Southside With You

As Barack Obama’s time in the White House draws to a close, a new indie drama looks back at an early turning point in his life. Set in 1989, Southside With You follows Barack (Parker Sawyers), a law firm associate, and his colleague Michelle (Tika Sumpter), on an afternoon out together — and though she insists it’s not a date, we in the future know better. It plays sort of like a Before Sunrise for the political set, full of meandering walks and thoughtful conversations and loads of romantic chemistry. Only unlike with Before Sunrise, we know exactly what happens to these characters after the credits roll. Watch the Southside With You trailer after the jump.  Read More »

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Dean review

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a successful young(ish) creative type hits the film festival circuit with a semi-autobiographical dramedy about a somewhat less successful young(ish) creative type who struggles to pull his life together, grow up, and move on. That’s the very familiar premise of comedian Demetri Martin‘s directorial debut Dean, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. Fortunately, Dean‘s got a few fresher tricks up its sleeve that justify retracing this very familiar pattern.

One is that Dean is less about the precious ennui that all young(ish) creative types seem to suffer from in indie dramedies, than it is about the strange and complicated and even ugly process of grief. Another is a gently played subplot about Dean’s father (played by Kevin Kline). And the third and perhaps most important are the many wry cartoons Martin uses to emphasize and comment on Dean’s mental and emotional state.  Read More »

Sing Street Review

Note: We originally ran this review during the Sundance Film Festival. We’re republishing it today as the movie hits theaters this weekend.

When you come to the Sundance Film Festival, you can’t wait to fall in love with a movie. As a sucker for coming-of-age movies, I’m always looking for one that really makes me run the gamut of emotions, and if it also has a hellacious soundtrack, fantastic breakout performances, and a glamorous reference to Back to the Future, then that’s even better. That’s why Sing Street, from Once and Begin Again director John Carney, is marvelous, delightful and just plain great. Read my full Sing Street review after the jump. Read More »

Sing Street Music Video

With spring here and summer on the way, we’re starting to see some of the movies that hit the 2016 Sundance Film Festival make their way to theaters. If the suspense and blood in Jeremy Saulnier’s thriller Green Room isn’t your kind of thing, then you’ll probably want to take in something a little more lighthearted and fun. That would be Sing Street, a wonderful coming-of-age comedy set in Ireland back in the 1980s. And since it’s a movie from Once and Begin Again director John Carney, it’s full of some amazing original music.

The Weinstein Company doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of making audiences aware of its limited release next week. But we’re trying to change that by calling your attention to a new Sing Street TV spot, complete with a quote from our Sundance review. Plus, there’s a new music video highlighting an original song from Begin Again star and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. Check out both of the videos below. Read More »

Green Room Red Band Trailer

There’s being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and then there’s finding yourself in the middle of a group of neo-Nazis who will stop at anything to cover up a murder. That’s exactly what happens in Jeremy Saulnier‘s latest thriller Green Room when a punk rock band sees something they weren’t supposed to after playing a shady stop on a little cross country tour.

Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) are among the bandmates while Imogen Poots (Fright Night) is the concertgoer whose friend has met a grisly fate at the hands of another band member’s violent ways. They all end up stuck in this hell that is meticulously taken care of by Patrick Stewart and his loyal group of skinheads. A new Green Room red band trailer shows just how intense this movie truly is, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Read More »

THE DARK HORSE

Fear the Walking Dead returns for season 2 in just a couple of weeks, but before we get there, we’ll have the opportunity to see star Cliff Curtis in a very different kind of role, in a very different kind of movie. In the based-on-a-true-story drama The Dark Horse, Curtis plays a former chess prodigy in New Zealand. He’s released from a mental institution into the care of his brother (Wayne Hapi), and finds a new direction when he volunteers to help teach chess to underprivileged kids — including his teenage nephew (James Rolleston).

The building blocks of The Dark Horse sound more than a little familiar, but writer-director James Napier Robinson seems determined to steer away from easy sentimentality. Instead, he aims for a more grounded portrait of a complicated genius and the equally complicated people surrounding him. The Dark Horse has making the festival rounds for the past year and a half, and is now about to roll out into U.S. theaters. Today, just ahead of that release, we’re happy to share an exclusive clip from the movie. Watch it below.  Read More »

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Star Wars Documentary

There was a time when Star Wars didn’t inspire the kind of excitement that it does today. Nowadays, whether you’re a fan or an actor desperate to get a role in the latest movie, you can’t help but get extremely excited for the prospect of what’s to come. But back in 1976, there weren’t any Star Wars fans, and a job on this original sci-fi movie from young filmmaker George Lucas was just another job.

The documentary Elstree 1976 takes a look back at what it was like to be on the set of the original Star Wars, through the eyes of some of the actors whose names you probably don’t know unless you’re a hardcore fan. In addition, we get to see how some of the actors have their own little fanbase, and how Star Wars has touched their lives. But they didn’t all have an equally satisfying experience. Watch the Star Wars documentary trailer to find out more. Read More »

Last Days in the Desert trailer

Ewan McGregor‘s already had one movie out this year, the little-seen Jane Got a Gun, and he’s got another out next weekend, the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. But if you still can’t get enough of the Scottish actor, you may want to keep an eye out for Rodrigo Garcia‘s Last Days in the Desert. The drama stars not one but two Ewan McGregors, going head-to-head as both Jesus and Satan. It’s not a trick every actor can pull off, but we have faith in McGregor to make it work.

It helps that he’s got some other great talents backing him up, including Ciarán HindsAyelet Zurer, and Tye Sheridan as a family who encounter the “holy man” in the middle of nowhere. And making everyone and everything look austerely beautiful is cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who just picked up an unprecedented third consecutive Oscar win for The Revenant. Check out the Last Days in the Desert trailer after the jump.  Read More »

One More Time trailer

Despite his song-and-dance background, Christopher Walken didn’t fare too well as Captain Hook in NBC’s live staging of Peter Pan. But his turn as a Sinatra-esque crooner in One More Time already looks more convincing, at least based on the trailer.

Directed by Robert Edwards, the indie drama follows Walken’s aging musician character as he navigates a rocky relationship with his daughter Jude (Amber Heard), a gifted musician who can’t quite seem to get her life in gear. Kelli Garner stars as his other daughter, and Hamish LinklaterOliver Platt, and Ann Magnuson also star. Check out the One More Time trailer after the jump.  Read More »