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Career Watch: Stealth Rising Star Jason Clarke Breaks Out in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

It is not easy being a mere mortal pitted against a population of spectacular CG-enhanced and motion-capture simians. But Jason Clarke does our species proud as Malcolm, the human emissary who seeks a peaceful co-existence with the genetically evolved beasts who now have the upper paw in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • July 14, 2014 2:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Editing Oscar Race, from 'Argo' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Last night's BAFTA win for "Argo" editor William Goldenberg certainly bolsters his Oscar chances, especially given the way the movie is steamrolling its way through the awards season. Then again, Goldenberg, who's also nominated for the controversial best picture contender, "Zero Dark Thirty"...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 11, 2013 4:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Outpaces Weak Pack

The good news: Universal's Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief" scored the best Friday gross of any film so far this year. Battling both a Northeastern blizzard-- which closed theaters across the most populated stretch of the country-- and inferior reviews, it easily surpassed the first-day gross for "Bridesmaids" (just under $8 million in May 2011), which, propelled by great word of mouth, stuck around for months to gross a total $169 million. The bad news: the rest of the box office.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 9, 2013 2:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Read: Kathryn Bigelow's Essay Addressing Depiction of Torture in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Director Kathryn Bigelow has published an essay in the L.A. Times addressing the controversy surrounding her Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty" and its depiction of torture. "I do wonder if some some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these U.S. policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen," she writes. Highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 16, 2013 11:56 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekend Recap: New Film Art, 'Zero Dark Thirty' Controversy Thickens, Casting Watch, and Awards Talk

Here's our weekend recap. Two new pieces of film art were revealed this weekend. Just when you thought it was winding down, the "Zero Dark Thirty" controversy continues. Before she became a Golden Globe winner, "Girls" creator/star Lena Dunham sat down for a probing interview by Charlie Rose. Comedian Louis C.K. might join David O Russell's untitled Abscam film. The Gurus o' Gold have posted their post-nominations Academy Awards Prediction chart.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 14, 2013 1:15 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Zero Dark Thirty' Review and Torture Debate - Senate Committee Probing Bigelow and Boal's CIA Contact [UPDATED]

UPDATE: The Senate Intelligence Committee has begun a review of the contacts between "Zero Dark Thirty" director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal and CIA officials, following the committee chairwoman's "outrage" over the film's scenes that imply "enhanced interrogations."
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • January 3, 2013 3:31 PM
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  • 13 Comments

Best Movie Posters of 2012: Retro, Sexy, Design-y, Scary, Striking and Stylish

Capturing the expanse of a film on a flimsy two-foot-by-three-foot piece of paper is a challenge; trying to woo audiences to see a movie, given only this paper, is a feat. Each year, the movie poster medium boasts some incredible looking efforts - some that even veer towards art. The best posters of 2012 don't have much in common - and neither do the movies they represent - but they caught our eye and sometimes left a more indelible print than the movie that inspired them. Among the best is "Killing Them Softly," which featured a design geek's dream layout: simple, well-positioned and sharp. "Django Unchained" is iconic, Tarantino, piqued our interest well before more details leaked. "The Dark Knight Rises" poster that revealed urban remnants reflecting a bat wing is a little heavy-handed, but fittingly so. The minimalism of the blacked-out "Zero Dark Thirty" also leaves a similarly striking reverb. Sometimes, the poster outshone the film. Oliver Stone's "Savages," promised fast, sexy, colorful. "John Carter" hinted at a mystical world, unfolding in the face of an undaunted explorer; the poster was dreamier. If any vibe reigned supreme, it might have been retro. "Moonrise Kingdom" is dream-pastel soft - the picture of childhood imagination that it captured. "The Paperboy" also goes for an over-exposed look. Art-house "American Animal" employed a hot-pink that seems to have been produced in 1986. The faded imagery in the Rorschach-test-poster for "The Master" gave it a simultaneously traditional and uneasy feeling. For the 2013 roster of films, "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III," "The Lone Ranger," and "The Wolverine" have already made headway into great film art. The poster for Chan-wook Park's "Stoker" was so great, we grouped it along with the 2012 set to give a preview of what's next.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 1, 2013 6:19 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Weekend Wrap: Newsweek Cover, 'Les Miserables' and 'Django' Last Push, Gibney on 'Zero Dark Thirty'

We wrap up breaking news stories from the weekend, from Alex Gibney on torture in "Zero Dark Thirty' and videos from 'Les Miserables" and 'Django Unchained" to the end of Newsweek and the Oklahoma Film Critics picks.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • December 24, 2012 12:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Wreck-It Ralph,' Animation Race, and Oscar Campaigning

On this week's Oscar talk podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I examine the "Zero Dark Thirty" smear campaign, and wonder if "Wreck-It Ralph" and "ParaNorman" have the right stuff to win the animation race. Here's the podcast, which is also on iTunes. We're also celebrating our 100th episode and four years.  We'll be back after the holidays!  
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Critics' Vote Roundup UPDATED

UPDATE: A new batch of critics' winners have come in, with Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" receiving Best Picture from both the San Francisco and Kansas City film critics' circles. The African-American Film Critics Association picked Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" as Best Picture, and Ben Affleck ("Argo") for Best Director, with Ava DuVernay's "Middle of Nowhere" getting wins across multiple categories. Full list of winners below, plus links to all critics' voting thus far.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 17, 2012 2:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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