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  • AMC hires former Fox Entertainment executive David Madden

    AMC hires former Fox Entertainment executive David Madden

    Just two weeks following his announced departure from Fox Broadcasting Co. where he served as the head of entertainment, David Madden has landed at AMC Networks, where he will take the role of president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. Madden is set to begin his new...

  • 'mother!,' 'Brad's Status,' 'School Life' and other movie picks for Sept. 15

    'mother!,' 'Brad's Status,' 'School Life' and other movie picks for Sept. 15

    Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers. Baby Driver Edgar Wright’s exuberant, one-of-a-kind vehicular-action-thriller-musical-romance stars Ansel Elgort as a tinnitus-afflicted, music-loving getaway driver alongside a superb supporting cast that includes...

  • Documentaries that will get you moving

    Documentaries that will get you moving

    The matchless excitement created by moving feet is at the heart of excellent documentaries scheduled for Los Angeles screens. You may think you've seen all you want to about the Boston Marathon, but “Boston,” opening Sept. 22 at the Laemmle Music Hall, will change your mind. Though it offers a...

  • 'The View From Here' is an affecting drama despite a half-baked restaurant subplot

    'The View From Here' is an affecting drama despite a half-baked restaurant subplot

    It turns out a flawed film can still be profoundly affecting if it hits you in the right place on the right day, as the romantic drama “The View From Here” proves. Writer/director Kellen Garner stars as one half of the estranged couple at the center of this story. After two years apart, Mark (Garner)...

  • 'Wetlands' is a detective thriller so amateur it's criminal

    'Wetlands' is a detective thriller so amateur it's criminal

    Sodden with amateurishness, “Wetlands” attempts to turn Atlantic City in December into a noir nexus of drug-dealing surfers, struggling moms and broken cops, but instead merely claims a handful of good actors as unfortunate victims. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje glowers painfully as Babs, a disgraced,...

  • Karen Allen is a wonder, but she deserves better than 'Year by the Sea'

    Karen Allen is a wonder, but she deserves better than 'Year by the Sea'

    It’s always a pleasure to behold Karen Allen, her warmth and beauty undimmed since such early movies as “Animal House” and “A Small Circle of Friends.” Which makes it all the more depressing that she’s saddled with such a soggy lead role in “Year by the Sea,” a groan-worthy adaptation of Joan Anderson’s...

  • A film about on-air suicides, 'The Show' is predictable and tone-deaf

    A film about on-air suicides, 'The Show' is predictable and tone-deaf

    Neither sharp enough to qualify as satire nor emotional enough to be a standard drama, “The Show” exists in film purgatory. Directed by “Breaking Bad” actor Giancarlo Esposito, the movie attempts to comment on reality-show culture, but it offers little insight beyond its ill-conceived premise....

  • Post-civil war era western 'Justice' piles on the clichés

    Post-civil war era western 'Justice' piles on the clichés

    The words, “Revenge has a new name” may appear on the poster, but it’s all old hat where “Justice” is concerned. A corny oater about a proverbial stranger who rides into an Old West town looking for the bad hombres who killed his brother, Richard Gabai’s film is too preoccupied corralling all the...

  • Sci-fi 'Infinity Chamber' goes on ... and on ... for a little too long

    Sci-fi 'Infinity Chamber' goes on ... and on ... for a little too long

    History has a way of repeating — and repeating — itself in “Infinity Chamber,” a claustrophobic, dystopian sci-fi thriller that plays “Memento”/“Groundhog Day” mind games to ponderous effect. Waking up to find himself detained in a subterranean, fully-automated high-security prison, Frank Lerner...

  • Charlie Sheen thriller '9/11' exploits its namesake tragedy

    Charlie Sheen thriller '9/11' exploits its namesake tragedy

    If it were a standard thriller set on any other day in any other building, the film “9/11” would be laughable. Lame characterization, painful overacting and clunky lines would happen, but it wouldn’t cause any reactions beyond giggles and eye rolls. Making a film about an event that is still so...

  • Stacey Snider of Fox Film disses Netflix movies

    Stacey Snider of Fox Film disses Netflix movies

    In a rare moment of executive candor, the head of 20th Century Fox Film delivered a verbal beating to Netflix, saying that the streaming giant offers no advantages to filmmakers or movie-lovers, and that its days as a dominant force in Hollywood are numbered. Stacey Snider, who serves as chairwoman...

  • Questions of self and manhood run deep in remarkable South African drama 'The Wound'

    Questions of self and manhood run deep in remarkable South African drama 'The Wound'

    A longstanding manhood ritual reveals some sobering, unintended truths in the South African drama “The Wound” from director John Trengove. Issues of sexuality, generational divide, class and self-loathing are cross-stitched into a compelling patchwork of edgy masculinity in this tale of a gay Xhosa...

  • 'It' delivers nightmarish visuals but misses the true horror of Stephen King's classic

    'It' delivers nightmarish visuals but misses the true horror of Stephen King's classic

    The 1950s small-town America of Stephen King’s youth provides a deceptively wholesome backdrop for the author’s nightmarish 1986 novel “It,” about a group of adolescent misfits in Derry, Maine, who band together to fight an evil, shape-shifting clown. But transplant the timeline to the summer of...

  • With 'It,' Hollywood looks for hope in a classic of fear

    With 'It,' Hollywood looks for hope in a classic of fear

    Film director Andy Muschietti stood on a soundstage and swiveled his head around the subterranean world he’d created. The boyish-faced Argentine was attempting to bring “It,” the epically scaled Stephen King novel, to cinematic life. ‎ Behind Muschietti, a winding set of constructed sewer tunnels...

  • An empowered girl soars in the animated Japanese fantasy 'Napping Princess'

    An empowered girl soars in the animated Japanese fantasy 'Napping Princess'

    High school junior Kokone Morikawa (voiced by Mitsuki Takahata), the heroine of the animated Japanese film “Napping Princess,” would rather spend the summer dozing and looking after her widowed mechanic father than watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which are only a few days off. But she finds herself...

  • Nepotism? Legacy? Just call Hallie Meyers-Shyer's 'Home Again' the family business

    Nepotism? Legacy? Just call Hallie Meyers-Shyer's 'Home Again' the family business

    The name "Meyers" has come to signify a very specific type of film in Hollywood — the shiny, gentle, comforting and aspirational romantic family comedies that writer-director Nancy Meyers has perfected: "Something's Gotta Give," "The Holiday," "It's Complicated." Her daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer,...

  • College freshmen face 9/11 in drama 'September Morning'

    College freshmen face 9/11 in drama 'September Morning'

    Writer-director Ryan Frost was a freshman in college on Sept. 11, 2001 (full disclosure, so was this critic). It’s a unique situation — away from home for the first time, living with a group of people you’ve just met and trying to process the surreal, history-altering terrorist attacks on the U.S....

  • Rapid-fire indie sci-fi 'Anti Matter' is more interesting than entertaining

    Rapid-fire indie sci-fi 'Anti Matter' is more interesting than entertaining

    The indie science-fiction movie “Anti Matter” sets itself apart from similar arty genre exercises by adopting a screwball comedy pace, and a visual style akin to a hyperactive action film. Writer-director Keir Burrows’ rapid-fire dialogue and barrage of images ultimately prove too exhausting, though...

  • Women assert themselves with verve in Indian drama 'Lipstick Under My Burkha'

    Women assert themselves with verve in Indian drama 'Lipstick Under My Burkha'

    The rousing Indian drama “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” co-written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, takes on the repressive traditions around gender and sexuality in that country with refreshing candor and humor. Leela (Aahana Kumra), Usha (Ratna Pathak Shah), Shirin (Konkona Sen Sharma) and...

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