A film that has ambitions beyond the standard action flick perhaps isn’t what you would expect from first-time director Chad Stahelski, but that’s exactly what one gets with the rollicking and deliriously fun John WickKeanu Reeves (whom Stahelski started his career by being a stunt double for onPoint Break) might be celebrating his 50th birthday but he shows that he still has the chops to pull off the stoic hero that can both quip and battle with the best of them. This is an achievement on an action level that might not break new ground,  but it’s an extremely focused and competent crowd-pleaser. On top of that, there’s also mythology and a sense of intelligence that elevates the offering from your standard fare in the genre.

Read our Fantastic Fest review of John Wick.


“Kathleen [Kennedy] and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.” And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.”

Listen to Rian Johnson and Terry Gilliam talk Star Wars, social media, piracy, and more in a 50-minute conversation.

“Kathleen [Kennedy] and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.” And we’ll see how the process plays out, but so far, that’s a big part of the reason I’m in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.”

Listen to Rian Johnson and Terry Gilliam talk Star Wars, social media, piracy, and more in a 50-minute conversation.

Terry’s films are just like manifestations of his mind. He’s sort of just existing in his mind while we’re filming, and he loves being on set. But what distinguishes Terry from working with other directors is the freedom he gives you. Terry’s only happy if you’re having fun and exploring the boundaries of the character and their circumstances — and that’s only wants. He wants to build a world around you and he wants you to get lost in it. That’s what makes him so special; it’s one of the things that make him who he is.

We talk with the star of The Zero Theorem about Terry Gilliam, Christoph Waltz, and his relationship with Wes Anderson.


I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While a brilliant film regardless, I could not shake the violence in Cave’s stage presence or the intensity of his songs against the romantic plot thrusting my ears into its wake. So even though I knew a little about 20,000 Days on Earth and its promise of being more than your run-of-the-mill documentary, I still braced myself for that rough physicality. It’s there briefly—via a performance snippet of “Stagger Lee”—but that creature isn’t quite Nick Cave. No, the man behind the self-proclaimed “awe and terror” persona is very much different.

Read our full review.

I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While a brilliant film regardless, I could not shake the violence in Cave’s stage presence or the intensity of his songs against the romantic plot thrusting my ears into its wake. So even though I knew a little about 20,000 Days on Earth and its promise of being more than your run-of-the-mill documentary, I still braced myself for that rough physicality. It’s there briefly—via a performance snippet of “Stagger Lee”—but that creature isn’t quite Nick Cave. No, the man behind the self-proclaimed “awe and terror” persona is very much different.

Read our full review.

The low, grumbling whine of the elevator creaking to life is the first sound to permeate the darkness that begins The Maze Runner. When Thomas wakes up, he’s in unfamiliar surroundings, trapped within a caged confine and lacking any memories of who he was prior to this moment. When daylight finally breaks in, he’s being hauled out into the light, surrounded by young men of similar age, all of them standing in an idyllic pastorale called The Glade. On all sides are the towering, monolithic walls of the Maze, a labyrinth that cuts them off from any other form of civilization. This is the terse but effective set-up for what ends up being a strong new contender in the young adult dystopia genre, a sturdy and thrilling drama that diminishes early turgid world-building in favor of a ‘boy’s own’ adventure atmosphere.

Based off the novel by James Dashner, that borrowed several pages from Rod Serling and William Goldingthe film version of The Maze Runner benefits from a streamlined and low-tech approach to its science fiction. First-timer Wes Ball directs the film with an unforced sense of urgency and uses his background in animation to cleverly establish the harrowing geography of both the Glade and its ominous dangers, as well as the mysterious confines of the Maze, harboring giant monsters that defend its inner corridors. The way Ball uses Dashner’s hit-the-ground-running introduction to dodge the overly familiar monologuing of many YA fantasy endeavors is admirable; there’s a sense of mystery and uncertainty intact, and this allows the audience to relate to Thomas’ own confusion and curiosity.

Read our full review.