SIdney Lumet

The 10 Best True Crime Movies Ever Made

By

Today, New York’s Film Forum kicks off a four-week, 50-film “True Crime” festival, spotlighting some of the most iconic dramas, mysteries, and thrillers based on real events. It’s one of our most durable genres — the festival spans something like eight decades — and for good reason: the best true crime movies are often tense, gripping, and suspenseful (even when we already know the outcome). Here are a few of our all-time favorites.
…Read More

‘A Most Violent Year’ and How to Do the ’80s Onscreen

By

Look, the ‘80s was a funny decade. The clothing was ridiculous, the hair was worse, the music was bananas, and, as best as we can put it together from our current vantage point, everyone was on cocaine. As a result, when contemporary filmmakers tell stories set in that decade (and the adjoining, disco-crazy late-‘70s), there’s a tendency to amp up the period silliness and play it for laughs — or, at least, ironic counterpoint. The wigs are permed to the max. They seek out the widest lapels and deepest necklines, and open the button-up shirts to roughly the navel, so’s to better spotlight the gold chains buried in the nests of chest hair. And the soundtrack becomes a camp mixtape, full of the goofiest songs from late K-TEL and early MTV. I’m not talking just about American Hustle (a film I actually liked, thank you very much), but it’s indicative of a particular approach to the recent-period piece, a kind of wacky-dress-up/karaoke style that has become the norm for pictures of this type. And that’s part of what makes J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year so interesting: it purposefully eschews that notion, treating its 1981 setting almost as an afterthought.
…Read More

25 Great ’80s Movies Time Has Forgotten

By

Buried among the also-rans within this week’s Blu-ray releases, you’ll find the HD debut of Tequila Sunrise, Robert Towne’s 1988 mystery/love triangle thriller starring Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kurt Russell. It’s the kind of movie studios don’t make that much anymore — an entertaining and reasonably intelligent picture for grown-ups, done on a medium budget with the expectation of a medium return. There’s nosurplus of love out there for mainstream American moviemaking in the 1980s — and for good reason. But there are also a handful of films from that much-maligned era that have stood the test of time, and deserve more retroactive attention than they …Read More

10 Movies to Stream Before They Disappear from Netflix Instant

By

It’s not quite Streamageddon, but as you may’ve heard, Netflix apparently had some contracts that end with 2013, and thus we have one of the streaming service’s occasional purges of valuable catalog titles. And it would’ve happened fairly quietly too, were it not for good ol’ Reddit, where someone painstakingly checked out the individual pages for God-knows-how-many titles and came up with a list of nearly 100 movies and TV shows scheduled to disappear from Netflix Instant on 1/1/2014. There’s some genuinely great stuff in here, proving yet again that this whole “phasing out of physical media for ephemeral streaming that comes and goes as it pleases” thing should give us all pause, but there’s no time for that—there’s barely twelve hours of 2013 left, and you’re about to lose some great movies. So if you’re planning on making New Year’s Eve a movie night, here’s a few soon-to-expire suggestions:
…Read More

Surprising Early, Alternate Versions of Iconic Movie Posters

By

Movie posters, as we’ve discussed before, are a tricky business, and a great movie poster must serve many functions: it must capture the essence of a movie, it must be aesthetically pleasing or interesting in itself, and it must sell the product in question. Unsurprisingly, the quest for that balance can result in reworking, re-imagining, and revisions galore, which is why the new Daybees online exhibit The Iconic Movie Posters That Never Were is so fascinating. In it, the designers behind some of Hollywood’s most memorable posters share their early drafts and alternate versions of classic posters; check them out after the jump, alongside the final drafts that became part of movie history, and visit Daybees to learn more about their creators.
…Read More

Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

By

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week’s new releases are universally underwhelming (you may be tempted to watch Scream 4, but in the name of all that is Craven, resist that temptation), but we got a look at the titles expiring over the next couple of weeks and were amazed by how many great movies are disappearing — so the theme of this week’s streaming movie guide is, apparently, Watch Them While You Can. Join us after the jump for great stuff from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Ethan Hawke, Robert De Niro, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, James Gandolfini, Marisa Tomei, the Coen Brothers, Mel Brooks, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, and Alfonso Cuarón, and follow the title links to watch them right now.
…Read More