Movies

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Movies

The best new movies on Netflix in May 2015

The Boxtrolls, Girlhood, Tarantino's “masterpiece" and much more

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The best movies to see this month

Our film critics highlight the 10 best movies released in U.S. theaters for the month of May

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15 movies we can’t wait to see at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Woody Allen, Pixar, Michael Fassbender and Cate Blanchett will all be making an appearance this year at the world’s most famous film festival

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Chicago Critics Film Festival

See undistributed gems and fest favorite

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The biggest summer movies of 2015

This summer’s shaping up to be one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. Here are the movies to look out for

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New movies we love

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Far From the Madding Crowd

Burning with understated passion and a fine central performance from Carey Mulligan, Thomas Hardy’s romantic classic comes to life in an adaptation that’s far from stodgy.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

We’ll never know the whole story behind the Nirvana frontman’s troubles, but this poetic profile gets us deeper inside than ever before.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Welcome to Me

Long a comic treasure, Kristen Wiig branches out in this complex portrait of an obsesssive-compulsive lottery winner who buys her way onto a TV show.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Iris

Nonagenarian NYC style icon Iris Apfel glows in a winning profile that celebrates her lifelong gift for going it alone (and haggling with salesmen).

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Felix and Meira

A lonely guy and an unhappy Jewish wife (not his) complete each other in mysterious ways in this beautifully observed romance, a quiet storm.  

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Clouds of Sils Maria

The always exquisite Juliette Binoche and an unusually complex Kristen Stewart get bristly in Olivier Assayas’s moody psychodrama about dueling egos.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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See more new movie reviews: Critics' picks

New movie releases

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Home

A smart concept is thoroughly wasted in this cute but grating DreamWorks animated comedy. It opens with an alien invasion—not one of those messy, bloodthirsty ones. Our new extraterrestrial overlords, the cheerful, squishy Boov, merely want to shift the population of Earth to a new home in Australia, renamed Happy Humans Town, so they can enjoy the rest of the planet in peace.  But it’s not long before their plans are threatened by Oh, a renegade Boov voiced tiresomely by The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons. He’s helped by a plucky young earthling sidekick, Tip, brought to life by singer Rihanna, who also provides a bland, intrusive soundtrack. Spreading its net as wide as possible, Home offers pratfalls and moral lessons for little kids, slushy pop for tweens and snappy cultural references for adults. The result is inoffensive but flavorless, crammed with familiar elements from better movies (Lilo & Stitch, Toy Story, Despicable Me) but lacking any clear identity of its own.

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Insurgent

What a waste of Shailene Woodley the Divergent franchise is turning out to be. As butt-kicking Tris, the Fault in Our Stars actor is the best thing about this second film of Veronica Roth’s monster-selling YA novels (basically The Hunger Games with tattoos).

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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The Gunman

Watch your back, Liam Neeson. Sean Penn’s trying to steal your bad-guy-capping, getting-too-old-for-this-shit thunder. To be fair, The Gunman has loftier ambitions than the average Neeson run-and-shooter: Based on a popular French crime novel, it’s the tale of taciturn ex-assassin Jim Terrier (Penn, unnervingly ripped), who has traded in his sniper rifle for a spade and turned to digging clean-water trenches in the developing world.

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Danny Collins

Al Pacino’s done so much Acting over the last 25 years (hoo-ah), it’s disquieting to see him digging deep again—often with subtlety—into a rich role with hidden depths. Granted, the title character of Dan Fogelman’s press-the-reset-button drama isn’t exactly a wallflower: After a funny 1971 introduction in which we see a young, petrified folksinger getting interviewed for a rock magazine, we cut to present day, when paunchy Danny Collins (Pacino) is a Neil Diamond–like icon about to release his third greatest-hits collection and still crooning his big sing-along, “Hey, Baby Doll,” to an audience of screaming grandmas. The part is perfect for Pacino, a performer who, despite his genius, hasn’t been able to shake off a certain dead-eyed exhaustion lately (even when it’s uncalled for). Danny has a palatial home and a gold-digging girlfriend half his age, but he’s a zombie at his own surprise birthday party until his devoted longtime manager (Christopher Plummer, excellent) gives him a framed letter from John Lennon, who, unknown to Danny, tried to reach out to him in his youthful moment of fear (a real-life story for English songwriter Steve Tilston). Chastened, Danny sets out to rediscover his passion in a slightly cutesy plot scored to several late-period Lennon songs—though not, curiously, “Starting Over.” For most of its running time, Danny Collins settles into a suburban New Jersey Hilton. Nearby, there’s an estranged grown-up son to reconnect with (Bobby Cannavale, steal

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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What We Do in the Shadows

A dryly amusing mockumentary from the Kiwis behind the similarly deadpan Eagle vs Shark and Flight of the Conchords, What We Do in the Shadows unfolds like the darkest movie that Christopher Guest never made. Sponsored by the fictitious New Zealand Documentary Board (complete with a title card assuring us that each member of the crew wore a crucifix at all times), the film takes us inside the nearly windowless home of Wellington’s four most endearing vampires, and follows them as they try to stave off the loneliness that comes with being an undying nocturnal monster who needs to feast on human blood. Viago (Taika Waititi) is the gentlest of the pack, a friendly but heartbroken 379-year-old who always tries to show his meals a good time before he drinks them dry. Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) is a brooding dork who’s obsessed with an ancient nemesis known as “The Beast.” Deacon (Brugh) is the token ladies’ man and ex-Nazi, while Petyr (Ben Fransham) is an 8,000-year-old Nosferatu lookalike who only peeks out from his coffin when there’s a fresh chicken to disembowel. It’s all framed as the lead-up to a dance of the damned called the Unholy Masquerade, but the brunt of the overextended running time is devoted to the awkward arrival of new roommate Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), a local bro who’s turned into a vampire when Petyr can’t finish him off.  Codirected by Waititi and Clement—masters of mixing high-concept with lowbrow—What We Do in the Shadows works best when it unburden

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Fifty Shades of Grey

A watered-down adaptation that’s embarrassed to be wet, Fifty Shades of Grey is a sex-positive but hopelessly soft-core erotic drama that fails to be even a fraction as titillating as the E.L. James books that inspired it. And yet, that’s exactly why it works. Fifty Shades begins with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson, nuanced), a demure college senior, arriving for an interview in the office of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan, stiff), Seattle’s most eligible billionaire. It isn’t long before the two are bound together like a harlequin romance novel. The virginal Anastasia, however, is in for a surprise: Christian is as kinky as he is rich. Inevitably, this telling of the tale has been neutered to the brink of recognition. Christian is an S&M fetishist, and when Anastasia is invited into her new partner’s “Red Room of Pain,” she’s confronted by a wonderland of leather, rope and repurposed circus equipment. And yet, by the time the movie ends just a few mild spankings later, Fifty Shades feels like going on a trip to Disney World and only riding the monorail.  But Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film becomes fascinating for the finesse with which she navigates the prudishness forced upon it. The director is capable of pivoting from romantic comedy to erotic drama at the whack of a flogger, her dexterity allowing the tepid sex scenes to be framed by a surprisingly sensitive story of self-discovery. Substituting heartache for handcuffs, Fifty Shades is the rare studio romance in which the c

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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The best upcoming movie releases

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Movie-going in Chicago

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The best movie theaters in Chicago

The top spots for classic films, indie gems and the latest blockbusters

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Film events: Chicago's best movies and fests

Check out the best movie screenings, fests, Q&As and other film events happening in Chicago

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Movie lists you love

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Best sex scenes in film

Outside of porn flicks, these are the lustiest lovemaking scenes on film

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23 things we learned about Chicago from the movies

The landscape and lifestyle of Chicago is a little suspect in the eyes of Hollywood

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Worst movie sex scenes

We count down the 20 most excruciating movie sex scenes

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The 43 best fictional Chicagoans

We consult our favorite Chicago-set fiction to find the greatest fake people to ever hail from our city

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The 100 best animated movies

World-famous animators pick the best animated movies ever

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The 50 most romantic movies of all time

Prepare to swoon at our loveliest of lists

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