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Margin Midnight Mara Marlene: Louis's 10 Favorite Films of 2011

22 December 2011 2:00 PM, PST

I realize I may have given away some of these choices with my utterly correct listing of the year's ten best performances, but no matter! 2011's finest cinema, specifically the top three choices on my list, gifted us with bleak, but comprehensive glimpses into personal isolation. I love when a movie is resolutely grim -- reminds me of home. Here are my top ten films of 2011. »

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Robert Pattinson Beds Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and More in Bel Ami Trailer

22 December 2011 1:00 PM, PST

Exciting news, world. Robert Pattinson has advanced from respectfully romancing teen virgins onscreen to defiling wealthy, middle-aged wives (played by Oscar-nominated actresses, no less) in pursuit of upward mobility. Or wealth. Or maybe just acceptance as a serious actor. (Look at him in a period piece with Kristen Scott Thomas!) Either way, jump ahead to see our little Edward Cullen mature into a scheming, sexing cad in the trailer for Bel Ami. »

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Technical Advisory: Commenting Disabled, Maintenance Underway at Movieline

22 December 2011 12:50 PM, PST

Déjà vu all over again: A bit of maintenance around Movieline HQ means that our site's content-management system -- including its commenting apparatus -- will be down for few hours starting at 1 p.m. Pst. I apologize for any browsing or feedback delays during this time. Hold those thoughts, though; we look forward to your visits and notes as we come to on the other side. Thanks for your patience! »

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View 50 Key Shots From the Prometheus Trailer, One at a Time

22 December 2011 12:40 PM, PST

Less than 24 hours after a messy-looking leak made the rounds, the first trailer for Ridley Scott's Prometheus is officially in circulation. And from Michael Fassbender's science projects to Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron running for their lives from seemingly any and every threat you can imagine, it is a doozy. That said, it goes by by pretty fast. Read on for shot-by-shot breakdown. »

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Don't Hate, Celebrate the Top 9 Not-So-Guilty Pleasures of 2011

22 December 2011 12:00 PM, PST

Traditionally a "guilty pleasure" is something you'd be embarrassed for the world to know you secretly enjoyed or for your Facebook friends to see you clicked on, but you know what? Around here we embrace the bad-to-godawful movies we love, and besides; what the heck does it even mean to like something ironically, you insufferable hipster? Toss away your pretentious hat, sit down in the circle of trust, take a deep breath, and join Movieline in unabashedly celebrating the inane, misguided, off-the-mark, and downright B-a-d but nevertheless shamelessly entertaining movies of the year - the Top 9 Not-So-Guilty Pleasures of 2011. Because we all love some terrible things, don't we? »

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Nick Frost on Tintin, Spielberg Love, The World's End, and Snow White and the Huntsman

22 December 2011 10:30 AM, PST

In the decade or so since Nick Frost first made a name for himself on the BBC comedy series Spaced, much has happened. For starters, he's not waiting tables at that Mexican restaurant. He's moved with ease from television to film, most famously in genre riffs Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (with Spaced comrades Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg), and in the alien geek ode Paul (which he co-wrote and stars in with Pegg). Also notably, Frost has ventured out from the fold in films like Pirate Radio and the forthcoming Snow White and the Huntsman. And, with this week's The Adventures of Tintin, he notches another milestone: Working with his hero, Steven. Steven Spielberg. »

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Review: Angelina Jolie Makes a Bleak Bosnian War Romance with In the Land of Blood and Honey

22 December 2011 9:30 AM, PST

In the Land of Blood and Honey isn't actually Angelina Jolie's first film as a director -- that distinction goes to A Place in Time, a little-seen 2007 documentary showcasing life in different locations around the globe at the same moment, shot with the help of some of her famous friends, including Djimon Hounsou and Anne Hathaway. But like that film, Jolie's narrative debut arrives surrounded by a halo of good intentions and the sense that celebrity is being used as the spoonful of sugar to make the didacticism go down. »

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The Cary Grant Gay Factor

22 December 2011 8:50 AM, PST

"I'm going to suggest something radical: We'll never know whether Grant was or was not gay, and it does not matter. What matters was that his image, for all its perfection, also had its points of flexibility -- living intimately with a man for long stretches of time, doing cute man things together -- that leaves the possibility open. Grant made millions of women swoon, and millions of straight men aspire to his likeness. But he also provided thousands of queer audience members with the hope that famous, successful, high-profile performers and homosexuality were not mutually exclusive, further suggesting straight, high-class masculinity as an elaborate masquerade." [The Hairpin] »

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In Honor of Lisbeth Salander, 9 Other Movie Heroines Not to F*** With

22 December 2011 8:00 AM, PST

If Rooney Mara's fearless turn as Stieg Larsson's goth-punk hacker heroine Lisbeth Salander teaches us anything, it's that you should never, ever cross a woman with fire in her heart and vengeance on her mind. But the titular Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is just the latest in a long history of utterly human movie heroines who remind us how ferocious and unrelenting a woman wronged can be. Celebrate the fictional ladies who have helped teach society not to fuck with the so-called "fairer" sex, and let their righteous fury be a lesson to us all during this warm and fuzzy holiday season. »

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Review: Cameron Crowe Tries, and Fails, to Freshen a Treacly Tale in We Bought a Zoo

22 December 2011 7:10 AM, PST

Cameron Crowe can be a big old cheeseball, but he's never been a filmmaker to come across as cynical or calculatedly manipulative. That's one of the reasons We Bought a Zoo doesn't leave your heartstrings feeling brutally manhandled, despite being a treacly tale about how a widower in search of a fresh start buys and moves to a struggling animal park with his two beautiful, sad children. The other reason is Matt Damon, who underplays the role of still-grieving dad Benjamin Mee as much as possible and brings an edge of genuine frustration to his relationship with his teenage son Dylan (Colin Ford). Though overall the film's still as honey-toned as the golden sunshine that slants through most of its scenes, the occasional glimpse of a rough human edge means this isn't just an exercise in mawkishness, though it's also nowhere near as emotionally resonant as it strives to be. »

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Happy 49th Birthday, Ralph Fiennes! What's His Greatest Onscreen Moment?

22 December 2011 6:30 AM, PST

What a momentous week for Ralph Fiennes -- the august British thespian turns 49 today and lands at No. 7 on my list of the year's best performances, therefore knocking Elizabeth Olsen out of the top 10 -- ouch! Let's keep his parade of good times rolling with a quick debate over his best onscreen moment. I dare you to disagree with mine. »

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Rumor: Bill Murray Reportedly Shredded Ghostbusters 3 Script In Brilliant Act of Defiance

21 December 2011 2:40 PM, PST

Presenting the best-worst Bill Murray rumor of the week: The National Enquirer (I know, I know) reports that the actor has finally gotten around to that Ghostbusters threequel script he had been avoiding for months -- by shredding it and sending the carnage to Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis along with a note that read, "No one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts!" Fictional tabloid Bill Murray kind of has a point. [The Playlist] »

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Christopher Plummer on Dragon Tattoo, Beginners Luck and Laughing Off Oscar

21 December 2011 1:30 PM, PST

One week removed from his 82nd birthday, Christopher Plummer is winding up what one could arguably call a career year. And it's been a long career -- more than half a century's worth of stage and screen roles comprising such milestones as The Sound of Music, The Man Who Would Be King, The Insider and The Last Station, the latter of which earned the Canadian legend his first-ever Academy Award nomination. But as the curtain closes on a memorable 2011 -- most notably his acclaimed stage adaptation Barrymore, his awards-worthy performance in Beginners and this week's blockbuster hopeful The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo -- you'd be hard-pressed to find a time when Plummer wasn't more beloved. »

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Review: Wim Wenders' 3-D Pina Makes Its Own Joyful Dance

21 December 2011 12:50 PM, PST

Now that everyone has grown tired of touting the allegedly thrilling promise of 3-D, we may have some chance of figuring out exactly what its future might be. While I still think 3-D is almost less than a gimmick, I've come to think that its real promise lies not in big-budget filmmaking along the lines of The Adventures of Tintin or even a picture as wonderful as Hugo, but in the hands of directors working on a more modest scale who simply have a good idea and a spark of enthusiasm for the medium. Wim Wenders has brought that spark to a rather unlikely subject, the late German modern-dance choreographer Pina Bausch. For years, Wenders and Bausch, longtime friends, had been working on a movie together. Bausch died suddenly in 2009, at age 68, and Pina is Wenders's tribute to her, less a strict documentary than a heartfelt -- and visually gorgeous »

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Watch Conan O'Brien Defile Hanukkah (and Tom Six's Artistic Vision) With Human Centipede Menorah

21 December 2011 12:10 PM, PST

If you've been looking for a way to incorporate Tom Six's gross-out film Human Centipede II into your holiday traditions, Conan O'Brien has just the gift for you: The first-ever (and hopefully last-ever) Human Centipede menorah -- made up of nine unfortunate men and women bound to each other mouth-to-anus style, with each carrying a giant candle on his/her back. Mazel tov? »

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There is a Leaked Prometheus Trailer, and It Is Kind Of Awesome

21 December 2011 11:30 AM, PST

Earlier today 20th Century Fox unveiled a shiny new look at Michael Fassbender in Ridley Scott's 2012 Alien related event pic Prometheus (via Empire), all blond and space-suited. Exciting! As if that wasn't enough to get your juices flowing, an unofficial version of the first trailer for the sci-fi thriller oozed onto the interwebs mere hours ago, and although it's shaky-cammed with fuzzy audio and is even labeled "Leaked"... it's kind of adrenaline-pumpingly awesome. »

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Let's Rank the 10 Finest Screen Performances of 2011

21 December 2011 10:30 AM, PST

If you're both a movie fan and a consummate statistician, it's easy to love and appreciate the Oscars for shoehorning the majority of film history into a manageable grading rubric. I'm an Oscar apologist myself, and I still have one bone to pick with the Academy -- and all award-spewing organizations: the unnecessary reliance on gender-based categories. Is it not more thrilling to pit all actors against each other? Is there such an objective difference between Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock? Meryl Streep and Robert Downey Jr.? "Actor" is a gender-neutral term, and I think we'd all better off -- and better entertained -- without the meaningless siphoning. Thus, I'm stacking up the best performances of 2011 without categorical regard for gender or role size. It's a winner-take-all affair, and this winner definitely wants it all. Here's my top 10: »

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David Copperfield Totally Lost Out on Orson Welles's Oscar

21 December 2011 9:30 AM, PST

Tucked away in this report that Orson's Welles's Citizen Kane Oscar finally sold this week for $861,542, find this depressing revelation: "Underbidder David Copperfield had been eager to acquire the statuette because Welles apparently was something of a magician himself. Copperfield already owns many props from the movie." The winner of the auction has not been identified, but whatever. "Underbidder David Copperfield." Saddest holiday ever. [Deadline] »

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Review: Glenn Close Explores Female Sexual Repression in Dowdy, Unfinished-Feeling Albert Nobbs

21 December 2011 8:50 AM, PST

All of the characters in Albert Nobbs, a mild and mildly stirring adaptation of the George Moore short story, are dreamers. Employees in a mid-19th century Dublin inn, they dream of each other, chiefly, and the ways in which they might be set free. They deceive each other, as well, so that their dreams are often projected onto false fronts -- of character, of obligation, and -- in a couple of cases -- of tightly bound breasts. »

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Bad Movies We Love: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

21 December 2011 8:10 AM, PST

Since I'm rational, Christmas puts me in the mood for nostalgia and cartoonish violence. Accordingly, I'm torqued to explore one of the sweetest and most carnage-laden celebrations of the yuletide, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Chris Columbus's unthinkably successful box office hit ($173,585,516 in the U.S. alone) reunites us with Kevin McCallister, pits him against bumbling baddies Harry and Marv, and even trots out an extra Oscar-winner for our ironic amusement. Did I mention that it's sometimes more violent than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Because I wouldn't be lying about that. I also wouldn't be lying when I say this is a totally stupid movie that should come standard with every American home. »

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