Michael K. Williams

Mark Wahlberg Gets Beaten Up by Stellar Cast in ‘The Gambler’ Trailer

The first trailer for The Gambler, a Rupert Wyatt-directed remake of the 1974 original—has been released, and it’s fantastic. Mark… Read More

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: “The Devil You Know”

“Get yourself ahead,” Nucky Thompson muses after a drink or seven. “For what, though? For what? No one ever talks about that.” Boardwalk Empire, like so many other antihero shows, is not exactly known for celebrating high-minded idealism over moral ambiguity—which is exactly what makes “The Devil You Know” such a standout episode. Character deaths are hardly unusual, and par for the course in the run-up to a series finale. But characters asking what’s worth dying for, and who deserves to die, and for what? For a show centered around someone as stubbornly amoral as Nucky, that’s as far off course as it gets. … Read More

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Is a Breezy, Bizarre Blast

Paul Thomas Anderson took five years to make his 2007 oil epic There Will Be Blood. He took another five years to make 2012’s Scientology-inspired The Master. He banged out his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice in two, and you can feel the difference—in the best possible way. The two films that preceded it marked the filmmaker’s transition from wunderkind to Serious Artist; by turns wrenching, challenging, and borderline impenetrable, they plunged the depths of American history and the American soul. Vice, by contrast, is a slang-y, breezy lark, a picture whose two-and-a-half-hour running time, Oscar-friendly release date, and premiere as the Centerpiece selection at the New York Film Festival make it sound like a more important movie than it is—or, more importantly, than Anderson seems to think it is. After a decade spent making two films that are like pressure cookers, he was clearly ready to blow off some steam. … Read More

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25 Must-See Movies For the Fall

Hey there reader, been to the movies lately? If the box office reports are any indication, I’m guessing not — and who can blame you? We’re currently in the weird dead zone between the tentpole blockbusters of the summer and the prestige, Oscar-friendly pictures (and, increasingly, tentpole blockbusters) of the fall. But relief will be here soon enough, so in the interest of helping you mark up your movie-going calendar, we’re looking ahead to the fall films we’re anticipating most. … Read More

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‘Boardwalk Empire’ to Jump Seven Years Ahead for Final Season

In a Parks and Rec-like move, HBO’s well-regarded period drama Boardwalk Empire will begin its final season a full seven years after its… Read More

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’12 Years a Slave’ Bears Witness to the Harrowing Reality of Slavery

“Your story, it is amazing. And in no good way,” Bass (Brad Pitt) tells Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) near the end of 12 Years a Slave, the remarkable new film from director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame). He’s right; Northup was a real man, an educated, sophisticated, free black man from Saratoga, New York who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Yet his extraordinary narrative (adapted by John Ridley from Northup’s memoir) is not why 12 Years a Slave is such a powerful experience. It is because of the vividness with which McQueen dramatizes the utter brutality of Northup’s everyday life as man treated as though he were less than one. … Read More

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Watch the Goosebump-Inducing Trailer for ’12 Years a Slave’

Steve McQueen’s second feature film (and second collaboration with actor Michael Fassbender), 2011’s Shame, was a controversial and somewhat… Read More

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Watch Funny or Die’s ‘The Wire: The Musical’

You know you have to watch The Wire sooner or later, like every other politically progressive fan of quality television. It’s basically a social responsibility. But every time you’re just about to take the plunge, some other, inferior but more fun-sounding show beckons to you. How do you live with the guilt? Well, now you don’t have to, because Funny or Die has created The Wire: The Musical, a 90-minute song-and-dance extravaganza — OK, a four-minute trailer for a 90-minute song-and-dance extravaganza — that condenses all five seasons into one entertaining spectacle. The hilarious clip stars none other than Omar himself, Michael K. Williams, along with a slew of other The Wire stars and features songs with such lyrics as, “There are complex problems / Inherent in the bureaucratic institutions of the state / But there’s no one to blame / It’s a vast array of personal interests that conflict in a way that undermines the overall system.” Watch it below, and laugh harder at The Wire than you ever thought possible. … Read More

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Our 10 Most Anticipated Sundance Movies

Tomorrow marks the opening day of the Sundance Film Festival, the annual winter movie orgy/buyer’s market/excuse to party for those who make, buy, watch, and act in independent films (or what passes for independent, in this IMAX 3-D superhero climate). Your humble film editor is traveling to Park City (for the first time) to take it all in: the swag, the hobnobbing, the VIP parties. Or he may just end up going to movies all day and staying up all night writing stuff about them. That’s probably a bit more likely.

Taking on the screening schedule is a bit daunting; the festival is screening 110 feature-length films from 31 countries, and, well, there’s only so many hours in the day. (If you think that’s heavy, it’s worth noting that the number of submissions was up to 4,042 films. Yikes.) But I think I’ve plucked out the cream of the crop; I’ll probably find out that I’m wrong, that the movie I missed to see the Sean-Penn-as-an-emo-Nazi-hunter movie (yes, that’s real) ends up winning the competition and getting picked up for $5 million by the Weinstein Company. But until that happens, here’s the ten Sundance films I’m most looking forward to. … Read More

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