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Mark Zuckerberg hits back at 'The Social Network' screenwriter with his own words: 'America isn't easy' (FB)


The American President (movie)

  • On Thursday, the writer of "The Social Network"— the movie about Facebook's founding— published a scathing letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in The New York Times.
  • "You and I want speech protections to make sure no one gets imprisoned or killed for saying or writing something unpopular, not to ensure that lies have unfettered access to the American electorate," Aaron Sorkin wrote in response to the recent announcement from Facebook that it won't fact check political ads run on its services.
  • Zuckerberg responded to Sorkin's criticism on Thursday with a quote from Sorkin's movie, "The American President," which speaks to the difficulty of policing speech.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In a rare direct response to a critic, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went after acclaimed director/screenwriter Aaron Sorkin on Thursday.

Rather than penning his own response, though, Zuckerberg retaliated by using Sorkin's own words against him.

"America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say: You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours,"Zuckerberg posted on Facebook on Thursday afternoon.

It was a direct response to Sorkin's op-ed, published in the New York Times Thursday morning, criticizing Facebook and its famous founder for not doing enough to combat misinformation on the platform.

Zuckerberg, in other words, was calling Sorkin a hypocrite. 

The Social Network

Zuckerberg pulled the quote from the 1995 film "The American President," directed by Rob Reiner and written by Sorkin. It's a speech from near the end of the movie, given by Michael Douglas to a room full of reporters in the White House's West Wing.

In the speech, Douglas passionately details the nuances of defending free speech in the United States.

"You want to claim this land as the land of the free?" Douglas asks. "Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the land of the free."

The backstory

There's some history between these two, given that Sorkin wrote the screenplay for "The Social Network," the 2010 movie loosely based on Zuckerberg's creation of Facebook.

In Thursday's op-ed, Sorkin criticized Zuckerberg's repeated defense of Facebook's political ad policy. The policy, which has come under fire from users, lawmakers, and other tech companies, states that Facebook won't police political advertising on Facebook — even if those ads contain outright lies.

Mark Zuckerberg at Georgetown University

"Right now, on your website, is an ad claiming that Joe Biden gave the Ukrainian attorney general a billion dollars not to investigate his son," Sorkin wrote in the op-ed. "Every square inch of that is a lie and it's under your logo. That's not defending free speech, Mark, that's assaulting truth."

In a speech at Georgetown University earlier this month, Zuckerberg argued that Facebook's political ad policy is build around Facebook's interest in preserving free speech. 

"We don't fact-check political ads," he said. "We don't do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying. And if content is newsworthy, we also won't take it down even if it would otherwise conflict with many of our standards."

Sorkin pushed back on that standard in his open letter to Zuckerberg on Thursday. 

"This can't possibly be the outcome you and I want, to have crazy lies pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together," Sorkin wrote. "Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and our children's lives."

In 2016, political ads with misinformation — in addition to work by Russia's Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm — aimed to influence American elections, including the US presidential election.

Though Facebook profits from political ads sold on its massive social networks, COO Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview on Wednesday with Bloomberg that a very small portion of ad revenue comes from political ads.

Sheryl Sandberg

"We're not doing it because of the money," she said. "This is less than 1% of our revenue and the revenue is not worth the controversy."

Instead, she said, it's a measure of Facebook's belief in free speech — and political advertising "can be an important part of that." 

Zuckerberg made a similar argument during his speech at Georgetown, that Facebook allowing political ads would "ensure people can see primary source speech from political figures that shapes civic discourse."

Sorkin took issue with that argument as well. "You and I want speech protections to make sure no one gets imprisoned or killed for saying or writing something unpopular, not to ensure that lies have unfettered access to the American electorate," Sorkin wrote.

A representative for Aaron Sorkin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Check out the full speech from "The American President" right here:

SEE ALSO: The author of 'The Social Network' just wrote a scathing op-ed criticizing Facebook's political ad policy

Join the conversation about this story »

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Everything we know about Taylor Swift's mysterious boyfriend and muse, Joe Alwyn


taylor swift and joe alwyn

  • Taylor Swift has been dating Joe Alwyn since at least 2016.
  • Like Swift, he maintains a relatively private and mysterious public persona, giving few interviews.
  • He's an actor who got his big break with 2016's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" and has a growing career as a model.
  • He also starred in "The Favourite,""Mary Queen of Scots," and "Boy Erased."
  • Alwyn currently stars alongside Cynthia Erivo in "Harriet," a film about abolitionist Harriet Tubman. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.


Taylor Swift's current boyfriend and likely muse is Joe Alwyn, an actor and model.

The two have been dating since at least fall of 2016, shortly after Swift broke up with her previous boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston, but the precise timing is still uncertain.

Like Swift, Alwyn is in tight control of his media persona. He's given a few interviews in the past year (mainly discussing his roles in "The Favourite,""Mary Queen of Scots," and "Boy Erased") but is careful to conceal details about his relationship. The British actor also stars alongside Cynthia Erivo in "Harriet," a new film about abolitionist Harriet Tubman. 

Here are eight key things to know about Alwyn. 

He got his big acting break with "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk."

Alwyn acted in London's theater scene for a few years before starring in Ang Lee's 2016 follow-up to "Life of Pi." As a war satire, it was set up to be an Oscar contender, but all of that changed when critics actually watched it.

Nonetheless, Alwyn's performance was praised. He went on to have a role on "The Sense of an Ending," released in 2017 to good reviews. 

Alwyn lives a low-key life.

Before the news broke that he was dating Taylor Swift, Alwyn had just 3,000 Twitter followers, which he used only to promote "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." He doesn't use Instagram too often, despite now having more than 200,000 followers. Until 2018, he was living at home with his parents. Swift reportedly went on dates with him while wearing a wig to protect their privacy. 

His parents taught him to love movies.

Alwyn's father is a documentary filmmaker who made films in "crisis zones,"as Alwyn described. His mother is a psychotherapist. Both of them introduced him to the world of movies and theater.

"I've always grown up with [my father] showing me films and I've always loved going to the cinema,"Alwyn told People. "And my mum had taken me to the theater a lot, so I always wanted to be a part of that world in some way but didn't quite know how or how to go about it."

In high school, Alwyn dabbled in theater and then studied drama in college. Afterward, he went to the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama for three years to study acting.

Some songs on "Reputation" and Swift's most recent album, "Lover," reference him.

As long as Taylor Swift has been writing love songs, her fans have scrutinized them to figure out which real-life men they might be about.

Because Swift is dating Alwyn right now, her fans have peered into the lyrics of her songs from her last album, "Reputation" to figure out whether they're about him.

For "Gorgeous" (from her "Reputation" album), there are some clues that the song may be about her love for his looks, but the details don't totally line up with reality. And for "Call It What You Want," it's also possible that the song is about their relationship, but the precise meanings are still obscure.

Swift's "Lover" album, which was released in August 2019, has clearer nods to the British actor. On the title track, the singer says that she's "loved you for three summers now, honey, but I want 'em all."

She also talks about marriage on the song "Paper Rings" and details the places they visited in England on "London Boy." 

Ed Sheeran approves.

In an October interview, Sheeran, one of Swift's longtime friends and artistic collaborators, said Alwyn was a good guy.

"He's really nice. Really, really friendly, really good dude,"Sheeran said. "They are very much in love, they have quite a low-key relationship, which Taylor likes. It's normal, and no one really knows about it right now."

Sheeran said their relationship is profoundly normal.

"They just work out, watch movies together and invite friends over," Sheeran said. "Taylor loves to cook and bake for him. They are still taking it slow."

The couple also attended Sheeran's Jingle Ball performance in December 2018, one of their few public appearances together.

Prada made him the face of its spring and summer 2018 menswear collection.

The actor modeled for the fashion brand's menswear line.

He did a modeling photo shoot with Gigi Hadid.

Alwyn's Prada campaign isn't his first modeling gig. For the September 2016 issue of Vogue, Alwyn modeled with Swift's friend Gigi Hadid. Some Swift fans theorize that the couple met through the Hadid connection.

He auditioned for the role of Sam in "Love Actually."

Alwyn told GQ UK that he recalled "reading some scenes" with star Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis, the film's director and writer. 

The role of Liam Neeson's on-screen son ultimately went to Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who's now known for his role as Newt in the "Maze Runner" movies. 

Oscar winner Errol Morris says he considered quitting filmmaking after the reaction to his Steve Bannon documentary. A year later, it's finally being released.


Errol Morris AP

  • Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris spoke to Business Insider about his journey to get his new movie, "American Dharma," to theaters.
  • The movie is an interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and most in the industry didn't want any part of it. Morris said he was told the movie was "toxic." (Distribution company Utopia eventually bought it.)
  • Morris didn't hold back in describing how frustrating the process has been. He even thought of quitting filmmaking.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


Errol Morris has had enough.

Since the Oscar-winning documentarian received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival last September following the world premiere of his latest movie, "American Dharma"— in which he interviews former executive executive chairman of Breitbart News and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon — everything has gone downhill.

Distributors refused to buy the movie because, according to Morris, they thought it was "toxic"; Morris' tactics as a filmmaker and motives for making the movie were questioned on social media.

Morris said he's run the gamut of emotions, from defiance (once planning to self distribute the movie) to submission (contemplating quitting filmmaking). Finally in August it was announced that newcomer Utopia would release the movie ("American Dharma" opens in select theaters starting Friday). But the whole experience has left Morris with a bad taste in his mouth about the industry and the country at large.

Morris is known for his in-depth discussions with polarizing political figures.

In 2013, he interviewed the former secretary of defense to President George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, for the movie "The Unknown Known." And in 2003's "The Fog of War," he interviewed Robert McNamara, who was the secretary of defense through the Vietnam War. That movie earned Morris an Oscar — which is why Morris is so puzzled "American Dharma" has received such a venomous reaction. In this film, Morris has heated exchanges with Bannon on topics his critics want him to address, similar to his interviews with McNamara and Rumsfeld. But many felt Morris was more friendly toward Bannon than he was with his previous subjects.

Morris has another theory why he's getting so much heat over the movie: "America has gone crazy."

Business Insider spoke with Morris in New York City earlier this week about his struggle to get "American Dharma" in theaters, why he thinks it's his best movie yet, and how it's more relevant now than a year ago.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Jason Guerrasio: Congrats on people finally being able to see the movie. 

Errol Morris: It shouldn't, if I may be so bold, be amazing. But it is amazing. 

Guerrasio: Does it still boggle your mind that here we are over a year from its Venice premiere and it's finally being seen?

Morris: My mind comes pre-boggled, so maybe not. But that week at the Venice Film Festival had to be one of the weirdest most surreal weeks of my life. The movie received a standing ovation from a very crowded theater at the Venice Film Festival. A long standing ovation, it went through the entire credits. And then it was savaged by a whole number of critics who seemed not even to have looked at the movie. I found it weird. 

Guerrasio: And Bannon was there in Venice at the time, but was not at the premiere. Was it your call to not have him in the theater?

Morris: I didn't want it to be my call one way or the other. I just did not want to be involved. 

Guerrasio: Meaning, you didn't invite him to come to Venice, he just came on his own?

Morris: I believe that when we negotiated a deal with Bannon he was to be given tickets to the first public screening. I hope I remember this correctly. It didn't seem to be a big deal one way or the other. When the time rolled around for the premiere of the film I thought even if we're technically required to give him tickets to the screening I would rather remain out of it. But I'm not going to stand on the stage and share the applause. I'm not going to do interviews with him. What I didn't expect, and maybe I'm an idiot, was how angry people could get over this entire film. The whole thing is too bizarre, even for me and I'm a connoisseur of the bizarre. 

Guerrasio: In February you send out a tweet, "F--k 'em. I'll distribute the movie myself." By that time literally every door had been shut in regards to getting the film distributed?

American Dharma Toronto International Film FestivalMorris: Yes! 

Guerrasio: And what were the reasons given?

Morris: There were many reasons given, and often in this case there were no reasons given. 

Guerrasio: But the last response I could imagine is, "We don't know how to market this movie," because it's pretty obvious how. 

Morris:"We don't know how to market this movie.""We don't want this movie." A word that kept coming up was "deplatforming." And the word "toxic.""This movie is toxic." As if I am feeding the public poison. Literally. "This should not be shown."

Guerrasio: Someone said that, "This should not be shown"?

Morris: People have said everything to me in the last year. I even thought about giving up filmmaking.

Guerrasio: It got to that point?

Morris: It got to that point. Also, I think this is one of my best films. It's something that I believe is an advance in documentary. It's an extension of stuff I've been playing with and working on over all my films for a good number of decades now. So I found it disheartening. Instead of talking about the film I found myself in conversations on if this film should exist. I was at the Nieman Foundation talking to a number of fellows and one woman, before asking to have a selfie with me, said to me, "You know this is not the right way to interview Steve Bannon. You know this." [Pause.] No, I don't! I do now know this. Wrong! 

Guerrasio: Were you ever at a point where you gave the DIY route a serious thought. 

Morris: I did give it a serious thought, but all my movies have been theatrically distributed, why not this one? Look, America has gone crazy. It is a crazy a-- country. 

Guerrasio: Here's what I was thinking this past year while you were going through this: What if you made this movie five years from now? Is this a case where the wound was still too fresh? I feel this would have happened if you talked to Rumsfeld right after he left the Bush administration. 

Morris: I think yes. But does that mean I shouldn't have done it? No. The wound is too fresh and people couldn't believe what happened on election day in 2016. The election was driving everyone crazy. It's still producing such a culture shock in America. I saw myself as, stupid me, doing some good by looking at this. Examining it. Did I anticipate people calling it a "bromance"? No. And I still can't believe it. 


Guerrasio: And you thought timelines was key. You wanted this out during the midterm elections. 

Morris: I thought it could help. And I wanted to weigh in on the midterms and the 2020 election. I thought I could do something useful by making this movie. 

Guerrasio: Do you feel you have missed your window?

Morris: No, he's right back in it. He's an advisor again. (Bannon is the host of a daily online broadcast in defense of Trump during the impeachment inquiry.)

Guerrasio: Oh yeah, I think I read that.

Morris: I'll forgive you, but that's another crazy set of questions I've had to deal with. 

Guerrasio: No, give it to me! I should read up more. 

Morris: When it was first shown in Venice it was, "How dare you make this!" Now people have said to me, "This movie is irrelevant because he's irrelevant." So, okay, all of you just go f--k yourselves. 

Guerrasio: [Laughs.] That's fair. Listen, you are in a no-win situation. 

Morris: I feel he and the issues are still relevant. You know I came to love McNamara even though I think he's a war criminal. And some people hated that movie because some thought I wasn't fair enough to him while others felt I was too fair to him. Rummy was hated, and people hated the movie because he didn't show any remorse. 

Guerrasio: The big difference between those two movies and this is the advent of social media.

Morris: I think that's absolutely correct. Which is part of the story of "American Dharma." And Bannon was the first to figure out social media for political gain, which he's hated for but people should pay attention. Be on guard. You know, Peter Schweizer wrote a book called "Clinton Cash," Bannon mentions it in the movie. It helped in Hillary Clinton losing the election. Schweizer wrote a book after that on the Bidens and the Ukraine. So if you think this isn't still with us you're an idiot. You're an ostrich with your f---ing head in the ground.

SEE ALSO: Netflix's "The Irishman" is a monumental movie that only Martin Scorsese could attempt — and pull off

Join the conversation about this story »

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All 112 of Netflix's notable original movies, ranked from worst to best


bird box

  • Netflix's original movies range from ones that have won Oscars to ones with a 0% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • We turned to Rotten Tomatoes to rank Netflix's notable original movies from best to worst, according to critic reviews.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With the likes of "The Irishman" and "Marriage Story," Netflix is entering the Oscar race with a a handful of potential contenders this year. 

But the streaming giant is still committed to putting out a bevy of original movies outside of the awards arena. For instance, the thriller "Bird Box," starring Sandra Bullock, is the company's most watched movie ever (according to Netflix). Adam Sandler's "Murder Mystery" isn't far behind.

Netflix has a ton of original movies, but to figure out which are actually worth watching, we turned to the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to rank each release by its composite critical reception. We excluded documentaries and any film that didn't have enough reviews to receive a designation of "Rotten" or "Fresh," and we used audience scores to break ties. A few of these are in theaters and haven't yet hit the streaming service.

John Lynch contributed to an earlier version of this post.

Here are 112 of Netflix's original films, ranked from worst to best, according to critics:

SEE ALSO: All 103 of Netflix's notable original shows, ranked from worst to best

112. “The Ridiculous 6” — 0%

Critic score: 0%

Audience score: 33%

Netflix description: "When his outlaw dad is kidnapped, Tommy 'White Knife' Stockburn sets off across the West on a rescue mission with five brothers he never knew he had."

111. “The True Memoirs of an International Assassin” — 0%

Critic score: 0%

Audience score: 43%

Netflix description: "After his publisher markets his crime novel as a memoir, a novice author finds himself forcibly recruited into a deadly political plot in Venezuela."

110. "Father of the Year"— 0%

Critic score: 0%

Audience score: 52%

Netflix description:"A drunken debate between two recent college grads about whose father would win in a fight leads to mayhem."

109. “The Do-Over” — 10%

Critic score: 10%

Audience score: 42%

Netflix description: "The life of a bank manager is turned upside down when a friend from his past manipulates him into faking his own death and taking off on an adventure."

108. "Sextuplets"— 14%

Critic score: 14%

Audience score: 38%

Netflix description:"When a dad-to-be learns he's actually a sextuplet, he sets off on a wild journey to meet his long-lost family. Marlon Wayans stars as all six siblings."

107. "The Kissing Booth"— 17%

Critic score: 17%

Audience score: 61%

Netflix description: "When teenager Elle's first kiss leads to a forbidden romance with the hottest boy in high school, she risks her relationship with her best friend."


106. "The Outsider"— 17%

Critic score: 17%

Audience score: 68%

Netflix description:"A frontier sheriff tries to protect his sadistic son from a Chinese railroad worker hellbent on revenge."

105. "The Cloverfield Paradox"— 18%

Critic score: 18%

Audience score: 43%

Netflix description: "Orbiting above a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality."

104. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” — 19%

Critic score: 19%

Audience score: 38%

Netflix description: "Renowned warrior Yu Shu-Lien comes out of retirement to keep the legendary Green Destiny sword away from villainous warlord Hades Dai."

103. "Mute"— 20%

Critic score: 20%

Audience score: 47%

Netflix description:"When his girlfriend vanishes, a mute man ventures into a near-future Berlin's seamy underworld, where his actions speak louder than words."

102. “Brain on Fire” — 22%

Critic score: 22%

Audience score: 60%

Netflix description: "Struck by a mysterious, mentally devastating illness, a young reporter searches for answers while battling psychosis, catatonia and memory loss."

101. "The Open House"— 23%

Critic score: 23%

Audience score: 8%

Netflix description: "Following a tragedy, a mother and her teen son move to a relative's vacant vacation home, where eerie and unexplained forces conspire against them."

100. "Otherhood"— 26%

Critic score: 26%

Audience score: 58%

Netflix description:"Feeling forgotten on Mother's Day, three best friends leave the suburbs and drive to New York City to surprise their adult sons."

99. "The Week Of"— 27%

Critic score: 27%

Audience score: 34%

Netflix description:"Two fathers with clashing views about their children's upcoming wedding struggle to keep it together during the chaotic week before the big day."

98. "Bright"— 28%

Critic score: 28%

Audience score: 84%

Netflix description: "In an LA rife with interspecies tensions, a human cop and his orc partner stumble on a powerful object and become embroiled in a prophesied turf war."

97. "Step Sisters"— 29%

Critic score: 29%

Audience score: 44%

Netflix description: "With her Harvard Law dreams on the line, a black sorority leader agrees to help a rhythmically challenged sisterhood win a step dance championship."

96. "The Red Sea Diving Resort"— 30%

Critic score: 30%

Audience score: 81%

Netflix description:"Undercover agents open up a fake hotel to real tourists as a cover to help smuggle thousands of Ethiopian refugees to safety. Inspired by true events."

95. "IO"— 31%

Critic score: 31%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description: "As a young scientist searches for a way to save a dying Earth, she finds a connection with a man who's racing to catch the last shuttle off the planet."


94. “Sandy Wexler” — 32%

Critic score: 32%

Audience score: 40%

Netflix description: "When a hapless but dedicated talent manager signs his first client who actually has talent, his career finally starts to take off."

93. "In the Tall Grass"— 38%

Critic score: 38%

Audience score: 42%

Netflix description:"After hearing a boy's cry for help, a pregnant woman and her brother wade into a vast field of grass, only to discover there may be no way out."

92. "Extinction"— 39%

Critic score: 39%

Audience score: 48%

Netflix description:"Plagued by dreams of an alien invasion, a family man faces his worst nightmare when an extraterrestrial force begins exterminating Earth's inhabitants."

91. "The Dirt"— 39%

Critic score: 39%

Audience score: 95%

Netflix description:"In this unflinching biopic based on Mötley Crüe's best-selling book, four LA misfits navigate the monster highs and savage lows of music superstardom."

90. “Death Note” — 40%

Critic score: 40%

Audience score: 25%

Netflix description: "Light Turner finds a supernatural notebook and uses it to mete out death, attracting the attention of a detective, a demon and a girl in his class."

89. "Point Blank"— 41%

Critic score: 41%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description:"To save his pregnant wife, an emergency room nurse unwillingly partners with an injured murder suspect in a race against time and renegade cops."

88. "The Laundromat"— 42%

Critic score: 42%

Audience score: 45%

Netflix description:"When a widow gets swindled out of insurance money, her search for answers leads to two cunning lawyers in Panama who hide cash for the superrich."


87. “ARQ” — 43%

Critic score: 43%

Audience score: 46%

Netflix description: "Trapped in a lab and stuck in a time loop, a disoriented couple fends off masked raiders while harboring a new energy source that could save humanity."

86. "When We First Met"— 43%

Critic score: 43%

Audience score: 57%

Netflix description:"A lovesick guy keeps traveling back in time to win the girl of his dreams."

85. "Tall Girl"— 44%

Critic score: 44%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description:"After years of slouching through life, 6-foot-1 teen Jodi resolves to conquer her insecurities and gets caught up in a high school love triangle."

84. “The Most Hated Woman in America” — 44%

Critic score: 44%

Audience score: 43%

Netflix description: "This drama follows the controversial life of outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, from her landmark court battles to her infamous abduction."

83. "Murder Mystery"— 45%

Critic score: 45%

Audience score: 39%

Netflix description:" On a long-awaited trip to Europe, a New York City cop and his hairdresser wife scramble to solve a baffling murder aboard a billionaire's yacht."

82. "Like Father"— 46%

Critic score: 46%

Audience score: 46%

Netflix description:"After she's left at the altar, a workaholic advertising executive ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her estranged father."


81. "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding"— 47%

Critic score: 47%

Audience score: 28%

Netflix description:"A year after helping Richard secure the crown, Amber returns to Aldovia to plan their wedding. But her simple tastes clash with royal protocol."

80. “The Discovery” — 47%

Critic score: 47%

Audience score: 44%

Netflix description: "A scientist whose proof of an afterlife caused a rash of suicides forges ahead with his research, while his disapproving son falls for a troubled woman."

79. “Sand Castle” — 47%

Critic score: 47%

Audience score: 41%

Netflix description: "After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a reluctant soldier's platoon is dispatched on a dangerous mission to repair a hostile village's water system."

78. "Eli"— 48%

Critic score: 48%

Audience score: 46%

Netflix description:"With his desperate parents in tow, an 11-year-old boy with a debilitating illness checks into an isolated clinic to undergo experimental therapy."

77. "American Son"— 50%

Critic score: 50%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description:"Time passes and tension mounts in a Florida police station as an estranged interracial couple awaits news of their missing teenage son.


76. “Mascots” — 50%

Critic score: 50%

Audience score: 35%

Netflix description: "Eager contestants don big heads and furry suits to vie for the title of World's Best Mascot in this offbeat, comic romp from Christopher Guest."

75. “War Machine” — 51%

Critic score: 51%

Audience score: 34%

Netflix description: "When a proud general is tasked with winning an unpopular war, he takes the challenge head-on, not knowing that hubris may be his own worst enemy."

74. "Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle"— 52%

Critic score: 52%

Audience score: 53%

Netflix description:"An orphaned boy raised by animals in the jungle seizes his destiny while confronting a dangerous enemy — and his own human origins."

73. “Shimmer Lake” — 57%

Critic score: 57%

Audience score: 59%

Netflix description: "Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother."

72. "The Highwaymen"— 57%

Critic score: 57%

Audience score: 74%

Netflix description:"Two steely former Texas Rangers are tasked with tracking and killing infamous criminals Bonnie and Clyde in this crime drama based on real events."

71. "Fractured"— 58%

Critic score: 58%

Audience score: 43%

Netflix description:"After his wife and injured daughter disappear from an ER, a man conducts a panicked search and becomes convinced the hospital is hiding something."

70. "Christmas Inheritance"— 60%

Critic score: 60%

Audience score: 31%

Netflix description: "To inherit her father's company, socialite Ellen must first visit his small hometown, where she learns the value of hard work and helping others."

69. “iBoy” — 60%

Critic score: 60%

Audience score: 40%

Netflix description: "When shards of a cell phone get lodged in a teenager's brain, he discovers he can control electronic devices and uses his newfound power for revenge."

68. “The Siege of Jadotville” — 60%

Critic score: 60%

Audience score: 71%

Netflix description: "Besieged by overwhelming enemy forces, Irish soldiers on a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Africa valiantly defend their outpost in this true story."

67. "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser"— 61%

Critic score: 61%

Audience score: 32%

Netflix description:"A wrong-number text sparks a virtual romance between a smart but unpopular teen and a sweet jock who thinks he's talking to a gorgeous cheerleader."

66. “Small Crimes” — 62%

Critic score: 62%

Audience score: 29%

Netflix description: "After serving a six-year prison sentence, an ex-cop tries to rebuild his life in his hometown, but gets caught up in the fallout from his past."

65. "The Polka King"— 62%

Critic score: 62%

Audience score: 57%

Netflix description: "Determined to make it big in America, Polish-born bandleader Jan Lewan draws his fans into a Ponzi scheme in this comedy based on a true story."

64. "Outlaw King"— 62%

Critic score: 62%

Audience score: 67%

Netflix description:"Outmanned. Outmatched. Outlawed. For freedom, honor and family, a rebel king takes on the mightiest army in the world."

63. "Velvet Buzzsaw"— 63%

Critic score: 63%

Audience score: 36%

Netflix description: "A feared critic, an icy gallery owner and an ambitious assistant snap up a recently deceased artist's stash of paintings — with dire consequences."


62. "Bird Box"— 63%

Critic score: 63%

Audience score: 58%

Netflix description:"Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety." 

61. "A Futile and Stupid Gesture"— 63%

Critic score: 63%

Audience score: 72%

Netflix description: "In a brief life full of triumph and failure, 'National Lampoon' co-founder Doug Kenney built a comedy empire, molding pop culture in the 1970s."

60. "Wine Country"— 66%

Critic score: 66%

Audience score: 30%

Netflix description:"When longtime friends meet up for a wine-soaked birthday getaway in Napa Valley, their perfectly planned weekend turns messier by the minute."

59. “To The Bone” — 66%

Critic score: 66%

Audience score: 64%

Netflix description: "Ellen, a 20-year-old with anorexia nervosa, goes on a harrowing, sometimes funny journey of self-discovery at a group home run by an unusual doctor."

58. "Come Sunday"— 68%

Critic score: 68%

Audience score: 59%

Netflix description: "A crisis of faith sets renowned fundamentalist preacher Carlton Pearson on a new spiritual path that jeopardizes everything he holds dear."


57. "The Christmas Chronicles"— 68%

Critic score: 68%

Audience score: 78%

Netflix description:"After accidentally crashing Santa's sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick."

56. "The Perfect Date"— 69%

Critic score: 69%

Audience score: 38%

Netflix description:"To earn money for college, a high schooler launches an app offering his services as a fake date. But when real feelings emerge, things get complicated."


55. "Roxanne Roxanne"— 70%

Critic score: 70%

Audience score: 61%

Netflix description:"She grew up in a tough New York neighborhood in the '80s and made history with 'Roxanne's Revenge.' The story of teen battle rap champ Roxanne Shanté. 

54. “XOXO” — 71%

Critic score: 71%

Audience score: 53%

Netflix description: "The lives of a budding DJ, his loyal pal, a hopeless romantic, a jaded has-been and a troubled couple intersect at an electronic dance music festival."

53. "Hold the Dark"— 72%

Critic score: 72%

Audience score: 31%

Netflix description:"In the grim Alaskan winter, a naturalist hunts for wolves blamed for killing a local boy, but he soon finds himself swept into a chilling mystery."

52. “A Very Murray Christmas” — 73%

Critic score: 73%

Audience score: 36%

Netflix description: "Bill Murray rounds up an all-star cast for an evening of music, mischief and barroom camaraderie in this irreverent twist on holiday variety shows."

51. "Triple Frontier"— 73%

Critic score: 72%

Audience score: 55%

Netflix description:"Loyalties are tested when five former special forces operatives reunite to steal a drug lord's fortune, unleashing a chain of unintended consequences. "

50. "The King"— 72%

Critic score: 72%

Audience score: 85%

Netflix description:"Wayward Prince Hal must turn from carouser to warrior king as he faces hostilities from inside and outside the castle walls in the battle for England."

49. "The Perfection"— 73%

Critic score: 73%

Audience score: 58%

Netflix description:"In this twisty horror-thriller, a once-promising music prodigy reconnects with her former mentors, only to find them taken with a talented new pupil."

48. "The Princess Switch"— 75%

Critic score: 75%

Audience score: 48%

Netflix description:"When a down-to-earth Chicago baker and a soon-to-be princess discover they look like twins, they hatch a Christmastime plan to trade places."

47. “The Babysitter” — 75%

Critic score: 75%

Audience score: 60%

Netflix description: "When Cole stays up past his bedtime, he discovers that his hot babysitter is part of a satanic cult that will stop at nothing to keep him quiet."

46. "Between Two Ferns: The Movie"— 77%

Critic score: 77%

Audience score: 42%

Netflix description:"Armed with awkward questions and zero self-awareness, Zach Galifianakis hits the road to find famous interview subjects for his no-budget talk show."


45. “The Fundamentals of Caring” — 77%

Critic score: 77%

Audience score: 83%

Netflix description: "In this inspirational buddy comedy, a young shut-in and his caregiver take a road trip in search of landmarks, but end up finding hope and friendship."

44. “Spectral” — 80%

Critic score: 80%

Audience score: 51%

Netflix description: "When an otherworldly force wreaks havoc on a war-torn European city, an engineer teams up with an elite Special Ops unit to stop it."

43. "Apostle"— 80%

Critic score: 80%

Audience score: 54%

Netflix description:" In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island."

42. “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” — 80%

Critic score: 80%

Audience score: 62%

Netflix description: "A chance encounter with a mysterious stranger points Pee-wee toward his destiny — and his first-ever holiday!"

41. "Juanita"— 80%

Critic score: 80%

Audience score: 65%

Netflix description:"Burdened by troubles in life and love, a mother of three grown children searches for hope and healing on an impromptu trip to Paper Moon, Montana."


40. "22 July"— 80%

Critic score: 80%

Audience score: 69%

Netflix description: "After devastating terror attacks in Norway, a young survivor, grieving families and the country rally for justice and healing. Based on a true story. "

39. “Barry” — 81%

Critic score: 81%

Audience score: 53%

Netflix description: "A young Barack Obama forges his identity while dealing with race, divergent cultures and ordinary life as a New York City college student."

38. "Someone Great"— 82%

Critic score: 82%

Audience score: 64%

Netflix description:"She's moving across the country ... and her boyfriend is officially moving on. Let the boozy bestie debauchery begin."

37. "A Christmas Prince"— 83%

Critic score: 83%

Audience score: 49%

Netflix description: "Christmas comes early for an aspiring young journalist when she's sent abroad to get the scoop on a dashing prince who's poised to be king."

36. "The Other Side of the Wind"— 83%

Critic score: 83%

Audience score: 57%

Netflix description:"On the last day of his life, a legendary director struggles to complete a new project and contemplates his legacy in this layered film by Orson Welles."

35. “Tallulah” — 84%

Critic score: 84%

Audience score: 69%

Netflix description: "While searching for her ex-boyfriend, a young drifter impulsively kidnaps a baby from a neglectful mother and pretends the child is her own."

34. "The Land of Steady Habits"— 86%

Critic score: 86%

Audience score: 48%

Netflix description:"After leaving his wife and his job to find happiness, Anders begins a clumsy, heartbreaking quest to reassemble the pieces of his fractured life."

33. "6 Balloons"—86%

Critic score: 86%

Audience score: 54%

Netflix description:"A loyal sister struggles to stay afloat while driving her heroin-addicted brother to a detox center and looking after his 2-year-old daughter."

32. “1922” — 86%

Critic score: 86%

Audience score: 57%

Netflix description: "A farmer pens a confession admitting to his wife's murder, but her death is just the beginning of a macabre tale. Based on Stephen King's novella."

31. “Burning Sands” — 86%

Critic score: 86%

Audience score: 63%

Netflix description: "Promising student Zurich opens his eyes to some hard truths when his fraternity's violent hazing escalates into a disastrous hell night."

30. “The Incredible Jessica James” — 86%

Critic score: 86%

Audience score: 67%

Netflix description: "Burned by a bad breakup, a struggling New York City playwright makes an unlikely connection with a divorced app designer she meets on a blind date."

29. “Okja” — 85%

Critic score: 86%

Audience score: 81%

Netflix description: "A gentle giant and the girl who raised her are caught in the crossfire between animal activism, corporate greed and scientific ethics."

28. “Wheelman” — 88%

Critic score: 87%

Audience score: 67%

Netflix description: "The getaway driver in a botched robbery puts his skills and smarts to the test when he receives shocking orders from an unknown caller."

27. "Cargo"— 88%

Critic score: 88%

Audience score: 66%

Netflix description:"Amid a terrifying pandemic, a father searches the wilds of Australia for someone willing to protect and care for his infant daughter."

26. “I Don’t Feel at Home In This World Anymore” — 88%

Critic score: 88%

Audience score: 77%

Netflix description: "A timid nursing assistant gets a new lease on life when she and a neighborhood loner track down the degenerates who broke into her house."

25. “Little Evil” — 89%

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 41%

Netflix description: "In this horror-comedy, a recently married man who wants to bond with his stepson begins to fear that the boy is a demon."

24. “Win It All” — 89%

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 56%

Netflix description: "After losing $50,000 that wasn't his, gambling addict Eddie starts to rebuild his life. But an unwelcome surprise pushes him toward his old ways."

23. “First They Killed My Father” — 89%

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 81%

Netflix description: "A 5-year-old girl embarks on a harrowing quest for survival amid the sudden rise and terrifying reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia."

22. "The Night Comes For Us"— 89%

Critic score: 89%

Audience score: 84%

Netflix description: "After sparing a girl's life during a massacre, an elite Triad assassin is targeted by an onslaught of murderous gangsters."


21. "The Two Popes"— 90%

Critic score: 90%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description: "Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce star in this intimate look at a historic turning point in the Catholic Church."

20. "Always Be My Maybe"— 90%

Critic score: 90%

Audience score: 82%

Netflix description:"Reunited after 15 years, famous chef Sasha and hometown musician Marcus feel the old sparks of attraction but struggle to adapt to each other's worlds." 

19. "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie"

Critic score: 90%

Audience score: 82%

Netflix description:"Fugitive Jesse Pinkman attempts to outrun his past. Written and directed by 'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan, starring Aaron Paul."

18. . “Gerald’s Game” — 91%

Critic score: 91%

Audience score: 71%

Netflix description: "When her husband's sex game goes wrong, Jessie — handcuffed to a bed in a remote lake house — faces warped visions, dark secrets and a dire choice."

17. "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"— 91%

Critic score: 91%

Audience score: 77%

Netflix description:"Ranging from absurd to profound, these Western vignettes from the Coen brothers follow the adventures of outlaws and settlers on the American frontier."

16. “Beasts of No Nation” — 91%

Critic score: 91%

Audience score: 92%

Netflix description: "When civil war tears his family apart, a young West African boy is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters and transform into a child soldier."

15. "High Flying Bird"— 92%

Critic score: 92%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description:"When an NBA lockout sidelines his big rookie client, an agent hatches a bold plan to save their careers — and disrupt the league's power structure."


14. “Deidra & Laney Rob a Train” — 92%

Critic score: 92%

Audience score: 57%

Netflix description: "With their mother in jail and bills piling up, ambitious small-town teens Deidra and Laney plot a series of train robberies to keep themselves afloat."

13. "Set It Up"— 92%

Critic score: 92%

Audience score: 69%

Netflix description:"In desperate need of a break from the office, two beleaguered assistants team up to trick their workaholic bosses into falling in love."

12. “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” — 92%

Critic score: 92%

Audience score: 73%

Netflix description: "Grudges and rivalries abound as three adult siblings converge in New York to contend with their prickly artist father — and his fading legacy."

11. “Imperial Dreams” — 92%

Critic score: 92%

Audience score: 83%

Netflix description: "A young father returns home from jail eager to care for his son and become a writer, but crime, poverty and a flawed system threaten his plans."

10. "Cam"— 93%

Critic score: 93%

Audience score: 55%

Netflix description:"After a look-alike takes over her account, a cam girl with a growing fan base sets out to identify the mysterious culprit and reclaim her own identity."

9. "Private Life"— 94%

Critic score: 94%

Audience score: 76%

Netflix description:"Struggling to conceive, a couple in their 40s are almost out of options — until a sliver of hope arrives in the form of their visiting step-niece."

8. "See You Yesterday"— 95%

Critic score: 95%

Audience score: 30%

Netflix description: "They're geniuses on the brink of solving time travel. But when tragedy strikes, they'll only have so many chances to outwit fate."

7. “Tramps” — 95%

Critic score: 95%

Audience score: 74%

Netflix description: "Pulled into a shady briefcase swap for different reasons, young strangers Danny and Ellie spend an eventful night together when the deal goes wrong."

6. "The Irishman"— 96%

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description:"Martin Scorsese's epic saga of organized crime in postwar America, as told by a hit man, stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci."

5. "Roma"— 96%

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: 71%

Netflix description:"Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional portrait of a domestic worker's journey set against domestic and political turmoil in 1970s Mexico."


4. “Mudbound” — 96%

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: 86%

Netflix description: "In racially divided post-World War II Mississippi, two men — one black and one white — forge a friendship based on their shared war experiences."

3. "Marriage Story"— 97%

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: N/A

Netflix description:"Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach directs this incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together."

2. "To All the Boys I've Loved Before"— 97%

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 87%

Netflix description:"Five intense crushes. Five soul-baring love letters. She never planned to mail them. Now they're out. Life, as she knows it, is over."

1. "Dolemite Is My Name"— 97%

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 91%

Netflix description:"In 1970s LA, struggling comedian Rudy Ray Moore hits it big with his raunchy alter ego, Dolemite, then risks it all to take his act to the big screen."

'Terminator: Dark Fate' director describes his big argument with James Cameron about time travel


Terminator Dark Fate Tim Miller Paramount

  • "Terminator: Dark Fate" director Tim Miller told Business Insider he had a disagreement with James Cameron on a time-travel element.
  • Cameron wanted the movie to look at the first time a Terminator went back in time to kill its target, while Miller felt it wouldn't work.
  • Miller eventually won out, as some of the plot points just wouldn't have made sense if they went the way in the story Cameron wanted to.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warning: Spoilers below if you haven't seen "Terminator: Dark Fate."

There's no question that Tim Miller is happy he had James Cameron by his side while making "Terminator: Dark Fate." Cameron, who created the beloved franchise, addressed any question Miller had and helped in tough negotiations, like getting Linda Hamilton to agree to return to the franchise as Sarah Connor for the first time since "Terminator 2: Judgement Day."

But that doesn't mean Miller and Cameron always saw eye-to-eye.

Miller told Business Insider that one of the biggest disagreements between the two was about a time-travel element in the movie.

Like in the first "Terminator" movie Cameron made back in 1984, in "Dark Fate" an unstoppable killing machine goes back in time with a mission to kill someone who brings hope to the future. That person is Dani Ramos (played by Natalia Reyes), who we learn is the leader of the resistance in the future.

"The biggest discussion with Jim was at some point there has to be a first time that someone comes from the future,"Miller told Business Insider. "Is Dani a natural in this movie? Is everything that's happening to her happening for the first time?"

James CameronMiller said Cameron was very much in the camp of having "Dark Fate" showcase the first time a Terminator shows up to try to take out Dani. However, Miller was not on board.

"I immediately knew we couldn't do it," he said. "Jim really wanted to try to do that and eventually he came around. It wouldn't have worked."

Miller said a big reason for that was because there were certain plot points in the movie that only worked if this was not the first time past Dani's life was turned upside down.

For instance, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), the cyborg soldier from the future who goes back in time to protect Dani from the Terminator, has exact coordinates tattooed on her body of where she has to take Dani (turns out those coordinates lead her to the last T-800 model in existence, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger).

"Future Dani wouldn't know all of that stuff if this was the first time," Miller said.

Miller did say, however, there was something he and Cameron were very much in sync about: keeping the time-travel element as simple to understand as possible.

"I don't believe the audience wants to hear a lot of exposition and theoretical talk about time travel," he said.

SEE ALSO: Ray Romano was very anxious acting across from Robert De Niro in "The Irishman," but says the de-aging dots on the legend's face weren't distracting

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'Terminator: Dark Fate' is a bust at the box office, taking in only $29 million


Terminator Dark Fate Linda Hamilton Paramount

  • "Terminator: Dark Fate" opened with an estimated $29 million at the domestic box office.
  • That's below the $30 million-plus the industry projected it to make.
  • Its opening is on par with the franchise's last entry, 2015's "Terminator Genisys," which brought in $27 million.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Terminator: Dark Fate" was supposed to breathe new life into the franchise with the return of its creator James Cameron as a producer and Linda Hamilton as its star for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day." But none of that helped.

The sixth movie in the franchise brought in an estimated $29 million over the weekend at the domestic box office (not good for a movie budgeted at north of $180 million), which won the weekend box office but is below the high $30 million to low $40 million projected opening the industry had for it. Instead, it's on par with what the last movie in the franchise made, 2015's "Terminator Genisys," which opened at $27 million over July 4th weekend (though the movie earned over $440 million worldwide, it only made $90 million in North America). The global cume is $101.9 million.

This was hardly the plan Paramount/Skydance Media had for the movie, which was supposed to be a relaunch of the franchise. With James Cameron coming on the project and wrangling Hamilton, the plan was made to scrap "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,""Terminator Salvation," and "Terminator Genisys" from the history of the franchise and have "Dark Fate" take place after "Judgement Day." Basically being part three.

Terminator Dark Fate Paramount

But no canon tweaking helped. It seems audiences are truly tired of this franchise.

And behind the scenes, director Tim Miller had to deal with the demands that come with working with Cameron and a studio uncertain with what it had. Miller told Business Insider he and Cameron had a disagreement about an element of the movie's time travel plot, and it wasn't decided until the movie was in post production if it was to be released as an R-rated movie or PG-13 (R won out). There was even talk of there being a simultaneous release in both ratings.

The irony is that critics were kinder to this movie than the last few. The score for "Dark Fate" on Rotten Tomatoes is at 69%, which is a franchise-best since "Rise of the Machines" (also a 69% score). 

However, that score on the lower side of fresh might have been a deciding factor for the non-franchise die hards. Six movies in (let's face it, the franchise has done six movies), it has become clear the general audience is not motivated to go to the theaters to see "Terminator" movies anymore.

In the era of streaming, don't be surprised if future chapters move from the big screen to a streamer.

Box office highlights:

  • Warner Bros.' "Joker" has grossed over $900 million worldwide ($934 million).
  • Focus Features' "Harriet" bests projections and earns $12 million its opening weekend.
  • Neon's "Parasite" expanded to 461 screens. The award contended has earned over $7.5 million to date.


SEE ALSO: "Terminator: Dark Fate" director takes us behind the scenes on the franchise reboot, from the debate over an R rating to a disagreement with James Cameron over time travel

Join the conversation about this story »

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The reviews for 'Harriet' are in — and critics say Cynthia Erivo does the abolitionist justice while the rest of the movie doesn't


harriet movie cynthia erivo 2

  • Reviews for "Harriet" say that Cynthia Erivo is fantastic playing Harriet Tubman, even if the rest of the movie seems rote.
  • Critics generally agree that the movie's biopic formula is serviceable at best, even as the performances are strong.
  • Some take issue with how much of the narrative is dramatized while keeping the brutality of slavery in the background.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Harriet" is out this weekend. And along with shaking up the best actress Oscar race, it's attracted some controversy for how it depicts Harriet Tubman's story.

Most critics have praised Cynthia Erivo's performance as Tubman, viewing it as a powerful portrayal of the former slave and abolitionist who defied death and smuggled dozens of slaves to freedom. It's also a welcome return behind the camera for Kasi Lemmons, best known for directing "Eve's Bayou" and "Black Nativity."

But it has also received more lukewarm reception, with many critics viewing it as a cookie-cutter biopic. And on Twitter, one user who refuses to watch the movie has gone viral for criticizing it as a "white savior" movie, even though no critics who have actually seen the movie have described it as such.

Here's what critics are saying about "Harriet."

It's great that this movie exists in the first place.

"Despite Tubman's eventful and significant life, which most famously included a decade as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, leading slaves to freedom in the years leading up to the Civil War, she has never been the subject of a big screen biopic before. So, as directed by Kasi Lemmons, who co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard, "Harriet" is significant for the story it tells as much as if not more so than for the way it tells it. It's an important and involving event because a mainstream, traditional film on this woman is way past long overdue."— Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times

...but it's a shame the story is wrapped in the biopic formula.

"Guided by an energizing gospel soundtrack, Tubman's quest settles into inspiration-by-the-numbers as her operation gains momentum and she delivers a series of rousing speeches about the mission at hand ... Still, the generic tropes of this old-school historical drama grow repetitive as the movie creeps toward a climactic showdown between Tubman and her former overseer. More than 20 years after 'Eve's Bayou,' Lemmons has made her most conventional work, a feat of sturdy craftsmanship and performance with no fancy tricks."— Eric Kohn at Indiewire

harriet movie cynthia erivo 1

The movie isn't as important as it needs to be.

"'Harriet' brings up a lot of questions about the purpose of slavery epics. Are they meant to entertain or to challenge? What is the purpose of a glossy, superheroic rendition of one of America's most terrifying sins? How informative or realistic does it need to be? There are no easy answers to these questions, but 'Harriet' only highlights how this genre can fail despite the so-called important nature of the picture and a talented black director at the helm."— Angelica Jade Bastién at Vulture

Erivo is a fantastic leading actress.

"Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. Denzel Washington as Malcolm X. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. Hollywood loves an iconic biopic performance, but it's long snubbed one of our country's most badass historical icons. Cynthia Erivo's towering performance in 'Harriet' changes all that. As the woman who escaped slavery in Maryland only to risk her life countless times going back to rescue fellow slaves, this British star of Broadway brings a gravity to the role that all but guarantees Oscar will come calling."— Sara Stewart at the New York Post

Janelle Monáe and Leslie Odom Jr. are also great in supporting roles.

"Continuing with the glowing praise as it relates to casting, the combination of Janelle Monáe and Leslie Odom Jr. are so good in this movie, I can't stand it. Odom features as William Still, a free man helping escaped slaves. Odom is a breath of fresh air in the part, injecting not only a likable sense of comedy, but a definite and palpable chemistry with Erivo. Meanwhile, Monáe is just… fabulous. That is all that can be said. It is her world, and we're all just living in it."— Kimberly Pierce at Geek Girl Authority

harriet movie 3

The movie makes Tubman seem mythical, which makes her impersonal.

"The result is a portrayal that's so safe, so unwilling to take risks, and so earnest in telling its audience that Tubman was an American hero that it forgets to give the woman a personality. In 'Harriet,' Tubman gets to be determined, psychic, briefly heartbroken — and that's about it. I daresay Tubman got better treatment in an episode of 'Drunk History.'"— Soraya Nadia McDonald at The Undefeated

The story is made more exciting by using thriller-like setpieces.

"Director Lemmons frames many of Harriet's harrowing rescue missions in fast-paced, quick-cut style, as if we're watching a modern-day action movie, complete with a rousing albeit heavy-handed score from Terence Blanchard. (One narrow escape in particular defies plausibility and relies almost completely on a group of slave trackers being incredibly thick-headed — but it's still a kick to see the villains outsmarted again and again.)"— Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times

It also glosses over the brutality of slavery, treating it as context but not depicting it.

"The movie's depictions of slavery are predominantly passive. Throughout the film the escaped slaves talk about — and show — the scars from beatings. Harriet talks about her skull being fractured at a young age by an overseer. However, a truly important part of this narrative is the horror of slavery and in the film's handling of it, some punches are definitely pulled. Would a more pointed handling of the topic have detracted from the narrative story? That's difficult to tell as hindsight is twenty-twenty. Perspective is incredibly important to a movie like 'Harriet' and as is, it is a very uplifting and powerful story; however, it runs the risk of being an overly Hollywoodized retelling, and this falls to the audience to know their expectations. "— Kimberly Piece at Geek Girl Authority

kasi lemmons harriet movie

The movie keeps the violence restrained.

"The chases are suspenseful, and the violence is fairly restrained. The pain of enslavement is written on Erivo's face and on the scarred bodies of the people Harriet brings out of bondage, but the full brutality of the masters and their minions is more implied than shown. "Harriet" isn't an immersion in horror like Steve McQueen's 'Twelve Years a Slave,' and it doesn't have the imaginative sweep and complexity of literary depictions of slavery like Edward P. Jones's 'The Known World,' Colson Whitehead's 'Underground Railroad,' or Toni Morrison's 'Beloved.' It is more like one of those biographies of historical figures intended for young readers: accessible, emotionally direct and artfully simplified."— A.O. Scott at the New York Times

The script introduces too much fake drama.

"Tubman carried a pistol, as this film's protagonist does, but her principal weapon was stealth. The script — co-written by Gregory Allen Howard, whose 'Remember the Titans' was almost entirely fiction — invents dramatic confrontations with slave holders and trackers. These would likely have turned out much worse for Tubman that they do here. But the principal reason they feel false is that they play like bits lifted from random chase flicks, not history. Tubman is even given a moment where she rides off on a white horse."— Mark Jenkins at NPR

harriet movie 4

'Harriet' goes way too heavy on the saccharine score.

"This is Tubman's story, not a comprehensive overview of the movement. But the film expresses implicit doubt that said story can stand on its own, overrelying on Terence Blanchard's score to dictate emotional cues and cutting away to a parallel storyline involving Gideon, who the movie uses as an all-purpose representation of slavery's evils and a sounding board at which Harriet can direct her declarations about the importance of freedom."— Roxana Hadadi at the AV Club

It's a nuanced look at the schisms within the black community at the time.

"Part of what proves interesting about 'Harriet,' even as you feel the film narrowing itself to the didactic needs of historical biopics, is the size of its thematic canvas. This isn't merely a movie about the path from slavery to freedom. It's a movie about the tensions between blacks who were born free versus those who were born in chains, about the gendered work of abolitionism, about laws shifting under the nation's feet and paving the path to Civil War, making the lives of the formerly enslaved more dangerous by the minute."— K. Austin Collins at Vanity Fair

"Harriet" is in theaters now.

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You can now rent Harry Potter's childhood home for the night on Airbnb


Harry Potter house 1

  • It is now possible to stay the night in the childhood home of Harry Potter.
  • Located in the English village of Lavenham, Suffolk, the De Vere House appeared as Godric's Hollow in the "Harry Potter" movies.
  • The home boasts muggle-friendly amenities like en suite bathrooms and wifi.
  • It can be rented on Airbnb.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The English cottage where Lily and James Potter intended to raise their son Harry — until He Who Must Not Be Named arrived — is now a place us muggles can stay the night.

Harry Potter house 4

Located in the medieval village of Lavenham in the English county of Suffolk, guests don't even need to use the Floo Network to get to the house. All one needs to do is reserve it on Airbnb, which can be done even if not a witch or wizard.

Harry Potter house 2

Known as the De Vere House, the property is a former Five Star and Gold Award bed and breakfast.

The home and surrounding village (which boasts more than 300 protected heritage properties) appeared as Godric's Hollow in the film adaptions of J.K. Rowling's famed book series, where Harry Potter's parents Lily and James meant to raise their child before they were attacked by the wicked Lord Voldemort (forcing baby Harry, of course, to be raised by the selfish Dursleys and live in a closet under the stairs).

Harry Potter house 5

The home has two four-poster bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, TV, wifi, a private guest sitting room with log fire, and a courtyard garden. Guests can also enjoy a full English breakfast in the morning.

Harry Potter house 8

The listing also says the property is not suitable for pets or very young children, presumably due to the possible presence of boggarts and the risk of Lord Voldemort or his Death Eaters coming knocking and mistaking infants for a certain Boy Who Lived.

Harry Potter house 7

Though it can reasonably be assumed, it remains unknown if the Ministry of Magic is aware that the house is available for rent. It is also a mystery why Rita Skeeter does not seem to have written about it yet.

Harry Potter house 6

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13 interesting things you never knew about 'Mean Girls'


mean girls

From a teen comedy to a cult classic with its own unofficial holiday and a Broadway musical, "Mean Girls" recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

Written by Tina Fey and starring Lindsay Lohan (Cady) and Rachel McAdams (Regina), the film continues to grow in popularity as new generations discover its humor and relate to its depiction of high-school drama.

And even though you know which day the Plastics wear pink (Wednesday, obviously), here are 13 things you may not know about "Mean Girls." 

The original cut of the film earned an R-rating from the MPAA.

"Mean Girls" eventually became a cult classic among its target audience, but younger tween and teen viewers were almost unable to see the film.

The filmmakers butted heads with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) over the way many of the jokes were written.

For example, the quote in the Burn Book about Amber D'Alessio making out with a hot dog was originally about a frozen hot dog and involved something much more explicit than making out.

The ratings board took issue with the sexual humor and with the fact that the hot dog was frozen, so the line was rewritten.

Director Mark Waters told Thrillist that the board tried to force other changes before granting "Mean Girls" its PG-13 rating, but he said he pushed back against their qualms by bringing up comparable jokes in existing PG-13 films like "Anchorman."

Actor Daniel Franzese said playing Damian helped him to embrace his own sexuality.

In 2014, 10 years after the film's release, actor and comedian Daniel Franzese wrote an open letter to his character Damian on IndieWire.

In it, he shared details about how he struggled with his identity and how the character taught him to be proud of himself again.

"I think part of the reason it took me so long to feel comfortable with who I was, was I didn't have the same referential point," Franzese told People magazine. "What Damian did for a lot of queer people and people of size — which I found out later on — it gave them an identity in pop culture where they weren't made fun of. He's never made fun of for being big or for being gay."


The movie "Freaky Friday" got in the way of Lindsay Lohan playing Regina George.

In a 2014 interview with Vulture, director Mark Waters revealed that Lindsay Lohan originally auditioned for the role of Regina, not Cady.

Waters said that Lohan had the right "aggressive, testosterone-laden energy" to be Queen of the Plastics, but that they could not find an actress capable of facing off against her as Cady.

During the casting search, the family comedy "Freaky Friday" released in theaters and it changed how audiences perceived Lohan.

"It's just not going to work having her play the villain, because she now has an audience that won't accept that," Waters recalled former CEO of Paramount Sherry Lansing telling him. 

Amanda Seyfried was also very close to playing Regina.

During his feature commentary with Tina Fey and producer Lorne Michaels, Waters revealed that Amanda Seyfried also read for the role of Regina George.

Seyfried was being strongly considered for the part until Michaels suggested that she read for the airhead friend, Karen.

Seyfried has since said that she was "pigeonholed as the dumb blonde" after starring in the film, but that just shows how convincing she was in the part.

Not everyone thought the movie was fetch.

Given its lasting popularity and high score on Rotten Tomatoes, it's hard to believe that in 2004 not everyone was aboard the "Mean Girls" train.

Film critic Richard Roeper called it only "kinda funny" and said that he couldn't recommend it.

"I would be more amused if the topic of rich material girls had not been worn to a thread elsewhere,"wrote critic Anthony Lane of The New Yorker.


Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead didn't audition for "Mean Girls" because her mom thought it was "too raunchy."

In an interview with Perri Nemiroff of Collider, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead revealed that her mother read the script for "Mean Girls" and thought the humor was "too raunchy" so she never auditioned to be one of the Plastics.

"I was looking for great roles to play when I first started as opposed to really looking at the whole story of the film and what the film was saying," she said, 

Fortunately, she'd go on to star in other hit films like "The Spectacular Now."


Evan Rachel Wood also passed on a "Mean Girls" audition.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show," Evan Rachel Wood explained that when she heard about Fey's film, she was already working on a similar project called "Pretty Persuasion."

Not wanting to double-dip into the high-school comedy world, she passed on the chance to audition. And although "Pretty Persuasion" didn't meet the same success as "Mean Girls," Wood went on to star on hits like "Westworld."

The big talent show in the movie oddly took place on Thanksgiving Day.

As the eagle-eyed team over at Ms. Mojo pointed out, there is a flyer in one of the bathrooms advertising the big Winter Talent Show. The date printed on the flyer is Thursday, November 27, 2003 ... which was Thanksgiving.

Ignoring the fact that public schools in the US are typically closed for Thanksgiving recess, it's still a little odd that North Shore High was into the Christmas spirit so early.

The character Janis was named after a popular singer, but maybe not the one you think.

In the DVD commentary, Tina Fey revealed that Janis Ian (played by Lizzy Caplan) was named after a singer-songwriter of the same name from the 1960s and 1970s.

Ian's 1975 chart-topping song "At Seventeen" was the anthem for teenage angst, which is why Fey chose the name for Caplan's character.

The iconic song was also used in the background of one of the scenes in the film.

The actor who played Glenn Coco was only on set for the free food and he wasn't supposed to be in the movie.

In a 2014 interview with Dazed Digital, actor David Reale shared the story of how he became the legendary Glenn Coco.

After auditioning for and not getting a part in the movie, then 19-year-old Reale decided to hang around the set with background actors so that he could snag a free meal.

The director recognized him from the auditions and decided to put him in the candygram scene.

Reale said he was never officially hired so he never got paid, but he said his free lunch was pretty great.

"I guess it was the first time somebody pointed to me on the street and shouted 'You go Glenn Coco!' that I knew I was involved in something with a beauty and power that surpassed the mere proliferation of four candy canes to an accidental movie extra," he said.

He said fans still recite the quote to him on a daily basis online and in real life.

Kevin G had unlikely rap coaches on set.

Math enthusiast M.C. Kevin Gnapoor is a standout among the secondary characters in the movie. His talent-show rap is legendary, but what you may not know is that actor Rajiv Surendra needed a little help to get the flow and attitude right.

Tina Fey revealed in the film's commentary that she and Amy Poehler were the ones who stepped in to help Kevin G "do his thang" on the microphone.

One of the reasons Jonathan Bennett was cast as Aaron is because Tina Fey thought he resembled Jimmy Fallon.

Jonathan Bennett told HuffPost that one of the reasons Fey chose him to play Aaron Samuels is because he looked like her former "Saturday Night Live" co-star Jimmy Fallon.



Tina Fey said she regrets shooting down talks of a sequel.

Since the release of "Mean Girls" in 2004, fans have been begging the filmmakers and cast to return to North Shore to see what the student population is up to.

In a 2014 interview with Entertainment Weekly for the film's 10-year anniversary, Fey confirmed that there were once talks of a sequel but that she cut them off early.

"For whatever reason, I was like, 'No! We shouldn't do that,'" Fey said. Reflecting on the stance, she added that there was no reason why it couldn't have worked, but added that as of 2014 it was "too late."

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Inside the failed deal that almost made 'The Irishman' Netflix's first wide theatrical release


The Irishman Netflix Martin Scorsese Robert De Niro

  • Netflix attempted to get Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" a wider theatrical release than any of its previous movies.
  • The streaming giant tried to make a deal with AMC Theatres and Cineplex to show the movie, according to The New York Times.
  • The theater chains were willing to let the movie have a 60-day exclusive theatrical window, lower than the established 72 for all other titles. But Netflix wanted a 45-day window.
  • But that wasn't the only thing the two sides were at an impasse about. Business Insider learned that AMC and Cineplex were trying to get a 75/25 split in ticket sales.
  • It's very rare that a theater gets a majority of ticket sales.
  • Netflix has ended up releasing the movie in a limited theatrical run, in which theaters are getting the higher end of the ticket sale split, multiple sources told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


"The Irishman" almost had the widest release of any Netflix original movie.

AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the US, and Cineplex, which has 1,600 theaters in Canada, were in talks with Netflix for months on showing Martin Scorsese's gangster epic, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported that both chains were even willing to do something that many in the industry thought unthinkable: shorten the exclusive theatrical release window for the movie to just 60 days before Netflix would be allowed to make the movie available for streaming (the industry-wide agreement is 72 days). But talks stalled because Netflix would go no higher than 45 days for an exclusive theatrical window, the Times reported.

But that's not the whole story.

Both sides weren't just negotiating how many days the movie would play in theaters. The theaters were also trying to get a better deal than they normally get from Hollywood studios.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations between the theaters and the streaming giant, AMC and Cineplex wanted a 75/25 split in ticket sales, meaning the theater would get 75% of the ticket sales. (AMC, Cineplex, and Netflix declined to comment for this story.)

Typically, a studio gets the higher side of the split (leaving a theater to make most of its money on concessions). Usually a studio gets a 60/40 split on its releases, meaning the theater only makes 40%. And there are cases when the studio takes even more. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that Disney took 65% of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" ticket sales.

But the talks fell apart, even with Scorsese imploring Netflix for a wide release, multiple sources familiar with Scorsese's thinking told Business Insider. Instead, Netflix released the movie this weekend in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles (Netflix does not report the box-office grosses of its films), with other theaters being added in the coming weeks before the movie is made available to stream starting November 27. The "splits" for those runs are in the favor of the theaters, not Netflix, according to multiple sources in the exhibition industry.

The Irishman Netflix"Netflix had an opportunity with 'The Irishman' to signal to filmmakers that they had a home for theatrical projects there," John Fithian, the president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, told Business Insider in a statement. "Instead, they signaled that Netflix is so bound to a particular business model that they would rather see those movies go to competitors than adapt to a change they don't understand."

AMC, Regal, and Cinemark have never shown Netflix titles, as the streaming giant won't respect the exclusive window the rest of the industry does of 72 days before a title is available on a streaming service, VOD, or Blu-ray/DVD. The fact that AMC, the biggest theater chain in the world, was willing to show "The Irishman"and let it play in a shortened window than what the studios are allowed is significant.

"I am pleased they did not cave to Netflix's request of 45 days," the head of one independent theater chain, who wished to be kept anonymous, told Business Insider. "But I feel there is considerable pressure from many parties within the industry to shorten windows."

Will the news that a 60-day window was discussed make studios now look for the same kind of deal? It's likely that will be more of an uphill battle, as studios won't be willing to take a split that favors the theaters. But as we are on the cusp of even more options on the streaming front (with the launch of new services from Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia), it's clear that the conversations on how theatrical and streaming can coexist are becoming more serious than ever before.

"If Netflix and other streaming entities continue to corral high profile films, shrinking the window will be inevitable," Exhibitor Relations senior box-office analyst Jeff Bock told Business Insider. "The fact that they were as close as they were shows progress, and as it is with any negotiation, they'll likely end up finding a middle ground sooner than later. The whole idea is to appease audiences, that's the endgame, so it's also in everyone's best interest." 

SEE ALSO: "Terminator: Dark Fate" is a bust and the box office, taking in only $29 million

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How de-aging tech was used in the shocking opening of 'Terminator: Dark Fate'


Terminator 2  TriStar Pictures


Warning: Spoilers below if you haven't seen "Terminator: Dark Fate."

"Terminator: Dark Fate" takes place after the events of 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." That means Skynet has never been created and there's no machine-led apocalypse.

So it's time for the Connors to finally chill.

"Dark Fate" begins with Sarah Connor and her son John relaxing at a beachside eatery a few years after "Judgment Day." Then out of nowhere, a rogue T-800 Terminator, still in the past trying to fulfill its mission to kill John Connor, the savior of the resistance in the future, appears and kills John. Sarah goes to her son, completely distraught, while the Terminator walks away having completed its mission.

The scene is a shock for Terminator fans, who through the franchise have known John as the beacon of hope. But also shocking in the scene is that Linda Hamilton, who plays Sarah; Edward Furlong, who plays John; and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator look like they did almost 30 years ago. And that's because of de-aging technology.

It's a kind of special effect that has become more prevalent in movies, especially this year, as everything from "Gemini Man" to Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" has used it.

In a recent interview, "Dark Fate" director Tim Miller explained to Business Insider how the tech was used for the scene.

On the day the scene was shot, body doubles were used to replace Hamilton and Schwarzenegger while actor Jude Collie played a younger, 1990s version of Furlong.

"They all wore these skull caps which allowed us to do a full head replacement on all three of them in post," Miller said.

Terminator Dark Fate Linda Hamilton ParamountMiller also said that Hamilton was on set the day of shooting to walk through the scene with her body double.

Then during post production, Hamilton, Schwarzenegger, and Furlong went to Industrial Light and Magic, which was in charge of getting their faces pasted over the body doubles' in the scene.

"We got Eddie in for a day and then Linda came in for a day and Arnold in for a day," Miller said.

This was Furlong's only involvement in the movie.

The result makes you do a double take, especially the de-aging of Linda Hamilton, which looks so good you would think it's an outtake from "Judgment Day."

Miller is proud of the scene, especially for its brevity. "The scene originally had more dialogue between Sarah and John," Miller said, but he's happy it was cut.

The scene sets the stage for what's to come in the rest of "Dark Fate." Though Skynet never causes the rise of the machines, another company does, leading to another hope for the future being chased by a Terminator. But there to save the day is Sarah Connor.

"Terminator: Dark Fate" is currently playing in theaters.

SEE ALSO: Inside the failed deal that almost made "The Irishman" Netflix's first wide theatrical release

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Every single Emma Stone movie, ranked


emma stone movie ranking

  • Emma Stone has been acting for over a decade, but not all of her films have been hits.
  • Some of her lowest-rated films are "Movie 43" (2013), "Marmaduke" (2010), and "Aloha" (2015).
  • Critics enjoyed her performances in "La La Land" (2016) and "Easy A" (2010).
  • Her highest-rated film is the historical dramedy  "The Favourite" (2018).
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Emma Stone has been acting for about 15 years and she's already been in over 20 movies. 

Although she is mostly known for her work in comedies, Stone has acted in a range of genres from historical dramas to musicals — but not all of her films have been a hit. 

Here is every movie Emma Stone has been in, ranked by critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: All scores were current on the date of publication and are subject to change.


Stone made an appearance in "Movie 43" (2013).

Critic score: 5%

Audience score: 24%

Critics feel "Movie 43" is Stone's worst film, giving it only 5% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The R-rated comedy takes audiences into the mind of a producer pitching off-the-wall ideas with major Hollywood stars like Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, and more. Stone was only in the movie briefly as Veronica.

Critics described the film as "utterly disgusting," with some saying it was the worst movie they'd ever seen.

She did voiceover work for "Marmaduke" (2010), which was ripped apart by critics.

Critic score: 9%

Audience score: 42%

Lending her voice to Mazie, an Australian Shepard with a crush on the Great Dane Marmaduke, Stone is one of the stars in this film that's all about family, friendship, and dogs. 

Critics referred to the film's animation as "ridiculous" with one saying the film gave them "a Scooby-Doo nightmare flashback." 

Stone faced criticism for her role in "Aloha" (2015).

Critic score: 20%

Audience score: 27%

Set in Hawaii, "Aloha" is part action film, part romantic comedy. The movie centers around defense contractor Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) who is sent back to his home on a Hawaiian military base with junior fighter pilot Allison Ng (Stone) keeping watch over his every move as the two plot to stop a satellite launch.

The film received a lot of negative feedback because Stone was cast to portray a character of one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter Hawaiian descent. She and director Cameron Crowe both later apologized.

In addition to calling out the movie for whitewashing, critics felt it was "a tangled mess."


She had a minor role in the film "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" (2009).

Critic score: 27%

Audience score: 40%

Playing one of the ghosts of permed-girlfriends past, Stone appears briefly alongside Matthew McConaughey in this 2009 rom-com.

The film was not well received, with some critics calling it  "95 minutes of vanilla laziness."

Stone had a lead role in "Paper Man" (2009).

Critic score: 32%

Audience score: 48%

Stone appeared in the film as Abby, a 17-year-old girl who forms an unlikely friendship with a failed writer who is in need of inspiration.

Although the film featured A-listers like Ryan Reynolds, Lisa Kudrow, and Jeff Daniels, critics were underwhelmed by it.

One critic wrote that the film "makes up for many of its shortcomings with an abundance of heart" while another called the movie "a big Twinkie stuffed with indie-film clichés and glazed with chiming emo guitars."

The actress had a minor role in "Gangster Squad" (2013).

Critic score: 32%

Audience score: 57%

Stone appeared in one of her more daring roles as a femme fatale involved with mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn).

This period drama takes place in 1949 Los Angeles and gives the audience a dramatic inside-look at the fight to bring Cohen and his gang down.

Critics of the film called the movie "superficial" and filled with clichés.

"The Rocker" (2008) was Stone's second-ever Hollywood film.

Critic score: 41%

Audience score: 46%

"The Rocker" follows a washed-up drummer (Rainn Wilson) as he takes a new opportunity to achieve worldwide fame. Stone appeared in the film as Amelie, one of the new bandmates who wants to be famous.

Some critics of the film said "as a movie, it may not rock, but it rolls along nicely enough" and that the film lacks "warmth."

"House Bunny" (2008) helped cement Stone as a rising comedy star.

Critic score: 43%

Audience score: 50%

Stone starred as an awkward, virginal sorority sister in "The House Bunny," and this Anna Faris-led movie was one of Stone's first major roles in a film.

The comedy received mixed reviews, with some critics referring to it as "dim" and others referring to it as "saucy."

Stone appeared as one of the leads in "Irrational Man" (2015).

Critic score: 46%

Audience score: 46%

"Irrational Man" is a drama that follows womanizing, alcoholic professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix). When Lucas takes a new job at a small college, he becomes involved with student, Jill Pollard (Stone) and their lives are never the same.

Directed and written by Woody Allen, this film was not well-received by critics or fans, with one film reviewer calling the film "turgid to the point of ridiculousness and absurdly anachronistic."


She played a psychic in "Magic in the Moonlight" (2014).

Critic score: 51%

Audience score: 45%

A Woody Allen dramedy, this star-studded film follows magician and clairvoyant nay-sayer Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) as he attempts to prove Sophie Baker (Stone) is a fortune-telling fraud.

Although critics approved of the celeb-filled cast, they found the story "repetitive" and noted there was "no kind of chemistry" between Firth and Stone, making their romance hard to believe.

Stone reprised her role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (2014).

Critic score: 52%

Audience score: 64%

Stone returned as Gwen Stacy in Marvel's 2014 "Spider-Man" film alongside then-beau Andrew Garfield.

The sequel to 2012's film of the same name, this movie follows Peter Parker as he attempts to balance his responsibilities as Spider-Man with his personal life.

Critics referred to the film as "over-stuffed with plot" and "running shockingly low on juice."

She reprised her role in "Zombieland: Double Tap" (2019).

Critic score: 67%

Audience score: 89%

A sequel to "Zombieland," this film didn't fare nearly as well as the original.

Although audiences enjoyed this horror flick, some critics called it out for its "lazy writing" and unsurprising plots. 


She had a minor role in "Friends With Benefits" (2011).

Critic score: 68%

Audience score: 65%

Stone has a minor role in the rom-com "Friends With Benefits" in which she played Kayla, the John Mayer fan who breaks up with Justin Timberlake's character because she missed "Your Body Is a Wonderland" being played live.

Critics called this rated-R film predictable but appreciated the chemistry between the main characters, played by Timberlake and Mila Kunis.

"The Croods" (2013) was Stone's second-ever animated film.

Critic score: 71%

Audience score: 77%

Stone lent her voice to Eep, the daughter of a caveman who takes his family on a journey through uncharted territory in search of a new home.

Also featuring the voices of stars Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds, this movie was cited by critics as being "boisterous."

Stone took on the iconic role of Gwen Stacy in "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012).

Critic score: 72%

Audience score: 77%

Ditching her iconic red hair for a new blonde hairdo, Stone appeared in her first superhero movie as Spider-Man's love interest, Stacy.

Critics had mixed reactions, with some describing the film as "dumbed down, tarted up, and almost shockingly uninspired," while others lauded the movie for breathing "new life" into the "Spider-Man" franchise.

Stone tackled the role of Skeeter in "The Help" (2011).

Critic score: 76%

Audience score: 89%

In this film that's based on a novel, Stone appeared as the white Southern girl breaking societal rules by collaborating on a writing project with "the help."

The film earned several awards and was lauded by critics as being "terrifically performed" and "heartfelt," although some criticized the film for how it "glosses history."

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" (2011) was Stone's first time starring alongside Gosling and Carell.

Critic score: 79%

Audience score: 78%

In this star-studded rom-com, Stone appeared alongside Gosling, Carell, and Julianne Moore.

The movie follows the story of Cal Weaver (Carell) as he deals with his divorce. He learns how to put himself back out into the dating world with the help of noted playboy Jacob Palmer (Gosling) who has a blossoming romance with Stone's character.

Critics called it hilarious and "among the best" movies of the year for 2011.

Stone portrayed the famed Billie Jean King in "Battle of the Sexes" (2017).

Critic score: 85%

Audience score: 72%

Based on the 1973 match between tennis legend Billie Jean King (Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), this drama-comedy retells the story of King and Riggs rivalry.

The film earned both stars several award nominations. And, as one critic wrote, "Stone gives her best performance since she first exploded as a fully formed generational talent in 2010's 'Easy A.'"

Stone played an outcast teen in "Easy A" (2010).

Critic score: 85%

Audience score: 77%

In this high-school rom-com that breathes new life into Nathaniel Hawthorne's famed novel "The Scarlet Letter," Stone plays the teenager Olive Penderghast who lies about having sex with people to make her more popular — until it backfires.

Critics lauded Stone's performance saying she "conquered me from the first A" and "gives a terrific performance." Others said the film easily holds its own alongside iconic teen films like "The Heathers" (1988) and "Mean Girls" (2004).

"Superbad" (2007) helped put Stone on the map.

Critic score: 87%

Audience score: 87%

"Superbad" follows three teenage boys as they attempt to purchase alcohol for a party so they can be cool. In her first-ever Hollywood film, Stone played love interest Jules.

This film helped put Stone on the map, with some critics calling it close to perfect. 

"Zombieland" (2009) was a major success for Stone.

Critic score: 90%

Audience score: 86%

Starring alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin, Stone appeared in this horror-comedy mashup as zombie hunter Wichita. Recently, the film even got a sequel.

Critics overwhelmingly approved of the film, calling it "a nonstop, snarky ride."

"Birdman" (2014) was one of Stone's first critically acclaimed roles.

Critic score: 91%

Audience score: 77%

Appearing alongside stars like Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis, Stone played one of the main characters, Sam, in the critically acclaimed "Birdman."

The comedy recounts the story of a once-famous actor struggling to revive his career on Broadway, with Stone's character acting as the production assistant with issues of her own.

The film won many awards and critics described it as a "technical achievement."

"La La Land" (2016) is one of Stone's best films, per critics.

Critic score: 91%

Audience score: 81%

A drama, comedy, and musical all wrapped up in one, "La La Land" brought Stone and Gosling together for their third major motion picture.

The film follows wannabe actress Mia (Stone) and jazz musician Sebastian (Gosling) as they try to pursue their dreams in Los Angeles. 

"La La Land" received glowing reviews from critics, with one writing the film was "a toasty splash of sound and color."

Stone played a leading character in the historical dramedy "The Favourite" (2018).

Critic score: 93%

Audience score: 68%

This historic dramedy takes place in early 18th-century England and examines the complicated relationships between Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), her confidant Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), and servant Abigail Masham (Stone) in the British court.

The film earned several award nominations, including an Oscar nom for Stone.

Critics overwhelmingly enjoyed the film, with one praising it as a "dryly funny historical feature."

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The worst movies every 'Breaking Bad' actor has been in


worst movies of breaking bad actors

  • The cast of "Breaking Bad" has appeared in some movies that critics really did not like. 
  • Bryan Cranston's 1994 film "Erotique" and Aaron Paul's 2018 thriller "Welcome Home" were critical flops. 
  • Critics also disliked the 2015 animated film for adults, "Hell & Back," where Bob Odenkirk voiced the devil. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Many actors from Vince Gilligan's hit series "Breaking Bad" have gone on to have successful careers in film and television. However, not all of their projects have been a hit with critics. 

Here are the worst films each of the "Breaking Bad" cast members have been in, according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

Note: Scores were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.

Bryan Cranston - "Erotique" (1994)

Critic Score: 0%

Before Bryan Cranston made his mark as Walter White on "Breaking Bad," he'd appeared on shows like "Seinfeld" and "Malcolm in the Middle" as well as in a variety of films.

Per critics, his worst film is 1994's "Erotique." An anthology movie, the critical flop contained three erotic short films made by female filmmakers.

In the segment titled "Let's Talk About Love," Bryan Cranston starred as Dr. Robert Stern, a man who calls into a phone sex line and ends up counseling the operator on the other end of the phone. 

"Erotique" set out to be an examination of sexuality but was called "pretty amateurish" by critics. 

Bob Odenkirk - "Hell & Back" (2015)

Critic Score: 0%

Bob Odenkirk made such an impact on "Breaking Bad" as Saul Goodman that he got his own spin-off series, "Better Call Saul," that quickly became a hit with fans.

In addition to the spin-off, Odenkirk starred on other TV shows and in movies — but one of the most puzzling ones is perhaps "Hell & Back," an animated film for adults.  

The comedy is about two friends who journey to hell to save a friend who has been accidentally taken there. In it, Odenkirk voices the devil. 

The movie features voice acting by a slew of stars like Mila Kunis, TJ Miller, Susan Sarandon, Danny McBride, and more.

Critics thought "Hell & Back" contained too many immature jokes to be a film made for adults and yet the language and sexual content made it inappropriate for children. 

Jonathan Banks - "Term Life" (2016)

Critic Score: 0%

After "Breaking Bad" ended, Jonathan Banks went on to continue his role as Mike Ehrmantraut on the show's spin-off "Better Call Saul." 

Although most of Banks' work has been well-received, his 2016 film "Term Life" didn't impress critics.

The movie stars Vince Vaughn and Hailee Steinfeld as a father and his estranged daughter. Vaughn's character is being hunted by hitmen and the film follows his journey to stay alive long enough for his life-insurance policy, payable to his daughter, to take effect.

Generally, critics said that "Term Life" was a "waste of a talented cast" and lacked the action sequences and tension to compete with similar films in the genre. 

Anna Gunn - "Nobody's Baby" (2001)

Critic Score: 0%

As Skyler White on "Breaking Bad," Anna Gunn made herself a fan and critic favorite. Prior to playing Walter White's husband in the series, she had starred on shows like "The Practice" and "Deadwood."

Although most of her credits came from television, she also starred in various films, with one of her most criticized ones being the 2001 flick "Nobody's Baby."

Starring Gary Oldman and Skeet Ulrich, the comedy follows two outlaws as they run from the authorities. They find a baby just after their escape from jail and hijinks ensue. 

Critics said the film had a "witless script" and had trouble establishing itself as a comedy or a drama. 

Matt Jones - "The Layover" (2017)

Critic Score: 0%

Matt Jones won people over with his role as Badger on "Breaking Bad," and the actor has starred in dozens of projects since.

But according to critics, his worst film to date is "The Layover" (2017). 

It's all about a rerouted flight that leaves two women competing for the affections of a wealthy lawyer. It also stars Kate Upton, Matt Barr, and Alexandra Daddario. 

Critics called the flick "unpleasant" and said it was never quite funny. 

Dean Norris - "3 Strikes" (2000)

Critic Score: 0%

Dean Norris played Hank Schrader on "Breaking Bad" for five seasons. Prior to starring on the Vince Gilligan series, Norris worked primarily in television.

He also appeared in some films, but the 2000 flick "3 Strikes" was by far his biggest flop with critics. In it, Norris played a cop named Officer Roberts.

The comedy was about a man freshly out of prison who tries to avoid getting into trouble so he won't have to go back. Unfortunately, trouble seems to follow him at every turn. 

Critics panned the film, calling it "unoriginal,""insulting,""unfunny,""witless," and "depressing." 

Giancarlo Esposito - "Hate Crime" (2005)

Critic Score: 6%

Giancarlo Esposito memorably played Gus Fring on "Breaking Bad" and later reprised his role on parts of "Better Call Saul."

The actor has also appeared in dozens of movies, with the lowest-rated one being 2005's "Hate Crime." The drama is about a gay couple who deals with intolerance and hostility when a new neighbor moves in. In the film, Esposito plays a police detective.

Although many audience members enjoyed the movie, critics called it out for being well-meaning but ultimately filled with melodrama. 

RJ Mitte - "Dixieland" (2015)

Critic Score: 10%

RJ Mitte quickly became a fan favorite playing Walter White's son, Walter Jr., on "Breaking Bad." Following his role in the series, Mitte appeared on shows like "Switched at Birth" and starred in many films. 

But the worst-rated project he's been in is 2015's "Dixieland," where he had a small role as a man involved with a drug trade. 

Starring Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, Steve Earle, and Faith Hill, the movie follows a character named Kermit (Zylka) as he gets out of prison, returns to his home in Mississippi, and falls for a local exotic dancer. The two attempt to escape their town together, but run into criminal situations. 

Critics said Zylka and Keough had great chemistry but the film didn't feel authentic.

Aaron Paul - "Welcome Home" (2018)

Critic Score: 11%

Aaron Paul became a household name playing Jesse Pinkman on "Breaking Bad." Since starring on the hit series, he's worked on many great television shows and movies.

However, his 2018 film "Welcome Home" didn't impress critics. 

The thriller follows a couple, Bryan (Aaron Paul) and Cassie (Emily Ratajkowski), as they retreat to a rental home in the Italian countryside in hopes of repairing their relationship after Cassie's infidelity. They end up becoming the victims of the homeowner's evil plans.

Critics found it unfortunate that Paul and Ratajkowski's impressive performances were "squandered" by the film's inability to create enough tension. 

Betsy Brandt - "Between Us" (2017)

Critic Score: 50%

After playing Marie Schrader on "Breaking Bad," Betsy Brandt went on to star in many movies, with one of her lowest-rated ones being "Between Us."

A romance drama, "Between Us" follows a couple on their journey of determining whether or not long-term commitment with one another is right for them.

Some critics found the film to be a thoughtful look at modern love, but others said it was "unconvincing" and too similar to other films in the same genre. As a result of conflicting reviews, the film has an even 50% on Rotten Tomatoes

Read More:

The director of Amazon's 'Honey Boy' explains how Shia LaBeouf's stint in rehab led her to make the most honest movie of the year


Honey Boy Rich Fury Getty

  • Business Insider spoke with "Honey Boy" director Alma Har'el about turning Shia LaBeouf's troubled childhood into a movie where LaBeouf plays his father.
  • LaBeouf sent Har'el the script of the movie, which he wrote while in rehab, where he was forced to go after a public intoxication incident in July 2017.
  • LaBeouf had to see his father before the movie was made. The two hadn't seen each other in seven years.
  • Har'el had an unconventional way of shooting the movie, having everything ready on set so when LaBeouf showed up in an emotional state they could film immediately.  
  • "Honey Boy" opens in theaters on Friday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Alma Har'el admits there were times when she could see hints of the aggressive person Shia LaBeouf was known for in the tabloids. She wouldn't think much of it, though, as that persona was far from the sensitive actor who loved her first movie, the 2011 documentary "Bombay Beach," which led to them becoming friends and collaborators. 

But by July 2017, after she saw a video TMZ obtained of an intoxicated LaBeouf shouting expletives at a Savannah, Georgia, police officer and charged with public intoxication (later footage showed him shouting racist remarks to a black officer at the police station), she was extremely concerned for her friend. 

"It was like another person that comes out of him," Har'el told Business Insider by phone of LaBeouf. "It's only after he was diagnosed with PTSD that a lot of the anger and aggression that happened in his past make sense."

Sentenced to community service and one year of probation, LaBeouf was also court-ordered to attend a drug rehab facility. There, through counseling, he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder stemming from his troubled childhood with his father. He recorded the sessions he was having with his counselors that forced him to look back on his childhood and transcribed them. Perhaps because he's been an actor since age 10, that transcription evolved into a script. Suddenly he was molding his painful past into a story about a child actor named Otis Lort and his relationship with his father, James.

Soon after, with no notice, Har'el received a script in the mail titled "Stamen," the word for the male fertilizing organ of a flower. It was authored by Otis Lort. 

"And with the script were two photos of Shia with his father when he was a very young kid, which broke my heart," Har'el said. "I saw those photos and I knew I had to make this film."

Though LaBeouf had given the characters different names, the script told the story of the warts-and-all true relationship he and his father Jeffrey had when the actor was 12 years old and the star of the popular Disney Channel show, "Even Stevens."

Even Stevens DisneyAt the time his parents were divorced and LaBeouf was living with his father in a hotel not too far from where "Even Stevens" was shooting. LaBeouf paid his father to be his chaperone. Jeffrey would drive him to and from set every day on his motorcycle and watch over him on set.

But back at the hotel LaBeouf had to deal with his father's dark side. There was verbal and physical abuse. Jeffrey — a Vietnam vet and former rodeo clown — was also struggling to stay sober. Though in his eyes he was trying to toughen up his son, in reality he was severely damaging him. (LaBeouf's father has not publicly disputed his son's recollections.)

This is all laid out in "Honey Boy," in which LaBeouf plays his father, named James in the movie; Noah Jupe ("A Quiet Place") plays 12-year-old Otis; and Lucas Hedges ("Manchester by the Sea") plays 22-year-old Otis.

Thanks to LaBeouf's deeply personal script, along with Har'el's visually stunning storytelling (which marks her narrative feature debut), the movie "Honey Boy," named for what LaBeouf's dad called him as a kid, has found Oscar buzz due to its honest subject matter.

But making the movie was far from easy, as Har'el had to be part filmmaker and part therapist.

To make the movie, LaBeouf reached out to his father for the first time in seven years

Har'el first questioned if it was in LaBeouf's best interest to even be on a film set, as filming was to begin two months after LaBeouf left rehab.

"There was a lot of doubt both with his therapist and with him and with his mother," Har'el said. "But we all felt after having all these discussions that it was something we want to try to do together."

Then there was the matter of getting LaBeouf's father on board. There were the legal reasons to get his blessing, but Har'el also wanted LaBeouf to talk to him as part of his rehab.

"Shia hadn't spoken to him in seven years," Har'el said. "I told him, 'Go out to see him, tell him you want to make the film. Read him the script.'"

honey boy 3 amazonLaBeouf did just that. He traveled to Costa Rica, where his father lives, and spent a few weeks with him. She said they spent days having conversations, which were recorded and used to flesh out some parts of the story. That included the ending, which was not yet part of the script, and the role of James.

"The share scene in AA that Shia does as James, that was written from the recordings of his father when they were talking," Har'el said.

When LaBeouf and his father got around to reading the script and talking about a potential movie, Har'el said LaBeouf didn't initially say he was going to play the role of his father.

"He told him that Mel Gibson was going to play him, because his father really loves Mel Gibson," Har'el said. "But later he told him the truth."

Beside who would play him in the movie, LaBeouf's dad was concerned about one element being perfect: his rodeo clown routine.

In one scene, James is dressed as a rodeo clown and goes through an act where he stands on his head and a chicken is balanced on his backside. Har'el came to find out that was a routine LaBeouf's father was known for and said he was "very serious about it being authentic."

Har'el had an unorthodox way of making the film, as no two takes were ever the same

Coming from a documentary background, Har'el took an unorthodox approach to shooting many of the scenes. She would have everything set up for a scene so when LaBeouf was called to set, cameras would start rolling. Cinematographer Natasha Braier ("The Neon Demon") would adjust lighting so it would cover a wide range of the set, giving the actors a huge amount of freedom on each take.

Har'el did all this partly so the performances didn't feel staged, but also because she was aware of her star's mental state.

"Shia really was working himself up to very painful moments, and we weren't going to then say, 'Can you stand here and wait, we need to tweak the lights,'" Har'el said.

It's been reported that LaBeouf did most of his scenes in one take. Har'el said for very tough scenes there were two takes but that most of the time there were actually eight to 12 takes per scene.

Alma Harel Emma McIntyre Getty

"A lot of times no take would be like the other," she explained. "People on the set would ask, 'How are you going to cut that? He did something there and he did something else there. You only have one take of that.' But because of having filmed documentaries and being a cinematographer and editor myself, I have a way of cutting those things. I see the cut. Some moments in the movie are cut between six or seven takes."

Regardless how it was done, the emotion being captured was clearly evident. Har'el said for some scenes it wasn't just the actors crying, but her and other crew members behind the camera as well.

"It was so raw and so real," she said.

LaBeouf cried while watching his father see the movie

After wowing audiences at its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Amazon Studios quickly snatched up the rights for a reported $5 million.

Since then, the movie has become a critical darling (96% on Rotten Tomatoes) and has made LaBeouf the latest Hollywood comeback story.

But beyond all that, "Honey Boy" has reconnected LaBeouf and his father.

Har'el said before Sundance, LaBeouf sent a steaming link of the movie to his father to watch on his computer. His father watched it and set up a video chat camera so that LaBeouf on his computer could see his father's face as he watched the movie.

"Shia sent me a photo of both of them doing this," she said. "Shia was crying watching his father looking at his screen."

And what did his dad think of the movie?

"I think his dad was really happy with it," Har'el said. "It was really hard for him to see it. He felt sometimes that wasn't him, and sometimes he felt we really captured him. It wasn't smooth sailing. He was really happy it was made and sent me a lot of loving messages on Facebook afterwards."

"I'm sure it was really hard," she continued. "But he was very proud of the rodeo clown sequence." 


SEE ALSO: Inside the failed deal that almost made "The Irishman" Netflix's first wide theatrical release

Join the conversation about this story »

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What the original 'Blade Runner' got right — and wrong — about 2019


blade runner

  • The original "Blade Runner" was released 37 years ago, but the film's events take place in Los Angeles during November 2019.
  • While the movie correctly predicted some things about the future, some of the tech featured in the film is still only the stuff of sci-fi movies.
  • Giant digital billboards are a common sight in Times Square— but off-world colonies aren't in our grasp just yet.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Blade Runner" begins with a black title card: "Los Angeles. November 2019"— a time that, in 1982, sounded almost fantastical.

But here we are, 37 years later. While director Ridley Scott got some things right about life in 2019, we're still woefully behind in other ways.

Keep scrolling to learn more about what "Blade Runner" correctly predicted, and what we're still working on.

Taking a stroll through Times Square proves the electronic billboards of "Blade Runner" have come to fruition.

In "Blade Runner," giant electronic billboards dot the Los Angeles skyline, showing everything from ads for Coke to moving photos of geishas smoking cigarettes or taking pills.

Look no further than the electronic billboards that have completely taken over Manhattan's Times Square to see that this prediction about the future has come true.

"Times Square is the only place where the ultimate attraction is the advertisements itself," ad executive Scott Alessandro told the New York Daily News.

While we're making headway on artificial intelligence with robots like Sophia, we're not exactly at replicant level yet.

The central conflict of "Blade Runner" focuses on Rick Deckard's mission to take out replicants, hyper-realistic androids that are meant to pose a threat to humanity. They look just like humans but can be detected with a special test.

In 2019, our robots are still easy to identify as just that. One of the most famous AI robots is Sophia, which Business Insider has "interviewed" before. Sophia, while pretty realistic, is firmly still a robot, who can't exactly carry a full conversation that makes sense.

So, while we're on track, our tech isn't up to "Blade Runner" standards just yet.

We're also not all driving around in flying cars yet, though there are prototypes.

In "Blade Runner," we see many characters hop into their flying cars to navigate the city. Flying cars are a pretty standard trope for movies and TV shows set in the future (see: "The Jetsons" and "The Fifth Element"), and "Blade Runner" is no different.

In 2017, Business Insider reported that at least five companies were attempting to build flying cars, including Uber. Two years later, Boeing reported that its protoype completed a successful test flight, though all it can do is take off vertically, hover, and land — horizontal flight hasn't been achieved yet.

The verdict? We're getting there, but not at the same level as 2019 in "Blade Runner."

However, voice-activated technology is common. Just ask Siri, Alexa, or Google.

Throughout the film, Deckard talks to technology, including when he tells his computer to zoom in on a photo.

This, "Blade Runner" got exactly right. Everyone's walking around with their own personal computers (cell phones), and you can essentially talk to it and ask it to do anything. Digital home assistants can do everything from turn off the lights to tell you jokes.

The weather of 2019 Los Angeles in "Blade Runner" is bleak, and it's almost constantly raining. Climate change is a growing concern today, but instead of constant rain, wildfires are the biggest issue in California.

The climate of Los Angeles in "Blade Runner" can only be described as bleak. Throughout the film, it's raining almost the entire time, except for a few scenes in which it's completely overcast.

In the real 2019, climate changeis still a big problem, and for some places, flooding is an issue. But in California, the overwhelming problem is actually heat and wildfires.

We're not colonizing other planets yet, but it's not for lack of trying.

Signs pepper the background of "Blade Runner" advising people to head to "off-world colonies." This idea is never fully explained, but it's an interesting detail that makes the world of the movie seem fully-formed.

We still have yet to colonize any planets besides our own, and have only set foot on the Moon. Space travel is still a subject of fascination and we are making strides— but nowhere as close as the film suggested we'd be. The closest thing is a proposed space hotel designed by the Gateway Foundation that's reportedly going to open in 2025.

We've actually surpassed video phone booths — and phone booths in general.

In a rare instance of surpassing the technology of "Blade Runner," we've almost completely phased out payphones and telephone booths.

In the film, Deckard heads into a booth and video chats with his replicant companion, Rachael. Once the call is over, his balance shows up, and he pays with a credit card.

Interestingly, there are no cell phones in "Blade Runner." Today, almost everyone has a phone capable of video chatting, making phone booths a thing of the past.

Both Atari and Pan Am have bitten the dust, but Coca-Cola still reigns supreme.

Two of the most prominent brands featured in "Blade Runner" are the airline Pan Am and the video game manufacturer, Atari. Neither of these are in existence anymore. In fact, there's something called the "'Blade Runner' curse," that suggests that brands featured in the film were cursed to fail.

While Coke is still around, shortly after the movie the soda company debuted "New Coke," which became one of the biggest rebranding disasters of all time.

Interestingly enough, in the 2017 sequel, "Blade Runner 2049,"Atari still exists and was shown prominently in the trailer.

Cigarettes are ubiquitous in "Blade Runner"— but today people have switched to e-cigarettes and vapes.

Besides the fact that e-cigarettes and vaping products are a more popular choice, smoking has been outlawed in almost any public space, like offices, restaurants, planes — really, anywhere that's not your own home, especially in California.

In "Blade Runner,"everyone is smoking everywhere. Thankfully, this is something that the film got wrong about today.

'Last Christmas' director Paul Feig on people obsessing over the movie's twist and why he disagrees with 'Joker' director on 'woke culture' ruining comedies


Last Christmas 2 Universal

  • "Last Christmas" director Paul Feig talked to Business Insider about all those online theories of what the movie's twist is.
  • Feig also revealed that when he cast Emilia Clarke for the lead role, he never asked her if she could sing, which her character does a lot of in the movie (thankfully she can). 
  • The veteran comedy director also addressed "Joker" director Todd Phillips' comments that he can't do comedies anymore because of "woke culture."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Whether it's a comedy like "Bridesmaids" or a twisted thriller like "A Simple Favor" (hey, some of us even liked his all-female cast "Ghostbusters" movie), Paul Feig has a knack for getting an audience sucked into a story through great writing and entertaining — and often flawed — characters.

That continues with his holiday rom-com, "Last Christmas" (in theaters Friday), which was brought to him by actor/screenwriter Emma Thompson a year after another project the two were working on fell through. Inspired by the classic George Michael (back when he was with Wham!) song, "Last Christmas," Thompson pens a heartwarming relationship story about a struggling singer named Katie (Emilia Clarke) who while working at a year-round Christmas store in London meets the happy-go-lucky Tom (Henry Golding). Thanks to Tom, she realizes her life isn't all that bad, but what's the deal with him magically showing up whenever she needs him? (That last part has led to loads of speculation online of who Tom actually is in the movie.)

Business Insider chatted with Feig about those online theories of the movie's twist, his delight when he realized Clarke could sing (after casting her), being able to get 15 George Michael songs in the movie, and his thoughts about "Joker" director Todd Phillips saying he can no longer do comedies because of "woke culture."

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Jason Guerrasio: Were you shocked when the trailer came out and the internet went crazy realizing there could be a twist in the movie?

Paul Feig: I was very shocked by it. I didn't expect putting a trailer out for a rom-com would result in this "Matrix"-like speculation. 

Guerrasio: Lots of people tried to connect the dots. 

Feig: Yeah, it would be one thing if we were saying, "Try to guess the secret of...," but no, it's just about two people falling in love. It was very interesting. But look, I have had the opposite where you put out a trailer and you wonder if anyone saw it, so I'm happy. 

Guerrasio: I feel you should have gone a step further after it went viral and done something Hitchcockian with it. Have an ad where you address the camera and say, "Do not reveal the ending of this movie." 

Feig: But I don't want people showing up to this movie trying to figure something out. I want them to lean into it and feel good. This is a movie where you are like ahhh, not hmm. Because you get caught up in these two people and their lives.


Guerrasio: George Michael's music is so prevalent in the movie. Was it hard to license all the songs? 

Feig: Emma had met with George Michael a few years before he passed away and pitched him the story and let him read the treatment. He was excited about it and he told her, "When you get further along I'd love to be involved in selecting the music." 

Guerrasio: So she had greased the rails.

Feig: Totally. The estate was very open to it. They are very guarded by what they let be used of his stuff, especially after his death. But it had kind of been blessed by him so it was just working out the deal of what we could use. And they definitely did not expect that I was going to come at them for 15 songs. I didn't expect I would either; it just started to grow organically.

Guerrasio: Did you know Emilia could sing before casting her?

Feig: I did not. You would think I would have checked. I had met Emilia four years prior, just a general meeting, and I discovered how funny she is on top of being a great actress. I wanted to put her in something and when I read this part I said, "This is the perfect role for her, she gets to show everything." But I was so excited that she wanted to do it, I kind of forgot to ask if she could sing. So we literally closed the deal and then somebody asked me, "Can she sing?" And I was like, "I actually don't know. I guess we could dub her."

Last Christmas 3 Universal

Guerrasio: Oh man!

Feig: But then I found out that she sang for this Dolce & Gabbana ad. I saw that and I was like, "Is that you?" And she was like, "Yeah, I can sing." And I was like, "Thank god!" I really lucked out. It was probably the dumbest thing I've ever done was not check.

Guerrasio: Did you write more stuff when you realized she could sing?

Feig: It was always in the script that she wanted to be a singer and she was having these bad auditions. But when I found "Heal the Pain," it just blew my mind, so I put that in the opening scene and Emilia sings it later in the movie. Her singing "Last Christmas" at the end wasn't scripted originally. She was supposed to make her speech to the crowd and then they went on with the show. But it was like we have to have something at the end and have her sing and be fully healed. Doing what she loves.
Guerrasio: I have to get your take on this. Todd Phillips recently said he can't make comedies anymore because of "woke culture." As someone who has been doing different kinds of comedies for years, what are your thoughts when you hear a statement like that?

Feig: I have an issue with this. I always say, "What jokes are you trying to make? Who's getting offended and why are they getting offended?" And to me if the meaning is, "Well, I can't make fun of who people are and I can't be offensive in a way that is going to hurt someone's feelings, then I can't make a joke," I don't understand that. My movies are filled with jokes that hopefully don't offend people, and I've have had a couple of things that we've done that have offended people, and I've felt really terrible about it.

Paul Feig Chris Pizzello APIn "The Heat," we had our albino character and the joke was supposed to be making fun of the fact that movies use albinos as bad guys, so we were making fun of that. I got a letter from this woman whose child was albino and she said, "This is really bad for him." And I felt awful. I didn't go, "F--k this, we can't make jokes about anything."

I think Todd's a brilliant director. He changed the face of comedy. I just think jokes can be made without offending people. When I hear guys complaining about PC, to me, you want to have the freedom to offend people, and I'm not drawn to offending people. I don't want to get a laugh by offending something that somebody can't change. I don't mind taking a shot at somebody for something that they have chosen to do, or chosen to take on. That's fine. Then they are kind of open territory. But if it's something they can't change about their gender, about their race, about their core beliefs, then I respect that. Why would I want to make fun of that? I can make a million jokes that are going to make people laugh that won't offend them.

I like woke culture because woke culture means we're advancing and we're actually caring about people's feelings and I know in certain parts of the internet it's like, "People's feelings, who cares?" Well, that's all we have are people's feelings because we're humans. So I just don't want to step on that.

SEE ALSO: The director of Amazon's "Honey Boy" explains how Shia LaBeouf's stint in rehab led her to make the most honest movie of the year

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NOW WATCH: Behind the scenes with Shepard Smith — the Fox News star who just announced his resignation from the network

13 celebrities who say they've been pressured to lose weight in order to succeed in Hollywood


sophie turner jenniferl opez weight loss industry pressure

  • Many celebrities have spoken about the pressure they've been under to lose weight and look a certain way while working in the entertainment industry. 
  • "Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner said that therapy helped her cope with constant scrutiny she faced from TV studios regarding her weight.
  • Actor Sam Claflin said even though women have it worse, men are often put under a lot of pressure to lose weight, too. 
  • "Glee" star Amber Riley said that unrealistic body expectations have made Hollywood "a very hard place to be in."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Celebrities are often pressured to change how they look, and many big-names in Hollywood have opened up about how hurtful and damaging this can be.

From actors to models, here are stars who have opened up about being pressured to lose weight in order to succeed in their career.

Jennifer Lawrence said she was once told to lose 15 pounds in two weeks.

In 2017 at Elle's Women in Hollywood event, Jennifer Lawrence spoke out about the "humiliating" and "degrading" ways the film industry approaches body image.

"When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks," she said. "During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much thinner than me."

"We all stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates … the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet," she added. 

She went on to say that the experience made her feel "trapped" and that she now continuously reminds herself that she deserves to be treated with respect. 

Amber Riley said that unrealistic body expectations have made Hollywood "a very hard place to be in."

On an emotional episode of the 2012 MTV series "This Is How I Made It," actress Amber Riley explained that many industry professionals have told her she needed to "lose a little weight."

She added that many of the roles she has been offered were based on harmful, negative stereotypes related to her size, like "the girl who wanted to commit suicide 'cause she was fat" or the girl who sits and eats all day.

And for the "Glee" star, these situations and expectations have made Hollywood "a very hard place to be in" and she has never understood why casting directors can't just accept her for who she is.

Richard Madden said women aren't the only ones who are told to lose weight in Hollywood.

In an interview with British Vogue, "Game of Thrones" star Richard Madden said he has had his "fat rolls" pinched and has been put in corset-like costumes because studios wanted him to look slim.

"I've done numerous jobs where you're told to lose weight and get to the gym," Madden told the publication. "It doesn't just happen to women, it happens to men all the time as well."

He acknowledged that trying to look thin on TV and in films projects "a very unrealistic body image," but admitted that he and other actors continue to do it anyway. 

Amber Tamblyn said her agent didn't believe she'd become a star unless she lost weight.

Shortly after her success in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" series, actress Amber Tamblyn said her agent told her she could only be a star if she lost some weight. 

"I think at that point I was 128 pounds and I'm 5'7". I remember my agent saying to me ... 'You have a real choice here. You can either be Nicole Kidman or you can be a character actress,'" Tamblyn recalled in a conversation with the New York Times.

She said the experience shaped her sense of self-worth for years and made her feel "violated," like she had to look a specific way or she was doomed for failure.

Sam Claflin said male actors are put under a lot of pressure to lose weight but it is "never talked about."

In 2017, actor Sam Claflin told The Sydney Morning Herald that he has really struggled with body image and self-confidence while working in the film industry. 

"I remember doing one job when they literally made me pull my shirt up and were grabbing my fat and going, 'You need to lose a bit of weight.' This other time they were slapping me. I felt like a piece of meat," Claflin said. 

"I'm not saying it's anywhere near as bad as what women go through but I, as an actor approaching each job, am insecure — especially when I have to take my top off in it ... I get really worked up to the point where I spend hours and hours in the gym and not eating for weeks to achieve what I think they're going for," he added. 

He went on to say that this pressure to be muscular and trim presents an unrealistic body image that's "anything but normal." 

Jennifer Lopez said people tried to pressure her early on in her career.

In 2018, Jennifer Lopez told InStyle that, early in her career, a lot of people in the industry told her she should lose weight. But instead of trying to change her appearance, she embraced her body type.

"They didn't bother me at all but I got a lot of flak for it from people in the industry. They'd say, 'You should lose a few pounds,' or 'You should do this or do that.' It finally got to the point that I was like, 'This is who I am. I'm shaped like this,'"Lopez told the publication.

"Everybody I grew up with looked like that, and they were all beautiful to me. I didn't see anything wrong with it. I still don't," she added. 

Amy Schumer said she was once told to lose weight just to star in a film she had written.

Although she had a lot of creative control over her 2015 film "Trainwreck," Amy Schumer still had to deal with people telling her to lose weight for the lead role. 

In an interview on "The Jonathan Ross Show," Schumer jokingly described the experience by saying, " ... It was explained to me before I did that movie that if you weigh over 140 pounds as a woman in Hollywood, if you're on the screen it will hurt people's eyes." 

"So I lost some weight to do that, but never again," she added.

Supermodel Tyra Banks said she was once called "too big" to be on the runway.

Tyra Banks previously told Business Insider that she's faced a lot of difficulties related to body image and unrealistic weight expectations while working in the modeling industry.

In an interview, she recalled that when she a young model at the height of her high-fashion career, designers at Milan Fashion Week called her "too big."

"'Her butt is getting too big and you need to go tell her to lose some weight,'" they told her mother Carolyn London, per Banks. She said she also got a list of designers who no longer wanted to work with her. 

"I started crying and I was like, 'Mom, OK, what do I do. Should I diet? Should I work out twice a day? Should I just have salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?'" she told Business Insider.

But Banks recalled her mom shutting down those ideas immediately, saying she'd "be damned" if her child "starved" for the modeling industry. 


As an actress, Ashley Benson said she was often told she should lose weight.

In a 2016 interview with Health magazine, the "Pretty Little Liars" actress said that throughout her career she's been told to lose weight "all the time."

"I got that a month ago," Benson said. "It's just weird. With my stuff recently, it's been, 'You have to be skin and bones or you're not getting it.'"

She told the publication that she is still working on feeling confident in her body, but that she believes all sizes are healthy. 

Ashley Graham said an agent and her dad both suggested she lose weight in order to be a model.

In 2017, Ashley Graham told the Las Vegas Review Journal that she has always experienced fat-shaming and bullying — but she didn't realize how much this pressure to be thin impacted her until she began pursuing a modeling career.

In the interview, she looked back on a time when a talent agent at a mall suggested she lose some weight so she could become a model.

"The really hard moment was when my dad said, 'Honey, if an agent is telling you to lose weight, then maybe you should lose weight.' I was 15, standing in our living room having a moment I will never forget. I never had a parent tell me to lose weight and it hurt," she recalled. 

But Graham said she doesn't blame her father for his words — she blames the modeling industry's unrealistic standards. 

"He was thinking like a businessman," she said. "It's not that my father didn't love me. He wanted me to succeed." 

Jennifer Aniston said her agent once told her she was "too heavy" to get acting jobs.

In a 1996 interview with Rolling Stone, Jennifer Aniston said it was her agent who told her that she needed to slim down in order to make it in Hollywood. 

"My agent gave it to me straight," she said. "The disgusting thing of Hollywood [is] I wasn't getting lots of jobs 'cause I was too heavy."

Aniston went on to lose 30 pounds before auditioning for "Friends," adding that she doesn't think she would have gotten cast as Rachel if she hadn't lost the weight. 

David Harbour said he was told by a director that he was "too fat" to play The Blob.

In a 2017 interview with The Wrap, David Harbour said he got an audition to play the character The Blob in an upcoming "Wolverine" film after a casting director said he was perfect for the "big,""fat" character. 

"I was like 'Okay, wow, that's flattering,'"Harbour jokingly recalled. "And [the casting director] was like, 'No, no, it's not that you're fat, it's just that we need a big guy to wear the suit.'"

Harbour went to the audition anyway and jokingly showed his stomach to the director saying, "I've got your Blob right here." 

After the audition, Harbour said the director expressed "concerns" about his weight. 

"He was like, 'David, look, you're wonderful, we really think you're just a great actor, we're just concerned … we're really concerned … it's just, you lifted up your shirt and ... we're just a little worried about your health,'" Harbour told The Wrap. "I was like, 'Wait a minute. You are telling me I'm too fat to play The Blob?'"

Sophie Turner said that therapy helped her cope with the constant scrutiny she faced from TV studios.

Sophie Turner told Marie Claire Australia that when she gained weight while filming "Game of Thrones," TV studios put pressure on her to lose those extra pounds. 

"My metabolism suddenly decided to fall to the depths of the ocean and I started to get spotty and gain weight, and all of this was happening to me on camera," she recalled, adding that going to therapy helped her cope with the pressures she was facing. 

"People are constantly telling you you're not good enough and you don't look good enough,"Turner said. "I think it's necessary to have someone to talk to and to help you through that."

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How contact lenses are made for movies and TV shows

  • Actors wear contacts to change their color pigment, to look older, create imperfections, or even transform into another species.
  • The art of designing and manufacturing movie contact lenses has long been a closely-guarded secret.
  • We spoke to Sinead Sweeney, one of the directors of Eyeworks for Film, about how they manufacture contact lenses for the movie industry.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Beverly Hills optometrist Reuben Greenspoon is credited with first using lenses to augment a character's appearance. Greenspoon was tasked with changing an actor's eyes from natural brown to blue in 1939's "Miracles for Sale." He created a blue ceramic material, which was glazed. The lens was attached and run through a kiln to fuse the glass and ceramic together, leaving a round aperture of 4 millimeters through which actor Henry Hull could see.

Since hydrogel soft contact lenses went into mass production in 1971, lenses with simple color pigments have become pretty accessible. But designing and painting bespoke lenses is still an art form.

Actors wear contacts to change their color pigment, to look olderage them, create imperfections, or even transform into another species.

We spoke to Sinead Sweeney, one of the directors of Eyeworks for Film, about how they manufacture contact lenses for the movie industry.

Sinead has got to check that the actor's eyes are suitable for lenses. She does a prescription check, then checks the inside the retina with an ophthalmoscope and takes a 3D scan. Further checks look at the curve of the eye, the diameter of the iris, and the front of the eye for dryness, using a yellow dye called fluorescein.

The lenses take two to three weeks to paint and manufacture. Manufacturers like No7 and Cantor & Nissel Ltd make the prescription lenses.

A lens artist such as Cristina Patterson from Eye Ink Fx paints them by hand using FDA-approved paint. The lenses are then shipped and applied on set.

The lenses flatten to your eye, so it's important to get rid of air bubbles and keep putting in drops. 

We took a look at some of the popular lenses the team has worked on, such as David Tennant in "Good Omens", "Penny Dreadful", "Spectre" and The Mountain from "Game of Thrones."

Eyeworks for Film are based at Eyeworks London.

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The movie 'Interstellar' came out exactly 5 years ago. Since then, new discoveries have changed our understanding of black holes.


interstellar black hole

  • Director Christopher Nolan's Hollywood blockbuster "Interstellar" just celebrated its fifth anniversary.
  • In the movie, Matthew McConaughey plays an astronaut who journeys into a supermassive black hole called Gargauntua.
  • To make "Interstellar"scientifically accurate, Nolan hired physicist Kip Thorne to render the most realistic depiction of a black hole possible.
  • But since the movie was released, scientists have learned more about what black holes really look like, and even imaged one for the first time.
  • These discoveries revealed that, despite Nolan and Thorne's best efforts, Gargantua wasn't perfectly accurate.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

At the heart of every galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, where gravity is so strong that nothing — not even light — can escape its boundary.

In the movie "Interstellar," a fictional black hole called Gargantua takes center stage. The film came out exactly five years ago, in November 2014. In it, Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway play astronauts who travel through a wormhole — a tunnel that allows for nearly instantaneous travel between far-distant points — to explore three planets that orbit Gargantua, 10 billion light-years from Earth. 

In the end, McConaughey's character navigates his ship into the supermassive black hole, inside which he discovers a fifth dimension, inter-dimensional omniscient beings, and the ability to communicate with his estranged daughter across time and space.

Director Christopher Nolan and his visual effects team strove for superior scientific accuracy in "Interstellar"— they even hired theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Kip Thorne as a consultant.

"Neither wormholes nor black holes have been depicted in any Hollywood movie in the way that they actually would appear," Thorne said in an interview prior to the movie's release. "This is the first time the depiction began with Einstein's general relativity equations."

Indeed, the movie's depiction of Gargantua was lauded as the most accurate film portrayal of a black hole ever. 

black hole

But in the last five years, a handful of major discoveries about black holes have given physicists new insights about what these massive objects look like and how they behave. Based on that information, Gargantua wasn't completely accurate, though it still comes close in many respects. Here's what "Interstellar" got right and wrong. 

The first image of a black hole ever captured

Supermassive black holes form when stars collapse in on themselves at the end of their life cycles. On average, they're millions of times more massive than the sun.

Scientists struggled for decades to capture one on camera, because black holes are so massive and spin so quickly that they distort space-time, ensuring that nothing can break free from their gravitational pull. Because even light can't escape, these forces create a unique shadow in the form of a perfect circle at the black hole's center.

The outer border of that center is known as the black hole's event horizon, or "point of no return."

But in April, a group of scientists from the international Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration released the first-ever photograph of a supermassive black hole to the public. Though the image was fuzzy, it showed that, as predicted, black holes look like dark spheres surrounded by a glowing ring of light.

"As a cloud of gas gets closer to the black hole, they speed up and heat up,"Josephine Peters, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford, previously told Business Insider. "It glows brighter the faster and hotter it gets. Eventually, the gas cloud gets close enough that the pull of the black hole stretches it into a thin arc."

The unprecedented photo shows the supermassive black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, which is about 54 million light-years away from Earth. The black hole's mass is equivalent to 6.5 billion suns. 

This image released Wednesday, April 10, 2019, by Event Horizon Telescope shows a black hole. Scientists revealed the first image ever made of a black hole after assembling data gathered by a network of radio telescopes around the world. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration/Maunakea Observatories via AP)

To capture the image, astronomers relied on years of data from eight telescopes synced up across the globe. So the image is a reconstructed view, not a photograph.

"It feels like looking at the gates of hell, at the end of space and time," Heino Falcke, an Event Horizon Telescope collaborator, said when the photo was published.

The EHT team's next target is likely Sagittarius A*, the black hole in the center of our own galaxy.

We simulated what it might look like to hang out near a black hole

Since the April EHT image was so blurry, NASA scientists created a visualization of what a black hole might look like close-up and in action. 

The animation shows how gravity surrounding the black hole would twist light from the orbiting cloud of gas, dust, dead stars, and other space detritus (called the accretion disk). That would appear as a rainbow of fire bending around a dark abyss.

The black hole would change in appearance depending on how you looked at it. A side view, like the one below, would show the accretion disk slithering around the event horizon.

NASA black hole still image

The disk would appear brighter on one side than the other because M87's black hole is likely spinning, which also spins the cloud of dust and gas orbiting it. So the material moving towards our eyes would seem brighter than the material moving away — a bit like the beacon of a lighthouse.

If you were to look at the black hole from above or below, however, the accretion disk would form a near-perfect circle and the light would appear more evenly distributed. The difference is clear in the animation below.


According to Thorne, the reason the black hole in "Interstellar" doesn't match the M87 black hole image is that Nolan elected to omit that brightening and dimming phenomenon.

Thorne told Gizmodo that "the human eye would likely not be able to discern the brightness differences on the two sides of the hole when the overall brightness is so extreme." That's why the film's black hole appears to have same brightness all the way around.

interstellar black hole

Scientists confirmed that there's a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy

Supermassive black holes are common in the universe — they've been found at the center of almost every galaxy scientists have examined. The black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is 25,000 light-years away and 4 million times as heavy as our sun.

Sagittarius A*'s accretion disk is about 100 million miles wide, or a little wider than the distance between Earth and the sun.

In October 2018, astronomers revealed that they'd observed Sagittarius A* sucking in blobs of hot gas at 30% of the speed of light — 201 million mph. That triggered three powerful bursts of radiation that were detected by telescopes on Earth.

milky way galaxy center spitzer infrared

At the time, the study authors said the flares "provide long-awaited confirmation that the object in the center of our galaxy is, as has long been assumed, a supermassive black hole."

Josephine Peters, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford who wasn't involved in the study, previously told Business Insider that the observations followed material "as close as you can get to a black hole without being consumed by it." 

But Peters added that Sagittarius A* "is still incredibly mysterious." 

The more scientists learn about black holes like Sagittarius A*, the better directors like Nolan can depict them in Hollywood blockbusters.

SEE ALSO: The scientists who photographed a supermassive black hole for the first time just won a $3 million prize. Here's their groundbreaking image.

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NOW WATCH: Incredible animation shows just how big supermassive black holes can get

'Midway' $17.5 million opening weekend box office win marks lowest November champ in 20 years


midway lionsgate

  • Lionsgate's "Midway" gets the surprise box office win this weekend, taking in $17.5 million.
  • However, it's the lowest opening weekend win for a November release since 1999's "The Bone Collector."
  • Warner Bros.' "Doctor Sleep" opened below expectations, bringing in only $14.1 million.
  • Universal's comedy "Last Christmas" brought in $11.6 million.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It was a historically bad weekend at the domestic box office, as the winning figure was so low you had to go all the way back to a Denzel Washington/Angelina Jolie thriller from decades ago to find a comparison.

Lionsgate's World War II movie "Midway" blew past its $12 million industry projection to win the weekend box office with an estimated $17.5 million. However, with a $100 million budget, it will need to put in more work for a profit to be made for its financiers (Lionsgate only picked up the movie's US and UK rights). 

The movie beat out Warner Bros.' "The Shining" sequel, "Doctor Sleep," which only brought in $14.1 million on 3,855 screens to come in second place. Projections had the movie bringing in around $25 million, but it turned out no one wanted to sit through a two-and-a-half-hour horror a week after Halloween.

The "Midway" win is the lowest opening weekend win for a November release since 1999's "The Bone Collector," which had a $16.7 million opening to win the November 5, 1999 weekend.Doctor Sleep Jessica Miglio Warner Bros

Historically, November is the time of year at the movie theaters where you have a mix of action tent poles and art house titles vying for awards consideration. So it's not like audiences avoid this time of year, especially Veterans Day weekend. In that past, this holiday weekend has seen the launch of big titles like "The Grinch" last year (which had a $67.5 million opening and went on to earn over $500 million worldwide), and "Skyfall" in 2012 ($88.3 million and took in over $1 billion worldwide).

So why was this weekend a crash and burn for the industry?

As we already noted, the release for "Doctor Sleep" is a puzzling one, as it opened after Halloween. By this weekend, everyone was done with scary movies. Warner Bros. likely wanted to stay clear of Paramount opening "Terminator: Dark Fate" last week. But it turned out that wouldn't have been a factor. "Dark Fate" has in no way lived up to the hype. After the weak $29 million opening last weekend, it followed that with a $10.8 million performance this weekend.

That's two wide releases from major studios not holding its weight.

Universal is thinking long game with an early November release of "Last Christmas," its holiday rom-com. The movie came in third place with a $11.6 million opening. Modestly budgeted (around $25 million), it will make its money back quicker than the above titles, but it's another title this weekend audiences weren't flocking to.

And Paramount's John Cena family comedy "Playing with Fire" took in a respectable $12.8 million, but in no way can help the studio rebound from "Dark Fate."

The box office should rebound next weekend with Sony opening "Charlie's Angels" and Disney/Fox releasing "Ford v Ferrari," but there isn't going to be a "Joker"-sized hit until "Frozen II" takes over the multiplex on November 22.

Honey Boy Amazon Studios

Box office highlights:

  • Amazon Studios' "Honey Boy" had an impressive $72,000 per-screen average on four screens in its first weekend in theaters.
  • "Jojo Rabbit" expanded to over 800 screens this weekend and took in $3.9 million. The Fox Searchlight title has brought in $9.1 million in four weeks.


SEE ALSO: "Last Christmas" director Paul Feig on people obsessing over the movie's twist and why he disagrees with "Joker" director on "woke culture" ruining comedies

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NOW WATCH: Watch the 20 details you may have missed in the new trailer for 'Birds of Prey'