The clever conceit behind James DeMonaco's 2013 sleeper hit "The Purge" was not that American society had resolved its crime, inequality and population problems with an annual free-pass-for-murder "purge."
Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here" is a sweet and jokey feature film that is so at home in the punch line rhythms of TV sitcoms that you may think to yourself, "When's his best friend former 'Scrubs' co-star Donald Faison showing up?"
Judd Apatow's landmark film rightfully ushered in a new era in comedy, but it has also inspired a now sizable cottage industry of thin movies ("The Hangover," "The Five-Year Engagement," "Bad Teacher," "Horrible Bosses," "The Other Woman") with concepts boasting good titles but shallow stories.
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is an action-packed epic, a moving sci-fi allegory rendered in broad, lush strokes by the latest state of the computer animator's art. Yes, you will believe a chimp can talk, ride a horse and fire a machine gun.
Sebastian Junger's "Korengal" is a kind of sequel to 2010's "Restrepo," but also stands on its own as an intense and affecting report on the experiences of U.S. troops in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan.
He has been referred to as Korea's version of Quentin Tarantino, with Quentin Tarantino himself recently likening him to Steven Spielberg. Now, with "Snowpiercer," Bong Joon-ho makes his English-language debut.
It takes 90 minutes for Dinesh D'Souza's rambling, mistitled "America: Imagine the World Without Her" to get to its real point. There's D'Souza, arch-conservative Ivy League immigrant, creator of the popular anti-Obama screed "2016: Obama's America," in handcuffs.
There's only one thing anyone really needs to know about "Transformers: Age of Extinction," Michael Bay's fourth exercise in robot-on-robot violence and aggressive product placement: At nearly three hours, it's the longest "Transformers" movie yet.
"Ilo Ilo" is writer-director Anthony Chen's first film, but breathtaking intimacy in storytelling is already second nature to him. It quietly demonstrates that in the right hands even the familiar stuff of everyday life can move us deeply.
In a breezy and seemingly effortless way "Obvious Child" accomplishes something difficult. It's a comedy with abortion at its center that doesn't fall into about a dozen traps that might have swallowed it up.
The acting world's treating Spencer Boldman pretty good these days. Not only does he star in the new Disney Channel original movie "Zapped," but his Disney XD series "Lab Rats" has been ordered for a fourth season.
It's little wonder that the stage musical "Jersey Boys" has become one of the most successful shows in Broadway history on the strength of sublimely catchy tunes like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man."
Realism is too imprecise a term for Kelly Reichardt's filmmaking. She is more of a materialist, determined to capture how the world looks, how it feels and, at a granular level of detail, how it works.
Masterfully brought to life by Guy Pearce in a performance of pure controlled ferocity, Eric and his implacable, obsessive, stop-at-nothing quest to recover his stolen vehicle is the centerpiece of David Michtd's tense and remorseless "The Rover."
What happens in Vegas happens a lot in movies. "Think Like a Man Too" goes to the same casinos, strip clubs and pleasure pools with a fistful of jokers and an ace up its sleeve, the irrepressible Kevin Hart.
Mike Myers spent 20 years trying to persuade his friend, talent manager Shep Gordon, to let him make a movie about Gordon's storied and star-studded life and career. Myers and Gordon met in 1991 during the filming of "Wayne's World."
THERE'S almost no dragon training in "How to Train Your Dragon 2." A more accurate title would have been "How to Keep Your Dragons from Getting Enslaved by a Tyrannical Despot." Or, to keep things simpler to fit the movie posters, "Game of Thrones for Kids."
You're pretty much going to have to see "22 Jump Street" twice — just to catch all the jokes the roars of laughter make you miss. This comedy produces the biggest, loudest laughs of any movie this summer.
"For No Good Reason," a well-intended biographical film about Ralph Steadman, famed for the outrageous, acidic caricatures he created to accompany the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, is best suited for Steadman fanatics
"Words and Pictures" is the cloying title of a cloying little comedy made by talented people who, not that long ago, deserved better than this, and knew it.
It's a nearly two-hour-long "meet cute" academic romance from Fred Schepisi.
June should be officially designated "David Tennant Month" for the number of shows he's appearing in. Who is David Tennant? Clearly, you haven't watched the BBC's "Doctor Who" or "Broadchurch," in which he starred as a scruffy detective hunting a child murderer.
"The Signal" starts off as an alien version of "Blair Witch Project" and then drifts off into cold plotlessness. But for a while, a little while, it seems like it just might be interesting. Three young people are on a road trip through the Southwest.
The time-shifting sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow" has perfectly encapsulated what it is to be a summertime moviegoer. We're dropped into a battlefield of digital effects with the fate of the world at stake.
If you're a fan of the wildly popular young-adult book by John Green and have already shed tears at its story of teenage cancer patients learning about life, love and sex as they fight to stay alive, then you'll be a fan of this movie.
"Blue Ruin" is a moody, stripped-down action thriller with the most unlikely vigilante one could imagine. Dwight (Macon Blair) is no buffed-up hero, but a soft and skittish loner who has no idea how to hold a gun, much less use it.
With school kids starting their summer break, more families may be hitting the beaches or having pool parties. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Whatever your taste, the publishing world has an offering for you, whether it's sci-fi populated by talking bees (Laline Paull's "The Bees") or the would-be Proustian Norwegian literary event of the season, "My Struggle," by Karl Ove Knausgaard.
I’ve been on a slow boil for several years about why television, even when it’s great, isn’t always “fun.” It may be that great quality crowds “fun” off the screen — you react with passion, fascination, shock, awe, sadness and all kinds of other emotions to shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones,” but watching them isn’t “just” fun because it’s not meant to be.
Writer-director Seth MacFarlane gives you 10 jokes where other comedians give you one, so even if you don't like five of them, you will still come out way ahead with "A Million Ways to Die in the West."
Joe, a 400-pound Latino boy from Houston, weeps in fear and frustration. He's not alone. Maggie, a 212-pound 12-year-old from Oklahoma, joins him. Wesley, an overweight 13-year-old in Houston, is desperate.
Maybe it's too soon to say the tide has shifted definitively. But it's certainly been a unique time for fairy-tale villains. After hundreds of years of moral clarity, suddenly we're getting a new look at these evil creatures, who are actually turning out to be complex beings, and not that bad at all.
The summer Obon season is nearly here, honoring the Buddhist tradition of commemorating family ancestors, who are said to return to this world to visit relatives. Here is a list of festivities across the state.
It may be surprising that a Disney movie centered around two female characters, the sisters Elsa and Anna, could drive such staggering sales. But the real eye-opener is the strength and scope of the film's grip on children, girls and boys alike.
There are many superhuman feats on display in the latest installment in the "X-Men" saga, "Days of Future Past." Time travel. Saving the world from big, angry robots. A beautifully restored 1973 Buick Riviera.
James Gray's "The Immigrant" somberly gathers its majesty as a metaphor-rich story of passage and survival. It's an old tale told with rare precision, channeling grand themes into an intimate melodrama.
"Belle" takes a real-life historical figure, Dido Elizabeth Belle, and shoehorns her story into the structure of a Jane Austen novel. Some of it fits, and the rest is fiction — including some of the most satisfying parts.
Even for those oblivious to fashion, it's hard to ignore that midriffs are suddenly in America's face — in a way not seen, perhaps, since a young Britney Spears was in regular gyration-rotation on VH1.
Considering TV's tradition of copying what works, then copying those copies, it says a lot that no show rips off "The Good Wife." Or dares to try. It manages to stay both mainstream and offbeat, a neat trick.
The "Godzilla" reboot perfectly illustrates the problem that has long haunted mediocre monster movies. When the big, scaly guys are on screen, it's a fun thrill ride. But when humans are at the center of the action, things get scary.
Whip-smart filmmaking by writer-director Steven Knight combined with Tom Hardy's mesmerizing acting make the micro-budgeted British independent "Locke" more minute-to-minute involving than this year's more costly extravaganzas.
We'll totally forgive you if, as "Fading Gigolo" begins, you're mistakenly convinced you're watching a Woody Allen movie. There are those familiar white-on-black titles, the classy jazz and Allen's unmistakable voice, too, setting the scene.
"Million Dollar Arm" is a baseball movie that pulls off a smooth triple play. The story focuses on immigrant players struggling with social disorientation and homesickness, an underreported aspect of the game.
The Grace Kelly melodrama "Grace of Monaco" kicked off the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday with classic French Riviera glamour, behind-the-scenes controversy and emphatic boos from critics.
"Neighbors" is funny for all 96 of its minutes, not counting the credits, and it contains the single best sight gag of the year so far. (We're talking laugh-out-loud funny and then laugh again later, just thinking about it.)
In the cinema, nothing is more legendary than a movie that never got made. We'll never know what Orson Welles' "Don Quixote" or "Dead Calm" would have been. We'll never see Stanley Kubrick's "Napoleon."
With their finely chiseled clavicles and cheekbones, their nocturnal habits and exquisite taste, Adam and Eve (played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton) are about the coolest couple you could imagine.
Like jumbo jets on the runway, Hollywood's summer movies are lined up, ready for takeoff. Will they hit any turbulence? If the movie business had a "fasten your seat belt" light, it was certainly flashing last summer.
Amazing? Hardly. The second film in Sony Pictures' second Spider-Man series is OK-ish. I guess the adjective specialist at the ad agency thought "The Adequate Spider-Man 2" didn't pack the wallop they were looking for.
"Particle Fever" is a movie so mind-bending you can almost feel your brain cells growing as you watch it. "Particle Fever" is about ideas so big — What are the origins of the universe? How did matter itself get created? — that they're hard to get your head around.
"You can't not love and hate the same person," Nick says to Meg, the woman he has loved for more than 30 years. They are on an anniversary trip to Paris, celebrating a complicated but enduring and affectionate union.
When you first see the title character of "Dom Hemingway," a violent British comedy about a gangster who talks the hard-boiled talk with verve and gutter lyricism, he's speaking and staring into the camera.
And thus, is a great comic duo born. "The Other Woman" is a female empowerment comedy and buddy picture, a PG-13 "Bridesmaids," as if that were even possible. But it is, because of Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann.
To the small but choice list of films that gracefully mix a passion for food with other potent emotions — think "Babette's Feast," "Eat Drink Man Woman," "Big Night," even "Ratatouille" — you can add one more: "The Lunchbox."
The late Paul Walker wasn't a great actor, but within a narrow corner of the action genre, he was the guy who got the job done. A vulnerable tough guy who could hold his own in stunt brawls and car chases, an actor who said "Bro" like he meant it, he will be missed.
What place is there nowadays for a solid, old-fashioned movie about war, remembrance and reconciliation? That question occurred to me while watching "The Railway Man," an unabashedly stodgy, high-minded film in the David Lean tradition.
The directorial debut for ace cinematographer Wally Pfister is very watchable, but the narrative flaws and logical leaps sabotage sustained enjoyment. "Transcendence" looks and sounds like a Christopher Nolan film that got attacked by malware.
Scarlett Johansson as an extraterrestrial femme fatale cruising the streets of Glasgow in Jonathan Glazer's cerebral sci-fi horror fantasy "Under the Skin" is an indelible personification of predatory allure.
The current cultural directive to give the people what they want explains the existence of the "Veronica Mars" movie, a likable, unmemorable, feature-length footnote to the admired television series that was canceled in 2007.
AMC's "Mad Men" returns Sunday for the beginning of its swan song: The first seven episodes of season seven start airing this month (AMC calls it "The Beginning"), and the final seven episodes (aka "The End") will air in 2015.
"Draft Day" is a "ticking-clock" thriller built around the NFL draft, a movie that counts down to the fateful decision that one embattled general manager (Kevin Costner) makes with his team's first-round pick.
"Oculus" is about one adjustment away from being a superior thriller. The screenwriters spend most of the movie painting themselves into a corner, and the audience waits to see how they will get out … except they never do.
Donald Rumsfeld smiles, spins and passes the buck as he spars with Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris in "The Unknown Known." Rumsfeld has the certitude of a man who figures this film guy won't lay a glove on him.
"Unforgettable" is a well-made cop show on CBS that could have easily been a distant memory by now. Instead, it begins the second half of its second season on Friday night, a case study in how to give more chances to a decent show that didn't find its natural home immediately.
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