(Photo by A24 / courtesy Everett Collection)

20 Movies To Watch If You Loved Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems: Critics loved it. Adventurous audiences loved it. Even the Academy…Well, they probably did, but not enough to get Adam Sandler an Oscar nomination. If you got mauled by the relentless, noisy, vice-tightening style — and loved every second of it — and you’re looking for more movies like Uncut Gems, we’ve got a spread of 20 for you to challenge and throttle the senses.

Uncut Gems was directed by Josh and Benny Safdie, two brothers who’ve honed their intimate filmmaking over several features. They really gained traction with heroin drama Heaven Knows What, and 2017’s Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson trapped in a similar anxiety-inducing trip as the one Sandler’s unscrupulous jeweler, Howard, goes on in Uncut Gems. Howard is largely driven by his addiction to high-stakes gambling, a potentially lethal path to go down also seen in Rounders, The Gambler, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.

The fashionable hell Howard has created for himself invites many players of the criminal world in, and Uncut Gems is in many ways that classic kind of thriller where a small player cobbles together a risky plan to bet against the underworld, hoping for that big score. Some of the best that this grim genre has to offer: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, The Pope of Greenwich Village, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Thief (if you can’t find this, try Collateral, another Michael Mann nocturnal classic), and Sidney Lumet’s final film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Conversely, The Long Good Friday and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher III: I’m the Angel of Death (you can generally watch this without having seen the other Pushers) are from the kingpin’s perspective, which show that when you know everybody, everybody’s potentially out to kill you.

Of course, plenty of Uncut Gems fans admire the nerve-wracking pace, where problems just pile up one after the other, frequently because characters just can’t get out of their own way. If you’re looking for more of that, seek out Dog Day Afternoon, Victoria (an after-hours thriller legitimately shot in one take), Running Scared (a fan favorite with Paul Walker), Whiplash, and Run Lola Run.

Howard is arguably Sandler’s most memorable character ever: A man in deep agitation, both financial and existential in nature. You can find more deep character work from the likes of Dustin Hoffman in Straight Time, about a thief who struggles to abide by society’s pecking order after release from jail. Or Nicolas Cage in Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead as a burned-out philosophical paramedic who red-eyes across multiple New York shifts. And Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant, a crooked cop who loses the will to make sound decisions. These movies lay the pressure on their wayward protagonists, compressing, until out comes, well, some gritty gems of filmmaking.

#20

Running Scared (2006)
41%

#20
Adjusted Score: 46240%
Critics Consensus: This film runs with frenetic energy punctuated by gratuitous violence but sorely lacks in plot, character development and stylistic flair.
Synopsis: Mafia flunky Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) is ordered to dispose of the guns that killed a pair of policemen. He... [More]
Directed By: Wayne Kramer

#19

Rounders (1998)
65%

#19
Adjusted Score: 69238%
Critics Consensus: Richly atmospheric and colorful performances contributed to the movie's entertainment value.
Synopsis: Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy "KGB" (John Malkovich). Under pressure... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 75656%
Critics Consensus: Stunning and compelling, Scorsese and Cage succeed at satisfying the audience.
Synopsis: After a disheartening and haunting career wears him down, New York City paramedic Frank Pierce (Nicolas Cage) begins to collapse... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#17
Adjusted Score: 77268%
Critics Consensus: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a grimy, twisted, and funny twist on the Tarantino hip gangster formula.
Synopsis: Eddy (Nick Moran) convinces three friends to pool funds for a high-stakes poker game against local crime boss Hatchet Harry... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#16

Straight Time (1978)
82%

#16
Adjusted Score: 81273%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A career criminal, Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman) is determined to go straight after his latest stint in prison. He takes... [More]
Directed By: Ulu Grosbard

#15

Bad Lieutenant (1992)
77%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80650%
Critics Consensus: Bad Lieutenant will challenge less desensitized viewers with its depiction of police corruption, but Harvey Keitel's committed performance makes it hard to turn away.
Synopsis: The Lieutenant (Harvey Keitel) is a corrupt cop steeped in gambling debt who exploits his authority to sexually harass teenage... [More]
Directed By: Abel Ferrara

#14

The Gambler (1974)
80%

#14
Adjusted Score: 80166%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: New York City English professor Axel Freed (James Caan) outwardly seems like an upstanding citizen. But privately Freed is in... [More]
Directed By: Karel Reisz

#13
Adjusted Score: 80139%
Critics Consensus: Ben Gazzarra gives a grand performance as a hard-pressed debtor with delusions of grandeur in this naturalistic and tense thriller.
Synopsis: Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara), the proprietor of a sleazy, low-rent Hollywood cabaret, has a real affection for the women who... [More]
Directed By: John Cassavetes

#12

Victoria (2015)
82%

#12
Adjusted Score: 90043%
Critics Consensus: Victoria's single-take production is undeniably impressive, but it's also an effective drama in its own right -- and one that juggles its tonal shifts as deftly as its technical complexities.
Synopsis: Four local Berliners recruit a thrill-seeking Spanish woman (Laia Costa) to be their getaway driver for a bank robbery.... [More]
Directed By: Sebastian Schipper

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 89183%
Critics Consensus: Grueling and rewarding in equal measure, Heaven Knows What hits hard -- and serves as a powerful calling card for its captivating star, Arielle Holmes.
Synopsis: A young heroin addict (Arielle Holmes) roams the streets of New York to panhandle and get her next fix, while... [More]
Directed By: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

#10
Adjusted Score: 95026%
Critics Consensus: A tense and effective thriller, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead marks a triumphant return to form for director Sidney Lumet.
Synopsis: Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a debt-ridden broker, needs some quick cash. He ropes his younger brother, Hank (Ethan Hawke), into... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#9
Adjusted Score: 77851%
Critics Consensus: Undisciplined direction and a clichéd story prevent The Pope of Greenwich Village from achieving greatness, but it's an entertaining showcase for its stars.
Synopsis: Cousins Paulie (Eric Roberts) and Charlie (Mickey Rourke) plan to rob a merchant in the New York City neighborhood that's... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Rosenberg

#8

Good Time (2017)
92%

#8
Adjusted Score: 108687%
Critics Consensus: A visual treat filled out by consistently stellar work from Robert Pattinson, Good Time is a singularly distinctive crime drama offering far more than the usual genre thrills.
Synopsis: A bank robber stops at nothing to free his brother from prison, launching himself into a nightlong odyssey through New... [More]
Directed By: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

#7

Run Lola Run (1998)
93%

#7
Adjusted Score: 96368%
Critics Consensus: More fun than a barrel of Jean-Paul Sartre, pic's energy riffs on an engaging love story and really human performances while offering a series of what-ifs and a blood-stirring soundtrack.
Synopsis: In this visually and conceptually impressive film, two-bit Berlin criminal Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) delivers some smuggled loot for his boss,... [More]
Directed By: Tom Tykwer

#6

Thief (1981)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 95059%
Critics Consensus: Thief is an invigorating cut of neon noir - proudly pulpy, steeped in authenticity, and powered by a swaggering James Caan at the peak of his charisma.
Synopsis: A highly skilled jewel thief, Frank (James Caan) longs to leave his dangerous trade and settle down with his girlfriend,... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#5

Pusher 3 (2005)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 66450%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Milo (Zlatko Buric) is a drug dealer and recovering addict who's slowly coming unraveled. While trying to prepare for his... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Winding Refn

#4

Whiplash (2014)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 105956%
Critics Consensus: Intense, inspiring, and well-acted, Whiplash is a brilliant sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle and a riveting vehicle for stars J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller.
Synopsis: Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, in pursuit of rising to the top of his elite... [More]
Directed By: Damien Chazelle

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 100417%
Critics Consensus: Framed by great work from director Sidney Lumet and fueled by a gripping performance from Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon offers a finely detailed snapshot of people in crisis with tension-soaked drama shaded in black humor.
Synopsis: When inexperienced criminal Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn, things quickly go wrong, and a hostage... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 97773%
Critics Consensus: Bob Hoskins commands a deviously sinister performance in The Long Good Friday -- a gangster flick with ferocious intelligence, tight plotting and razor-edged thrills.
Synopsis: In the late 1970s, Cockney crime boss Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins), a gangster trying to become a legitimate property mogul,... [More]
Directed By: John Mackenzie

#1
Adjusted Score: 100440%
Critics Consensus: The Friends of Eddie Coyle sees Robert Mitchum in transformative late-career mode in a gritty and credible character study.
Synopsis: Aging Boston gunrunner Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) is looking at several years of jail time for a hold-up if he... [More]
Directed By: Peter Yates

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This week, we’ve got a Disney hit from early this year, some binge-worthy Netflix programming, and a contemplative adventure movie to kick things off. Then we’ve also got a handful of smaller films, a few acclaimed older films, and a bona fide Hollywood classic. Check out the full list below.


New on Netflix

 

Strong Island (2017) 100%

This documentary chronicles the roots of director Yance Ford’s family, leading up to the 1992 murder of his own brother William Jr. and the aftereffects of the tragedy.

Available now on: Netflix


American Vandal: Season 1 (2017) 98%

This Netflix original mockumentary series pokes fun at the true-crime genre, as a high school sophomore investigates whether or not a classmate was unjustly expelled for crimes of vandalism he may not have committed.

Available now on: Netflix


Manhunt: Unabomber (2017) 93%

Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany star in this scripted series from Discovery recounting the true story behind the FBI’s search and capture of the Unabomber.

Available now on: Netflix


Half Nelson (2006) 91%

Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps star in this drama about a high school teacher and heroin addict who bonds with a student who knows his secret.

Available now on: Netflix


Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) 88%

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, and Marisa Tomei star in Sidney Lumet’s dark drama about a pair of brothers whose plan to rob their parents’ jewelry store goes awry.

Available now on: Netflix


First They Killed My Father (2017) 88%

Angelina Jolie directs this biopic inspired by the life of Cambodian human rights activist Loung Ung.

Available now on: Netflix


Beauty and the Beast (2017) 71%

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in Bill Condon’s live-action Disney adaptation of the studio’s own take on the classic tale of a young woman held captive by an angry beast who was once a prince.

Available now on: Netflix


Slack Bay (2016) 65%

Juliette Binoche stars in this French comedy about an eccentric family whose seaside vacation is interrupted by two bumbling cops investigating a string of missing tourists.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

My Man Godfrey (1936) 97%

William Powell and Carole Lombard star in this classic screwball comedy about a wealthy young woman who hires a vagrant as her new butler, only to discover there’s more to him than meets the eye. Amazon has both the original black-and-white version as well as a colorized version available to stream.

Available now on Amazon Prime: Original, In Color


The Lost City of Z (2016) 86%

Charlie Hunnam and Tom Holland star in this historical adventure-drama about Percy Fawcett, the British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon during a search for a lost civilization.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


We Are What We Are (2013) 86%

In this slow-burning gothic chiller, a small-town family with a controlling patriarch will do anything to preserve its most treasured — and perverse — traditions.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Alex of Venice (2014) 74%

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as the titular character in Chris Messina’s directorial debut, about a recently single attorney who learns to move on with life.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on FandangoNOW

 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) 94%

To celebrate the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s monumental sci-fi film, FandangoNOW now has the original theatrical version, the director’s cut, and a special collector’s edition available to stream.

Available now on FandangoNOW: Theatrical Cut, Director’s Cut, Collector’s Edition


A Ghost Story (2017) 91%

Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in David Lowery’s contemplative drama about a recently deceased man whose spirit returns to the home he shared with his wife, only to find her slowly slipping away.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Book of Henry (2017) 22%

Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay star in Colin Trevorrow’s mystery drama about a woman who discovers one of her sons has been secretly plotting to help the girl next door escape her abusive father.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) 30%

Johnny Depp returns for the fifth installment of Disney’s swashbuckling franchise, which finds Jack Sparrow on the run from a deadly ghost pirate bent on his destruction.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming swings its way into theaters this weekend, giving filmgoers their first feature-length look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new version of the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler — and his long-suffering Aunt May, now played by the one and only Marisa Tomei. To celebrate Ms. Tomei’s return to the cineplex, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fond look back at some of her brightest critical highlights, and give you the opportunity to rank your favorites in the bargain. You know what that means: it’s time for Total Recall!


Use the up and down arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

One’s a deadly MI6 agent. The other’s a football hooligan with a mod Lloyd Christmas haircut. Together, they’re The Brothers Grimsby, opening Friday and inspiring this week’s 24 Frames gallery: the best and worst movie brothers!

Ethan Hawke

Much has been made of the unorthodox way Richard Linklater filmed Boyhood, working with the same cast over a twelve-year span — but it’s also worth pointing out that the cast in question boasts plenty of talent, including Linklater’s frequent male lead, Ethan Hawke. With Boyhood opening in limited release this weekend, we decided to take the opportunity to have a look at Hawke’s filmography — and although it’s as stuffed with Linklater collaborations as you might expect, there’s also a lot more going on here, including some of the most cherished movies of the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. Cast off that planet of regret sitting on your shoulders, because it’s time for Total Recall!

10. Explorers

75%

Between 1985’s Explorers and 1986’s Space Camp, the mid-’80s were a pretty great time for young astronauts at the movies — and although neither picture did all that well at the box office, the former film has gone on to enjoy cult status. This is partly thanks to Joe Dante’s ever-effusive direction of a sweet-tempered Eric Luke screenplay about neighborhood pals who use spare parts, computer know how, and a ton of youthful gumption to man their own space expedition — but it also didn’t hurt that Dante had a terrific young cast to work with, including Hawke (as Ben, the kid who dreams of traveling into space) and River Phoenix (as his computer-wiz pal Wolfgang). Explorers isn’t without its problems, among them a final act that many critics felt was a letdown after the refreshing fun of the buildup, but it still adds up to what Film4’s Daniel Etherington called “An enjoyable, quintessentially 1980s science-fiction adventure, full of wit and crafty pop culture references.”

9. Tape

77%

The camcorder auteur version of Old Home Week, 2001’s Tape reunited Ethan Hawke with a frequent collaborator (director Richard Linklater), a former co-star (Robert Sean Leonard, who’d worked with him in Dead Poets Society), and his then-current spouse (Uma Thurman) to deliver a tightly wound adaptation of the Stephen Belber play about an increasingly unpleasant encounter between a pair of old high school buddies, fraught with the tension caused by the fact that one (Leonard) has a budding filmmaking career while the other (Hawke) is a small-town drug dealer living in hotel squalor — not to mention their shared history with a former girlfriend who’s still in the area (Thurman). It isn’t the cheeriest viewing or the prettiest movie to look at, but as a can’t-look-away drama and an example of Linklater’s ability to successfully test cinematic limits, it’s pretty darn compelling. “Three actors yakking in a single drab interior, shot on HD video,” marveled Variety’s Dennis Harvey. “It’s unlikely this poverty-program recipe has, or ever will again, yield results quite as entertaining as Tape.

8. Waking Life

81%

Richard Linklater sure was busy during the months leading up to the 2001 Sundance Festival. Not only did he complete Tape, the ensemble camcorder drama that reunited him with frequent muse Ethan Hawke, but he also turned in Waking Life, an ambitious blend of heady intellectual themes and eye-catching visual effects. Framed by the journey of a young man (played by Dazed and Confused star Wiley Wiggins) through a city filled with a motley assortment of blue-collar philosophers and intriguing weirdos — portrayed by “interpolated rotoscoping”-ized versions of Hawke, Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Nicky Katt, and others — Waking offers food for thought and a distinctive treat for the eyes. Calling it “Exhilarating, transporting, funny and haunting — and at times maddeningly heady or narcotically logy,” Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek decreed, “Waking Life doesn’t compare to any other movie experience I’ve ever had.”

7. Gattaca

83%

In 1996, Dolly the sheep made headlines as the first cloned mammal, sending previously sci-fi-worthy topics like genetic engineering and eugenics to the forefront of public debate. You’d think that would make an instant smash out of a futuristic thriller about a man hiding behind someone else’s genetic identity — Columbia Pictures certainly thought so — but Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca still went down as one of 1997’s more notorious flops. Hawke starred as Vincent Freeman, a genetic “in-valid” who flouts the rules preventing him from joining the space program by buying off Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a paraplegic ex-swimmer with perfect DNA, setting in motion a chain of events that puts Freeman on a collision course with a squad of detectives led by his own brother (Loren Dean). It’s undeniably juicy stuff, and it was greeted with critical applause, but audiences weren’t interested for some reason — a disappointment for scribes like James Sanford, who called it “a smart, beautifully crafted piece of not-so-science-fiction that manages to successfully mix social commentary and suspense into a generally enthralling story.”

6. Dead Poets Society

85%

A four-time Oscar nominee and one of the defining dramas of the late ’80s, Dead Poets Society found Robin Williams toning down his eminently bankable manic persona in order to anchor this late ’50s-set tale of non-conformity and self-belief with a performance of surprisingly subtle strength. As prep school teacher John Keating, Williams led a young standout cast that included Hawke, Josh Charles, Robert Sean Leonard, and Gale Hansen, as well as dependable grown-up supporting players such as Kurtwood Smith, Norman Lloyd, and Lara Flynn Boyle. A resounding $200 million-plus hit that entered the phrase “O Captain! My Captain!” into the popular lexicon, Poets also found purchase with critics like Moviehole’s Clint Morris, who assured readers, “If you’ve done some living, every cockle of your heart will be touched.”

5. A Midnight Clear

88%

A Christmas-set WWII drama about the mounting tensions at an American GI camp, A Midnight Clear didn’t have much of a prayer at the box office in April of 1992, no matter how intriguing its cast may have been — and it was plenty intriguing, featuring standout work from Hawke and Gary Sinise, as well as solid performances from Peter Berg, Arye Gross, Frank Whaley, and Kevin Dillon. But if it missed its shot with audiences, it still resonated strongly with critics, who turned in largely positive reviews; in fact, as far as Jon Niccum of the Lawrence Journal-World was concerned, A Midnight Clear is “one of the most underrated films of the ’90s.”

4. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

88%

A powerful late-period triumph for director Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead offered Hawke an opportunity to deliver some of his best work surrounded by masters — not only behind the scenes, but in front of the cameras, where he shared screen time with a powerful ensemble cast that included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, and Michael Shannon. Although the results were far from an easy watch, that clammy feeling you have while viewing Devil serves a purpose, adding a memorably pungent component to the film that Variety’s Lisa Nesselson called a “wrenching tale [that] has something for anyone who likes their melodrama spiked with palpable tension and genuine suspense.”

3. Before Sunset

94%

Before Sunrise wasn’t a huge hit, but it acquired cult classic status, and Hawke formed a bond with Julie Delpy and writer-director Richard Linklater — so much so that the trio never really let go of their Sunrise roles, with Hawke and Delpy playing their characters in Linklater’s rotoscoped 2001 drama Waking Life while the three of them periodically returned to the idea of a sequel. That follow-up finally arrived in 2004 with Before Sunset, which finds Jesse and Celine meeting up again nine years after the events depicted in the first film and spending a memorable afternoon together in Paris. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the passage of time had dimmed neither the duo’s chemistry nor diminished their characters’ story potential; as Christy Lemire appreciatively observed for the Associated Press, “It’s a lovely, beguiling little film — a rare treat during this overheated season of blockbusters. It’s also an unusual example of a follow-up that doesn’t seem forced, but expands effortlessly on the original.”

2. Before Midnight

98%

Nearly a decade after Before Sunset and almost 20 years after Before Sunrise, Hawke and Julie Delpy concluded writer-director Richard Linklater’s trilogy the same way they started it — namely, by offering a frank, naturalistic look at love in its various stages. As with the previous two installments, Before Midnight leans heavily on its stars’ chemistry — and once again, they prove more than up to the task, lending rich dramatic hues to a movie that, in lesser hands, would seem like little more than a lot of self-indulgent navel-gazing. For critics hoping for a clear-eyed take on midlife domesticity and filmgoers who just wanted to see the next chapter in Jesse and Celine’s story, Midnight proved every bit as lovely (and sometimes just as dark) as its title; as Moira MacDonald wrote for the Seattle Times, “Though Before Midnight is often uncomfortable to watch, it’s never less than mesmerizing — and ultimately, a joy to walk with this prickly but fascinating couple again.”

1. Before Sunrise

100%

Looking at this list, it’s hard not to wonder if maybe Ethan Hawke should only make movies with “before” in the title — or barring that, always co-star with Julie Delpy. The duo’s richly rewarding on-screen courtship kicks off with Before Sunrise, in which Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) meet on a train and spend a night walking and talking through the streets of Vienna, developing a bond even as the hour draws nigh for Jesse to begin his scheduled journey back home to the U.S. It isn’t the flashiest premise for a film, but it obviously didn’t need to be — Before Sunrise enraptured critics, made romantic filmgoers swoon, and spawned a trilogy that slowly unspooled over the ensuing two decades. “Hawke and Delpy keep the tone not only afloat but mesmerizing,” enthused Phil Villarreal for the Arizona Daily Star. “So natural are their performances that it seems impossible not to believe they truly are soulmates who are locked in a doomed, all-too-short affair.”

Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don’t forget to check out Boyhood.

Finally, here’s Ethan Hawke narrating a short history of New York City’s High Line park:


If you’re not sick of hearing Diablo Cody this, hamburger phone that, then this week’s bonus-packed release of Juno should be numero uno on your list, home skillet. Otherwise, there’s plenty else to keep you company — bring home your very own Predalien, a guy with a blow-up doll, Uwe Boll’s latest, and Tila Tequila.


Juno


Tomatometer:
93%

Diablo Cody‘s Oscar-winning screenplay had all the zippy earmarks of a trailblazing hipster film — yes, Cody herself was a stripper (get over it, world!) who blogged her zany life and lip balm reviews all the way to fame, crafting her story of a wry teen protagonist named Juno into Oscar gold while single-handedly reviving the market for Sunny D and telephones shaped like hamburgers.

Bonus Features:

Juno‘s standard release is surprisingly well packed with goodies for all the home skillets out there craving more. Peep the commentary with director Jason Reitman and Cody, a “Cast and Crew Jam,” and 11 deleted scenes, including the “Café Triste” scene in which Juno performs a hilariously direct song about getting knocked up, then talks about her 8-minute song about Danny Trejo.


Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem


Tomatometer: 15%

Speaking of the miracle of life, after four Aliens, two Predators and one cross-over flick, we’ve now got the heretofore unthinkable: a Predalien! This time a whole new cast of relative unknowns and B-listers are caught between warring extraterrestrial races, in a gore-filled effects extravaganza that earned not one, but two Razzie nominations last year.

Bonus Features:

If you’re going to go for AVP:R, you might as well go big: pick up the unrated 2-disc release, which includes an additional seven minute runtime, commentary by special effects experts/former music video specialists-turned-directors the Brothers Strause, and a digital download copy of the film.




Lars and the Real Girl


Tomatometer: 80%

Now here’s a movie for all of you guys out there who dragged feet to The Notebook, or refused to see it at all — a Ryan Gosling flick in which he’s not some hunky romantic, but instead a socially-withdrawn, borderline-creepy romantic! Performances all around in this festival charmer garnered raves, but more importantly, Lars struck a chord with critics for its story of unconditional love and acceptance.

Bonus Features:

One deleted scene, a making-of video, and a gimmicky cast and crew featurette (in which everyone talks about Lars’ doll, Bianca, as if she is real) does not a fantastic DVD make…good thing the movie itself is why you’ll be picking up the disc.


Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead



Tomatometer: 88%

One of last year’s best thrillers came from one of America’s best living directors, Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico), which should be reason enough to watch Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. A violent, tragic tale of two brothers (Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman) who scheme to rob their parents’ jewelry store goes awry, the pic earned a place on no less than twenty critics’ top ten lists.

Bonus Features:

A film this good doesn’t really need a huge bonus menu to bolster its appeal; the DVD offers a full-length commentary by Lumet, Hawke, and Hoffman, a making-of documentary and the theatrical trailer. But it was also shot in high definition, and watching Devil on DVD allows for repeat viewings of Marisa Tomei’s steamy love scenes.


I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With



Tomatometer: 74%

Second City comedian Jeff Garlin wrote, starred in and directed this indie rom-com about a food-addicted comedian living with his mother and looking for love in Chicago. Sarah Silverman appears in an amusing turn as a bawdy, ice cream scooping “chubby-chaser.” Part of IFC’s First Take, IWStECW was released simultaneously on pay cable and in theaters.

Bonus Features:

Check out the director’s commentary for insights on how Garlin reportedly shot the entire feature over 18 days spread over a two-year span.


A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila



Tomatometer: N/A

Those crazy folks at MTV really outdid themselves when they gave Tila Tequila, MySpace’s most Friend Requested “musician,” her own dating show…in which both men and women compete for her bisexual affections! Even those of us who watched along during the nail-biting first season (spoiler alert: there will be a second season) will want to re-watch every scantily clad minute over again. Unrated and with more swearing!

Bonus Features:

Really, all ten episodes (plus the all-important reunion show) are their own reward, but owning A Shot At Love on DVD will give you the benefit of extended scenes, deleted scenes, and the ability to watch Brandi and Vanessa’s surprise double-elimination lesbian cat fight whenever you need it. By which I mean, daily.


In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale



Tomatometer: 2%

Yes, we saved the best for last. Uwe Boll‘s latest endeavor nabbed the likes of Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Perlman, and Burt Reynolds for a hokey medieval adventure unlike any other you’ve seen before. Statham plays a farmer called to fight evil orc-like creatures being controlled by…heck, all you need to know is that it garnered a two percent rating on the Tomatometer. Two percent. That’s out of 100.

Bonus Features:

Did you really expect any great bonus features on a release like this? Take it from someone who may have seen Dungeon Siege at midnight on opening day (for camp factor alone, of course): hammy performances from otherwise respectable actors abound, Liotta pins Statham in a fight with magical books, and ninjas inexplicably fall from the trees in this Middle Earth adventure rip-off. In twenty years, this will be a cult classic.

Nude scenes: we love them. Well, most of the time, anyway.

Every so often, a film comes along that contains nudity that transcends “gratuitous” (hooray for Porky’s!) and wanders into “oh dear God, my eyes, please help me” territory. We’ve all been there, whether it was getting that extra bit of Bacon during Wild Things‘ opening weekend, or stumbling across Dennis Hopper without his pants on during a late-night Cinemax airing of Carried Away — but thankfully, Papermag‘s Cinemaniac is here to help you navigate the pitfalls of unclothed celebrities, with a list of the Top Ten Worst Nude Scenes of All Time.

The list is as cruelly humorous as you’d expect — perfect for a Friday, in other words — but we’ll save the prose for those of you who want to follow the link. In the meantime, here’s the list:

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Donald Sutherland, Space Cowboys
Kathy Bates, At Play in the Fields of the Lord
John Gielgud, Prospero’s Books
Julie Andrews, S.O.B.
Burgess Meredith, Such Good Friends
Terry Bradshaw, Failure to Launch
Jessica Tandy, Camilla
Jay North, Maya
Patrick Dempsey, Some Girls

As the article puts it when referencing Dempsey’s Some Girls scene, “some things are better left to the imagination.” What’s on your personal list of Worst Nude Scenes of All Time?

Source: Papermag

If there’s one thing the American Film Institute loves, it’s a list — and with the end of 2007 rapidly approaching, you know what that means: It’s time to run down the AFI’s favorite films and TV shows of the last year.

Variety published the list yesterday, as well as the date and location of the AFI Awards. If you’re going to be at the Four Seasons on January 11…well, you probably won’t be able to just stop on by, but at least you can say you were in the neighborhood when the following honors were being handed down:

FILM
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (88 percent)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
Into the Wild (82 percent)
Juno (94 percent)
Knocked Up (90 percent)
Michael Clayton (90 percent)
No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
Ratatouille (97 percent)
The Savages (89 percent)
There Will Be Blood (95 percent)

TV
Dexter
Everybody Hates Chris
Friday Night Lights
Longford
Mad Men
Pushing Daisies
The Sopranos
Tell Me You Love Me
30 Rock
Ugly Betty

Source: Variety

The London Critics Circle has announced the nominees for its year-end awards, with Anton Corbijn‘s Control and Joe Wright‘s Atonement leading the pack at eight nominations apiece.

A full list of the nominees follows below, with Tomatometers in parentheses. Let the nitpicking begin!

FILM OF THE YEAR
No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (75 percent)
There Will Be Blood (94 percent)
Zodiac (89 percent)
The Bourne Ultimatum (93 percent)

ATTENBOROUGH AWARD FOR BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
Once (98 percent)
Control (89 percent)
Atonement (85 percent)
Eastern Promises (88 percent)
This Is England (93 percent)

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Florian Henckel von DonnersmarckThe Lives of Others (93 percent)
Paul Thomas AndersonThere Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan CoenNo Country for Old Men
David FincherZodiac
Cristian Mungui4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (96 percent)

BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Anton Corbijn — Control
Paul GreengrassThe Bourne Ultimatum
Shane MeadowsThis Is England
Joe Wright — Atonement
Danny BoyleSunshine (75 percent)

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Ulrich MuheThe Lives of Others
Casey AffleckThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
George ClooneyMichael Clayton (90 percent)
Tommy Lee JonesIn the Valley of Elah (69 percent)
Daniel Day-LewisThere Will Be Blood

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Laura LinneyThe Savages (89 percent)
Marion CotillardLa Vie en rose (74 percent)
Maggie GyllenhaalSherrybaby (72 percent)
Angelina JolieA Mighty Heart (77 percent)
Anamaria Marinca4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Sam RileyControl
James McAvoyAtonement
Christian Bale3:10 to Yuma (87 percent)
Jim BroadbentAnd When Did You Last See Your Father (81 percent)
Jonny Lee MillerThe Flying Scotsman (51 percent)

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Samantha MortonControl
Julie ChristieAway From Her (95 percent)
Keira KnightleyAtonement
Helena Bonham CarterSweeney Todd (92 percent)
Sienna MillerInterview (57 percent)

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Tom WilkinsonMichael Clayton
Toby JonesThe Painted Veil (75 percent)
Alfred MolinaThe Hoax (86 percent)
Tobey Kebell — Control
Albert FinneyBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead (87 percent)

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Saoirse RonanAtonement
Imelda StauntonHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (77 percent)
Tilda SwintonMichael Clayton
Kelly MacdonaldNo Country for Old Men
Vanessa RedgraveAtonement

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck — The Lives of Others
Joel and Ethan Coen — No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson — There Will Be Blood
Ronald HarwoodThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
Christopher HamptonAtonement

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH — ACTING
Saoirse Ronan — Atonement
Sam Riley — Control
Thomas TurgooseThis Is England
Benedict CumberbatchAmazing Grace (71 percent)
Dakota Blue RichardsThe Golden Compass

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH — FILMMAKING
John Carney, writer and director — Once
Sarah Gavron, director — Brick Lane (68 percent)
Anton Corbijn, director — Control
Matt Greenhalgh, writer — Control
Stevan Riley, writer, director, producer — Blue Blood

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
The Lives of Others
Letters From Iwo Jima (91 percent)
Tell No One (93 percent)

Source: Variety

Just when we thought we’d seen all the year-end kudos we can handle, along come the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards — and the Critics Choice Awards nominations — to prove us wrong.

Nominees for the Critics Choice Awards were announced Tuesday morning, with Into the Wild leading the pack at seven nominations, including picture, director, writer, actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, and best song. Close behind, with six nominations, is Juno; Atonement, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, and Hairspray each earned five. A partial list of nominations appears below:

PICTURE
American Gangster
Atonement
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Into the Wild
Juno
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

ACTOR
George ClooneyMichael Clayton
Daniel Day-LewisThere Will Be Blood
Johnny DeppSweeney Todd
Ryan GoslingLars and the Real Girl

Emile HirschInto the Wild
Viggo MortensenEastern Promises

ACTRESS
Amy AdamsEnchanted
Cate BlanchettElizabeth: The Golden Age

Julie ChristieAway From Her
Marion CotillardLa Vie en Rose
Angelina JolieA Mighty Heart
Ellen PageJuno

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey AffleckThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Javier BardemNo Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour HoffmanCharlie Wilson’s War

Hal HolbrookInto the Wild
Tom WilkinsonMichael Clayton

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett — I’m Not There

Catherine KeenerInto the Wild
Vanessa RedgraveAtonement
Amy RyanGone Baby Gone
Tilda SwintonMichael Clayton

ACTING ENSEMBLE
Hairspray
Juno
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd
Gone Baby Gone
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

DIRECTOR
Tim BurtonSweeney Todd

Joel Coen and Ethan CoenNo Country for Old Men
Sidney LumetBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Sean PennInto the Wild
Julian SchnabelThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joe WrightAtonement

WRITER
Diablo CodyJuno
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen — No Country for Old Men
Tony GilroyMichael Clayton
Nancy OliverLars and the Real Girl

Sean Penn — Into the Wild
Aaron SorkinCharlie Wilson’s War

ANIMATED FEATURE
Bee Movie
Beowulf
Persepolis
Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle has announced its 2007 favorites. Check ’em out:

Best Picture
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Director
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men

Best Original Screenplay
The Savages

Best Adapted Screenplay

Away from Her

Best Actor
George Clooney for Michael Clayton

Best Actress
Julie Christie for Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Documentary
No End in Sight

Source: Variety (Critics Choice Nominees)
Source: San Francisco Film Critics Circle

Looking for lists of critics’ favorite films from 2007? Today is your lucky day!

Not to be outdone by last week’s unveiling of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards, a number of critics’ associations have announced their honors, including the New York Film Critics Online, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Let’s take a look, shall we? The awards follow, with Tomatometer ratings following film titles in parentheses:

New York Film Critics Online:
PictureThere Will Be Blood (100 percent) / The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
ActorDaniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
ActressJulie Christie (Away From Her, 95 percent)
DirectorPT Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Supporting ActorJavier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) (95 percent)
Supporting ActressCate Blanchett (I’m Not There, 79 percent)
Breakthrough PerformerEllen Page (Juno, 92 percent)
Debut DirectorSarah Polley (Away From Her)
Ensemble CastBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead (88 percent)
ScreenplayThe Darjeeling Limited, 66 percent (Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola)
DocumentarySicko (93 percent)
Foreign LanguageThe Lives of Others (93 percent) / Persepolis (100 percent)
AnimatedPersepolis
CinematographyThere Will Be Blood (Robert Elswit)
Film MusicThere Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)

Los Angeles Film Critics Association:
PictureThere Will Be Blood
Director — Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
ActressMarion Cotillard, La Vie en rose (74 percent)
Supporting ActorVlad Ivanov, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (96 percent)
Supporting ActressAmy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone, (93 percent) and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
ScreenplayTamara Jenkins, The Savages (90 percent)
Foreign Languange Film4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
DocumentaryNo End in Sight (95 percent)
AnimationRatatouille (97 percent) and Persepolis (tie)
MusicGlen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once (98 percent)
CinematographyJanusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Boston Society of Film Critics:
PictureNo Country for Old Men
ActorFrank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening, 80 percent)
Actress — Marion Cotillard (La Vie en rose)
Director — Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Supporting Actor — Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Supporting Actress — Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Ensemble CastBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead
ScreenplayBrad Bird (Ratatouille)
DocumentaryCrazy Love (78 percent)
Foreign LanguageThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Cinematography — Janusz Kaminski (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association:
PictureNo Country for Old Men
DirectorJoel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)
ActorGeorge Clooney (Michael Clayton, 90 percent)
Actress — Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Supporting Actor — Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Supporting Actress — Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
ScreenplayAaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War, adaptation, 88 percent); Diablo Cody (Juno, original)
DocumentarySicko
Foreign FilmThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly
AnimatedRatatouille

Source: ComingSoon (New York)
Source: Variety (Los Angeles)
Source: Variety (Boston)
Source: Variety (Washington, D.C.)

In an age of fast-rising Hollywood production costs, the young actresses who strive to keep movie budgets down — specifically in the wardrobe department — deserve to be saluted.

To that end, noted film critic Mr. Skin has unveiled his Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2007. Calling the last twelve months “A surprisingly strong year for big-screen nudity…among this decade’s very breast,” the renowned nakedologist has compiled the following list:

1. Marisa TomeiBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2. Keeley Hazell – Cashback
3. Natalie Portman – Hotel Chevalier
4. Christina RicciBlack Snake Moan
5. Sienna MillerFactory Girl
6. Roselyn SanchezYellow
7. Malin AkermanThe Heartbreak Kid
8. Eva MendesWe Own the Night
9. Lena Headey300
10. Stormy Daniels and Nautica Thorne – Knocked Up
11. Alexa DavalosFeast of Love
12. Chelan SimmonsGood Luck Chuck
13. Wei TangLust, Caution
14. Ashley JuddBug
15. Olivia WildeAlpha Dog
16. Ana Claudia TalanconAlone With Her
17. Danielle HarrisHalloween
18. Heather MatarazzoHostel: Part II
19. Amber VallettaThe Last Time
20. Lucy LiuBlood Hunter

Adjust your Netflix queues accordingly.

Source: PR Newswire

For the third straight year, the weekend before Halloween was ruled by a
$30M+ opening from the Saw
franchise proving that the horror series is still the top choice for those
looking for a scare. While
Saw IV
debuted at number one with a brutal box office bow, the romantic
dramedy Dan in
Real Life
starring
Steve Carell
opened impressively in second place and made for a popular counter-programming
choice for those not interested in blood and gore. Overall, the North American
box office came back to life as the top ten was about even with this same
weekend in each of the last two years when by no coincidence earlier Saw
installments reigned supreme.

Lionsgate’s wildly successful fall movie slate welcomed another hit with
Saw IV
which topped
the charts with an estimated $32.1M launch taking in more ticket sales than the
next four films combined. It was the largest debut for any film since the comedy
Superbad in
mid-August, the best opening for any horror film this year, and proved that the
distributor’s highly profitable franchise was still a big hit with fans.
Premiering in 3,183 theaters, the R-rated torturefest averaged a gruesome
$10,088 per site. The performance was a bit below the $33.6M opening of
Saw III
from this
weekend last year and ahead of the $31.7M start for
Saw II
in 2005. Those
films reached $87M and $80.2M, respectively in the domestic market. As the
fourth installment in a horror franchise, Saw IV should suffer rapid erosion in
the weeks ahead, but a muscular final gross of $70-75M could still result.


Buena Vista delivered a strong start for its comedy-drama offering
Dan in Real Life

which bowed to an estimated $12.1M from 1,921 theaters for a solid $6,289
average per venue. The Steve Carell vehicle about a widower who falls for his
brother’s girlfriend posted impressive numbers given its moderately wide release
and benefited from the studio’s sneak previews last weekend which helped to
spread word-of-mouth for a film that was not necessarily an easy sell. Critics
had mixed feelings but were generally pleased with Dan.


With Saw IV stealing away the horror crowd, the vampire thriller
30 Days of Night

fell sharply in its second weekend dropping 58% to third place with an estimated
$6.7M. Sony’s $30M fright flick has scared up $27.3M in ten days and looks
headed for about a $40M finish.


Disney’s family comedy
The Game Plan

enjoyed a great hold in its fifth frame sliding only 24% to an estimated $6.3M
for a $77.1M cume. Lionsgate found itself in fifth with
Why
Did I Get Married?
which grossed an estimated $5.7M, off 53%, giving
the Tyler Perry
hit $47.3M to date. So far this fall, the distributor has opened four films with
debut averages of over $5,000 including two with averages north of $10,000.


A pair of well-reviewed adult dramas followed suffering only small declines.
George Clooney‘s
legal thriller
Michael Clayton
dipped only 25% to an estimated $5M giving Warner
Bros. a solid $28.7M to date. Miramax witnessed a good sophomore hold with its
Ben Affleck-directed
mystery Gone
Baby Gone
which took in an estimated $3.9M, down just 29%, pushing
the ten-day total to $11.3M.


The sports spoof comedy
The Comebacks

collected an estimated $3.5M in its second weekend, down a moderate 38%, and put
its sum at $10M after ten days. A $17-19M final is likely. Sony’s crime drama
We Own the Night

followed dropping 37% to an estimated $3.4M giving the
Joaquin
Phoenix
/Mark
Wahlberg
pic $25.1M thus far. Rounding out the top ten was the latest
re-release of Tim
Burton
‘s

The

Nightmare Before Christmas
which fell 37% to an estimated $3.3M
giving the Disney title $10M from its limited engagement.


Two star-driven underachievers dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The
Reese
Witherspoon
Jake
Gyllenhaal
drama
Rendition
declined by 42% in its second frame taking in an estimated
$2.4M for a ten-day tally of just $7.8M. A $13-15M final should result for New
Line. Paramount’s
Ben Stiller
flop
The Heartbreak Kid
 
tumbled 54% to an estimated $1.8M leaving the pic with only $35.1M overall. The
Farrelly brothers project will struggle to reach $39M.


Generating a scorching bow in a platform launch in New York was
Sidney Lumet‘s
critically acclaimed drama

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
which grossed an estimated
$73,500 from only two houses for a strong $36,750 per site. ThinkFilm reported
that numerous moviegoers were turned away at sold out shows on Friday and
Saturday and that the film will expand into six additional markets for a total
of 50 locations this Friday.



Also showing strength in its debut was the inspirational tale
Bella
with an
estimated $1.3M from 165 playdates for a solid $8,026 average. The Roadside
Attractions release targeted the Latino and faith-based audiences and won the
Audience Award at Toronto last year.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $82M which was off 2% from last year when
Saw III debuted in first place with $33.6M; and down a scant 1% from 2005
when Saw II opened in the top spot with $31.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandaya,
www.boxofficeguru.com

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