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Preview: NPR Columns: Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews : NPR

Reviews of new movies, classic and art films, foreign films, and popular movies. Featuring Bob Mondello, Kenneth Turan, David Edelstein, and Mark Jenkins.

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:25:00 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2017 NPR - For Personal Use Only

'Founder' Serves Up A Profile Of The Man Behind McDonald's

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:25:00 -0500

A new biopic tells the story of Ray Kroc, who turned a single burger restaurant into a multi-billion dollar worldwide franchise. Critic David Edelstein says The Founder offers a dark dose of realism.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Young Pope' And 'Hell Or High Water'

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:47:00 -0500

On this week's show, HBO explores the Vatican, and two brothers get in a lot of trouble in one of 2016's best-reviewed films.

In 'Staying Vertical,' A Writer Gets Drawn Into The Sexual Life Of A Small Village

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:00:24 -0500

The latest film by writer/director Alain Guiraudie (Stranger by the Lake) is a brutally frank meditation on polymorphous carnality in rural southern France.

Running On Diesel Fumes: 'xXx: Return Of Xander Cage'

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:00:24 -0500

A 49-year-old Vin Diesel returns to the hugely unlikely franchise that he and director Rob Cohen launched in 2002. Because sometimes only an "extreme-sports/black-ops squad" can save the world.

'The Red Turtle': An Animated Fable Of Humanity, Nature And The Nature Of Humanity

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:00:24 -0500

In this wordless film, a man stranded on a tropical island struggles against the forces of nature to leave — until those same forces provide a reason to stay.

'The Founder': Michael Keaton Brings A Ruthless Ray Kroc To Life, With Relish

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:00:23 -0500

As the businessman who built a network of McDonald's franchises while nastily — and gleefully — disenfranchising his business partners, Keaton exudes a sleazy brio.

How A 1981 Sondheim Flop Turned Out To Be The 'Best Worst Thing'

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:08:00 -0500

Most musicals that close after 16 performances barely prompt memories, let alone documentaries. But Merrily We Roll Along rolled along so bizarrely, it became the stuff of Broadway legend.

Hilarity And Hostility Converge In The Family Comedy 'Toni Erdmann'

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:15:00 -0500

The German film centers on a prankster father who barges into the life of his business consultant daughter. Critic David Edelstein says Toni Erdmann keeps you guessing — in a good way.

'100 Streets' Tells Familiar Stories That Cross Race, Class And Generational Lines

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:00:09 -0500

Idris Elba stars in a London-set ensemble drama our critic calls "soapy, rote stuff," but it's representative of the new generation of filmmakers taking Britain's multiracial society as their subject.

'Patriots Day': A Painful, Painstaking Depiction Of The Boston Marathon Bombing

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:00:09 -0500

The third collaboration between director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg offers a detail-rich and nuanced examination of the 2013 bombing and its chaotic aftermath.

'Claire In Motion,' Movie In Stasis

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:00:09 -0500

Betsy Brandt plays a woman whose husband goes missing in this underwritten, willfully ambiguous film from writer-directors Lisa Robinson and Annie J. Howell.

'Alone In Berlin': A Grieving German Couple Sets Out To Undermine The Nazi Movement

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:00:00 -0500

Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson deliver strong performances, but director Vincent Perez's staid historical drama swathes its subjects' radical actions in too much art-house-reverence.

'20th Century Women' Mixes Comedy With Disappointment And Loss

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:28:00 -0500

Set in 1979 Santa Barbara, Mike Mills' new film is the story of a teenage boy and the three women who teach him about life. Critic John Powers calls it an "amusing, deeply-felt work."

'Paterson' Paints A Delicate Portrait Of A Bus Driver Who Writes Poetry

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:00:00 -0500

Jim Jarmusch's new film, Paterson, was loosely inspired by William Carlos Williams' epic poem of the same name. Critic David Edelstein says the film expertly evokes the inner state of an artist.

In This Surprisingly Mature Kids' Movie, 'A Monster Calls' And A Boy Answers

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 17:00:05 -0500

Screenwriter Patrick Ness adapts his YA novel about a monster who helps a boy deal with his mother's illness. The result is a film that confronts grief in a gratifyingly unsentimental way.