addresses Dan Crenshaw controversy in new comedy special

    In a new Netflix stand-up special, Pete Davidson appeared to take a new stance on the controversy that prompted his surprising mea culpa.


  • Movie review: Human performances bring literary dog film 'Call of the Wild' to life

    Much like our furry friends, movies about man's best friend come in all shapes and sizes: lost dog movies, talking dog movies, military dog movies, reincarnated dog movies. "The Call of the Wild," directed by Chris Sanders and based on the classic novella by Jack London, is what one might call a literary dog movie, even if there is technically no actual dog in it. The star of "The Call of the Wild," Buck, is a CGI creation. And it's only through the technology that his dangerous and harrowing adventures in the Alaskan wilderness during the Gold Rush, as outlined by London, could be realistically brought to the big screen, for better or for worse.


  • Why Blumhouse flipped the '70s TV classic 'Fantasy Island' into a modern thriller

    Sooner or later, everything old is new again. Especially when you’re in Hollywood. Across television and film, remakes, reboots and revivals have dominated popular culture over the last decade, most noticeably across the horror genre. The latest reimagining (but surely not the last) is Blumhouse’s "Fantasy Island," a PG-13 thriller that transforms the comparatively tame 1970s series into an ensemble horror movie.


  • Movie review: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' is a surprisingly good time

    "Sonic the Hedgehog," the adaptation of the popular '90s Sega video game, is actually good. Expectations have been low since the movie's rocky rollout, but it is legitimately funny, heartwarming and entertaining.


  • Movie Review: 'The Photograph', Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield take a good long look at love

    The problem with movie trailers is: A) They're necessary, apparently; B) Too many beans get spilled; and C) Often, a movie without much overt intrigue or plot machinery becomes packaged in a gently deceptive fashion.


  • Night of ‘Parasite’: South Korean film the first foreign-language movie to win Oscars' best picture

    In a surprise upset and a historic milestone, director Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” — a darkly comic class satire about two families, one rich and one poor, whose lives become entangled — won best picture Sunday night at the 92nd Academy Awards, becoming the first foreign-language film ever to win the film academy’s top prize.


  • Movie Review: "Birds of Prey" lets a Joker-free Harley Quinn shine

    Harley Quinn becomes a self-made antiheroine who, with a little help from her friends, can shoulder the weight of her own adventure.


  • Shows canceled as virus outbreak spooks Asian entertainers

    Concerts and shows are being canceled, not just in China but across much of Asia, as a virus outbreak that has killed more than 300 people and reached more than 20 countries spooks the entertainment industry.


  • Movie review: Star-studded cast elevates war drama 'The Last Full Measure'

    In the Gettysburg address, President Abraham Lincoln paid tribute to those who fought and died for their cause, to which they "gave the last full measure of devotion." Lincoln’s description of the ultimate sacrifice provides the title for Todd Robinson’s "The Last Full Measure," which depicts the long quest to award Air Force pararescue medic William Pitsenbarger the Medal of Honor 34 years after he perished in the Vietnam War.


  • Movie review: 'The Assistant' masterfully shows abuse, complicity in Weinstein-inspired power structure

    It’s the specificity that devastates in Kitty Green’s starkly damning quotidian drama "The Assistant." It’s in the quiet efficiency with which our unnamed protagonist (credited as "Jane," played by Julia Garner) speaks and moves as she performs her menial yet seemingly crucial duties in a job we will come to discover is both harrowing and highly prized.


  • Movie review: 'The Rhythm Section' brings imperfect but fresh cadence to action/thriller genre

    Award-winning director and cinematographer Reed Morano has tackled dystopian futures in "The Handmaid’s Tale," the end of the world in "I Think We’re Alone Now" and devastating grief in "Meadowland." Her third feature film, "The Rhythm Section," combines a bit of all these themes, though it has a bit more kick to it than her prior indies. Starring Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, "The Rhythm Section" is adapted from the series of thriller novels by Mark Burnell, with a screenplay by Burnell himself. If Jason Bourne were a grieving trauma survivor, you’d end up with Stephanie, and the film serves as her gritty origin story.


  • How Ron Howard earned the right to document Paradise, California’s destruction and rebirth

    Ron Howard has already dealt with fire, lots of it. (The 1991 drama "Backdraft" was nominated for three Oscars, including sound and visual effects.) And he’s made documentaries, more than one. But this time it was different. This time it was personal. This time it was for real.


  • Movie review: In 'The Gentlemen,' Guy Ritchie returns to his raunchy, rambunctious roots

    There isn’t much that’s especially gentle about "The Gentlemen," the new Guy Ritchie movie that the filmmaker’s long-suffering fans will be glad to hear is a return to what he does best: a funny, violent, rambunctious shaggy-dog story of a crime caper featuring an ensemble cast studded with colorful characters played by name actors.


  • Movie review: 'The Turning' less about answers, more about gothic horror to savor

    At the end of Floria Sigismondi’s "The Turning," after all the credits had rolled, some members of the audience at a press screening were visibly and vocally upset. They were seemingly enraged at the film’s unwillingness to offer up a single definitive answer about the perceived haunting in this take of Henry James’ 1898 novella "The Turn of the Screw," joining a century’s worth of questioners who have puzzled over the story of a young governess bedeviled by ghosts at her new job. Are these ghosts real, or is she just crazy? It’s an age-old question, but Sigismondi is confident simply not answering it, as frustrating as that may be.


  • Movie Review: 'Bad Boys for Life’ refreshing tribute to '90s action cinema

    After turning in the first two greatly beloved, operatically souped-up action opuses in the "Bad Boys" franchise, everyone’s favorite gearhead maximalist auteur Michael Bay is no longer behind the camera for the third, "Bad Boys for Life" (though he is in front of it, briefly). Not to worry though, as Belgian filmmaking duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, clearly devoted students of Bay’s style, craft a wonderful facsimile of his greatest hits, from his swirling low-angle dolly shots to capturing the glorious clash of sunset and neon that screams Miami. From the very first sequence of a screeching Porsche burning up the streets of South Beach, El Arbi and Fallah prove that as directors, they have the horsepower to match Bay, if not the grace yet. Nevertheless, their first major American feature outing is a loving and skillful tribute to pure ’90s action cinema, and it’s a hoot for fans of the franchise.


  • Movie Review: Take two aspirin and avoid seeing this malpractice of a movie ’Dolittle’

    Everyone knows that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. Less well known is the adage "You can’t publish a movie review that is entirely blank."


  • 'Joker' leads Oscar noms; '1917,' 'Irishman' close behind

    Female filmmakers were shut out, “Parasite” made history and “Joker” just edged out “The Irishman,“ “1917” and “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” in Monday’s Oscar nominations.


  • ’Joker,’ explained: How the movie went from divisive debut to Oscars darling

    What a difference a good awards season can make. Just four months ago, the comic-book movie "Joker" was muddied in controversy, as critics questioned whether 2019 was the right time for a movie about an urban sociopath who goes on a killing spree. In 2020, though, "Joker" has become the billion-dollar film that cleans up well. On Monday, the superhero-universe movie certainly cleaned up at the Oscar nominations announcement, receiving a field-leading 11, including best picture.


  • Movie review: Death row drama 'Just Mercy’ tells a tale both shattering and satisfying

    The stirring, stylish legal drama "Just Mercy" feels familiar on several levels. The story of a wrongly accused man sent to death row, it joins such films as "Dead Man Walking" and the more recent "Clemency" as an affecting examination of how justice is confused with inhumane retribution.


  • Movie review: ‘Underwater’ plays homage to ‘Alien’ with similar roles, plot but different setting

    The opening shot of “Underwater” roves around the empty, industrial passageways of some kind of transport vessel, its walls creaking. Motivated by an unknown force, the camera’s pan ultimately lands on Norah (Kristen Stewart), who has cropped bleached hair and a mouthful of toothpaste, clad in her skivvies. Immediately the audience recognizes this will be Stewart’s “Ripley moment,” paying homage to Sigourney Weaver’s iconic role in Ridley Scott’s “Alien” (but at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, rather than in outer space).


  • Movie review: 'Like a Boss’ feels more like a chore: You can’t wait for this movie to be over

    "Like a Boss" is the perfect airplane movie: something that won’t distract you terribly much while you work the New York Times crossword puzzle during a long flight, periodically looking up at the screen when the 2-year-old in the seat behind you kicks the back of your chair. Oh well. At least that way you won’t fall asleep.


  • Movie review: Faith, conviction, sacrifice examined in ‘A Hidden Life’

    In “A Hidden Life,” Terrence Malick tells the little-known story of Franz Jaegerstaetter, a farmer living in Austria during World War II, who was executed in 1943 after refusing to swear an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler.


  • Part Alcott, part Gerwig, 'Little Women' is a very nearly perfect film

    There’s something perfect about Greta Gerwig adapting "Little Women." Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical ode to sisterly love, competition, creativity and lofty self-sacrifice could have been written as vehicle for Gerwig to star in, its rambunctious spirit utterly of a piece with her penchant for unpredictability and barely contained physicality.


  • Will Smith plays a spy who transforms into a pigeon in sweetly silly 'Spies in Disguise'

    To all appearances, the animated comedy "Spies in Disguise" is just another a rollicking sendup of superspy thrillers. As befits a movie about clandestine activity, however, there’s more than meets the eye here. Hidden beneath its parodistic action-comedy exterior is a message, one that doesn’t set out to merely lampoon the genre but to playfully question almost everything about it.


  • Movie review: Harried, hectic ’Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ gets stuck in nostalgia for a long time ago

    Writer/director J.J. Abrams delighted a lot of "Star Wars" fans with his freshening up of the series in 2015, kicking off a trilogy of sequels to the original three films with "Episode VII - The Force Awakens." The film brought new life to "Star Wars," rinsing out the dour taste of "The Prequels" with new heroes and new baddies to boot. After Rian Johnson’s second installment, "The Last Jedi," Abrams returns now, with co-writer Chris Terrio, for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," to close out the series of nine films that started over four decades ago. What a shame then, that it all goes out with a fizzle rather than a bang.


  • After a delay, Fortnite players get treated to free Star Wars items and a new scene

    Millions of Fortnite players had a bad feeling about a historic Star Wars event inside the game, just minutes before it went live.


  • The definitive Batman voice finally gets his Dark Knight moment in front of the camera

    If even just for a moment, Kevin Conroy was the Batman in front of the camera instead of just the voice.


  • Movie review: 'Jumanji: The Next Level' amps up the body swapping with hilarious returns

    In 2017, director Jake Kasdan rebooted the ’90s family adventure film "Jumanji" by plunking John Hughes-style teen characters into a wilderness-set video game. "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" was a critical and commercial success, anchored by the charms of megastars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black, and the unique pleasure of watching them all play against type. Kasdan and company (including co-writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg) know a good formula when they see it. So the sequel, "Jumanji: The Next Level," simply offers more and more of it: There’s more jaw-droppingly crazy video game high jinks, and especially, more stars playing personas vastly different from theirs.


  • Movie review: 'Richard Jewell' takes Eastwood’s libertarian ethos to questionable ends

    Sometime soon, there will be a class, book or dissertation parsing the era of late period Clint Eastwood, his cinematic fixation in the latter half of the 2010s on ripped-from-the-headlines white male American exceptionalism. The notoriously speedy auteur, now 89, has churned out these films every two years starting in 2014, with the smash hit "American Sniper." He’s taken on the "Miracle on the Hudson" with 2016’s "Sully," and experimented with nonprofessional actors in the ghastly "The 15:17 to Paris," about American tourists thwarting a terrorist attack on a train to France. Eastwood himself starred in "The Mule" as an elderly man who gets himself into interstate drug transportation.


  • Adam Sandler on plunging into the Safdies' 'Uncut Gems'

    Adam Sandler was waiting to be thrown into a midtown fountain on Sixth Avenue for a scene in Josh and Benny Safdie's "Uncut Gems" when he noticed a familiar face on the sidewalk.


  • Golden Globes nominations 2020: 'Marriage Story' leads with 6

    The biggest surprise from this year’s Golden Globe nominations is the lack of surprises. As expected, Netflix continued encroaching on awards season in both the movie and television categories, earning 17 each, or 34 nominations across the board. The streaming platform’s dominance also signaled the slight slipping of HBO’s powerful hold on television: The network earned 15 nods, trailing Netflix’s TV nominations by two.


  • Movie Review: Melina Matsoukas takes visionary approach to modern-day ’Bonnie and Clyde’ with ’Queen & Slim’

    The descriptor "visionary" is thrown around a lot these days for film directors, and it’s often a bit of a reach. But for filmmaker Melina Matsoukas, the veteran music video director behind many of Rihanna and Lady Gaga’s most memorable clips as well as Beyonce’s "Formation" and "Lemonade," "visionary" seems the only word apt enough to describe her searing directorial debut, the unique and unabashed "Queen & Slim." It’s a film that comes roaring out of the gate, Matsoukas firmly planting her flag as a filmmaker with audacity and originality.


  • Why Ana de Armas almost turned down the comic whodunit ‘Knives Out’

    Ana de Armas is looking for a place to call home. “I’ve been in L.A. for six years,” she says, lounging in a Beverly Hills hotel to talk about her latest film, writer-director Rian Johnson’s spry whodunit “Knives Out.” “But I’m in an in-between moment of deciding where I want to go next. I’ve been working so much that I miss my family — I might want to spend more time in Cuba, or maybe move to New York and try a different kind of city with another energy and vibe. But right now, I’m neither in L.A. or New York because I’m working in New Orleans.”


  • Movie review: ’Knives Out’ is like a game of Clue come to life, only even more fun

    Daniel Craig delivers a slab of Smithfield-sized ham in "Knives Out," a cheekily playful updating of Agatha Christie by way of Trump-era politics.


  • Director J.J. Abrams won’t tell whose carelessness led to lost ‘Star Wars’ script

    A long time ago, in a galaxy online called eBay, an early script for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” went up for sale thanks to one actor’s thoughtless actions.


  • Tom Hanks didn’t want to be Mr. Rogers. Then he met Marielle Heller.

    Tom Hanks has never played a superhero. But when the actor recently donned a very simple cardigan sweater, and the slacks to go with it, he felt like one.


  • In '21 Bridges,' a police manhunt plays out within predictable parameters

    The movie "21 Bridges" opens with a bang. Not literally - it’s just a close-up of a 13-year-old boy’s tear-streaked face, as he listens to the off-camera sermon delivered at his father’s funeral. We learn that Dad, a New York City cop, has been killed in the line of duty, but not before he "punished" three of the four criminals he was pursuing.


  • Movie review: 'Frozen II' doesn’t make waves, but keeps the franchise on track

    Disney’s 2013 animated "Frozen," inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Snow Queen," wasn’t just a hit. It was a cultural tidal wave, a ubiquitous phenomenon thanks to Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s soaring songs, particularly the inescapable, Oscar-winning "Let It Go," belted by Broadway powerhouse Idina Menzel. Six years later, the Elsa Halloween costumes have yet to grow cold. So when it comes to a sequel, the only mandate is: "Don’t muck it up."


  • Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X lead diverse, youthful Grammy 2020 nominations

    Freshman-class recording artists Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X collectively landed 20 Grammy Award nominations for 2020 on Wednesday, as the Recording Academy, which determines nominees and, ultimately, award recipients, wholeheartedly embraced the music industry’s newest faces and sounds.


  • Documentary spotlights interpreters left behind in Iraq, Afghanistan

    American troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan relied on interpreters to understand the threats around them and help them to communicate with locals.


  • Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen relish roles in ‘The Good Liar’

    Roles for older actors can fall into some predictable tropes, but Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen say their new film, “The Good Liar,” let them brush aside cliches and even their characters’ mortality for a good cat-and-mouse thriller.


  • Bale, Damon shift into overdrive for ‘Ford v Ferrari’

    France’s legendary Le Mans race, the central contest depicted in James Mangold’s “Ford v Ferrari,” runs more than 3,000 miles over the course of 24 hours. But that’s nothing compared to the distance Christian Bale had to cover coming off playing Dick Cheney in “Vice.”


  • Film review: Kristen Stewart is a lively shot in the arm for ‘Charlie’s Angels’ franchise

    For all its nostalgic charm, the “Charlie’s Angels” brand -- born as a TV series in the 1970s, then followed by a hit 2000 movie, an underperforming sequel and a short-lived ABC series - was hardly crying out for a reboot.


  • Movie review: 'The Shining' sequel pays homage to the original 1980 film, but is not its equal

    The film, a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s "The Shining," opens with a series of short curtain raisers, including a flashback to the Colorado setting of that 1980 horror classic, with a small boy riding a plastic tricycle through the mountain inn’s iconically carpeted hallways. Inspired as much by Kubrick’s revisionist film as by either of Stephen King’s books -- 1977’s "The Shining" and its sequel, 2013’s "Doctor Sleep" -- this new story by horror wunderkind Mike Flanagan ("The Haunting of Hill House") returns to the Overlook in ways both literal and figurative.


  • Movie review: 'Last Christmas' looks like a rom-com cliche, but it packs some surprises

    Paul Feig’s “Last Christmas” looks every bit like your standard holiday romantic-comedy, but it has some surprises under its gauzy wrapping. For one thing, it’s the first — and likely the last — Brexit Christmas movie.


  • Movie review: 'Playing with Fire' shoots for slapstick, but its writing goes up in smoke

    "Playing with Fire" is a family comedy about wildland firefighters, or "smokejumpers," who gain a little levity in their lives thanks to a trio of mischievous kids. Directed by Andy Fickman and written by Dan Ewen and Matt Lieberman, the movie shoots for slapstick but lands squarely in the surreal.


  • How 'Doctor Sleep' earned Stephen King's endorsement and still honored Stanley Kubrick

    Director Mike Flanagan is no stranger to adapting Stephen King’s more difficult works. After all, his adaptation of "Gerald’s Game," a story long considered to be unfilmable, was positively received in 2017.


  • Movie review: Sixth 'Terminator' film succeeds by ignoring the past three in the beloved series

    When reviewing a sequel in any long-running franchise -- especially one with as much time travel as the "Terminator" movies, which have always trafficked in alternate futures and pasts -- there’s a temptation, if not an absolute need, to include a brief recapitulation of where things stand before getting started. And with "Terminator: Dark Fate," the satisfyingly solid sixth installment in the sci-fi series about various Terminators (i.e., cyborg super-assassins from the future), that’s certainly true.


  • Movie review: 'Motherless Brooklyn' is Edward Norton’s longtime passion project

    Jonathan Lethem’s novel about a private eye with Tourette’s syndrome, “Motherless Brooklyn,” starts with a brilliant burst of uncontrolled profanity and an explanation of its protagonist’s condition.


  • Cynthia Erivo on becoming Harriet Tubman

    British actress Cynthia Erivo is relatively small in stature. In person, she is earnest and genial. In performance, the 32-year-old can appear achingly vulnerable. And if you’re not paying attention, she will bowl you over. Even if you are, she probably will, anyway.


  • ‘Black and Blue’ a lean, mean corrupt cop thriller

    It seems like director Deon Taylor might be the only filmmaker actively keeping the mid-budget adult thriller alive in this age of extinction. Plus, he’s prolific: His topical corrupt cop drama “Black and Blue” is his second 2019 film, arriving just a few months after his surprisingly entertaining and campy home invasion horror thriller “The Intruder.”


  • Portman goes all in for ‘Lucy in the Sky’

    “Fargo” and “Legion” auteur Noah Hawley shoots for the stars in his daring leap from the small screen to the big with his uniquely existential “Lucy in the Sky.” It’s a loose adaptation of the bizarre 2007 incident involving Lisa Nowak, an astronaut who was charged with attempted kidnapping after driving from Houston to Orlando to confront the Air Force captain she believed to be involved with her lover, another astronaut. But rather than trafficking in tawdry true crime, Hawley and co-writers Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi use the story to explore the thematic potential of what it means to return to life on Earth after experiencing space, from a point of view of a complex, challenging woman.


  • Movie review: Ignoring the 10-year gap, 'Zombieland: Double Tap' brings its outdated shtick back from the dead

    For years, people have wondered why 2009’s smash zom-com "Zombieland" never had a sequel. Ruben Fleischer’s feature directorial debut put him on the map and firmly established the postmodern zombie craze as a pop phenomenon that shows no signs of stopping.


  • Movie review: Jolie, Pfeiffer lock horns in 'Mistress of Evil,' a 'Maleficent' sequel

    Once upon a time, a Hollywood movie didn’t have to be so many things to so many people. It didn’t have to set a new opening-weekend record, conquer multiple demographics or plant the seeds of a future franchise to be deemed a reasonable success. But times have changed and reasonable has long gone out the window. Witness the bigger-is-better aesthetic that informs even a relatively minor cultural happening like "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," Disney’s follow-up to its 2014 hit "Maleficent," which was itself a live-action spin on the studio’s sublime 1959 animation, "Sleeping Beauty."

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