Movies & TV

Bill Newcott is host of AARP's Movies for Grownups. He blogs about movies, television and all things entertainment.

Give Thanks for These Terrific Thanksgiving Movies

There’s only one time when it’s OK to combine the words “Movie” and “Turkey” – and that’s when you’re talking about great Thanksgiving movies. Here’s my list of favorite films (in no particular order) in which the fourth Thursday in November plays a featured role.   Rocky (1976) It’s on Thanksgiving that the struggling fighter Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) goes home for dinner with his friend Paulie (Burt Young) and finally convinces Paulie’s sister Adrian to go out on a …

At The Movies: Ben Cumberbatch Has the Nazis’ Number

In Theaters this week, the most unlikely hero of World War II has a head code. At Home, Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas fall in love—and love takes flight in one of the most beautiful animated films ever made.   The Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant as Alan Turing, the man whose peculiar sort of genius helped the Allies crack the Nazi Enigma Code during War II. His Turig is a humorless, literal-minded university professor who grates on the …

This Week: A Singular Look at Stephen Hawking

In Theaters: A heartfelt look at the burden of genius. At Home: Rob Reiner’s latest. Plus: The first true horror movie looks better than ever.   The Theory of Everything The life of a monumental thinker gets landmark treatment in this superbly acted and lovingly directed biography. Eddie Redmayne plays astrophysicist Stephen Hawking from his carefree college days, through his heartrending descent into Lou Gehrig’s Disease, to his ultimate triumph in the realm of science. Felicity Jones costars as his first …

This Weekend: Steve Carell Wrestles Demons; Jim Carrey Fights Stupidity

In theaters: From a grim drama to some defiantly dumb comedy, we’ve got you covered. At home: Jack Webb gets jazzy; Muhammad Ali plucks our heartstrings. Foxcatcher The true story of two Olympic-wrestler brothers (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) who settled into a tragic relationship with a wealthy benefactor (Steve Carell, barely recognizable behind that understated performance and prosthetic nose) should have been a perfect match for director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote). But his two-and-a-half-hour telling drags like a grappler stalling …

This Weekend: Take Up Space with Matthew McConaughey

This week in theaters: A dazzling (if derivative) journey into deep space. At home: A visionary director’s whimsical look at love…Clint Eastwood gets musical…Weird Al breaks through. Interstellar As he transports his intrepid crew of space explorers (including Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway) to a distant black hole, writer-director Christopher Nolan (Inception) nods to sci-fi classics from 2001 to Ziggy Stardust. The results are spectacular, but we’ve grown to expect more originality from this screen visionary.   Elsa & Fred …

Actresses Rule at Morelia Film Fest

It hasn’t been the best year for older actresses in Hollywood, where good roles for 50+ players are as rare as Hyundais on Rodeo Drive. A few hundred miles to the south, however, different story: In the realm of Spanish-language films, older women aren’t just tolerated — they’re celebrated. The beautiful little city of Morelia (the “City of Pink Stones”) lies between Mexico City and the Pacific Coast. It’s a miraculously well-preserved colonial capital with broad avenues, tree-shaded cafés and …