Sir Richard Attenborough's Academy Award winning film Gandhi features a bravura performance by Sir Ben Kingsley. It won 8 Academy Awards back in 1982 and was nominated for an additional three. At three hours and 11 minutes it is a long movie, but not overlong. It is a truly epic story filmed with care by dedicated filmmakers.
Atomic Blonde wants to be Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy meets John Wick. It doesn't quite deliver on that premise, but for an atmospheric action film with a game lead actor and serious violence, it soars. Charlize Theron builds on the chops she showed in Mad Max: Fury Road and director David Leitch proves that he was just getting warmed up with John Wick. Come for the great sound track and for Charlize Theron kicking serious ass and stay for Charlize Theron kicking serious ass.
Writer/Director Chrisopher Nolan rebounds from the messy, overlong, misfire of Interstellar to deliver a powerhouse war film experience with Dunkirk. Pulse-pounding, nerve-wracking, and genuinely moving, the story of the British evacuation at Dunkirk in World War II is remarkably told by Nolan and his stellar cast. A technical marvel with all departments at peak work, Dunkirk will likely stand as the definitive telling of this story. Definitely worth seeing and worth seeing on a large format screen.
Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his wife Emily V. Gordon have written a sweet, funny, poignant, fresh, at-times-dark comedy about how they met and got together. Sporting a terrific cast, strong performances, and a realistic relationship with two stars with fantastic chemistry, The Big Sick is definitely worth checking out.
Writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) brings his particular type of British razzle dazzle to the United States and amps up the adrenaline in Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort, John Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey. This crime thriller will have you dancing to your car and speeding all the way home.
Milos Foreman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) won his second Best Director Oscar and guided a second film to win the Best Picture Academy Award with 1984's Amadeus. Starring Tom Hulce, F. Murray Abraham, the music of Mozart, and an opera horse that poops linked sausage, the film took home 8 Academy Awards.
There is minimalist horror and small-scale thrillers, and then there is It Comes At Night. This film, starring Joel Edgerton, does an admirable job setting a dreadful mood and ratcheting up the sense of impending doom. Then very little happens. Or some stuff happens but you sort of don't notice until it is all over. Even then. Well, just listen to the episode to find out...
Director Patty Jenkins (Monster) delivers a strong (at last!) entry in the DC cinematic universe with Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot. The action is strong, the heroine spectacular, and much of the World War I-set film stirring. There is great chemistry with co-star Chris Pine and strong supporting turns from Danny Huston and David Thewlis. The third act devolves into some standard comic film fare, but the build up and character development along the way make Wonder Woman worth seeing.
Brad Pitt channels Sterling Hayden in David Michod's all-over-the-map war satire War Machine. Supported by Anthony Michael Hall, Alan Ruck, and Topher Grace, Pitt plays a tough as nails general tasked with "winning" the war in Afghanistan. Tilda Swinton shows up to steal one scene, and somehow, receives a top billing.
Ridley Scott returns to the Alien franchise with Alien: Covenant to continue tinkering with the timeline and mythology of the Alien franchise. Michael Fassbender does double duty as two different robots to star alongside Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, and a host of victims. Covenant raises as many questions as it answers and provides some closure to the head scratchers from Scott's last foray here: Prometheus. Whether you loved or loathed that film may inform your take on this one.
Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman star in this quaint, and mostly-harmless Best Picture winner from 1989. The movie was nominated for nine Oscars and took home four including Best Picture and Best Actress for Tandy. This film beat Field of Dreams, Born on the Fourth of July, and Dead Poets Society. Which of these films have you revisited since 1989? We know which ones the cable channel TNT has revisited.
Marvel continues its dominance over the known cinematic universe with a sequel to 2014's offbeat hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Louder, longer, and more frenetic, this movie has more of everything you liked about the first film. That may or may not be a great thing.
Emma Watson, fresh from the biggest movie of the year (Disney's Beauty & the Beast), stars in either a cautionary tale or nearly-incomplete techno-thriller The Circle. Tom Hanks (fresh off his own box office-cautionary tale A Hologram for the King) channels his inner tech guru while Patton Oswalt oozes creep. Bill Paxton provides a lovely performance in one of his last films.
Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), and Kevin Corrigan (The Departed) star in director Bob Byington's quirky independent film Infinity Baby. Come for the genetically-altered, eternally-young infants, stay for the Offerman. Unlike the titular tykes upon which the film is named, Infinity Baby will grow on you.
Writer/Director James Gray (We Own The Night, The Yards) lets Charlie Hunnam (TV's Sons of Anarchy) and Robert Pattinson (Twilight) loose in the Amazonian jungle in the new film The Lost City of Z. Sienna Miller (Layer Cake) plays the most understanding wife in the history of cinema and Angus McFadyen (Braveheart) throws out his tough guy image.
Peter Jackson's Middle Earth trilogy concludes with the mammoth Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Winner of ALL 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated (including Best Picture and Best Director), LOTR: ROTK tests the skill of the Fellowship and the patience of the audience sitting through the Extended Edition's 4-plus-hour running time.
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Nocturnal Animals), and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) headline an international cast battling an Martian life form aboard the International Space Station. This is NOT an "Alien" film, and in NO WAY should be confused with an "Alien" film which is, you know, about people fighting an alien aboard a spaceship.
Robert Redford (All the President's Men, The Sting, OK pretty much every good movie from the 1970s), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) headline this Netflix original film from director Charlie McDowell. Moody, mysterious, and a catalyst for intense conversations, this is a film you may revisit again and again. Check out our episode and, as always, feel free to sound off.
So...why did we choose to watch this Danish comedy from 2010?! Honestly, we cannot exactly remember how this one got in the queue. It had been in there for several months and we were excited to finally sit down and give it our full attention. What did we think? Check out the episode to find out!
Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Casino) finally got his Oscar love in 2006 with The Departed. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, and Mark Wahlberg, this thriller packs more BAH-stan accents than you can shake a stick at.