SIdney Lumet

25 Great ’80s Movies Time Has Forgotten

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

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10 Movies to Stream Before They Disappear from Netflix Instant

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

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Surprising Early, Alternate Versions of Iconic Movie Posters

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

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

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

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12 Criminally Underrated New York Movies

The “New York movie” — shot on location, pulsing with the heartbeat of a city, capturing with documentary-like attentiveness a snapshot of a city in constant evolution — is a popular topic for movie list-makers, and over the past few months, we’ve seen both Time Out New York’s exhaustive top 100 and Complex’s briefer top 50. They’re both good lists, and filled with terrific films; they also don’t offer much in the way of surprises, since the NYC movie canon has been so firmly established that it becomes less a question of what will be on it than what order they’ll choose for the usual suspects (Taxi Driver, Manhattan, Sweet Smell of Success, etc). Again, all great movies. But we thought it might be fun to point you in the direction of a few of our favorite New York flicks that didn’t make either list — just in case you’ve already worked your way through those 100-plus titles, or would like to check out something a little further off the beaten path. You’ll find our top dozen after the jump. … Read More

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20 Books About Movies Every Film Lover Should Own

September is a very good month for books about film. Roger Ebert’s wonderful memoir Life Itself is out in paperback; J. Hoberman’s excellent survey of 21st century cinema culture, Film After Film, is available in hardback and on Kindles; and there’s an all-new edition of Leonard Maltin’s movie guide. It’s the kind of thick, information-packed reference that is getting rarer and rarer in the IMDb age, but as Maltin notes on his Indiewire blog, “To those who think it’s been supplanted by the Internet I can only say, ‘We’re still here.’ And as someone who uses the ‘net every day, I can tell you that my colleagues and I still face surprising hurdles trying to get reliable information about brand-new movies. That’s one reason I think our book still has relevance to anyone who cares about accuracy, useful information, and of course, reviews.”

He’s right; the Maltin book is indispensible, and not just for those of us playing the home version of the “Leonard Maltin game” on Doug Loves Movies. Its newest iteration, and the embarrassment of other riches this month, got us thinking about the essential books about film; we’ve put together our suggested library after the jump, but feel free to add your own must-haves in the comments. … Read More

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10 Movies That Make Us Miss the Twin Towers

It’s always a bit of a jolt to flip through a photo album or an old high school yearbook and to come upon a picture of someone who’s gone, a beloved relative or a classmate who left before their time — it hits you fast, and, for just a moment, it hurts again, the force of that loss compressed into a single moment of grief. It’s not the exact same feeling, but there’s something like that moment when you watch a movie shot in New York between the 1970s and 2001, and that inevitable shot of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center appears. The towers appeared in literally hundreds of films, sometimes as background, sometimes very active in the onscreen action, but its eventual fate always makes it the foreground object when those films are viewed now. On the eve of this sad anniversary, a look at ten movies that make us miss the World Trade Center even more. … Read More

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

Welcome to Flavorpill’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. Netflix is losing some awfully good films at the end of July, so we’re heavy on titles with an expiration date, but we’ve got some new streamers as well — featuring Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Hilary Swank, Woody Harrelson, Miranda July, and Bruce Campbell, plus a couple of great documentaries and (cheating a bit) one of our favorite TV shows. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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

Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, a new feature 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, we’ve got some newly streaming indies, recent favorites soon to be remade and sequelized, and a couple of classics that have been on our minds as of late. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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Video Essay: “How to Pull the Perfect Movie Heist”

Tower Heist, Brett Ratner’s late-fall heist picture, is out this week on DVD, so our latest video essay takes a look at this durable genre via a step-by-step examination of how to put a big heist together — according to the movies, anyway. We grabbed pieces from over two dozen heist movies, from here and abroad, from the 1950s to the present, and put them together to show, in seven easy steps, how to pull that one big score. (Bonus points if it’s your last big one before retiring somewhere warm.)

We’ll show you how it’s done with the help of some of our favorite directors, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Michael Mann, John Frankenheimer, Bryan Singer, John Huston, David Mamet, Peter Yates, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jules Dassin, Sidney Lumet, John McTiernan, Jim Henson, and Frank Oz. And check out our all-star cast: Robert DeNiro, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Marlon Brando, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Edward Norton, Julia Roberts, Michael Caine, Charlize Theron, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Keitel, Val Kilmer, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Steve Buscemi, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Liotta, Danny DeVito, Michael Madsen, Stellan Skarsgård, Tom Sizemore, Vincent Cassel, Owen Wilson, Joe Pesci, Luke Wilson, Sean Connery, Guy Pearce, George Segal, Sam Rockwell, Delroy Lindo, Seth Green, Sterling Hayden, Chris Penn, Mos Def, Lawrence Tierney, Jason Statham, Jean Reno, the Muppets, and many, many more. Find out “How to Pull the Perfect Movie Heist” after the jump. … Read More

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