Movies

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Movies

8 films to see at the 2015 LA Film Fest

This quintessential LA festival, now in its 21st year, is the perfect kickoff for the summer movie season. Here's what to see.

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All of LA's outdoor movies in one calendar

Summer is here! Let outdoor screening season begin!

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Slow West

A fable about a place so preoccupied with survival that no one in it can afford to take a hand off their holster.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The 100 best teen movies

We rank and rave about the films that best capture those hormonal high school years

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Movies

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

For a mere 27 years, Cobain’s life was unusually well documented, often by himself, and the film feels vivid in delivering an artist’s tortured interiority.

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

Movies in theaters: Critics' picks

Movies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The fourth installment of George Miller’s rambunctious postapocalyptic saga arrives in theaters like a tornado tearing through a tea party. In an age of weightless spectacles that studios whittle down from visions to products, here’s a movie that feels like it was made by kidnapping $150 million of Warner Bros.’ money, absconding with it to the Namibian desert, and sending footage back to Hollywood like the amputated body parts of a ransomed hostage.  It’s been 30 years since we last watched Max Rockatansky drift into the horizon, but the road warrior hasn’t aged a day. Instead, he’s been transformed from a reluctantly charismatic Mel Gibson into a terse Tom Hardy, the franchise shedding its skin with the serialized ease of the James Bond films. Much has changed to the wasteland that Max wanders, however. While previous episodes were set amidst the rubble of a ruined world, Fury Road finds us having faded much further into the rear-view mirror, the colorful hypersaturated landscapes locating this story closer to the dawn of a new civilization than the twilight of an old one. Things begin inside the immense mountain stronghold ruled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a ghoulishly inbred monster who lords over a society that guzzles its citizens like fuel. Women are drained for their breast milk, girls are farmed for their wombs, and men like Max are used as human hood ornaments called “bloodbags.” Unsurprisingly, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), Joe’s one-armed lieutena

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Movies

When Marnie Was There

How fitting that the last Studio Ghibli film for the foreseeable future is a tender, elegiac story about a young woman who learns the power of drawing (from) the past. Since 1985, Studio Ghibli has produced the most consistently magical and iconic slate of any movie studio on the planet, its name becoming a globally understood shorthand for the kind of animated entertainment that kids should inherit like a birthright. Chief among the many bittersweet pleasures of When Marnie Was There is that its virtues confirm what Ghibli stood for, and its insufficiencies (however modest) confirm that it’s time to say goodbye. Adapted from a 1967 novel of the same name by late British writer Joan G. Robinson, When Marnie Was There orients us toward memories of a richer time. It’s a gentle seaside melodrama that’s touched with the urgent simplicity of a quintessential final film. (Few movies set on the water have been so focused on their wake.) In true Ghibli fashion, the plot concerns an adolescent girl who’s thrust into a strange new world that challenges her natural solipsism. Anna (Takatsuki) is a 12-year-old orphan who believes she’s a burden on her foster mom, which might explain why she’s always leaving herself out of the impressive sketches she draws of the people around her. After suffering an asthma attack, Anna is sent to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle, who live in a small village along the shores of Hokkaido. On her first night there, the girl spies a dilapidated mans

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Movies

Pitch Perfect 2

The first ladies of a cappella are back, three years after Pitch Perfect, and they’re again hitting the high notes: This sequel opens as all-girl group the Bellas are branded a national disgrace after an accidental vagina-flashing incident involving Barack Obama. The girls are singing to the President in front of a crowd of thousands when “Fat Amy” (Rebel Wilson, genius) has a wardrobe malfunction. The TV news coverage is hilarious (“the FBI has ruled out terrorism”). President Nixon had Watergate—this is Muffgate. Nothing in the rest of the film comes close to being as funny, 
and there’s definitely one song too many. But Pitch Perfect 2 has its Spinal Tap moments: The only way the Bellas can redeem themselves is to win at the a cappella world championships in Holland—an event that’s like Gov Ball for nerds. Standing in their way is the technofierce German group Das Sound Machine (or the Deutsche Bags, as the Bellas call them). Pitch Perfect 2 is totally goofy but very sweet. As with the first film, you’ll love the instantly quotable gems (“What did you say? I don’t speak Loser”) and Wilson herself, who could make a Republican campaign speech riotous.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Movies

Slow West

“Kill that house!” A man draped in furs stands in the middle of an endless wheat field and commands his ragtag posse of killers to lay waste to the only home in sight. What follows is one of the greatest shoot-outs this side of Sergio Leone, violently punctuating a fable about a place so preoccupied with survival that no one in it can afford to take a hand off their holster. An angular Western that sublimates the fading promise of the New World into a fairy tale of unrequited love, Slow West starts with “once upon a time” and ends with this crackle of incredible savagery. Narrated by a cynical Irish bounty hunter called Silas (Michael Fassbender, excellent), the film tells of a 16-year-old boy named Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who’s sailed across the ocean from Scotland in search of his sweetheart, Rose. The naive Jay is described as a “jackrabbit in a den of wolves”—he might be the only person west of the Mississippi unaware that Rose has a massive bounty on her head. But Silas knows the score when he offers to escort Jay through Colorado. Meanwhile, a gang of unsympathetic vultures has picked up the scent. Like any good Western, Slow West percolates with the constant threat of violence, but debuting feature director John Maclean wrings the genre for its mythic value. Everything in his film is touched by the daydream delusions of its hero, especially Robbie Ryan’s gorgeous cinematography, glazing a brutal chapter of American history with the elusive innocence of young love. Jay

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Movies

Far From the Madding Crowd

Don’t be fooled by the illustrious source material: Far from the Madding Crowd may be adapted from Thomas Hardy’s canonical 19th-century novel, but it’s still a movie that opens with Carey Mulligan on a pony galloping toward a rainbow. Set in a patch of rural England located somewhere between Downton Abbey and Danielle Steel, this new take runs a full 40 minutes shorter than John Schlesinger’s 1967 edition but feels packed with twice the marriage proposals, longing looks and reversals of fortune.  A headstrong country girl who’s “too wild to be a governess,” Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) is introduced via the doe-eyed stares of her strapping neighborhood sheep farmer, Gabriel Oak (Schoenaerts, fast becoming the modern Fabio). He offers his hand and a comfortable life, yet she rebuffs him (“I’d hate to be some man’s property”), only to inherit a fortune while Gabriel loses his. It isn’t long before she’s moved up in the world and he has come under her employ, their silently mutual lust simmering in the background as Bathsheba meets a host of new admirers, including the bitter Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge) and the rich, introverted William Boldwood (Michael Sheen).  Director Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) has always enjoyed thumbing his nose at stuffy cinematic conventions, and while he’s obviously enchanted by Hardy’s text, his movie is fun because he’s keen not to give it too much respect. The soap opera eventually gets so frothy that some of Bathsheba’s suitors are lo

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Movies

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Geek, loner, slacker roommate, obsessive note-taker (“Rent Eraserhead”)—that’s the Kurt Cobain who emerges from Brett Morgen’s impressionistic profile, blessed by the late Nirvana frontman’s family and bestowed with enviable archival access. Notably absent from that list is “spokesperson for a generation,” a minor miracle. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck doesn’t concern itself with the subject’s musical legacy or importance. Instead, the film nuzzles deeply into intimacy as we watch and hear a happy blond kid strumming a guitar at age four, growing despondent in a broken home (the early 8mm footage is extraordinary), turning to drugs and black thoughts and still getting it together to whip a rock trio into shape. For a mere 27 years, Cobain’s life was unusually well documented, often by himself, and the film feels as vivid as The Devil and Daniel Johnston in delivering an artist’s tortured interiority. But while the tone Morgen takes is closer to Jonathan Caouette’s exquisitely sad Tarnation than your typical behind-the-music gossip slog, the director is poorly served by his overly generous running time, one that courts redundancy. (Meanwhile, having no interview with drummer Dave Grohl, whatever the reason, is a serious mistake.) And composer Jeff Danna almost undoes his boss’s nonjudgmental instincts by contributing some painfully ironic versions of Nirvana’s hits, either on twinkly bells or via a children’s choir. We get it: The angels cry from heaven. (Cobain was never that

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Movie-going in LA

Movies

The 11 best movie theaters in Los Angeles

Movie theaters are a dime a dozen here in LA, but these eleven spectacular cinemas are a reel above the rest.

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Movies

Best open-air places to watch movies in LA

Love outdoor movies? Enjoy summer nights with this guide to the best places to watch films under the stars.

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Time Out film lists

Movies

50 films that best capture the essence of LA

The world knows Los Angeles better than it thinks.

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The most romantic movies of all time

Prepare to swoon at our loveliest of lists, the 50 most romantic films of all time.

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The best and worst Disney movies

From Snow White to Frozen, we explore the brilliant best and woeful worst of Disney animated films.

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50 great documentaries

As long as there is fantasy in film, audiences will also yearn for the truth—or something close to it.

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The top 50 sports films of all time

Ahh, sports movies. Victory, defeat, comebacks and a whole lot of ass slapping.

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