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Tom McCarthy’s new film “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation in 2002 into the priest pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church, is making a splash at the Venice Film Festival where it world premieres this evening after playing positively for the press this morning. Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James star in the ensemble drama as the Globe’s Spotlight Team. They are assigned by a new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), with investigating allegations of pedophilia. Spotlight editor is Walter “Robby” Robinson, played by Michael Keaton, in his first role after “Birdman.”
You were raised Irish Catholic and you went to Boston College, so you were educated by Jesuits. How did your background play into the film?
It certainly prompted my interest. When I was approached by Blye Faust and Nicole Rocklin approached with this story and the life rights to the reporters, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Since launching in 2011 through a partnership between theater chains AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group, distributor Open Road Films has amassed a sui generis blend of often genre-leaning product that stands apart from the competition. Movies like Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey” (longtime readers will recall my affinity for that, the best film of 2012) and Steven Soderbergh’s “Side Effects” were favorably received by critics, while others like Jon Favreau’s “Chef” were hits as well. But none truly flirted with the awards season until last year’s “Nightcrawler.”
Nevertheless, Dan Gilroy’s broadcast news thriller came up short, too. It picked up surprise notices from the producers and screen actors guilds and was, for obvious reasons, adored by press and critics groups. But only the writers branch of the Academy spoke up for it come Oscar time. It was a scathing film, one that packed a heavy and cynical punch — perhaps too cynical. »
- Kristopher Tapley
It’s not often that a director manages to follow his worst film with his best, but even if he weren’t rebounding from “The Cobbler,” Tom McCarthy would have a considerable achievement on his hands with “Spotlight,” a superbly controlled and engrossingly detailed account of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the widespread pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church. Very much in the “All the President’s Men”/“Zodiac” mold of slow-building, quietly gripping journalistic procedurals, this measured and meticulous ensemble drama sifts through a daunting pile of evidence to expose not just the Church’s horrific cycles of abuse and concealment, but also its uniquely privileged position in a society that failed its victims at myriad personal, spiritual and institutional levels. The result may be more sobering and scrupulous than it is cathartic or revelatory, but with its strong narrative drive and fine cast, »
- Justin Chang
We recently shared the news that Bone Tomahawk would be the closing night film at Fantastic Fest, with Kurt Russell and Matthew Fox in attendance. Typically festival films will get picked up closer to or following their screening, but we have news that Rlj Entertainment has already scooped up North American distribution rights to this horror western:
Press Release - Los Angeles, August 4, 2015 – Rlj Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: Rlje) has acquired all U.S. & Canadian rights to the Caliber Media western Bone Tomahawk. Written and Directed by S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk stars Kurt Russell (Tombstone, Hateful Eight), Patrick Wilson (Insidious, TV’s “Fargo”), Matthew Fox (Alex Cross, TV’S “Lost”), Lili Simmons (“True Detective”, “Banshee”), and Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Olive Kitteridge). Mark Ward, Rlj Entertainment’s Chief Acquisitions Officer, made the announcement today. Bone Tomahawk marks the first title acquired under the Rlj Entertainment brand. Rlj Entertainment, Inc. previously »
- Jonathan James
Today we have the official trailer for the upcoming "Spotlight" film, starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup, and John Slattery. Check it out below. The movie is based on a story by the Boston Globe that investigates the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of its pedophile priests in Massachusetts. Boston Globe's team of reporters spent a year interviewing victims and reviewing thousands of pages of documents and discovered years of cover-up by Church leadership. Their reporting eventually led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who had hidden years of serial abuse by other priests and opened the floodgates to other revelations of molestation and cover-ups around the world that still reverberate today. "Spotlight" is directed by Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) and is set to hit theaters on November 6th. Trailer: »
Each year, a lot of filmmakers make a lot of movies. Some of them are noteworthy, some become celebrated award-winners, while a rare one or two enter into the annals of history – taking place alongside great works by artists such as Alan J. Pakula. Part of the fun is predicting which film – if any – will fall into the latter category, and this year, all eyes are on Spotlight.
It’s not an outlandish idea to compare the upcoming drama to Pakula’s legendary All The President’s Men, since the subject matter shares the theme of presenting a fictionalized account of some of the most important and remarkable journalism of the 20th century. Where Pakula’s Oscar winner focused on The Washington Post’s work on the Watergate scandal, Spotlight depicts the work of The Boston Globe in uncovering the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal of 2001.
In a further connection, »
- Sarah Myles
Tom McCarthy has become a familiar figure over the course of his career in several arenas, whether as a performer on Syriana and HBO’s The Wire, or as a writer for films such as Pixar’s Up and Million Dollar Arm. It is as a filmmaker, however, that McCarthy has gained the most prominence, receiving critical acclaim for his filmmaking debut The Station Agent, which was matched by the praise for his follow-ups The Visitor and Win Win. With his last film hitting theatres early this year, McCarthy immediately got back behind the camera for his next film, titled Spotlight. The film’s synopsis is as follows.
The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.
McCarthy once again takes on directing and writing duties for the film, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Related: And the Oscar may go to … 40 key movies in contention for 2016 awards
Oscar-nominated actor/writer/director Tom McCarthy was on a roll as a film-maker after The Station Agent, The Visitor and Win Win all won rave reviews. He faltered horribly with the Adam Sandler-starring comedy The Cobbler, but his latest, Spotlight, which he also co-wrote, looks set to haul him back on track.
Continue reading »
- Nigel M Smith
"How do you say 'no' to God?" Open Road Films has debuted a trailer for Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, a newsroom thriller about the Boston Globe journalists who investigated and uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation in the Catholic Church. Oscar-nominated actor Michael Keaton leads the way, but the ensemble cast includes Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup. This is premiering at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals this fall, and looks like a fascinating journalistic thriller, reminding us how much work goes into breaking stories. Take a look. Here's the first official trailer for Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, found on YouTube: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. Spotlight is directed by the very talented actor-filmmaker Tom McCarthy, »
- Alex Billington
After a critically acclaimed start with films like “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” actor/director Thomas McCarthy, has hit a few bumps in the road while diversifying his career. The fact is, McCarthy has taken risks. He’s written at Pixar (“Up”) and taken on some challenges (“Win/Win” features some terrific performances, but is a uneven effort), but few would argue that his would-be whimsical fairy tale comedy “The Cobbler” starring Adam Sandler wasn’t a huge misguided folly (and actually, don’t put the blame on Sandler, either). Read More: Interview: Thomas McCarthy Grapples With 'Win Win' But if there are those looking for a McCarthy comeback in a big way, his upcoming picture “Spotlight” looks like the real deal. Co-written by Josh Singer (“The West Wing”) and McCarthy, “Spotlight” stars Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton in a true story about a team »
- Edward Davis
Russell, a powerful Georgia politician, took Johnson under his wing when he was elected to the senate, but ultimately faced off against him on the issue of civil rights.
Reiner will direct from a script by Joey Hartstone, which follows Johnson’s ascension from the poor hill country of West Texas to the corridors of power in Washington. He was thrust into the presidency by the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy and the passage of civil rights legislation.
“Lbj” is produced by Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings, Castle Rock Entertainment and Star Thrower Entertainment. Producers are Reiner, Matthew George, Liz Glotzer, Michael R. Williams, Tim White and Trevor White.
- Dave McNary
The privileged Manhattan milieu is reminiscent of early Whit Stillman, but the storyline is closer to “The Line of Beauty” or “Brideshead Revisited” — surely it’s no accident that the most troubled character here is named Sebastian — in “Those People.” Joey Kuhn’s feature debut is impressively polished, but its burnished surface is more highly worked than the unevenly satisfying drama beneath. This tale of unrequited love among young denizens of the Upper East Side should nonetheless prove a popular item on the gay fest circuit, with niche home format sales assured and limited theatrical exposure a possibility.
Charlie (Jonathan Gordon) is finishing art school, but he seems primarily occupied as usual with the needs of longtime best friend Sebastian (Jason Ralph), the fulcrum of a clique that also includes Ursula (Britt Lower), London (Meghann Fahy) and “token straight boy” Wyatt (Chris Conroy). Sebastian is a reckless party boy who »
- Dennis Harvey
The Hateful Eight isn’t the only Kurt Russell Western on the horizon, as the Tombstone star is also set for a return to the genre – albeit with a horror twist – in first-time director S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk, and you can check out the first poster here…
After an outlaw unknowingly leads a band of cannibalistic Troglodytes into the peaceful western town of Bright Hope, the monsters kidnap several settlers, including the wife of a local rancher. Despite his injured leg the rancher joins a small rescue party with the sheriff, his aging deputy and a strong-willed gunslinger. What follows is a journey into hell on earth as the posse comes to realise it is up against a foe whose savagery knows no bounds. The film takes place in the mid 1800’s around the border of what is now Texas and New Mexico.
Bone Tomahawk sees Russell joined »
- Gary Collinson
[Read my more exhaustive "Killing Jesus" set report here.] Ouarzazate, Morocco. It's late October in central Morocco and Haaz Sleiman is worried about crucifixion. Because context is important, it should be noted that Sleiman is sitting in a tent on the set of National Geographic's "Killing Jesus" and he's playing Jesus. We're deep into production on the adaptation of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard book, but director Christopher Menaul has saved perhaps the hardest scene for late in the shoot. "It's a messed up way to die," Sleiman reflects. "It's probably the most gruesome awful way to die and comparing to any other kind of torture it's like the ultimate because it's also humiliating. They have you walking naked and dragging the beam. I mean the thought of me as Haaz walking with a beam naked, nothing... It would mortified me. I mean I would be terrified. So imagine someone actually really had to go through that. »
- Daniel Fienberg
It's been six months since Tom McCarthy's latest, "The Cobbler," was excoriated by critics in Toronto, but the sting has yet to wear off. What Grantland's Wesley Morris called a "crime against cinema" currently has a pitiful 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (it's at C- on Criticwire and at 54 Metacritic), and while the film's star, Adam Sandler, has ample experience with reviewers' sharpened pencils, McCarthy's failure here comes as quite a shock. Update: Image Entertainment opened "The Cobbler" simultaneously in 20 theaters and on Video on Demand, scoring just $24,000 with a tiny per screen average of just $1,200. Read: Arthouse Audit: 'It Follows' is Horror Hit, and Tests Radius's VOD Plans As a writer-director, the former actor's three previous films ("The Station Agent," "The Visitor," and "Win Win") comprise a loose trilogy that impressed critics with their nuanced observations of everyday life. »
- Matt Brennan
Chicago – The newest Adam Sandler film that doesn’t feature him dressed like a chubby middle schooler is really bad, but in a special way. Similarly, it is an instant classic in the legacy of bizarre disasters, a footnote in writer/director history that must be witnessed to be fully understood.
Part of its perplexity is how the film is always in grasp as it shows itself, and how you can reach out and try to bring it back home, but then it explodes. This is one of those films where its flaws are more believable as a conspiracy than a misjudgment. Someone, please, let the police know that writer/director Tom McCarthy is missing, and someone has his shoes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Some directors should just stick to realism. Director Thomas McCarthy‘s best films, “The Station Agent” and “Win Win,” might tread toward the whimsical, but they mostly traffic in recognizable characters in relatable situations. But then there’s “The Visitor,” in which a constipated old white guy learns to love life with the help of some accommodating people of color, and you can feel the sweetness overpowering the filmmaker’s better instincts. Cloying as “The Visitor” was, it barely scratches the surface of wrongheadedness, cutesiness and borderline racism on display in “The Cobbler,” a would-be comedy that clumsily combines magic shoes, »
- Alonso Duralde
I so, so wanted The Cobbler to be good. Adam Sandler has been on a disappointing streak of late — to put it mildly — and director Tom McCarthy seemed like someone who could help turn things around. The filmmaker specializes in mild-mannered, often charming indie comedy-dramas (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win-Win); his work doesn’t set the world on fire, but it’s clear he brings great care and sensitivity to it. Maybe, I thought, he could help Sandler connect to something other than shtick, or keep him from sleepwalking through another paycheck. Well, I was wrong. Or, actually, half-right, but still mostly wrong. Throughout The Cobbler, Sandler himself seems more invested than he’s been for a long time. But the rest of this ghastly movie lets him down.The idea, in its broad strokes, is promising: Sandler plays Max Simkin, a Lower East Side cobbler who discovers the »
- Bilge Ebiri
There are good movies, bad movies, and many, many others in that gray area in-between. One might call The Cobbler a noble failure, but I’m not sorry I saw it. I so admire Tom McCarthy’s work as a writer-director (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win) that I can’t begrudge him a misfire…and his new movie is anything but dull. Adam Sandler—yes, that Adam Sandler---stars as the world-weary owner of a shoe-repair shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He inherited the place, and the profession, from his father and his father before him, but he has no passion for his work. The barber next door (Steve Buscemi) tries to cheer and encourage him, without success, and a local...
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- Leonard Maltin
Shoe Be Doo: McCarthy’s Magical Realism Has No Sole
Actor Thomas McCarthy has developed a solid reputation as an indie film director thanks to his first two films The Station Agent (2003) and The Visitor (2007). While his third outing, 2011’s Win Win, showcased a tendency for schmaltzy cliché, it’s a far cry from his most recent offering, The Cobbler. Headlining Adam Sandler, many expected this to be one of Sandler’s infrequent attempts at dramatic prowess, somewhere along the lines of his surprise turns in Punch Drunk Love, or even Spanglish…or even Men, Women & Children. Instead, McCarthy doggedly pursues a broad comedic tone, something that recalls old Jerry Lewis vehicles, except with a lethargic, bored star. Resolving a series of lazy dramatic conflicts, everyone involved coasts through this torporific exercise with grim determination.
A magical sewing machine that was inherited by one of his ancestors in the Lower »
- Nicholas Bell
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