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Happy 4th of July: Top 10 Most Patriotic Movie Characters

7/4/2013 11:00am EDT
God bless America! What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to hunker down with some of the best movies celebrating our beloved nation and beat the heat inside with some air conditioning? In American cinema, there are plenty of films that center on patriotic themes and storylines. But what often doesn’t get looked at are the characters who make these movies tick.

These 10 characters are true patriots who love the United States of America just a little more than the average person on your movie screen. From colonial soldiers, to superheroes who proudly display the red, white and bl...

9/11 Victim's Family Angry At Voicemail's Use In 'Zero Dark Thirty'

2/28/2013 11:05am EST
Zero Dark Thirty
Filmmakers behind "Zero Dark Thirty" used a recording of a man's final call to his family on 9/11 in the movie without her permission, and the family isn't happy about it.

When Mary Fetchet discovered the voicemail her son Bradley, who worked in the World Trade Center, had left for his relatives on that fateful morning were featured in the opening scenes of the drama, she was devasted. The film also included other last calls made by victims of the 2001 tragedy.
The message was used in testimony for an official U.S. government investigation into the attacks, and it was subsequently used i...

'Argo' Triumphs At The 2013 Oscars (See The Full List Of Winners)

2/25/2013 12:15am EST
Despite a snub for Ben Affleck in the Best Directing category, Argo landed the Oscar for Best Picture at the 85th Oscars, held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

Jennifer Lawrence picked up the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook; while Daniel Day-Lewis landed Best Actor accolades for his role in Lincoln -- the only award each film received.

The night's big winner was Life of Pi, which landed four awards, including Best Cinematography and accolades for Ang Lee, who upset favorite Steven Spielberg in the Best Director category (scroll down for the ...

'Skyfall,' 'Zero Dark Thirty' Land Rare Tie At The Oscars

2/24/2013 11:03pm EST
Two films received an Oscar in the same category Sunday night during the 85th Academy Awards -- something that's so rare it's only happened a handful of times in the history of the awards ceremony.

Paul N.J. Ottosson was awarded the first of the two awards for Best Achievement In Sound Editing for Zero Dark Thirty, followed by Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for the latest James Bond film, Skyfall.

The last time a tie happened was over 40 years ago, when Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn tied for Best Actress in 1968, for their films Funny Girl and The Lion in Winter, respective...

'Argo,' 'Lincoln' Frontrunners To Win Best Picture

2/24/2013 5:10pm EST
This year's Oscars promises to be full of drama and surprises as there are only a handful of sure locks to win awards.

The biggest question of all is which film will take home the award for Best Picture, with Ben Affleck's Iran Hostage drama Argo and Steven Spielberg's presidential biopic Lincoln leading the pack.

While Lincoln looked to be a sure bet early on, it wasn't until the Golden Globes that Argo began gaining all of the momentum; scooping up numerous awards, including Producers and Directors Guild Awards.

But that still doesn't mean it'll win Oscar gold. The Producers Guild has ...

Join Us Live On The Red Carpet Of The 85th Academy Awards (Live Stream)

2/24/2013 8:00am EST
Oscars 2013
Are you ready for Hollywood's crown jeweled event of the year? Yes, tonight is the big night, its the 85th Academy Awards hosted by Seth MacFarlane.

Maybe you're hosting an Oscar themed party this year or hunkering down with a few BFF's for the big event? Then you'll want to be running our special two-hour live stream from the Red Carpet on

See who is wearing what – check out first hand who might make the best/worst dressed list. Hear from celebs themselves as they enter Hollywood's Dolby Theater for the biggest event in moviemaking.

Bookmark this page and join us live sta...

Celebrities Reveal Their Oscar Predictions

2/23/2013 8:00am EST
85th Academy Awards
Who will take home Oscar gold this Sunday? Several stars are chiming in with their picks for the coveted awards.

Viola Davis, Best Actress nominee for "The Help" in 2012, insists she's rooting for "everyone," but she "loved Lincoln."  She added, "I love Daniel Day-Lewis, everyone does." She also gave props to his co-stars Sally Field and Tommy lee Jones.

She gushed: "I felt like I spent two and a half hours with Lincoln."


Olivia Munn is looking forward to the Best Actor race. She also praised Day-Lewis but has another man on her min...

Oscars 2013: What Will Win, What Could Win And What Should Win

2/22/2013 7:54am EST
Oscars 2013
The 85th Annual Academy Awards – airing this Sunday at 8:30 PM EST on ABC – are sure to get a little rowdy this year. Ceremony notwithstanding, the categories themselves are all over the place, and for the first time in years, there are no dead-locks and certain promises in any of the categories (except, perhaps, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, but we'll get to that). Still, pundits have weighed in and the scales are tipped in several favors. Here are our predictions for what will likely win, what might upset and what films and performances deserve a golden statuette in some of the ...

Despite Unofficial 'Zero Dark Thirty' Ban, Pakistan Critics Bash Film

2/21/2013 12:17pm EST
Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty hasn't been released in Pakistan, but that hasn't stopped local critics from bashing the film's portrayal of the country.

Theaters in Pakistan have little reason to show the movie, as prolific pirating has made it unprofitable. "As a local distributor, there was no financial viability for me. The film was already widely available in the [pirated] DVD market," said Mohsin Yaseen, general manager of Cinepax to NBC. 

In fact, the mass pirating of the film has allowed critics in Pakistan's mainstream media to take on the film's inaccuracies. "Zero IQ Thirty," proclaims Nadeem...

Two Jews On Film Give Their 2013 Oscar Picks

2/20/2013 7:30pm EST
Oscar picks 2013
2012 was a great year for films.

We had an old fashioned spaghetti western that blended over the top comedy, violence and the horror of slavery from the always exceptional Quentin Tarrantino ('Django Unchained).

There were several films based on real life events - one that took us on an edge of your seat journey involving the hunt and capture of Osama Bin Laden ('Zero Dark Thirty' - directed by Kathryn Bigelow) and the other...

The rescue of 6 American hostages during the Iran 1979 revolution ('Argo' - directed by Ben Affleck).

Speaking of history, we saw all the manipulations and pol...

Jessica Chastain Eager To Meet Benefactor Robin Williams

1/21/2013 1:29pm EST
Jessica Chastain
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is desperate to meet Robin Williams so she can personally thank the funnyman for putting her through college.

The Zero Dark Thirty star, who is the favorite to land a Best Actress Academy Award, won a scholarship funded by Williams to go to prestigious arts school Julliard in New York - and she's never had the chance to give her benefactor a hug.

She says, "I am the first person to go to college in my family and it was because I got a scholarship from Robin Williams, who made it possible... I sent him a letter when I got the scholarship, but I've never met...

CIA Agent Jessica Chastain Portrayed Was Denied Promotion After Tracking Down Bin Laden

1/18/2013 12:30pm EST
Jessica Chastain
Actress Jessica Chastain has revealed the CIA agent who inspired her character in Zero Dark Thirty was passed over for promotion after helping to track down terrorist leader Osama bin Laden - because she was so unpopular.
Chastain won a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of tough-as-nails Maya in the Kathryn Bigelow film, and she has admitted the character is based on a real person who she cannot identify.
But, during an appearance on The Daily Show on Wednesday night, Chastain revealed her muse is not a CIA golden girl, despite the fact she is responsible fo...

Kathryn Bigelow Pens Open Letter To Defend 'Zero Dark Thirty'

1/16/2013 4:14pm EST
Kathryn Bigelow
Director Kathryn Bigelow has written an open letter in defense of her acclaimed movie Zero Dark Thirty as controversy over the film's torture scenes threatens to overshadow her awards season run.

The gritty drama, about the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, is among the top competitors during the Hollywood awards season and is nominated for five Academy Awards, including the coveted Best Picture Oscar.

However, the picture includes scenes which suggest American agencies used torture to extract information during the search for bin Laden, sparking criticism from politi...

'Zero Dark Thirty' Tops Weekend Box Office

1/14/2013 10:20am EST
Zero Dark Thirty
"Zero Dark Thirty" easily won the weekend box office, taking in $24.5 million.  The drama details the hunt for Osama bin Laden, which stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain as the intelligence expert who dedicated a decade of her life to tracking down the world's most wanted terrorist.

On Thursday, the film earned five Academy Award nominations, which spurred moviegoers to see one of the award season's favorite films. On Sunday night, Chastain won "Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Drama" at the Golden Globes.

The film has been mired in controversy. Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark ...

Lincoln, Life Of Pi & Les Mis Lead 2013 Oscar Nominations (See Full List)

1/10/2013 10:13am EST
This year's Oscars host, Seth MacFarlane, was accompanied by actress Emma Stone Thursday morning to announce the nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards.

Over 400 media representatives from around the world attended the 5:30am (Pacific) press conference to find out which films and stars are this year's cream of the crop.

Not surprisingly, Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln biopic Lincoln led the pack with a whopping 12 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Daniel Day Lewis), and Best Director (Spielberg).

There were few surprises amongst this year's nominees, most notably ...

Jason Clarke Underwent Simulated Waterboarding For 'Zero Dark Thirty'

1/9/2013 1:44pm EST
Jason Clarke
Actor Jason Clarke tackled a terrifying simulated waterboarding experience as research for his role in critically-acclaimed drama Zero Dark Thirty.

The Australian plays an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Kathryn Bigelow's movie, based on the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, and he went to extreme lengths to prepare for the shoot.

Clarke, whose character interrogates a terrorist using physical and mental torture in the film, tells The Hollywood Reporter he underwent a simulation of waterboarding to gain insight into the horrific technique.


Two Jews On Their Top Ten Films Of 2012

1/6/2013 10:55pm EST
Life of Pi
2012 was a great year for films - studio films as well as Indy titles all scored big.

From the exquisite writing, directing, special effects, I found myself laughing hysterically from a foul mouth, over-sexed pot smoking bear, to a bunch of folks freaking out at the prospect of turning 40.

We had cutting edge performances from Matthew McConaughey ('Killer Joe' & 'The Paper Boy), Nicole Kidman ('The Paper Boy'), John Hawkes and Helen Hunt ('The Sessions') as well as Daniel Day Lewis ('Lincoln') Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) and the whole cast of 'Django Unchained'.

As usual, John and I didn...

Weekend Movie Preview: ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ & ‘Promised Land’

1/5/2013 5:03pm EST
Zero Dark Thirty Poster
Happy New Year! I thought I’d start out the first week of 2013 with a Weekend Movie Preview column since it’s been a while. Things were pretty hectic last month between the holidays and voting on my favorite movies from 2012 with my colleagues in the Boston Online Film Critics Association. Now that I’m rested up and I’ve seen a few films, I’m ready to tell you my thoughts about them.

The flicks I’m going to discuss today have already received limited release in theaters, but they’re opening in Boston this weekend, which means I’m allowed to talk about them now. Today’s column contains my r...

Government Intelligence Committee Probes CIA's Involvement With 'Zero Dark Thirty'

1/4/2013 9:39am EST
Zero Dark Thirty
Did the filmmakers behind "Zero Dark Thirty" get "inappropriate" access to top secret material as they researched the controversial new movie? That's what government officials are trying to determine in a new investigation.

The drama details the hunt for Osama bin Laden and stars Jessica Chastain as the intelligence expert who dedicated a decade of her life to tracking down the world's most wanted terrorist.

According to Reuters, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal have been fighting claims they used top secret material to make the film. The Senate Intelligence Committee's chair...

Jessica Chastain Pulls Out Of Broadway Performances

12/29/2012 11:58am EST
Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain has pulled out of several performances of Broadway show The Heiress to support her critically-acclaimed new movie Zero Dark Thirty during the Hollywood awards season.

The Help star has already picked up a number of honors for her role in the drama, which is based on the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, and has been nominated for many more, including a Golden Globe Award nod for Best Actress.

Chastain previously confessed she was worried about how she would juggle her Broadway commitment with her film duties, and now she has confirmed she will not take ...

Best of 2012 - Jason Coleman's Top Ten Movie Posters

12/26/2012 11:00am EST
2012 posters
We’re still counting down to the final moments of 2012 and there’s much more to highlight. This time we’re diving into the subject of what some consider a cool form of art, but that others feel is a waste of wall space. It’s a top ten list with everything from cool to school (of fish that is!) and everything in between. That’s right fans, we’re checking out my official..."Best of 2012 Top Ten Movie Posters!" (Plus a notable stinker collage at the end!)

1. "DUST UP"

What poster master Drew Struzan was to the 80’s, original Artist Akiko Stehrenberger is to the year 2000. After havi...

Best Movies of 2012

12/24/2012 12:00pm EST
The Avengers
2012 was a great year for superheroes, James Bond, a former President of the United States and Ben Affleck. What defines a great film? It's different for everyone, but first and foremost it must entertain. Many movies did just that over the past year.

"The Avengers" was the highest grossing film of 2012, earning $623 million in the United States and a staggering $1.5 billion worldwide.

The number-three grossing film of all time (behind James Cameron's "Titanic" and "Avatar"), starred Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo as the H...

CIA Makes Statement Over 'Zero Dark Thirty' Controversy

12/23/2012 3:00pm EST
Zero Dark Thirty
Acting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Michael Morell has waded into the controversy surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's movie Zero Dark Thirty, insisting the film is "not a realistic portrayal of the facts".

The movie, which is tipped as a potential Oscars contender, is based on the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and has sparked controversy by suggesting information that led to his capture was obtained using torture.

In a rare public statement, Morell addressed the issues himself by writing an open letter to his CIA colleagues confirming the organization’s invol...

Kathryn Bigelow Defends 'Zero Dark Thirty's' Torture Scenes

12/20/2012 10:49am EST
Kathryn Bigelow
Filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have defended the depiction of torture in their new movie Zero Dark Thirty following heavy criticism from several politicians.

The movie, based on the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, has come under fire from former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, as well as two Democratic Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin.

The pair condemned the moviemakers for suggesting information leading to bin Laden's capture was obtained using torture and they wrote an open letter to Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton, stating,...

'Zero Dark Thirty' Takes Us On A Thrilling Ride In The Hunt For Bin Laden

12/18/2012 6:00pm EST
Zero Dark Thirty
'Zero Dark Thirty' is directed by the brilliant Kathryn Bigelow and written by her partner Mark Boals ('The Hurt Locker'). The movie opens with 9/11 and the horrific voices of the people trapped in the twin towers and those on the ground.

We then cut to a U.S. facility in Pakistan, the year is 2003. We meet Maya (Jessica Chastain) a recently hired CIA operative. She is being given a lesson on the necessity of water boarding by her mentor Dan (Jason Clark).

When the torture victim begs Maya for help, she replies, 'you can help yourself by being truthful.'

From here on, Maya and her small...

'Zero Dark Thirty' Director Kathryn Bigelow On Portraying Osama Bin Laden's Death

12/18/2012 12:20pm EST
Kathryn Bigelow
Zero Dark Thirty is director Kathryn Bigelow’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to her Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker. It is also the eagerly anticipated portrayal of the SEAL Team Six mission that killed Osama bin Laden last year. With all that attention on her, Bigelow had to decide just how to show bin Laden in the film. We do catch glimpses of his body after the raid, but never a clear close-up of his face.

Thinking was this is about the people, the men and women on the ground in the workforce, who found this house and then therefore found this man,” Bigelow said. “Ultimately, it’s no...

Jessica Chastain Heats Up The January British GQ In A Sizzling Lingerie & Nude Photo Shoot

12/4/2012 7:34pm EST
Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain is sexier than we thought! The star of the upcoming Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, wows in a new photo shoot for the British edition of GQ magazine.

The 35-year-old redhead sizzles in a new lingerie (and nude!) spread for the magazine and talks about her latest role, working with one of Hollywood's biggest stars and "gingers".

"This film will make news," she says of Zero Dark Thirty. "We all think we know how it ended. We don’t. And this movie is about how it really ended. It is shocking. When I first read the script, I was blown away...

First Trailer For Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden Film 'Zero Dark Thirty' Released

8/6/2012 10:53pm EDT
Zero Dark Thirty
Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow's controversial new movie about the hunt for terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden now has a title and a trailer.

Zero Dark Thirty will hit cinemas in December and the brief trailer was released online on Monday.

The Hurt Locker director started work on the project at the beginning of last year, but bin Laden's real-life assassination at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs prompted her to rethink the film.

The film chronicles the decade-long search for the Al Qaeda leader, who masterminded the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.