The last film to take home "the big five awards" at the Academy Awards - Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay (Adapted), remains as resonant and thrilling today as when it was honored for being the best picture in 1991. The Silence of the Lambs is a chilling, taut, and fully-realized thriller featuring great, award-winning performances from Jodie Foster (Somersby, The Beaver) and Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Mask of Zorro, Transformers: The Last Knight). Jonathan Demme's (Married to the Mob) direction gives the film a dreamy, musical quality and Ted Tally's (The Juror) screenplay masterfully adapts Thomas Harris' novel. This one will stick with you for days and is worth revisiting.
Writer/Director Greta Gerwig displays her impressive knowledge of indie cinema with her debut film - Lady Bird - a coming of age story about a young woman navigating high school, family, romance, college, and peer pressure. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, Hannah) stuns as the semi-pretentious Lady Bird and is supported by a stellar cast including Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne), Tracy Letts (The Big Short, Homeland), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), and Lois Smith (Minority Report, Twister). Already ranked as one of the best reviewed movies of 2017 and the BEST reviewed movie EVER on Rotten Tomatoes, Lady Bird is building serious awards buzz.
Emma Stone (La La Land) and Steve Carell (Evan Almighty) square off in Battle of the Sexes, based on the true story of the tennis match played by Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973. Sexism, chauvinism, pig-headedness, misogyny, and general a-holenism abounds.
Writer/Director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) decided to create a "punk movie" with mother! and include a cavalcade of Academy Award nominees and winners. Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in his insane mess. This episode is a bit more of a rant and only Danny sat through this thing. Mike is welcome.
Stephen King's IT gets a new cinematic adaptation in this updated thriller. The film, which has broken box office records and pumped some much-needed financial life into theaters, hits all the major points of the first half of the book while setting up the sequel to give us the rest. Pennywise is dusted off and reinvented, all due respect to Tim Curry.
Director Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven) came out of retirement to direct the heist comedy Logan Lucky starring Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, and Adam Driver. This "Ocean's 7-11" follows a rag tag group of blue-collar criminals as they attempt to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca Cola 600, one or the largest NASCAR races of the year.
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...
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.
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.
The guys discuss the year in movies for 2016 as well as one last Best Picture nominee before @TheAcademy gives out the #Oscars. Lion has been nominated for 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (@Dev_Patel) and Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman). The film is quiet and sad and beautiful in a number of ways.
Well, Michael Keaton must be pissed. His designed-to-get-a-Best-Actor-nomination role in The Founder has come up dry. Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the "founder" of McDonalds in this mostly-worts biopic which portrays his rise from faltering salesman to the pinnacle of nasty capitalism. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch play the McDonald brothers and each delivers a terrific supporting performance.
Director/star Denzel Washington and Golden Globe Winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) Viola Davis reprise their Tony-winning roles in the adaptation of August Wilson's Fences. The film features great performances from it's stars and faithfully adheres to the source material. Check out what the guys thought of it and sound off in the comments section.
Writer/Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) works to re-introduce the movie musical to contemporary audiences by setting his La La Land in Los Angeles and starring a pair of gorgeous, young stars (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling). Whether he succeeds is up for debate, as you'll hear in this week's episode of Spoiler Alert.
Director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) takes the reins in the first "Star Wars Story" which is supposed to be a stand alone, "non-saga" film within the Star Wars universe. The story of Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Inferno) and her band of rogues who steal the plans for the original Death Star, fits nicely into the established saga timeline. Filled with nostalgia, but able to stand on its own two legs, this film drives an action-packed punch and keeps the fans satiated until next December's Episode 8 hits theaters.
Happy holidays from The Spoiler Alert Podcast and Movie Outsiders! Celebrate with us the only way we know how - by talking about movies. Office Christmas Party is a hard-R-rated comedy starring a cavalcade of comedy talent and character actors. Rally some friends, knock back some spiked eggnog, and roll with the punches. Do NOT see this one with Grandma on Christmas night after you've opened presents and run out of things to talk about!!
Disney continues its winning streak after Frozen and Zootopia with the charming and gorgeous Moana. Filled with visual dazzle, great songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and featuring Dwayne Johnson singing, Moana is a wonderful film for kids and adults.