CHILD 44

Tom Hardy has never met an accent he didn’t like, whether it’s Bostonian in The Drop, Welsh in Locke, or whatever the hell he’s doing in The Dark Knight Rises. In his new movie Child 44, he gets to take midcentury Russian out for a spin.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), the thriller follows police agent Leo Demidov (Hardy) in Soviet-era Russia. When he begins investigating a serial killer who targets young boys, he attracts the wrath of the state, which refuses to acknowledge the crimes at all.

Noomi Rapace plays Leo’s wife Raisa, Gary Oldman is General Mikhail Nesterov, and Joel Kinnaman is Leo’s rival. Jason ClarkePaddy Considine, and Vincent Cassel also star. Watch the Child 44 trailer after the jump. Read More »

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steve jobs movie flashbacks

In November 2012 we learned that Aaron SorkinsSteve Jobs biopic would be presented in three long real-time sequences written around specific Apple keynote events. Now that the movie is filming, under the direction of filmmaker Danny Boyle, we are starting to learn more about the feature film.

Last week video footage was released from the the film set outside of Steve Jobs’ old home in Los Altos, California where they are filming the garage where Jobs and Steve Wozniak began the Apple empire. This led a lot of people to wonder if Sorkin’s screenplay has changed. Will the film still be set during three Apple keynotes? And if so, how is does the Apple garage work into things? Find out about the Steve Jobs movie flashbacks, after the jump.

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Last Days in the Desert

In Rodrigo Garcia‘s beautiful and lush film Last Days in the Desert, the journey is uncertain for a while. We follow Jesus, played by Ewan McGregor, as he enters the desert on a journey for truth. “Father, speak to me,” he says. As he walks and thinks, he begins to see visions of Satan, also played by McGregor. He meets a family out in the desert, and the audience may initially wonder what those people are doing out there. But eventually it clicks. We realize the point, just as Jesus probably realizes the point in the narrative, and the film blossoms into something beautiful but not entirely fulfilling. Read more of our Last Days in the Desert review below. Read More »

Selma Oscar snub

The Selma snub has been one of the biggest stories to come out of this year’s awards season, but director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo are already moving on with another new project. The pair are set to re-team for an as yet untitled drama set against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina.

More details on the Ava DuVernay Hurricane Katrina project after the jump.  Read More »

The End of the Tour review

Tom Hanks had Philadelpha, Jim Carrey had The Truman Show and now Jason Segel has The End of the Tour. It’s a powerhouse movie announcing to the world that this comedic actor is a dramatic force too. But that’s just one of the many, many good things that can be said about director James Ponsoldt’s fourth feature film.  Below, continue our End of the Tour review.

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Finders Keepers review sundance

On Friday I screened the first great film of the 2015 Sundance film festival. Finders Keepers is a hilarious, bizarre and sometimes devastating documentary about the true life story of two men. Shannon Whisnant purchases a storage unit at auction and is surprised to find a severed human leg inside a used bbq grill. The other man, John Wood, wants his leg back, but Whisnant isn’t about to let that happen.

Read the rest of my Finders Keepers review and see a clip from the film, embedded after the jump.

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Vincent Cassel in Partisan

The Sundance Film Festival is proving to be a source of endless delight even for those of us who are just reading reviews from home. Because while we might not be able to watch the movies from our couches, we can still enjoy the trailers as thoroughly as anyone in Park City.

The latest Sundance entry to unleash a trailer is Partisan, directed by Ariel Kleiman. At the center of the story is Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel), an 11-year-old trained as an assassin. When this dangerous but sheltered boy begins thinking for himself, he poses a problem for father figure Gregori (Vincent Cassel). Watch the first Partisan trailer after the jump.

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violentyear

A Most Violent Year is a slow burn of a film, primarily centered around a simple land deal that entrepreneur Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is trying to put together to sustain and grow his young oil business. Yet somehow, writer/director J.C. Chandor is able to up the stakes until they are almost unbearably tense. What hangs in the balance is not merely Morales’ business and the future of his family, but also his sense of self, his moral center. If you extrapolate it further, the film becomes and indictment of American capitalism, in the same way that films like Nightcrawler did in 2014.

With some beautiful cinematography from Bradford Young and some dynamite performances from the leads, A Most Violent Year manages to be haunting, wistful, and unforgettable. Hit the jump to see my full video review of the film.

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