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 …

The Best Movie Weekend of the Year?

  Five compelling new dramas arrive in theaters, joining a full slate of recently opened gems.     Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice Bridge of Spies Yes, Steven Spielberg is our latter-day Frank Capra, Tom Hanks is his Jimmy Stewart, and this is their latest triumphant celebration of an Everyman exemplifying everything that makes America great. This time, in a true-life Cold War-era story, Hanks is a modest New York lawyer assigned to negotiate the trade of a Soviet …

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 …

CNN Summer Series ‘The Sixties’ Debuts May 29

Let’s just proclaim Tom Hanks America’s Official Historian. The first TV program Hanks ever produced was the monumental miniseries From Earth to the Moon (1998).  His G.I. dramas Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010) remain the definitive World War II miniseries. And now he’s the executive producer of CNN’s ambitious attempt to crystalize the most turbulent decade of the past half-century, the 10-part documentary series The Sixties. CNN has made a few episodes available to the press for …

The Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview: Dec. 20

Three blasts from the past and one wry look at our not-too-distant-future make this a particularly rich grownup movie weekend.    The New Stuff:   American Hustle You won’t have more fun at the movies than you’ll find here with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Louis C.K. and Jennifer Lawrence as assorted con artists and Feds conspiring to bring down crooked politicians in the 1980s Abscam scandal. “Some of this actually happened,” the title card reads, but we have …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Oct. 11

One story ripped from the headlines, another borrowed from classic literature, and a grown-up romantic comedy come to theaters this weekend. After you’ve caught them, check out the movies you’ve missed from weeks past. The New Stuff: Captain Phillips Tom Hanks gives his most measured performance in years as the captain of a cargo ship overrun by Somali pirates-but the real revelation is Barkhad Abdi, a Somali immigrant making his first film, who plays the head pirate. He stands toe-to-toe …