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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

1-20 of 50 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »


‘The Cartel,’ ‘Escobar: Paradise Lost’ Show Futility of War on Drugs

28 June 2015 1:59 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

More than a decade after Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic” took on U.S. drug policy, popular culture is once again turning a jaundiced eye toward the government’s failed efforts to stanch the flow of narcotics.

On the bigscreen, the documentary “Cartel Land” and the thriller “Escobar: Paradise Lost” present parallel stories of vigilantism and criminality, all of it fueled by America’s insatiable appetite for marajuana, cocaine, heroin and other illicit pleasures.

In book stores, Don Winslow, the crack novelist behind “Savages,” is criss-crossing the porous border between Mexico and the U.S. to examine the intractable standoff between cops and drug barons in “The Cartel.” The picture that emerges in each of these works is of rampant lawlessness, shocking violence and dysfunctional policies that have done nothing to reduce illegal drug consumption.

“The war on drugs is a disaster,” Winslow told Variety. “For 45 years we’ve been doing »

- Brent Lang

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Disney developing Charles Darwin adventure movie

25 June 2015 7:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Deadline is reporting that Disney has snapped up an untitled pitch from Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (Traffic), who is set to write and direct an adventure film based around the English naturalist and evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin.

The site reports that the movie will likely focus on Darwin’s formative years, where he embarked on a five year voyage to South America aboard the Hms Beagle.

Darwin appeared on the big screen as recently as 2009, with Paul Bettany portraying him in the biographical drama Creation, while he also featured in Aardman Animations’ The Pirates! Band of Misfits, where he was voiced by David Tennant.

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- Gary Collinson

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Disney incubating new Charles Darwin movie

24 June 2015 12:09 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Mouse House to make naturalist biopic, six years after box-office failure of Creation, starring Paul Bettany

In 2009, Paul Bettany starred as revolutionary naturalist Charles Darwin in Creation, which told of his struggles writing On the Origin of Species, and his grief following the death of his 10-year-old daughter, Annie. The film, based on a biography by Darwin’s great-great grandson, made just over half a million pounds worldwide.

Now, Walt Disney Studios is to attempt to reanimate the scientist in a new movie. Stephen Gaghan – whose previous script credits include Traffic and Syriana – is on board to direct from his own screenplay. He is currently about to direct Matthew McConaughey in a mining drama, Gold.

Continue reading »

- Catherine Shoard

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Disney is developing a Charles Darwin adventure film

23 June 2015 4:33 PM, PDT | JoBlo.com | See recent JoBlo news »

Well, I can't say that I saw This coming! Walt Disney Pictures has just acquired an untitled pitch that writer Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic) will pen and direct. While details are scarce, Deadline reports that the movie is being molded into an adventure film featuring Charles Darwin. While the English naturalist and geologist is best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory, evidently he was a... Read More »

- Sean Wist

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Charles Darwin Is Getting An Adventure Movie Because Science Is Cool

23 June 2015 3:24 PM, PDT | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Charles Darwin doesn.t seem like he would be the prime candidate to spotlight an adventure movie, but, then again, Abraham Lincoln didn.t seem like a vampire hunter. The scientist famous for developing the theory of evolution is said to be the face of a new movie that Disney is close to snagging that will send the famed scientist on a whirlwind trip. Deadline was first to report the news of the new Darwin adventure flick . a phrase I.d never thought I.d be writing . and details are extremely limited - including the title of the project. However, we do know that Stephen Gaghan, the mind behind the screenplays for Traffic, Syriana, The Alamo and Rules of Engagement, penned the script that caught the eye of the Mouse House. As the trade notes, Darwin took a nod from Indiana Jones in exploring and answers questions about the world. »

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Charles Darwin Movie in the Works at Disney

23 June 2015 11:59 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Disney has launched development on a Charles Darwin movie with Stephen Gaghan on board to direct from his own screenplay.

The studio acquired an untitled pitch from Gaghan, whose credits include writing the Oscar-winning “Traffic” and directing “Syriana” from his own script. Gaghan is in pre-production to direct Black Bear Pictures’ mining drama “Gold,” starring Matthew McConaughey.

Darwin, the English naturalist and geologist, established that all species of life have descended from common ancestors in his 1859 book “On the Origin of Species.”

Jeremy Thomas produced a Darwin movie, 2009’s “Creation,” starring real-life spouses Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany. That film, directed by Jon Amiel, focused on Darwin and his family as he struggled to finish “On the Origin of Species.”

The screenplay was written by John Collee based on the biography “Annie’s Box,” written by Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great grandson. “Creation” grossed less than $1 million worldwide.

Gaghan is »

- Dave McNary

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Stephen Gaghan Mapping Out Charles Darwin Pic With Disney

23 June 2015 11:01 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Traffic writer-director Stephen Gaghan has apparently found a home away from home in the unexplored natural world. He’s currently in pre-production on Gold, a mining drama with Matthew McConaughey and Michelle Williams that will take place in the depths of the Indonesian jungle. And now, the Oscar winner has closed a deal with Disney to write and eventually direct a pitch he made that relates to famed explorer Charles Darwin.

Details were few and far between on the pitch, but it’s an adventure story about the British nationalist and geologist, whose work led to major breakthroughs in the fields of natural selection and evolution. It’s possible that the story could center on Darwin’s intrepid voyage to chart the coastline of South America, which took the form of a perilous five-year voyage on the Hms Beagle. Outside of that trip, which established him as one of the »

- Isaac Feldberg

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Disney, Stephen Gaghan Plan Adventure Film Around Charles Darwin

23 June 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Disney has closed a deal to acquire an untitled pitch that Oscar-winning Traffic scribe Stephen Gaghan will write to direct. Scant details were available, but I’m told that it is an adventure film involving Charles Darwin, the British naturalist and geologist who made breakthroughs in the areas of evolution and natural selection. Darwin had a bit of that Indiana Jones-like swashbuckling spirit in him, and in his formative years he took a daring five-year voyage… »

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Charles Darwin Becomes A Disney Hero?

23 June 2015 8:45 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Disney Pictures has acquire an untitled pitch from Oscar-winning "Traffic" scribe Stephen Gaghan which he will write and potentially direct.

The story is said to be a tentpole adventure film involving Charles Darwin, the British scientist whose theory of evolution changed science forever.

In his earlier years, Darwin took a daring five year voyage in 1831 to chart the coastline of South America. He made many discoveries along the way.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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‘Escobar: Paradise Lost’ Review: Benicio Del Toro Shines as Cocaine Kingpin

22 June 2015 1:27 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Most drug-war tales play in major keys, the action unfolding between nations and institutions, pitting cartel leadership against police and politicians, lawbreakers against lawmakers. But in “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” director Andrea Di Stefano (making his big-screen directing debut after years of acting in his native Italy and abroad) shuns the approach of films like Steven Soderbergh‘s “Traffic” and books like Don Winslow’s “The Power of the Dog” to tell a story where the drug war isn’t international but interpersonal, where the action plays out across patios and around dinner tables, not over borders or in the corridors of power. »

- James Rocchi

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Sicario Gets A New Poster And Trailer – Stars Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro And Josh Brolin

19 June 2015 5:32 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

After receiving rave reviews out of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Lionsgate has unveiled the latest trailer, as well as a new poster and three new images for Denis Villeneuve’s highly-anticipated cartel thriller, Sicario.

When Arizona FBI agent and kidnap-response-team leader Kate Macer (Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt) uncovers a Mexican cartel’s house of death, her shocking find leads to profound consequences on both a personal and global level. Kate is recruited to join a covert black-ops mission headed by a mysterious Colombian operative known only as Alejandro (Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Best Supporting Actor, Traffic, 2000) along with special agent Matt Graver (Academy Award nominee Josh Brolin, Best Supporting Actor, Milk, 2008).

Even as Kate tries to convince herself she’s on a hunt for justice, she is thrust into the dark heart of a secret battleground that has swept up ruthless cartels, kill-crazy assassins, clandestine American spies and thousands of innocents. »

- Michelle McCue

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Sicario (2015) Movie Trailer: Emily Blunt Battles Mexican Drug Cartels

18 June 2015 11:21 AM, PDT | Film-Book | See recent Film-Book news »

Sicario Trailer. Denis Villeneuve‘s Sicario (2015) movie trailer stars Jon Bernthal, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Victor Garber. Sicario‘s plot synopsis: “In Mexico, Sicario means hitman. In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elite government task force official to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past, the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive.”

This looks like an exciting drama. I immediately thought of The Bridge and Traffic when I began watching this trailer. Emily Blunt is center stage and she owns ever scene. Her character seems to have gotten over her head with her “allies.”

Sicario also stars Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernández, Sarah Minnich, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Alan D. Purwin, »

- Rollo Tomasi

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Sicario Trailer Featuring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro

18 June 2015 9:20 AM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

The first trailer for Denis Villeneuve's crime drama Sicario is now available and it's got some serious Traffic vibes. Sicario stars Emily Blunt as idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer, who quickly finds herself out of her depth when an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) enlists her help with America's war on drugs. The thing is, this particular arena of warfare is taking place in a lawless and violent area south of the border in Mexico, a world which Macer is woefully unprepared to deal with. The first look at Sicario, which translates to hitman, is certainly an attention-grabber, even if it gives away what feels like two-and-a-half acts of the movie. I'm more than happy watching Blunt play a fish out of water in a violent, dog-eat-dog war on drugs in a foreign land; I don't need to have all the plot twists laid out for me. »

- Collider Staff

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Fictional Frights: Sean Keller’s “Red Noise”

5 June 2015 3:02 PM, PDT | iconsoffright.com | See recent Icons of Fright news »

Sean Keller is a jack of all trades, and if you disagree with that statement, chances are that you don’t know the guy. One helluva singer/songwriter, a screenwriter who has written for horror legends Dario Argento (Giallo) and John Carpenter (the Great L.A. Gothic, which sadly fell through), Nicolas Cage (Keller co-wrote one of Cage’s best films in recent years, Rage), and is continually working and writing with fervor. Did we mention he was also on Jeopardy once?

While we were planning on originally kicking off our Fictional Frights column with my drugged out race to the death, “I’m Tired of Dying,” when Icons of Fright friend Keller sent us one of the most rock n’roll horror stories around, “Red Noise“, we couldn’t resist but to kick things off with one hell of a story. So, put on your leather boots, dust off »

- Jerry Smith

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Oscar-Nominated Film Series: Phenomenal Allen as Too-Good-to-Be-True U.S. V.P. Candidate in Highly Watchable But Ultimately Coy Political Thriller

26 May 2015 5:31 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'The Contender' movie hero: Joan Allen as the virtuous Sen. Laine Hanson. 'The Contender' movie: Exceptional Joan Allen in intriguing but ultimately wimpy political drama "Principles only mean anything when we stick by them when they're inconvenient," says Senator Laine Hanson, played by Joan Allen in Rod Lurie's The Contender. Senator Hanson should know. In Lurie's political drama, the poor Democratic senator is grilled by a Republican inquisitor with a bad hairdo (Gary Oldman) who wants to prevent at all costs her being confirmed as the next Vice President of the United States. Even if that means destroying Hanson's political career by making public the senator's alleged participation in an orgy during her college days.* Now, why such hatred? Well, the Republican watchdog is certain that the U.S. president (Jeff Bridges) has chosen Sen. Hanson because of her gender instead of her qualifications for the job. Adding insult to injury, »

- Andre Soares

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Cannes: 21 Films That Stood Out at the 2015 Festival

25 May 2015 11:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Variety critics Scott Foundas, Justin Chang, Peter Debruge, Guy Lodge, Jay Weissberg and Maggie Lee weighed in with their choices for the 21 best films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (listed in alphabetical order):

1. “Amy.” British director Asif Kapadia followed up his 2010 “Senna” with this even more daring and revealing portrait of the brilliant but tragic jazz diva Amy Winehouse. Drawing on a wealth of professional and user-generated video, Kapadia again eschews the usual talking-heads interview format to keep WInehouse front and center for two harrowing hours, during which we come to understand how thoroughly the troubled singer lived her life under the camera’s relentless and unforgiving gaze. The result is an unforgettable portrait of the cult of celebrity in the iPhone era. (Scott Foundas)

2. “Arabian Nights.” Even this year’s most impressive competition films couldn’t match Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes’ magnum opus for brazen ambition and conceptual heft. »

- Variety Staff

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Cannes: Will ‘The Assassin’ Slay the Competition?

23 May 2015 5:28 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Given the number of films in competition (19), the correspondingly infinite number of possible award/talent configurations, and the sheer impossibility of guessing at the individual and collective tastes of nine jurors, predicting the major award winners at the Cannes Film Festival is obviously a fool’s errand — and one that our critics on the Croisette have gladly undertaken.

Guy Lodge

Palme d’Or: “The Assassin.” Word on the street — and among British bookies — is that my own favorite film of the fest, Yorgos Lanthimos’ high-wire relationship fantasy “The Lobster,” is the one to beat, though whether that’s based on honest hearsay or a projection of the Coen brothers’ taste for dryer-than-dust comedy, I can’t say. As much as it would thrill me to see such a singular combination of concept-y formalism and perverse heart-tugging take the prize, I have a hard time seeing it as the unifying consensus »

- Guy Lodge and Justin Chang

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Bryan Cranston’s Thriller ‘The Infiltrator’ Sells to Broad Green Pictures

21 May 2015 3:42 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Broad Green Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to Brad Furman’s “The Infiltrator,” which stars Bryan Cranston as an undercover U.S. Customs agent who became a pivotal player for drug lords cleaning their dirty cash. Bgp announced the deal on Thursday after negotiating the terms at Cannes, and said it plans to add the film to its growing 2016 slate. “The Infiltrator,” which Ellen Brown Furman adapted from the autobiography by Robert Mazur, co-stars  Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds”), John Leguizamo (“Chef”), Benjamin Bratt (“Traffic”), Yul Vazquez (“Captain Phillips”), and Oscar nominee Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”). Also Read: Jon Hamm »

- Jeff Sneider

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Cannes 2015: Denis Villeneuve’s narco-thriller ‘Sicario’ has mass appeal

21 May 2015 11:11 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Sicario: Bring Out the Popcorn

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Written by Taylor Sheridan

USA, 2015

Denis Villeneuve’s narco-thriller Sicario is likely the most broadly accessible film in this year’s competition, a very watchable, schematically Hollywoodian production more at home at the Oscars than at Cannes. It stars, tragically, Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer and, unsurprisingly, Benicio Del Toro as special drugs advisor Alejandro. Kate is recruited from her hostage crisis unit to a secretive anti-drugs mission at the margins of legality following a gruesome, finely crafted opening sequence in which she leads the bust of a safe house full of rows of executed hostages concealed into the walls. Gradually she clues in as to the nature of the mission – her role is merely procedural, as the presence of an FBI agent is apparently obligatory as a front for Alejandro and rogue operation head Matt (Josh Brolin »

- Zornitsa

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Review: 'Sicario' simmers as it indicts the fallacy of the drug war we can't win

19 May 2015 7:55 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Cannes — In 2001 Benicio Del Toro won an Oscar for his portrayal of a Mexican police officer attempting to take down the drug cartels in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.” Fourteen years later he’s starring in another film about North America’s “drug war,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” and the picture makes the disheartening argument that things may have actually gotten worse. The film begins during an FBI operation in Phoenix, Arizona where veteran agent Kate Macy (a superb Emily Blunt) is leading a Swat team to take down a hostage situation. They soon discover a home with no hostages to be found but over 20 dead bodies hidden within its walls, all victims of a Mexican drug cartel. Kate is shaken by the murders enough that she reluctantly signs on to be the FBI liaison for what she’s told is a DEA and Dept. of Justice task force. This group »

- Gregory Ellwood

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