March 6, 2016
Spotlight Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Liev Schrieber lead an ace ensemble cast in this compelling account of the Boston Globe's 2002 investigative series on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. A complex procedural drama, told with clarity and mounting suspense. One of the great movies about journalism, one of the great movies of our time, period. And winner of the Academy Award for best picture of the year. R 45 Years Charlotte Rampling, Oscar-nominated for her performance, and Tom Courtenay, brilliant, star as a long-married couple whose comfortable relationship is challenged when news arrives from afar - and from far off in the past.
March 1, 2016
The host wore white. As in #OscarsSoWhite. Chris Rock looked sharp, and he mostly stayed on point Sunday, as he hosted an Academy Awards show for which he proved to be the right man at the right time. "If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job. You'd be watching Neil Patrick Harris," Chris Rock said even as he attempted to put the furor over the second consecutive year of all-white acting nominations into perspective. "It's the 88th Academy Awards. Which means this whole no black nominee thing has happened at least 71 other times," said Rock, noting that "black people did not protest" for most of those years.
January 31, 2016
The Choice New neighbors in a small town fall in love. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. Hail, Caesar! The latest Coen brothers effort has Josh Brolin as a Hollywood fixer who must rescue the star (George Clooney) of his studio's new film. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies An army of the undead adds a new twist to the Jane Austen classic. Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.), Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), Molly Eichel (M.E.), and Gary Thompson (G.T.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
November 13, 2015 |
WHEN THE reporters in the phenomenal newspaper movie "Spotlight" go digging for their story, they start in the basement of their own building. In the old days, when dinosaur media roamed the Earth, every big-city newspaper had a substantial library, and in that library was a cavernous file room full of print clippings - hard copies of articles often going back a century or more. These clippings comprised a unique version of the city's history - unscanned, beyond the reach of search algorithms.
November 9, 2015 |
'My persona has been hijacked," Boston Globe editor Walter "Robby" Robinson declared last year, writing about what it felt like to witness a certain Hollywood star assume his identity, his mannerisms, his walk, his talk. "If Michael Keaton robbed a bank, the police would quickly have me in handcuffs," he added. Keaton, on the phone last week and reminded of Robinson's remarks, laughed. "Robby was so easy to play, in a way," said the actor, part of an ace ensemble - Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, Liev Schreiber - who wear the ID cards of real-life Globe reporters and editors in Tom McCarthy's thrilling journalism drama, Spotlight . Robinson, whom Keaton plays with the perfect calibration of accent and comportment, was the editor of the paper's Spotlight unit, a small troop of reporters allowed to dig deep and go long on big stories.
July 24, 2015 |
"SOUTHPAW" is about a white boxer named Hope, played by Jake Gyllenhaal - you can call him a Great White Hope, or, with his ripped torso, the abdominal snowman. Given the character's loaded name, you keep waiting for race to be an issue in "Southpaw," but it never is - instead, this story of a white champ, his black trainer (Forest Whitaker) and Latino adversary (Victor Ortiz) takes its This Is What America Looks Like in the 21st Century cast and applies them to a screenplay leftover from the 1930s.
July 20, 2015 |
If you thought Jake Gyllenhaal's transformation for last year's Nightcrawler was extreme - losing weight and gaining a creepy intensity to play a feral freelance video cameraman trolling the streets of L.A. - look at the actor in Southpaw . You may not recognize the man. As Billy "The Great" Hope, a pro boxer who grew up in a Hell's Kitchen foster home and now owns the title of light-heavyweight champion of the world, 34-year-old Gyllenhaal...
June 22, 2015 |
HBO continues its ownership of Sunday nights. Game of Thrones has wrapped up a particularly gruesome fifth season, and Veep and Silicon Valley similarly said their goodbyes for the year. So HBO is introducing three shows to Sunday audiences. These shows - True Detective (9 p.m.), Ballers (10 p.m.) and The Brink (10:30 p.m.) - are not all that dissimilar from their Sunday time-slot predecessors. As was the case last week, these shows include an epic drama and two comedies - a political satire and one that looks at the daily grind of a much-publicized world.