New parents take on frat boys in “Neighbors,” the latest dirty R-rated comedy from director Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek”) and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures. Yet what separates “Neighbors” from the heap has a lot to do with the script, written by novices Andrew […]
If Christopher Nolan wasn’t already the most daring filmmaker of the 21st century, “Interstellar” seals the deal. Somehow, the “Dark Knight Trilogy” and “Inception” director manages to package theoretical physics, space-time travel and a doomsday scenario all in one film that even when it doesn’t make sense, still strikes several nerves both in terms of […]
Just when you think you’ve gotten away from Awards Season, it comes creeping right back. This year’s holiday movie slate has a ton of possible Oscar contenders with no clear favorites just yet, along with some big third installments in major movie franchises to balance out all the drama. Here are my 10 most anticipated […]
Directors don’t become synonymous with genres as often as they used to in Hollywood’s Golden Age, but play the word association game with “David Fincher” and you’re bound to hear “thriller” come up. There’s little doubt that if you’re producing an intense, dark, mystery-driven film, Fincher’s your first choice, and he proves it yet again […]
In the world of young adult book adaptations with a fantasy/science fiction edge, “Divergent” is one of the few to actually fall in between really good and intolerable. It’s no “Hunger Games,” but director Neil Burger (“Limitless”) and writers Evan Daugherty (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) and Vanessa Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) do a respectable […]
Young adult sci-fi adaptations have run rampant since “The Hunger Games,” and “The Maze Runner” is the latest attempt to copy that model and hook the same audience. James Dashner’s tale of young boys trapped in a glade surrounded by a giant maze is much simpler than “Hunger Games,” so while it can’t achieve anywhere […]
The dash to awards season has begun, signified by the opening of the Toronto International Film Festival this past weekend, which served as the debut of many of the films on my fall watch list. So it’s time to leave those summer blockbusters behind, because you won’t find many of them in this year’s fall […]
Calling “Boyhood” “unlike anything you’ve ever seen” is stating the obvious, yet there is almost no other way to describe it in as many words. Making a film over the course of 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater has transformed everything we know about filmmaking, in some ways challenging the very definition of […]
Zach Braff is the kind of guy who should be making films more often than every 10 years. “Garden State” put the very notion of “finding yourself” indie films on the map, at least for a certain generation. “Wish I Was Here” comes one too many of those films later to have the same kind […]
After years of success bringing earthbound superheroes to the big screen, Marvel Studios opened eyes when it first endeavored to make a film out of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” If Iron Man was once considered an obscure Marvel hero, these guys were total D-league. Yet surprising to no one, the studio’s creative process has yielded […]
The story of God telling Noah to build an ark, all the animals coming aboard in twos, and then there being a great flood, has largely been deemed children’s stuff. Given the last on-screen version of this story was the Steve Carell family film “Evan Almighty,” this stigma of biblical films has held true. That […]
Four years ago you never could’ve predicted that “Planet of the Apes” would be rebooted to critical and financial acclaim, let alone become perhaps the most promising franchises born after 2010. If “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (read the review) was a consummate origin story, then “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” […]
The mystery of making a great comedy sequel has been solved. The catch? Now that it’s been done, it can never be done again.
Imagine Bill Murray’s suicide scenes from “Groundhog Day” as a futuristic science-fiction movie and you (sorta) have the groundwork for “Edge of Tomorrow.” High (yet familiar) in concept, “Tomorrow” puts a needed twist on alien invasion films, succeeding by telling a story much narrower in scope yet still big in terms of storytelling stakes.
After a foray into the blockbuster world, filmmaker Jon Favreau has settled back into his bread and butter (a bit literally), independent comedy. “Chef” is a feel-good movie that goes down easy, especially for any self-described “foodies” in the audience.