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8 items from 2014

Ben Barnes & Leighton Meester Get Gritty in First 'By the Gun' Trailer

15 October 2014 5:15 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

"You want in this family, you gotta pay the price." After starring in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, actor Ben Barnes hasn't had the best luck with his film choices. He's the lead in the continuously delayed The Seventh Son, and he seems stuck in a rut if forgettable fantasy or sparsely seen films. Maybe there's a chance that could change with By the Gun, a gritty crime thriller set in Boston that sees Barnes entering the world of the Italian mafia. Leighton Meester doesn't seem to be offering much here though, especially with one particularly terrible line delivery on display that we hope is fixed in the final cut. Watch? Here's the first trailer for James Mottern's By the Gun, originally from Yahoo: By the Gun is directed by James Mottern (Trucker) and written by Emilio Mauro. Nick Tortano (Ben Barnes) is a smooth-talking, ambitious criminal from the streets of Boston. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Watch: First Trailer For Crime Pic 'By The Gun' Starring Ben Barnes, Leighton Meester, Harvey Keitel & Toby Jones

15 October 2014 11:00 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Every now and then a bunch of people get together to make a movie and it lands on our doorstep with little to no warning, and such is the case with "By The Gun." We sorta didn't even know this existed, and frankly, given the names involved, we thought this would've appeared on our radar sooner. Guess not, but at any rate, the first trailer is here. Ben Barnes, Leighton Meester, Harvey Keitel, Toby Jones, and that guy from "The Town" all star in this French/Italian production of a Boston-based story about a young Italian American kid named Nick. He falls in with the aging Boston mafia and restores the organization to its former, fearsome glory. But of course, his rise to the top can only be followed by the inevitable fall, and he won't be able to escape his actions. The real question is whether or not "By The Gun »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Can ‘True Detective’ Star Michelle Monaghan Land an Oscar Nom for ‘Fort Bliss’?

22 September 2014 7:00 AM, PDT | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Michelle Monaghan, one of the most underappreciated actresses working today, has starred in two films — both tiny indies — in which she portrays a character employed in a stereotypically masculine job who is struggling to juggle her work responsibilities with the stereotypically feminine responsibility of raising a young child.

The first, which came out six years ago, was James Mottern‘s Trucker, and she deserved a best actress Oscar nomination for her work. (Don’t take my word for it; the late Roger Ebert wrote at the time, “Her performance clearly deserves an Oscar nomination.”) Unfortunately, though, despite the best efforts of the film’s tiny distributor, Monterey Media, the film never quite made it onto the radar of the Academy’s acting branch.

The second, which was released in New York over the weekend, is Claudia MyersFort Bliss, in which Monaghan is equally »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Film Review: ‘Fort Bliss’

19 September 2014 2:59 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The difficulty of being a woman in a man’s world — namely, the U.S. military — is the clear takeaway from “Fort Bliss,” . But it’s hard not to watch writer-director Claudia Myers’ solid, affecting drama without picking up on a similarly bothersome subtext about the dearth of substantial mainstream roles for an actress as good as Michelle Monaghan. Chronically underserved by Hollywood (with the arguable recent exception of HBO’s “True Detective”), she gives a typically fine, flinty and effortlessly moving performance in a low-budget indie vehicle that deserves broader exposure than it’s likely to receive in limited theatrical and VOD release.

A prologue set in Afghanistan’s Helmand province offers a brief, persuasive survey of the horrors of war and immediately establishes how well equipped Staff Sgt. Maggie Swann (Monaghan) is to deal with them, as she calmly and efficiently removes a deadly piece of shrapnel from »

- Justin Chang

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Cannes 2014: find out which films have been picked up for U.S. distribution

16 May 2014 4:57 PM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent - Inside Movies news »

• Lionsgate has purchased the North American rights for Dark Blood, the last film starring River Phoenix (My Own Private Idaho) before he passed away in 1993. Directed and written by George Sluizer (The Vanishing), the upcoming thriller follows the story of Boy (Phoenix), a young widower living as a hermit on a nuclear testing site in the desert. While traveling solo on his “second” honeymoon, Boy discovers a stranded Hollywood couple. Desiring the woman, Boy decides to hold them captive because he finds himself under the impression that he can create a better world with her. The upcoming drama, set to be released via VOD, »

- Pamela Gocobachi

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'God Only Knows' with Leighton Meester Lands at Millennium Entertainment

15 May 2014 5:16 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Millennium Entertainment's CEO Bill Lee announced today that the company has acquired all U.S. rights to James Mottern's (Trucker) crime-thriller God Only Knows starring Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia, The Words), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl, The Judge), Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, Bad Lieutenant), Toby Jones (The Hunger Games), Kenny Wormald (Footloose), and Slaine (The Town). Written by Emilio Mauro (the upcoming Fox series The Middleman executive produced by Ben Affleck), God Only Knows was produced by Matthew E. Chausse and was shot in Rhode Island and Boston last fall.

Ben Barnes plays Nick, an ambitious young man running with the Boston crime syndicate. Once on the inside he realizes that the glory days of the Mafia are long gone. Behind his boss's (Keitel) back he decides to strike out on his own and expand the business. Seemingly on top of the world with more money than »

- MovieWeb

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Millennium Nabs U.S. Rights to Ben Barnes Drama ‘God Only Knows’ (Exclusive)

14 May 2014 9:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Millennium has picked up U.S. rights to thriller “God Only Knows,” starring Ben Barnes as a Boston criminal.

Leighton Meester, Harvey Keitel, Toby Jones, Kenny Wormald and Slaine also star. “God Only Knows” was produced by Matthew Chausse and was shot in Rhode Island and Boston last fall.

James Mottern (“Trucker”) directed from a script by Emilio Mauro, whose upcoming Fox series “The Middleman” is exec produced by Ben Affleck.

Story centers on an ambitious young man running with the Boston crime syndicate who realizes that the glory days of the Mafia are long gone. Without telling his boss (played by Keitel), he decides to strike out on his own and expand the business — putting himself and everyone he loves in grave danger.

Millennium Entertainment’s Tristen Tuckfield negotiated the deal with Nate Bolden of Xyz Films and Adam Davids. Synchronicity Entertainment, a division of The Solution Entertainment Group, »

- Dave McNary

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'True Detective's' Michelle Monaghan: Robert Downey Jr. was her improv guru

10 February 2014 | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

For someone having an accidental career, Michelle Monaghan -- Maggie on HBO's "True Detective" -- is doing pretty well.

The 37-year-old actress grew up in a town of 700, Winthrop, Iowa, and daydreamed of becoming a journalist.

"I grew up loving current events," Monaghan tells Zap2it. "You grow up looking out when there are not a lot of other things going on in your hometown."

Monaghan lived in town, but her family had a farm and grew corn and beans. Her summer vacations were spent detasseling corn.

"I would go through rows and snap it off for $5 an hour," she says. Monaghan left Winthrop for Chicago, where she put herself through college by modeling for catalogs.

"This acting thing landed in my lap," she says. "They were looking for an actress on 'Young Americans' on The WB. Ian Somerhalder and Kate Bosworth came out of there."

At that point, »


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