Laura Dern says her Star Wars: The Last Jedi character is meant to be divisive

We still don’t know how the Star Wars movies will respond to the death of Carrie Fisher, as her General Leia was reportedly supposed to play a big role in The Last Jedi and whatever Episode IX will be called, but a new Entertainment Weekly piece dedicated to Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo might give us some…

We're not worthy of co-hosting this anniversary Wayne's World screening in Chicago

Wayne’s World is the best of the Saturday Night Live movies. Oh, there are those who will tell you it’s really The Blues Brothers or maybe the relatively recent MacGruber. There are even a few sick freaks who might cite A Night At The Roxbury. But let’s be real: In quotability, in laugh count, in gleeful irreverence,…

Lizzy Caplan joins Channing Tatum in Gambit

According to Variety, Lizzy Caplan is “in talks” to join Gambit, the X-Men spin-off that Channing Tatum is absolutely intent on making for some reason. Caplan’s role is being kept “under wraps,” but outside of popular X-Man Rogue, there are only so many comic book characters connected to Gambit who seem important…

Weekend Box Office: Lex Luthor wouldn't kneel to pick up what Justice League just made

$96 million is a lot of money. Hell, it’s astronomical, by the average person or motion-picture studio’s standards. Most of the time, when a movie makes that kind of cash at all, let alone in a single weekend, there’s no question that we’re talking about a runaway smash. But everything is relative in the box-office…

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are totally okay with losing the Han Solo movie

Earlier this year, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the Han Solo movie—now formally dubbed Solo: A Star Wars Story—after reportedly playing too loosely with the production and wasting a lot of time on things don’t make a billion dollars like “fun” and “improv.” They bounced back quickly, though,…

Denis Villeneuve's Dune won't be anything like David Lynch's version

Director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 was a surprisingly faithful sequel to Ridley Scott’s original film, echoing its iconic style with new ideas and advancements that still felt honest to core of the original. For his upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, though, Villeneuve’s has no interest in paying…

The winning Coco sends Pixar to the great beyond

B+

The afterlife imagined by Pixar’s new animated film Coco is a labyrinthine, luminous necropolis crisscrossed by string lights and papeles picados, a place both strange and all too familiar. Its currency is memory; its exit visas are family photos, without which the skeletal dead can’t cross the orange marigold-petal…

John Wick solidified Keanu Reeves as one of the greatest action stars of all time

In the entire history of American action cinema, there are very, very few movies that take their fight scenes as seriously as John Wick does. Some of the action set pieces in John Wick—the home invasion, the one-man nightclub siege—are straight-up masterpieces, and the movie never lingers long between these…

Our critics debate the merits of DC's Justice League

It’s been more than a year and a half since A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky last sat down to debate the merits (or lack thereof) of a Zack Snyder superhero movie. But now, duty calls them to return to the bombastic Snyder-verse with a look at Justice League, an intentional course-correction for the DC…

The animated trifle The Star passes the Nativity through its ass

C-

It’s a cute idea, making an animated film about the animals of the Nativity—Mary and Joseph’s donkey, the wise men’s camels, the shepherds’ sheep, and so on. Never mind that most of these are later inventions; the texts of the gospels and the Old Testament teem with animals and animal metaphors (not to mention all…

Here’s what you need to know going into Justice League

First, the good news: This is DC, so there’s a lot less ground to cover than with Marvel’s overstuffed superhero crossovers. There aren’t a bunch of standalone entries leading up to DC’s equivalent of The Avengers. Even so, do you really want to re-watch Batman V Superman before the weekend?

We went to the Cinepocalypse genre film festival, and lived to tell about it

Last year, The A.V. Club covered a little festival in Chicago called Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival. This year, that same festival re-appeared in greatly expanded form as Cinepocalypse, and we partnered with the organizers as one of the festival’s media sponsors. We were on the scene for the entire week—as much…

New York's Plaza Hotel is offering a pricey Home Alone 2 anniversary package

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York isn’t as good as the first movie, but at least it has some fun nonsense with Kevin McCallister hanging around New York’s Plaza Hotel, coming up with schemes to freak out Tim Curry and watching violent mobster movies. Apparently pleased with its major role in a movie that some people kind…

Jim & Andy’s long-lost Jim Carrey footage reveals the madness in the Method

B

There’s acting, and then there’s Method acting, and then, way out on the fringes of what’s considered acceptable and professional, there’s what we might call Xtreme Method Acting. Basically, the word “cut” ceases to have much meaning for the duration of the shoot. The actor is always in character, must always be…

Wonder is just sweet enough not to give you a toothache

B-

From the opening monologue of Wonder, the new drama based on R.J. Palacio’s novel about a 10-year-old boy with facial anomalies, things seem to be off to a bad start. “I know I’m not an ordinary kid,” adorable child actor Jacob Tremblay says in that adorable, quivering voice of his, jumping on his bed while wearing a…

Denzel Washington delivers a rare bad performance in the shapeless Roman J. Israel, Esq.

C

Roman J. Israel, Esq., the new film written and directed by Dan Gilroy, does something rather remarkable, maybe even unprecedented, albeit not in a way anyone involved might prefer: It gets a bad performance out of Denzel Washington. To be fair to Denzel, who tends to be reliably commanding even when slumming it in…

The superheroes of Justice League deserve better than another misbegotten blockbuster

C-

A blockbuster with more studio notes than script (underlined: “Be more Marvel”), Justice League attempts to inject some levity and rock ’n’ roll into Zack Snyder’s dinosaurian version of the DC Comics-verse; in many cases, it ends up with the worst of multiple worlds. Gone are the artistic pretensions and doofy…

It’s one against the bigoted world for the trans heroine of the engaging A Fantastic Woman

B

An engaging, class-conscious Tantalus myth in which the condemned’s only crime is her existence, the Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman subjects its twentysomething trans heroine, Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega), to a battery of indignities as grief and closure remain out of her reach, the frustration underscored by…

On The Beach At Night Alone mixes the painfully personal with the thrillingly unexplained

B

Because most of his films involve characters who are renowned or aspiring film directors, Hong Sang-soo has long been assumed to be working in a largely autobiographical mode. Lately, however, there’s really no way to avoid reading Hong’s personal life into his work, provided that one knows about the scandal—a major…

Ben Affleck trying to find a "cool way" to get out of playing Batman

In a lengthy USA Today story about the making of Justice League, Ben Affleck has once again resurrected the idea that he wants to stop playing Batman as soon as possible. It came in response to a question about Matt Reeves’ The Batman, with Affleck saying that the film was a project he’s “contemplating” rather than a…

Advertisement