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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

19 items from 2014


Critical Mass: The drug-fueled mayhem of 'Lucy' has a buzz

5 hours ago | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Luc Besson loves his lady warriors. Beginning with the original La Femme Nikita, and then in action movies like The Professional, The Fifth Element, and The Messenger, he’s introduced his own brand of memorable action heroines. Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy might be the most hardcore of the bunch. She goes from party girl to super-evolved sorceress when the experimental drug an Asian gangster has smuggled in her body spills into her bloodstream, raising her brain activity to 100 percent capacity. “Lucy is a thinly drawn character, just someone who needs to survive,” writes EW’s Jeff Labrecque. “But Johansson vividly »

- EW staff

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When Critics Hurt Instead of Help

23 July 2014 4:22 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Over the course of reviewing hundreds of movies a year, a critic over-hypes at least one movie; it happens more times than one would like, but it happens. The main culprit is often red-carpet festival premieres that lead to a dizzying high that positively impacts a film’s reception. A plethora of four star reviews that may have only been three or three-and-a-half after said critic digests the film for a week or two more. Eager cinephiles read these glowing reviews out of Cannes, Telluride and Toronto and place those movies extremely high on their most anticipated lists.

Months pass and the film is finally available for moviegoers to see for themselves. You pay your admission, watch the film, and, following the end credits, disappointment inevitably hangs in the air walking out of the theatre. It’s not that the film was bad necessarily, but the hype took hold and »

- Colin Biggs

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Critical Mass: Hail, Caesar and 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

11 July 2014 9:15 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

There’s a lot at stake with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: human supremacy on a post-apocalyptic Earth, the well-being of a 45-year-old franchise property… the summer box office.

With ticket sales down across the board, Dawn finds itself in the once unlikely position of summer savior. The 2011 reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which starred James Franco and Andy Serkis as the motion-capture Prometheus ape, Caesar, was a solid critical and popular hit, grossing $176.7 million.

Expectation are much higher for Dawn, which is set 10 years after the events of Rise. Humanity has been devastated by the simian flu, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Critical mass: Does Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' sing?

20 June 2014 1:22 PM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Clint Eastwood directing Jersey Boys might be the most odd-coupling of director and musical material since John Huston made Annie. Like Huston, Eastwood has a Broadway hit to rely upon; in fact, he’s even got the Tony-nominated writers and the show’s Tony-winning star, John Lloyd Young as falsetto master Frankie Valli. “With his slicked-back pompadour and wardrobe of sharkskin suits, Young looks more like the late Bruno Kirby than Valli,” says EW’s critic Chris Nashawaty. “But when he opens his mouth, you believe you’re listening to the real deal. He finds every ounce of sweat, aftershave, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Critical Mass: Is '22 Jump Street' tickle or torture?

13 June 2014 9:18 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The first 21 Jump Street reboot movie didn’t just safely navigate the traps and pot holes of cheesy TV adaptations — it made the exercise a breezy art. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s odd-couple pairing as two narc cops going undercover at a high school snuck up on critics — a luxury they don’t have at their disposal in the sequel.

But that doesn’t seem to be stopping director Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) from doubling down on the same comic sensibility. The only thing that’s changed for 22 Jump Street is the setting — college — and »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Podcast: Summer Fun Times Movie Watching

8 June 2014 8:59 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Nick & Joe & Nathaniel are surveying highlights from the summer season thus far. Nick and Joe love Only Lovers Left Alive and Nathaniel has just returned from How To Train Your Dragon 2

00:00 Intro and Lucy

02:20 Alternative Blockbusters & Action Figures

04:00 Favorite Things We Saw This Summer 

08:45 Maleficent and Villainous Backstories 

12:00 Many Tangents: Kill Bill, The Lion King, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Jude Law

19:10 Summer Releases To Come, Melissa McCarthy & Channing Tatum

25:00 Jersey Boys vs. Think Like a Man 2

and...

30:00-48:00 As an appetizer for next week's 2004 10th Anniversary Podcast. We look back at the Oscar winners: Morgan Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Foxx, Hilary Swank and Million Dollar Baby

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes (though sometimes it takes a day to show up there). Continue the conversation in the comments. »

- NATHANIEL R

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The Noteworthy: Cannes 2014 #3

23 May 2014 2:52 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Every few days, we'll be rounding up some of the latest buzz and reviews coming from the Croisette—our favorite takes from trusted sources on the latest films to make their debut at the 67th Festival de Cannes.

Of course there is no bigger premiere than that of Jean-Luc Godard's 3D film in competition, Adieu au langage, which is garnering all sorts of emphatic praise. Our own Daniel Kasman has written an incredible piece on the film—but it has also inspired Peter Labuza, Keith Uhlich, and Manohla Dargis, among many others. Below: Godard in conversation (subtitled in English).

Another Cannes old hat, Ken Loach, premiered his new film Jimmy's Hall. The Hollywood Reporter's Neil Young is not too impressed:

"At this late-autumn stage in his career, of course, no one expects Loach -- who recently scuppered bow-out talk by confirming that he could yet make a "smaller scale, »

- Adam Cook

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Scathing Reviews For Ryan Gosling's "Lost River"

21 May 2014 1:13 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Ryan Gosling's trippy directorial debut "Lost River" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday and reaction has been swift with many bashing, several admiring, and most slightly baffled or disappointed by the work.

The movie premiered to "boos and a dollop of applause" according to Variety, the style said to owe much to the likes of David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn. Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and Matt Smith star in the film which is partially set in an underwater city.

Amongst some key quotes from both reviews and social media:

"If a $200 haircut and $900 shades were given lots of money to defecate on Detroit, the result would be Ryan Gosling’s directing debut..." - Wesley Morris, Grantland

"Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn, the results »

- Garth Franklin

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Ryan Gosling Directorial Debut Leads to Critical Drubbing at Cannes

20 May 2014 9:29 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ryan Gosling’s gonzo directorial debut “Lost River” provided this year’s Cannes Festival with some of its most memorable Wtf moments.

In the aftermath of its Tuesday screening, Critics beat a fast path to Twitter to spread vitriol, disbelief and, in a few rare instances, praise for a film that is partially set in an underwater city. It’s a trippy tale that owes debts to David Lynch and Gosling’s “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn and reportedly premiered to boos and a dollop of applause.

The film stars Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and Matt Smith and sounds as if it may permanently expunge Gosling’s “Mickey Mouse Club” legacy.

Variety’s Scott Foundas found the film to be a yawn, tweeting, “Gosling’s Lost River a first-rate folie de grandeur. Echoes of Argento, Korine, Lynch, Malick in a tedious allegory of Detroit as ghost town.”

Grantland’s Wesley Morris »

- Brent Lang

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Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' at Cannes: When critics attack...

20 May 2014 9:13 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The Cannes Film Festival is somewhat unique in that its audiences feel entitled — obliged, actually — to boo the crap out of films that don’t live up to their collective expectations, whatever those might be. On Tuesday, Ryan Gosling unveiled his directorial debut, Lost River, “a modern day fairytale against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city,” and the immediate response was harsh. Boos reportedly drowned out the applause, and some unimpressed critics and journalists quickly took to Twitter to express their antipathy in a contest of colorful language. Grantland’s Wesley Morris is currently the clubhouse leader on denigrating the film, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Required Reading: A Movie Predicted the Future and Seth Rogen is Still Cool

12 May 2014 6:00 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Beat the Parents” — Wesley Morris at Grantland dissects Seth Rogen’s career as a series of everyday existential questions, getting serious about racial attitudes and the perils of crossing the word “young” off your resume. “Why Seth Rogen is the Most Important Person in Modern Comedy” — Jacob Hall at Screen Crush breaks down an actor whose talents are constantly changing, even when you think he’s pigeonholed himself into stoned slacker purgatory. Remember way back in 2010 when this headline would have been about Judd Apatow? “Legends of Oz Comes From the Island of Misfit Animated Movies” — Charlie Jane Anders at io9 reviews a wayward indie kids film, finding a double standard for the mediocre in cartoon films. As it turns out, it costs a lot more money (and takes a lot more talent »

- Scott Beggs

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Critical Mass: Is 'Neighbors' the season's best comedy?

9 May 2014 9:02 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Most parents would do anything to protect their children from danger. In Neighbors, that danger takes the form of a discarded used condom on a young couple’s front lawn, and the offending party is the raucous fraternity — led by an ab-fab Zac Efron — that just moved in next door. Seth Rogen and Bridemaids’ Rose Byrne play the young suburban couple whose lives are upended by the frat’s 24-hour antics. And as it turns out, the tit-for-tat battle of wills and pranks that ensues might be the season’s funniest comedy.

Director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is back »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Critical Mass: Is 'Captain America' the hero we deserve?

4 April 2014 11:46 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Summer doesn’t begin until June 21, but blockbuster season begins today with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This time around, Chris Evans’ 1940s super-soldier finds himself in a 1970s paranoid political thriller set in post-9/11 Washington, D.C. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the first superhero film since the terrorist-inflected The Dark Knight that plugs you right into what’s happening now,” writes EW’s Owen Gleiberman.

S.H.I.E.L.D. might have a mole, and a mysterious assassin seems to be more than an equal match for Captain America. The Winter Soldier features many familiar faces from the Avengers franchise, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Recommended Reading: The Future of Indie Film, Gay Culture In TV, ‘Reality Bites’ and more

22 February 2014 3:46 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

America’s next Wal-Mart: The indie film industry by Beanie Barnes:

“The indie film industry is cannibalizing itself. Manohla Dargis is right – there are too many films in the ecosystem. And this oversupply didn’t just happen. John Sloss warned back in 2007 that the industry’s problem was not a shortage of films, but a shortage of eyeballs (Mark Gill issued a related warning in 2008). But the industry’s response to this warning has been to make more films. This is creating an economically valueless cycle where unprecedented “cheap” money is flowing into the industry and films are being made at their highest rate ever. Meanwhile the percentage of indie films (let’s say films made for less than $5 million outside of the studio system) that are financially successful has not increased, and the amount of money people make from these films has actually decreased.”

I Re-Watched Reality Bites »

- Ricky

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Critical mass: 'Pompeii' doesn't exactly blow the critics away

21 February 2014 1:05 PM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The thing I find most surprising about Pompeii is that there aren’t two rival Pompeii movies. The Paul W.S. Anderson movie has the look and feel of Deep Impact/Armageddon and Volcano/Dante’s Peak (though, believe it or not, Roman Polanski was once attached to direct).

Alas, Pompeii has the field to itself, a big-budget 3-D disaster epic that lands smack in the box-office dead zone of February. It’s just crazy enough to work!

Game of ThronesKit Harington plays Milo, a Roman slave-turned-gladiator who catches the eye of an upper-class beauty (Emily Browning) who in turn »

- Jeff Labrecque

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Critical Mass: Is 'About Last Night' a hit? At this point... we don't know!

14 February 2014 3:39 PM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

When you wake up tomorrow morning, the day after Valentine’s Day, will you be talking About Last Night?

It’s 1980s flashback at the cinema this weekend, with RoboCop, Endless Love, and About Last Night getting 21st-century updates. The latter is perhaps the most promising since it’s an ideal date movie on a sweetheart holiday, there’s nostalgic fondness for the 1986 version with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, and it features the popular hysterics of Kevin Hart, whose recent film, Ride Along, just surpassed $100 million at the box office. “When About Last Night is funny, which is every so often, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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The Lego Movie: How Many Times Did You Sing ‘Everything Is Awesome’ This Weekend?

10 February 2014 8:45 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

The Lego Movie dominated the box office with a nearly $70 million take, the second highest February debut ever. And aside from one grasping-for-news Fox Business host (who called the movie "anti-business") and two prominent critics (the New York Post's Kyle Smith and Grantland's Wesley Morris), most everyone else went nuts for the movie, especially Vulture's Bilge Ebiri. Did you? Did your kids? Are you going to have to drag yourself to a toy store to buy a crate of Legos this week? Talk it up in the comments below.How many times did you sing "Everything Is Awesome" this weekend?The song, which is used throughout the movie as a sign of how terrible conformity is before turning into an anthem about the greatness of teamwork, is catchy as hell. Sung by Canadian sister duo Tegan and Sara (who are awesome) and featuring a rap segment from the Lonely Island, »

- Gilbert Cruz

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News Nuggets: Is 'Gravity' now the film to beat at the Oscars?

8 January 2014 12:50 PM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Guy Lodge wonders if "Gravity" is the film to beat at the Oscars now that it leads at BAFTA with 11 nominations. Some of the nods were surprising, including the ones for Best British Film and Best Original Screenplay. Its toughest competitor, "12 Years a Slave," underperformed and could not get nods in costume design, makeup, or sound. "American Hustle" equalled the bid total of 10 for "Slave," giving it more support than David O. Russell's previous films "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook." Hitfix. Wesley Morris discusses the 20 performances that should receive Oscar nominations but will not. They include Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine"), Scarlett Johansson ("Don Jon" and "Her"), Matthew McConaughey ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), and Alfre Woodard ("12 Years a Slave"). Grantland. Ramin Setoodeh recaps Tuesday&#3 »

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Podcast: Those Polarizing Wolves on Wall St.

6 January 2014 9:00 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Nick and Joe rejoin Nathaniel & Katey this week to talk about Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. In the endless twitter battle over whether Wolf condemns or celebrates Jordan Belfort, several interesting questions have been swept aside or glossed over: does it earn its running time?; is Leonardo DiCaprio great or just better than he's been recently?; is Margot Robbie amazing or just sexy; "is it even well made?" Nick wonders, challenging its fans to name even three interesting shots. The gauntlet is thrown down!

Other (brief) topics / shoutouts include the WGA Nominations (Lone Survivor?), Philomena, and why American Hustle & WoWS lovers can't just get along.

Shea Wigham's Amazing 2013: American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire, and Fast and Furious 6

Can't we all just get along? If only for Shea Wigham's sake!

Referenced Articles:

Richard Brody's Wolf review Joe Reid on the aggressive defense »

- NATHANIEL R

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

19 items from 2014


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