(Photo by Buena Vista/ courtesy Everett Collection)
All Diane Lane Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Diane Lane has been leading films since age 14, when she debuted in 1979’s first-love story A Little Romance. In the ’80s, she brought New Wave to the big screen with hip, unusual musicals Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, and Streets of Fire, along with collaborating with Francis Ford Coppola in Rumble Fish and The Outsiders.
In the ’90s and early 2000s, Lane appeared in a variety of big productions, including Chaplin, Judge Dredd, Jack, and The Perfect Storm, pulling her away from leading roles. That changed with 2002’s Unfaithful, the erotic sizzler with Richard Gere for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. This led to a mid-career blossoming as romantic lead, with films like Under the Tuscan Sun, Must Love Dogs, and Nights in Rodanthe.
Since then, Lane’s movies have been among the most critically acclaimed of her career, including Certified Fresh marks for Inside Out, Trumbo, and her latest, Let Him Go, opposite Kevin Costner. She’s also been Ma Kent in the DC Extended Universe since 2013’s Man of Steel, helping guarantee we’d never hear the name Martha the same way again. And now we look back on all Diane Lane movies ranked by Tomatometer!
Critics Consensus:Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Critics Consensus: While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film tells of the courageous men and women who risk their lives every working... [More]
Critics Consensus:Chaplin boasts a terrific performance from Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, but it isn't enough to overcome a formulaic biopic that pales in comparison to its subject's classic films.
Synopsis: Re-creation of the life of comic genius Charlie Chaplin, from his humble beginnings in south London through his early days... [More]
Critics Consensus:Cinema Verite is a disappointingly incurious dive into the birth of reality television, but terrific performances and the inherent intrigue behind the making of An American Family keep this drama compelling.
Synopsis: In the 1970s Bill Loud (Tim Robbins) and his wife, Pat (Diane Lane), allow cameras to film their personal lives... [More]
Critics Consensus:Trumbo serves as an honorable and well-acted tribute to a brilliant writer's principled stand, even if it doesn't quite achieve the greatness of its subject's own classic screenplays.
Synopsis: In 1947, successful screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) and other Hollywood figures get blacklisted for their political beliefs.... [More]
(Photo by Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection)
The 100 Sexiest Movies Of All Time
What makes a movie truly sexy, enough to to grant it entrance to our guide of the sexiest movies ever? Variety is the spice: For some movies, it’s about the animal chemistry between its stars (Body Heat, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) or the building passion of its characters (Brokeback Mountain, Titanic). With others, the turn-on is the illicit thrill of being bad (Unfaithful, Secretary) or the purity of self-awakening and discovery (Gloria, Moonlight). Sometimes it’s about the mood a movie evokes, intoxicating and overwhelming, like with In the Mood For Love or Y Tu Mama Tambien. And, yeah, sometimes it’s all about the sex scenes: Mulholland Drive, Lust, Caution, In the Realm of the Senses have got your number.
Whatever your definition (and if you need even more, see the 200 best and worst erotic movies), it all awaits in the 100 sexiest movies ever, ranked by Tomatometer.
Critics Consensus: Malena ends up objectifying the character of the movie's title. Also, the young boy's emotional investment with Malena is never convincing, as she doesn't feel like a three-dimensional person.
Synopsis: In 1941, Renato was 13 years old and although the world was at war, nothing ever happened in this sleepy... [More]
Critics Consensus: Although this action-romance suffers from weak writing and one too many explosions, the chemistry generated by onscreen couple Pitt and Jolie is palpable enough to make this a thoroughly enjoyable summer action flick.
Synopsis: John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie), a couple in a stagnating marriage, live a deceptively mundane existence. However,... [More]
Critics Consensus: Ozon may not explore his themes as fully as he should, but Young & Beautiful poses enough intriguing questions -- and features a strong enough performance from Marine Vacth -- to compensate for its frustrations.
Synopsis: Isabelle (Marine Vacth), a 17-year-old student, loses her virginity during a quick holiday romance. When she returns home, she begins... [More]
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in... [More]
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles... [More]
Critics Consensus:Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel.
Synopsis: This sweeping English drama, based on the book by Ian McEwan, follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira... [More]
Critics Consensus: It has perhaps aged poorly, but this languidly paced WWII romance remains an iconic, well-acted film, featuring particularly strong performances from Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift.
Synopsis: At an Army barracks in Hawaii in the days preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, lone-wolf soldier and boxing champion... [More]
Critics Consensus: In his feature directorial debut, Steven Soderbergh demonstrates a mastery of his craft well beyond his years, pulling together an outstanding cast and an intelligent script for a nuanced, mature film about neurosis and human sexuality.
Synopsis: Ann (Andie MacDowell) is trapped in a sexually and emotionally unfulfilled relationship with her husband, John (Peter Gallagher), a successful... [More]
Critics Consensus: Marvelously directed by Sebastian Lelio and beautifully led by a powerful performance from Paulina Garcia, Gloria takes an honest, sweetly poignant look at a type of character that's all too often neglected in Hollywood.
Synopsis: An aging divorcee (Paulina García) embarks on an intense affair with a man (Sergio Hernández) she picked up at a... [More]
For some, staying home right now can mean curling up with a loved one on the couch for a date-night flick or gathering the whole family together for movie night. For many others, it can mean flying solo – long days and nights of streaming by yourself. We’re here to help with some movie suggestions we think are tailor-made for that latter experience.
Just like going to the movie theater alone can be a singularly joyous “treat yo self” excursion, solo home-viewing can be a great experience too – if you choose the right film. There are movies out there that actually benefit from being watched alone: It might be that they require a level of concentration and focus that distracting friends and loved ones just won’t allow you, or that the maximum scare factor is best felt when you are completely isolated – just like the babysitter being stalked on screen. It might just be that the movie has the kind of awkward/titillating sexy bits that make watching it with a first date – or, let’s say, mom – not exactly ideal. Watch it alone – no judgment, no nervous giggles.
To help those solo-fliers get through the next little while, the RT team pulled together a list of movies perfect for watching alone for all of those reasons – and a bunch that are just guaranteed to put you in an awesome mood the moment they start. Which might be the best reason of all.
What’s your favorite movie to watch by yourself? Let us know in the comments.
Click on each movie’s title to find out more, including where to stream, rent, or buy.
BECAUSE THE MOVIE REQUIRES YOUR ABSOLUTE CONCENTRATION…
Critics Consensus: Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.
Synopsis: After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey)... [More]
Critics Consensus:Annihilation backs up its sci-fi visual wonders and visceral genre thrills with an impressively ambitious -- and surprisingly strange -- exploration of challenging themes that should leave audiences pondering long after the end credits roll.
Synopsis: Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X --... [More]
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the '70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks... [More]
Critics Consensus:Silence ends Martin Scorsese's decades-long creative quest with a thoughtful, emotionally resonant look at spirituality and human nature that stands among the director's finest works.
Synopsis: Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey... [More]
Critics Consensus: Its greatness is blunted by its length and one-sided point of view, but the film's weaknesses are overpowered by Michael Cimino's sympathetic direction and a series of heartbreaking performances from Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken.
Synopsis: In 1968, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvania steel... [More]
Critics Consensus:Inherent Vice may prove frustrating for viewers who demand absolute coherence, but it does justice to its acclaimed source material -- and should satisfy fans of director P.T. Anderson.
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky... [More]
Critics Consensus: It might have been better served by a filmmaker with a deeper connection to the source material, but The Color Purple remains a worthy, well-acted adaptation of Alice Walker's classic novel.
Synopsis: An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South... [More]
Critics Consensus: Playing as both an exciting sci-fi adventure and a remarkable portrait of childhood, Steven Spielberg's touching tale of a homesick alien remains a piece of movie magic for young and old.
Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott... [More]
Critics Consensus: In Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley plays with the documentary format to explore the nature of memory and storytelling, crafting a thoughtful, compelling narrative that unfolds like a mystery.
Synopsis: Through a series of revealing interviews, filmmaker Sarah Polley investigates the truth about her family history.... [More]
Critics Consensus:Old Yeller is an exemplary coming of age tale, packing an emotional wallop through smart pacing and a keen understanding of the elemental bonding between humanity and their furry best friends.
Synopsis: While Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie (Dorothy McGuire), and sons, Travis (Tommy... [More]
Critics Consensus: A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Critics Consensus:Little Miss Sunshine succeeds thanks to a strong ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin, as well as a delightfully funny script.
Synopsis: The Hoover family -- a man (Greg Kinnear), his wife (Toni Collette), an uncle (Steve Carell), a brother (Paul Dano)... [More]
Critics Consensus: Undisciplined, scatological, profoundly silly, and often utterly groan-worthy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights still has an amiable, anything-goes goofiness that has made it a cult favorite.
Synopsis: Crusading nobleman Robin of Loxley (Cary Elwes) escapes from prison in Jerusalem and returns home to find that the evil... [More]
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Synopsis: Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised... [More]
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles... [More]
Critics Consensus:A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though its underlying themes are familiar, House of the Devil effectively sheds the loud and gory cliches of contemporary horror to deliver a tense, slowly building throwback to the fright flicks of decades past.
Synopsis: Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) takes... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.
Synopsis: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block.... [More]
Thumbnail image: Everett Collection, Paramount Pictures, Focus Features
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Eric Roberts is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and prolific actors — the last time we added it up, he had starred in hundreds of projects. His most current film is Compadres, an action comedy about revenge and computer hacking. With such a varied filmography himself, what five films make the cut as his favorite?
A great film that happens to feature my wife, Eliza. And even my stepson Keaton Simons is in it! (Eliza was pregnant when she played “Brunella” in Animal House). Animal House captured a time and a corner of our world perfectly.
Now that Game of Thrones has completed its fifth season, arguably its bleakest and most controversial to date, we’re free to begin our annual period of mourning and/or withdrawal. Part of that process will inevitably involve looking back at everything we loved (and hated) about season five, and how better to facilitate that process than to see how each episode ranked against the others, according to the Tomatometer? Read on for a brief summary of events and the critical reception for every installment, from the spectacular to the controversial. [WARNING: Minor spoilers below.]
What Happens: As Arya takes on a new challenge in her training to become one of the Faceless Men, Sansa squeezes a confession out of Reek. Meanwhile, Tyrion and Jorah negotiate with Daenerys, and Jon Snow arrives at the wildling village of Hardhome, only to be confronted by an unexpected assault.
What Critics Thought: Following several episodes of setup, “Hardhome” blends a sharp script with spectacular blockbuster action to offer viewers a powerful, game-changing payoff.
What Happens: As Tommen and Margaery celebrate their wedding, Cersei makes a decision with far-reaching consequences in King’s Landing, while Stannis attempts to woo Jon Snow to his cause. Elsewhere, Littlefinger convinces Sansa to join the Boltons, if only for strategic purposes, and Tyrion’s journey to Mereen takes an unexpected turn.
What Critics Thought: “High Sparrow” expertly weaves together characters from Game of Thrones‘ sprawling stories, though the episode ultimately belongs to Jon Snow, whose new position highlights unexpected qualities.
What Happens: As the Faith Militant dispense holy justice in King’s Landing, Jon Snow is again approached about joining Stannis, this time by a seductive Melisandre. Jaime and Bronn arrive in Dorne, but immediately find trouble, and as Tyrion continues his journey to meet Daenerys, she finds her own city under siege from within.
What Critics Thought: An episode that benefits from the intricate plotting of the previous three, “Sons of the Harpy” balances bloody action with illuminating character interplay.
What Happens: At Winterfell, Brienne secretly puts plans in motion to rescue Sansa, who is surprised to be reunited with Theon. Meanwhile, Jon Snow makes a very unpopular decision about the wildlings, and Daenerys takes decisive action to secure peace in Mereen. Finally, Jorah leads Tyrion through a treacherous shortcut to Mereen.
What Critics Thought: “Kill the Boy” takes a fresh approach to themes of growth and change, using poignant storytelling to dramatize the challenges of making life-altering choices and struggles with power.
What Happens: As season five premieres, Cersei mourns her father’s death and navigates a changing political landscape in King’s Landing, while Daenerys deals with a political choice of her own. Tyrion and Varys successfully arrive in Essos, and Jon Snow approaches Mance Rayder with a proposition.
What Critics Thought: A solid season premiere, “The Wars to Come” ratchets up the anticipation for inevitable bloodshed while deepening focus on characters and locales.
What Happens: In the season five finale, Stannis arrives at Winterfell and engages the Boltons in combat, while Sansa and Reek see an opportunity for escape. Cersei is made to atone for her sins in King’s Landing, and Arya defies the Many Faced God. Elsewhere, Tyrion is reunited with Varys in Mereen, while Jon Snow contemplates his fate at the Wall.
What Critics Thought: “Mother’s Mercy” wraps up a particularly dark Game of Thrones season with a finale that delivers strong character work and and a handful of appropriately bleak cliffhangers.
What Happens: At the Wall, Stannis makes a tempting offer to Jon, who finds unexpected support as a candidate for Lord Commander, while Brienne and Podrick run into a familiar face in the Vale. Cersei and Jaime receive a threat from Dorne, while Tyrion and Varys set out for Volantis and Daenerys incites civil unrest in Mereen. Finally, Arya arrives in Braavos, but doesn’t receive the warm welcome she expected.
What Critics Thought: Building upon the season opener, “The House of Black and White” increases the intensity by calling upon some major characters to make some tough decisions.
What Happens: As Stannis presses onward to Winterfell in a snowstorm, Sansa begs Reek for help, to no avail. Jorah and Tyrion enter the fighting pits and encounter Daenerys, while Jaime attempts to reason with Myrcella. In King’s Landing, Olenna Tyrell attempts to free Loras and Margaery from the Faith Militant, who prove to Cersei that holy justice knows no bias.
What Critics Thought: “The Gift” is a jam-packed installment that delivers long-awaited plot turns in a satisfying manner, even though it continues a disturbing theme from the previous episode.
What Happens: Arya’s training is sidetracked by an old enemy, while Jaime negotiates Myrcella’s return to King’s Landing. In the North, Stannis is sabotaged by Ramsay and makes a difficult personal decision, while Jon returns from Hardhome. In Mereen, a fighting tournament devolves into chaos and Drogon enters the fray.
What Critics Thought: Underscored by an especially heartwrenching moment and a spectacular display of power, “The Dance of Dragons” successfully delivers the shock and awe audiences have come to expect from the series’ penultimate episodes.
What Happens: In Dorne, Jaime and Bronn are captured in their rescue attempt, while Jorah and Tyrion are taken by slavers en route to Mereen. Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell separately arrive in King’s Landing for negotiations with Cersei, and Sansa marries Ramsay Bolton, only to quickly experience his cruelty.
What Critics Thought: Unbalanced storytelling and unnecessary, excessive brutality add up to disturbing viewing, although “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” still includes enough plot revelations to offer hope for future episodes.
In a big week for television news, Game of Thrones featured a much-debated story involving Sansa Stark that Matt, Grae, Sarah, and Ryan argue about [6:34]. They also give recommendations on how to ease your Mad Men separation anxiety [19:30]. Then, The Comedians showrunner Ben Wexler stops by to talk about the first time he met Billy Crystal and what it’s like to make a TV show about a living legend [27:00].
The Comedians airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on FX.
Mr. Sloane premieres on Link TV (DirecTV and Dish Network) on May 17 at 8 p.m. EST/9 p.m. PST, with encore presentations starting at 8 p.m. EST/PST on May 19, 20, and 21.
Find out which moments from the last two weeks of Game of Thrones that Matt, The Velvet Smog, and Grae found the most noteworthy. (Hint: It wasn’t Tyrion walking away from special alone-time with a lady, and it didn’t have to do with bare backsides.)
Plus, Sean G sent our email of the week, talking about why this episode was the best yet. And, as always, it’s a spoiler-filled discussion so don’t listen if you haven’t seen “The House of Black and White” and “High Sparrow.”
What did you think of this week’s Game of Thrones? Email us at email@example.com!
Despite a lukewarm reception from critics, Paul Blart: Mall Cop was a sizeable box office hit. So naturally, we’re treated to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which critics say lacks even the modest charms of its predecessor — it’s indifferently performed, tonally jumbled, and almost entirely bereft of laughs. Kevin James returns as the self-important Blart, who’s been invited to a security guard convention in Vegas. Will our hero overcome gluttony and boorishness to thwart a brazen art heist and rescue his kidnapped daughter? The pundits say Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is a startlingly empty experience, one that James’ inherent likability does little to enliven. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most critically-panned second installments.)
At first blush, Unfriended sounds pretty gimmicky: it’s a horror movie that consists entirely of footage from its teenage characters’ computer screens. However, critics say the result is smart and deeply unsettling, a clever thriller that has a thing or two to say about teen angst and modern communication. The plot: on the anniversary of a classmate’s death, a group of high schoolers are being hunted — via Skype — by her malevolent spirit. The pundits say Unfriended is an intelligent blend of form and content that feels utterly contemporary. (Watch our video interview with the cast here.)
Who doesn’t love monkeys? Critics say Monkey Kingdom might be Disneynature’s best film to date, and its breathtaking footage of primates in the wild makes for action-packed viewing. Narrated by Tina Fey, the film follows a group of toque macaques who live in the Sri Lankan jungle near an abandoned temple, with special attention paid to a single mother and her child who are trying to fit in with their new community. The pundits say Monkey Kingdom‘s stars are a playful, colorful bunch, and if the film sometimes anthropomorphizes them, they’re still likely to please animal lovers of all ages.
What’s On TV:
Bloody action and extreme power plays return full throttle, as Game of Thrones (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) enjoys a new-found liberation from the world of the source material, resulting in more unexpected thrills.
With tight adherence to its source material’s history, high production quality, and a no-nonsense dramatic flair, Marvel’s Daredevil (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) excels as an effective superhero origin story, a gritty procedural, and an exciting action adventure.
Beautifully filmed and brilliantly acted, Wolf Hall (Certified Fresh at 100 percent) masterfully brings Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels to life.
The Oscar-nominated anti-war drama Tangerines, about two immigrant farmers who refuse to abandon their crops even with war on the horizon, is at 75 percent.
Felix & Meira, a drama about the tentative romance between a middle-aged atheist and a married Hasidic woman, is at 73 percent.
The Dead Lands, an adventure film about a Maori warrior who seeks to avenge his father’s murder and stave off an attack from a rival tribe, is at 60 percent.
True Story, a drama about a journalist working on a story about an accused killer who used the reporter’s name as an alias, is at 50 percent (check out our interview with stars Jonah Hill and James Franco).
Beyond The Reach, starring Michael Douglas in a thriller about a billionaire hunter who frames his guide for murder after accidentally shooting a man, is at 35 percent.
Child 44, starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace in a period drama about a Soviet secret police agent on the trail of a serial killer, is at 23 percent.
Monsters: Dark Continent, a sci-fi action film about a platoon of American soldiers who must fight off an alien attack, is at 22 percent.
This week in TV news, Amazon streams free Orphan Black while Netflix offers up audio descriptions for Marvel’s Daredevil. Plus, Game of Thrones smashes ratings records, Orange Is the New Black promises another season, and NBC is off to Emerald City!
Amazon Will Stream Orphan Black for Free This Friday
In celebration of the upcoming third season of BBC America’s Orphan Black, Amazon will stream the first season for free this Friday. The free day is open to all Amazon customers — not just Prime subscribers — and will be available on the Amazon Instant Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/OrphanBlack starting at 12:01 a.m. PT and concluding at 11:59 p.m. PT. Amazon saw a huge response when it ran a similar promotion for the full first season of Transparent earlier this year, and hopes that Orphan Black, already popular with Prime members, will entertain many new viewers. Orphan Black stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning, a tough, small-time grifter who finds herself embroiled in a cloning conspiracy. Season one is Certified Fresh at 92 percent and season three premieres this Saturday on BBC America at 9 p.m.
Marvel’s Daredevil Adds Audio Description for Visually Impaired
This week, Netflix announced plans to enhance a number of their original series by providing a special audio track for the visually impaired. Audio description — a narration track that describes what’s happening onscreen, including costumes, facial expressions, physical gestures, and scene changes — was added to Marvel’s Daredevil on Tuesday, and will be a feature on other Netflix original series like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Marco Polo, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, along with select movies in the Netflix catalog. “Netflix is actively committed to increasing the number of audio-visual translations for movies and shows in our English-language catalogues,” said director of content operations Tracy Wright. “We are also exploring adding audio description into other languages in the future.”
Game of Thrones Burns Up the Ratings With the Season Five Premiere
Game of Thrones returned to HBO for season five this week with a new ratings high, averaging just under 8 million. That’s a 1.4 million viewer increase since the 2014 season premiere, and 400,000 viewers more than the show’s previously highest viewed episode. Unlike other shows, however, that calculate viewers based on same-day ratings, HBO reports an aggregate of DVR, HBO Go, On Demand, and encore plays. Still, it’s Thrones‘ highest ratings yet and further proof that the show is only getting more popular, especially with the recent addition of HBO Now bolstering the offerings. Season five of Game of Thrones is currently Certified Fresh at 97 percent. Read reviews here.
Orange Is the New Black Is Renewed for Season Four
No furlough for these ladies! Litchfield’s finest of Orange Is the New Black can expect to sit another year in stir — and season three hasn’t even started yet! The news is not too surprising, considering Orange‘s popularity and critical acclaim that includes three Emmy Awards, two GLAAD Media Awards, a Peabody Award, and a Television Critics’ Assn. Award. Season three of Orange Is the New Black will drop on Netflix on Jun. 12. Until then, enjoy the latest trailer here.
NBC Is Off to See the Wizard with New Series Emerald City
Emerald City, a series based on The Wizard of Oz, was in development last year when NBC pulled the plug. Now, the network announced this week that the idea will go straight to a 10-episode full season order with David Schulner (Do No Harm) executive producing. Pitched as “the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before, where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long and a young girl becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands,” Emerald City is one of two Oz-themed projects in NBC’s pipeline — the other is a live version of the Broadway musical The Wiz, which will most likely air during the holidays this year. The Emerald City version will feature a 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and her K9 police dog who are transported to another world far away after a tornado. The project is currently in development at NBC.
Sorry, folks, but the ship has nearly sailed — and not just the one en route to Braavos with our intrepid little hero Arya Stark. With 40 hours of Game of Thrones to binge-watch in the next two days before the premiere, it might be time to come up with a plan B.
With that in mind, Rotten Tomatoes has turned to the internet to catch you up, and we’ve found the best resources for every type of learner.
Four Seasons in 40 Images
What it is: From Sky Atlantic, this photo gallery highlights key moments of all four seasons.
Why it’s cool: With so much that happens in a single season, this gallery boils down each one into a handful of key moments with images of the most important characters.
Perfect for: People who need a face to go with the name; those with short attention spans.
The Game of Thrones Catch-Up Machine
What it is: An interactive guide from lovereading.co.uk that sorts each character by House and provides a short blurb on where they left off at the end of season four.
Why it’s cool: The interface is easy to understand, giving fans a topline look at the characters and allowing them to dig deeper into each House.
Perfect for: The casual viewer; people who have forgotten everything since season four.
12 Episodes To Watch To Catch Up On The Whole Series
Why it’s cool: The curated list includes critical turning points within each season, giving you a broad sense of what has transpired over the years, but in a fraction of the time.
Perfect for: Newcomers; people who have time to watch some episodes, but can’t commit to the whole thing before Sunday.
A Season Four Clip Video Recap
What it is: In this video from CNN, major plot points of the fourth season are presented in a series of clips with an informative voiceover.
Why it’s cool: The information is present in a matter-of-fact manner, giving you everything you need to know in order to understand the season five premiere.
Perfect for: Sporadic viewers; people who has never watched the show.
An Illustrated Guide to Every Game of Thrones Death
What it is: The Washington Post presents all 456 Game of Thrones deaths in various graphic forms.
Why it’s cool: Even though the focus of this richly detailed infographic is the many character deaths, the season-by-season breakdown is also highly informative about the major story arcs.
Perfect for: Super-fans; visuals learners.
A Season Five Quick-Start Guide
What it is: Rolling Stone’s season five primer gives you a rundown of where the major characters left off in season four.
Why it’s cool: For some people, Game of Thrones is too complicated, resulting in storyline overload. This short primer is just enough to remind you of what matters for the premiere.
Perfect for: Occasional viewers; people who don’t have time to re-watch last season’s finale.
A Season Four Infographic
What it is:TIME Magazine presents “a graphic refresher of where Season 4 left off.”
Why it’s cool: Not only does this infographic provide a refresher on the main characters, but it also groups them together by different categories, such as new characters and those who have returned or disappeared.
Perfect for: Those who have forgotten what happened last year; sporadic viewers; visual learners; thematic thinkers.
Why it’s cool: In addition to covering pretty much everything that happens in season four, the latest Fine Brothers installment also has their super-fan commentary to help you identify which plots will matter in season five.
Perfect for: People who watched season four, but never totally understood what was going on; super-fans.
The Season Four Finale as Depicted By Sculpted Peanuts
What it is: Commissioned by MTV, peanut artist Steve Casino recaps the season four finale.
Why it’s cool: It’s Game of Thrones characters made of out peanuts. Why else would it be cool?
Perfect for: Anyone who saw the season four finale and is interested in a more whimsical recap before Sunday.
A Written Recap of Seasons One Through Three
What it is: Published last year by Vanity Fair, this article is an essay-style rundown of the main events in Game of Thrones‘ first three seasons.
Why it’s cool: Unlike many other written recaps of “First this happened, and then this happened,” TV critic Richard Lawson gives the summary a more literary bent, making it a pretty decent read.
Perfect for: People who only have time to watch season four in time for the premiere.
Key & Peele’s NSFW Series Catch-Up
What it is: Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s recurring valet characters (fun fact: their names are Majid and Duke) give a passionate recap of the first four seasons.
Why it’s cool: It’s nice to know Key & Peele are just as crazy about Game of Thrones as the rest of us — and they do manage to reacquaint you with some of the series’ critical turning points.
Perfect for: Fans of both shows; viewers who want to relive some of the more violent highlights of Game of Thrones with Key & Peele’s unwavering enthusiasm.
The Rotten Tomatoes Season Five Character Guide
What it is:An interactive guide has the names, faces, and descriptions of the 40 most important characters in season five.
Why it’s cool: We’re not just saying this because we’re the ones who made it — the character guide is a simple way to remind yourself of the many GoT characters by clicking on their avatars.
Perfect for: People who can’t keep track of the many characters; people who know names, but not faces; people who know faces, but not names.
Season five of Game of Thrones premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO. Will you be ready?
Films based on Nicholas Sparks novels are reliable fodder for critical brickbats — and reliably strong performers at the box office. Critics say the latest Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride, is somewhat better than most, thanks to its appealing leads and director George Tillman Jr.s’ assured direction; otherwise, it’s sappy, weepy business as usual. Luke (Scott Eastwood) is a bull rider who lives on the edge, while Sophia (Britt Robertson) is an artsy gal who dreams of the big city. Their budding relationship is solidified when they meet an older man (Alan Alda) with a heartbreaking past that makes our young heroes reflect on what they want in their lives. The pundits say The Longest Ride is the cinematic equivalent of a beach read: heavy-handed, occasionally diverting, and ultimately forgettable. (Check out Sparks’ Five Favorite Films here.)
Even if his recent track record has been spotty, no one would argue that Al Pacino ranks among the finest actors in cinema history. Critics say Pacino is the main reason to see Danny Collins, but a fine supporting cast also helps to elevate this likeable dramedy above its relatively predictable plotting. Pacino stars as Collins, an aging pop star on the downside of his career whose life is changed when he discovers a long-lost letter sent to him by John Lennon. His spirit reinvigorated, Collins attempts to mend his frayed relationships with family and friends. The pundits say Danny Collins occasionally veers into schmaltzy territory, but Pacino and his co-stars are so compelling that it’s hard to resist.
What’s On TV:
Bloody action and extreme power plays return full throttle, as Game of Thrones (100 percent) enjoys a new-found liberation from the world of the source material, resulting in more unexpected thrills.
“Severance” (98 percent), presents the age-old dilemma of human fulfillment, setting the stage for a final season layered with the big questions asked by Mad Men‘s beloved characters.
The finale to the first season of Better Call Saul (86 percent) delivers a payoff that is at once comic and tragic, as Jimmy’s conversion to Saul nears completion.
Also opening this week in limited release:
The Iranian import About Elly, a tense drama in which a woman mysteriously disappears during a vacation on the Caspian Sea, is at 100 percent.
Black Souls, an Italian drama about long-simmering conflicts between family members involved in organized crime, is at 92 percent.
Who’s excited for the return of Orphan Black? Got GoT? Will Penny be Dreadful in season two? How will new shows like American Odyssey, Odd Mom Out, UnReal, and Aquarius compete? Will Lucy Lawless lay down the witches’ law when she debuts on the new season of Salem? Will miniseries like Casual Vacancy or Texas Rising rise to the level? More importantly, will your DVR blow up from the pressure? DVR safety is crucial, so please plan ahead by referencing this list on a regular basis.