Movies & TV

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

Zach Braff and ‘Boyhood’ Top This Weekend’s Movies

Parents and children do their eternal dance of mutual misunderstanding in two of this week’s best films; the rest range from a gentle romantic fantasy to a cautionary apocalyptic tale.     Boyhood In 2002, writer-director Richard Linklater wrote a script about a young boy’s life from age 6 to his late teens. He filmed it over the ensuing 12 years, letting his actors literally grow into their parts. Sure, the nearly three-hour Boyhood could stand some trimming, but it’s …

“Boyhood”: A Film 12 Years in the Making

There’s never been a movie quite like Boyhood, writer-director Richard Linklater’s intimate epic about a boy’s life from ages 6 to 18. Linklater started filming in 2002, having hired a young actor named Ellar Coltrane for the lead role and veteran stars Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke to play his parents. Once every year or so, they’d all get together in Texas to film a few scenes, chronicling another chapter in the characters’ lives. The kid goes to school, encounters …

Weekend Movie Choices Include New ‘Planet of the Apes’

Chimps will be champs at the box office this weekend. But a vengeful dad and four damaged friends are also vying for their share of summer moviegoers.   Dawn of the Planet of the Apes It’s been a decade or so since apes and humans reached a fragile peace. But the winds of war are whipping across San Francisco Bay, and despite the best efforts of a human-loving chimp named Caesar (Andy Serkis), a band of urban gorillas may be …

IPod + Alzheimer’s = Miracle! (Plus More New Documentaries)

  Alive Inside (Theaters, July 18) Can music do more to help Alzheimer’s patients than any medication? Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit Music & Memory, makes his case for the affirmative in this deeply moving film in which  patients-some of them unresponsive for years-flicker to life (and sometimes explode into song) the moment they hear music from their past. You’ll rush from the theater to buy an iPod for someone you know.     Life Itself (Theaters, July 4) …

Susan Sarandon: A Vulgar Grandma in ‘Tammy’

You know it’s a feel-good weekend at the movies when Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon hit the road trip together and Keira Knightley sings Mark Ruffalo back from the brink of despair.   Tammy Melissa McCarthy must have realized she can’t base an entire name-above-the-title career on the loudmouth-lout character that earned her an Oscar nomination for Bridesmaids. So it’s a relief to see her soften up considerably in this appealing comedy: She plays an impulsive, aimless woman who, fired …

Transformers and Trains at the Movies This Weekend

It must be sci-fi weekend at the movies: Those presto-chango Transformers are back for a fourth time, but the grownup movie this weekend is from a noted Korean director, who offers his unusual tale of global-warming refugees stuck on the ultimate nonstop train.   Transformers: Age of Extinction Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer lend grownup presence to the latest toy-inspired Michael Bay heavy-metal fest, but when it comes to this series, there’s nothing more than meets the eye. …