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Note to Hollywood: Johnny Depp is Not a Movie Star

So Mortdecai had a predictably god-awful opening weekend. We could have seen that coming, as the marketing campaign seemed to be predicated entirely on people wanting to see a Johnny Depp movie. Is there any evidence that people do in fact want that? Or to put it another way: In the wake of Johnny Depp’s…

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What You Missed in 2014

Can you handle one more Top 10 list? Instead of a list of my favorite movies of 2014 (which you can find here), these are my favorite articles of the year – written by me. I hope you have enjoyed reading my work this year. Thank you for reading, sharing, and thinking about my writing.…

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8 Great Movies You Probably Didn’t See in 2014

At this time of year, the critical community is all about forming a consensus. As critics’ groups and guilds start to give out their awards, the field of essential films for 2014 winnows down to a precious few: This year, it’s looking like Boyhood, Birdman, and Selma will dominate discussion from now until Oscar night…

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What You Missed in November ’14

In November, I wrote a bit about Interstellar, weighed in on the Bill Cosby scandal, and made some wild connections between politics and cinema. Here are your links: Essays Is Current Cinema as Good as the Romanticized 1970s Golden Age? (Film School Rejects) District Mined: The Gerrymandering of Contemporary Cinema (Movie Mezzanine) Interstellar: Good Space Film, Bad…

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Did Johnny Depp Just Rip off Wes Anderson?

Last week, the new trailer for Mortdecai was unveiled, and we got a better look at the lead character played by Johnny Depp. In some ways, he appears to be a typical Depp weirdo: eccentric, charming, a bit annoying, but mostly harmless. More notably, the character feels awfully familiar. Wasn’t it just earlier this year…