The Exorcist is a landmark movie. Along with Psycho, it legitimized horror as a genre — what had previously been relegated to drive-in and second-feature filler was now big business. William Friedkin‘s adaptation of William Peter Blatty‘s novel (scripted by Blatty) scored a Best Picture Oscar nomination and nine other Oscar nods. (Best Picture went to The Sting, but The Exorcist did take Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.)

But all things are now ripe for re-adaptation, and so producers are turning towards Blatty’s novel once more. This time, the book is to be adapted into a ten-episode TV series, and the director in charge will be Sean Durkin, who made Martha Marcy May Marlene. It’s actually such a good fit that I can’t even muster the urge to be upset about a remake. Read More »

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The Alamo Drafthouse’s Top 10 Films of 2011

It’s no secret that the Alamo Drafthouse is the best theater chain in the country. Sure, it’s small, but the passion they have to create the perfect environment to watch a movie is unparalleled. Case in point, their hugely popular No Texting public service announcements, incredible in-theater food selection, stunning repertory screenings and so much more.

As the new year begins, the entire staff of the Drafthouse voted on their favorite films of 2011 and selected /Film as the outlet to exclusively premiere their list. It’s extremely eclectic (The Muppets, Beginners and 13 Assassin all made the cut) but you’d be hard pressed to find a better cross section of the best 2011 had to offer. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

Dave’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

End-of-year list-making is typically a daunting, tricky, and arbitrary task. At its best, it’s a way to express ideas and share interesting finds. At its worst, it’s a shouting match about WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK THE EXACT FILMS I LIKE?

In 2011, I probably saw around 70-80 new release films in theaters. I’m certain that these films are different than the ones you saw and I’m equally certain that I missed a ton of great titles. Nonetheless, after the jump, you’ll find my 10 favorite films of 2011. I hope you’ll take it as the beginning of a conversation, as opposed to the end. And if I chose a film that you didn’t, then all the better! I look forward to reading your picks in the comments below.
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Roger Ebert’s Top 20 Movies of 2011


With just days to go until the end of 2011 (Where did the year go???), legendary film critic Roger Ebert has announced his top 20 movies of the year. Just as you’d expect from Ebert, his list runs the gamut from mainstream blockbusters to more obscure foreign or arthouse projects — with enough in the latter category to offer up some useful suggestions for your Netflix queue. Read his list after the jump.

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This week, David, Devindra, and Adam discuss the sad business of Brett Ratner’s Oscar-hosting gig, unabashedly praise Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, ponder the bizarre world of Cars, and get excited for new episodes of Arrested Development. Special guest Keith Phipps joins us from AV Club. To read more about the twisted world of Cars check out Eric D Snider’s and Rachel Mercer’s respective blog posts. Also, check out the AV Club’s awesome podcast, Reasonable Discussions.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be reviewing The Muppets and Hugo next week.

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One of the big favorites among Sundance attendees this year was Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman dealing with the aftereffects of cult brainwashing.

Fox Searchlight has released a US trailer for the film, which will open in October, but now there is a UK trailer that offers a slightly different — and no less compelling — look at the movie. This was in my top five anticipated films of the fall, and nothing has changed after watching this trailer. Check it out below. Read More »

If the title Martha Marcy May Marlene is too hard to remember, call it “The Four M’s.” That’s what virtually everyone who was in Park City, UT for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival did and the phrase was on everyone’s lips. Many felt “The Four M’s” was one of, if not the, best films at the entire festival. Directed by Sean Durkin, it centers on a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who leaves her home and joins a strange cult. Her experiences there are inter cut with her return trip home and, over the course of the film, we see how her time with the cult both forced her to leave and changed who she is.

It’s one of those tense, slow burn films fueled by great performances (including one by John Hawkes as the cult leader) which you’ll appreciate even if you don’t love. After the jump, check out two character trailers and posters for the film, which Fox Searchlight will release on October 21. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

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