Movies & TV

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

“Gone Girl” Gets the Weekend Going

Two very different types of getaways figure in this week’s theatrical debuts, while a new DVD set invites you to warm up to some mighty cold characters. Gone Girl Hotly anticipated by fans of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel, the film version of Gone Girl (adapted by the author) is a crackerjack mystery. It makes you wonder (in the following order) who’s dead, who killed them, whether anyone’s dead at all, and who might be next. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, …

Denzel, Tragic Love and 10 Not-So-Happy “Halloweens”

The Equalizer If Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua were to surprise us at any point during this over-the-top action flick, they would have failed at their mission. The Equalizer is not about breaking ground, nor creating art. It’s about Denzel — older, wiser, more experienced than those around him — kicking bad-guy butt against a backdrop of dark alleys and rusting industrial landscapes. No one does the dead-eyed-hero bit better than Denzel, and few directors choreograph action more deftly …

Kevin Kline Loves Maggie Smith as ‘My Old Lady’

In his new movie My Old Lady, Oscar winner Kevin Kline plays a down-on-his-luck American who inherits a Paris apartment only to find it occupied by a woman (Maggie Smith) with the legal right to live there the rest of her days. Kline chatted about working with the legendary Dame Mags, the fun of making a low-budget indie film, and movie trailers that promise a different film from the one you actually see. Q: The trailer for My Old Lady …

Fonda, Neeson, Cinderella Make Your Weekend

In theaters, Jane Fonda is the best (and biggest!) thing in a convoluted family comedy, while Liam Neeson does his bang-bang-you’re-dead thing again. On your home screen, meet The Roosevelts, dance with Lesley Ann Warren’s Cinderella, and get totally creeped out by David Lynch’s indelible Eraserhead.   This Is Where I Leave You Jane Fonda is radiant as the newly widowed mother who summons her four grown children to sit shiva at her house following the death of their father. …

Best Grownup Flicks at Toronto Film Festival

Every September, the center of the movie world shifts from Hollywood to Toronto, where the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) showcases films ranging from small indie flicks looking for distributors to studio blockbusters making a big splash before they arrive in theaters. Crowds mob the streets of the city, jockeying for glimpses of their favorite stars and directors. Movie lovers line up for hours, hoping to nab one of the few remaining tickets for a new film. And show-biz writers …

Last Call at James Gandolfini’s Brooklyn Bar

Two first-rate grownup films are well worth separate trips to the multiplex this weekend. If you’re in a stay-at-home mood, catch up with a classic 1960s musical or a 1970s music-concert series on DVD.   The Drop More than a year after James Gandolfini’s death, his final film (based on the Dennis Lehane short story “Animal Rescue”) presents the star in the type of role that defined his career: a crusty, dangerous, yet somehow lovable thug. He plays Marv, who …