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  • So who has dared to defend Harvey Weinstein?

    So who has dared to defend Harvey Weinstein?

    The small but vocal group of Hollywood celebrities who initially defended movie mogul Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment accusations and rape allegations has been forced to walk back its praise in the face of overwhelming social media backlash. Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, actress...

  • 'Happy Death Day' stands out among weak lineup of wide releases

    'Happy Death Day' stands out among weak lineup of wide releases

    It's been a great season for horror, with Blumhouse's "Happy Death Day" becoming the latest horror film to top the domestic box office in its opening weekend. The $5-million film, a bloody riff on the classic "Groundhog Day" concept, brought in an estimated $26.5 million in the U.S. and Canada,...

  • Indie Focus: Families and histories with 'The Meyerowitz Stories,' 'Professor Marston' and 'Faces Places'

    Indie Focus: Families and histories with 'The Meyerowitz Stories,' 'Professor Marston' and 'Faces Places'

    Anyone reading this newsletter is likely already well-informed of the allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault surrounding disgraced producer and former studio chief Harvey Weinstein. My colleagues Josh Rottenberg and Amy Kaufman wrote a stellar pair of articles this week about the scandal,...

  • Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy

    Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy

    Embattled film mogul Harvey Weinstein — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him. The film academy’s...

  • Kate Winslet didn't thank Harvey Weinstein when she won the Oscar. Here's why

    Kate Winslet didn't thank Harvey Weinstein when she won the Oscar. Here's why

    When Kate Winslet won the lead actress Oscar for “The Reader” in 2009, she thanked 19 people by name along with many others in general. She did not mention Harvey Weinstein, whose company financed and distributed the movie. “That was deliberate. That was absolutely deliberate,” Winslet told The...

  • Why this film critic gave up on horror movies

    Why this film critic gave up on horror movies

    Like characters in an old blues song, horror and I met at a crossroads decades ago. I went one way, horror another, and lately, I've been trying to figure out the reasons why. It's not just the deaths of two of modern horror's founding fathers, George Romero of "Night of the Living Dead" and Tobe...

  • Kelly Macdonald tracks her rise from 'Trainspotting' to Winnie the Pooh

    Kelly Macdonald tracks her rise from 'Trainspotting' to Winnie the Pooh

    Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald was 19 when she joined the cast of “Trainspotting,” her first movie. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but one that put MacDonald on a path to becoming a film and TV actress who works easily in both the U.S. and the U.K. Her latest project, “Goodbye Christopher...

  • Judd Apatow on Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment and how to stop abusive men in power

    Judd Apatow on Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment and how to stop abusive men in power

    Producer Judd Apatow details the clever ways entertainment industry titans like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby hide their crimes and why it's essential to create a world where people feel safe stepping forward to call them out.

  • Survival tale '6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain' never manages to heat up

    Survival tale '6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain' never manages to heat up

    Making like James Franco in “127 Hours,” Josh Hartnett fights for his life in the foreboding Sierra Nevadas in “6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain,” a fittingly chilly but dramatically glacial survival thriller. Based on the real-life 2004 experience of former pro-hockey player Eric LeMarque, whose...

  • New docs on old movies reveal film history

    New docs on old movies reveal film history

    New films about old movies are a particular passion of mine, and two new documentaries on DVD are welcome additions to the genre. “The Champion: A Story of America's First Film Town," released by Milestone, tells the oldest of these stories, engagingly detailing how Fort Lee, N.J., of all places,...

  • Sex slavery shouldn't be seen as erotic as it appears in 'Trafficked'

    Sex slavery shouldn't be seen as erotic as it appears in 'Trafficked'

    A global scourge gets the schlock-buffet treatment in “Trafficked,” a thriller about sex slaves no less junky because it includes grim statistics as text at the end, and was written by human trafficking activist Siddharth Kara. Movies can warp any urgent issue into disposable melodrama, and what’s...

  • Documentary 'Surviving Peace' rolls out its own Israeli-Palestinian plan

    Documentary 'Surviving Peace' rolls out its own Israeli-Palestinian plan

    Other than serving as potential homework for Jared Kushner, there just isn’t much of value in “Surviving Peace,” a self-serving documentary dialogue on the century-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict directed by Southern California-based Israeli attorney Josef Avesar. Covering ground that has been...

  • 'Bending the Arc' reveals superheroes behind altruistic healthcare organization

    'Bending the Arc' reveals superheroes behind altruistic healthcare organization

    While caped, biologically enhanced avengers dominate multiplexes, the documentary “Bending the Arc” — about the intrepid men and women behind the global healthcare nongovernmental organization Partners in Health — chronicles what real-world heroes look and sound like, and what they do to bring...

  • Shannon Elizabeth golf comedy 'Swing Away' can't keep the ball on the fairway

    Shannon Elizabeth golf comedy 'Swing Away' can't keep the ball on the fairway

    Just like its struggling athletic heroine, “Swing Away” develops a case of the yips. This harmless golf comedy offers some genuine laughs in its first half, but it devolves into a clichéd David-versus-Goliath story on the back nine. After missing a putt, professional American golfer Zoe Papadopoulos...

  • Francesca Eastwood cleans up a campus in rape-revenge thriller 'M.F.A.'

    Francesca Eastwood cleans up a campus in rape-revenge thriller 'M.F.A.'

    Writer and costar Leah McKendrick and director Natalia Leite tackle the issue of campus sexual assault with the uncommonly insightful and psychologically motivated rape-revenge slasher flick “M.F.A.” After she suffers a horrifying date rape, visual arts graduate student Noelle (Francesca Eastwood,...

  • Fresh take on fraternity life in 'Haze'

    Fresh take on fraternity life in 'Haze'

    The physical and psychological torture of fraternity hazing has been dramatized in movies as silly as “Animal House” and as harrowing as “Goat.” Writer-director David Burkman’s “Haze” takes a somewhat different approach, mixing melodrama and docudrama — doing a lot better with the latter than the...

  • Killer werefrog, clever design enliven retro monster flick 'Bad Blood: The Movie'

    Killer werefrog, clever design enliven retro monster flick 'Bad Blood: The Movie'

    A wacky idea and one amazing set do a lot for writer-director Tim Reis’ “Bad Blood: The Movie,” a retro monster picture about the curse of a “werefrog.” There’s barely enough plot here to fill a feature, but this energetic throwback’s DIY effects and general looniness should appeal to horror mavens....

  • John Cusack and Ellar Coltrane tussle in efficient white-water thriller 'Blood Money'

    John Cusack and Ellar Coltrane tussle in efficient white-water thriller 'Blood Money'

    The swift and efficient wilderness thriller “Blood Money,” directed by Lucky McKee and written by Jared Butler and Lars Norberg, stars Ellar Coltrane (“Boyhood”) as a well-meaning young man caught in a love triangle with Willa Fitzgerald and Jacob Artist, that becomes a violent power struggle when...

  • A nostalgia-for-hell triptych in World War II drama 'Paradise'

    A nostalgia-for-hell triptych in World War II drama 'Paradise'

    The Holocaust drama is a genre rarely misunderstood, but also rarely a framework within which a new insight on unspeakable evil is attained. The latest to attempt something somberly artful in representing this era is Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky, with the black-and-white, narratively stylized...

  • Documentary 'Dina' explores love and marriage on the spectrum

    Documentary 'Dina' explores love and marriage on the spectrum

    Dina Buno and Scott Levin are 40ish Philadelphians preparing for their wedding and poised to embark on a marriage that’s bound to be filled with its share of joys and challenges. That makes them pretty much like any other couple save one not-so-small thing: Dina and Scott both have Asperger’s Syndrome....

  • Has anyone fallen faster than Harvey Weinstein?

    Has anyone fallen faster than Harvey Weinstein?

    One might say it’s among the most stunning falls from grace Hollywood has ever seen, but the word “grace” has rarely been used where Harvey Weinstein is concerned. In less than a week, the mounting scandal over allegations of sexual harassment and assault has rapidly consumed the once-powerful...

  • TV horror vs. movie horror: Guillermo del Toro on telling scary stories across different mediums

    TV horror vs. movie horror: Guillermo del Toro on telling scary stories across different mediums

    The latest movie by Guillermo del Toro is the genre-hopping “The Shape of Water,” which manages all at once to be a romance, an espionage thriller, a period story, a monster movie and even make time for a full-fledged musical number. His previous feature, “Crimson Peak,” was a gothic romance and...

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