A Perfect Weekend for Man-Made Disasters

In theaters, two major films continue the season’s flood of true-life stories, while two others explore the dynamics of troubled families. At home, a sitcom classic gets the box-set treatment — and an immortal detective solves one last case.    Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Trumbo Bryan Cranston is compelling as Dalton Trumbo, a screenwriter jailed and blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1940s. The film resists demonizing Hollywood commie-hunters in favor of showing how polarizing …

Weekend: Bond, Beatles, Boston — and Charlie Brown

An instant classic, the newest James Bond movie and a visit with favorite old comic-strip pals make this a good weekend to hit the cineplex. You homebodies, meanwhile, can curl up with the Beatles and two of the year’s most memorable films.    Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Spotlight This is one of the year’s best films. Like the crusading newspapermen and -women it honors, Spotlight doesn’t shut down until it gets the story right. Michael Keaton …

Meg Ryan’s Star Power Ignites Her Movie Launch

The woman who gained fame faking an orgasm on screen is now a movie-making mom. That was Meg Ryan’s angle at the Middleburg Film Festival last week, and you know what? I totally bought it! Ryan, whose staged climax in Katz’s Deli encouraged millions of American women to “have what she’s having” on the release of When Harry Met Sally… in 1989, was the big draw Friday night at Sheila Johnson’s three-year-old film fest in horse-happy Middleburg, Virginia. And what a …

Weekend: Big-Name Bombs and an Indie Gem

Two big-studio misfires take up theater space this weekend. What to do? Catch a surprisingly charming documentary about a 1950s screen icon, or catch up on some Oscar hopefuls still out there. Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice   Our Brand Is Crisis Sandra Bullock’s new film about American political strategists helping a Bolivian presidential candidate rebrand himself could have been a funny film that made a serious statement about politics. As it is, Crisis mopes along with a …

Michael Douglas To Receive Career Achievement Award

He’s served as The American President, terrified a generation of men into embracing marital fidelity in Fatal Attraction, and tickled the ivories as Liberace Behind the Candelabra. Now Academy Award winner Michael Douglas is being honored with the 2015 Career Achievement Award from AARP’s Movies for Grownups. “With a career spanning more than 50 years, Michael Douglas is one of the most talented and respected actors and producers of our time,” says Bob Love, editor in chief of AARP The Magazine. “He …

It’s All True: The Best of the New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival got real this year: Nearly every one of its most anxiously awaited entries explored true-life stories we thought we knew, but really didn’t.   Bridge of Spies At a panel discussion before the premiere screening of Steven Spielberg’s taut — and true-life — Cold War drama, Tom Hanks recalled how he and costar Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall), who plays accused Russian spy Rudolf Abel, did some impromptu prep work for the New York shoot: “I …