There’s an early scene in “Magic Mike XXL” that hints at what this much-ballyhooed sequel woulda, coulda, shoulda been. Mike Lane, played by the well nigh irresistible Channing Tatum, is alone in his furniture workshop.
Touching and wise, cute and occasionally cloying, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is a dramedy that taps into both real teen angst and behavior, and our fantasies of what we hope teens are thinking and feeling and doing.
A critic enjoys celebrating great theater. Just as a playwright, the actors and everyone else involved with producing a show want it to be a magical and memorable experience for the audience, a critic simply wants a play to do something peculiar, something worth writing about.
"Dope" is the most daring comedy of the summer, a funny film that hunts for laughs in the everyday menaces that face black teens growing up in the corner of Los Angeles named Inglewood, in the neighborhood its residents call "The Bottom."
There are few better ways right now to spend 80 movie minutes than to see "Iris," a delightful eye-opener about life, love, statement eyeglasses, bracelets the size of tricycle tires and the art of making the grandest of entrances.
French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent earns a "Gandhi" length, disjointed and arty film biography in "Saint Laurent," a patience-testing period piece that skips through the designer's glory years, catches up with him near the addled end and fails to deliver details of his greatest trauma.
To the lengthening list of well-mannered films aimed at moviegoers who have reached an age when, to quote Shakespeare, "the heyday in the blood is tame," add "I'll See You in My Dreams," a modest, quietly touching portrait of an older woman radiantly embodied by Blythe Danner.
"When Marnie Was There," the delicate, evocative new Japanese animated film from Studio Ghibli, does not fall neatly into any conventional narrative category. But that doesn't get in the way of it being visually spectacular.
Next time you sit down for a cup of tea, take in the aromatic steam while it's brewing. The smoky flavor of hojicha, a drink made from green tea that's been smoked over charcoal, might suggest the aroma of a woodsy campfire
Have you ever noticed how tough it is to sweeten your favorite iced beverage using regular granulated white sugar? You can stir and stir, but the sugar tends not to dissolve and you're left with a barely sweetened drink.
Echoes of the hilarious ineptitude of Woody Allen’s “Take the Money and Run” and the historic kookiness of “Forrest Gump” turn up throughout “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” starring Sweden’s beloved comic actor Robert Gustafsson. It’s a hoot and a half.
Hawaii is supposedly the most recently inhabited place on Earth, the last place on the planet that human beings could discover. Hawaiian historian Herb Kane liked to say that everyone in Hawaii came from somewhere else — including Hawaiians.
Whether or not you’re grappling with guilt after reading recent articles about labor practices and working conditions at nail salons, knowing how to do your own manicure and pedicure is a useful skill.
Most people reach for prepared salad dressings because on busy weeknights they just can't handle the thought of whipping up one more thing. Because after cooking a main course and some sides and tossing together a salad, who has the time and energy to make a dressing?
Veterinarians are beginning to preach the gospel of gardening — primarily how organic fruits and vegetables can be used to improve the health of family pets. Everything from carrots to leafy vegetables and fruit can be added to the cat or dog dish. That saves money on pet food, too.
Why is the allure of the bad boy so powerful that even some of the most secure of females can’t seem to resist? Apparently, it has ever been, as we see in the film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s prescient novel “Far from the Madding Crowd.”
In the mid-1960s, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were working low-level jobs at the Shepperton film studios outside London. Infected by the restlessness of the times and by their own youthful ambition, they came up with an inspired idea for a movie.
It is best to just let yourself get lost in the "Clouds of Sils Maria" for a little while. Beautiful as they build then snake through the Engadin Valley in the Swiss Alps, they become maddening as they cloak the emotions and ambitions of a middle-aged actress and a rising young star.
There's nothing like a cappella, especially when accompanied by musical instruments. That's the case in "Pitch Perfect 2," and although that makes the a cappella not exactly authentic, the movie compensates with a fullness of sound as well as spirit, plus an off-kilter sense of humor that keeps the laughs coming. As of today, this is the most delightful movie out there.
When a request came in for a recipe for a pumpkin crunch dessert, I thought, “Finally, an easy one.” Even after I got to the caveat — a pumpkin crunch that does not use a boxed cake mix, please — I thought, “How hard could that be?”
Except for one family member, the Carbones, a clan of goat-herding gangsters in Francesco Munzi's film "Black Souls," belong to the 'Ndrangheta, Calabria's mafia, based in the rocky climes of southern Italy.
With 130 million albums sold, the Backstreet Boys are the best-selling boy band in history — not counting the Beatles, of course. But as member AJ McLean wonders, "What do you do when you're a full-grown man in a boy band?"
"Hot Pursuit" has all the trappings of a buddy comedy except that whole comedy part. The pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, like the recent Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard," is predicated on the distance between the two in height and culture.
An elegant and captivating piece of corporate promotion in the guise of a documentary, Frederic Tcheng's "Dior and I" unfolds like an episode of "Project Runway" with better clothes and bigger budgets, or perhaps a Christopher Guest movie without a sense of humor.
I’ll be back,” the line Arnold Schwarzenegger first uttered more than 30 years ago in that indelible manly monotone, belongs to the Terminator, of course. But it also might as well be the official slogan of the summer movie season.
The movie site Fandango recently checked in with its massive audience base to see what the summer's most anticipated film might be. It probably won't be a surprise that the winner was "Avengers: Age of Ultron," coming to thousands of theaters this week.
Although she works in one of the most popular vacation spots on the planet, "Hawaii Five-0" star Grace Park sees Hawaii as less of a paradise and just the place where she works through numerous pages of the script — often loaded with big stunts and special effects — before the sun goes down.
Faith-based films have had an uneven record at the box office. The latest movie attempting to tap this market, "Little Boy," is an often appealing, sometimes cloying nostalgic drama set during World War II.
The century-old open wound of Gallipoli, Australia's ill-fated entry into World War I, makes a vivid and grim backdrop for Russell Crowe's "The Water Diviner," a sensitive and sentimental story about a grieving father looking for the bodies of the three sons he lost there.
The two main characters in Dave Boyle's labyrinthine neo-noir, "Man From Reno," make an oddball pair of sleuths. Aki Akahori (Ayako Fujitani) is a renowned Japanese mystery writer, hiding out from the paparazzi in San Francisco.
Hollywood long ago ceded "love that stands the test of time" to the realm of science fiction and fantasy, so "The Age of Adaline" falls neatly into a genre that includes "The Time Traveler's Wife," "About Time," and even "Somewhere in Time."
The perfect 21st-century female looks like a million bucks but costs a great deal more. In "Ex Machina," Alex Garland's slyly spooky futuristic shocker about old and new desires, the female in question is a robot called Ava, a name suggestive of both Adam and Eve.
Not since "The Blair Witch Project" in 1999 has a horror film taken such a creative approach to conjure scares as "Unfriended." It's a cautionary tale of a group of friends who become the target of an unseen cyber-entity starving for revenge.
Michael Finkel's journalism career, torpedoed by a partly fabricated story, had just bottomed out when a phone call came asking why a man accused of murdering his wife and three children in Oregon was identifying himself "Mike Finkel, New York Times."
Jack White looked like he could use a break. Throughout his Wednesday night show in Honolulu, though he occasionally cracked a smile and appeared completely absorbed in his music and bandleading, he also seemed to have a hellhound on his trail — some anxious thought pushing him to put his Honolulu show together in an antic, unpredictable, partially improvised fashion.
In 2001, a stranger-than-fiction "true story" emerged in local papers about a 28-year-old Japanese woman who flew from Japan to Minnesota and bussed to North Dakota to search for the buried money from Joel and Ethan Coen's 1996 film "Fargo."
Don’t underestimate Robert Kenner’s “Merchants of Doubt.” It may sound like a standard-issue advocacy documentary concerned, as so many are, with the perils of global warming, but it’s a lot more than that.
The nameless, shape-shifting horror that stalks the blond, 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe) in David Robert Mitchell's cool, controlled horror film, "It Follows," might be described as the very incarnation of paranoia.
The zombie movie “Dead Rising: Watchtower” might hold rewards for people who have spent hours immersed in the video game series on which it’s based. Judged as a free-standing film, though, it’s a time waster devoid of the wit and depth of other walking-dead fare currently available — see, for instance, the new CW series “iZombie.”
As high-spirited as its title suggests, "Wild Tales" opens on a savage note and ends, well, that's for you to find out. In between its shocker start and equally startling windup, this Argentine anthology offers up a scabrous, often unsettlingly funny look at human behavior in extremis.
At one point in "The Gunman," the new Sean Penn geopolitical thriller, our star goes surfing. It's supposed to show he has a reckless side, since he's surfing in unsafe territory, but it seems to have a larger, much more obvious purpose: To show us that Penn, at 54, is ripped.
The intriguingly unorthodox, foreign-language Oscar nominee "Timbuktu" is a provocative, sometimes satiric drama about the sort of Islamic extremists who make life, especially in the outer reaches, so treacherous these days.
Generally, the purpose of a faith-based film is to reach out to those looking for spiritual guidance. "Do You Believe?," the latest movie from the company that produced "God Is Not Dead" last year, takes a different approach, targeting those whose faith is more an act of deceleration than dedication.
Run All Night” is a first-person shooter thriller for the Grecian Formula generation. Old men — cops and mobsters — sit in bars, drink their Scotch on the rocks and talk about the “old neighborhood,” their long history and the blood they’ve spilled.
In this age of revisionist, modernized Disney fairy tales, where we've learned that some of our favorite characters really aren't what they seemed, the striking thing about the studio's sumptuous new live-action "Cinderella" may not be what it is, but what it isn't.
"This is the not-so-true story of four vampires, picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped. Find out what happens when bloodsuckers stop being polite and start getting real. ‘The Real World'!"
In the years since he strutted onto the scene — lean, handsome, mouth running a mile a minute — in Doug Liman's "Swingers" (1996), Vince Vaughn has become one of the poster boys for the mainstream American comedy: from romantic ("The Break-Up") to bromantic ("Old School"), pretty good ("Wedding Crashers") to very bad ("Fred Claus") to frankly unnecessary ("Delivery Man").
Wrongheaded in conception, eye-rolling in execution, "Chappie" is a childish blend of the cute robot goofiness of "Short Circuit" and the bloody-minded mayhem of "RoboCop." It never finds its sweet spot and never, for one moment, works.
"The Lazarus Effect" is not the usual mindless thriller, but it's as flat as an open soda can from last week, with dull characters and virtually every scene taking place in a single location. It looks like it cost about twelve bucks to make — and somebody got robbed.
High collars replaced sexy cutouts, and Classic Hollywood in blacks and whites took hold of the Oscars red carpet Sunday night with help from a smoking Saint Laurent worn by Margot Robbie and a heavily pearled look for fashion It girl Lupita Nyong'o.
"Big Hero 6" has won the Academy Award for best animated feature. The Disney film — based on a Marvel comic about a team of superheroes — tells the story of a tech nerd named Hiro and a lovable roly-poly robot, Baymax.
J.K. Simmons has won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for "Whiplash." Simmons plays a cruel jazz band instructor who berates and humiliates his students, including Miles Teller, who co-stars as an aspiring jazz drummer in Damien Chazelle's film.
The black-and-white Polish film "Ida" has won the Academy Award for best foreign language film. The win marks the first foreign language Oscar for Poland despite nine previous nominations and a rich history of filmmaking.