Movies & TV

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

‘Danny Collins’ Dodges Bullets This Weekend

A great performance by Al Pacino dominates a movie weekend that is otherwise punctuated by persistent gunfire and numerous civilian casualties. Danny Collins Al Pacino triumphs in this joyful story of a legendary pop-music star who faces a late-midlife crisis when he discovers that, way back in 1971, John Lennon had written him a letter urging him not to sell out as an artist. The warning comes 40 years too late, but no matter: Danny Collins quits his latest sold-out …

Al Pacino, Happy? A Friend Tells Us Why

Why is this man smiling? The famously intense Al Pacino was visibly relaxed when he sat down with us last fall for a screening of his acclaimed film, The Humbling. And he is clearly having the time of his life playing a veteran pop star in his new film, Danny Collins. Dan Fogelman, the writer-director of Danny Collins, stopped by our studios the other day and gave us his take on why the Oscar-winning star threatens to become Mellow Man. …

Showin’ of the Green: 10 Movies for St. Patrick’s Day

Some 45 million Americans identify themselves as Irish — odd, considering that only six million people live on the whole of Erin’s Isle — but it may help explain why so many classic movies have an Irish focus. These days, an awful lot of those movies seem obsessed with the dark side of Ireland, its history of famine and religious strife. But faith and begorrah, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, time to celebrate the beauty of the land and the resilient, …

Cinderella: This Weekend’s Shoe-In

Two new movies feature characters whose lives change when they try on mysterious shoes. A third film treads a well-worn path to mediocrity.     Cinderella Disney has been translating its animated classics into live-action epics for years, with mixed success. This effort, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is the best update yet. About a Boy screenwriter Chris Weitz has kept the most charming elements of Disney’s 1950s damsel-in-distress scenario and transformed the central character into a strong-willed young woman determined …

“Marigold” Not the Freshest Daisy in the Bunch

The guest register at the Exotic Marigold Hotel gets thicker this week, while several Oscar winners — and Oscar-worthy efforts — arrive on home video. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Turns out chemistry isn’t everything. Alhough this sequel reunites virtually all the original stars (including Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy), and though they prove just as delightful this second time around, the script adds precious little to the first installment. Richard Gere is predictably charming as a …

Exclusive: Pacino and Bening Spar in “Danny Collins”

  Al Pacino is a legendary rock star. Annette Bening is a hotel manager who gives him the brush-off. The two have a friendly — but decidedly rocky — first meeting in this exclusive clip from their new movie Danny Collins, opening March 20. Pacino plays the title character, who’s been living off the glory (and royalties) of his greatest hits for decades. But then a collector finds a letter written to Danny by John Lennon in 1971 — a …