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Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried in "Mamma Mia! Here we Go Again." <br>Universal Pictures/TNS

'Mamma Mia' maestro Judy Craymer hopes lightning strikes twice for feelgood franchise

Judy Craymer still remembers the first time she heard ABBA. Although she professes to have been more of a fan of David Bowie and heavy rock as a teenager, the Swedish pop group’s melodies stuck with Craymer, and she sensed a visual connection in the music. "I always loved their videos -- because they were the first to do those videos -- and I always saw a sense of fun comedy and self-deprecation," the producer says, sitting in her office in London’s ritzy St. James district.



Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal offer ode to Oakland

Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal have known each other since they were in high school. That kind of longevity made a big difference when sitting down to write the script for "Blindspotting." They respected each other’s talents so much that they were willing to experiment with their tale of two friends dealing with life in a rapidly changing Oakland.


Robin Williams speaks for himself in new HBO documentary

When filmmaker Marina Zenovich sought to make a documentary about Robin Williams, she found that she could do it largely in the late comedian’s own voice. “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” uses a wealth of archival footage to put viewers inside his thought process — mirroring a routine Williams used as an up-and-coming comic in the 1970s.


Paralympian actress blasts Johnson for playing amputee in 'Skyscraper'

An actress who had her legs amputated above the knee called out Dwayne Johnson for taking a role away from an amputee in his newest movie.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show offers a pointed critique of America

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, aka "Borat," is on a new quest to engage, expose and at times embarrass subjects around the country for a TV series called "Who Is America." When the first of seven episodes debuted Sunday on Showtime, viewers got to see a fresh round of cringeworthy conversations, often with top political, media and tastemaking figures. All have no idea they’re being duped by one of several characters that Cohen plays in heavy makeup.


Sandra Oh on her historic Emmy nomination: ’Let’s move it forward’

Sandra Oh’s first headlining TV role in BBC America’s “Killing Eve” has yielded her first lead actress in a drama Emmy nomination - and a place in history.


Charlie Puth charts his own course with album and tour

Charlie Puth is done playing by the rules. “I’ve wanted to make music like this for a very, very long time, but I almost wasn’t, dare I say, allowed?” Puth said of his recently released sophomore album, “Voicenotes.” “No one wanted to hear too much jazz in pop music.” His response: “Let me prove to you that it’s possible.”


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  • Bo Burnham explores the awkwardness of 'Eighth Grade'

    An awkward middle school girl might be the last subject one would expect a 27-year-old male comedian to spotlight in his directorial debut, “Eighth Grade,” but Bo Burnham has never exactly followed a script.


  • Tom Petty box set with unreleased material coming in September

    Get ready for some new Tom Petty music. The late rocker’s estate is releasing a box set of music this fall that will include -- among other things -- unreleased recordings and alternate versions of classic cuts. "An American Treasure" comes out Sept. 28 and will also feature rarities, historic live performances and deep tracks.


  • Dwayne Johnson joining group that champions rights for disabled

    Dwayne Johnson plays an amputee in his latest movie. Now he’s jumping in to help people with disabilities in real life,


  • Emmy nominations: 'Game of Thrones' leads, followed by 'SNL' and 'Westworld'

    I like to imagine what King Kong, as a popcorn-chomping moviegoer, might make of “Skyscraper,” the latest summer actioner staring Dwayne Johnson. Would he, watching a goliath ascend the exterior of a high-rise with helicopters and klieg lights swirling, woundedly mumble, “Hey, that’s my gig.”


  • Drake, Ariana Grande, Cardi B and the other songs to create the best summer music playlist

    On Spotify recently, it seemed as if the streaming service had given itself over entirely to presenting the music of a single artist.


  • Here’s how many 2018 Emmy nods each show and platform received

    “Game of Thrones” roared back onto the Emmy battlefield, topping Thursday’s nominations with 22 bids.


  • Evangeline Lilly spreads her wings as Wasp

    Evangeline Lilly’s character of Hope van Dyne has gone through some changes from her introduction in “Ant-Man” to the twin billing of “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” When she made the first film, Lilly described Hope as one of the darkest and dourest characters she had ever played. That was based on Hope having to deal with grief, parental issues and the need to prove she was as good as any man in the business world.


  • Emmys 2018: Five races we'll be watching when nominations are announced

    Five first-year TV shows earned Emmy nominations last year for best drama series, offering a rare, almost revolutionary jolt of change to a set of awards that, over the years, have celebrated monotony and excellence in equal measure.


  • Justin Timberlake did not create the song of the summer (but he sure did try)

    “Summer starts now,” Justin Timberlake announces at the top of his new single, “SoulMate,” and even he has to know that’s not true.


  • From 'Back to the Future' to 'Wild Wild West'

    A look at the Fourth of July’s biggest box office hits and misses

    The Fourth of July has long been a boon to the box office, with studios pitching their tentpole films on the holiday in hope of taking advantage of the American public’s extra time off (and, in many cases, their need for air conditioning). More than 30 years since Universal successfully launched “Back to the Future” on July 3, the national holiday is now as closely associated with superheroes and Will Smith as much as barbecues and fireworks.


  • 'Get Out' breakout Lil Rel Howery takes the lead in 'Uncle Drew'

    It’s a career milestone just about every actor aspires to achieve: the time when he or she no longer has to audition. Usually following a stellar performance in a show or film that draws praise from critics and the public at large, the lucky few are catapulted to a status where offers come their way.


  • The state of the big-screen summer comedy is no laughing matter. Can the genre get its mojo back?

    In years past, the summertime box office could always be counted on to deliver at least one mainstream comedy smash that would break out of the pack of superhero films, action spectacles and rampaging giant-monster epics.


  • Before Wakanda, there was Zamunda: Eddie Murphy’s 'Coming to America' turns 30

    Before there was Wakanda in "Black Panther," there was Zamunda, in "Coming to America." It was a fantasized African kingdom ruled by an absurdly rich king whose son, the heir to the throne, confronts the marriage arranged for him by tradition and his parents, and balks.


  • Josh Brolin having massively successful movie summer

    Josh Brolin has been appearing in films and TV series for more than 33 years. Many productions - “No Country for Old Men,” “Only the Brave,” “Milk,” “American Gangster” - have earned him high praise and been successful at the box office. Despite such a rich legacy of work, Brolin had never made a sequel. Technically, Brolin has played the character of Thanos in several movies based on Marvel Comics, but most appearances were not long enough to even be considered a cameo.


  • How 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' continues Marvel’s push for gender equality

    Her character’s name may not be in the title, but Hannah John-Kamen was the talk of the night at the “Ant-Man and the Wasp” premiere Monday in Hollywood. The 28-year-old, seen earlier this year in “Tomb Raider” and “Ready Player One,” takes on the role of Ghost/Ava in the new Marvel flick, earning her name by disappearing and reappearing while fighting opponents.


  • Joe Cardamone of the Icarus Line finds faith in music after a string of tragedies

    In September, Joe Cardamone was backstage preparing to play the Glass House in Pomona. His new project Holy War was opening for electro-Goth group Cold Cave, and he was shaking from nerves.


  • TV

    Talking about 'Westworld' more fun for some than watching 'Westworld'

    Brett Lovejoy spends about eight to 10 hours a week watching "Westworld." Watching, in this instance, doesn’t simply refer to sitting in front of a television screen. He’ll replay the episode once or twice, but mostly the 27-year-old West Virginia native spends that time reading through and contributing to online forums dedicated to dissecting every sequence of the show for hidden meaning. This isn’t unusual.


  • Debra Granik explores the bond between father and daughter in the timely drama ‘Leave No Trace’

    At a moment when many are struggling to sift through their own feelings of empathy and upset, filmmaker Debra Granik knows what to prioritize. While acknowledging she has been pleased and surprised by the responses her new film “Leave No Trace” has generated since its Sundance Film Festival premiere this year, Granik hastens to add, “this is in the midst of course of my heart hurting most days . because of what we’re going through as a country.


  • Nick Offerman plays with love in 'Hearts Beat Loud'

    Music always has been part of Nick Offerman’s life. The star of the new feature film “Hearts Beat Loud” played the saxophone in his junior high and high school jazz bands while growing up in Illinois. The music in his life now primarily comes from his wife, Megan Mullally, whom he calls an astonishing singing talent.


  • 'Eating Animals' producers discuss veganism, farming and being pretentious

    Natalie Portman hasn’t eaten meat since she was 9. But it wasn’t until she read Jonathan Safran Foer’s "Eating Animals" in 2009 that she realized consuming dairy and eggs could harm animals too. The book struck her so intensely that she instantly called up Foer and told him she thought the project would also work as a documentary.


  • How 'Bao' director Domee Shi stayed true to her 'weird' idea and created a specifically Asian story

    Much like a delicious dumpling before a hearty meal, “Bao” is the bite-sized animated film audiences see before “Incredibles 2.” But more than just a Pixar appetizer, the short is a whimsical love letter to mothers as well as food. It just happens to be wrapped in a package so adorable you want to eat it.


  • Jay-Z, Beyonce release surprise album ‘Everything Is Love’

    Jay-Z and Beyonce are keeping up a family tradition, dropping a surprise album before anyone knew it was coming. The couple released a joint album that touches on the rapper’s disgust at this year’s Grammy Awards and features a shout out from their daughter Blue Ivy to her siblings.


  • Fred Rogers’ family keeps the legacy of ’Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ alive with a candid new documentary

    In the 15 years since her husband’s death, Joanne Rogers has figured out a way to make do on her own.


  • Craig T. Nelson finds animation work 'Incredible'

    Craig T. Nelson put together a varied collection of acting credits through the first 30 years of his career. Although he starred in multiple television series and appeared in numerous feature films, one type of acting job had eluded him.


  • How Mike Shinoda found life after the death of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

    Mike Shinoda's wife used to joke that his tear ducts were broken. As the painstaking sonic mastermind of Linkin Park, this Southern California native spent years creating carefully detailed tracks -- dense with serrated guitars and throbbing hip-hop beats -- that showcased the signature wail of the group's talented but troubled frontman, Chester Bennington.


  • From 'Sling Blade' to 'Goliath': Billy Bob Thornton finds his peace

    The bar half-lit, his beer quarter-full, Billy Bob Thornton smiled like a guy fencing stolen watches. He wore a long, dark coat, hat pulled low, and one sensed he could slip away with no one, not even the two ladies tucked in the corner, being the wiser. He sipped and narrowed his eyes at a passing face. Thornton can come across as a menacing whisper, a man who would guard your lunch money but steal your wife. You have to watch him, like you have for many years, to see what he might do next.


  • New boxed set 'Battleground Korea' documents music from 'forgotten' war

    As long as human beings have engaged in conflict, there have likely been songs to document them.


  • Review: 'Won’t You Be My Neighbor' is much-needed emotional tonic for troubled times

    If beloved legendary children’s television show host Mr. Rogers were once a representation of all things milquetoast, in the summer of 2018, his message of generous, abundant love and tolerance is not only saintly, it’s radical. In the deftly crafted documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Academy-Award winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (“20 Feet From Stardom”) manages to make the mild-mannered Fred Rogers look downright revolutionary.


  • 'Upgrade' director Leigh Whannell brings sci-fi action thrills to our tech-obsessed times

    Are we fools to invest so much trust in the technologies designed to make modern life easier? Is Alexa spying on us? Is Siri silently judging us? Will smart gadgets have mercy when the robot singularity arrives and everything, from our phones to the kitchen toaster, becomes sentient? These seem like relevant questions to ponder as "Upgrade" writer-director Leigh Whannell chauffeurs me across Los Angeles traffic in his Tesla Model X.


  • Radio play is crucial in country music -- so with no record label, Thompson Square is getting creative

    Some labels will release a record on the strength of an artist’s fan base or streaming momentum. And Keifer and Shawna Thompson -- who, as the duo Thompson Square, left their label last year and released their first new album in five years, titled "Masterpiece," independently June 1 -- are hoping they can rely on other methods to drum up excitement without a radio promotion team.


  • 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.”


  • TV

    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.


  • 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."

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