Movie review: 'Hustlers' is an instant crime classic

"Hustlers" opens with a long Steadicam shot following new girl Destiny (Constance Wu) as she strolls into her own destiny, winding her way from the warm womb of a strip club dressing room, onto the club floor. With this visual nod, director Lorene Scafaria asserts just what her film is, and what it’s about. It’s not just "the J. Lo stripper movie," although it is that, and how.

Movie review: 'Goldfinch' doesn’t live up to the book

Donna Tartt’s Pulizter Prize-winning tome "The Goldfinch" was a blockbuster bestseller and the toast of book clubs in 2013. The film adaptation should have been slam dunk, with director John Crowley, fresh off the acclaimed "Brooklyn," legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, and screenwriter Peter Straughan adapting Tartt’s novel. And yet, the movie is simpering and dull, devoid of tension, an overwrought and uninvolving film that is both a personal drama and a crime mystery, but also neither of those things, and nearly, nothing at all.

Movie review: 'It Chapter Two' is a big-screen funhouse

It can be a cheesy thing when a novel is split up and spread out over a handful of films, but Stephen King’s “It” is not one of those books.

TV review

There’s no better use of Netflix’s fortunes than this perfect revival of 'Dark Crystal'

See how we sift and scroll through these endless TV menus and grids, scoffing at what the algorithms recommend, defaulting yet again to old sitcom reruns and an episode of "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" that we’re never quite sure if we’ve seen before. In theory we want to be swept up in something new, but we’re sometimes not very good about trying new things. Sometimes the biggest challenge is a genre bias -- to watch a show that looks unbearably hokey. Too elfy, too childish, too derivative.

British actor David Oyelowo brings Shakespearean passion to ‘Don’t Let Go’

David Oyelowo is a writer, director (he’s in the middle of shooting a film called “The Water Man” now), actor and producer. The classically trained British actor -- a couple of years ago, he was in an off-Broadway production of “Othello,” opposite James Bond, aka Daniel Craig, as Iago -- has five other projects in pre- or post-production, as well as a lot of voiceover work for television and more on his resume. Point is, the guy is busy, but he knows how to keep his proverbial ducks in a row.

What's the statute of limitations on movie spoilers?

We all agree that in writing about new films, spoilers should be kept to a minimum, right? But what about movies that are decades old — classics, whose stories are embedded in popular culture? Is there a statute of limitations on when it is not OK to openly discuss a film's secrets?

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  • Movie review: 'Angel Has Fallen' is a new low for the silly Gerard Butler franchise

    There is a certain mindless pleasure in the “Fallen” movies. Watching Gerard Butler muscle his way through increasingly preposterous obstacles as a Secret Service agent can be amusing and oddly transfixing at the same time. It’s mass entertainment that makes a courtesy stop in theaters before ascending to its true calling: Endless cable reruns. But whatever this franchise got away with in “Olympus Has Fallen” and “London Has Fallen,” it’s clear that the well has run dry on this idea and character.

  • Movie review: 'Blinded by the Light' irresistibly blends Bruce Springsteen and Bollywood

    The Boss meets Bollywood, and if those potent entities resonate with you, you know that combination is not to be missed. If you don’t know, you’re going to find out as "Blinded by the Light," a high-spirited film with enough potential for pleasure to get picked up at Sundance by a major like Warners, goes into wide release.

  • Movie review: 'Good Boys' is a surprisingly sweet comedy about the raunchy side of tween boy life

    Much has been made of how "Good Boys" -- an R-rated comedy about a trio of sixth-grade nerds caught up in a misadventure involving drugs, sex toys, beer and slapstick mishaps -- looks like a junior varsity version of "Superbad," or, to cite a more recent precedent, "Booksmart," but with 12-year-old boys. Those comparisons are fair, and fairly accurate. The comedy, produced by "Superbad’s" writer/producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, hits all the expected marks for raunch and vulgarity, with the bonus that it is actually also kind of sweet.

  • New live-action 'Dora' features a more grown-up explorer

    Actress Isabela Moner says she didn’t expect so much action when she signed up for “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” the upcoming film about the adventurous Latina explorer. Moner said she thought it would be a funny film, with Dora in a “fish out of water” kind of situation as she starts high school.

  • Movie review: Mob wives brutally take over the business in 'The Kitchen'

    It’s two-thirds of the way through "The Kitchen" before anyone asks Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy) what, exactly, she wants. It’s her son, at the dinner table. We’ve seen Kathy struggle and scrape by to survive, utterly sick of depending on and thanking men for her existence. We’ve seen her turn to a life of crime, wresting away control of the Irish mob in late ’70s Hell’s Kitchen while her husband is away in prison. We’ve seen her flourish in the brutal and bloody collections and protections "business" she builds with two other mob wives, the abused, broken Claire (Elisabeth Moss) and Ruby (Tiffany Haddish), a black woman, an outsider. But what does she really want?

  • Movie review: Dog drama ’Art of Racing in the Rain’ laps up pathos

    "Sometimes I hate who I am." In most movies, an expression of such existential angst is to be expected from the lips of a troubled teen -- or a conflicted killer. But in the overheated (yet undercooked) melodrama "The Art of Racing in the Rain," those thoughts belong to a dog, voiced by Kevin Costner, who articulates the frustration that his character can’t communicate with the struggling racecar driver (Milo Ventimiglia) who owns him.

  • The new '90210' is a nostalgia bender with a meta twist

    Like most attempts at wrangling old friends for a gathering, this one started with a group text. But those can become a graveyard of noncommitments, so to persuade their former “Beverly Hills, 90210” costars to reunite on the small screen, Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth (aka Donna Martin and Kelly Taylor) opted for a more personalized touch: They made gift bags.

  • Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch go to war in new trailer for WWI drama '1917'

    The clock is ticking for two soldiers who have to stop an attack in the trailer for "1917," which is scheduled to be released in December.

  • Movie review: In 'Fast & Furious’ spinoff 'Hobbs & Shaw,' costars Kirby, Elba take the wheel

    It’s pretty incredible how the humble beginnings of 2001’s "The Fast and the Furious," a twist on "Point Break" with muscle cars instead of surfboards, have now spawned a nine-film franchise. And the souped-up series shows no signs of slowing down. This summer, star Vin Diesel has tossed the keys to his action superstar costars, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, for their very own spinoff, the cumbersomely titled "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw."

  • Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' ties Billboard record set by Mariah, 'Despacito'

    Lil Nas X has taken his horse to the old town road and ridden it to the top of the Billboard charts for 16 weeks, tying a record set by Mariah Carey and Luis Fonsi.

  • 'The Lion King' rules, 'Endgame' scores all-time record

    If there was any doubt that the 2019 box office belonged to the Walt Disney Co., this weekend put an end to it. Not only did its photorealistic remake of “The Lion King” devour opening weekend records for the month of July and PG-rated films, but “Avengers: Endgame” also crept past “Avatar” to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

  • Watch the new 'Top Gun: Maverick' trailer

    Tom Cruise, who plays the title character, surprised audiences at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif., with the trailer Thursday.

  • Movie review: Harder to feel the love for live-action 'Lion King'

    "The Lion King" is the latest victim in the Disney remake parade, in which director Jon Favreau dons his best Dr. Moreau cosplay and imagines a "Planet Earth" where animals spout Shakespearean soliloquies. The result of this horrific experiment, combining photorealistic animal simulations with celebrity voices, is a bizarre Frankenstein’s monster of a film that is so distressingly unpleasant it somehow manages to even ruin the original, much beloved 1994 hand-drawn cartoon version.

  • Movie review: Kumail Nanjiani enlivens 'Stuber,' an otherwise so-so comedy about ride sharing

    Kumail Nanjiani has enlivened everything from jeans commercials to Oscar clip packages, so it’s no surprise that in "Stuber," he’s able to perk up a buddy comedy that follows the "Lethal Weapon"/"Rush Hour" template so slavishly that it could be titled "Lethal Hour" or "Weapon Rush" or "Lethal Rush." You get the idea.

  • All 8 Spider-Man movies, ranked

    With "Spider-Man: Far From Home" now in theaters, it’s time to revisit our ranking of the now eight -- and counting -- Spider-Man films. "Far From Home" swings into our best three Spidey-flicks of all-time, but does it make its way to the top? Or does an animated Miles Morales put up a fight?

  • Movie review: 'Spider-Man: Far from Home' is a home run

    Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has a new spring in his step. After the critical and commercial success of Sony’s third character reboot in Jon Watts’ "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and the hallucinatory multiverse adventure of the animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," things are looking pretty good for ol’ Spidey.

  • 'Yesterday' pays tribute to The Beatles by imagining a world without them

    It’s a notion that would leave Beatles fans Here, There and Everywhere crying out for Help! A world without the transcendent songs of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr seems almost impossible to imagine nearly six decades after the Fab Four changed music forever. But that’s the concept explored in "Yesterday," a new movie where everybody except one man forgets about The Beatles.

  • Movie review: 'Annabelle Comes Home' could be best of 'Annabelle' trilogy

    In a summer of sequels, third and fourth films in a series have to prove the worthiness of their existence, and some this season haven’t risen to the top. But while it’s easy to scoff at another killer doll film in The Conjuring Universe, the spooky franchise is stealthily successful, and always steadily consistent. "Annabelle Comes Home," the third "Annabelle" film, which marks the directorial debut of writer Gary Dauberman, could actually be the best in the trilogy.

  • Movie review: 'Toy Story 4' earns its relevance with humor, heart in trying times

    It’s easy to question the necessity of another "Toy Story" movie, especially after the emotionally devastating "Toy Story 3." Arriving nine years later, "Toy Story 4" has to earn its relevance. It does so in spades, with astonishingly beautiful animation, smart humor and a story filled with the kind of pathos and poignancy we expect.

  • Aubrey Plaza relives childhood fright playing young mom terrorized by revamped Chucky in new 'Child's Play'

    Aubrey Plaza was haunted by Chucky long before she ever toyed with joining the new "Child's Play" movie. The slasher film series about an evil killer doll left an impression on the actress at a young age, and now she's at the center of the franchise's latest flick -- a modernized retelling of the 1988 original in which Chucky is now a high-tech robot who learns from humans rather than a toy possessed by an evil spirit.

  • Commentary

    Everything you’ve been told about 'dad rock' is a lie

    As musical epithets go, it’s hard to say whether "dad rock" is more insulting to the dads or the rock. It’s a term that’s been flung at everyone from Pavement to the Eagles, and it’s most often used to describe a multigenerational swath of rock ’n’ roll that no longer feels angry enough at the world to want to change it. Or if not that, maybe it’s just mature rock music made by and for chill, white dads.

  • Three generations of ’Shaft’ bring the 1970s hero up to date

    When he took up the mantle of Harlem detective John Shaft for the 2000 action reboot "Shaft," Samuel L. Jackson knew his character, John Shaft II, would need a persona of his own.

  • Movie Review: This time around, just 'meh' in black

    Kumail Nanjiani is the best thing about "Men in Black: International." That’s saying something, considering that the actor never appears on camera and that the character he lends his expressively plaintive voice to is a CGI alien the size of a gerbil.

  • Movie review: X-Men’s probable swan song is a dirge

    "Dark Phoenix" isn’t kidding about the "dark" part. The latest, and probably final, chapter in the X-Men superhero saga is a somber, even funereal affair -- not in a stylish, Christopher Nolan-esque way, or even a la "Logan," the deliciously cynical comic-book-noir contribution to the mutant canon from 2017.

  • Movie review: 'Secret Life of Pets 2' adds babies and toddlers to lovable animal mix

    The key to the appeal of "The Secret Life of Pets" is the filmmakers understand the lovable quirks and characteristics that make our furry friends who they are. In the sequel to the animated hit, "The Secret Life of Pets 2," it’s more of the same, but with babies and toddlers thrown into the mix. If you’ve seen the first movie, you get it.

  • Trauma, grief and murky consequences: Ex-CIA agent explores war’s impact in role as Batman author

    Tom King, who writes DC Comics’ flagship Batman series and other titles, hopes his work will help people understand the experiences of a generation that has spent much of their lives fighting terrorism overseas.

  • 'Rocketman' shows how to portray a legend in his own time

    "Rocketman" is the first big-screen adaptation of the life and music of singer-songwriter Sir Elton John. The film, now in theaters, was executive produced by ... Sir Elton John.

  • Stallone takes on Mexican cartel in 'Rambo: Last Blood' trailer

    The trailer for the upcoming installment of the Rambo series is set over a slowed-down rendition of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.”

  • Julianna Margulies fights Ebola in 'The Hot Zone'

    Julianna Margulies knew her role in the National Geographic limited-series "The Hot Zone" would give her a multitude of layers to play. She could concentrate on the medical part of the character bringing to the screen the doctor who, in 1989, recognized the first appearance of the deadly Ebola virus on U.S. soil. There were also the elements of her character being in the military while being a wife and a mother.

  • 'Aladdin' remake redefines a Disney princess with Naomi Scott’s Jasmine

    Growing up in England, Naomi Scott, like so many other young girls, fell in love at an early age with Disney’s animated heroines - particularly Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine from "Aladdin." But while those three are officially part of Disney’s juggernaut princess line of media franchises and toys, alongside the likes of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Ariel, it wasn’t their ostensible princess-y trappings that enthralled Scott. It was something deeper.

  • Movie review: 'Brightburn' is an origin story that should be strangled in its crib

    In a Kansas farmhouse, a young couple is engaged in romantic intimacy when the woman feels the earth move. It’s the tremors from an alien spaceship (not a spoiler, it’s in the synopsis), which has deposited a humanoid baby nearby. The woman (Elizabeth Banks) has struggled with fertility problems and takes it as a sign from heaven, so she keeps it and raises it as her own.

  • Nearly 1 million disgruntled 'Game of Thrones' fans demand remake of 'abysmal' final season

    If more than three-quarter of a million disgruntled "Game of Thrones" fans had their way, dragons would unmercifully torch the eighth season of the HBO hit, screaming an endless stream of firestorm upon the story line of the show’s final episodes.

  • Movie review: 'John Wick 3' doesn't break the violent action film formula

    At this point, the words "John" and "Wick" used together signify something very specific. Mostly: sharply choreographed, creatively efficient violence. We know there will be a brooding Keanu Reeves killing dozens (only because he has to). There will be eye-popping stunts and a network of sharply dressed assassins. There will be gun fu. Does "John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum" break the formula? It most certainly does not. Director Chad Stahelski wouldn’t dare. But you almost wish he would.

  • Movie review: 'A Dog’s Journey' gives fantastical sequel emotional bite

    Engaging critically with Dog Movies can be a challenge for a critic. Who wants to be the crank who scoffs that the heartwarming animal movie is just too contrived and sentimental? But it can be hard to avoid, with the sickly sweet pandering pabulum of recent films like "A Dog’s Purpose" and "Dog Days." Fortunately, "A Dog’s Journey," the second film adapted from W. Bruce Cameron’s novels and a follow-up to "A Dog’s Purpose," offers up an interesting, complex story into which we can sink our teeth.

  • Movie review: 'The Sun Is Also A Star' believes that love is the answer

    It’s an open secret in publishing that young-adult fiction has gone viral because card-carrying adults as well as younger folks are drawn to the genre’s purity of emotions and directness of action. In the cinematic universe, the "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" franchises have benefited from that phenomenon, and now the sweet-natured but potent "The Sun Is Also a Star" is poised to join the list.

  • How the Chemical Brothers turned answering-machine poetry into dance-floor epics

    The first sample that the Chemical Brothers locked down when building their new record, "No Geography," made its way into the present from the far end of a long-disconnected telephone line.

  • Q&A

    Ryan Reynolds on 'Pikachu' and the future of 'Deadpool'

    Ryan Reynolds once envisioned himself, best-case scenario, as Wilson on “Home Improvement” or Mr. Furley on “Three’s Company.” “When I started in this business, my highest goal was to be the wacky neighbor on a sitcom,” Reynolds says. “It took a much different path.” Against his own expectations, Reynolds has emerged as one of Hollywood’s top movie stars, thanks in large part to the runaway success of his two “Deadpool” movies, R-rated wise-cracking films that seemed to unlock Reynolds’ own powers of motor-mouthed sarcasm.

  • Diane Keaton turns to cheerleading in 'Poms,' as a movie icon considers her future

    Nearly a half-century after making her bones in "The Godfather," Diane Keaton is playing a cheerleader. In her latest movie, "Poms," the 73-year-old Keaton, who won hearts -- and an Oscar -- wearing ties and a fedora in "Annie Hall," dons a short skirt as Martha, a woman who moves to a retirement community as a means of facing her own mortality.

  • Pakistani waiter finds fame as 'Game of Thrones' lookalike

    A Pakistani waiter working in a small cafe in the city of Rawalpindi says he knew nothing about the TV series “Game of Thrones” — or its antihero character played by U.S. actor Peter Dinklage.


    A military historian rips apart the plan to defend Winterfell on 'Game of Thrones'

    A "Game of Thrones" fan and a military history scholar breaks down the mistakes in the epic onscreen battle. The gist? Good television; terrible military tactics.

  • Movie review: 'The Intruder' schlocky yet satisfying social horror

    High fantasy in film and TV is having a moment. Take the premise of the brutal home invasion thriller "The Intruder." A creative director at a San Francisco advertising agency and a journalist who writes about social justice issues for women’s magazines have a cool $3 million-plus to drop on a palatial dream home in Napa Valley. It’s a stretch to suspend your disbelief that far, but buying the property does have a catch: The former owner just can’t seem to say goodbye. Swap the H in HGTV for "horror" and you’ve got "The Intruder."

  • Movie review: 'UglyDolls,' inspired by plush toys, delivers a beautiful message

    "UglyDolls" begins in a place called Uglyville, where an outcast citizenry of misshapen and otherwise substandard dolls has been exiled, cut off from the love of children because of their perceived imperfections. And who cannot relate?

  • ‘Avengers: Endgame’ obliterates records with $1.2B opening

    The universe belongs to Marvel. “Avengers: Endgame” shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales domestically and $1.2 billion globally, reaching a new pinnacle in the blockbuster era that the comic-book studio has come to dominate.

  • Movie review: 'Avengers: Endgame' a fitting send-off for Marvel’s superheroes

    If there’s a single phrase that sums up the guiding principle of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- the interdependent series of superhero movies that, with the arrival of this week’s "Avengers: Endgame," now numbers 22 films -- it’s this: Hold that thought. (Truth be told, with "Endgame’s" running time of three hours, "hold that bladder" would also apply.)

  • 'Avengers: Endgame' is a really big deal -- for more reasons than you might think

    Thirteen summers ago, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked during a relatively small Comic-Con panel whether he could ever see his company’s characters interacting on screen. "Who knows?" Feige teased. "This is a big new experiment for Marvel. But it’s no coincidence that we have the rights to Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Cap" -- and right then, before he could finish, he was interrupted by the volume of audience glee and hopeful extrapolation. Fan imaginations leaped ahead at the possibilities.

  • ‘Saving Private Ryan’ to return to the big screen around D-Day 75th anniversary

    Near the time of the 75th anniversary of the June 6 D-Day landing at Omaha Beach, the film will return to more than 600 theaters in the U.S.

  • Commentary

    Is 'Game of Thrones' TV's greatest show of all time? Yes, it is

    Television has become such a wildly diverse, densely populated planet that asking "What should I watch?" is like asking "Where should I go on vacation?" But ask, "What is the best show ever?' and the answer is easy: "Game of Thrones."

  • Linda Cardellini scares up very different role with 'La Llorona'

    It’s taken Linda Cardellini almost a quarter of a century, but she’s finally returned to the genre that helped launch her professional acting career. The initial starring role on television for the star of “The Curse of La Llorona” was in the series “Bone Chillers.” There’s no way the projects could be any different, as the TV show dealt with high school students battling a wide array of monsters, while her new feature film is based on a well-known Latin American legend.

  • Movie review: 'Breakthrough' offers a daring depiction of a flawed, faithful woman

    In the growing faith-based film industry, movies based on the true stories of medical miracles are ideal film fodder. They’re more accessible to mainstream audiences than Biblical tales or conservative-baiting political fiction, and in pitting faith against medical science, they present seemingly hard proof of the existence of God -- or whatever mystical forces of the universe one might believe in.

  • Fate led Lily Collins to ‘Les Miserables,’ she says

    Actress Lily Collins believes in fate. Although she doesn’t exactly put it that way, she says when she was just starting out at 16, she made a vow. “I decided to make the conscious decision that when I’m told ‘no,’ it’s ‘No, not right now,’ ” she says.

  • Movie review: 'The Best of Enemies' is another civil rights drama that centers on the white guy

    In a time and place where blacks and whites rarely cooperate, a Ku Klux Klan leader agrees to help lead public meetings on the subject of possible school desegregation. The process transforms his life -- and, by the way, everyone else’s -- in "The Best of Enemies." Yes, this is another semi-historical civil rights drama about a white guy.

  • Ruth Wilson airs her own secret family saga in 'Mrs. Wilson'

    It’s nearly lunchtime on a Friday in downtown Manhattan, but Ruth Wilson is just sitting down to breakfast. Her meals are all out of whack because she’s starring every night in a 3 ½-hour production of “King Lear.” Wilson, who plays doomed Cordelia and the Fool in “Lear,” has also depicted a psychopathic genius in the BBC’s “Luther,” a woman clouded by grief in Showtime’s “The Affair,” a 19th-century governess who falls for her brooding master in the BBC’s “Jane Eyre,” and a submissive wife torn between her brutish husband and neurotic sister in a London production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Yet none of these intense, enigmatic roles prepared the actress for her trickiest job: portraying her grandmother, Alison, in “Mrs. Wilson.”

  • A new 'Dumbo,' but creator says themes of the classic remain

    Tim Burton gave his live-action remake of “Dumbo” a more contemporary feel, but the film’s stars say the director kept the simple essence and elegance of the 1941 Disney ‘toon intact.

  • Marine veteran offers ‘in-your-face’ life advice in ‘Warrior Code’

    Tawanda “Tee” Marie Hanible's first book draws on her experiences growing up in the foster care system, serving as a Marine gunnery sergeant and founding the nonprofit Operation Heroes Connect.

  • Movie review: Jordan Peele’s follow-up to 'Get Out' will give you nightmares

    "Us," Jordan Peele’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to his smash hit "Get Out," can’t help but be compared to that earlier movie. As a politically minded genre exercise combining horror and humor, it’s utterly of a piece with Peele’s obvious fascination with cinematic grammar at its most ritualized and predictable, and what happens when you give it a swift kick in the social conscience.

  • Movie review: 'Hotel Mumbai' preserves tragic history of terrorist attack

    With terrorist attacks and mass shootings occurring regularly, it can be all too easy to forget or blur the details of some of the most dramatic, recent violent attacks. There’s a sense of history being preserved and archived through the mediated lens of fiction filmmaking in Anthony Maras’ "Hotel Mumbai." Maras makes his directorial debut with the gripping, nearly minute-by-minute account of the carnage that unfolded in the grand Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai during the terror attacks of November 2008. It’s a meticulous depiction of the events that is at once disturbing, yet also illuminating.

  • Movie review: Trauma mixed with wacky amusement park antics makes 'Wonder Park' an odd ride

    Perhaps it’s a post-"Inside Out" phenomenon that animated films aimed at children need to tackle complex emotions or psychology, translating it into terms kids can understand. This is the case with "Wonder Park," a film that is part "Roller Coaster Tycoon," part lesson on grappling with the fear of losing a parent. It’s a complicated dynamic where both storylines seem deeply at odds with each other. The wonders of Wonder Park are dampened by the pall of grief that the protagonist is experiencing, while the wacky amusement park antics prevent the story from going especially deep.

  • Movie review: Post-WWII drama 'The Aftermath' feels empty, cold

    With mislaid alliances and stealthy maneuvering, the Keira Knightley vehicle "The Aftermath," about an English woman’s affair with the German man whose home she’s occupying in post-war Hamburg, truly is a film that embodies the phrase "the war at home." But though it purports to be pleasurable, with taboo trysts unfolding in a palatial estate, this adaptation of Rhidian Brook’s novel feels overly staid, often ridiculous, and can’t bring the heat.

  • 'Captain Marvel,' Marvel’s first movie built around a woman, not the empowering thrill it wants to be

    There’s cosmic significance in "Captain Marvel" -- the first female-led installment of the seemingly endless Marvel Studios Avengers franchise -- opening on International Women’s Day. As a story of a woman overcoming her own self-doubt and the forces that control her to discover latent powers that can literally save the world, it is just the kind of feminist myth we need when our male leaders seem so feckless and overcompensating.

  • Soldier's graphic novel to become Netflix original starring Peter Dinklage

    Army Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Kennedy Johnson, writer of “The Last Sons of America,” also plays the trumpet in the U.S. Army Field Band.

  • Upcoming military-themed movies and shows to look forward to — or possibly dread

    Here are a few military-themed entertainment options that are scheduled to come our way.

  • Aldean says he 'probably should've gone to a few more therapy sessions' after massacre

    In the aftermath of the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest festival in October 2017, country star Jason Aldean -- who was performing when the gunman started shooting -- vividly remembers when he first started to emotionally recover from the horrific tragedy.

  • How 'Alita' is paving the way for James Cameron's 'Avatar' sequels

    The steely gaze of Na’vi warrioress Neytiri welcomes visitors at the entrance to some of Hollywood’s most fantastical worlds. Towering in the corner of a hangar, an "Aliens" xenomorph menaces, frozen in place. Upstairs sits the Heart of the Ocean, daring passersby to never let go. No, you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re at Lightstorm Entertainment, the solar-powered, eco-friendly Manhattan Beach headquarters of Oscar-winning "Avatar" filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau.

  • Movie review: 'Isn’t It Romantic’ a parody for people who hate rom-coms (but also secretly love them)

    The comic actress Rebel Wilson makes any movie better -- and frequently steals the show. She did it in "Pitch Perfect," among many other films in which she plays the second lead, with a combination of oddball line readings, out-of-left-field reactions and inspired slapstick. Finally, we can celebrate her elevation to the star (and co-producer) of "Isn’t It Romantic," a visually and verbally ingenious sendup of romantic comedies that wears its candy heart on its sleeve.

  • Movie review: 'Happy Death Day 2U' keeps 'Groundhog Day' premise, goes back to the future

    The 2017 thriller "Happy Death Day" took a "Groundhog Day"-like concept -- a young woman must relive the same day, over and over -- and put it in service of a largely uninspired college-set horror movie. (Turns out the day in question is the day of the protagonist’s murder, which she must re-experience until she solves the crime.) But unlike the 1993 Bill Murray comedy, some people never learn from their mistakes, no matter how often they repeat them.

  • Will Arnett makes Batman seriously funny in 'Lego Movie 2'

    Will Arnett’s secret to making Batman so funny in the "Lego" movies is he’s not trying to be funny. He’s playing the animated version of the comic book hero with the same seriousness as Michael Keaton or Christian Bale.

  • Movie review: 'The Prodigy' another horror movie involving a creepy kid that's actually really good

    Creepy children are a mainstay of the horror genre. Going back to "The Bad Seed" and beyond, children have proved capable of unnerving audiences with a combination of precocious dialogue and psychopathic behavior. The chilling new horror film "The Prodigy" continues that fine tradition, with one intriguing complication: in the hands of director Nicholas McCarthy and screenwriter Jeff Buhler, the young villain is a metaphor for parental failure.

  • Movie review: 'Cold Pursuit' deftly follows dads' revenge desires

    It’s not often that directors get a second crack at their own work. But Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland has undertaken the task of remaking his own 2014 revenge thriller, "In Order of Disappearance," for American audiences, now titled "Cold Pursuit." With Moland behind the wheel, he can ensure the preservation of the film’s dance of tone, which is bone-dry, ice-black, darkly violent and laugh-out-loud funny.

  • Movie review: Gender-flipped 'What Men Want' fails with its premise

    There’s something so wonderfully ironic about a black woman taking over the sequel to a Mel Gibson vehicle. The effervescent Taraji P. Henson stars in "What Men Want," the gender-flipped reboot of "What Women Want," the 2000 Nancy Meyers film starring Gibson as a playboy who can hear the inner monologues of women after a freak accident. But director Adam Shankman is no Nancy Meyers.

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