Free State of Jones photo

Below you’ll find the first official image of a grimy, cautious Matthew McConaughey on the battlefield in the film The Free State of Jones. Directed by Gary Ross, the Civil War drama features McConaughey as Newton Knight, who leads the residents of Jones County, Mississippi in a bid to secede from the Confederacy. The film also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, and Mahershala Ali. Check out the full Free State of Jones photo below. Read More »

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Bowe Bergdahl movie

Since the release of Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have been working on a project called Triple Frontier, based on the crime-ridden border intersection of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. But that project, set up at Paramount, hasn’t quite ignited into an actual film. Now there’s a report that Triple Frontier has been pushed aside altogether, and that the next film from Bigelow and Boal will be the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the US Army Sergeant captured by the Taliban and held for five years before being released in a controversial prisoner exchange in 2014. Read More »

dust game movie

Lionsgate has acquired the big screen rights to Fantasy Flight Games’ popular sci-fi strategy board and miniature game series Dust and announced that Rawson Marshall Thurber will be directing the movie adaptation for producer Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes).

I almost included this game in my list of board game movies that Hollywood should make next, but did not know enough about the game itself. I’ve never played it, but the art has always stood out to me. The story is set in an alternate history steampunk-themed version of the 1940s where World War II never ended and the world is divided into three sides: the Allies (the US, the Commonwealth, and the French colonies); the Axis (not led by Hitler); and the SSU, a union of the USSR and China. In this landscape the discovery of a new alien resource allows our scientists to create cool-looking combat mechs for this new battle.

Find out more about the Dust game movie adaptation after the jump.

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Netflix buys Beasts of No Nation

Netflix is rapidly pushing to move from streaming original movies and TV series to putting actual films in theaters, and has now hammered out a deal for a potential 2015 awards season contender.

Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, is the new film from Cary Fukunaga, who made Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre before taking HBO by storm when he directed the first season of True Detective. Now the company is closing a deal to acquire Fukunaga’s film. “Netflix buys Beasts of No Nation” may not seem like a huge headline, but it marks a decisive evolution in the company’s strategy. Read More »

Robert Zemeckis Brad Pitt

Robert Zemeckis has just lined up his next project and he’s bringing along one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Brad Pitt will co-star in a currently-untitled “sweeping romantic thriller” directed by Zemeckis and written by Steve Knight. Early reports are that the film is set during World War II. Read a few more details about the Robert Zemeckis Brad Pitt film below. Read More »

American Sniper fake baby

The first comments I heard from people about Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper, after the film’s premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles last fall, were about the baby. If you’ve seen the film, you’ve noticed the baby. If you haven’t seen the film you’ve probably still heard people talking about it. During a scene in which Chris Kyle is at home, Bradley Cooper has to hold a very obviously plastic baby for over a minute. Sure, joke about the scene being the one to lock Cooper’s latest Best Actor Oscar nomination, but for real, why the plastic baby?

Turns out there’s no grand concept behind using a prop rather than a real baby for the scene — it was a purely practical decision. Read More »

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Good Kill UK trailer

This new Good Kill UK trailer is a lot like the international trailer that dropped for the film not long ago. But it is a much better-assembled piece of work, with a more polished flow overall and a better deployment of the film’s signature elements. Specifically, Ethan Hawke as a fighter pilot turned drone pilot, who starts to crack as he targets and kills enemy combatants in the Middle East without leaving the safety of a control center in the US. Andrew Niccol (Gattaca) writes and directs, and just from this footage you might recognize the director’s touch. Check out this much better Good Kill trailer below. Read More »

American Sniper Bradley Cooper

Long before American Sniper was nominated for six Oscars or grossed $100 million on its opening weekend, it was almost a very different movie. In the summer of 2013, Steven Spielberg was attached to direct the film based on the memoir of U.S. sniper Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper was still attached to star and produce. However, after a few months of development, Spielberg dropped off the project. Director Clint Eastwood quickly jumped on and history was made.

So what was different about Steven Spielberg’s version of American Sniper? In a behind the scenes story about the movie, screenwriter Jason Dean Hall revealed some of the suggestions Spielberg made about the script and how they forced Warner Bros. to move in another direction. Read the Steven Spielberg American Sniper quotes below. Read More »

American Sniper header

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran on November 12. We’re bumping it up now that American Sniper is in wide release.

Director Clint Eastwood has great aspirations for American Sniper. First and foremost, he hopes to make a movie paying tribute to the most deadly sniper in the history of the United States. That’s the late Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper. He also hopes to show Kyle not as only a heroic solider, but a complex man confident in his actions and concerned about of their results. The film paints a grim picture of post-traumatic stress disorder and what it does to our veterans, especially in regards to their families. Finally, there’s also a drive to keep things exciting, so there are many gun battles in the deserts of Iraq.

Yes, American Sniper is an incredibly ambitious film with many moving parts. All of those parts work in certain instances, but only on rare occasions do they all come together at once. The disconnection makes the film fall just short of those great aspirations.

American Sniper had its World Premiere on Veterans Day at AFI Fest presented by Audi and you can read the rest of our review below. Read More »

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