Neill Blomkamp discusses his new film, ‘Chappie’

Before he ever thought of being a movie director, Neill Blomkamp ...

A sextet of stories that make you laugh and cringe in ‘Wild Tales’

It’s all right there in the title of this Oscar-nominated film from Argentina: “Wild Tales.” ...

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' reconvenes a winning cast

The notorious larcenist known as Maggie Smith continues her diabolical spree of serial scene-stealing in "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," a strident, over-plotty sequel to the 2012 surprise hit about a group of aging British ex-pats who move into a charming Jaipur inn to reinvent their golden years.

'Girlhood': a teenage escape from a seemingly hopeless future

It was only a matter of time before "Boyhood," ...

Bruce Wagner's 'Maps to the Stars' shows dark side of sunny Hollywood

LOS ANGELES – Sunshine is everywhere on a recent afternoon in West Hollywood. The 180-degree view from the penthouse of the Soho House lays out the city below as its mythic ideal. "Lead guitars and movie stars," as Mick Jagger once sang.

Oscars: 'Birdman' swoops to conquer for small films

The conventional wisdom going into the 87th Academy Awards ..

New ‘SpongeBob’ movie mops up with surrealistic goofiness

“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” is out of its mind, and that’s a good thing.

Well-placed shades of gray in ‘Black or White’

This second teaming of writer-director Mike Binder and star Kevin Costner ...

SAG Awards: Best and worst moments, and who tripped on stage

So, if we go by the theory that the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes predict the Oscars, looks like the Academy Award acting categories are pretty much a lock.

Charlestowne 18 part of 'Predict the Oscars' contest

ST. CHARLES – The Charlestowne 18 Theatre will be part of Classic Cinemas' ...

2015 Oscar nominations show lack of diversity in a year when films didn't

It's altogether fitting that a movie called "Whiplash" was the last one named Thursday when the nominations for best picture were announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Mali's Festival in the Desert captured on film

At a computer in Bamako, Mali, Manny Ansar couldn't help smiling. A reporter had asked by email whether Ansar — the co-founder and director of Mali's Festival in the Desert — had seen "The Last Song Before the War," a documentary about the festival's 2011 edition, directed by Kiley Kraskouskas of Falls Church, Virginia.

Paramount rings in new year with Classic Movie Mondays

AURORA – The Paramount Theatre in Aurora will ring in the new year with a lineup of classic movies to be shown as part of its Classic Movie Mondays film series.

'Mr. Turner': Timothy Spall paints a masterpiece

Timothy Spall grunts, groans, spits and sputters ...

At 87, 'Big Eyes' artist Margaret Keane finally gets her Hollywood break

NAPA, Calif. – Margaret Keane still feels guilty.

'Into the Woods' aims for fairy-tale ending

Is "Into the Woods" a golden Christmas goose? We are about to discover whether toy-crazy, youth-worshipping American filmgoers will in large numbers embrace a movie musical that effectively says to them, Whoa, hold on a minute: all those child-safe fairy tale endings Hollywood's been selling you? Hooey!

Golden Globes help push smaller films into spotlight

There was a time when I would have scoffed at the Golden Globes nominations ...

With 'Selma,' social movement of the past converges with present

Most movies choose their moments. Then there are those rare moments that seem to choose their movies. ...

Steve Carell is overmatched by his role in ‘Foxcatcher’

Watching the overhyped “Foxcatcher,” one envisions the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink hunched over an Underwood typewriter tapping out a psychotic “wrestling picture.” All that’s missing are the fishmongers – and Wallace Beery.

'Horrible Bosses 2' is a coarse, lazy retread

In "Horrible Bosses 2," Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day once again play three ...

Reese Witherspoon discusses life in the "Wild”

When Reese Witherspoon first set eyes upon and quickly devoured Cheryl Strayed’s ...

‘Hunger Games’ stars discuss ‘Mockingjay’ installment

The folks who star in the ultra-successful series of films based on Suzanne Collins...

'The Theory of Everything': more than Stephen Hawking's story

"The Theory of Everything," a stirring if conveniently cosmeticized portrait of physicist Stephen Hawking...

'National Gallery': An eye on art from the inside

The documentary "National Gallery" opens silently, with a parade ...

‘Interstellar’ is big and small

People who haven’t seen “Interstellar” and are only familiar with its (three radically different) trailers ...

Futuristic ‘Big Hero 6’ kicks into gear

Best. Stan. Lee. Cameo. Ever. ... It’s a Disney film, not a Marvel film.

Star power helps awaken formulaic 'Before I Go to Sleep'

"Before I Go to Sleep" is the cinematic equivalent of comfort food. Unfussy ...

'Laggies': For Keira Knightley, growing up is hard to do

In "Laggies," Keira Knightley plays Megan Burch, a 28-year-old woman ...

'Birdman': Michael Keaton winks as a comeback comes full circle

In "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," Michael Keaton plays an actor named Riggan Thomson, who first appears hovering several inches above his dressing room floor, deep in meditation. He's trying to ignore the voice of the title character, his alter ego, who takes the form of the comic book character he once played and whose superpowers he now seems able to conjure at the drop of a black leather cowl.

'The Irish Pub': Pouring pints as a public service

Of all the compelling reasons to visit an Irish pub, a perfectly pulled pint of Guinness might not necessarily top the list.

Gary Webb was no journalism hero, despite what 'Kill the Messenger' says

An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof. That old dictum ought to hang on the walls of every journalism school in America. It is the salient lesson of the Gary Webb affair. It might have saved his journalism career, though it would have precluded his canonization in the new film "Kill the Messenger."

Full of ‘Life’: Animated tale is alive with adventure

“The Book of Life” takes place on the Mexican Day of the Dead ...

‘Gone Girl’ will keep you guessing (if you haven’t read the book)

It used to be simple to write a movie review: Tell a bit of the plot, then say why everything else about the film was good ...

‘Good People’ is cliched, but it works

People never learn, even good ones. They find a satchel stuffed with cash, let greed get the better of them ...

McDonagh, Gleeson discuss ‘Calvary’

When John Michael McDonagh walked onto the set of “Calvary,” the story of a good priest in contemporary Ireland whose life is threatened by an angry parishioner who long ago was a victim of pedophilia, it was only his second time directing a film.

Space adventure ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is coolest summer movie

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” isn’t writer-director James Gunn’s first superhero movie. ...

In ‘Magic,’ Woody Allen’s quirks shine through

Emma Stone and Colin Firth bring an amusing vitality to a movie, especially when they’re engaged in quick-witted sparring. So watching them try to outmaneuver each other in “Magic in the Moonlight” – Woody Allen’s latest period romantic comedy – is delightful.

I love ‘Lucy’

French writer-director producer Luc Besson likes to make movies featuring strong women. ...

‘Planes’ sequel doesn’t quite take off

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” appears to be a cartoon that’s designed for kids, and designed to sell anthropomorphized helicopter toys to kids. To be clear, it is both of those things. But this sequel – which improves slightly on its lazy predecessor, last year’s “Planes” – is also a movie made to appeal to the middle-aged, particularly those who enjoy watching an animated air show set to the sound of AC/DC.

‘Yves Saint Laurent’: A tired portrait of a tortured artist

Yves Saint Laurent, as portrayed in the French biopic bearing his name, comes across as two people. There was Yves before the drugs: Born in Algeria, he was a soft-spoken, painfully shy prodigy who took over the Dior fashion house while he was still in his 20s. And then there was the more uninhibited Yves, a philanderer who snorted cocaine, went out dancing and alienated his closest friends and longtime lover.

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ tops ‘Rise’

As the end credits for this follow-up to the prequel of “Planet of the Apes” ...