The Guard, starring Brendon Gleeson and Don Cheadle, became a tidy little art-house hit last year, and director John Michael McDonagh is planning his next film, called The Calvary.

The movie is set to shoot this September, and has distribution sales going on in Berlin right now. The film brings Gleeson and McDonagh back together, and is now adding Chris O’Dowd and Aidan Gillen, with Kelly Reilly and David Wilmot joining as well. Read More »

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Germain’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

In 2011, I saw more new movies than I ever have in the past. Previous years I’d flirted with roughly two per week but, this year, thanks to a full Sundance Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Butt-Numb-A-Thon and other events like AFI Fest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, that number jumped up to 167. Several of those won’t be released until 2012 and others won’t get released at all, but it’s still a more than sufficient cross section of 2011 releases to adequately speak on the state of film in 2011 and give my top ten movies of the year. (Note: Any film that didn’t get an Oscar qualifying 2011 theatrical run did not qualify for this list. That’s just my personal rule.)

For me, 2011 was the year of “good, but not great.” You know the type. A film that does everything right, is entertaining, emotional, but doesn’t stick with you once you’ve left the theater. We’re lucky to have films like that because, alternatively, we could get films that are total garbage. Looking back at the year as a whole, though, very few 2011 films will stick with me as all-time favorites. It was a good year, but not great.

The films after the jump were the ones that stayed with me more than most though and, because of that, earned a place as my top ten films of 2011. 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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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Sundance Invades The Summer of 2011

Everyone’s talked ad nauseam about how the summer of 2011 is going to be a blockbuster bloodbath. Week after week of high concept, big budget sequels featuring superheroes, robots and wizards. But those aren’t the only movies that’ll be playing at your local theater during the long, hot months of May, June, July and August. A huge chunk of movies we reviewed in January at the Sundance Film Festival – from award winners to our personal favorites – are also finding their way into theaters during that time. As the heat quickly approaches, we’ve decided to highlight over 20 Sundance films that are scheduled to open opposite the traditional Hollywood fare. See images, read reviews and find release dates all below. Read More »

Complete with sniffles, fevers and coughs, we’re just now beginning to recover from the madness that was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Over the course of 11 days, myself, Peter Sciretta and David Chen were all over Park City, Utah watching films, writing, talking to stars, meeting our fellow bloggers and watching more films. Personally I saw 36 films over 11 days so I feel like I have a good perspective on the festival as a whole.

The general consensus is that this was one of the best Sundance’s in a long time, with about a huge number of films acquiring distribution in comparison to previous years. And while I think the overall quality was incredibly high, there were only a handful of films that stood out above the rest. Most of the 36 films I saw were middle of the pack. Well-made, entertaining, thought-provoking, but ultimately not as exciting as one might hope. Only a select few stood out as the best, or worst.

To try and let the cream of the crop rise to the top, we’ve gone ahead and picked out or favorite, and least favorite, films of the Sundance Film Festival. Read all our lists after the jump. Read More »

The Guard, which was picked up at Sundance by Sony Pictures Classics, is one of those movies you’re going to be quoting and turning your friends on to. Though it seems pretty surface based on a general description, once you see it, you realize it’s a truly special movie complete with humor, action, heart and one of the most memorable characters in recent years. That character, Sergeant Gerry Boyle played by Brendan Gleeson, is sort of Bad Lieutenant Light. He’s got plenty of bad habits – drinks on the job, says horrible things – but is actually a decent guy and great cop. Put that character in the middle of a simple murder mystery, co-starring Don Cheadle and Mark Strong, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, and you’ve got one of the best movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Read More »

Here’s your blast of casting bites for the end of the week. First up, Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson will team as unlikely cop partners in The Guard. Film follows the confrontational small-town Sgt. Gerry Boyle (Gleeson), who likes hookers and isn’t interested in drug runners, and FBI Agent Everett (Cheadle) in a tale of international coke smuggling. Sounds on the surface like an Irish reversal of Beverly Hills Cop, where the small-town local guy is the irreverent jokester while the outsider is terribly straightlaced. John Michael McDonagh writes and directs. If it weren’t for the cast, and the fact that it takes place in Ireland (not even sure why that’s a draw) I’d be brushing this one off already. [ComingSoon]

After the break, Reese Witherspoon demonstrates the first rule and Djimon Hounsou kicks some ass. Read More »

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