Movies & TV

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

Reese Witherspoon and Chris Rock Walk on the Wild Side

In Theaters this week: Reese Witherspoon takes to the hills, while Chris Rock takes to the director’s chair. At Home: Helen Mirren cooks up an ageless love story.   Wild Jettisoning her perky Legally Blonde persona like a pair of too-tight hiking boots, Reese Witherspoon gets down and dirty as Cheryl Strayed, the troubled young woman whose solo 1,100-mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail became the subject of her bestselling memoir. Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) follows Strayed’s …

At 50, Monica Bellucci Is the Newest Bond “Girl”

In a year when meaty movie roles for women 50-plus were as rare as crow’s feet on Rodeo Drive, it’s gratifying to see the news from London that Monica Bellucci, at 50, is about to become the oldest Bond “Girl” ever. Bellucci will costar with Daniel Craig, 46, in SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond movie, slated for release a bit less than a year from now. The Italian actress is best known for her steamy scenes opposite Keanu Reeves in …

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 …