December 7, 2012 When we go to the movies, we want our heroes big and our villains bigger. But Hollywood actors are only slightly taller, on average, than their fans. NPR critic Bob Mondello takes a look at actors' heights: who's commandingly short, or diminutively tall.
December 6, 2012 Actor Stephen Fry explores the life of his favorite composer, Richard Wagner, in Wagner & Me. While Fry doesn't shy away from Wagner's anti-Semitism or the Nazis' appropriation of his music, critic Stephanie Zacharek says a wider perspective on the man's life is the heart of the film. (Recommended)
December 6, 2012 In The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, actor-director Edward Burns revisits the well-worn holiday trope that has someone unexpected showing up for the feast. Critic Stephanie Zacharek says that with its mounting complications, the film tries to cram too much into its 99 minutes.
December 6, 2012 Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite explores the world of Las Vegas gambling operations through the eyes of a wide-eyed newcomer. Critic Scott Tobias says leading lady Rebecca Hall is a live wire unable to spark her dull surroundings and a wan supporting cast.
December 6, 2012 Written by an American and directed by a Brit, Hyde Park on Hudson reflects the relationship between the two countries in both plot and production. Critic Ella Taylor says Bill Murray makes a fine FDR, and the film does justice to history's little details. (Recommended)
December 6, 2012 Academy Award-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky's Deadfall follows criminal siblings as they flee to the Canadian border. Critic Mark Jenkins says it's a survival parable about a gaggle of eccentrics with serious daddy issues.
December 6, 2012 Donald Rice's Cheerful Weather for the Wedding calls upon the style and period — and even an actress — from the popular TV drama Downton Abbey. Critic Ian Buckwalter says an unbalanced script makes the central romance seem as inconsequential as the weather.
December 6, 2012 In Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler plays a soccer star who begins coaching his young son's team, only to reconnect with his ex-wife and other soccer moms. Critic Mark Jenkins says the supporting cast is relegated to the realm of caricature while the film's tone is dated at best.
December 6, 2012 Judd Apatow draws on his own experiences as a husband and father in a new comedy that explores the ups and downs of family life. The film stays close to home, literally and figuratively. It stars his wife, Leslie Mann, as well as their two daughters, and was filmed a few doors down from his house.
December 5, 2012 When it was released 32 years ago, Michael Cimino's revisionist Western was considered one of the most colossal flops in Hollywood history. Critic John Powers takes a second look at the film and concludes that it's clearly "the work of one man and ... he wanted you to remember it forever."
December 4, 2012 Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut centers on a retirement community for aging opera musicians and the relationships that have carried into their golden years. Critic Ella Taylor says a prestige cast of British actors and actual retired opera stars calls forth the sense of nostalgia the movie aims for.
December 4, 2012 Netflix's video subscription service has trumped pay-TV channels and grabbed the rights to show Disney movies shortly after they finish their runs in theaters. The agreement represents a breakthrough for Netflix as it tries to add more recent movies to its Internet streaming service.