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Monday, January 26, 2015, 12:34 p.m.
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Philip Martin

Columnist: Philip Martin

Jennifer Christman

Weekend Editor, Columnist: Jennifer Christman

Critical Mass: Late Selma screenings for voters partly explains Oscar snub

posted: 01/25/2015 2:42 a.m. Discuss

I finally saw Ava DuVernay's Selma this past weekend. Part of me is glad that I did not see it earlier in my capacity as a movie critic. For a movie critic would be compelled to point out that although it is a very good movie and exactly the sort of good movie that generally wins awards, it is not a genuinely great piece of cinematic art.

American Sniper screenwriter aims for hit to the heart

posted: 01/23/2015 2:20 a.m. Comment 1

Clint Eastwood's American Sniper raked in an unprecedented $105.3 million during the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend, far surpassing forecasts and breaking Avatar's records for the largest January opening ever. It also became the biggest opening drama in movie history. On top of that, it has secured six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for its star, Bradley Cooper.

PREVIEWS

posted: 01/23/2015 2:19 a.m. Discuss

The Boy Next Door

On Film: MovieStyle colleagues tally their top picks

updated: 01/22/2015 1:25 p.m. Discuss

Every year we invite members of the Arkansas film community to send us lists of their favorite movies of the year.

Home Movies

posted: 01/23/2015 2:18 a.m. Discuss

Lucy, directed by Luc Besson (R, 89 minutes)

COMING ATTRACTIONS

posted: 01/23/2015 2:16 a.m. Discuss

Black or White, PG-13 Kevin Costner plays a lawyer widowed after the car crash death of his wife who has been raising his biracial granddaughter until he finds himself embroiled in a custody battle with the child's grandmother (Octavia Spencer), who is demanding that the child be brought up under the care of the father, a drug addict the lawyer blames for the negligence that led to the death of the lawyer's daughter while giving birth to the little girl. With Gillian Jacobs, Jennifer Ehle, Anthony Mackie, Bill Burr; directed by Mike Binder. Jan. 30

Review: The Boy Next Door

posted: 01/23/2015 2:15 a.m. Discuss

In a just world, there would be no credits rolling after The Boy Next Door. No one involved will have his reputation sullied by this stillborn thriller with erotic aspirations. All could go about their lives as if this ideal target for RiffTrax.com had somehow emerged on its own from a radioactive Hollywood compost heap that was created from recycling more subtle, sophisticated and entertaining films like Twilight. (I never thought I would write that last sentence or mean it, but there it is.)

Box Office : American Sniper goes ballistic

posted: 01/23/2015 2:14 a.m. Discuss

LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood is prone to superlatives, but this one is truly jaw dropping: American Sniper, which arrived in wide release last Friday, sold about $107 million in tickets in North America over the four-day holiday weekend.

Tomorrow's (indie) hits today

posted: 01/23/2015 2:11 a.m. Discuss

Along with pitching a tent in the Atlantic, or hosting a worldwide soccer tournament in Qatar, a film festival held in the dead of winter in the Utah mountains sounds like a poorly conceived decision.

Super Quiz: Contains "new"

posted: 01/23/2015 2:10 a.m. Discuss

Super Quiz: "New"

MovieStyle: Target practice

posted: 01/22/2015 11 a.m. Discuss

Over the four-day period culminating on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, American Sniper nabbed a record-breaking $105 million at the box office, the best opening on a January weekend ever.

Oscar nominations list

posted: 01/16/2015 2:43 a.m. Discuss

Complete list of 87th annual Academy Award nominations announced Thursday:

Budapest, Birdman draw most Oscar nods

updated: 01/15/2015 7:26 p.m. Discuss

Two extravagant comedies, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, dominated nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards with nine nods each, while Boyhood remained the widely acknowledged front-runner.

Review: Poor little rich boy

posted: 01/16/2015 1:55 a.m. Discuss

Americans tend to worship rich people. It doesn't really matter how they got rich, whether they were born that way or made it themselves.

Review: American Sniper

posted: 01/16/2015 1:54 a.m. Comments 7

Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is a curious mixture of tall tale and tragedy, a purported-to-be-true story that has lately come under skeptical scrutiny. It represents, in a way, a kind of regression in what some had come to see as the director's late-blooming humanism -- it is far more Dirty Harry than Letters From Iwo Jima or even Gran Torino -- and the breeziest reading of the film is as a celebration of the warrior ethos. I don't know for certain what might inspire anyone to want to become an assassin executing human beings from the remove of a quarter-mile or more, but I suspect movies like this might play a part.

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