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The DOJ wants to end a 71-year-old set of antitrust rules in the movie business, and some small theaters worry they're in danger

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AMC AP

  • The "Paramount Decrees," which were enacted in 1948 to stop movie studios from owning movie theaters, could soon cease to exist.
  • The Department of Justice is looking to end them within two years, if it gets court approval.
  • It's unlikely that studios will suddenly want to take over theater chains, especially with their focus on streaming.
  • But some independently owned theater chains are concerned that shady practices from decades ago, which the decrees also prevent, will return if they are ended.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

The Department of Justice is moving forward with a plan to end a rule that has been around since 1948, which prevents studios from owning movie theaters. But the main fear within the industry isn't that studios will begin gobbling up theater chains, it's that the shady tactics that birthed this set of regulations decades ago — that are also prevented by these rules — could return when they are removed.

The Supreme Court ruling in 1948, which became known as the "Paramount Decrees" (as Paramount Studios was the lead plaintiff), prevented the then-eight major Hollywood studios from owning theaters where their movies played. It also banned certain practices that limited where and how films were shown — a main one being "block booking," in which studios required theaters to play several of their movies (oftentimes lousy films with one or two good ones sprinkled in) or get no titles at all.

The studios signed a decree and erased their monopoly. It led to the industry flourishing and expanding to what it is today.

But the DOJ's antitrust division believes the Paramount Decrees are out of date and has moved to end them.

"As the movie industry goes through more changes with technological innovation, with new streaming businesses and new business models, it is our hope that the termination of the Paramount decrees clears the way for consumer-friendly innovation," said Makan Delrahim, the department's top antitrust official, on Monday at an American Bar Association conference in Washington, D.C., according to multiplereports

Delrahim's department opened its review of the regulation in August 2018 and now plans to seek court approval to terminate the decrees with a two-year "sunset period" for the parts that address block booking. Delrahim also said in his speech that going forward "if credible evidence shows a practice harms consumer welfare, antitrust enforcers remain ready to act."

To some in the industry, the loss of the decrees isn't a big deal. Since the 1980s, when the Reagan administration pared down regulations in the areas of film and TV after the drastic change in the media industry, studios eventually went back to owning stakes in theaters. Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. owned the Mann Theater chain in 2000 after the company went bankrupt, and the El Capitain Theatre in Los Angeles is owned by Disney. (Disney wasn't part of the decrees as it wasn't a major studio back in the late 1940s, and Netflix, which has been rumored in the past to be looking to buy a theater, didn't even exist yet.)

Makan Delrahim APBut some smaller chains and owners of single-screen art houses are concerned about heavy-handed business tactics that could come back with the loss of the decrees.

Along with block booking, another practice that could start up again with the loss of the decrees is "circuit dealing," in which theaters are granted exclusive access to movies in a specific geographical area. And the "splits" (the ticket sales divided between studio and theater), which are already largely in favor to studios, could increase more.

This all could mean mom-and-pop theaters, which compete with the huge chains, getting squeezed.

"A potential risk of these restrictions disappearing is that the multi-national circuits like AMC could attempt to leverage their size in order to get exclusive rights or to block smaller independent circuits who directly compete with them from getting access to certain films," Michael Barstow, executive vice president of Main Street Theatres, which operates 48 screens out of Nebraska and Iowa, told Business Insider. "If that were to happen and choices are taken away from the consumer, innovation in our industry could stall. That result would directly contradict the stated intentions of the DOJ. In our industry, it is often the independent operators that are driving innovations such as subscriptions or alternative pricing models because it is the only way we can compete."

There's also the potential that it could affect films from independent distributors.

"If exhibitors were forced to book out the vast majority of their screens on major studio films for most of the year, this would leave little to no room for important films from smaller studios," The National Association of Theatre Owners, the largest trade organization in the exhibition space, argued to the DOJ, according to The Wall Street Journal

The DOJ's attempt to end the decrees is similar to the loosening of some regulations that happened in the 1980s. But many in the industry are asking, "Why now, and why for movies?"

"I haven't yet heard an in-depth policy argument for this change," Ross Melnick, associate professor at UC Santa Barbara's film and media studies department, told Business Insider. "So the question is, do studios feel they need to have more flexibility to compete against streaming companies? Is it that streaming companies have been flirting with theater ownership, so therefore they want a level playing field? All those things would be helpful to be spelled out in whatever policies or legal changes might happen so we can better understand the intention of this change."

SEE ALSO: Disney says it will add a key feature to Disney Plus that was missing at launch

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

NASA astronaut rates space movies based on how realistic they are

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  • Hollywood loves its space movies, but how well do they nail the actual science?
  • NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, former director of space operations at SpaceX, rates 10 iconic scenes from space movies based on how realistic they are.
  • See how the facts in your favorite space movies hold up, from "Gravity" and "Interstellar" to "Star Wars" and "The Martian."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Han Solo: Let's blow this thing and go home!

Garrett Reisman: "Pwsh!" Hi, I'm Garrett Reisman, former NASA astronaut. And today we're gonna look at some popular movie clips, and I'll try to use my experience as a former director of space operations at SpaceX and current professor at University of Southern California, USC, and give you a rating on how realistic it is.

"Gravity" (2013)

Ryan Stone: No, no, no, no! Gotcha.

Matt Kowalski: You have to let me go, or we both die.

Stone: I'm not letting you go. We're fine!

Kowalski: No.

Stone: No!

Garrett: Oh, my goodness. Oh. Yeah, that was bogus. [laughs] I really like this movie, despite the fact that the science, totally wrong. This movie takes great liberties and completely blows off the basic laws of physics.

Kowalski: Man down!

Stone: Copy. Houston.

Garrett: The movie deals with space debris, and that's what causes the calamity that they then have to fight the rest of the movie. This is a real problem, and it's getting worse. So, some of the stuff is natural, but the vast bulk of the flux, the density of the stuff whizzing around the Earth, is created by humans. It's stuff that we shot up into space, and we didn't clean up our own mess. When I was up there, several times I heard debris hit the space station. There's certain things in the movie about how they show the debris that's not accurate. You can see it coming in the movie. They see this, like, cloud of debris coming from thousands of kilometers away. That's bogus, OK? This stuff is traveling an order of magnitude like 10 times faster than a rifle bullet. You can't look at a shooting range and see a rifle bullet flying around from thousands of kilometers away. You're not gonna see this stuff coming. And the other thing about this that's completely unrealistic: George Clooney is flying on by, and Sandra Bullock reaches and grabs his tether and grabs onto him. That would be hard. As he's flying on by, he would, with his momentum, try to carry her away and pull her away from the space station, and she would have to resist that and stop him, which she does. Yay, Sandra Bullock. You have saved the day. Well done. End of story. It should end right there. There's no gravity, right, that's pulling him away. It's not like she's holding him, like, over a cliff or something. He is not pulling her off the space station anymore. The work is done. And once she has stopped his motion and he's just sitting there, and she's holding on to the other end of the tether, all she has to do is go like this with her littlest pinky. "Boop!" And pull him, and he would be going right back to the space station, and they'd be having a nice lunch together. He says, "You have to let me go." Why? Why does she have to let him go? And you've got a firm grip on George Clooney. You do not let go. OK? No matter what the laws of physics say, you hold on.

 

"The Martian" (2015)

MarkWatney: On my way, commander.

Garrett: This whole idea about puncturing your glove to fly like Iron Man and be rescued by your spaceship. Yeah, not so much. We have a jet pack that we wear when we do spacewalks on the space station. We needed to have something to do if you became untethered and started floating off and you're gonna become lost in space during a spacewalk. That's why we added these jet packs. It's just nitrogen. And it's just little puffs, "psh, psh, psh," of nitrogen that come out of those little jets is enough to let you fly back to the space station and stop you from being lost in space. Now, first of all, you would need a spacesuit pressurized really, really high to get enough pressure to actually get the kind of thrust that he gets. In reality, it's gonna be a tiny little gentle push. There's not gonna be a "shh!" It's gonna be a "pew, pew, pew, pew." You know, come on. So that's the first thing that's wrong. But if you do have this big rocket engine coming outta your hand, and you're trying to control yourself, now you've gotta put that thrust through your center of gravity. So you gotta hold it very, very precisely, and any kind of motion away from the proper direction is gonna cause you to start tumbling out of control. You're gonna be like, if you take a balloon and blow it up and then just release it and it goes "pbbt" all over the place, no way you're gonna be, like, "zhhh," flying back where you wanna go. So, bogus, big-time bogus on that. The rest of the movie was up, like, a nine. The rest of the movie was really, really good.

 

"Star Wars" (1977)

Solo: You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home.

Garrett: The scene in "Star Wars" where Luke Skywalker uses the force and destroys the Death Star by attacking its one hidden weakness. So, a couple things pop out right away. One is, you know, what's with the orange ski goggles on Luke in the middle of black space? I mean, really, you need that? And then, finally, like, Han Solo's wearing this earpiece with that microphone thing. It looks like he's a telemarketer. He looks like he's trying to sell you some insurance or something. But the big thing is they blow up the Death Star, right, which is awesome, and it goes "pwsh!" Now, that wouldn't happen. I mean, you're not gonna hear anything because sound needs a medium to propagate through. So right now, you're hearing me talk because as vibrations go on in my throat and air goes through that and the air molecules vibrate, they vibrate other air molecules, and because we have air in this room, it reaches the microphone and causes vibrations on the microphone. And then you hear that. If there's no air here, But other than that, you wouldn't be able to hear me. The thing is that if you're watching a movie and you see a big explosion and it's silent, it doesn't feel right to the audience. So I understand why movie editors and special-effects guys put the sound in, but it's bogus. You can see explosions, and there can be fire, even in the vacuum of space. You actually need three things. You need spark. You need fuel. And then you need oxygen for it to combust. Then you will see flame, you will see fire, even in the vacuum of space. You won't hear anything, but you'll see it. So that is plausible.

"Interstellar" (2014)

Garrett: That McConaughey guy? He looks just like me, huh? So, I'd say, obviously, the casting people know what they're doing.

Cooper: TARS?

TARS: Roger that.

Cooper: Don't you get it yet, TARS? That's why I'm here. I'm gonna find a way to tell Murph.

TARS: How, Cooper?

Cooper: The watch. The watch.

Garrett: Wow, so that was pretty trippy, huh? If I remember right from the movie, he's inside a black hole at this point where the forces of gravity are so strong that not even light can escape. Recently, we got our first picture of a black hole. Really, what's around the black hole, because once light goes into the event horizon, the circle around the black hole, nothing comes out. But inside the black hole, nobody knows what happens inside there. Nothing ever comes back. If a person went inside a black hole, what would it really be like? Who knows? But you do see the light bending in there, and it is true that light will bend when it's exposed to very strong gravitational fields. A lot of the stuff that they did in this movie, they tried to be as realistic as possible, but I do have a problem with... there's this bookshelf tesseract thing. So, some advanced civilization created this tesseract where you go into this thing and it's, like, lined with books on the shelf, and by pulling the books off the shelf, you could see into other dimensions and you could communicate to people in those other dimensions in a very, very roundabout, incredibly complicated way. If you're a super-advanced alien intelligence that can build a bookshelf tesseract thing to go across dimensions, why can't you put in a phone? Or at least put in, like, a whiteboard, right? With a dry-erase marker that you could just spell, like, "Hey! Stay away from the black hole!" You know, whatever, and send a message that way. Why do you have to get so complicated? But other than that, they got a lot of stuff right, especially about the relativistic effects in the movie.

"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)

Garrett: This is one of my all-time favorite space films. And what's really amazing about it is how realistic it is considering they filmed all of this before Apollo 11, before we landed men on the moon. And the science in the movie holds up tremendously well. The one thing that's missing there, and in the opening scene there, is the atmosphere. You just see the blue Earth and then suddenly the black space. In reality, when you look at the Earth from space, there's a thin blue line that separates the sunlit Earth from the blackness of space. So, you might be asking yourself, why is the space station spinning and why is it constructed as a big wheel? What you're doing is you're creating inertial forces that simulate gravity and have the same effect. Because the absence of gravity causes some problems to the human body. It causes, for example, some bone loss. Now, you're up in space, and you're floating around like a fish, and the bones are like, I guess I don't need to make any more bone. Your muscles, especially in your legs, start to atrophy 'cause you're not using your legs anymore. You're not walking. So all kinds of, like, funky and not-so-good things happen to your body in space, so we fight it. We fight it hard, and mostly by working out. We have to do it about two hours a day every day. But, hey, what if we can create artificial gravity? Then we wouldn't have to do any of this, and we wouldn't have any of these problems. That's the idea behind the spinning spaceship. The best way I can explain that is they had these old amusement park rides that were like a big washing machine. You get in, and it starts spinning, and it throws you up against the wall. And then the floor drops out, and you don't fall because you're being pushed back against a wall by a pseudo force we call centrifugal force. That's what's happening here in this space station. By spinning like that, you can create centrifugal force that acts and feels like artificial gravity. If you're creating artificial gravity with a small radius, like those rides in amusement park that make you go up against the wall, you can handle that spinning for a couple minutes. You don't want to be spending months in there, right? You need to avoid having the radius too small that you get what's called Coriolis effects that makes you kind of dizzy. You don't want that. You also need to be spinning fast enough so that if you walk the opposite direction, you don't start floating. So you have to have a rim speed that's typically about 6 meters per second, which is bigger than your average person walks. So, a lot of times in the movies, either it's not long enough or it's spinning too slow for it to really do its job. Does "2001" get it right? Yes, it does. If you look at that thing and you time the rate of the rotation and you try to estimate how big it is, the radius is about 150 meters, and it's spinning at about 1 1/2 rpm. That's enough to get you almost half a G. So almost half the gravity that you feel on Earth, which is probably good enough. So that's not bad. If those numbers are accurate. Which, I kinda made it up, so, you know. But I think we're close.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)

Rocket: Quill, don't be ridiculous. Get back into your pod! You'll die in seconds!

Garrett: Hey, look, any movie with a talking raccoon is OK in my book. Oh, boy. [laughs] OK. First of all, it's great that he's got this mask on so he can breathe in space, but what about the rest of his body? The rest of your body is gonna be in really, really bad shape. The fluids inside your tissues is gonna vaporize, and so basically, your blood is gonna boil, all the water in your tissue is gonna turn into gas. He takes off his helmet to try to save his friend there, somehow holds his breath. Now, it's true that you can survive for very brief periods of time while exposed to a vacuum. It has been done. There's been accidents on Earth in vacuum chambers, and if you get quickly back down to regular pressure, you're gonna be OK. But there's a couple things you worry about. The first thing you have to worry about: barotrauma. So, what that means is that there's gas inside your body, in your lungs, in your sinuses, and that's gonna start expanding once you get exposed to a vacuum, 'cause now, instead of having the outside air pressure to work against, now there's nothing out here. It's gonna want to blow up like a balloon. Then you worry about decompression sickness, where all the nitrogen comes out of the solution in your blood, what scuba divers can get when they spend too much time at depth and come up too quickly. They call it "the bends" 'cause you bend over in pain at all your joints where the bubbles build up. So all that would happen to Star-Lord even before he takes off his mask. Having said that, did I mention that this movie has a talking raccoon? You're worried about the helmet? I mean, it's got a talking raccoon.

 

"Total Recall" (1990)

Garrett: True story, I use this clip in my class here at USC when I was teaching this subject about what happens if you do get exposed to vacuum, and I tell people we actually have a test subject that volunteered, and at NASA we did an experiment, and we have video of that experiment, and here it is. And I show that clip, and they get a good laugh out of it. 'Cause, no, that's not really terribly accurate. What would happen if you're exposed to space and were not adequately protected, and that is when parts of your body, parts of your tissues, the liquid vaporizes, turns into a gas and you puff up like a balloon. Presumably, that would happen around your face as well, but it wouldn't look exactly like that. That's a little Hollywood magic right there. Another thing about this clip is that he hits a rock and the visor shatters, and you hear it shatter like it's glass. Most spacesuit helmets are made out of polycarbonate, which is much tougher. It wouldn't shatter quite like that. You can break your space helmet, and so tumbling down a surface on Mars and whacking your head into a rock is not recommended.

"Spaceballs" (1987)

Barf: No, we're losing power!

Starr: Why? Barf: 'Cause we're outta gas!

Starr: OK, we'll have to set her down. Prepare for an emergency landing.

Garrett: I can't believe you actually want me to comment on the scientific realism of "Spaceballs." They're flying around space in a Winnebago with a dogman as your second in command, and, really, you want me to talk about whether or not it violates the laws of physics. Where do I start? First issue is if you're traveling in between planets, even between solar systems in the future, so, once you're on your trajectory, you're not burning your engines anymore. For example, when we went to the moon, we got into Earth orbit, we lit the engines up to get enough velocity to escape Earth orbit, and get on a trajectory going towards the moon. But that only lasted minutes. And then, once we had that velocity and we were heading in the right direction at the right speed, we shut the engines down, and you coast. So, if you run out of gas, you don't fall out of the sky. [laughs] You're going to continue coasting in the same direction and the same trajectory you had before. But, again, you know, it's a Winnebago. [laughs] So what do you want me to tell you? Anyway, if you can accept all that and you run out of fuel, now you fall, which is wrong. And now you have to crash-land on this planet, and it's a desert. That can happen. You know, Earth has got deserts. Obviously, Earth is a planet. Mars and the moon both have a lot of sand-like soil we call regolith, so it's not unrealistic that if you came down on a planet that there would be a desert with lots of sand.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013)

Spock: Gravity systems are failing. Hold on. Scotty: There won't be time for evacuation if we don't get power to stabilize the d--- ship!

Kirk: Scotty, we've got to get the power back on, come on!

Garrett: When you're way out in the future and you're, like, "Star Trek" time, super-advanced with photon torpedoes and phasers and stuff and green women, you can just speculate that you've got some advanced technology. So, in the "Star Trek" world, we just have gravity plate that is degrading, according to Spock in this clip, and you can just wave your hands and do that. The thing about that is, so, let me tell you a story. I was up on the space station, and when you're up on the space station, they ask you, "Would you like to talk to anybody," like, any celebrities or interesting people. And they do that as kind of a morale boost. So I said, "Yeah, I would like to talk to Ron Moore and David Eick." They are the people that created "Battlestar Galactica." We had this video teleconference, and I said to them, "You know, you did the same thing. You come up with this artificial gravity on Galactica. Everybody's just walking around like they're on Earth, but you're out in the middle of space. Where's the gravity coming from? Why do you have to do that? Like, why would you take away one of the coolest things about being up here, the ability to fly?" And Ron Moore said to me, he said, "Garrett...you have any idea how expensive those special effects are and all those stunts?" So I get why, especially if you're doing something like "Battlestar Galactica" or "Star Trek" that you'd want to just say oh, artificial gravity. So I'm not gonna knock "Star Trek" down.

"Apollo 13" (1995)

Newsanchor: The deadly CO2 gas is literally poisoning the astronauts with every breath in and out.

Control: OK, we have an unusual procedure for you here.

FredHaise: They want you to rip the cover off the flight plan.

JackSwigert: With pleasure.

Control: All right, now, the other materials you're gonna need here are two lithium hydroxide canisters, duct tape. You want to cut the duct tape 3 feet long.

Swigert: Houston, filter's in place.

Garrett: So, yes, that really happened. They had a big challenge because they had to find some way of scrubbing out the carbon dioxide inside the command module of Apollo 13 without having it powered up. So, humans make carbon dioxide. We consume oxygen. We breathe out carbon dioxide. And if that gets too high, bad things happen. You get headaches, and eventually you can even die if the carbon dioxide levels get too high. Now, on Earth we have a wonderful thing, it's called plants [laughs], that do this for us. And during Apollo 13, or in any spacecraft, you have to somehow accomplish it without having plants. And so we use a chemical called lithium hydroxide. It absorbs the CO2, but you use it up. Like, on the space shuttle, we had to change out the canisters of LiOH, lithium hydroxide, every so often. So they couldn't use the equipment inside the command module that normally takes all the carbon dioxide that we spew out and sucks that and scrubs that out of the air.

JohnYoung: There's been an explosion. Oxygen tanks are gone, two fuel cells gone, command module's shut down. News anchor: And astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert are making their way through the tunnel to the lunar module, using it as a lifeboat so they'll have electrical power for their radios on the command module.

Garrett: They had to find some way to do it using the lunar lander, which wasn't intended to be used for that period of time for three people.

Newsanchor: With each breath, the three men expel more of the poisonous gas into the lunar module cockpit, and the scrubbers intended to keep the atmosphere breathable are quickly becoming saturated.

Garrett: They had to use some of the canisters from the command module. The thing was, the command module and the lunar module were made by two different companies. Because they were two different companies, they actually made them two different shapes. So one was round, and one was square. Well, they came up with a pretty good plan, which was that they made an adapter by using the cardboard or the cover of the flight plan, some duct tape, and some hose, and they found a way to make an adapter to use this square peg in the round hole. That's really the workaround that they came up with, and it worked. And so what you see in that movie is 100% real. They even used actual dialog. You know, NASA recorded all the transmissions to and from the spaceship and on the intercom, and so they had transcripts of what actually happened during the real Apollo 13. [alarm buzzing]

Swigert: Hey, we've got a problem here. Control: Uh, this is Houston. Say again, please.

JimLovell: Houston, we have a problem.

Garrett: "Apollo 13" is the gold standard. They got it right more than probably any other movie ever made about space. This movie is the closest thing to being a documentary without actually taking cameras up and filming it in space.

StephenColbert: I've heard that you, in space, no one can hear you scream. Would you test that for me right now? Could you scream for us?

Garrett: Sure, Stephen, I'd be happy to. [audience laughing]

Colbert: It's true! It's true! No one can hear you scream!

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From coffee cups in Westeros to fake babies, these are 18 of the biggest TV and movie mistakes in the last decade

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  • There were many mistakes this past decade that slipped through the cracks and made it onto the big and small screen, taking people out of the fantasy.
  • Some of the most talked about moments included a coffee cup in the final season of "Game of Thrones" and a weird fight scene with Henry Cavill in "Mission: Impossible — Fallout."
  • We took a look at 18 of the biggest blunders from the 2010s and explain why they were so unfortunate. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: From stray coffee cups in Westeros to Bradley Cooper's fake baby, things don't always go as planned when filming a TV show or movie.

There have been numerous mistakes in the past decade that slipped through the cracks and made it onto the big and small screen. Here are 18 of the biggest blunders of the 2010s.

In 2019, HBO aired the final season of "Game of Thrones," and while fans weren't exactly happy with how everything turned out with the rushed plot, there was also a major gaffe that managed to throw viewers completely out of the fantasy. In this scene, a coffee cup from craft services was accidentally left in the final cut. It's clearly visible on the table next to Daenerys, and, as far as we know, there were no baristas at Winterfell.

The cup was later edited out of the shot.

After the coffee-cup debacle, no one would have expected yet another mistake in the final season of "Game of Thrones." In one of the most important and highly anticipated scenes of the series, the leaders of Westeros were choosing who would take the throne.

Edmure Tully: I suppose this is the most important moment of our lives.

Narrator: Unfortunately, someone on the cast or crew left some water bottles in a few of the shots, turning the serious moment into a bit of a joke.

There's a heartwarming moment in "American Sniper" that quickly turns laughable. In this scene, Bradley Cooper has returned from war and is picking up his child. But since director Clint Eastwood thought using a real baby would be too unpredictable, they decided to use a doll instead. And it's painfully obvious, especially when Cooper is seen moving the baby's arm with his finger.

The events in season five of "Breaking Bad" are set in 2009 and 2010, but one of the characters can apparently see into the future. In this scene, Todd's uncle references the raid and death of Osama bin Laden.

Jack Welker: Whacking bin Laden wasn't this complicated.

Narrator: Which didn't actually happen until a year later, in 2011.

In "The Dark Knight Rises," the sun seemingly sets super early. The stock market heist scene takes place soon after the opening bell, and it's clearly light outside. But soon after, there's a car chase, and when they all emerge from the tunnel, it's pitch black. Dark "night" rises, indeed.

But that wasn't the only mistake in the film.

Typos happen all the time, but the copy editor at The Gotham Times probably lost their job over this one. In the main headline on the front page, heist is spelled wrong.

In this scene, Rachel McAdams' character is writing down notes from her conversation with one of the abuse victims at a diner. The camera cuts to the notebook several times, and while she seems to fill up the page, a few shots later it's nearly blank. Maybe it's disappearing ink?

During the final battle scene in "The Avengers," there's a lot going on, so it's not that surprising that there would be a few continuity errors here. In this scene, the front of a car is clearly dented and beaten up, but after Thor lands on the ground, the car has miraculously turned to perfect condition. A blessing from the gods.

There's another continuity error in the final battle. Here, we see Captain America is shot in the stomach, and his suit is torn and damaged. A few minutes later, however, it's back to normal. Guess Captain America is also a pretty good seamstress.

Elsa belting out "Let it Go" is one of the more memorable scenes in "Frozen," but no matter how many times you've watched it, you may not have noticed this one pretty bizarre error. In this scene, after she lets down her hair, she swings around and her braid appears to magically pass right through her arm.

"Suicide Squad" wasn't exactly flawless, but there was one scene in the film that makes absolutely no sense. In this scene, the characters are all putting on their costumes, but Harley Quinn's transformation is a bit more drastic than the others'. Somehow, she manages to get a haircut and dye her hair seconds after she puts on her outfit.

Rick Flag: Seriously, what the h---'s wrong with you people?

Narrator: While technically not in the show, this promotional image for "Downton Abbey" made headlines for something fans spotted in the background. Can you find it? Yes, like "Game of Thrones," there's a plastic water bottle in the shot, sitting right there on the mantle.

You may have been too teary-eyed at the sight of all the Avengers assembling to notice this one. In this scene, we clearly see Thanos destroy Captain America's shield. It's cracked in half. But soon after, when the camera pans out at the portals opening, the shield is back to its original state. If only we could snap our fingers and do the same for Iron Man.

Henry Cavill is known as Superman, but he appears to also have superpowers in his role as agent August Walker in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout." In this scene, Cavill's beard quickly grows while he's punching. As if that wasn't bad enough, a pocket also appears on his dress shirt.

In the world of "The Walking Dead," physics apparently don't apply. In season five, Daryl and Carol are trapped in a van that's teetering on the edge of an overpass. Eventually, the van falls and flips forward, but somehow, it lands on its wheels seconds later.

Before the coffee cup and water bottle, there was another error in "Game of Thrones" that had people scratching their heads. In season six, we learned Melisandre turns into an old woman when she takes off her necklace, but in season four, there's a scene with her in a bathtub, sans necklace, and yet she's still young and beautiful.

While demogorgons and strange young girls with telekinesis aren't very realistic, there's one mistake the production team on "Stranger Things" made with the props. Throughout season one, the kids are using realistic TRC-214 walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. The only problem is that these didn't actually exist until about two years later, in 1985.

While there's certainly a lot of time-hopping in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one jump in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" seemed to mess everything up. The movie's supposed to be set eight years after "The Avengers," which was set in 2012, hence "Homecoming" takes place in 2020, but that doesn't line up with the rest of the films, like "Avengers: Infinity War," which was set in 2018. So the entire timeline would get shifted, making the dates the heroes jump back to in "Endgame" incorrect.

Director Joe Russo eventually admitted that this "8 years later" title card was "incorrect" during a press interview.

Were there any other big mistakes you noticed in the past decade? Let us know in the comments.

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'Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson describes seeing baby Yoda on 'The Mandalorian' set: 'It's so beautiful'

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  • Rian Johnson told Business Insider what it was like seeing baby Yoda face-to-face when he visited the set of "The Mandalorian."
  • But "The Last Jedi" director is staying mum on if the "Star Wars" movie slated to come out in 2022 is one from his planned new trilogy, saying "I got no update."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Long before we all set eyes on cute baby Yoda in the Disney Plus series, "The Mandalorian,""The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson had already been face-to-face with it. 

One of the perks of having made a "Star Wars" movie is you get a huge amount of access. And for Johnson, that meant visiting the set of "The Mandalorian" while season one was being made. 

Along with chatting with the show's creator/executive producer, Jon Favreau, and fellow executive producer, Dave Filoni, he also got to check out the puppet that has become its star.

"On the set I saw baby Yoda," he told Business Insider while promoting his new movie "Knives Out" (in theaters November 27), adding that he's been waiting for the show to come out to finally drop that humble brag. 

"It's so beautiful," he said of the creature.

Johnson admitted that because he'd been promoting "Knives Out," he hadn't gotten a chance to watch any of the show yet. But he added that being on the set of "The Mandalorian" got his creativity going on what he could do next in the "Star Wars" saga.

"It's like when you're a kid and have your toys out, it's like that but on a lifesize scale," Johnson said. "It was impossible to not think about things. It's inspiring. It's creatively invigorating to be in the middle of it."

Rian Johnson 2 APBut how Johnson exactly is involved in "Star Wars" going forward is very unclear. 

After "The Last Jedi," it was announced that he would embark on making a brand new trilogy for the franchise, but since then there has been a lot of disruption with the franchise. 

Disney CEO Bob Iger told the BBC that going forward there is a "less is more" path for the movies, as in the past "we made and released too many 'Star Wars' films over a short period of time." This came on the heels of the disappointing reaction to 2018's "Solo: A Star Wars Story." Then in late October, "Game of Thrones" creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss exited their planned trilogy for "Star Wars." ("Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" opens December 20 and concludes the Skywalker saga.)

Johnson seems to still be standing, but isn't saying anything. When asked if the "Star Wars" movie Disney has slated for 2022 is one of his, he responded to Business Insider: "You're going to have to wait for them to announce whatever they are going to announce. I got no update."

On Wednesday, a story from The Hollywood Reporter said, citing "a source," that the movie slated for 2022 is not one of Johnson's projects.

The THR story also reported that going forward, along with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy watching over things, "Mandalorian" executive producers Favreau and Filoni will also have a lot to say on the franchise's future.

Johnson said a big takeaway on his trip to "The Mandalorian" set, outside of baby Yoda, was how much Filoni is locked into the "Star Wars" mythology.

"Filoni has got the soul of 'Star Wars,'" Johnson said. "He has got the heart of it."  

SEE ALSO: "The Mandalorian" episode 2 reveals how different the Disney Plus show is from Star Wars" movies

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In a political landscape dominated by class warfare, 2019 was the year movies ate the rich

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  • Warning: This piece contains spoilers for "Parasite," as well as other movies for which spoilers don't matter nearly as much. Proceed with caution!
  • Movies like "Parasite" and "Hustlers" exemplified the same visceral fury directed toward the wealthy that has also animated this year's presidential primaries.
  • What makes this year's crop of films particularly effective is the directors themselves — neither Bong Joon-Ho nor Lorene Scafaria come from the big, money-hungry Hollywood machine.
  • Kevin O'Keeffe is a writer, host, and "RuPaul's Drag Race" herstorian living in Los Angeles. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Parasite."

Park Dong-ik is as posh as you can imagine. The only members of the working class the South Korean CEO regularly encounters are his driver, housekeeper, and two tutors for his kids. And he can't quite get over their subway smell. No one in his family can. 

The smell is a recurring theme in "Parasite," Bong Joon-Ho's latest film. It's also the greatest hint at what's actually happening: unbeknownst to the Parks, the household staff are a family. Kim Ki-taek, the driver, is the patriarch. Chung-sook, the housekeeper, is his wife. And the tutors, Ki-woo and Ki-jeong, are his kids. One by one, they infiltrate the Parks' home, siphoning off the wealthy family's riches. Their plan feels like a perfect scam, until a series of unfortunate and increasingly absurd events — finding a homeless man in the basement, a devastating flood — leave the Kims emotionally and physically devastated.

"Parasite" is a darkly comic morality play, a parable about the dangers of the class divide and the way capitalism traps us all.

It's the latest in a series of movies released this year that focus on wealth disparity and class warfare. It's a trend taking over cinemas amid a Democratic presidential primary that reflects many of the same issues, with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren railing against extreme wealth. And the message is resonating: "Hustlers" and "Parasite" have been successful, and awards pundits have high hopes for both in the Oscar race. Similarly, even in the face of stalwart Joe Biden, both Warren and Sanders have attracted strong poll numbers, making them more than just parts of the conversation — they're leading it.

democratic debate

The anti-capitalist themes of "Parasite" have been noted by critics, interviewers, and director Bong Joon-ho himself. As Bong noted in GQ, his is not the first movie about class in recent years; Jordan Peele's "Us," Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," and Lee Chang-dong's "Burning" all grapple with what it means to live in a world where bootstraps are used to bind your hands behind your back.

"I think we all have a very sensitive antennae to class, in general," he told the magazine. Of course, not all of those movies feature an image as explicit as a member of the working class stabbing a self-styled VIP, as "Parasite" memorably does.

Still, 2019 gave us plenty of movies in which members of the working class fight back against their upper-class foes.

"Us" sees a class of people literally living underground rising up to take their place in the real world. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's "Ready or Not" drops us into the twisted world of board game magnates right alongside new in-law Grace, who must suddenly fight for her survival against a wealthy family protecting their own. Todd Phillips' "Joker" sees the titular villain break down when he's cut off from easy access to health care and medication thanks to red tape. 

"Hustlers" is perhaps closest in spirit and message to "Parasite." The Lorene Scafaria summer hit, adapted from Jessica Pressler's 2012 essay for New York Magazine, follows a squad of strippers-turned-scammers who drug big-time Wall Street execs and swindle thousands and thousands of dollars away from them. 

hustlers movie

The women are led by Dorothy (Constance Wu) and Ramona (Jennifer Lopez). It's easy to root for them against the faceless mob of rich white men who exemplify the 2008 financial crash in all its ugly injustice. Julia Stiles' reporter character, modeled after Pressler, all but says she thinks the hustlers were in the right to put on their Robin Hood act. 

There's the fun of the scam, of course: Both Bong Joon-ho and Lorene Scafaria lovingly, gloriously depict the protagonists' plots as if they were "Ocean's Eleven" heists. Infiltrating the Parks' home is a triumph; round after round of drugging and robbing Wall Street slimeballs plays out in montage. 

But "Hustlers" and "Parasite" don't merely vilify the upper-class; they share an explicit solidarity with the working class.

The people at the heart of these movies are complex, deftly drawn characters working within a system that's rigged against them at every turn. (The women of "Hustlers," for example, are not portrayed merely as heroes, and the movie is careful to show that their scheme sometimes hurt real people.) In other words, they're afforded the opportunity to show their humanity — in all its complicated, cruel, and reckless glory — something people of their backgrounds are rarely allowed. 

We see them in quieter moments: a dinner in the Parks' house with the Kims, or a Christmas morning with the women of "Hustlers." They desire a slice of life that, thanks to a broken capitalist system, is largely out of their reach absent extraordinary measures. Who among us can't relate to that?

The Kim Family (Woo sik Choi, Kang ho Song, Hye jin Jang, So dam Park) in Parasite. Courtesy of NEON + CJ Entertainment

This is not a particularly new observation. Outlets from Entertainment Weekly to Jezebel to Variety to ForbesForbes! — have pointed out the trend. It's also worth noting that this is hardly the first time movies have turned their lenses on class warfare: "The Lego Movie" was one long, winking critique of the toy machine, while Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" saw Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle purr into Bruce Wayne's ear that "there's a storm coming" for the one percent.

In those cases, though, it was hard to swallow their anti-capitalist messages.

The commentary of "The Lego Movie" feels flimsy when you consider that it came from the Warner Brothers behemoth, and centers on an enormously profitable toy franchise. Selina Kyle and the villainous Bane, meanwhile, were depicted as too extreme and dangerous — Batman, the tortured billionaire, was the real victor. And while "The Dark Knight Rises" came out amid the Occupy Wall Street movement, the political machine mostly relegated such protests to the sidelines. 

What makes this year's crop of films more effective messengers is not only the matching political background noise, but also the directors themselves. Bong and Scafaria come from underrepresented groups in Hollywood, and bring perspectives and ideas that lend themselves to depth and understanding. (Both "The Lego Movie" and "The Dark Knight Rises" were directed by white guys.) 

Bong and Scafaria aren't part of the classic Hollywood system: The former began his film career in South Korea, while the latter has primarily worked on smaller-scale movies. Mainstream movies are necessarily limited in the sharpness of their critiques — even Bong and Scafaria must work within the big Hollywood machine — but these films are still effective at capturing the visceral, zeitgeisty theme of working class revenge. 

"Parasite" and "Hustlers" stand apart for the unrepentant nature of their messaging.

Even when ill eventually befalls the protagonists, Bong and Scafaria never blame them for their undoing. At all times, it's made clear that the crimes of the characters came out of the system they live in. And that system is one we all live in, too.

It's fascinating to watch these films at a time when the Democratic presidential primary has quickly become a referendum on extreme wealth. Billionaire after billionaire has come out against Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for their "socialist" plans and policies. Not long ago, you could imagine a landscape in which films that made sharp critiques of capitalism were shunted to the side.

Bernie Sanders Rally 

Will it last? It's difficult to tell. Trends in cinema are often circular. Selina Kyle's storm didn't come right away in 2012. But for the time being, there's a great satisfaction to be found in these movies. The pleasure comes from the schadenfreude against the one percent — the scams, the plans, the actual damage done to the most powerful. It's the kind of catharsis we can't expect to achieve in our own lives. So we let a South Korean family of scammers and a team of former strippers lead the way.

Kevin O'Keeffe has previously written for Variety, The Atlantic, Mic, and other publications. He's still waiting on that third season of SMASH. Follow his musings and rantings on Twitter @kevinpokeeffe.

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30 of the most popular movies of the year, ranked from worst to best

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movies of the year

  • Some of the most talked-about films of the year include superhero films, gripping action flicks, and compelling dramas. 
  • Select films like "The Farewell,""Booksmart," and "Toy Story 4" received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics.
  • On the other hand, critics ripped apart movies like "Dumbo,""Glass," and "Dark Phoenix."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories

2019 was full of inventive horror films, poignant family dramas, and a seemingly endless parade of superhero battles.

Many of these big-name flicks received a lot of buzz, but some had far more positive reviews than others. 

Here are 30 of the most talked-about movies of the year, ranked by their critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes. 

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

"Dark Phoenix" was called a low point for the "X-Men" series.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 23%

Summary: After a mission in space goes disastrously wrong, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) absorbs powerful cosmic energy that she struggles to control. As she starts to pose a threat to others, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and the other X-Men band together to save Jean before it's too late. 

Critics largely agreed that the final installment in the X-Men franchise ended the series on a low note. 

"'Dark Phoenix' is the final nail in the X-Men franchise's coffin, and it's now up to Marvel Studios to resurrect it," wrote Josh Wilding in his review for Comic Book Movie. "It has its good points and you'll find moments to enjoy, but this is ultimately too average to matter."



Critics were disappointed by the supernatural sequel "Glass."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 37%

Summary: A sequel to "Unbreakable" (2000) and "Split" (2016), "Glass" centers around three supernaturally gifted men: David Dunn (Bruce Willis), Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), and Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) as they confront each other within the confines of a mental asylum. 

Critics felt that M. Night Shyamalan's sequel missed the mark with "Glass," despite the talented cast at his disposal. 

"You have to admire Shyamalan's efforts to deconstruct a genre that he evidently loves, yet there is just so little to haunt or to fool us in the result, and a few sharp laughs might have helped his cause," wrote Anthony Lane for The New Yorker



Critics questioned the necessity of Disney's remake of "Dumbo."

Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%

Summary: Based on the original 1941 animated film, Tim Burton's "Dumbo" follows circus workers Max Medici (Danny DeVito) and Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) as they turn a unique baby elephant with oversized ears into a crowd-pleasing circus performer. 

Although some reviewers found sincerity in the film, the majority of critics expressed disappointment in "Dumbo," with many questioning why it needed to be remade. 

"The refurbished story, both numbing in its predictability and painstakingly woke, is the clearest indicator that this reboot need not exist," wrote Leah Pickett for the Chicago Reader.



"The Lion King" remake earned mixed praise from critics.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 53%

Summary: "The Lion King" was another live-action remake from Disney studios, centering around young lion cub Simba (Donald Glover) as he comes of age in the savannas of Africa. Turned away by his uncle after a startling loss, Simba finds a new family with his pals Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumba (Seth Rogen). 

Many critics felt that the charm of the original "Lion King" (1994) was lost in translation among the photorealistic CGI renderings, but most said that it was a good-natured movie all the same. 

"'The Lion King' captures just enough of the original's warmhearted excitement — and introduces enough new delights — to feel like more than a cynical Disney money grab," wrote Hannah Giorgis in her review for The Atlantic



Critics called "Aladdin" a serviceable re-imagining of the original film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%

Summary: A re-imagining of "Aladdin" (1992), the live-action film follows the adventures of good-hearted thief Aladdin (Mena Massoud). After he comes upon a magic lamp that awakens a magical genie (Will Smith) he attempts to use his three wishes to win the heart of Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). 

"Aladdin" earned mixed reception from critics, with some finding fault in the movie's direction and others lending praise to its inherent charm. 

"'Aladdin' delivers the goods, especially when the music is playing, and while it may not be exactly what you wished for, it's close enough," wrote Mathew DeKinder for the Suburban Journals of St. Louis



Reviewers said "Alita: Battle Angel" was a fun, if lengthy, action film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 60%

Summary: In the action-adventure film "Alita: Battle Angel," an abandoned cyborg (Rosa Salazar) attempts to make a new life in Iron City with the help of a caring doctor (Christoph Waltz). As the city turns against her, Alita realizes that dangers from her past have come back to haunt her. 

Critics generally enjoyed "Alita: Battle Angel," saying it was a bit too long, but the action was unapologetically fun. 

"'Alita: Battle Angel' is an action-packed ride that had me in tears," wrote John Nguyen for Nerd Reactor. "It's definitely one of my favorite live-action films based on the manga and anime, and Rosa Salazar as Alita brings a lot of heart to the film."



"It: Chapter Two" received a slew of positive and negative reviews.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%

Summary: In the stirring follow-up to "It" (2017), the sequel reconnects with the kids of the "Loser Club" decades later as they find themselves called back to the town of Derry, Maine. They soon realize that they'll never escape their past until Pennywise the clown is defeated once and for all. 

Although critics were split on their opinion of "It Chapter Two," many felt that it served as an apt companion piece to the first film. 

"If perhaps it isn't nearly as daring as King's novel, capturing the tone and emotional essence goes a long way towards making this study on fear and trembling effectively entertaining," wrote Nicholas Bell for Ion Cinema



Critics called "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" fast, silly, and fun.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67%

Summary: After facing off against each other in "Furious 7" (2015), Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) partners up with Shaw (Jason Statham) to take on genetically enhanced Brixton (Idris Elba). Hobbs and Shaw race against time to stop Brixton from getting his hands on a bio-threat that could destroy the world. 

Critics called out how silly "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" was, but many found the film to be entertaining. 

"It's a thoroughly fun action comedy that delivers exactly what it promises - and if the screening I attended is any indication, kids will love it,"Matthew Rozsa wrote for Salon.



Critics found "Pokémon Detective Pikachu" endearing and cute.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%

Summary: After he is told that his father has gone missing and is presumed dead, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) partners up with his dad's Pokemon (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) to find the truth. As they piece together clues about his father's disappearance, Tim and Pikachu stumble upon a larger mystery bigger than they could have ever predicted. 

Although the film had some stumbles and missteps, most critics described the film as light and fun family entertainment. 

"Smart, imaginative and sweet, 'Detective Pikachu' offers something for everyone," wrote Katie Smith-Wong for Flick Feast.



"Joker" was called a dark and gritty character study.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 69%

Summary: Batman's infamous villain has his origin story unraveled in the dramatic thriller "Joker." Clown-for-hire Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) aspires to be a stand-up comic but the insidious world around him, coupled with his debilitating mental health, leads him down a dark path. 

Reviews for "Joker" were largely positive, and though some critics painted it as bleak and dull, many said that Phoenix shined in the role. 

"If there is a meaningful difference between performing and acting, Joaquin Phoenix surely exemplifies the former here, creepily contorting as the Clown Prince of Crime in Todd Phillips' timely, toxic take on the Making of a Murdering Madman,"wrote Matthew Lickona for San Diego Reader. 



Critics described "Isn't It Romantic" as likable and charming.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%

Summary: Natalie (Rebel Wilson) has always thought romance movies were ridiculous but when she hits her head and wakes up in an alternate world, she realizes she might be in one.

Starring in her own romantic comedy, Natalie navigates her place in a shinier New York City and a cut-throat workplace, all while trying to win over heart-throb Blake (Liam Hemsworth).

Critics said that "Isn't It Romantic" played into the very tropes it tried to parody, but most came out of the theater charmed by the comedy. 

"So many charming, carefully-crafted laughs that make it worth an hour and 28 minutes of your time," wrote Hannah Chambers for Cosmopolitan. "It's like the writers forced a robot to watch years worth of rom-coms, and then scientifically created this perfect spin with all of their idiosyncrasies."



Critics said "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" was surprisingly imaginative.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Summary: Based on the gruesome children's series, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" takes place in 1968 as a group of young teens break into a haunted mansion and mistakenly unleash a dark force upon their town of Mill Valley. As their friends start to disappear, Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti) tries to quell a dark spirit before it takes her as well. 

Even though some reviews pointed to a weak screenplay, most critics were taken aback by the film's strong production value and inventive imagery. 

"Impressively gruesome and thematically rich, drawing on political allegory that goes far beyond the simple spooks and scares of the stories themselves,"Katie Walsh wrote for Nerdist



"Captain Marvel" was rescued by a strong central performance.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Summary: "Captain Marvel" traces the origin story of superhero Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she returns to earth in search of her past. Teaming up with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Carol works to discover who she really is all while they face off against a planetary threat. 

Although superhero films are hardly few and far between these days, critics enjoyed the film and pointed to the unique charisma of Larson's performance as a highlight. 

"Superhero cinema has lectured us, ad infinitum, on the responsibility that is conferred by extraordinary gifts,"Anthony Lane wrote for The New Yorker. "Praise be to Larson, for reminding us that they can be bringers of fun."



"Good Boys" was praised for its good-natured humor.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%

Summary: Desperate to learn more about girls before they transition into middle school, Max (Jacob Tremblay) and his friends spy on their female neighbors. When the girls destroy his father's drone to teach them a lesson, Max and his pals go on a ludicrous adventure that involves skipping school, dodging the cops, and getting a jumpstart on puberty. 

Despite the movie's raunchy nature, critics doled out positive reviews for "Good Boys," calling it a surprisingly wholesome coming-of-age tale.

 "The movie's charm comes from its ability to conjure up the innocence of the twilight of childhood; its humor arises from the adult perspective of certain not-so-innocent things," wrote James Berardinelli for Reel Views. "'Good Boys' may not be for everyone but my funny bone was tickled."



Critics loved "Long Shot" because of the chemistry between its leads.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Summary: In the romantic comedy "Long Shot," Fred Flarksy (Seth Rogen) reconnects with his childhood crush Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who now works as a diplomat. Charmed by his self-deprecating humor, Charlotte invites him along as a speechwriter as she campaigns for president. 

Critics felt that "Long Shot" did little to break new ground in the romantic-comedy genre, but they applauded the chemistry between Rogen and Theron. 

Rhys Tarling wrote for Isolated Nation: "Even when the story is treading well-worn territory, Rogen and Theron are so authentic and lively together that you don't care [if] you know exactly where it's going, you're just happy to be along for the ride."



"Midsommar" was hailed as an inventive, thrilling horror movie.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Summary: Following a horrific family tragedy, Dani (Florence Pugh) travels to Sweden with her long-term boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) to attend a summer festival that only happens once every seven decades. As people begin to disappear and things go amiss, Dani suspects that the small Swedish village harbors a dark secret. 

Critics praised "Midsommar" as a successful follow-up to writer-director Ari Aster's debut film "Hereditary" (2018). 

"Even more than 'Hereditary,' 'Midsommar' lives on the edge where horror meets absurdity, prompting the kind of laughter that comes from not knowing how else to respond," wrote Jake Wilson for The Age



Critics called "Downton Abbey" a pleasant follow-up to a cherished series.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%

Summary: An extension of the much-beloved television series, "Downton Abbey" picks up where the show left off, with the high-class Crawley family anticipating the arrival of the king and queen. As the Crawley residence learns that the royal rulers travel with their own staff and servants, tension arises in the noble Abbey. 

Critics generally favored "Downton Abbey" as an enjoyable addendum to the established television series. 

"With a two-hour running time, 'Downton Abbey' can indulge itself in some of the more delicious aspects of its six-season run," wrote John Anderson in his review for the Wall Street Journal



"The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" was called a fun romp for the whole family.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Summary: In the "Lego Movie" animated sequel, Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and their Lego friends band together to defend Bricksburg from an ominous threat that could wipe out their entire world. 

Critics called "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" an exhilarating ride that was sure to please kids and adults in equal measure. 

"Suffice to say that it's a hell of a ride, with poignant things to say about the earnestness of adolescence and the frustrations of sibling conflict," wrote Ed Potton for The Times UK



Critics said "Rocketman" was a well-crafted dive into Elton John's early years.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Summary: The musical drama "Rocketman" seeks to tell the story of Elton John's (Taron Egerton's) early life, from bright-eyed child to disillusioned rock god. As he rises to the top of the charts, Elton relies on his friend and songwriter Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) to keep him on the right path. 

"Rocketman" was received as a colorful and inventive biopic, as well as a delightful homage to Elton John's discography. 

"The movie not only does a fine job in finding the emotionally and narratively meaningful moments for the songs, but also reminds you what power lies in the magical combination of music and lyrics itself," wrote Zhuo-Ning Su for Awards Daily



"Shazam!" earned praise as a fresh and exciting take on superheroes.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: After meeting an ancient wizard, down-on-his-luck foster kid Billy Baston (Asher Angel) is given the power to become a super-strong, towering superhero (Zachary Levi) named Shazam. But Billy soon realizes that his powers come with a newfound responsibility to protect his city from danger. 

In an age of superhero origin stories, a lot of critics praised "Shazam!" for delivering a fresh take on a well-worn premise. 

Matthew Norman wrote for the London Evening Standard: "After lazy reliance on phoney gravitas and blundering with its first serious stab at levity with 'Aquaman,' DC has found a comic torch-bearer of pure heart to illuminate the path of righteousness ahead."



"John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" was full of fantastic action sequences.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: In the third installment of the "John Wick" franchise, John (Keanu Reeves) remains excommunicated from the illustrious guild of assassins he held dominion over.

With a $14 million bounty on his head, John lives a life on the run and leaves a bloody body count in his wake. 

Some critics said that although the sequel didn't live up the potential of the first film, "Parabellum" was unparalleled in its action choreography and stunning cinematography. 

"It's really impossible to keep track of all the rules, but you don't really care... because the action scenes are so elaborate, so well-choreographed, and so much fun," wrote film critic Wade Major in his review for Film Week



Critics called "Spider-Man: Far From Home" a worthy entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Summary: In the wake of the universe-altering events of "Avengers: Endgame" (2019), Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his friends try to regain normalcy in their lives by attending a school trip to Europe. But Peter soon learns that his responsibilities as Spider-Man can never really take a vacation. 

Critics said that "Spider-Man: Far From Home" had a few flaws but as a whole it was a satisfying addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

"[T]his one is a genuine winner and never wears out its welcome, even if we've all seen far too many superhero movies this past decade,"Jeff York wrote for Creative Screenwriting



Critics said "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" ended on a high note.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Summary: Taking place a few years after "How to Train Your Dragon" and its sequel, "The Hidden World" picks up with Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Astrid (America Ferrera) ruling the small village of Berk and its citizens as they live peacefully beside dragons. When Hiccup's dragon Toothless is placed in danger, Hiccup goes to the ends of the earth for his winged friend. 

Critics felt that "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" provided a fitting end to the animated series. 

"So much of 'The Hidden World' is stuffed with filler material. But in certain wordless moments, this grand final entry really sings," wrote The Atlantic critic David Sims



"Fighting With My Family" was applauded as a strong sports comedy.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Summary: The sports comedy "Fighting With My Family" tells the story of British teenager Raya Knight (Florence Pugh) and her brother Zak (Jack Lowden) as they receive a rare opportunity to audition for the WWE. When Raya is accepted and her brother is left behind, she pushes herself to earn acclaim for her family in the world of wrestling. 

Critics admired the film for its earnest message, with many giving particular praise to Pugh for her electrifying performance. 

"Pugh is the film's main weapon," wrote Charlotte O'Sullivan for the London Evening Standard. "Hauntingly intense in 'The Falling' and 'Lady Macbeth,' the 23-year-old turns out to be an effortlessly nuanced comedian."



"Us" was hailed as an intriguing, original horror film.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Summary: In the horror thriller"Us," a paranoid Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) is already reluctant to visit her family's vacation home with her husband (Winston Duke) and children. But as sinister signs crop around them, Adelaide grows more assured that something dangerous is stalking their family. 

Film critics received "Us" as a riveting follow-up to Jordan Peele's debut horror film "Get Out," with some even saying that it expanded his scope as a director. 

"As 'Get Out' made evident, [Jordan] Peele can be regarded as an attentive filmmaker with the mind of an anthropologist," wrote critic Poulomi Das for Qrius. "'Us' doesn't just further that reputation, but also cements the expansive scope of his ambitions."



Critics called "Avengers: Endgame" a landmark film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Summary: Following the universe-shattering events of "Avengers: Infinity War," Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and the rest of the Avengers attempt to turn back time and save half of humanity from being wiped away for good. 

Critics called "Avengers: Endgame" a masterful conclusion to a long-running arc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

As Oliver Jones wrote for the Observer: "What you will be getting when you walk into an inevitably overstuffed movie theater is something singular that reflects our age in a way that none of the MCU films that preceded it have-indeed, very few Hollywood spectacles ever have."



"The Peanut Butter Falcon" was received as a warm and emotional drama.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Summary: In "The Peanut Butter Falcon," ambitious Zak (Zack Gottsagen) runs away from his life in a nursing home in the hopes of meeting his wrestling idol (Thomas Haden Church).

Along the way, Zak connects with an outsider named Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) and they form a fast friendship during their misadventures. 

Reviewers had little to criticize about "The Peanut Butter Falcon," hailing it as an affecting drama with well-earned high points from the cast. 

"'The Peanut Butter Falcon' isn't shy of pushing your buttons, but the overall effect has an innocent charm and frankness, and LaBeouf brings a winning combination of toughness and soul," wrote The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw



Critics adored "Toy Story 4" for its thoughtful themes and dazzling animation.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: The last installment in Pixar's "Toy Story" series follows Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) as they accompany their new child Bonnie on a road trip with her family. When the group gets separated, Woody does his best to get home before he's left behind. 

Even though this is the fourth film in a series, "Toy Story 4" still impressed critics with its thoughtful story.

"It doesn't put you through the emotional wringer the way its predecessor did, but it's consistently inventive, funny, witty, and heartfelt,"Peter Rainer wrote for Christian Science Monitor. "In other words, it's a lot better than it has any right to be."



"Booksmart" was commended for its smart script and modern feel.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Summary: Upon realizing that their party-hard classmates have gotten into the same elite colleges they studied so hard to attend, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) decide to go all out before they graduate with a night of partying and irresponsible behavior. 

Critics lauded "Booksmart" for breathing new life into the coming-of-age comedy genre, with some likening director Olivia Wilde to John Hughes. 

"It's raunchy and kind of gross at times, but there is such heart, sweetness, and honesty about high school," wrote Christy Lemire for Film Week



Critics praised "The Farewell" as one of the most compelling dramas of the year.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Summary: Upon hearing that her grandmother has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, Billi (Awkwafina) is told by her parents to keep quiet about it on their trip to China.

Torn by her love for her grandmother and her promise to her parents, Billi grapples with the secret in a world away from home. 

"The Farewell" earned acclaim for its subtle, emotional script and the groundbreaking talents of its cast. 

"Immigrants, for whom such experiences often overlap in intimate ways, can tell some of the most compelling stories about the human condition and the dislocating shocks of modernity," wrote Zoë Hu for the New Republic

Read More:

13 of the best and 13 of the worst movies of the decade, according to audiences

13 horror films coming out in 2020 that scary-movie buffs can look forward to

10 of the best and 10 of the worst Netflix original movies of the year, so far



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

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  • 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." 



Henry Cavill said a director called him too "chubby" to play James Bond.

"Man of Steel" star Henry Cavill said when he auditioned to play James Bond in a film the director told him he was too "chubby" for the role. 

To audition, Cavill said he had to walk out with just a towel on. 

"I remember the director, Martin Campbell, saying, 'Looking a little chubby there, Henry,'" Cavill said in an interview with Men's Health magazine.

But Cavill said he was following a poor diet at the time and, overall, the director's comment made him rethink his physical health and how he eats.

"I didn't know how to train or diet," he told the publication. "And I'm glad Martin said something because I respond well to truth. It helps me get better." 

 



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."

Read More:



Inside the making of the hit 'Frozen II' song 'Into the Unknown' and why it originally wasn't in the movie

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  • Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez talked to Business Insider about how they created the songs for "Frozen II."
  • Known for making the hit song "Let It Got" from the first movie, they broke down how the equally catchy "Into the Unknown" came to life for the sequel.
  • They also explained how, at first, another song was to be in its place, and why it was replaced with "Into the Unknown."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

Though it's been six years between "Frozen" movies, songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez haven't really taken a break from Elsa and Anna.

The duo were brought on at the tail end of production on the first "Frozen" movie, and helped directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck recalibrate the story and power it with nine songs, including the huge global hit and Oscar winner, "Let It Go." After the first "Frozen," the pair quickly jumped over to the Broadway musical version of the movie. For that, they wrote 12 original songs (oh, and they also found time to write another Oscar-winning song, "Remember Me," for Pixar's 2017 release "Coco").

"We have not stopped working since 2012," Anderson-Lopez told Business Insider.

Despite all that time in Arendelle, the husband-and-wife team didn't hesitate to dive into work on "Frozen II" (in theaters) when Walt Disney Animation came calling in 2015. But they said the last thing they were thinking about was how to duplicate the success of "Let It Got."

Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez AP"Thinking like that would have completely —," Anderson-Lopez paused.

"Shut us down," Lopez chimed in.

"Yeah, we would have gone off and been farmers," Anderson-Lopez said.

In fact, they kept their song books and instruments packed away for the first two years of working on the sequel.

This time around, the duo was invited to not just write the songs for the movie, but also be voices in the creation of its story (both have "story by" credits). It led to daily video conference calls with Lee, Buck, and the other creatives at Disney, as well as trips to Iceland and Norway.

"You gather feelings in your mind and save the thoughts later when you will be writing," Lopez said of the process.

Once there was a story foundation, the pair then found the moments when songs would be vital in moving the story forward. In early story meetings, songs like "All Is Found" and "The Next Right Thing" were locked in. But getting a song for a major Elsa moment in the movie was a little more challenging. They needed a "Let It Go" song for it to work.

In "Frozen II," Elsa travels to an enchanted forest in search of a mysterious sound that only she can hear. Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff (with Sven) tag along leading to self-discovery for all through comedy and songs. Toward the end of the movie, Elsa finally finds the mystery sound and has a duet with it titled "Into the Unknown." Like "Let It Go" in the first "Frozen," the song has an addictive hook and shows off the incredible vocal range of Idina Menzel (who voices Elsa).

But the Lopezes said that wasn't the first song to be placed in that scene.

"We had written a whole other song for that same moment," Lopez revealed.

In that scene, a song titled "I Seek the Truth" was placed in. At the time of story development, Lopez said that the mysterious sound Elsa is in search of was not in the story yet.

"We wrote a bit of a generic song," he admitted, looking back. "You can hear why it's less exciting."

Here's what "I Seek the Truth" sounded like:

 

But once the plot revolved around Elsa seeking out a mysterious sound, they got another crack at the scene, and wrote "Into the Unknown."

"Some of the songs are inspired by story innovations, and we got this idea with the team that there was a voice from the past singing out that only Elsa could hear, and once we had that thought, a duet song came into sharp focus," Lopez said. "We realized that first the voice is going to be calling out to Elsa and she wants it to go away, and by the middle of the song, she's admitting maybe part of her is curious about what's out there, and by the end of the song, she's going for it. She's singing back to the voice: 'How do I follow you into The Unknown?'"

But like "Let It Go," it wasn't until Menzel got her hands on the song that everyone was excited by it.

"She ended up doing it in the key we wrote it in, but I think part of the other thing is she can do these amazing intervals," Anderson-Lopez said of Menzel singing the song's chorus. "When she first sings the words 'into the unknown,' it's an octave and then she says it again and it goes up one step outside of your boundaries, but you come home. And then a third time she just takes it to an 11. You have gone way out of your boundaries. And it mirrors the story. And I think Idina just nailed that feeling of howling at the moon because you need to find your purpose."

Idina Menzel APThe song is a surefire best song Oscar contender, as "Let It Go" was in the first movie. But the duo said they never know when a song they write will be a hit. They are more focused on if it serves the story.

"You look for the most emotional moments where a human is feeling something strongly and goes from one emotion to another emotion," Anderson-Lopez said. "In this case, we knew we needed Elsa to sing about wanting to find the truth about herself and why she has these powers, but it wasn't until it was in a duet with an otherworldly call that we got that kind of strong emotion."

"It's impossible to state how much emotion the animations bring to each sequence," Lopez added. "That's when I really felt that the song worked, to be honest. It was exciting and thrilling."

Listen to "Into the Unknown" here:

 

SEE ALSO: "Frozen II" is a worthy sequel with breathtaking animation and a song as catchy as "Let It Go"

Join the conversation about this story »

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

'Frozen II' has huge $127 million opening weekend, the biggest ever for an animated movie released in November (DIS)

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  • Disney's "Frozen II" earned an estimated $127 million in its opening weekend.
  • That's the biggest opening weekend gross for an animated movie in the month of November.
  • The movie had a worldwide cume of $350 million.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After showing the potential of its newly acquired Fox division last weekend with the successful opening of "Ford v Ferrari," Disney flexed is animation muscles this weekend with the release of "Frozen II."

The highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster 2013 original brought in an estimated $127 million at the domestic box office. That's the best opening for an animated movie ever for the month of November. It also puts a shot in the arm for a box office that has been hit with weak releases of late, like "Terminator: Dark Fate,""Doctor Sleep," and "Charlie's Angels."

The opening for "Frozen II" is better than the opening for the 2013 release, which brought in $93 million over Thanksgiving weekend. The sequel earned $100 million globally by Friday. Not a surprise as fans of the Oscar-winning original have been waiting patiently for six years to see a sequel.

Worldwide the movie was number one at the box office in every territory and broke records at some of them. It was the highest opening weekend ever for an animated movie in France and the UK. In China, it has the third-highest opening ever for an animated movie.

The movie brought in $223 million internationally at 37 markets. It had a worldwide cume of $350 million.

"Ford v Ferrari" held off Tom Hanks starring as Mr. Rogers in Sony's "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" ($13.5 million) to come in second place with $16 million. It now has a worldwide cume of $104 million.

Expect "Frozen II" dominating the box office over Thanksgiving weekend next week. With the competition being made up of new releases like Lionsgate's whodunit "Knives Out" and Universal's drama "Queen & Slim," they will only bring out select audiences. Kids and families are going to power the multiplexes for a second straight weekend.

chris evans knives out

Box office highlights:

  • "Charlie's Angels" had a dramatic 62% drop from its opening at the domestic box office, only earning $3.1 million in its second weekend.
  • "Knives Out" brought in $2 million at early access showings (936 screens). The movie opens wide on Wednesday. 

 

SEE ALSO: Inside the making of the hit "Frozen II" song "Into the Unknown" and why it originally wasn't in the movie

Join the conversation about this story »

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

14 of the most anticipated horror movies coming out in 2020

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anticipated horror movies for 2020

  • There are a lot of long-anticipated horror films set to come in out in 2020.
  • A quasi-reboot of a horrifying Japanese film, "The Grudge" is making its debut on January 3.
  • February welcomes the thriller "The Invisible Man," which will star Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. 
  • In March, you can see "A Quiet Place 2," which features the work of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As this very long year finally comes to an end, it's time to look ahead to 2020 and all of the promising horror films it will bring. 

So far, the upcoming year is filled with movies featuring big-name actors, legendary directors, and talented screenwriters.  

Here are some of the most anticipated horror films that you should have on your radar for 2020. 

"The Grudge"— directed by Nicolas Pesce

Release Date: January 3

This quasi-reboot to the 2004 remake of the 2002 Japanese film (both by Takashi Shimazu) has had a long road to the silver screen.

Early whispers of the project first came back in 2011 when all the internet heard was that Ghost House Pictures was working on the relaunch.

The story is by Jeff Buhler ("Midnight Meat Train") and the screenplay comes from director Nicolas Pesce ("The Eyes of My Mother").

The heavy-hitter is also produced by Sam Raimi ("The Evil Dead") and it stars Andrea Riseborough, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, and horror icon Lin Shaye.



"The Turning"— directed by Floria Sigismondi

Release Date: January 24

A modern take on the 19th-century novel "The Turning of the Screw" by Henry James, "The Turning" is directed by Floria Sigismondi ("The Runaways").

It will star Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, and Brooklynn Prince.

It's about an inexperienced nanny who takes a job watching two creepy kids in a huge, spooky house — and the script comes from "The Conjuring" writers Chad and Carey Hayes.

 



"The Lodge"— directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

Release Date: February 7

Snowed in at an isolated cabin with her fiancé's children, Grace (Riley Keough) has to find a way to navigate the tricky new relationships while also facing off with threats from her dark past in "The Lodge."

Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz ("Goodnight Mommy"), the film originally premiered at Sundance and was later picked up by Neon.

It was initially set to make its big debut in 2019, but now "The Lodge" is scheduled to release in the United States on February 7.



"The Invisible Man"— directed by Leigh Whannell

Release Date: February 28

A woman is stalked and tormented by her abusive ex, only no one can see him and no one believes that he is still alive.

Putting his spin on a character originally created by H.G. Wells, Leigh Whannell has written and directed "The Invisible Man," which stars Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. 

A tour-de-force in horror for over 15 years, Whannell is known primarily as the architect of the "Saw" and "Insidious" franchises.



"A Quiet Place 2"— directed by John Krasinski

Release Date: March 20

After the first film exceeded expectations at the box office, "A Quiet Place" screenwriters and director John Krasinski decided to return to the silent but deadly world. 

Krasinski is back to direct and Emily Blunt is also returning to reprise her role as Evelyn Abbott, a mother trying to protect her family in a world overrun by large creatures with hypersensitive hearing.

Others reportedly joining the cast include Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. As with many films on this list, plot details are scarce.

That said, Krasinski has teased that the threat in "A Quiet Place" probably extended well beyond the borders of the Abbott family's property, but we'll have to wait and see just how widespread the chaos is.

Production wrapped on the sequel in September 2019 and the film is scheduled to hit theaters in March.



"Antlers"— directed by Scott Cooper

Release Date: April 17

Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons star in this Guillermo del Toro- and David Goyer-produced supernatural film about a small-town teacher, her sheriff brother, and a creepy local boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) who has something dangerous locked away in his home.

Directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart,""Hostiles"), the horror film has a well-cut trailer that teases the scares and wide-eyed performances from Russell and Thomas, but doesn't fully reveal the creature.

 



"Antebellum"— directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz

Release Date: April 24

From the producers of hit films "Us" and "Get Out" comes a thriller about an author who finds herself seemingly trapped in a horrifying reality that's set in the past.

It stars Janelle Monaé, Marque Richardson II, Eric Lang, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, and Gabourey Sidibe.



Untitled "Saw" Project —  directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Release Date: May 15

When news broke that Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures were developing another "Saw" film based on an idea from comedian and actor Chris Rock, some thought it seemed like a joke.

But it's very real — and production wrapped in August 2019.

Direct by Darren Lynn Bousman ("Saw II, III, & IV"), the film will reportedly star Rock as a police detective and Samuel L. Jackson as his father, per Deadline

 



"Candyman"— directed by Nia DaCosta

Release Date: June 12

Described as a "spiritual sequel" to the 1992 movie, the upcoming "Candyman" is produced by Jordan Peele ("Get Out,""Us") and directed by Nia DaCosta ("Little Woods"). Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is set to star in the flick.

The original film and its subsequent sequels were about an urban legend; a murderous ghost with a hook for a hand who would appear if you said his name in the mirror five times.

 



"Last Night in Soho"— directed by Edgar Wright

Release Date: September 25

In an interview with Empire magazine, "Shaun of the Dead" director Edgar Wright said his upcoming psychological horror film "Last Night in Soho" will have some elements of time travel.

Set in 1960s London, the film stars Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy. The characters share a mysterious link inspired by Wright's obsession with the decade.

"Imagine if you knew everything you know now, and went back," Wright said. "I'm taking a premise whereby you have a character who, in a sort of abstract way, gets to travel in time. And the reality of the decade is maybe not what she imagines."



"Halloween Kills"— directed by David Gordon Green

Release Date: October 16

Director David Gordon Green and his team recently wrapped production on "Halloween Kills," the first of two planned sequels to the 2018 rebootquel "Halloween."

Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and others are reprising their roles from the 2018 film.

It has also been announced that Anthony Michael Hall is joining the cast as Tommy Doyle and that actress Kyle Richards will be reprising her role as Lindsey Wallace from the original 1978 film.

That said, it seems the filmmakers are keeping the plot details under wraps for long as they can.



"Army of the Dead"— directed by Zack and Deborah Snyder

Release Date: Winter 2020

Zack Snyder ("Justice League") is back in the director's chair after taking a short break from Hollywood in 2017.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Snyders directed and produced a Las Vegas-based zombie-apocalypse film for Netflix called "Army of the Dead."

The film will star Dave Bautista, Ana de la Reguera, and Ella Purnell. The final day of shooting was on October 19, 2019,  but the exact release date for the project has not yet been revealed.

 

 



"Saint Maud"— directed by Rose Glass

Release Date: TBD

A psychological horror about a devout Christian nurse and her cancer-afflicted charge, "Saint Maud" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2019, and made its US debut at Fantastic Fest down in Austin, Texas, a week later.

It is the feature-length film debut for Rose Glass and it stars Morfydd Clark as the titular Maud and Jennifer Ehle as the woman in her care that is in need of "saving."

Reactions from festivalgoers were positive, with several reviewers applauding the "unsettling" possession film for its "creeping dread" and its slow-paced, disturbing tone.

Following its debut, "Saint Maud" was acquired for North American distribution by A24. The studio tweeted that the film is "coming in 2020" but has not announced its plans for a theatrical release.



An untitled documentary about the history of queer horror in film — directed by Sam Wineman

Release Date: TBD

The last slot goes to a long-awaited documentary from writer/director Sam Wineman ("The Quiet Room") and the producers of "Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror."

AMC's horror streaming service Shudder announced this past summer that the untitled documentary will explore the history of queer horror in film.

The project is expected to highlight pioneering LGBTQ voices in front of and behind the camera, while also touching on the often problematic subjects, themes, and depictions of queer characters in popular culture.

"Horror has spent a great deal of time telling our stories undercover, both intentionally and unintentionally. In order to fully understand the depth of how and why, you have to unpack the social context of what it is to be queer at the moment in history that coincides with the films themselves. That story is one that is long overdue, and I am honored to have the chance to share it,"Wineman told IndieWire

There is currently no release date set for the film but, according to Shudder, it is expected to premiere in 2020.

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5 tech predictions the original 'Blade Runner' got wrong about 2019

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  • The original "Blade Runner" movie came out in 1982, and takes place in November 2019.
  • The film is hailed as a classic, and had some of the best early special effects the movie industry had ever seen.
  • However, many of the tech predictions it made about life in 2019 Los Angeles didn't quite work out.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" hit theaters in 1982, but it takes place in Los Angeles of November 2019. 

The movie showed audience member in 1982 a dystopian future world, one where the earth is dark and polluted. Blade runners, like Harrison Ford's character, are tasked with tracking down human-like robots called replicants, and killing, or "retiring," them. 

Some things the film predicted about 2019 have turned out to be mostly right. Although the earth isn't in as bad of shape as it is in the movie, climate change is an increasingly pressing issue. Robots play bigger roles in our lives than ever before, and voice assistant are fairly common. But, not every prediction in the 1982 film has come true, at least not yet.

Here are five things the movie got wrong about 2019.

SEE ALSO: Tesla's new Cybertruck might be able to turn into a 'Cybercamper' with a tent for sleeping in the back

1. The movie predicted flying cars, and we're not even close.

Some companies have built prototypes for flying vehicles that are branded as "flying cars" or "flying taxis," but they're far less capable than those in "Blade Runner." More progress has been made creating and testing self-driving cars.



2. We would have robots that are so human-like, they require a test to distinguish between humans and robots.

Despite recent advances in AI, we don't have replicants, and modern robots are definitely not easily mistaken for humans.



3. In Blade Runner's 2019, smoking was still common, even indoors.

Many states in the US have banned or limited smoking indoors in a public space, including California, which is where "Blade Runner" is set.

The movie didn't see the rise of vaping coming.



4. In the film, people have colonized parts of space.

Today, despite the hopes of tech execs like Elon Musk, we're still years away from that being a reality.



5. Polaroids play an important role in the film, and digital photos don't really exist.

Polaroids are still around today, but they're mostly for fun and not anyone's primary way of taking and storing photos.



Netflix is now in the movie-theater business, as it reopens the 71-year-old Paris Theatre in New York City

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  • Netflix has signed a lease agreement to run New York City's Paris Theatre, according to a press release sent out by the company on Monday.
  • The 71-year-old art house is the last single-screen theater in the city. It closed earlier this year when its previous lease expired.
  • Netflix has been showing its Oscar contender "Marriage Story" there since earlier this month.
  • Going forward, the streaming giant said it would use the space for "special events, screenings, and theatrical releases of its films."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

Netflix announced on Monday that it had signed a lease agreement to run the last single-screen theater in New York City, the Paris Theatre.

The 71-year-old art house closed earlier this year after the previous lease expired. The streaming giant reopened it earlier this month to give its acclaimed Noah Baumbach movie, "Marriage Story," starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, an Oscar-season theatrical run.

Now going forward, Netflix said it would use the space for "special events, screenings, and theatrical releases of its films."

Over the last few years, Netflix has been kicking the tires of numerous theater spaces to take over, most recently The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. But now taking control of one gives the company the freedom to run any of its movies whenever (and for how long or short a time) it wants. And with it being a historic landmark like the Paris, it will attract to the company the big-name filmmakers who still want a taste of the theatrical experience.

The Paris has been a staple of the arts in New York City since actress Marlene Dietrich cut the grand opening ribbon back in 1948. Until recently, almost every notable art house movie had played at the space, located on West 58th Street in Manhattan, just across the street from The Plaza hotel.

"After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, in the release sent out Monday. "We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers."

SEE ALSO: The hit "Frozen II" song "Into the Unknown" wasn't originally in the movie

Join the conversation about this story »

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

'1917' is a bold war movie whose striking cinematography demands to be seen on the big screen

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  • "1917" is set during World War I and follows two British privates who have to travel behind enemy lines to deliver an important message to their allies.
  • The director Sam Mendes has made the movie feel as if it consists of just two continuous shots.
  • The movie is an emotional thrill ride that needs to be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

War movies are one of the hallmarks of the moviemaking business. Since the advent of the moving image, storytellers have been so captivated (and horrified) by the sights that they consistently make movies about the topic.

Sam Mendes ("American Beauty,""Jarhead,""Skyfall,""Spectre") is the latest to take on the genre and has done it with a masterful hand in the epic "1917" (in theaters Christmas Day).

Inspired by stories told to him by his grandfather, who fought in World War I, Mendes takes the hugely ambitious task of designing the movie so it feels as if it consists of just two continuous shots.

Clearly a personal project for Mendes, who has a screenwriting credit for the first time in his career (sharing it with Krysty Wilson-Cairns), "1917" stands out in the war-story genre for its pristine execution from all departments: production design, costume, visual effects, score, and especially photography.

Shot by the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, marking his fourth time collaborating with Mendes, the movie has all the makings of becoming one that will define Deakins' storied career (and will most likely earn him a second Oscar to go with one for "Blade Runner 2049").

The camera really is the star of the movie — no offense to any of the actors. But the artistry of how this movie is photographed will be marveled over for decades to come.

Take the opening of the movie, in which the British privates Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) are told to report to the General. The shot is of the two soldiers getting some shut-eye by an open field. As the scene progresses, that shot becomes narrower and narrower as more things fill in both sides of the frame. With the camera pointing at the characters and moving backward, we can't see what is coming at them. But as we watch the pair walk and talk, things around them begin to reveal what they are a part of. After 10 yards or so of walking, we see more and more soldiers resting and interacting. And then things become even narrower as the two walk into a huge trench to get to the General.

That's just one example of how the movie's style brings loads of surprises, and with Deakins as director of photography it is gorgeous to watch.

In "1917," Blake and Schofield are ordered to hand deliver a message to their allies in enemy territory. If the privates don't get the message to the leader of the battalion, then 1,600 men, including Blake's brother, could perish.

The movie then becomes an intense race against time that includes a harrowing march through no-man's-land, a Germain occupied town, and more trenches.

There is only one blatant cut in the movie. It occurs following a dramatic moment when the screen goes black. Other than that, there is no break in the action, which makes it impossible for the audience to catch a breath (and fun to try to catch where the other edits in the movie actually take place). There are a couple of moments when things drag on for a beat too long, but other than that the movie is an emotional thrill ride.

And I can't stress enough that you should see this movie on the big screen. There is so much going on in the frame all the time that you want to feel fully immersed in it.

There are moments in the movie that are hard to watch, regarding gore and violence, but in no way does it go to the level of, say, "Saving Private Ryan." Mendes mixes the horrors of war with some touching moments that show hope even in darkness. That can range from Schofield aiding a mother and a baby by giving them his canteen (filled with milk), to a soldier singing to his platoon before they go into battle. Mendes and Wilson-Cairns discovered both of these true instances when researching for the script.

This is certainly a movie that will stay with you for some time.

SEE ALSO: Inside the making of the hit 'Frozen II' song 'Into the Unknown' and why it originally wasn't in the movie

Join the conversation about this story »

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

Director Rian Johnson says he and star Daniel Craig were like 'little kids' on the set of 'Knives Out,' his star-studded murder mystery

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  • Writer-director Rian Johnson told Business Insider how the immediacy of making his latest movie, "Knives Out," was in some ways a palate cleanser for him as a filmmaker.
  • Johnson discussed how he and his star Daniel Craig pushed one another in seeing how wacky they could go with Craig's private detective character before it got too silly.
  • Johnson, who previously made "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," also talked about what it was like to visit the set of "The Mandalorian."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

For four years, Rian Johnson was fully immersed in making his "Star Wars" movie, "The Last Jedi." So you can't blame the guy for wanting to do something completely different for his next movie. And he certainly accomplished that with the murder mystery "Knives Out" (in theaters Wednesday).

In the movie, Johnson assembles an all-star cast made up of Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, and Don Johnson for a whodunit in the vein of an Agatha Christie novel or Alfred Hitchcock movie. Craig is the standout in the movie and delivers a scenery-chewing performance as a Southern gentleman private detective who is hunting the murderer of a family patriarch.

The release of "Knives Out" comes at a time when there's great uncertainty on what Johnson's role will be going forward with "Star Wars." Lucasfilm announced in 2017 that Johnson would head the creation of a new "Star Wars" trilogy, however, since then there has been a complete disruption of future "Star Wars" plans. The latest: Disney head Bob Iger suggested a "less is more" path going forward, and "Game of Thrones" creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss exited their planned trilogy. (Johnson has declined to reveal anything about his own trilogy.)

Business Insider spoke to Johnson in New York City about the challenges that came with trying to create a whodunit and his experience daring Craig to go even further with his character. And we got one "Star Wars" tidbit out of the director: what it was like setting eyes on baby Yoda while visiting the set of "The Mandalorian."

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Jason Guerrasio: Reading how you found the window of time to make this movie and write it, it was all done very quickly.

Rian Johnson: Yeah.

Guerrasio: Looking back on it now, was making this a palate cleanser for you in regards on how to make a movie?

Johnson: The immediacy of it very much was, yes. "Star Wars" was four years to make one movie, for me. For this, I just dove in. And you're right, just trust your instincts and not be precious.

Guerrasio: And if we want to go further back, before "Star Wars," there was you doing episodes of "Breaking Bad." And TV is its own animal.

Johnson: That's what it goes back to for me is the experience of doing television, or even [his debut feature film] "Brick." It's doing something where you just have to jump in and start dancing and that felt really good. And something like this, that's complex, you just have to push it out there.

Guerrasio: What I really enjoyed about "Knives Out" is there are so many characters but none I ever felt got short changed.

Johnson: That's good.

Guerrasio: With a big ensemble there's the danger that someone doesn't get enough screen time. Was making sure they all got equal time a big thing for you while writing?

Johnson: Absolutely. It was something I was really conscious about, especially when we started building the cast. I'm such a big fan of every one of these actors.

Knives Out 2 LionsgateGuerrasio: And that's another thing, selling the role to them.

Johnson: Yeah, "You have your moment in this." Now, the flip side of that is because these actors are so good they can do a lot with a little. So Toni Collette can make a 30-second scene feel like a feast. All of these actors are similar in that way, so they helped me in that regard. I was very conscious of that.

Guerrasio: Was there one character that was tougher to accomplish that with?

Johnson: No, it was more real estate. It's like putting a jigsaw puzzle together on a very small table: there's only so much room so you have to be kind of as efficient as possible. But that helps because that means you aren't going to have superfluous scenes with the characters. When you plug them in it has to be in a way that's moving everything forward.

Guerrasio: It sounds like when Daniel Craig was cast things moved really quick.

Johnson: Yeah.

Guerrasio: Was there a contingency plan if Craig decided he didn't want to do the movie?

Johnson: Well, we definitely wouldn't have made the movie that year.

Guerrasio: Oh, really?

Johnson: Yeah. If we ended up waiting for him or something else I don't know, but the way it did happen I think it helped everything. It helped getting the rest of the cast. Let's put it this way, the instant I knew I could get him I got him. I could tell from meeting him how much fun he would have doing this and that was a big factor for me, knowing he was going to have fun in this part and bust loose.

Knives Out LionsgateGuerrasio: His performance reminds me of what he did in "Logan Lucky," in which he also sports a Southern accent.

Johnson: Yeah. People should check out that movie, he's having so much fun.

Guerrasio: I talked to Riley Keough once, who starred with him in that movie, and she told me Daniel never lost the voice. She would see him off set and he would still have it.

Johnson: [Laughs.] Really? Oh, that's funny.

Guerrasio: Did that happen on this movie?

Johnson: No. He worked his a-- off with the voice. We didn't have a lot of prep time but he used every moment. He worked with a dialect coach. Even though it's a big fun performance he put so much work into it. He was dialed in on the day but it wasn't like we were having dinner and he was doing it.

Guerrasio: That would have been awesome.

Johnson: I would have been thrilled.

Guerrasio: With his character in particular, would you two discuss between takes how far you could take the zaniness?

Johnson: We were like little kids on set. We were almost daring each other to go further with every take. "How far can we push this without it breaking?" And once and a while we would say, "Yeah, that was too big." But it was fun doing it. I felt with Daniel, and all the actors, my job on set was to encourage them to step out even further.

 

Guerrasio: This is not a movie where you feel it's all serious.

Johnson: Right.

Guerrasio: It's Hitchcock, it's Agatha Christie, but it's also "Clue." I don't know if you like the "Clue" comparison.

Johnson: I love "Clue," but to me the distinction is "Clue" is very much a parody where with this what I was really aiming for were the Peter Ustinov movies like "Death on the Nile" and "Evil Under the Sun." Those have a cheeky self awareness in their tone but never cross the line into parody. They still land as mysteries.

Guerrasio: It didn't sound like this was a cast that once you said "cut" they would run to their trailers. They liked to hang out. Who was the ringleader?

Johnson: I mean, any group Jamie Lee Curtis is in she's got the leadership vibe. But it was this collective of let's all chill out kind of thing. That's one of the things I'm very happy with about the movie, you can tell everybody is enjoying being there and that's a genuine reflection of what it was like on the set.

Guerrasio: You say the story creation and character development was like a jigsaw puzzle, was that a challenge in the edit?

Johnson: My editor, Bob Ducsay, and I snapped this thing together fairly quickly and I have to say it shifted around the least of any movie that I've done. I think that's because of the jigsaw nature of the story. And we didn't even cut that much out of it. A couple of scenes, but mostly what's on the page is on the screen.

Guerrasio: That must feel really good.

Johnson: It does feel good. It feels weird. [Laughs.] That doesn't always happen. And when it doesn't you figure out ways to get around what's not working, but it felt good that with this one it translated step by step.

star wars last jedi millennium falconGuerrasio: So, I have to ask some "Star Wars" questions.

Johnson: Yeah, go ahead.

Guerrasio: Disney recently released its future slate of theatrical releases. A "Star Wars" is slated for 2022, is that one of your movies?

Johnson: You're going to have to wait for them to announce whatever they are going to announce. I got no update.

Guerrasio: Have you watched "The Mandalorian" at all?

Johnson: Not yet. I have been so busy doing this I haven't been able to hook up my account, but I visited the set and I talked to [executive producer] Dave Filoni and [show creator, Jon] Favreau. On the set I saw baby Yoda, so I have been waiting for that to drop. It's so beautiful. Filoni has got the soul of "Star Wars," he has got the heart of it.

Guerrasio: When you are on set like that, does that just get your creativity going on what you want to do in "Star Wars"?

Johnson: It's like when you're a kid and have your toys out. It's like that but on a life-size scale. It was impossible to not think about things. It's inspiring. It's creatively invigorating to be back in the middle of it.

Join the conversation about this story »

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

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

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  • Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" is a cinematic experience you shouldn't miss.
  • Scorsese's storytelling is at its creative peak, and Robert De Niro delivers an incredible performance playing a character from his 40s to his 80s.
  • The movie is now available on Netflix.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After an idea that spent decades rattling around in the heads of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, the movie "The Irishman" is finally here (in theaters Friday and launching on Netflix on November 27).

Based on the Charles Brandt book "I Heard You Paint Houses," the movie takes an epic look at the life of Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro), who before his death admitted to killing Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), the charismatic president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters who suddenly vanished in 1975.

With a running time close to 3 1/2 hours, the movie is nothing short of an experience.

Scorsese's talents as a storyteller are in full glow here. And De Niro's portrayal of Sheeran over the span of decades is just another reminder how few actors can captivate an audience quite the way he can.

And then there's the technology involved, which made it possible for De Niro, Pacino, and Joe Pesci, who plays the mob boss Russell Bufalino, to look decades younger. It brings an added layer to the storytelling, but thankfully it is not overwhelming. In fact, there are some scenes in which it's hard to tell whether it's the de-aging technology we're looking at or just a good job by the makeup department.

The movie begins with the camera creeping through a retirement home until we come upon an elderly man in a wheelchair. It's Sheeran, living out his final days. He begins to speak about his life. He's not talking to anyone in particular, though we the audience are hanging on his every word.

The Irishman 2 Netflix finalAfter World War II, he became a truck driver, got involved with the mob, and then found a profession that would make him useful for years: hitman.

But Sheeran also had a Forrest Gump-like existence in the Mafia, as it seemed he was involved in the biggest news events from the 1960s and 1970s. From the Bay of Pigs to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and, of course, Hoffa's rise and disappearance, a lot of history is explored in "The Irishman." In less capable hands, trying to weave all this together would be a mess, but Scorsese is fully in his element.

If you are hoping for a story in which De Niro and Pacino interact a lot, you will not be disappointed. The meat of the story is the relationship between Sheeran and Hoffa. It's Sheeran's loyalty to Hoffa that makes it all the more heartbreaking when Sheeran finally has to turn on him. (How it's done, and how Scorsese tells it, will keep you on the edge of your seat, even for those who have read "I Heard You Paint Houses.")

You will find similarities in "The Irishman" to Scorsese's other works. Sheeran's life story is similar to Henry Hill's in "Goodfellas"— though less glamorous. Sheeran is certainly more focused on pleasing the bosses than Hill was. Then there's a scene in which Sheeran figures out the guns to use for a hit by spreading them all out on a mattress. It mirrors Travis Bickle buying guns on the black market in "Taxi Driver." And, as with all Scorsese movies, the soundtrack is prevalent.

But there's also a quietness to this movie. There are long sections when no soundtrack or score is used. Some scenes seem to go on for an extra beat. (Perhaps working for Netflix brought even more freedom for Scorsese than he typically gets at a studio.)

De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci give fantastic performances, especially De Niro's work of playing a character from his 40s to his 80s (it's not the first time De Niro has done it; he had a similar task in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" playing David "Noodles" Aaronson). And get ready to be amazed by the acting from the character actor Stephen Graham ("Gangs of New York,""Rocketman"). Graham plays Hoffa's rival Anthony Provenzano, or "Tony Pro," and the scenes in which they go head-to-head are some of the most memorable in the movie.

And, yes, "The Irishman" will be on Netflix at the end of November. But this is a Martin Scorsese movie. If you can, attempt to see the movie for the first time in theaters. This is the kind of story you want to see on the big screen.

Just don't order the large soda.

SEE ALSO: Yes, Ray Romano was very anxious acting opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in "The Irishman"

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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 of the best movies to watch if you want to feel nostalgic for the '90s

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The 1990s were a great decade for cinema, bringing us a variety of movies that can seemingly transport us back to when they were filmed. 

Here are some of the best films to watch if you want to feel nostalgic about the '90s. 

"Clueless" (1995) has so many memorable fashions and quotes.

There is arguably no film more '90s than Amy Heckerling's "Clueless."

Starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and Brittany Murphy, "Clueless" is a unique take on the Jane Austen novel "Emma."

In the film, wealthy and popular teen Cher Horowitz (Silverstone) helps a nerdy student become popular only to later realize how misguided her intentions were. 

Complete with iconic clothing, an undeniably '90s soundtrack, and an array of notable slang, this nostalgic masterpiece truly encapsulates the spirit of the era.

 



"10 Things I Hate About You" (1999) features high-school struggles many can still relate to today.

An adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew,""10 Things I Hate About You" is a romantic teen comedy that portrays high school in the '90s. 

The teens in this film aren't quite rich like the characters in "Clueless," but they battle the same issues that many high-school students faced during the decade.

Starring Julia Stiles, Gabrielle Union, and Heath Ledger, the film has it all — a bit of grunge fashion, an iconic musical sequence, and just the right amount of '90s angst. 

Read More: 100 of the best songs from the '90s

 

 



"You've Got Mail" (1998) has just about every element of a '90s film.

"You've Got Mail" is an homage to a time when the internet was a relatively new thing and email was a topic worthy of writing an entire film around.

In the movie, business rivals Joe (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen (Meg Ryan) unknowingly fall in love while being each other's online pen pal. 

From the unmistakable sound of dial-up internet to the iconic AOL voice saying, "Welcome!" and "You've Got Mail," the film captures the nostalgia of '90s technology like no other.



"Home Alone" (1990) is potentially a film you still watch every December.

If you grew up in the '90s, there's a pretty great chance you watched "Home Alone" just about every holiday season.

In this Christmas classic, Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, a mischievous (if not bratty) child who is mistakenly left alone while his family goes off to Europe for the holidays. 

From its dated plot that would never hold up in modern times to its retro-looking sweater wardrobes, this film will surely make you nostalgic for childhood and for the less tech-savvy times of the '90s.

Read More: 10 things you didn't know about 'Home Alone'

 



"Waiting to Exhale" (1995) highlights the incredible prowess of female R&B artists of the '90s.

Starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon, "Waiting to Exhale" is a film about the importance of female friendships and empowerment. 

"Waiting to Exhale" is widely considered to be one of the movies that pioneered a generation of mainstream films with black casts. It also proved that audiences would not only watch, but also love and relate to more diverse films.

The film's soundtrack is also full of '90s classics, including Whitney Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," Brandy's "Sittin' Up in My Room," and Mary J. Blige's' "Not Gon' Cry." 



"Reality Bites" (1994) captured post-grad life in the 1990s.

A cult classic, "Reality Bites"captured the cultural zeitgeist of Generation X.

The film stars Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller, and Janeane Garofalo as they battle the trials and tribulations of life, work, and love. 

All in all, Reality Bites tackles plenty of real-world issues while also offering a taste of grunge fashions from the decade.



"Space Jam" (1996) is filled with '90s references and athletes.

Although the plot of this film is a bit out there (we're talking outer space), there's something totally nostalgic about re-watching this 1996 flick.

The film tells the fictional story of what NBA legend Michael Jordan was doing during his two-year hiatus from basketball in the early '90s. 

It also features a star-studded cast of Looney Tunes characters and NBA players who were especially big in the 1990s.

Plus, it has a soundtrack that was so popular it went Platinum six times. 

Read More: 10 fun facts you didn't know about your favorite '90s cartoons



"Scream" (1996) is a cult classic for a reason.

The 1990s marked a revitalization of the horror genre and "Scream" has often been cited as the movie that sparked the resurgence of love and appreciation for slasher films.

"Scream" is the first installment in a slew of films that follow the life of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as she and her friends escape Ghostface, a killer whose identity shifts and changes depending on who wears the mask. 

The cult-classic is notably meta and tongue-in-cheek, making it decidedly different from the horror films that came before it — it also set the tone for the rest of the franchise.

 



"She's All That" (1999) is a treasure trove of '90s icons.

From its soundtrack of '90s hits to its all-star cast decked in fashions that were trendy at the time, "She's All That" is a nostalgia-inducing adaptation of "Pygmalion." 

Starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook, the film is about Zach (Prinze Jr.) who is challenged by a friend to court the school nerd Laney (Cook) and turn her into the prom queen in six weeks.

But after Laney's transformation (removing her glasses and changing her hair), Zach begins to fall in love with her — and high-school hijinks ensue. 

Read More: How 21 of your favorite '90s celebrities have changed over the last 20 years

 



"Drive Me Crazy" (1999) has a soundtrack that'll take you back a few decades.

The 1999 film, which stars Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier, is about neighbors who pretend to date one another to make their exes jealous only to find they're actually in love with each other.

"Drive Me Crazy" is loaded with retro fashions and hairstyles, plus it boasts an iconic soundtrack with unforgettable '90s hits like Britney Spears' "You Drive Me Crazy," The Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," and Barenaked Ladies' "It's All Been Done."

The stars of the film even appeared alongside Britney Spears herself in the music video for the titular single. 



"Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993) is like a hilarious walk down memory lane.

This famed 1993 film stars Robin Williams and Sally Field as a couple going through divorce and a custody battle for their three children.

In order to spend more time with his kids, Robin Williams' character, Daniel Hillard, dresses up as a woman who he calls Mrs. Doubtfire and gets hired as his ex-wife's nanny and housekeeper. 

"Mrs. Doubtfire" is considered to be one of the funniest films from the 1990s, and its cast includes plenty of stars who were especially popular at the time like Mara Wilson, Matthew Lawrence, and Pierce Brosnan.

 

 



"Independence Day" (1996) features lots of old-school technology.

Starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, "Independence Day" is an action flick about the battle against aliens who are planning to destroy Earth on the Fourth of July. 

"Independence Day" not only signaled the resurgence of sci-fi in the late '90s, but also marked a turning point as the film industry began to lean into the disaster-movie genre. 

It also featured many trademarks from the decade, including massive cell phones and the very large and now-dated Apple PowerBook 5300.

 



"Empire Records" (1995) is filled with grunge fashions from the decade.

In "Empire Records," viewers follow a group of employees as they try to save their independent record store from becoming part of a big chain.

The film stars actors like Renée Zellweger, Liv Tyler, and Anthony LaPaglia.

Even if the record-store setting isn't enough to give you some nostalgia-inducing vibes, the film also features plenty of grunge fashions from the decade that will surely take you back. 

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The top 10 movies of the decade

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Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: The 2010s was a roller coaster of a decade for film. We saw Disney dominating at the box office, but we also saw the rise of streaming and the decline of movie-ticket sales. Despite the fact that so many amazing films were produced, we did manage to narrow down our list. So without any further ado, here are our top 10 movies of the 2010s.

No. 10: "Call Me by Your Name."

Oliver: Call me by your name, and I'll call you by mine. Narrator: The mood of "Call Me by Your Name" mirrors the hot and relaxing Italian summer days that are depicted in the film. Set in 1983, "Call Me by Your Name" tells the story of the slow-burn romance between two young lovers, Elio and Oliver. Luca Guadagnino's stylized direction is entrancing, as are the performances by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. And the movie also features Michael Stuhlbarg delivering one of cinema's all-time-great monologues. "Call Me by Your Name" is a realistic depiction of young love that is amplified by several tender original songs from Sufjan Stevens. All in all, any movie that can forever change the way that society looks at peaches is a film worth celebrating.

No. 9: "Eighth Grade."

Kayla: Being yourself can be hard. And it's like, aren't I always being myself? Narrator: Seeing life itself play out with such specific detail can be scary, which is exactly what "Eighth Grade" delivers. The film follows Kayla Day in her last week of eighth grade, dealing with the difficult moments that this time of life brings. She looks forward to the next big step, high school, and, like everyone, she wants to be cool and confident. The honesty of the film rests heavily on the shoulders of Elsie Fisher, who plays Kayla. Her performance is painfully recognizable, from the stuttering to the subtlest of eye twitches. This film is very specifically of its time. Kayla deals with social media, technology, and changing social attitudes. But Bo Burnham's script somehow also captures something both individual and universal. Even if you haven't lived as a middle schooler in the time of YouTube videos or the pervasive use of the internet, even if you haven't experienced the joys and pains of American girlhood firsthand, at the heart of the film is an experience that we can all relate to. One of anxiety, wanting to be liked, and having absolutely no idea what we're doing.

No. 8: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."

eter Parker: What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man. Narrator: When talking about "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," we have to talk about the visuals and the technical achievement of pulling off the wildly artistic vision of the art directors. The animation is the bold combination of an uber-saturated 2D comic book, with its grid-like color cells, and the more realistic 3D computer-generated animation. It's visually stunning and, quite simply, like nothing we've ever seen before. But visuals can only carry a movie so far. "Into the Spider-Verse" also fully delivers on story, which is a tough challenge for any film, but especially a film released in this context. We've seen far too many iterations of Spider-Man in less than two decades, and frankly, the zeitgeist is a bit fatigued by the constant reboots. In addition to the humorous and whip-smart script, one of the main reasons this spider-film is so fresh is because our spider-protagonist isn't Peter Parker at all. He's Miles Morales, a young Afro-Latino kid from Brooklyn, bitten by a different radioactive spider. "Spider-Verse" is the best animated film of the decade because, despite all the cards stacked against it, it's somehow the most original.

No. 7: "The Florida Project."

Moonee: The man who lives in here gets arrested a lot. These are the rooms we're not supposed to go in. But let's go anyway. Narrator: The brightly colored cinematography in "The Florida Project" contrasts with the heavy nature of the film's subject to create a darkly beautiful film about childhood. The film is about Moonee, a 6-year-old girl living with her struggling mother in one of the motels near Disney World. The fully realized characters are the heart of this film and are elevated by the amazing performances by Willem Dafoe and the rest of the cast, which is especially impressive considering that no one besides Dafoe had ever acted before in a film. Like in his previous film, "Tangerine," Sean Baker acts as writer, director, and editor, proving that he is a master of his craft. Additionally, he avoids exploiting the subject matter of poverty in his film through an extremely honest and unbiased depiction of his characters. There are no protagonists and no antagonists, just people. Baker has figured out how to distill these seemingly simple moments into an extraordinary film. Bobby: I love you too. Narrator:

No. 6: "The Social Network."

He's directed so many masterpieces at this point that it seems rather superfluous to praise David Fincher, but when you combine Fincher with an Aaron Sorkin screenplay, the result is something that should probably be acknowledged and revered, which is exactly what we get with "The Social Network." On the surface level, "The Social Network" is about the rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, but the film is much more interested in the human aspect of the story. As Sorkin said, "The invention itself is as modern as it gets, but the story is as old as storytelling; the themes of friendship, loyalty, jealousy, class, and power." Fincher brings Sorkin's neo-Shakespearean screenplay to life, perfectly balancing a dozen characters, nonlinear storytelling, and intertwining narrative arcs. Jesse Eisenberg delivers his best performance ever, and when you put all of those elements together, you get an outstanding film that will hopefully outlive Facebook itself.

No. 5: "Lady Bird."

Lady Bird: I wanna go to the East Coast. I wanna go where culture is like New York. Marion: How in the world did I raise such a snob? Lady Bird: Or at least Connecticut or New Hampshire, where writers live in the woods. Marion: You wouldn't get into those schools anyway. Lady Bird: Mom! Narrator: Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan are a match made in indie Hollywood heaven. "Lady Bird" carries the same wit and tone we've seen in films Gerwig has starred in, but with her at the reins as writer and director, we get a window into her soul, as she shows us the painful and endlessly funny roller coaster that is the life of a teenage Catholic school rebel. This semiautobiographical film is crammed full of genuine moments, showcasing the good, bad, and ugly aspects of family, friendship, and growing up. Ronan once again proved that she is one of the most talented actresses ever and works perfectly with Laurie Metcalf to nail their contentious mother-daughter relationship dynamic. Gerwig shows that she's talented beyond her years, as "Lady Bird" shrewdly explores family dynamics and social status in an extremely honest and entertaining film.

No. 4: "Mad Max: Fury Road."

Immortan Joe: Where is she taking them? Narrator: Who would've thought that an artistic, feminist movie from the man who made "Happy Feet" would not only be one of the best action films of the decade but one of the best films of all time? Well, "Mad Max: Fury Road" is all of that and more. Set in the not-so-distant dystopian future, "Mad Max" has a fairly straightforward plot. Max and Furiosa attempt to outrun and escape the warlord Immortan Joe and his deadly caravan. Technically, the film is flawless. Its acting, directing, stunts, editing, and choreography are all top notch. The film's stripped-down plot allows room for the action to really shine. "Mad Max" has more memorable moments in one five-minute action sequence than other action movies have in their entire runtime. The film is wild, immersive, and hardly ever slows from its full-throttle action insanity.

No. 3: "Boyhood."

One of the many things that makes "Boyhood" exceptional is that it was filmed over a 12-year period, a singular and Herculean filmmaking achievement. But "Boyhood" probably would've had a very good shot of making our top-10 list even if it was produced like a regular film due to Richard Linklater's beautiful storytelling. "Boyhood" follows the day-to-day life of a boy, Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, who started filming at the age of 6 and finished at the age of 18. Linklater created a fulfilling narrative, slowly piecing it together as they filmed every summer from 2002 to 2013. Patricia Arquette deservedly won the Academy Award for best supporting actress, and Ethan Hawke turned in one of his routinely outstanding performances as well. A totally unique approach to creating a film, combined with Arquette, Hawke, and Linklater at the height of their powers, created this stellar, one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

No. 2: "Moonlight."

Kevin: Who is you, Chiron? Narrator: From director Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight" follows Chiron, a boy living in the projects of Miami, as he grapples with his harsh home life and his sexuality. The film's earnest script is complemented by a dreamy pastel color palette, an aching score from Nicholas Britell, and an outstanding cast from top to bottom, including an Academy Award-winning performance from Mahershala Ali. It was also the first Academy Award best-picture winner to feature an all-black cast and the first one that had a prominent LGBT theme. "Moonlight" is a beautiful and deeply moving depiction of masculinity. Every aspect of the film is perfect, and yet, somehow, it still manages to be more than the sum of its parts. A magnum opus for everyone involved.

No. 1: "Get Out."

Dean: So, how long has this been going on, this...this thang? Narrator: Writer and director Jordan Peele announced himself as an auteur with "Get Out," a mystery-thriller that is a spot-on commentary about race in America. "Get Out" begins with a black photographer, Chris, tentatively agreeing to go visit and meet with his white girlfriend's family for the first time. Her family seems nice on the surface, but Chris can't help but notice that something seems strange about her parents' house. Peele's script is tense, funny, and rewards viewers for repeat viewings with dozens of Easter eggs. But more than anything, it's an incredibly sharp critique of liberal racism and the lie of a post-racial America. We think that this film is the best of the decade for being exceedingly clever, thrilling, rewatchable, and for its scathing and poignant social commentary.

So, what did you think of our list? What's your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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5 of the best and 5 of the worst Netflix original thrillers of the year

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best and worst netflix original thrillers

  • Netflix released a number of original thrillers this year, but not all of them have been a hit with critics.
  • Critics enjoyed haunting flicks like "I Am Mother" and "The Perfection."
  • On the other hand, they widely panned thrillers like "Polar" and "The Red Sea Diving Resort."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more.

Netflix released a limited amount of original thrillers this year, and they've received mixed reviews across the board.

Here are some of the best and worst Netflix original thrillers of the year, according to critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Note: The scores listed throughout the piece were accurate at the time of publication but are subject to change.

"I Am Mother" impressed critics with its unique premise.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:90% 

Starring: Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne

As critic Brad Newsome wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald, "An intriguing premise, fine performances and a string of startling reveals that just keeps on coming make this Australian sci-fi film a real winner — and a must-watch for the Black Mirror set."



"The Perfection" was called seductive yet disturbing by critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:73%

Starring: Allison Williams, Alaina Huffman, Steven Weber, Logan Browning

As critic Katie Rife wrote for the AV Club, "The Perfection takes deep, fetishistic satisfaction in pushing the envelope, then pushing it some more, building in seductive fits and shocking starts to an orgiastic frenzy of cinematic excess."



The heist-focused thriller "Triple Frontier" was praised for being loaded with action.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:72%

Starring: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam

"Triple Frontier makes a decent stab at looking beyond the usual ambitions of the genre. There's thought behind all this gun-toting," wrote critic Clarisse Loughrey for The Independent.



The thriller "Velvet Buzzsaw" featured a number of familiar faces.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:63%

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Billy Magnussen, Toni Collette, Natalia Dyer, Rene Russo

As Cosmopolitan's entertainment editor Emily Tannenbaum wrote, "Is director Dan Gilroy trying to catch us in our own shallow consumption? ... Frankly, if this is the case then thank you. I'll take it."



"Fractured" is a mystery thriller that most critics enjoyed.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:62%

Starring: Lily Rabe, Sam Worthington, Stephen Tobolowsky

"When I wasn't busying myself making an internal checklist of films I was reminded of, I was happily playing armchair detective, curious enough to engage with the pieces I was given,"  wrote critic Benjamin Lee for The Guardian.



On the other hand, the horror-thriller "In the Tall Grass" didn't spook most critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:37%

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Harrison Gilbertson

As critic Noel Murray wrote for the Los Angeles Times, "'In the Tall Grass' runs too long and repeats itself too much to be as gripping as its source material. Turns out there's a limit to how scary weeds can be."



"Secret Obsession" is a thriller that left critics wanting more suspense.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 31% 

Starring: Brenda Song, Mike Vogel, Dennis Haysbert

As critic Linda Holmes wrote for NPR, "This is a pretty bad movie, but it seems to be bad in the way it's meant to be bad. It's cheerfully trashy, and if that's up your alley, have at it."



"The Silence" couldn't be saved by a star-studded cast.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30%

Starring: Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, John Corbett

As critic Brian Tallerico wrote for RogerEbert.com, "Even the always-welcome Stanley Tucci can't add any flair to a movie that feels so much like a relative of John Krasinski's 2018 smash hit ['A Quiet Place']."

 



The spy thriller "The Red Sea Diving Resort" didn't receive high marks.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:30%

Starring: Chris Evans, Michael Kenneth Williams, Haley Bennett

As Mark Kennedy wrote for the Associated Press, "A large part of the problem is the casting of Chris Evans as the leader of the Israeli spy ring that set up the hotel. He is most known for playing Captain America and seems not to have put aside his shield for this film."



"Polar" is a thriller that fell flat for most critics.

Rotten Tomatoes rating:20%

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas

"Polar is pure trash, but the generousness — and, in the final stretch, the poignancy — with which Mikkelsen approaches even the most lurid of the film's conceits at least pushes it toward the top of the garbage heap,"wrote Keith Uhlich for The Hollywood Reporter.

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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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The Irishman 3 Netflix final

  • Ray Romano talked to Business Insider about what it was like to star in Martin Scorsese's Netflix movie, "The Irishman."
  • In the movie, Romano plays connected mob lawyer Bill Bufalino, and most of his scenes are with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, or Joe Pesci, which Romano said filled him with anxiety. 
  • The actor also described one scene where De Niro had dots on his face for the de-aging to his character that was done in post production. 
  • Looking back on his career, Romano said it "bothers" him that his 2004 movie, "Welcome to Mooseport," is currently the last movie legendary actor Gene Hackman has starred in. 
  • "I retired him," Romano said, while also telling a funny story of the first time he met Hackman.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

Ray Romano is known best as the star of the TV sitcom, "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ran for nine years on CBS and earned him an Emmy as the lovable Long Island father. But recently, he's thrown a little edginess into his everyman persona — thanks to Martin Scorsese.

First, there was the short-lived Scorsese/Mick Jagger-created HBO series, "Vinyl," in which Romano played a cocaine-snorting music executive (Romano said Scorsese cast him though he had no clue who he was). That led to him playing a shady B-movie producer on the Epix series ,"Get Shorty" (now in its third season), and a convincing not-so-innocent school board president in the upcoming HBO movie, "Bad Education," starring Hugh Jackman.

Now Scorsese has called on Romano again. This time, Romano stars in the Oscar-winning director's most ambitious gangster movie yet: "The Irishman" (now available on Netflix).

The movie looks at the life of mobster Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro), who before his death, claimed he killed the International Brotherhood of Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Romano plays Bill Bufalino, who from the late 1940s to the early 1970s was the attorney for the Teamsters and had ties to the mob through his cousin, Pennsylvania syndicate boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci).

Business Insider spoke with Romano on how working with Scorsese on "Vinyl" didn't lower his anxiety — especially since his scenes for "The Irishman" were either with De Niro, Pacino, or Pesci. He described what it was like to act across from De Niro while he had dots on his face for the de-aging that would be done for his role. And Romano explained why, after 15 years, he still can't get over that his first starring role in a movie, "Welcome to Mooseport," has been Gene Hackman's last movie.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Jason Guerrasio: Have you seen "The Irishman" yet?

Ray Romano: I've seen it twice. I saw it once in Scorsese's screening room in his office in New York, and then I saw it at the New York Film Festival premiere. 

Guerrasio: So I'm assuming getting the Bill Bufalino role was an easier experience than getting the Zak role in "Vinyl"?

Romano: It was easier. For "Vinyl," I had to put myself on tape and the feedback we got was that Scorsese liked what he saw, and he's never heard of me. And I was like, I get it, he doesn't watch TV. So there was that. But for this one, he just gave me this role. 

Ray Romano Vinyl HBO

Guerrasio: So you've come a long way!

Romano: Yes, but it scared me more because for "Vinyl" he saw on tape how I was going to play the character. On this one, he gave me the role, but how does he know I can do it? So I was very worried. 

Guerrasio: Because of that, do you go crazy on the research and find out everything you can about who this guy was?

Romano: They gave me as much info as they had: articles and books and pictures. But the only thing they had of video of him was literally a seven-second clip, I'm not kidding. It was him testifying in front of Congress. So all I got was this little glimpse of how he held himself in court. So I just ended up creating my own backstory for the guy.

Guerrasio: On top of the anxiety of trying to pull off the character, most of your scenes are with De Niro, Pacino, or Pesci. 

Romano: I know. 

Guerrasio: Was anything about working on this movie normal?

Romano: [Laughs.] Of course not. Joe Pesci I know because we golf together. I kind of feel okay around him. I'm still a little intimidated. But the other two guys I've never met. Look, I get nervous anywhere — on any show, whatever. But with two of the biggest stars in the world, it was crazy. But they made me feel comfortable.

The Irishman NetflixThough they are different. Pacino is a little more gregarious and out-there. With Bob De Niro, it took like half a day of working with him and starting a conversation that eventually I found him to be very friendly. The insecurity never goes away but the fear kind of went away with each guy. 

Guerrasio: The first time we see you in the movie you are in a scene opposite De Niro, and in the scene he's de-aged. So does that mean when you filmed it he had dots all over his face for the de-aging process that would happen in post production?

Romano: He had dots on his face but it's not like years ago where they had these big dots on you. 

Guerrasio: So it wasn't noticeable?

Romano: Sometimes you couldn't notice it at all. They are clear and there aren't too many of them. But in your head, you have to know that you're not talking to a 75-year-old man, I'm talking to a 40-year-old man. I was talking to someone younger than me. 

Guerrasio: What was the chatter on set about the de-aging? Was everyone very curious how they were going to pull it off?

Romano: The chatter with me and Bobby Cannavale and Jesse Plemons was just how awesome it was. There's a scene where Jesse Plemons and I are walking down the Bronx courtroom hallway with Pacino and De Niro in front of us and there are people surrounding us. Doing that scene, knowing that it's going to be Pacino and De Niro in their 40s, and we're right behind them, we were blown away. Every time we did that scene and had to walk back down the hallway for another take, Jesse and I would be like, "I can't believe we are walking behind these guys." Everyone was looking forward to seeing how these guys would look.

The Irishman Netflix Martin Scorsese Robert De Niro

Guerrasio: Well, did it live up to your expectations when you finally saw the movie?

Romano: Yeah, I actually liked that you weren't looking at a Ken doll. 

Guerrasio: I agree.

Romano: Even when they de-aged them, they still had a weathered look to them. Naturally, it is going to take a few minutes to get used to it, but after a while it wasn't distracting. 

Guerrasio: So there's a moment in the movie where I thought you may have broke character. It's the scene where Pacino says, "When it's a gun, you run at them; when it's a knife, you run away." 

Romano: No. No. No. I didn't break character. 

Guerrasio: Because your reaction when he says that line is perfect. You turn away from the camera like you are holding back from laughing.
 
Romano: I don't think the line was written the way Pacino said it. During a Q&A, I did ask Al Pacino if that line was scripted or did he improv it. And he said the line was written that way but he said it with more of a rhyme feel. He gave his own little flair to it. But I wasn't breaking character. I was just reacting. 

Guerrasio: With this movie and another one that's coming out soon, "Bad Education," you are playing these characters where they are involved in shady things, but you aren't necessarily fully involved in the bad stuff going on. 

Romano: [Laughs.] I haven't gone full bad guy yet. 

bad education hbo

Guerrasio: Has it been fun to play these kinds of roles, something very different from the character that made you famous in "Everybody Loves Raymond"? 

Romano: Yeah. It's real fun. But you're right, I'm still the everyman, but now I'm the everyman in pretty questionable situations. I'm waiting for that role to come where it's like, this is a bad dude. But, honestly, I don't know if I could pull it off. I'll give it a try. 

Guerrasio: I have to bring this up. It has been 15 years since "Welcome to Mooseport" came out — 

Romano: [Laughs.]

Guerrasio: And that is still Gene Hackman's last movie. I mean, does that —

Romano: It bothers me. 

Guerrasio: I mean, no disrespect, but you would never have to talk about the movie ever again if it wasn't because of that. 

Romano: Every now and then, something pops up online like, "Why does that have to be his last movie." [Laughs.] I retired him. I retired Gene Hackman. Listen, the movie is whatever. It's charming. It's cute. It didn't really end up being what we thought it would be like. But it shouldn't be his last movie. We became friends on that movie. I haven't seen him since. 

Welcome To Mooseport Fox

Guerrasio: I don't know if anyone has seen him since, Ray. 

Romano: Yeah. I know. I think he's writing books now.  He's still doing something. 

Guerrasio: But unless he comes out of retirement you will forever be linked to Gene Hackman.

Romano: That was my first starring role, by the way. 

Guerrasio: I know!

Romano: I'll tell you a funny story. When we started the movie, we had a dinner the night before we started filming. I had just met Gene. One by one we introduce ourselves to the table and who we are playing. So it's a long table. I'm at one end and he's at the other end and I go, "I'm Ray Romano, I'm playing —" I think it was Handy or something, "and I just want to say how much of a thrill this is, this is my first movie." And from down at the other end you hear Gene go, "Holy s--t."

Guerrasio: [Laughs.] 

Romano: He was joking. It got a huge laugh. But we had a great little relationship there. We became friends and bonded over, this is going to sound nerdy, but "American Idol."

Guerrasio: What?

Romano: That's back when it was big and I was a big fan. So there was "Canadian Idol" ("Welcome to Mooseport" was shot in Ontario and Toronto) so I would get the DVDs of "Canadian Idol" and I would give it to him because he was into it also. 

Guerrasio: Wow. Gene Hackman was into "Idol"!

Romano: I don't know if he wants me to reveal that side of him. 

Guerrasio: He's got a tough guy reputation to protect.

Romano: Yeah. 

 

SEE ALSO: Keegan-Michael Key explains what it was like to act opposite Eddie Murphy in "Dolemite Is My Name," and how advice from his wife helped him nail the performance

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

Why 'Watchmen' is the best comic of all time

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  • "Watchmen" was a work of art that was never meant for the screen but a story that was strictly mean to show the greatest strength of the comic book medium.
  • Artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins used many ingenious techniques such as the nine-panel layout and the use of secondary characters to breathe life into the world of "Watchmen."
  • Legendary comic writer Alan Moore wrote a story of such philosophical and political depth never before seen in the comic book genre.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Every art form has one work that is so monumental and profound that it forever defines and changes the medium. For comics, a medium with a surprisingly long history, that work is none other than "Watchmen." First released in 1986 as a 12-issue limited series, it forever changed the public perception of the medium and what comics can really achieve. But what makes "Watchmen" the greatest comic book ever written isn't what's on the page, but the people behind it.

From its inception, "Watchmen" had one objective: to create a work that can only be achieved by the comic medium. And no one played a more integral part than the artist Dave Gibbons, who was given complete control over its visual look and focused on making a unique and distinctive aesthetic unlike anything the readers had seen. Even in the weight of lines, where he used a hard, stiff pen to create bolded edges that were significantly different from the more fluid lines in other comic books of the era. And colorist John Higgins took the same approach with color, choosing to use secondary colors that were more common in European comics to achieve a moodier look and accentuate the use of primary colors, like the massive, overflowing blood from a massacre. At times, Higgins even freely experimented with color, like in issue No. 6, "The Abyss Gazes Also," which begins with a brighter palette that eventually turns darker and darker along with the character's descent into his dark past, finally ending in black.

The genius of "Watchmen" also lies in its structure, more specifically its nine-panel grid, a simple yet brilliant way of framing a story for multiple reasons. First, it allowed the writers to fit more scenes into a page, allowing for a faster-paced story. It also made it clear for readers to follow because they simply had to read from left to right and top to bottom without trying to figure out the order. Having nine panels also gave the advantage of having a central panel that naturally draws the eye, which both Gibbons and Higgins expertly used to include some of the most important and shocking images. And the nine-panel grid is shockingly versatile, with more than 300 different possible combinations the panels can be laid out on, a lot of which the book uses to show a passage of time or a gruesome aftermath of a disaster. The issue that exemplifies the genius of the nine-panel structure and perhaps the series' greatest is its fifth issue, "Fearful Symmetry," where the entire issue, like its title, is juxtaposed in a perfect symmetry that begins here, in the centerfold image in the middle of the book. The rest of the pages reflect one another in layout, color, composition, imagery, and sometimes the exact image.

If Gibbons and Higgins showed the possibility of comics as a respectable art form, it was "Watchmen" writer Alan Moore who elevated them to literature. The genius mind behind some of the most influential works in comics, like "V for Vendetta" and "The Killing Joke," Moore played a major role in creating a comic book that feels and reads like literature. "Watchmen" began with a simple question of: What would superheroes be like in a credible, real world? He took the superheroes inspired by the campy heroes of Charlton Comics that DC had acquired and wrote them into an alternate history where America won the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal never happened. This political backdrop created a world dripping with end-of-the-world anxieties and paranoia of the Cold War and provided a grittier look at the superheroes who live in it and that would influence the genre for decades to come. The same goes for the characters. Originally titled "Who Killed the Peacemaker?" from the Charlton Comics character that inspired The Comedian, "Watchmen" is constructed as a murder mystery. Yet the plot is merely a vehicle to show the personal and moral struggles of the flawed superheroes living in the real world. And to accentuate this conflict, Moore intentionally wrote characters with radically opposing views of the world. From a morally absolute vigilante who sees the world in black and white to an omnipotent yet apathetic God figure who questions what it means to be human, "Watchmen" possessed a political and philosophical depth that readers weren't familiar with in comic-book form.

Moore created the idea of "Watchmen," and Gibbons and Higgins built the world to contain it. And it's their collaboration that ultimately made "Watchmen" the masterpiece it is today, shown most obviously by the book's use of symbols and imagery. Moore wanted recurring symbols and images loaded with meaning, and Gibbons paid extra attention in designing and inserting them throughout the book. Some are obvious, like the bloodstained smiley face, which bookends the story and has become an iconic symbol that represents the series. The smiley face was designed to both geometrically and symbolically represent a doomsday clock, which acts as an important thematic device. And others are more subtle, like the phrase, "Who watches the watchmen?" - a quote that encompasses the theme of "Watchmen" and is graffitied onto the walls of various panels, never appearing in its entirety, yet still discernible to those who pay close attention. In fact, "Watchmen" is full of minute background details painstakingly drawn by Gibbons that add depth and philosophy to its world that are easy to miss on first reading, an intentional editorial choice resulting in a book that requires multiple readings to fully appreciate.

It's these small details and nuances that make it so hard to adapt "Watchmen" for the screen. Once deemed "unfilmable,""Watchmen" eventually received the silver-screen treatment by Zack Snyder in 2009. It's an adaptation that follows the original beat by beat, panel by panel, resulting in a work that distinctively looks like "Watchmen" but doesn't feel like it. "Watchmen" is a work that was envisioned, written, and drawn to be a comic book and nothing else, the work of two uncompromising artists who wanted to test the limits of the medium that they loved. And it's for this reason that, although we will see many great works in the future, there won't be another work quite like "Watchmen" ever again.

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