a walk in the woods premiere

The 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival takes place from January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Utah, and the lineup now includes 123 features, among which are 106 world premieres. Today the festival announced ten new films and installations, including the A Walk in the Woods premiere. That’s a Ken Kwapis-directed film starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte (above) based on Bill Bryson’s book about the Appalachian Trail.

Along with that announcement is the programming of another premiere, True Story, about convicted murderer Christian Longo, with Jonah Hill and James Franco starring, and Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep, which will play in the Sundance Kids program. There are also a handful of really interesting new installations scheduled (I always plan to visit some of these and never have time) which you can read about below. Read More »


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Ladies and gentleman, may we present to you the first confirmed photo of Jesus. He’s played by Ewan McGregor and you can see him in Park City, Utah next month.

One of the standout films on the recent list of narrative Premieres at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was Last Days in the Desert, Rodrigo Garcia‘s film that dramatizes Jesus’s 40 days spent fasting in the desert. McGregor stars not only as Jesus, but as the devil as well, who confronts and tempts the son of God during his epic struggle.

Now, the first image from the film has been revealed. That’s not it above. The image isn’t in any way offensive but it definitely puts a bigger spotlight on this sure to be controversial film. Check out the Ewan McGregor Jesus image below. Read More »

I Am Michael

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival has been slowly revealing the films that will play in Park City, UT from January 22-February 1. We’ve already covered the midnights as well as the competition films. Now, the Premieres have been revealed. These are generally the big ticket pictures, the movies with huge star-studded casts that will almost certainly get a theatrical release in the coming calendar year.

2015 is no different than years past, both in terms narrative and documentary premieres. On the narrative side, there are films directed by Noah Baumbach, James Ponsoldt, Paul Weitz, Jared Hess, Joe Swanberg, Charles Stone III and others. Some of the stars are James Franco, Jennifer Lopez, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Eisenberg, Ewan McGregor, Anna Kendrick, Winona Ryder, Sienna Miller, Ethan Hawke, and Hailee Steinfeld.

The documentaries are just as star-studded, but in a different way. Controversial topics like campus rape and scientology will be on dispaly, as well as Kurt Cobain, Tig Notaro, National Lampoon and much more.

Below, read the full list of 2015 Sundance premieres including some of the first photos. Read More »

Knock Knock Keanu Reeves

The Sundance Film Festival is rolling out announcements quick for the 2015 festival. We just got the first wave of programming yesterday, and the fest has already come out with a giant second wave of announcements.

This time, we’ve got the Spotlight program, which is a set of films that have played other festivals that Sundance wants to give more time to, including ’71, The Tribe, and White God. Then there’s the Midnight program, which features Knock Knock, from director Eli Roth and star Keanu Reeves, and Room 237 director Rodney Ascher‘s new film Nightmare, about sleep paralysis. The program also has The Hallow, from the director just set to helm The Crow remake, and It Follows, which is a great slow burn of suspense.

Finally, there’s the New Frontier program, featuring some of the more out-there films in the fest. (And consequently the ones that I’ll personally be excited to see.) Check out the new wave of Sundance announcements below. Read More »

2015 Sundance Film Festival Competition Line-up Announced

The Sundance Institute has revealed the competition line-up for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 22nd to February 1st 2015. After the jump you will find the U.S. and World Competition categories, as well as the NEXT section. Only 185 selections were made, out of the 12,166 submissions — this is the third consecutive year in which total submissions for the Sundance Film Festival reached 12,000 titles. The premieres and other categories will be announced later.

Read More »

Babadook review

(Note: this review originally ran in January during the Sundance Film Festival; we’ve republished it now as the film opens in theaters and on VOD this weekend.)

The Babadook is one of the best horror movies in years, a vigorous and hellishly intense story about a family on the edge of sanity. This isn’t a gore showcase, but a wild emotional roller coaster. (If you need a tonal touchstone, look to Polanski films such as Repulsion and The Tenant.) There is a monster of sorts, but the movie would almost be just fine without him — the actors put each other through fire and pain, and writer/director Jennifer Kent drops us right in there with them. Read More »


Update from editor Peter Sciretta: The following review was published by Germain Lussier on January 19th 2014 from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The movie is out in theaters this week:

The films by director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett always have one thing in common. They are obviously influenced by an intense passion for movies, but are not overtly obvious about referencing those movies. In that sense, The Guest might feel like something you’ve seen before. It’s got the basic feel of a stalker film from the late ’80s or early ’90s, but filtered through the action of Quentin Tarantino, the music of John Carpenter, the ideas of James Cameron and almost too many others to mention. There’s action, sci-fi, horror, comedy… you name it, this movie has it. The result is a fresh, fun film that crescendos from title to credits with suspense, laughs and violence. Read More »

Skeleton Twins

Editor’s note: This is our review of The Skeleton Twins from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It opens in limited release this weekend so we are rerunning. 

When Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig were building their careers on Saturday Night Live, they played multiple characters every single week. That took incredible acting chops. Though they’ve since left the show and are concentrating mostly on comedy films, Craig Johnson‘s second film The Skeleton Twins proves these skilled comedic performers can be dramatic as well.

The Skeleton Twins is about estranged siblings, Maggie and Milo, who haven’t spoken in a decade. After they are reunited by tragedy their relationship is quickly rekindled, but deep old wounds re-open. That may sound overly solemn and, at its heart, The Skeleton Twins is certainly a drama. But you don’t cast Hader and Wiig just to cry and be depressed. The chemistry they built for years on TV sizzles on the big screen in characters with an exuberant realism. The movie itself is good, but Hader and Wiig make it great. Read More »

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