John Green. Most people call him a Young Adult author, others prefer the name 'Teen Whisperer.' And in the case of his 2009 novel, "Paper Towns," Green's teenager-understanding superpower proves to illuminate every word on each page. The film adaptation does the same - except in this case, the aura is not found on pages, but rather in a beige minivan, in an ordinary band room and in a vapid paper town.
Director Antoine Fuqua's story of a rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches boxer takes on the classic genre with new life in "Southpaw." The film follows light heavyweight world champion boxer Billy Hope in a tale of love, loss and redemption. But "Southpaw" also immerses audiences in an extremely personal plot line that challenges viewers to consider how far they would go for their loved ones.
Tom Cruise fans know that he does his own stunts. But his "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" co-star Rebecca Ferguson is no slouch. Though the 31-year-old Swede is best known for period pieces such as BBC's 2013 historical drama "The White Queen," Ferguson holds her own - and then some - in the fifth flick in the high-octane franchise, out Friday. We spoke to the genial actress, who speaks with an impeccable British accent, during a recent visit to Miami:
AMY. 4 stars. An extraordinary documentary about Amy Winehouse, the British singer who died in 2011, at age 27, a victim of too much drink, too many drugs and too much fame. Soul-stirring, heartbreaking, the film uses a trove of archival film, much of it shot on smart phones by friends, lovers, bandmates, roadies, record execs and fans, to trace the life and blazing career of the singer and songwriter with the trademark beehive, the tats and the fearsome talent. 2 hrs. 08 R (drugs, profanity, adfult themes) - Steven Rea
If there were a 10th circle in Dante's vision of Hell it would be reserved for movies like "Vacation." Not only does the film feature a script that has less life than roadkill, a pacing that makes Los Angeles traffic look like the Indy 500 and as much humor as the mass funeral of orphans, nuns and kittens, it smears the good name of the 1983 Chevy Chase comedy, "National Lampoon's Vacation."
Universal Studios is donating a free vacation to all 42 seniors graduating from a New Hampshire high school after the class donated funds for a class trip to their principal, who was diagnosed with cancer.
This year's Venice Film Festival will include Kristen Stewart in a sci-fi romance, Idris Elba at war and a thriller starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, as well as potentially awards-worthy performances from Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Family and friends of a longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch film critic killed in a one-vehicle wreck will have the opportunity to share their memories of him during a funeral home visitation this weekend.
The new drama "Southpaw" would seem to come in a long tradition of boxing movies and underdog sports films generally. But ask director Antoine Fuqua what he sees as the through line in it, and he has a slightly different answer.
Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.
The Stanford Prison Experiment still ranks as one of the world's most controversial psychological experiments even though it took place in 1971. Stanford psychology professor Philip Zimbardo wanted to find out what would happen if ordinary male students were treated as if they were in the penal system. Half were assigned as prisoners, the other half as guards, and a basement block of rooms, unused during summer break, was turned into a makeshift prison. Within 24 hours, the place became a collegiate "Lord of the Flies."
There must be a way to pay tribute to '80s comedy classics like "National Lampoon's Vacation" without using the opportunity to traffic in archaic sexism, gender panic and off-color racial jokes. The reboot of the franchise, "Vacation," does not take that chance. Instead, with a script lazily smeared with profanity and bodily fluids, it feels retro in the bad way. It quickly loses its edge and appeal, and this retelling of the family vacation gone wrong results in a sloppily-executed mess of a summer comedy.