2:39 am
Tue January 27, 2015

'Stronger Than Ever' Sundance Docs Tackle Scientology, Campus Rape

Alex Gibney's Going Clear is based on a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright.
Sam Painter Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 10:27 am

Over in Park City, Utah, the Sundance Film Festival is in full swing. Critic Kenneth Turan tells NPR's Renee Montagne about some of the festival's must-see films, including documentaries about Scientology, rape on college campuses and Nina Simone, and a romantic drama based on a novel by Colm Tóibín.

Interview Highlights

On the festival's stand-out documentaries

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Movie Reviews
11:29 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

JLo In January's Movie Of The Week

Well, it's January. That's the message received from “The Boy Next Door,” written by former assistant U.S. attorney Barbara Curry, produced by its star, Jennifer Lopez, and directed by Rob Cohen (“XXX,” “Dragon Heart,” “The Fast and The Furious”). Even though the movie was shot on a budget of 4 million dollars within 25 days, a tight constraint is no excuse for this movie to be so simplistic.

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NPR Story
2:05 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

A Sniper's Look At 'American Sniper'

"American Sniper," which stars Bradley Cooper, tells the story of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:37 pm

The Oscar-nominated film “American Sniper” has been an unexpected hit at the box office; it’s already grossed over $100 million so far. The film, which tells the story of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, is also finding fans within the sniper community.

Former Marine Scout Sniper Chris Mark tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that the film helps to counter the perception “that, you know, we’re lonely men that hide in the shadows and kill for a living.”

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Movie Interviews
11:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch On Alan Turing's Awkwardness And Sherlock's Sex Appeal

The Imitation Game, starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the story of mathematician Alan Turing — from his efforts to break Germany's Enigma code during World War II to his conviction for homosexuality.
Jack English Courtesy of Black Bear Films

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:58 am

It's been a good year for Benedict Cumberbatch. The English actor has earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film The Imitation Game, and he's won critical acclaim — and a big following — for his performance on TV's Sherlock.

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Code Switch
4:29 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

In 'Selma,' British Actor Brings Outsider's Perspective To MLK

David Oyelowo stars as Joe "Lightning" Little in Red Tails.
Jiri Hanzl Lucasfilm

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:32 pm

British actor David Oyelowo has been praised for his chameleon-like ability to embody different accents and roles with confidence and ease.

In a relatively short eight years in Hollywood, the London transplant has assembled an impressive portfolio of supporting roles in films by directors Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan and J.C. Chandor. But it's his performance as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava Duvernay's Selma that has cemented his position as a leading man.

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Code Switch
8:50 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

Iranian-American Filmmaker Breaks Out Of Boxes, Into The Box Office

Desiree Akhavan plays Shirin in Appropriate Behavior. Akhavan says she chose the name Shirin because it means sweet in Farsi. "Even though she's insane, she has a sweetness," says Akhavan.
Desiree Akhavan

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 3:25 pm

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Movie Interviews
4:22 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

'Blackhat': A Classic Detective Story For A Brave New World

Chris Hemsworth plays hacker and furloughed convict Nicholas Hathaway in Blackhat.
Frank Connor Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:07 pm

Screenwriter, producer and director Michael Mann is a master of the crime story. From his work on Miami Vice in the '80s to films like Heat, The Insider and Public Enemies, it seems he's drawn to plots that revolve around illicit activity.

"I like dramatic conflict. I like things in high relief," Mann tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I like people who are faced with important questions and have to make critical decisions."

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Movie Interviews
10:05 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Julianne Moore: Alzheimer's Makes Us Question 'Our Essential Selves'

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a linguistics professor who gets diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. "Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were?" she asks. "We become ridiculous, incapable, comic. But this is not who we are. This is our disease."
Jojo Whilden Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:44 pm

In the new movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a 50-year-old linguistics professor at Columbia with a razor-sharp intellect. She's at the prime of her career, but gradually she starts to forget things. She loses her way, she gets fuzzy — and she is soon diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The movie charts her rapid decline and her struggle to hold on to her sense of self.

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9:13 am
Sat January 17, 2015

And The Oscar Goes To ... Wait, Who Hasn't Had One In A While?

Robert Duvall (right) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Judge, which also starred Robert Downey Jr. The nomination left many critics scratching their heads.
Claire Folger AP

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 9:59 pm

"The right actors win Oscars, but for the wrong roles," Katharine Hepburn once said.

The Motion Picture Academy has a history of rewarding stars for less-than-celestial performances, and this week's Oscar nomination announcements left a lot of people scratching their heads — over the snubs for Selma, for example, and the nomination of Robert Duvall for best supporting actor in The Judge.

"I think most people hadn't even heard of The Judge before that nomination," says Alyssa Rosenberg, culture columnist for The Washington Post.

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Movie Reviews
9:16 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

A Lead Performance Keeps 'Still Alice' Grounded

Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a linguistics professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
Linda Kallerus Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 1:08 pm

A circumstance that might well qualify as a fate worse than death is to continue living after one side of the human equation — body + mind — has been canceled. For a jaunty account of an active brain in a withering physique, see The Theory of Everything; for a more anguished view of the opposite situation, there's Still Alice.

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