The Playlist

Review: 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' With Chris Pine, Keira Knightley & Kevin Costner

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 16, 2014 1:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Today, most people associate the character of Jack Ryan—originally created by author Tom Clancy, in a number of blockbuster novels—as a kind of hard-hitting action hero. This is thanks in large part to the series of films that began with 1990's masterful thriller "The Hunt for Red October" and continued with two Harrison Ford-as-Ryan entries, as well as a forgettable stand-alone starring Ben Affleck as the brainy CIA analyst. But in the novels and best parts of the earlier movies, Ryan is described and dramatized as something of a nerd, so encased in his own thoughts that he finds it difficult to leap into action. This week's aggressively mediocre "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," refashions the character (this time played by Chris Pine) into a man of immediate action, and in doing so drains him of anything that made him a relatable human being.

NYFF ‘11 Review: A Slight & Superficial 'My Week With Marilyn' Often Resembles A Lifetime Movie

  • By The Playlist
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  • October 9, 2011 8:01 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Marked by an admirable, but certainly not spectacular performance by Michelle Williams -- in a role she's arguably not very suited for -- some wonderful costuming, set design and locations, and a stand-out supporting turn by Judi Dench, there aren't many other favorable things to say about "My Week With Marilyn," a slight drama with a reputable cast, that still feels through and through like a superficial Lifetime made for TV-movie.

First Look At Kenneth Branagh As Laurence Olivier In 'My Week With Marilyn'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 1, 2011 2:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments
From directing "Thor," to starring, adapting and helming various Shakespeare works to playing troubled cop Kurt Wallander, Kenneth Branagh has pretty much done it all, but surely even he must have been slightly intimidated stepping into the shoes of the legendary Laurence Olivier in the upcoming "My Week With Marilyn." Empire has the first look at the actor playing the iconic thesp and he's certainly nailed down the imposing gravitas Olivier carried with him.

Kenneth Branagh To Direct Adaptation Of 'The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 4, 2011 10:56 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Yeah, They're Gonna Have To Change That TitleWith Kenneth Branagh delivering a hammer-sized hit with "Thor" this spring, it appears he's proved whatever he needed to with the comic franchise, turning down the chance to work on "Thor 2." He's spent the last little while attaching himself to a variety of potential projects including an adaptation of Henning Mankell's "Italian Shoes" in addition to a film about the 1936 U.S. Olympic crew team. Well, he's adding one more to his plate, and no, it has nothing to do with Shakespeare.

Five Directors Who Could Replace Kenneth Branagh On 'Thor 2'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 30, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 7 Comments
So, Marvel are done with Kenneth Branagh, or possibly Kenneth Branagh is done with Marvel: if you missed it earlier, "Thor 2" has been officially announced for a July 26, 2013 release date, with star Chris Hemsworth returning (which people seem to think is news: like all the superhero leads, the Australian actor signed an expansive multi-film contract that makes him Marvel's bitch for the next decade or so), but Branagh not sitting in the director's chair, although he may stay on a producing role of some kind.

'Thor 2' Will Drop Its Hammer On July 26, 2013; Chris Hemsworth Is Back, Kenneth Branagh Is Not

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 30, 2011 9:09 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Say what you will about "Thor" -- and we definitely had a lot to say about the uneven movie -- but audiences seemed to love it. In fact, it's one of the only movies this summer season to come in first at the box office two weeks in a row, which in this age of big weekends followed by quick drop-offs, is quite a feat. Well, with the movie now tallying up over $430 million in ticket sales, a sequel is confirmed to be on the way.

Review: 'Thor' Is Overstuffed, But Still A (Mostly) Pleasant, Consistently Entertaining Surprise

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 5, 2011 5:07 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Note: Our U.K. writer saw the film early and this review was first published on April 26, 2011

Great Odin's Raven! Early Reviews Suggest 'Thor' Is Actually Kind Of Decent

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 18, 2011 1:02 AM
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  • 5 Comments
The summer of superheroes is about to kick off, and it's only a matter of days until the world gets its first look at "Thor," Marvel's latest piece of an insanely ambitious five-film plan building towards next summer's team-up movie, "The Avengers." And for some time, it looked like the film had an uphill battle ahead of it -- last year's "Iron Man 2" was, at best, a disappointment, and early looks at "Thor" had veered from the underwhelming to the silly. But ahead of its release in some parts of the world next week, and the States on May 6th, the film has now screened, with the world premiere taking place in Sydney last night, and critics there, as well as in London, where the film unspooled last week, and L.A, where a very select group of geek press were shown the picture, have weighed in. So, what's the word?

Kenneth Branagh To Direct Film About The 1936 U.S. Olympic Crew Team

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 4, 2011 8:44 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Where there's smoke, there's fire, and The Weinstein Company must have seen the smoke. Deadline reports that bidding for the upcoming book "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown had fierce competition between publishers Viking and Random House with bids going up to $750,000. Well, the Weinsteins know a hot project when they see one as they've snatched up the film rights and it's already attracted a director.

The Playlist Foolishly, and Prematurely, Predicts Best Supporting Actor & Actress At The 2012 Oscars

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 3, 2011 10:32 AM
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  • 8 Comments
So, yes, you know the drill by now: we've done Best Picture for 2012 and we've done our Actor and Actress picks. Now, we're turning our hand to the ever-undervalued supporting players.

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