A Most Wanted Man trailer

One of the very last films Philip Seymour Hoffman completed before his passing this past February was A Most Wanted Man, Anton Corbijn‘s adaptation of John le Carré‘s novel. The film premiered at Sundance this year to mostly (if not wildly) positive reviews, and is now heading toward a theatrical release this summer.

Hoffman leads the contemporary thriller as Günther Bachmann, a German spy looking for a half-Chechen, half-Russian immigrant (Grigoriy Dobrygin) with possible terrorist ties. The film looks checking out for many reasons, not least of which is the chance to hear Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, and Willem Dafoe try out their best German accents. Watch the first A Most Wanted Man trailer after the jump.

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Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's Joe

Here’s a new trailer for Joe, which teams director David Gordon Green with Nicolas Cage. Both men have started to be known more for their broad comic and genre work, but this movie shows that both can really deliver on the dramatic front when they have a mind to. Here Cage is paired with Tye Sheridan, the young actor who was so good in Mud, playing a young man with a tousled family, who develops a surrogate father/son relationship with Cage’s character Joe.

We’ve seen one French trailer for the film already, but this is the first domestic edit, and it’s a lot better. There’s less plot given away here, and a lot more suggestion of character. Check it out below. Read More »

Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's Joe

Having spent most of the past decade overacting in one cheapie thriller after another, Nicolas Cage sometimes draws more jeers than applause these days, even though his fanbase is probably bigger than ever. And on the all-too-rare occasion that he finds a project worthy of his talents, it becomes clear that he can still bring it when he wants to.

One such showcase is Joe, David Gordon Green‘s gritty drama about an ex-con (Cage) who strikes up an unlikely bond with a troubled teen (Tye Sheridan of Mud and Tree of Life). The film made the festival rounds last year, and is now gearing up for theatrical release. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Skeleton Twins

Three more high-profile films just joined the ranks of 2014 Sundance Film Festival titles that will receive theatrical distribution. The latest deals involve Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions splitting the Bill Hader/Kirsten Wiig dramedy The Skeleton Twins; IFC purchasing Jim Mickle‘s genre-bending thriller Cold In July, starring Michael C. Hall; and the star-studded God’s Pocket, directed by John Slattery. Read more below. Read More »

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There’s something magical about Evan Rachel Wood, or so the movies would have you believe. Charlie Countryman and A Case of You didn’t have much else in common, but both were about her impressive ability to spur even the most aimless young (well, young-ish) man to action in an attempt to win her over.

She works her mysterious magic yet again in the indie romcom Barefoot, as an extremely sheltered and naive young woman who crosses paths with the ne’er-do-well scion (Scott Speedman) of a wealthy Southern family. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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In her onscreen appearances this year, Elizabeth Olsen is sleeping with all the wrong people. Look no further than Oldboy for concrete proof, but if you want more, there’s the period drama In Secret, based on Émile Zola’s novel Thérèse Raquin.

Olsen plays Thérèse, trapped in an arranged marriage to her dunderheaded and frail cousin (Tom Felton), and who finds herself burning a candle — maybe a bonfire, really — for the dashing and worldy artist friend (Oscar Isaac) who enters her family orbit. The appeal here is, in part, based on the cast; Olsen is reliably great in most roles (she’s even good in Oldboy, though he work is not rewarded), and Oscar Isaac seems perfectly cast in the role of the potential paramour.

And there’s the tone, commanded by director Charlie Stratton (episodes of Everwood and Revenge), which builds mysteries and plot twists on a foundation of Victorian repression, with Olsen’s luminous face guiding us through the shadows. Check out a trailer below.

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Lake Bell In A World

From the instant In A World… premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to see the trailer for that.” That day is here. Written, directed by and starring Lake Bell, In A World… is the story of young woman trying to make a living in the male-dominated field of voice over work, specifically that of movie trailers. When marketers for a new movie decide to reinstate the classic phrase “In a world” for the film’s trailer, a competition breaks out that pits the young woman against her father (Fred Melamed) and an up and comer (Ken Marino).

Featuring supporting performances by Dimitri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman and Geena Davis, the film won the Best Screenwriting award at Sundance. It opens on August 9. Check out meta-trailer below. Read More »

(This review originally ran during SXSW, in March. As Much Ado About Nothing hits theaters today, we present it once more.)

In the world of drama, nothing is quite as distinct or lovely as the prose of William Shakespeare. His vocabulary, his rhythm, rhymes and descriptions, all established a standard against which others are still measured. Modern day dramatist Joss Whedon also has a distinct style, characterized by wit, humor, and cultural authority. Surely it’s not in the same league as the Bard’s. But with the writer/director’s modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon has found an enjoyable and surprising balance between the two.

The film will be released June 7, but had its U.S. Premiere this week at South by Southwest. Read more below. Read More »

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