One wedding and a funeral — and a birth. That gorgeous house, never mind the leaky roof. Some sunshine, too! More bone-dry quips from Maggie Smith. And oh, the clothes — silks and satins, tulles and tiaras.
Somewhere in the southwest of England is a sprawling stone estate nestled along hedge-lined lanes that you can rent, complete with wood fireplaces, low oak beams, an apple tree in the yard and a room for a baby grand piano.
If you must reboot an over 30-year-old Disney Channel cartoon like “ Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” you could do much worse than looking to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” for inspiration.
"Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up,” by Selma Blair (Alfred A. Knopf)
Most people probably know Selma Blair from her memorable roles in late ‘90s/early '00’s hit films such as “Cruel Intentions," “Legally Blonde” and “Hellboy.”
“Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and the World They Forged” by Robert L. O’Connell (Harper)
Insightful and informative, military historian Robert L. O’Connell’s latest book carries a title that might evoke in today’s readers a group of superheroes bent on saving the free world — in this case four Army generals transforming the United States into a global peacekeeper.
When there are so many fictional, burly varieties of heroes so regularly on movie screens, it's jarring to see that the genuine article can be a humble, gaunt former traffic cop who believed in the power of talking.
“His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice,” by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa (Viking)
Two Americas collided in the few minutes that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, after a shopkeeper complained that the 6-foot-6 Floyd had passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a store.
Nearly a decade after its finale aired, the American version of “The Office" is a ubiquitous part of popular culture. So much so that the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin became a surrogate workplace of sorts for millions working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
For a movie about a girl with pyrokinetic powers, “ Firestarter ” is lacking a certain spark.
This new adaptation of Stephen King’s 1980 novel is not scary or thrilling, nor is it emotionally resonant or particularly moving.
Early on in “Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise hops on his sleek motorcycle, wearing Aviator sunglasses and a leather jacket with patches, and speeds into a time machine.
“On the Count of Three” is marketed as a “darkly comic” movie. Well, there's dark comedy and there’s darker comedy, and then there's comedy like this — so dark that you wonder if the two words can realistically co-exist in one sentence.
NEW YORK (AP) — “Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be,” by Marissa R. Moss (Henry Holt & Co.)
Women have always played a major part of country music, from the Carter Family to Dolly Parton, but in recent years you’d be hard pressed to hear that on country music radio.
NEW YORK (AP) — “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry (Berkley)
If Emily Henry makes herself laugh at the character's dialogue in her own books, it's understandable. She is a master at witty repartee.
“Heart on My Sleeve” by Ella Mai (10 Summers/Interscope Records)
British singer, Ella Mai, is back with even more R&B bridges in her second album, “Heart on My Sleeve.”
While this album radiates Mai’s finger-snapping tracks and smooth melodies similar to her debut, it’s also more passionate and sung by someone who’s a little older and wiser.
“Back From the Dead” by Halestorm (Atlantic)
Lzzy Hale, the lead singer and guitarist for the heavy metal band Halestorm, is that rare breed of wild child whose path you cross at your own peril, and her aggressiveness soaks through her music.
Once a superhero franchise goes multiverse, it’s hard to go back.
No work of fiction ever needs permission to break the rules or push the boundaries of traditional storytelling, but the multiverse, at least as it’s been served up in recent Marvel movies, practically demands it.
“Happening,” Audrey Diwan's Golden Lion-winner at last year's Venice Film Festival, is set in 1963 France but the period detail isn't prominent.
“Memory" is an interesting title for the latest Liam Neeson thriller. Do you remember the last Liam Neeson thriller? Or the one before that? Who was it that got took in that one? It began getting hard to tell these films from one another years ago, and yet they've kept coming.
If “ Petite Maman ” left you feeling a little too good about mothers, daughters and empathy, Finland may just have the antidote in Hanna Bergholm’s “ Hatching,” a chilling critique of perfectionism wrapped up in a gruesome body horror.
We first meet the intriguing heroine of “Anaïs in Love,” appropriately enough, when she's rushing. The opening scene of the French romantic comedy has her running down a Paris street with a bouquet of flowers.
“A Walk Around the Sun," Erika Lewis (Independent)
There's a sense of urgency in the lyrics of “A Walk Around the Sun," a hidden gem of a country-Americana project by a singer-songwriter known previously as the singer in a brassy French Quarter busker band called Tuba Skinny.
NEW YORK (AP) — There is a cosmic deliciousness to the fact that “A Strange Loop” has landed on Broadway mere yards away from one of its juiciest targets.
In the new musical that opened Tuesday at the Lyceum Theatre, we meet the character Usher, an unhappy playwright slumming as an usher at “The Lion King,” which in real life is playing just across 7th Avenue at the Miskoff Theatre.
“I’ll Be You” by Janelle Brown (Random House)
Although Sam and Elli Logan are identical twins, their personalities are drastically different. Sam loves the spotlight and has a knack for acting.
“Where the Children Take Us: How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable” by Zain E. Asher (Amistad)
In recounting her family’s struggle to carry on after her father’s unexpected death, Zain E. Asher has written a handbook for hope when none seems possible.
“Finding Me: A Memoir” by Viola Davis (HarperOne)
Brutally honest and honestly brutal, actor Viola Davis looks back on her childhood like the victim of a disaster still dazed by the experience but remembering every terrible moment.
“Search,” by Michelle Huneven (Penguin Press)
Whoever said that university politics are vicious because the stakes are so low probably never served on a ministerial search committee.
Michelle Huneven’s delightful new novel “Search” reveals the inner workings of just such a committee.
NEW YORK (AP) — When Broadway's revival of “Funny Girl” begins, star Beanie Feldstein sits in a Broadway dressing room, getting ready to go on. She wonders nervously to her assistant: "You ever feel like there’s someone watching from the shadows?"
If you’re gonna face a jury for a crime you’ve already confessed to — and even explained how you did it — you’d better have something going for you besides a “not guilty” plea.
The real-life character of Britain's Kempton Bunton, an amiable sexagenarian taxi driver who was acquitted of stealing a national art treasure in 1961, definitely did.
Céline Sciamma’s “ Petite Maman ” couldn’t be more different in scope and scale from “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” There are no castles, or corsets or waves crashing up against craggy cliffs.
The first sign that not everyone in Robert Eggers' 10th-century Viking revenge tale “The Northman” has their priorities entirely straight comes early in the film, when the Viking king Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke) returns home to the North Atlantic kingdom of Hrafnsey after a year of fighting overseas.
“The King’s Shadow” by Edmund Richardson (St. Martin’s Press)
Charles Masson isn't a household name, even for many avid readers of history, but it's easy to wonder why that's the case after reading “The King's Shadow."
Time always flew in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World but it has lately seemed to catch up to the Potter pop cultural sensation. Those long lines outside bookstores are a long time ago now. The books stopped but the movies never did.
“Paint This Town,” Old Crow Medicine Show (ATO Records)
Due to the group’s name, good-timey tempos and comically frantic vocals, Old Crow Medicine Show can be mistaken for a hee-hawing string band not to be taken seriously.
“ Navalny ” is so taut and suspenseful you’d think John le Carré had left behind a secret manuscript that’s only just coming to light now.
This Easter, Mark Wahlberg is offering us a gift as sweet as a box of Peeps or a chocolate rabbit — and just as nutritious.
“Father Stu” is a loving biopic of a one-time real-life hell-raising, blue-collar hustler who somehow becomes a white-collared Roman Catholic priest.
“Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life,” by Delia Ephron (Little, Brown and Company)
After Delia Ephron's husband died, she wrote a New York Times piece about the battle to get her internet service turned back on after Verizon disconnected it along with her late spouse's landline.
“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Berkley)
Newly graduated from Tuskegee, Civil Townsend takes on her first job as a nurse at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic in 1973. She’s ready to make a difference and help the women in her community, but her very first case tests her in a way that will haunt her for decades to come.
The fact that “ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ” exists is not exactly a mystery.
The first film was a financial success for Paramount Pictures and by the year’s end would hold the distinction of being the No.
“In on the Joke: The Original Queens of Stand-Up Comedy” by Shawn Levy (Doubleday)
The first women stand-up comics broke down barriers and paved the way for a multitude of women who followed them.
The human voice, a necessity in virtually any film, is barely existent and wholly secondary in “COW.” We hear only random bits of conversation, muffled and unimportant, from people we don’t know and don’t need to.
Of all the many things that go fast in Michael Bay's pedal-to-the-metal retro action thriller “Ambulance” — the speeding EMS van, the army of police cars trailing it, Bay's ever-swooping, whooshing camera — nothing goes by in more of a blur than the exposition.
“Time Is a Mother” by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Press)
Life’s aftermath ebbs and flows throughout Ocean Vuong’s poetry collection “Time Is a Mother.” An ode to his mother’s passing, Vuong orbits the contours of grief, embedding them into clausal configurations and juxtaposed tones.
“Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)
Add another talent to Emily St. John Mandel’s impressive resume as a novelist — she’s very good at writing books that defy description in a fewer-than-500-word review!
Maybe it's a counter-reaction to our increasingly digital reality, but lately horror films have increasingly turned to primal pasts to resurrect the rituals and fears of folktale.
It's a strikingly global trend, spanning puritan New England ("The Witch"), rural Iceland (“Lamb”), North Dublin ("You Are Not My Mother") and pagan cults of Sweden ("Midsommar").
The latest hero from Marvel is hard to explain. He's a man and yet also a bat. No, not Batman. Let me try again: He's a daywalking vampire, but, no, not that cool cat Blade. This guy is good but also very bad.
“First Generation American,” Elliah Heifetz (Self-released)
Singer-songwriter Elliah Heifetz’s debut album is a cheerful reminder Americana has roots in many countries.
Heifetz was raised on food stamps in Philadelphia as the son of Soviet political refugees, and his melting pot musical mix ranges from Eastern European folk and Yiddish theater to Jimmy Buffett and John Prine.
The geniuses at NASA accidentally build the lunar module a little too small for an adult in “Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood.” In Richard Linklater’s first foray into animation since “A Scanner Darkly,” a few fast-talking NASA men (Glen Powell and Zachary Levi) recruit an average local elementary school student, Stan, to test it out for them on a top secret mission to the Moon.
“Conversations with People Who Hate Me,” by Dylan Marron (Atria)
Digital content producer Dylan Marron had always focused his career on shining a light on oppression. From his web series Sitting in Bathrooms with Trans People to his series Every Single Word about diversity in Hollywood, he became known for his direct and poignant takes on crucial issues facing marginalized communities.
NEW YORK (AP) — The very setting of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” is under threat, right from the opening scene.
The mighty Plaza Hotel — an elegant castle overlooking Central Park — has a date with the wrecking ball.
“The Worth of Water,” by Gary White and Matt Damon (Penguin Random House)
Gary White, the water engineer-activist, and Matt Damon, the actor-philanthropist, have formed one of the world’s great partnerships and solved a problem that has eluded well-meaning institutions, national governments and brainy people — how to bring clean water to millions of poor households.