Although Ai Weiwei's art is internationally recognized, much of his worldwide fame comes from his political activism in China. The latter is the focus of Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Ted Alcorn/IFC Films hide caption

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In Political Animals, Sigourney Weaver plays Elaine Barrish, the current secretary of state and a former first lady. USA Networks hide caption

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Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show With David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night With Conan O'Brien. FX hide caption

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In Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama, The Newsroom, producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) and anchorman Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) tackle real hard-hitting news stories and call out those who don't tell the truth. HBO hide caption

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Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modernized Holmes who carries a cellphone and gets his buzz from nicotine patches. Hartswood Films/BBC for Masterpiece hide caption

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George Stephanopoulos (left) and James Carville advised President Clinton during the 1992 election. Their strategic sessions in Clinton's "War Room" were filmed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. October Films/Everett Collection hide caption

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The documentary Putin's Kiss charts four years in the life of Masha Drokova, who became famous as the girl who publicly kissed Vladimir Putin. Courtesy of the filmmaker hide caption

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Stephanie Sigman plays Laura, a beauty queen drawn into the world of Mexican drug cartels, in the film Miss Bala. 20th Century Fox hide caption

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Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) are at odds first about whether to leave Iran for life abroad — and then about more pressing issues. Sony Picture Classics. hide caption

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Alec Guinness starred in the 1979 BBC adaptation of John le Carre's novel Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy. The series has just been re-released on DVD in anticipation of the release of a new film version of the Cold War-era spy drama.

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American actor John Wayne stands by the street sign honoring his name in Prescott, Ariz. The film star "was one of the defining Americans of the 20th century," says critic John Powers.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago in January 2011. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo hide caption

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Book Reviews

Roger Ebert: A Critic Reflects On 'Life Itself'

Roger Ebert tackles lowbrow and highbrow topics alike in his memoir; critic John Powers says the chronicle is sunny and hopeful — just like Ebert himself.

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In the 1983 gangster film Scarface, Al Pacino gave a "performance the size of a Caribbean cruise ship," says critic John Powers. Universal Studios hide caption

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