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The newest big screen “golden age of Hollywood” biography represents something of a 2015 trilogy, a hat trick, if you will. It doesn’t focus on the illustrious career of a celebrated actor or actress, but there are some stars involved and in support. No, this is the story of a legendary screenwriter, yes an idea man. The man in question is one Dalton Trumbo, a fellow nearly as theatrical as the thespians reciting his words. Beyond his work, he was perhaps best known as the most famous of the “Hollywood Ten” during the Communist “witch hunts” of the 1950’s. So the “cold war” is the backdrop for this bio, much as it was for Bridge Of Spies, the true life drama, and that frothy spy send-up, The Man From Uncle, both released earlier this year. It’s odd that this is the last film to arrive in theatres, though its events precede the other two. »
- Jim Batts
Written by John McNamara
Directed by Jay Roach
There is much to admire in Trumbo. The new biographical drama about the blacklisted “Hollywood Ten” has the assured direction of Jay Roach, a typically-brilliant performance from Bryan Cranston, and avoids the self-congratulatory smugness that plagues most films about persecuted liberals. It’s bizarre, then, that Trumbo never quite sparks to life. The lack of sanctimony oddly undermines the story’s rabblerousing energy, reducing this wannabe emotional powerhouse to a slick history lesson. Still, it’s a history lesson worth learning, and Cranston is a far more entertaining teacher than anyone you’ll find on campus.
When American screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Cranston) refused to testify before Congress about his involvement with the Communist Party, he effectively pulled the plug on his Hollywood career back in 1947. Trumbo, along with his 9 co-defendants (known as the Hollywood Ten), are convicted of contempt, sent to prison, »
- J.R. Kinnard
Marvelously balances the silly and the solemn. There’s almost a whiff of the Coen-esque in its slick sharpness, in its whistling past the graveyard. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
For a prestige drama about one of the more shameful periods in American history (there are a lot of those), Trumbo is surprisingly funny. And thank god for that. It feels good to laugh at the idiocy surrounding the Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s, if only so that you don’t have to think too much about how widespread support for the most unAmerican things — all in the name of America, naturally — has been a constant refrain in American public discourse. You have to be a special kind of sheltered not to hear such nonsense demanding to »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Written by Steven Rogers
Directed by Jessie Nelson
From the opening credits sequence, Love the Coopers feels like classic studio holiday schmaltz. Santa Clauses ride around town, dogs dressed in Hanukkah and Christmas garb embrace, and families take pictures for greeting cards. The Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal” scores the montage, completing an idyllic portrait of dull but harmless seasonal cheer.
The film appears to be heading towards a whitewashed but benign universe as the principal characters get introduced, suggesting a basic story structure warm and familiar enough to be a Christmas hearth. Charlotte (Diane Keaton) and Sam (John Goodman) Cooper plan a Christmas dinner for their dispersed family, all while their marriage disintegrates due in part to the couple’s age. Their passion has waned as the years have gone by, leading to constant argument over song lyrics, grocery shopping, and seemingly everything else.
- Max Bledstein
Love the Coopers is as problematic as its title. Does it mean love from the Coopers or is it a statement that someone loves the Coopers (perhaps its narrator — we’ll get to that a moment), or perhaps something else? Unlike its title, the message here is painfully simple. Here’s a film that’s so sincere it forgets to spice things up a bit. Told though a narrator who spells it all out without any wit or commentary (we later find out why this narrator, voiced by Steve Martin, is all knowing and God-like), we’re introduced to a wide ensemble spanning four generations in suburban Pittsburgh.
They include John Goodman and Diane Keaton as Sam and Charlotte Cooper, respectively. Their marriage is falling apart for multiple reasons, ranging from past tragedy to their current emotional isolation from each other. Their psychological games aren’t quite as cruel as those in Le Weekend, »
- John Fink
Christmas is nearly upon us and we have a fantastic festive-themed giveaway to tie in with the upcoming release of Christmas With The Coopers, which hits UK cinemas on December 1st.
It’s the festive season in the Cooper household and Charlotte Cooper (Diane Keaton) has one simple wish… for her family to have the perfect Christmas. But four generations of the Cooper clan gathering under the same roof is anything but perfect.
We have three of the pictured merchandise packs to give away! Each pack includes a Christmas with the Coopers branded chocolate advent calendar and a Diy Christmas tree which includes mini baubles and fairy lights.
John Goodman (Trumbo), Olivia Wilde (Rush), Jake Lacy (Girls, Carol), Ed Helms (The Hangover), Marisa Tomei (Trainwreck), Anthony MacKie (Avengers), Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables), Alan Arkin (Argo) and June Squibb (Nebraska) lead an all-star cast in this unforgettable yuletide comedy. »
- Paul Heath
Christmas is barreling down the tracks faster than who knows what, and with it, comes some holiday cheer. To celebrate Christmas with The Coopers arriving in cinemas on December 1st, we've got some epic movie merchandise to giveaway. Simply fill in your details below and keep an eye out for the postman! It’s the festive season in the Cooper household and Charlotte Cooper (Diane Keaton) has one simple wish...for her family to have the perfect Christmas. But four generations of the Cooper clan gathering under the same roof is anything but perfect. John Goodman (Trumbo), Olivia Wilde (Rush), Jake Lacy (Girls, Carol), Ed Helms (The Hangover), Marisa Tomei (Trainwreck), Anthony Mackie (Avengers), Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables), Alan Arkin (Argo) and June Squibb (Nebraska) lead an all-star cast in this unforgettable yuletide comedy. Spending Christmas with the Coopers will never be a silent night. Loading... Comp open to residents of Republic of Ireland. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Vic Barry)
This was the weekend that nothing went as expected at the box office -- hinting that the multiplex may be in for a wild ride this winter.
Even though many predicted that none of this weekend's new releases were going to dislodge "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie" from the top two spots, those films still surprised. "Spectre" held on better than anyone thought, losing just 50 percent of last week's business instead of the 60 that many predicted, to finish with an estimated $35.4 million for the weekend. On the other hand, "Peanuts" was supposed to lose just 35 percent of last week's business, but it plunged 45 percent, to an estimated $24.2 million.
It's possible that "Love the Coopers" ate into the "Peanuts" family audience. Instead of debuting at $6 or $7 million, it earned an estimated $8.4 million, good for third place. Despite its unclear title, the movie was well-marketed; viewers knew that it was a Christmas-themed family comedy, »
- Gary Susman
The box office has finally rebounded after a brief slump in October with the release of Spectre last weekend, which took in $73 million, higher than the entire top 10 in the last week of October, and The Peanuts Movie ($45 million). As expected, both of those hit movies retained the top two spots this weekend, with Spectre taking in $35.4 million and The Peanuts Movie staying put in second place with $24.2 million. As expected, new releases such as Warner Bros.' The 33, CBS Films' Love the Coopers and Clarius Entertainment's My All American, along with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's By the Sea opening in limited release, didn't provide any serious competition.
Both Spectre and The Peanuts Movie have been faring well with critics, with Spectre earning a 63% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and The Peanuts Movie pulling in an 86% "Fresh" rating. While The Peanuts Movie did come in a distant second place last weekend, »
James Bond is back on top, after “Spectre” led the U.S. box office for the second weekend in a row.
Of course, the dashing super spy wasn’t exactly facing off against Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Its main competition was the second weekend of “The Peanuts Movie” and a lackluster crop of new releases such as the Chilean mining drama “The 33” and the faith-based football film “My All American.”
“Spectre” added $35.4 million to bring its domestic total to $130.7 million. The weekend represents a 49% drop from its opening. Sony is distributing the Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and Eon Productions’ film which carries an enormous $250 million price tag.
The worldwide box office for “Spectre” has reached nearly $550 million, including a $48 million opening weekend in China.
“The Peanuts Movie” also showed some impressive endurance, sliding only 45% to make $24.2 million. The Fox backed adaptation of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip about Snoopy and Charlie Brown has earned $82.5 million stateside. »
- Brent Lang and Dave McNary
James Bond and Charlie Brown are showing solid staying power at North American multiplexes, heading for respective weekends of $35 million for “Spectre” and $27 million for “The Peanuts Movie,” early estimates showed Friday.
But several newcomers are facing a cool reception from moviegoers. Holiday comedy “Love the Coopers” is headed for a moderate $6.5 million opening at 2,603 sites while mining drama “The 33” is showing little traction with a quiet $3.5 million launch at 2,452.
Universal’s “By the Sea,” a marital dysfunction drama that Angelina Jolie Pitt directed, wrote and co-stars in with real life husband Brad Pitt, has opened unimpressively with a projected $100,000 at 10 theaters in major cities. By comparison, the studio’s “Steve Jobs” took in $521,522 at four theaters in its first weekend in early October.
“Spectre” looks likely to decline about 50% from its opening weekend and should close out the weekend near $135 million. “Skyfall,” its immediate predecessor, slid 53% in its »
- Dave McNary
Even though the temps were in the 70s, the cast of “Love the Coopers” was in a holiday mood Thursday at The Grove for the Christmas comedy’s premiere — with an extra helping of giving.
The family reunion film also bonded the cast. Wilde noted that castmates Diane Keaton and Alan Arkin were particularly helpful during the February shoot in Pittsburgh, given that she had recently produced for the first time on her drama “Meadowland.”
“Diane was facing the same kind of obstacles as »
- Dave McNary
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, November 13. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise. Wide The 33 Director: Patricia Riggen Cast: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas, Adriana Barraza, Kate Del Castillo, Cote de Pablo, Bob Gunton, Gabriel Byrne, Naomi Scott, Jacob Vargas, Oscar Nunez, Juan Pablo Raba Synopsis: "Based on a true story about the collapse at the mine in San Jose, Chile that left 33 miners isolated underground for 69 days." Love the Coopers Director: Jessie Nelson Cast: Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Jake Lacy, Olivia Wilde, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Alex Borstein, Jon Tenney, June Squibb, Michelle Veintimilla Synopsis: "When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night »
- Steve Greene
So good to see you, man. John Goodman stepped out for the red carpet premiere for upcoming flick Love the Coopers in Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 12, and the actor’s slimmer figure continued to turn heads. Goodman, 63, kept things casual in a pair of jeans, a pink button-down, and a black blazer, and was often literally running around the event, chasing his costar Blake Baumgartner on the red carpet, according to the Daily Mail. The former Roseanne star first debuted his fit figure early last month [...] »
The only thing more reliable than a disastrous family gathering for the holidays is the cliched dramatizing of such an event in the form of a Christmas-set family dramedy. Think Four Christmases, The Family Stone, Christmas with the Kranks — there are good ones too, probably, but for the most part the formula is doomed to failure. Multiple story threads and characters come together for a holiday filled with arguments, gags, and conflict that ends in disaster only to be saved when everyone learns the value of family. The endings are always far too trite and conclusive, the characters are never all that developed, and the message of family togetherness and love gets lost in the shuffle. Well the filmmakers behind Love the Coopers got the memo on bad, holiday-set family comedies and decided to do something about it. They made a bad, holiday-set family comedy… with narration by the family dog. Charlotte »
- Rob Hunter
Chicago – Director Jay Roach loves his work, heading into another phase of his successful career. The man who directed the first two “Austin Powers” films is now taking on movie and American history with “Trumbo,” featuring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as the 1950s blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
The “black list” was a partnership between government and the film industry. Whenever a writer, director or actor would not “name names” to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (Huac) of the the 1950s, they effectively ended any chance of getting hired in Hollywood. Huac was looking for Communists, as the threat from Soviet Russia at the time was seen as the greatest menace to American freedom. Never mind that Russia was a ally of the U.S. only ten years earlier during World War II, or that being a Communist was not illegal in America. It was a witch hunt, pure and simple, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
What kind of title is Love The Coopers, anyway? Does it represent the bland sentimentalities of a Hallmark card hastily signed on the way to your parents’ house? Is it meant as a plea to audiences, a last-ditch effort to get you to care about its disparate collection of thinly constructed personalities? This overwrought family Christmas comedy is as devoid of nuance as its plain title suggests. Worse than that, Love The Coopers is overly familiar and exceedingly dull despite its warm, genial cast.
In the snowy suburbs around Pittsburgh, four generations of the Cooper family prepare for their annual Christmas gathering. Charlotte (Diane Keaton) and Sam (John Goodman) hope to keep their rocky marriage and impending divorce a secret long enough to host one last, happy family holiday dinner. Their son Hank (Ed Helms), meanwhile, contends with his own marital and parenting issues while keeping his unemployment a secret »
- Zachary Shevich
“Love the Coopers” proves critics don’t like being told what to do, because the majority of reviews aren’t obeying the title’s directive. In fact, they mostly hate the Coopers. With a total of 15 available so far on Rotten Tomatoes, 11 are deemed “rotten,” giving the dysfunctional family holiday film starring Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Olivia Wilde, Ed Helms and Amanda Seyfried a low 29 percent approval rating. With only a few reviews available at the moment, that rating could always improve. But based on the reaction readily available, it seems more likely to plummet than rise. See Photos: 25 Holiday Movies. »
- Greg Gilman
There’s no taste like ham for the holidays, and that’s the prevailing flavor in “Love the Coopers,” writer-director Jessie Nelson’s Christmas family reunion movie. It’s sort of a mashup of “Home for the Holidays,” “Love Actually,” and some minor Cameron Crowe movie that’s sprawling, awkward and contrived, yet brimming with goodwill toward men. Diane Keaton and John Goodman play Charlotte and Sam, a four-decade couple putting off divorce to fake one last perfect Yule for their imperfect clan. Their daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) a bitter liberal pill, picks up a kindly right-wing GI named Joe (Jake Lacy) to take to. »
- Tim Appelo
Fittingly given that its title sounds like a demand, “Love the Coopers” peddles holiday sorrow, cheer and uplift with off-putting insistence. Director Jessie Nelson’s dramedy follows a familiar family-reunion template in detailing the Yuletide get-together of the Coopers, a clan fracturing under the weight of divorces, unemployment, unrealized dreams and loneliness — as well as past joys that all its members desperately want to reclaim. Decked out in the usual tinsel-and-mistletoe trappings, the film lurches awkwardly between gloominess and giddiness, never hitting the boisterously bittersweet groove it seeks. Failing to carve out an identity distinct from its many subgenre predecessors, this slushy feel-good saga faces a stormy theatrical forecast at best.
Ten years after “The Family Stone,” Diane Keaton again takes the lead of a contrived getting-the-relatives-back-together film that eventually employs the threat of tragedy as a device for familial reconciliation. Before “Love the Coopers” ventures down that misbegotten path, »
- Nick Schager
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