August 25, 2013 At a California facility, troubled teens are counseled by young adults who haven't entirely overcome their own adolescent traumas. Writer-director Destin Cretton drew on his experiences working with residents ordered to stay just a year. Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. star in Short Term 12.
August 7, 2013 In the latest installment of our library series, NPR's Bob Mondello visits some notable libraries in popular culture: Jorge Luis Borges' Library of Babel; Lucien's Library in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman; and the stacks in Buffy, Hogwarts, Doctor Who and Fahrenheit 451.
July 26, 2013 NPR's Bob Mondello reviews a documentary that raised hackles and inspired hosannahs when it played at the Telluride Film Festival. The Act of Killing includes images of an Indonesian genocide — re-enacted by the perpetrators — that add up to a singularly arresting act of cinema. (Recommended)
July 20, 2013 Movie star Ava Gardner agreed to write her memoirs with British journalist Peter Evans in 1988. Now, after the deaths of both Gardner and Evans, the results of their abortive collaboration are being published. Reviewer Bob Mondello says the book is dead on arrival.
July 12, 2013 An indie drama chronicles the real-life story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, shot by San Francisco transit police in a New Year's Eve incident that shocked the nation. The film doesn't offer any shatteringly new observations on the case itself — though the story is plenty shattering enough on its own. (Recommended)
July 3, 2013 Johnny Depp and his Pirates of the Caribbean director, Gore Verbinski, have already made one Western: The animated film Rango. So with The Lone Ranger, they were looking to do something a little different. Critic Bob Mondello says you can say that again.
June 21, 2013 Surprises are scare-ce indeed in Monsters University, a pleasantly unnecessary origin story for the protagonists of the animation titan's amiable hit Monsters, Inc.
June 21, 2013 Brad Pitt's famously troubled zombie apocalypse epic, based on the fan favorite novel by Max Brooks, is in theaters at last. NPR's Bob Mondello says it's a sharp, straightforward actioner that operates on a near-unprecedented scale.