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'The Walking Dead' fans think there was a brief, important moment on Sunday's episode most people overlooked


negan rick daryl walking dead

Warning: There are spoilers and speculation for "The Walking Dead" ahead.

Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead" not only saw Negan reunite with Rick and the Alexandrians after the season seven premiere, but it also saw Daryl, now under the Savior's order, return for a short visit. 

While Negan forbade Rick or any of the Alexandrians to speak to Daryl, some fans are convinced that didn't stop Daryl and Rick from communicating on Sunday's episode. 

Some fervent fans are convinced that Daryl spoke to Rick through Morse code when he saw him. One reader even emailed to ask me if I noticed the two speaking in Morse code. 

Here are two moments near the show's start — soon after the opening credits roll — where Daryl's doing a lot of blinking.

daryl morse codedaryl blinks

While the second one is not as convincing, Daryl's eye movements in the first GIF seem a bit more deliberate. Rick's hard stare at him afterward could be interpreted as him processing what Daryl just communicated.

Honestly, though, it's too hard for me to tell if Daryl's simply blinking or trying to deliver some coded message. Remember, Daryl's been locked away in a dark room for days on end with little access to the outside world. That real-world lighting is harsh on the eyes. You'd be blinking too.

He's also still a mess, blaming himself for Glenn's death in the season premiere. It's probably tough to look Rick in the eye. 

daryl the walking dead

But maybe there is more to those blinks.

The Morse code idea comes from the fact that at the start of the episode, a prominent wall hanging is seen where Rick and Michonne live which displays a Morse code alphabet. Fans believe that it's too coincidental to simply show the alphabet without it meaning something more.

So is it a red herring or have Rick and the group been learning Morse code in case of an emergency? It's not something I would put past them.

morse code

For those who buy into the Morse code theory, Reddit user Darkwing_Darling claims Carol taught Daryl some basic Morse code back in season five while searching for Beth. It's become referenced in numerous theory posts by now. There's one problem with that. I went back and watched season five, episode six when Carol and Daryl were looking for Beth and saw no proof of this. I then went back and watched a compilation video of scenes with Carol and Daryl from season two through six and didn't find anything to support that. 

But let's say Daryl did blink some sort of message to Rick. What did he say?

Fans think it's either "I East" or "HT," presumably for Hilltop. East could be a potential direction for where the Savior outpost is located. That would be good for Rick and the crew to know to either save Daryl and/or eventually attempt to wipe out the Saviors. 

the walking dead negan rick

And if you're concerned that Rick has turned into a groveling sap at the sight of Negan, don't worry. Sure, he's been beaten down a bit so far this season, but Negan's entry was more of a wake up call for a leader who was starting to become cocky. Rick thought he had this post-apocalyptic world figured out. He didn't. He still doesn't. He needs to continue to adapt to an ever-changing world. (Wait until he gets a load of that tiger Ezekiel has!) 

I think Rick's conversation with Spencer soon after the Saviors left shows us that Rick still has some fight left in him. He may look like a subservient puppy to Negan's every fantastical whim at the moment, but he's no dummy. 

His look at the sign into Alexandria which reads "Mercy to the lost, Vengeance to the plunderer" is also another hint that Rick isn't just going to lie down and take it (knowing where the comics go from here helps, too).

rick alexandria sign

At the end of the episode, we see Rick watch and slowly follow the truck carrying Daryl as he rides back to the Sanctuary with the Saviors. If you're in the Morse code camp, you may think this is another prime opportunity for a quick chat.

rick daryl truck

Since the camera's from the point-of-view of the moving vehicle, it's tough to make out whether or not Rick is trying to blink out a message to Daryl. Similarly, since we're only seeing the back of Daryl's head, there's no way to know if Daryl's trying to communicate to Rick.

the walking dead daryl

If Daryl was indeed telling Rick a direction or giving him a piece of advice, it's something we'll probably know in the episodes to come.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on the Morse code theory. Feel free to email me at kacuna@thisisinsider.com. I'd love to hear them.

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Here's how a giant stop-motion skeleton puppet was made for 'Kubo and the Two Strings'


kubo and two strings puppet

The INSIDER Summary:

• The skeleton in "Kubo and the Two Strings" was an over 15-foot-tall puppet.
• It was created by Laika, a stop-motion animation house.
• You can watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of how they built it below.

One of this year's best animated features, "Kubo and the Two Strings," shows a young boy, Kubo, go up against a larger-than-life skeleton nemesis in one scene.

While the skeleton may appear animated, he was actually built by hand as a working puppet for the film. And the skeleton wasn't just any puppet — he was a massive creation that stood well over 15 feet tall

skeleton kubo and two strings

For comparison, Laika, the stop-motion animation house that worked on "Kubo," usually builds hand-made puppets which stand between six and 15 inches tall. 

Universal Home Entertainment shared a behind-the-scenes clip with INSIDER showing how the giant stop-motion animation skeleton was brought to life.

Director and producer Travis Knight says the team applied the same principles they would to any of their other puppets, but just on a larger scale.

kubo skeleton

"This has a whole new set of different difficulties — access, physical space, weight. So it was really phyisically demanding," said animator Charles Greenfield. "A slow day would be eight frames a day in 12 hours ... A fast day? 18 frames." 

Watch the clip below. "Kubo and the Two Strings" will be out on Blu-ray and DVD November 22.

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The 30 best movie endings of all time, ranked


Chinatown Paramount

Movie endings can leave you with a sense of satisfaction or make you want to throw your chair at the screen.

Every filmmaker strives for the former, and in some cases they manage to pull off something that will be remembered forever. 

Whether it leaves you happy, sad, or has a visual or line of dialogue that just brings everything together, movie endings can make or break how you feel about the story you just watched. 

From "Gone with the Wind" to "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Chinatown," here are 30 of the best movie endings of all time, ranked (spoilers galore, obviously):

SEE ALSO: The 18 best TV shows right now, according to critics

30. "The Sixth Sense" (1999)

For better or worse, director M. Night Shyamalan became the king of the surprise ending with the reveal at the end of "The Sixth Sense." It turns out Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) was in fact one of the dead people Cole (Haley Joel Osment) sees.

29. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)

In one of Jack Nicholson's greatest performances, the fate of R.P. McMurphy is sad but also inspiring. His rebel attitude, sapped from a lobotomy, transfers to the gentle giant Chief, who finally has the strength to escape the ward. 

28. “Shane” (1953)

Gunfighter Shane (Alan Ladd) has beaten the bad guy and brought justice to the West, but as he gets on his horse, young Joey (Brandon De Wilde) sees blood dripping from Shane, his arm limp as he rides off. What follows is one of the most quoted closings in movie history, Joey shouting out: "Shane! Come Back!"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why there's going to be a sequel to the great drug-war movie 'Sicario'


sicario benicio

Filmmaking is basically a lot of collaboration and tweaking, and thanks to that, there’s a “Sicario” sequel, screenwriter Taylor Sheridan tells us.

The actor-turned-screenwriter’s debut script — which explored the War on Drugs centering on the US-Mexico border and starred Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin — became one of the most talked-about movies of 2015 for its unconventional story and incredible cinematography.

Rumors of a sequel quickly spread. The sequel was confirmed this spring with the greenlight of "Soldado." Though "Sicario" director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) and Blunt are not returning for the sequel, Del Toro, Brolin, and Sheridan are.

The screenwriter says there’s a big reason why it was conceivable to go forward with a part two.

“There were things that we omitted from the original script, we couldn’t shoot them in ‘Sicario,’” Sheridan recently told Business Insider. “If we had gotten them in there, we wouldn’t have a sequel. So it worked out very well.”

Sheridan also confirmed what “Soldado” director Stefan Sollima has stated in the past: The movie is a standalone story, though it'll feature Del Toro’s assassin Alejandro and Brolin’s CIA officer Matt Graver.

Taylor Sheridan Tommaso Boddi GettySheridan — who's currently in the Oscar conversation for his second script, this summer's “Hell or High Water” — said it was fun to continue the “Sicario” story because the drug problem at the US-Mexico border “is actually worse now.” But the characters from the original will have different challenges this time around.

“In ‘Sicario’ they were operating inside the United States and utilizing a legal loophole that actually exists,” Sheridan said. “They had a chaperone. They don’t have a chaperone in the sequel, for better or for worse.”

“Soldado,” being released by Lionsgate, will open in 2017.

“Sicario” earned over $84 million worldwide (on a $30 million budget) and was nominated for three Academy Awards this year. 

SEE ALSO: One of the most thrilling scenes from "Sicario" almost didn't get made

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'Fantastic Beasts' is a rip-roaring 'Harry Potter' prequel that sets the stage for a whole new franchise


Fantastic beasts eddie redmayne as newt scamander

The INSIDER Summary:

• "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is a prequel to the "Harry Potter" series, set in New York.
• You don't need to know too much about "Harry Potter" to enjoy it.
• It's a lot of fun.


At long last! "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" spin-off prequel series is finally coming to theaters.

The film is the first of what Rowling plans to be a five-movie series. If you're worried about whether it ruins the "Harry Potter" series, don't be.

It's really, really fun.

Set in 1926 and in New York, "Fantastic Beasts" focuses on Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who comes to New York. We know from Rowling's other writings that he was expelled from Hogwarts and that Albus Dumbledore, then a transfiguration professor, argued in his defense. He also eventually wrote "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," a guidebook to magical creatures that Potter bought for his first year at Hogwarts. (Rowling, who wrote the screenplay for this movie, turned the work into an actual book back in 2001).

In 1926, Scamander is still working on his corpus. Played by Eddie Redmayne, he's in his late-20s and arrives in New York knowing more about its magical creatures than its magical human community. A small, adorable creature called a niffler escapes from his magically-expanded briefcase. It sets in motion a chain of events brings him into the company of Jacob Kowalski, a no-maj (a non-magical person) and in the custody of Porpentina Goldstein of MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America.

fantastic beasts newt scamander crowdFantastic Beasts niffler

From there, the movie's off. It's a chase to contain the magical creatures that escape from Scamander's briefcase and keep them secret from the unsuspecting New Yorkers.

As Scamander and company scamper around New York City, Rowling and director Steve Kloves (who also directed the final four "Harry Potter" films) introduces us to a flurry of other characters, and expands the plot. For such a complicated plot, it all unfolds cleanly and comes together at the end in a large, satisfying narrative.

bowtruckle newt fantastic beasts

There's Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), an unforgiving head auror who's hiding something. The Second Salemers are a collection of muggles who believe witches and wizards exist and want to root them out. They're dismissed as cranks, and are run out of a creepy orphanage in Lower Manhattan.

colin farrell graves fantastic beastscredence family fantastic beasts

And the movie's opening shows us reams of newspaper clippings warning viewers about the rise of Gellert Grindelwald, a mysterious dark wizard who wants magicians to come out of hiding and oppress muggles. He overshadows the whole affair.

Rowling understands that a screenplay is different from a novel, and requires its own type of storytelling. Each book in the "Harry Potter" series takes place over the course of one school year. It was a perfect structure for the books. Each year, Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to fight evil and restore balance to the wizarding world, but they also struggled with their classes and blundered with their relationships. We got to watch them grow up.

"Fantastic Beasts," however, takes place over the course of 48 hours. It's a different format, but the right one for this type of story. The "Harry Potter" movies always struggled to fill all of the details of an entire year in a two-and-a-half hour film. The structure always left some holes in the plot. Viewers had to rely on their knowledge of the books to totally grasp what was going on.

"Fantastic Beasts" doesn't have that problem. It's a quick-paced swashbuckler through the streets of New York City, carrying us from City Hall downtown to Central Park Zoo. While knowing all the nitty gritty details of the "Harry Potter" series adds layers of complexity to the story, and attaches it to Rowling's larger universe, they aren't necessary to know. It is rewarding, though: finally, my knowledge of Murtlap arcana is useful.

Eddie Redmayne as Newt scamander with a thunderbird in fantastic beasts

And for 48 hours, Rowling does a lot of world-building. She packs in small, subtle details that collectively go a long way to placing us in New York. A goblin who works the elevator in MACUSA, for example, has a thick Brooklyn accent. The Second Salemers are a reference to the Salem witch trials, as told in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." The auror uniform is a long brown leather cloak, probably with a flask of whiskey hidden away somewhere, and a fedora. And of course, there are a lot of fantastic beasts — everything from ape-like Demiguises, capable of turning invisible, and powerful Thunderbirds.

The quick pace also means that there's less room for character development. Some of the relationships fall into place in the final 20 minutes, but that's really it. Because we don't get to know Newt Scamander, or the rest of the American magicians, too intimately, the stakes feel lower than in the Harry Potter movies. Harry is an orphan who wants to be murdered by the most powerful dark wizard in modern history. Scamander, by contrast, is too mysterious. It also doesn't help that we know Voldemort was an ultimately more evil and powerful wizard than Grindelwald ever was, so the villain isn't, right now, as scary. Still, the plot is in motion and the stage is set for four more movies, and I can't wait to watch them.

"Fantastic Beasts" is in theaters November 18 with early showings Thursday evening.

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The 'Kong: Skull Island' trailer is even more thrilling than you hoped


Kong Skull Island Warner Bros

King Kong has astounded audiences since he first climbed the Empire State Building in the 1933 classic movie. For the latest vehicle for the giant ape, "Kong: Skull Island," Warner Bros. delves deeper into the origin story.

Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman star as members of the team that, in the 1970s, travels to an uncharted island in the Pacific. There, they encounter not just Kong but other giant species that live on the island, along with a very wacky (and bearded) John C. Reilly.

The trailer is filled with lots of action (let's hope not all the best scenes are used up here) and lighthearted fun (provided by Reilly). It's even more thrilling than you might expect for a franchise that has been around this long.

"Kong: Skull Island" is scheduled to open in theaters March 10.

Watch the trailer below:

SEE ALSO: Why there's going to be a sequel to the great drug-war movie 'Sicario'

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Do not stay after 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' — there are no end-credits scenes


fantastic beasts eddie redmayne

The INSIDER Summary:

• There is no post-credits scene after "Fantastic Beasts."
• The movie ends with a lot of questions unanswered.
• We'll have to wait for the following four movies to find out what will happen next.

If you head out to see "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," the first film in J.K. Rowling's prequel franchise to "Harry Potter," don't stay around after the credits roll. 

You won't be getting any additional scenes or sneak peeks at the four sequels to come.

I repeat: There are zero post-credits scenes attached to "Fantastic Beasts."

End-credits scenes have become a staple in recent years for Disney to attach to the end of its Marvel movies. Sometimes you’ll get one or two additional scenes hinting at what’s to come in the future films.

Since "Fantastic Beasts" ends leaving a lot of questions left unanswered, we thought it may make sense for an additional tag to highlight more about a favorite character or to hint at the eventual addition of Dumbledore in a sequel. Instead, it looks like J.K. Rowling and the "Beasts" team are keeping all of the secrets of the wizarding world under lock and key — at least until the rest of the four movies come out.

If you see folks sticking around after the film, you may want to give them a friendly heads up. 

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" will be in theaters Friday with early showings Thursday evening nationwide.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Miles Teller talks about how he trained obsessively for his boxing role in 'Bleed for This'


Miles Teller

It's hard to believe Miles Teller is only 29, because while talking to him over the phone, he sounds less like your typical young Hollywood star filled with aspiration and pep, and more like a guarded veteran who's over the industry's glamour.

That no doubt has something to do with his sharp career trajectory. In a short time, Teller has become one of the top talents under 30 with his exceptional acting chops that range from playing a determined musician in the acclaimed "Whiplash" to the wise-cracking skirt-chaser in "That Awkward Moment." Not to mention stops in big-budget fare like "Divergent" and the disappointing "Fantastic Four."

In his latest, Teller proves that he can carry the weight of a film. "Bleed for This" (opening in theaters November 18) is a tour-de-force performance by Teller, who's in almost every scene playing real-life boxer Vinny Pazienza, a flamboyant fighter who pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history as he recovered from a near-fatal car crash.

It's an especially interesting choice for Teller, since he also survived a near-fatal car crash when he was 20.

Business Insider talked to Teller about preparing for "Bleed for This," if this movie is therapy, and why he's kind of relieved he didn't get the young Han Solo role.

Jason Guerrasio: Was Vinny someone you knew about growing up, or did you start researching when you got the script?

Miles Teller: I actually had not heard about this story. I couldn't believe that I hadn't heard about it because it's such an incredible true story and I'm a pretty big sports fan, but back then boxing fans knew him, but he was pretty specific to the Northeast in a lot of ways.

Guerrasio: So once you took on the role, was it looking at a lot of footage of him?

Teller: Yeah, I did. YouTube is a really great resource for an actor so I was able to go on the internet. I was able to find a ton of material on Vinny.

Bleed For This Open Road FilmsGuerrasio: And not just the boxing movements, but the look, the voice, the swagger.

Teller: I listened to a ton of interviews. The first thing I did was I just listened to interviews and then I started watching some videos of him. I had a boxing coordinator who helped me, but I think it was important for me to not feel like I was mimicking Vinny but to really try to understand him and get a good handle on him.

Guerrasio: Did the script always have this twisted comedy to it or did that evolve?

Teller: Look, Vinny had a lot of fun. Vinny, in his life, he loves strip clubs and gambling. Vinny really enjoyed being Vinny. I knew this was not a cliche story.

Guerrasio: But I'm talking about the scene where Vinny and his father have a big meeting with fight promoters around a small table in a child's bedroom. And when Vinny gets the halo off, he breaks the arm of the chair he's sitting in. The delivery is very comedic.

Teller: With the halo removal scene, it's tough to watch so any way to break the tension is good. But, yeah, [writer-director] Ben [Younger] wrote all of that stuff in the script. He deserves all the credit. That scene in the little kid's room is funny.

Guerrasio: I believe Vinny came on set, but did you want to meet him before filming began?

Teller: I kind of wanted to keep my distance because I just felt like he would have been embarrassed by me before I got in shape. I really needed eight months, honestly, to get into the shape and do all of those things and to learn the boxing. So I was really intimidated by Vinny's legacy and him himself. But once I got to Providence he was the first person I went to go see and that was such a surreal moment to finally meet the guy that you had been thinking about portraying and been obsessing over. He would come on set a little bit, and that was great. I knew he would be proud of what we were doing.

Guerrasio: Did he give you words of encouragement?

Teller: I wish there was more of a romantic answer but I have gotten to know Vinny more after filming. When you're filming a movie there isn't much time for that kind of stuff to happen. But afterward I saw him a few times and he's so happy with the movie and really feels we did a great job with it so that's the most important thing.

Guerrasio: Are you the kind of actor who plays that person nonstop during filming?

Teller: I was just in a zone. When you're working and training that much you're going through a fight camp. You kind of black out almost, the only thing you think about is boxing and this guy. I mean, I went from working out and boxing and working on the accent for eight to nine hours a day to then the movie's done and you kind of miss that schedule, oddly.

Guerrasio: Do you catch yourself still saying things in Vinny's accent?

Teller: I love being able to do the accent. [Laughs] It's just fun for me. I always enjoyed the Boston, New England, New York, Rhode Island accents.

bleed for this halo open road films youtube

Guerrasio: Is there any kind of research that goes into preparing to wear a halo?

Teller: No, once it's on it is what it is. The day that Vinny was on set was when I had to bench press with it on and he helped give me some guidance because I honestly didn't know how to do it.

Guerrasio: This is your fourth film where your character is involved in a car accident. You were in a very horrific crash in your youth. Is this just a strange coincidence?

Teller: That's what it is. Look, I got in a pretty serious car accident in my life and I know a lot of people who have been in serious car accidents and if they haven't they know someone who has so it's kind of a part of growing up in the United States, I think.

Guerrasio: Is it some strange form of therapy for you in a weird way, the movies?

Teller: No.

Guerrasio: Can you watch the crash scenes? Do you cringe when you see them?

Teller: No. I mean, my parents cringe. My girlfriend cringes. My buddies cringe. But for me, when the car accident happened I blacked out and I remember very little about it so the actual event is more traumatic for the people around you and then you're left with picking up the pieces.

Guerrasio: And talking about it in every interview.

Teller: Yeah.

Guerrasio: When you go after a role that's highly publicized, like the young Han Solo role, when do you know it's over? Does your agent tell you you didn't get the part or is it not until you read it in the press?

Teller: I guess when you stop getting a phone call. When you don't have another callback you kind of figure it out. But that was kind of interesting, I didn't know that I was on a shortlist for that role. I actually did find out about that through the press.

the fantastic four DF 14999r_rgb finalGuerrasio: So you weren't told that you were on a shortlist for the role?

Teller: Yeah. I didn't know that the list was narrowed down and I was a part of it.

Guerrasio: When you read that you're one of the handful they are considering, are you nervous of what the outcome will be or are you just thinking, If it happens, it happens?

Teller: Having done a huge move with "Fantastic Four" with a built-in audience and reviving it in a way, I knew what that would be so I think for me it wasn't just like, "Oh my God, this is so amazing." There's also some caution there and some hesitation because I know how passionate the "Star Wars" fans are and I just went through an experience where the fans were very pissed off, apparently, at what we did with their beloved franchise. People think their childhood memories are getting ruined by recasting a part, you just have to know what you're getting into.

Guerrasio: Was it good that you didn't get the Han Solo role? You did "Fantastic Four," you've spent a bunch of years doing the "Divergent" movies. Is it nice not to be in that franchise bubble at the moment?

Teller: Yeah, it is. It honestly is. I felt I got to do a lot of different things before the age of 30. Those big films, yeah it's a lot of your life, but they also play all around the world and you get to connect to audiences that maybe smaller American independent films don't so I have savored all the experiences and I've learned a lot from them but, yes, it's a big commitment. I'm cool right now not being attached to a franchise.

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Why you need to see Casey Affleck's Oscar-worthy performance in 'Manchester by the Sea'


Manchester By The Sea Claire Folger

“Manchester by the Sea” marks the third directing effort by Kenneth Lonergan over a 16-year span. In that time, he’s made two other acclaimed movies, “You Can Count on Me” (2000) and “Margaret (2011), but with his latest he’s finally made a potential mainstream crossover.

Thanks to Amazon Studios' $10 million purchase of the film at the Sundance Film Festival, a strong marketing and award-season push is underway that far exceeds what Lonergan's previous work had.

What’s all the fuss about? Simply put, the movie is really, really good.

Set in the Massachusetts town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, the intimate story of an uncle (Casey Affleck) who becomes the guardian of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) after his father (Kyle Chandler) dies isn’t told with any camera tricks or dazzling effects. Instead it’s the acting that really shines front and center. Particularly Affleck.

Ben's lesser-known brother, Casey has quietly built up a strong filmography to a point now where he’s showcasing a talent that far surpasses Ben.

A surefire Oscar nominee (and perhaps winner), Affleck’s portrayal of Lee Chandler is extremely intimate, dark, but thanks to Lonergan’s writing, it also has necessary levity at times.

And the best thing about the movie is that Lonergan isn’t in a rush to tell us anything. He lets the audience sink into the Lee character and his surroundings to find a man who has given up on life (and there’s an understandable reason for that, but we won’t give it away) and though the logical breakthrough would be his new connection with his nephew, Patrick, Lonergan doesn’t go down that well-traveled path.

Lee’s wounds are too deep to suddenly become happy about his life.

With the help of flashbacks to when Patrick was younger and Lee’s brother, Joe, was still around, we get an understanding of who Lee once was. And then there’s his relationship with his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams).

In a heartbreaking scene in which the two talk for the first time in years, we once more see the pain Lee carries and why he can’t let go of the past. It's all possible thanks to the incredible talents of both Affleck and Williams.

Lonergan (who should also get an Oscar nomination for directing and writing) takes a lot of time between making movies, which has as much to do with finances as creating stories. But when everything lines up and he delivers a movie, it’s done with an intent and purpose that few can match.

"Manchester by the Sea" opens in theaters on Friday.

SEE ALSO: The 30 best movie endings of all time, ranked

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The 15 smartest sci-fi movies of all time


2001 a space odyssey originalDenis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated sci-fi film Arrival has finally…err…arrived in theaters and is already generating the kind of buzz that we’ve come to associate with instant classics.

Viewers are praising the film’s stunning cinematography, the commanding performance of Amy Adams, and off-the-charts entertainment value, but mostly, they are praising the film’s intelligence.

What’s funny about most of the praise for the movie’s smarts is that it’s usually accompanied by just a hint of surprise. “A science fiction movie that has proven to be among the smartest films released this year?”, some skeptics say with shock in their eyes.Who would have imagined that?

Well, anyone who has been following the sci-fi film scene over the last 40 years or so would be the short answer to that question. If there was ever a stigma regarding the intelligence of sci-fi films, it has (or should have) disappeared years ago. While a movie like Arrival should be praised for its complex and brilliantly told narrative, we should no longer be surprised that the science fiction genre is capable of producing a movie of staggering intellect. In fact, it’s been happening for years.

Here are the 15 smartest Sci-Fi movies of all time:

SEE ALSO: The 30 best movie endings of all time, ranked

15. "Blade Runner" (1982)

Any discussion regarding the intelligence of Blade Runner must start with the film’s world design. Whether or not the world of Blade Runner is realistic in the sense that it will come to pass in the future is irrelevant. What is relevant is the way that Ridley Scott and crew created a world that feels so consistent. There is sci-fi spectacle in this world, but everything feels remarkably lived in. Everything is equally familiar and spectacular.

However, the true brilliance of Blade Runner does lie in the film’s themes. Blade Runner draws upon biblical passages, noir films, and scientific theories to find an answer to the question, “What is the value of the life of a sentient machine in the world of man?” In the process, it also tries to calculate the value of life itself. The film isn’t alone in asking that question, but it does stand alone for the way that it approaches the issues as dilemmas rather than an issue with a simple answer.

The long-delayed sequel has some huge shoes to fill, that's for sure. Good thing Arrival director Denis Villeneuve is at the helm, right?

14. "Under the Skin" (2013)

The 1995 film Species dealt with an alien disguised as an attractive human woman who seduced men as part of her mission. It was seen as cheap and exploitative. The 2013 film Under the Skin deals with an alien disguised as an attractive woman seducing men as part of her mission. It is absolutely brilliant. What’s the difference between the two? Execution.

Under the Skin is a complicated movie that is often paced similarly to how a high school student might pace a research paper that needs to fulfill a certain word count. Much of the movie is seemingly aimless and bizarre for the sake of bizarre. Certain revelations within the story structure, however, open the movie up to miles of interpretation.

Under the Skin has been praised for its commentary on such issues as rape culture, immigration, and the role of women in modern society. It’s difficult to say which of these issues the film was specifically designed to address, but it’s even harder to deny the brilliance of how it uses a far out premise to create  a strong emotional response regarding several issues affecting our world.

13. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951)

1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still is a uniquely intelligent sci-fi film. It’s not an intentionally misleading movie filled with strange visuals, and it’s not a movie that requires you to rewatch it several times in order to comprehend what is happening.  It is a movie that was released at a time when sci-fi flicks typically featured giant monsters causing large amounts of collateral damage. By comparison, The Day the Earth Stood Still addressed the possibility that an alien race might actually come in peace after all.

Even in the context of modern films, it’s still a brilliant piece of work. What sets this movie apart is the way that it presented the possibility that humans would be more hostile in the event of an alien arrival than the aliens would be. The Day the Earth Stood Still addressed the notion that humans were more likely to destroy themselves through fear and mistrust than be destroyed by an invading force. That notion seems more and more relevant with each passing year.

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Disney's new masterpiece 'Moana' is an exhilarating movie experience with the strongest female role model yet


Moana Disney movie

The INSIDER Summary:

• "Moana" is a new Disney animated film that transcends stereotypes.
• The story of an empowered young woman is the core of the film's magic.
• The movie features amazing visuals, fantastic music, and great comedy.

"Moana" is a feat of Disney-movie magic that everyone should see during the holiday season. The two-hour film tells the story of Moana — a 16-year-old living on a Polynesian island called Motunui. 

Thanks to the trickery of an arrogant demigod named Maui, a darkness is spreading across the ocean and sapping the islands of their natural resources. Moana sets out to find Maui and convince him to help her restore the Pacific Islands to their habitable state. 

Moana and Maui with hook Disney

Moana is an intentionally atypical Disney character in every way. Not only is she the first Polynesian "princess," but she specifically refuses to self-identify as a princess and corrects Maui when he tries to say otherwise.

She is the daughter of the Motunui chief, but instead of being told that she must choose a husband (ahem — looking at you "Pochontas" and "Brave"), Moana is following in her father's footsteps and becoming a leader of her people without the caveat of needing to marry first.

Moana's conflict also does not arise from an arranged marriage or love interest, but from a desire to explore the open ocean in search of a solution for their island's deteriorating resources. Moana's father wishes for their people to stay within the confines of the island's reef, but Moana chooses to follow her own solution instead.

Moana Disney trailer new

Throughout the movie Moana proves to be capable and confident. Though she receives help throughout the turbulent journey, the assistance never comes in the form of a cheap "rescue." Instead Moana almost always takes the first step towards a solution, or works in tandem with Maui. Her mortal capabilities often match his demigod powers when it comes to problem-solving and self-motivating.

Moana demonstrates a fearlessness while oozing compassion and the awareness of a bigger world in play beyond herself. She shoulders the responsibility of being her people's chieftess-in-training, and risks everything against her father's wishes because she trusts in a larger power. 

Moana and Maui on boat Disney

Directors Ron Clements and John Musker didn't just take the time to flesh out a real heroine — they made sure to go about telling the story of Polynesian culture from the right perspective, too.

For the past five years, Clements and Musker have been making trips to the Pacific Islandsincluding Samoa, Tahiti, Mo’orea, and Fiji. Over time they created a coalition of anthropologists, historians, choreographers, musicians, and linguists called the Oceanic Trust. Together this group helped to shape "Moana" and keep the writing and design as authentic as possible.

This was a much needed step on Disney's part, since the studio has often faced criticism for mishandling culture narratives or reinforcing stereotypes. 

Maui in Moana Disney

The cast of "Moana" also reflects the extra efforts of Disney to include actors from within the Polynesian cultural sphere. Hawaiian newcomer Auli'i Cravalho shines as Moana, bringing a maturity and charm to her character's inspiring storyline.

Moana's father, Chief Tui, is played by New Zealander Temuera Morrison, while the much-loved "Flight of the Concords" comedian (and fellow New Zealander) Jemaine Clement sings as the hermit-crab monster Tamatoa.

Tamatoa the hermit crab Moana Disney

Rachel House lended her voice to Moana's Gramma Tala — the "village crazy" who provides inspiration along with emotional and spiritual support to her granddaughter.

Moana and her grandmother Disney

Everyone who already loves Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will adore his larger-than-life onscreen presence as Maui. His character's inflated ego and swagger carry energy throughout the film, and Maui's musical number "You're Welcome!" is a tune you'll be whistling on the way home from the theater. 

The other star single from the "Moana" soundtrack — "How Far I'll Go"— is sung by our heroine throughout the movie. Though it likely won't match the high bar set by "Let It Go" in "Frozen," the song is a standout from the start. I found myself playing Alessia Cara's pop radio version on repeat in the days after seeing "Moana." 

Moana on island Disney

The music's catchiness is partly owed to "Hamilton" star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and composed the music alongside Somoan musician Opetaia Foa'i and Disney veteran Mark Mancina ("The Lion King" and "Tarzan"). You can hear Miranda's unmatched lyricism and creative wordplay throughout the stellar soundtrack. 

In addition to being a solid cultural representation and setting a new standard for independent female leads in animated movies, "Moana" delivers on the laughs and visuals. Comic relief is sprinkled throughout the awesome adventure sequences with the help of Moana's low-IQ pet chicken HeiHei and a cute mini pig named Pua.

Pua and HeiHei Moana Disney

The ocean waves and lush island landscapes are beautifully rendered, and the art of drawing realistic hair — that Disney animators perfected in "Frozen"— was carried over to Moana and Maui's character designs. 

There are dazzling and sometimes spooky sea creatures, of course. One sequence involving anthropomorphic coconuts called kakamora reminded me of a PG take on the deranged car chases in "Mad Max: Fury Road." 

coconuts moana

From start to finish, "Moana" will keep a smile on your face when you're not crying because, you know, it's Disney and (spoiler alert!) someone has to die. But the warm-fuzzy feeling Disney movies usually deliver will be in your heart.

At a time when positive examples of female leadership are needed and respectfully celebrating different cultures is vital to unity, "Moana" shines through. The movie is on par with Pixar's reputation for appealing to child and adult audiences alike, so all moviegoers will find something to love.

"Moana" sails into theaters on November 23, just in time for the US holiday season. 

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J.K. Rowling secretly wrote an original song for the new 'Harry Potter' spinoff movie


JK Rowling and eddie redmayne

The INSIDER Summary:

• J.K. Rowling wrote a song called "Blind Pig" for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."
• It mentions a lot of magical creatures.
• It was sung by a British singer named Emmie Joy Green.
• She had no idea what the song would be used for and was contacted out of the blue.

In the credits of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," J.K. Rowling's new "Harry Potter" spinoff movie, you might catch an unexpected name in the song credits.

That's because Rowling herself wrote a song called "Blind Pig."

What's "Blind Pig"? In the movie, it's the name of the pub Newt Scamander, the movie's protagonist, and his crew visit during their adventure. The film takes place in 1926 New York, during the prohibition era, so it's a speakeasy. When they enter, there's a female goblin singing a song. That's the one Rowling wrote.

You can listen to it here:

The song's a jazz number about a broken romance, illustrated through magical creatures acting unusually.

It's sung by an obscure 29-year-old British-born singer named Emmie Joy Green, who goes by Emmi. The whole experience of recording the song was mysterious. She doesn't have a manager or a record label, according to the BBC, and was contacted "out of the blue" by director David Yates.

"I got this email from someone I didn't know saying, 'Do you mind singing this? Here are some lyrics, give it a try,'"she told BBC. She recorded the first draft in her childhood bedroom.

Tina and Queenie outside the Blind Pig in Fantastic beasts

The whole experience was very mysterious. She wasn't told who wrote the song or how it would be used.

"I knew the song was called ‘Blind Pig’ but I had no idea why, because there’s no mention of a pig in it," Emmi told Pottermore. "I now know it’s because that’s the name of the speakeasy, but I found that fact out online like everybody else. I thought it was some codename to cover up what the song was about. It’s been like a hilarious mystery."

Emmi noticed that the lyrics mentioned Hippogriffs and Billywigs, which sounded familiar.

"I started thinking, 'This sounds like something from Harry Potter,' so I Googled the words and confirmed that for myself,"she told BBC. It was only then that she realized the song might be connected to "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." And only when she did a recording session in London and listened to parts of James Newton Howard's soundtrack did she realize the full scope of the movie she was working on.

Still, Emmi didn't know the song was written by Rowling herself until the film's IMDB page was updated a few weeks ago, she told BBC.

Now that Rowling has written a song for a movie, she's elegible for an original song Oscar. She also wrote and produced "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

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'Fantastic Beasts' dropped a big hint about a new character from a notorious Dark wizard family


newt scamander fantastic beasts

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

J.K. Rowling's new "Harry Potter" spinoff movie follows the oddball Newt Scamander as he navigates New York City's wizarding community for the first time. Scamander — a British wizard and magizoologist — finds some American friends along the way during his mishaps with magical creatures and dark wizards. But among the new faces, a very familiar name was dropped during a small conversation.

In one crucial scene, Queenie uses Legilimency on Scamander to figure out the name of a young girl he was friends with back at Hogwarts. Her name was Lita Lestrange.

fantastic beasts queenie

Queenie had spotted a framed photograph inside Scamander's home, and pressed him for information on it. Newt, visibly uncomfortable discussing the subject, refused to divulge any further details.

But Queenie used Legilimens to read Newt's mind anyways. "That was a real close friendship you had," Queenie told him. Newt concedes, and admits that he and Lita were both outsiders who didn't fit in. He said they were close for years, but doesn't explain what happened between them.

Lita's last name alone will give any "Harry Potter" fan a clue, though. Lestrange is the surname of an ancient Dark wizard family.

The most notorious Lestrange from the "Harry Potter" series was Bellatrix — the cousin of Sirius Black and Lord Voldemort's most devoted follower. But Bellatrix was born with the same last name as Sirius (Black), and only became a Lestrange when she married her husband Rodolphous.

Bellatrix Lestrange Harry Potter Helena Bonham Carter

Rodolphous was another Death Eater — he helped Bellatrix torture Neville Longbottom's parents into insanity — but not much else was known about his character or family through the books. Bellatrix was constantly in the foreground, with only small throwaway mentions of her husband in the sixth or seventh books.

Rodolphous re-entered the narrative in the eighth story, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." After being released from Azkaban, Rodolphous sought out Delphi — the love child of his wife Bellatrix and Lord Voldemort

Since Bellatrix and Voldemort were both killed at the Battle of Hogwarts in the seventh book, Rodolphous was the only one living who knew the truth about Delphi. He told the young girl about her parents, and also revealed a prophecy to her which led to some pretty crazy time travel stuff happening in "Cursed Child."

voldemort harry potter

"It was Rodolphus Lestrange, Bellatrix's loyal husband, who on return from Azkaban told me who I was and revealed the prophecy he thought I was destined to fulfill," Delphi said to Voldemort. "I am your daughter, sir."

Long story short, the Lestrange family probably has a history siding with the bad guys — we know Bellatrix would never have married into a family of "blood traitors" or Muggle-sympathizers. Which means the Lestranges have been "bad" for awhile. 

So what does Lita Lestrange — who we assume is an ancestor of Rodolphous — have to do with Scamander and the next four "Fantastic Beasts" movies? According to the credits she's played by Zoe Kravitz, so we can expect to see her again.

Scamander seems to be a far cry from the kind of wizard you'd expect to get mixed up in the Dark Arts, so perhaps Lita was an outlier in her family of Dark wizards. 

Maybe it was a Lily Potter/Severus Snape situation — childhood friends who grew apart due to their differences in dabbling with the more twisted sides of magic. And were Newt and Lita romantically involved? Or was it maybe one sided, again similar to Lily and Severus' relationship at Hogwarts?

grindelwald fantastic beasts

Since Grindelwald is the main villain of the "Fantastic Beasts" series, we can see Rowling introducing some of his sympathizers in future movies. Every villain needs henchman, after all. Maybe Lita and Scamander will come face to face again from opposite sides of the wizarding war over Grindelwald's rise to power.

For now, we'll just add the mystery behind Lita to our growing list of burning questions we hope are answered in the movies to come. 

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Here are all the clues in 'Fantastic Beasts' that hinted at the movie’s big twist


colin farrell graves fantastic beasts

This post contains spoilers for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

The end of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"— J.K. Rowling's spinoff "Harry Potter" movie set in 1926 New York— ends in a big twist that ties the two series together.

It turns out that Percival Graves the head American auror (magical law enforcement officer) was actually another wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, in disguise the entire time. Near the end of the movie, Graves, played by Collin Farrell,  transforms into Grindelwald, who is played by Johnny Depp.

Grindelwald wants to expose magic to all of humankind so that wizards and witches don't have to hide anymore, and can instead impose a magical ruling class on non-magical folk.

Graves, throughout the movie, is a mysterious dude. But there are a few clues scattered throughout the film about his true identity.

We got a glimpse of Grindelwald in some newspaper clippings at the start of the film, and Graves has the same haircut.

grindelwald fantastic beastsgraves hair

When Graves arrests Newt Scamander on the charge of wreaking havoc in the city by letting animals loose, he looks into Scamander's background. He recognizes that Scamander was expelled from Hogwarts for endangering the life of another student with a magical beast, though Dumbledore, then a Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts, argued against his expulsion.

"Now what makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you, Mr. Scamander?" Graves asks.

graves newt fantastic beasts

Grindelwald was also best friends with Dumbledore during a summer when they were teenagers. Their friendship ended after a fight they had — Grindelwald went down a path of evil, Dumbledore went on to become a scholar and teacher.

Graves also finds an Obscurus in Scamander's briefcase. An Obscurus is a type of dangerous magical parasite that, if uncontrolled, can create huge amounts of damage on the world.

"So it’s useless without the host?" Graves asks Scamander.

The terminology catches Scamander sideways. "That is a parasitical magical force that killed a child. What on earth would you use it for?" Scamander asks in response. An Obscurus wouldn't be "used" unless someone wanted to cause destruction... someone like Grindelwald.

Obscurials — the host body in which an Obscurus develops — are also very rare. They supposedly haven't been seen by the larger wizarding community in centuries. It would be strange for someone to be considering its "uses" unless they've been thinking about Obscurials a lot and thought about what they were.

Grindelwald, as a brilliant wizard, could have done a lot of research into an Obscurial as a way to cause destruction. Or he might have recognized that Dumbledore's sister Ariana was an Obscurial. In any case, it makes sense that he would come to America, where anti-wizard sentiment among the No-Majs was particularly high at the time, ripe conditions to form an Obscurial.

hallows necklace

A little later, Graves has a secret meeting with Credence Barebone. Barebone is an orphan whose mother was a witch, and who's living in the No-Maj community. Graves wants to use him to find an Obscurial.

In the meeting, Graves gives Barebone a pendant with the Deathly Hallows symbol.

AFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Percival Graves postert the time, remember, the Deathly Hallows were still, also, an obscure magical concept. It was more widely recognized as Grindelwald's symbol. Barebone, having grown up among No-Majs, would have never recognized it.

We actually got a hint about the pendant before the movie came out, in a character poster. Graves's poster featured the pendant hanging by his head, indicating that Graves was associated with Grindelwald.

Since Graves was revealed to be Grindelwald at the end of the movie, we're definitely going to see Grindelwald again for future installments. He's supposed to play a bigger role in the next "Fantastic Beasts" movie, and Dumbledore is supposed to show up as well.

But it's not totally clear what the deal is with Graves. Is the real version locked in a trunk somewhere, like Mad-Eye Moody in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"? Or was there never a Graves to begin with, and Grindelwald was in it for the long con? (His name, Percival, is the same as the father of his former best friend, Albus Dumbledore, so maybe he picked it up.) Will we ever see Graves again?

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We've seen the villain in 'Fantastic Beasts' before — here's everything you need to know about him for future movies


fantastic beasts and where to find them newt scamander eddie redmayne

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" introduces fans to even more of J.K. Rowling's magical world of wizards, goblins, and otherworldly creatures in 1926 New York City. It also reintroduces one of the series' big villains.

We're not talking about Voldemort.

grindelwald fantastic beasts

Near the end of the movie, Rowling, who wrote the script, reveals Johnny Depp is Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard who's been hiding in plain sight throughout the film. Grindelwald's plotting to start a war between wizards and No-Majs (the American term for non-magical beings).

And though Grindelwald eventually gets locked up by the end of "Fantastic Beasts," don't plan on him staying that way forever. He's shaping up to be the main antagonist in the four planned sequels.

While Depp's appearance as a bleach blonde magician may look foreign, the name Grindelwald should sound familiar to fans. Here's everything you should know about the dark wizard.

Grindelwald played a major part in the 'Harry Potter' series.

Grindelwald harry potter and the deathly hallows

In the "Harry Potter" series, which takes place decades after "Fantastic Beasts," Grindelwald plays a big role and helped shape the course of world events in the 20th century. He was Albus Dumbledore's closest friend before turning into a Hitler-like figure who threw the magical world into turmoil in an attempt to dominate non-magical folk.

Grindelwald's first mention in the "Potter" series is inconspicuous. He's simply a name dropped on Albus Dumbledore's chocolate frog card in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone": "Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945."

It's not until several books later in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" that he plays a bigger role. As Voldemort searches for The Elder Wand, which he believes will make him invincible, he traces its path to Grindelwald. Voldemort finds Grindelwald in Nurmengard, a prison Grindelwald built during his rise to power and was locked in after his fall. But he finds out that Grindelwald doesn't have the wand anymore, and kills him. (It turns out that Dumbledore obtained the wand after defeating Grindelwald in 1945.)

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger learn about Grindelwald by accident.

At Bill and Fleur's wedding in "Deathly Hallows," Xenophilius Lovegood wears a necklace with the Deathly Hallows symbol on it. Viktor Krum, one of the wedding guests, instantly recognizes it as Grindelwald's sign and is upset. Krum attended Durmstrang, the Scandanavian magical school which Grindelwald attended. Grindelwald carved the symbol into a wall at Durmstrang when he was there, and it inspired — or horrified — some later pupils. Krum's grandfather, for his part, was killed by Grindelwald.

Later, Harry and the crew find out Grindelwald's sign is that of the Deathly Hallows — a trio of objects consisting of the Elder Wand, the Ressurection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. If a wizard or witch were to possess all three Hallows, they were said to be the Master of Death. 

Grindelwald used to be best friends with Dumbledore.

Harry potter dumbledore

Grindelwald was expelled from Durmstrang when he was 16 for "twisted experiments," according to the tabloid wizard journalist Rita Skeeter. After his expulsion in the late 19th century, he went to live with his great-aunt, the wizarding historian Bathilda Bagshot, in Godric's Hollow in England. (It's also the place where the Potters lived, decades later.)  

Bagshot happened to be neighbors with the Dumbledore family. Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald — both ambitious, talented, and idealistic teenage wizards — quickly became friends.

The two also expressed interest in the Hallows, but both teens had different reasons for seeking them out: Grindelwald wanted power, while Dumbledore thought the Ressurection Stone might bring back his dead parents.

Since Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay, many have speculated that their mutual interest was also romantic.

The two planned a revolution.

"You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me," Dumbledore's portrait told Harry at the end of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.""Muggles forced into subservience. We wizards triumphant. Grindelwald and I, the glorious young leaders of the revolution."

According to Skeeter, who also wrote a not-entirely-accurate biography of Dumbledore shortly after his death, Dumbledore and Grindelwald planned to overturn the Statue of Secrecy, which keeps magical folk secret from non-magical folk, and establish a wizarding ruling class over Muggles.

They had different reasons. For Grindelwald, it was because he was an evil dude. For Dumbledore, it was a reaction to his sister Ariana being tormented by Muggles until she went mad.

Harry Potter elder wand

The two coined the phrase Grindelwald used on his crusade decades later: "For the greater good."

Dumbledore and Grindelwald planned to leave Gordic's Hollow to pursue their ambition. Aberforth, Albus's brother, confronted him, saying he needed to take care of their sister Ariana. Grindelwald, enraged, attacked Aberforth, and Albus defended him. In the three-way duel, Ariana was killed.

After that, Dumbledore stayed home to take care of his brother. Meanwhile, Grindelwald fled from the duel and went on to find at least one of the Hallows on his own.

Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a legendary duel.

Grindelwald stole one of the Hallows, the Elder Wand, from the Eastern European wandmaker Mykew Gegorovitch.

From here, he dabbled more in the dark arts and rose to power. The details of his rise aren't clear, but we do know that he killed a lot of people (like Viktor Krum's grandfather) and established a prison, Nurmengard, for his enemies. He thought it was impregnable.

As Grindelwald became more infamous, Dumbledore faced him down. In 1945, in a duel for the ages, Dumbledore defeated him, leaving Grindelwald imprisoned in Nurmengard.

Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"In a list of Most Dangerous Dark Wizards of All Time, he would miss out on the top spot only because You-Know-Who arrived, a generation later, to steal his crown," Rita Skeeter wrote. Voldemort might also be the more powerful wizard. He's the only known person who ever broke into Nurmenberg.

In "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Grindelwald tries to start a war.

fantastic beast graves

Let's get some of the timeline straight.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" takes place in New York City in 1926. Dumbledore and Grindelwald's whirlwind summer at Godric's Hollow took place around 1899. And we know Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a duel in 1945.

So by the time "Fantastic Beasts" takes place, Grindelwald is in his 40s and his regime is on the rise. But he never became a significant part of British magical history, so his activities must have been mostly confined to Eastern and Central Europe.

At the end of "Fantastic Beasts," Percival Graves — the head auror at MACUSA and seemingly the second-most-powerful person in the American wizarding community — turns out to be Grindelwald in disguise.

Throughout the film, Graves enlists Credence Barebone, an orphan who appears to be a No-Maj, into helping him find an Obscurial. An Obscurial is a hard-to-control magical force that's unleashed when a wizard or witch doesn't express their magical powers.

There's a big showdown between Graves, Newt Scamander (the movie's main protagonist), and Barebone. Graves is brought to his knees, and Scamander performs a "revelio" charm to reveal him as Grindelwald.

"Will we die, just a little?" Grindelwald tells Scamander as he's hauled away.

While American wizards, unlike British ones, use the death penalty, Grindelwald makes it to future installments of the series. It's not clear yet how he'll make it out. Perhaps he has a few allies in MACUSA.

What will Grindelwald's role be in future "Fantastic Beasts" movies?  

johnny depp

David Yates, who's directing the "Fantastic Beasts" movies and who directed the final four "Harry Potter" ones, told my colleague Jason Guerrasio at Business Insider Grindelwald is going to be a major part of the next movie.

"Grindelwald is a major character and it's pretty big shoes to fill," Heyman said. "So you want someone who is charismatic, who is brave as an actor, who can stand up and is iconic. Johnny [Depp] is one of the few actors who has created several iconic characters and he's brave, he's a great artist, he's a great actor. So we went to Johnny and he said yes."

Heyman also confirmed that Dumbledore will be in the sequel. Casting is currently underway.

The next "Fantastic Beasts" movie is rumored to take place in Paris. Rowling herself said the series' five movies will span "19 years," meaning it will end in 1945, the same year Dumbledore dueled Grindelwald.

So the rest of the "Fantastic Beasts" movies will take place just as Grindelwald is rising to power, and possibly in Europe, and may end in a Dumbledore-Grindelwald showdown.

In the movie, we also briefly meet Hector Fawley, the Minister for Magic from Britain, who recognizes Scamander. On Pottermore, Rowling tells us that Fawley "did not take sufficiently seriously the threat presented to the world wizarding community by Gellert Grindelwald," and lost his job in 1939 to Leonard Spencer Moon, who "enjoyed a good working relationship with Winston Churchill."

There's a lot of rich material to be explored in the next four (or possibly more, when it's all said and done) "Fantastic Beasts" movies. Hopefully, all of our questions will be answered.

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50 movies that critics really hate but normal people love


the replacements

It's well-established by now that the opinions of professional film critics don't necessarily reflect what the people actually want.

Many movies that critics have deemed inferior turn out to be fan favorites in spite of — or perhaps because of — the fact that they aren't artfully made. Goofy comedies like "The Replacements,""Without a Paddle," and "Soul Plane," as well as many B-level horror and action films are as adored by fans as they are abhorred by critics.

Metacritic exclusively provided Business Insider with data about which movies since the year 2000 have most divided critics and regular viewers, looking at titles with high user scores but very low critic averages.

"Metacritic averages the review scores from the top critics to generate our Metascores, and we're also very interested in what our users have to say about the movies they see," Metacritic cofounder Marc Doyle told Business Insider. "At times, the professional critics and the regular moviegoers will disagree — and we're in a great position to highlight those differences."

Check out Metacritic's 50 movies that people love but critics hate, ranked from least divergent critic and user scores to most divergent:

SEE ALSO: The 30 best movie endings of all time, ranked

50. "Soul Plane" (2004)

Critic score:33/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary:After a humiliating and horrific experience on a commercial flight, Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) sues and is awarded a $100 million settlement. Determined to make good with his newfound wealth he decides to create the airline of his dreams.

What critics said: "An hour and a half of real airplane turbulence is better than sitting through the bad, offensive material that makes up 'Soul Plane.'"— The Washington Post

49. "Self/less" (2015)

Critic score: 34/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary: An extremely wealthy man (Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.

What critics said: "'Self/less' is a celluloid smoothie blended from dozens of familiar elements, but it’s neither tasty nor nutritious."— New York Post

48. "American Outlaws" (2001)

Critic score: 25/100

User score: 7.9/10

Plot summary:When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is rightfully theirs.

What critics said: "There's no escaping the hackneyed plot or Mayfield's conventional hand. So don't go."— The Washington Post

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This character's fate at the end of 'Fantastic Beasts' may not be as clear cut as you thought


credence graves fantastic beasts

Warning: This post contains spoilers for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," J.K. Rowling's new "Harry Potter" spin-off movie set in 1926 New York, closes pretty neatly, but there are still some lingering questions.

One is the fate of Credence Barebone. In the film, Credence is an orphan adopted the leader of the Second Salemers, a group of No-Majs (non-wizarding folk) who believe magic exists and want to destroy it.

Percival Graves, the head auror (magical law enforcement officer) of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), enlists Barebone to help him find an Obscurial, a young witch or wizard who's been infected with a magical virus called an Obscurus, and can cause immense damage if harnessed correctly.

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In the third act of the movie, we find out that Barebone himself is an Obscurial. (Graves, for his part, also turns out to have a hidden identity). He loses control, and turns into a big, tendril-y cloud that destroys a lot of the city.

At the end of a big showdown in Manhattan's City Hall subway station, it appears that MACUSA's aurors destroyed the Obscurus, exploding it — and Barebone, who's serving as the Obscurial host body — into wisps of nothingness.

But there's a small moment that indicates Credence, in some form, may still be alive.

It's during the conversation between Newt Scamander, the movie's protagonist, and Madam Picquery, the MACUSA president, about making New York City forget the whole magical catastrophe with the Obscurial ever happened. Scamander notices a small part of the Obscurus, survived, floating out of a hole in the subway station. Here's how it's described in the screenplay:

As Newt follows Madam Picquery’s gaze, he sees a tendril of black matter, a small part of the Obscurus, floating down through the roof. Unnoticed by anyone else, it eventually floats up and away, trying to reconnect with its host.

If it's trying to "reconnect with its host," then Credence might still be around!

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If you're still unsure, "Fantastic Beasts" producer David Heyman pretty much confirmed Credence will be back.

Heyman told New York journalists the movie originally had a deleted scene showing Credence alive, and leaving New York. Heyman also said that Credence and Grindelwald will be "main players" in the series. Here's how part of the exchange went, as recorded by CinemaBlend:

We actually had a scene, which we cut, which was Credence going to a boat, to get on a boat somewhere else. But we cut that, because we didn't want to have it be such an, 'Ahhh, here we go.'

So, what was that scene kind of like?

Him getting on a boat, maybe a boat with Newt, maybe not, and heading off out of New York.

So, there you have it, it looks like Credence will be back.

There's still the question of Credence's sister, Chastity, as well as Modesty, who Credence calls a sister but who isn't actually related to him. What happens to them? Do they have magical abilities? Will we see them in future installments of "Fantastic Beasts"? We'll have to wait to find out.

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A new, dark magic introduced in 'Fantastic Beasts' may explain one of the biggest mysteries in 'Harry Potter'


credence fantastic beasts

Warning: This post includes major spoilers for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Part of the fun of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series is learning about her magical universe. Every new book introduces new magical concepts she invents. In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," it's the basilisk and Chamber of Secrets. In "Prisoner of Azkaban," it's dementors, time turners, and patronuses. And so on.

In "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Rowling's new "Harry Potter" movie spin-off series, the author continues that tradition. The big new magical concept she introduces is the Obscurus.

An Obscurus is a type of magical parasite that forms when a wizard or witch suppresses their magical ability. If they don't perform spells, it's as if their magic turns inwards and eats at them.

Obscuruses eventually take over their host bodies. The parasite itself is called an Obscurus, and the person whose body is used as a host is an Obscurial. If they’re not controlled, an Obscurial can be extremely dangerous.

An Obscurus looks like an ash-colored, tendril-equipped cloud. When an Obscurial loses control, they take a similar form. You can also sometimes catch a glimpse of a face inside them.

In "Fantastic Beasts," we learn that Scamander captured an Obscurus.

The first Obscurus we see onscreen is in the custody of Newt Scamander, the main character of the "Fantastic Beasts" series. Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (an American-English term a non-magical person) who Scamander befriends, is hanging out in Scamander's briefcase.

credence graves fantastic beasts

The briefcase is magically expanded into an enormous space inside, and it looks something like a cross between a movie studio and a zoo. It's divided into different sections, each one a different habitat for Scamander's animals. One of these sections is a blisteringly cold, snowy landscape.

Inside is an Obscurus floating in a transparent bubble. It looks like it's about two or three feet in diameter.

Kowalski appears entranced by it, but Scamander warns him to step back. Scamander says he captured the Obscurus in Sudan three months earlier. It apparently killed a girl or woman — "He was eight when she died," Scamander said. Obscurials rarely live past the age of ten, and they were more common centuries earlier, when wizards and witches had to hide their powers from their No-Maj neighbors in fear of persecution.

An Obscurial kills a No-Maj, threatening the secret magical community.

As in the "Harry Potter" series, the magical community in "Fantastic Beasts"— which is set in 1926 New York — is hidden from the non-magical community. MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) is even more secretive than the Ministry of Magic at the time, forbidding contact between No-Majs and magical folk.

From the start of the film, MACUSA is on high alert. A mysterious magical force — some suspect it's a beast, some suspect it has something to do with Grindelwald — is ripping up New York City and then disappearing. Percival Graves, MACUSA's head auror (magical law enforcement officer), is on the case. By it's description, it seems to be an Obscurial.

obscurial fantastic beasts 2

Later, an Obscurial — possibly the same one — breaks into a dinner in honor of Henry Shaw, Jr., a New York Senator. While Shaw is giving a speech in front of an audience of fat cats, it lifts him up in the air and kills him.

Scamander analyzes Shaw's body and recognizes by the marks on his face that he was killed by an Obscurial. Before Scamander found one in Sudan, one hadn't been sighted in 200 years.

The No-Majs, meanwhile, suspect that something is out of the ordinary. Some begin to entertain the previously fringe theory that there's magic in the world. The secret world of wizards is at risk of becoming known to the public.

Credence Barebone turns out to be an Obscurial.

Graves enlists Credence Barebone to help him find an Obscurial. Credence is an orphan who, along with his sister Chastity, is adopted by an abusive No-Maj anti-magic activist, Mary Lou. Graves had a "vision" that the Obscurus was a young girl, about ten years old. 

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It's thought that one of his younger sisters Chastity or Modesty may be the Obscurial throughout the movie; however, it turns out Credence was an Obscurial all along. He's more powerful than the usual one, because he's a teenager, much older than the usual Obscurial host body. 

What we don't find out is whether or not one of Credence's sisters may also be Obscurials. Chastity had a fake wand which she may or may not have been trying to practice magic with. We know she's Credence's biological sister, so she has magical lineage.

And what about Modesty? She's identified as having magical powers, and she and Credence call each other brother and sister even though they're not related by blood. Why? And why did Graves think she would have magical powers, anyway, if they're not related by blood?

Whether Modesty or Chastity are also Obscurials, in addition to Credence, we don't know. We don't find out what happens to them. And so we're also not sure if it's Credence, or either of them, who are responsible for earlier Obscurial attacks on New York City.

Grindelwald wanted an Obscurial to expose the magical community.

At the end of the movie, we learn that Graves was Gellert Grindelwald, a powerful dark wizard, in disguise.

Grindelwald believes that the laws keeping No-Majs and magical folk apart benefits No-Majs at the expense of magical people. He wanted to find an Obscurial and unleash it on the world. Doing that could have started a war between magicians and No-Majs, through which Grindelwald could win and impose a magical ruling class over humankind.

Obscurial fantastic beasts 4

In the end of the movie, though Credence, in Obscurial form, is defeated, a wisp of him escapes, presumably due to return in future movies. Could Grindelwald find a way to break free from MACUSA to continue his Obscurial hunt? 

Obscurials and the connection between "Fantastic Beasts" and the "Harry Potter" series

The concept of an Obscurial can help explain a fuzzy moment in the "Harry Potter" series.

The death of Ariana Dumbledore, Albus Dumbledore's younger sister, tore apart Dumbledore's and Grindelwald's friendship. But it's not totally clear how it happened.

We know that Ariana died when she was 14. She was known to be sick. She never attended Hogwarts or went to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Instead, her brothers Albus and Aberforth cared for her. Muriel Weasley speculates in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" that she was a squib and that she was responsible for the death of her mother, Kendra Dumbledore.

ariana dumbledore Harry Potter

Later in the book, Aberforth Dumbledore, Ariana and Albus's brother, gives a clear assessment of her life. When Ariana was six years old, she was attacked by Muggle boys. 

"It destroyed her, what they did: She was never right again," Aberforth said. "She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet and scared and harmless."


"[If] the Ministry had known what Ariana had become, she’d have been locked up in St. Mungo’s for good. They’d have seen her as a serious threat to the International Statute of Secrecy, unbalanced like she was, with magic exploding out of her at moments when she couldn’t keep it in any longer."

That sounds... exactly like an Obscurial! An Obscurial is a magical person who doesn't perform magic. It makes a person strange and dangerous at uncontrollable times, with magic exploding out of you. And it's definitely a threat to the International Statute of Secrecy.

To keep Ariana safe and quiet, the family moved to quiet Godric's Hollow. When she was fourteen, "she had one of her rages" and killed her mother. Aberforth regrets he couldn't be there to calm her down. And in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Scamander and Tina Goldstein try to calm down Credence Barebone as a way to help him control the Obscurus taking over.

harry potter and the deathly hallows aberforth dumbledore

As an Obscurial, Ariana was someone who didn't perform any magic, so it makes sense that people would think she was a squib. Graves, too, thought Credence was a squib.

In a three-way duel between Grindelwald, Albus, and Aberforth, Ariana tried to intervene to stop it, but she was accidentally killed.

The whole affair explains why Grindelwald would be looking for an Obscurial, or how he knows how to recognize one. During "Fantastic Beasts," one wizard remarks that they haven't been seen in centuries. Well, maybe Grindelwald saw one and knew what to look for.

Unleashing an Obscurial would be, in the words of Aberforth, "a serious threat to the International Statute of Secrecy"— which is exactly what Grindelwald is looking to do. Once magicians are public, he could pit them against non-magician-kind.

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The 'Harry Potter' spin-off 'Fantastic Beasts' is already making huge money


Fantastic Beasts Warner Bros box office 2 copy

The "Harry Potter" spin-off "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" had impressive Thursday preview screenings, taking in $8.7 million

That puts the film on pace to make $70 to $80 million domestically this weekend, which is what the film's distributor Warner Bros. is projecting.

The first of five movies that take place before the events in the "Harry Potter" stories, "Fantastic Beasts" follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as the beasts he's collected for his book escape his suitcase and run wild in New York City. 

"Fantastic Beasts" has already opened internationally in numerous regions and has taken in $23.5 million globally so far. The film should have a worldwide gross of over $200 million globally by the end of the weekend. 

Though these are big numbers, they don't come close to what the "Harry Potter" movies made. 

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" took in $43.5 million in its Thursday preview alone. Numerous others raked in around $20 million in previews. 

But if "Fantastic Beasts" performs strong and makes over $77 million in the US over opening weekend, it can beat the debuts of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" ($77.1 million) and "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" ($77.8 million). 

SEE ALSO: Kanye West says he would've voted for Trump — if he bothered to vote at all

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