‘The Sting’ Theater Review: Harry Connick Jr Aims to Go From Ragtime to Riches

Photo: Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade It’s not hard to see why someone imagined a stage musical could be made out of “The Sting,” that 1973 Oscar Best Picture winner starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Depression-era con artists who pull off the ultimate heist. After all, George Roy Hill’s artfully constructed film leaned heavily … Read more

‘Blockers’ Film Review: John Cena, Leslie Mann Teen Sex Comedy Lands a Joke a Minute

Universal What does it mean that writer Kay Cannon is helming the studio coming-of-age comedy “Blockers” for Universal Pictures? Everything and nothing. A few elements — notably how the film portrays its female characters — seem clearly crafted by a woman, but with those exceptions, “Blockers” is simply an Apatow-esque comedy with tightly crafted jokes, which … Read more

‘1985’ Film Review: Retro AIDS Tale Earns Its Tears

Dutch Rall Prepare to break out the handkerchiefs several times during writer-director Yen Tan’s “1985,” a deeply emotional tearjerker and family story set in a year when an HIV diagnosis was effectively a death sentence. This is a realistic, discreet, yet exploratory film that earns its tears honestly and scrupulously. Gay, closeted, and HIV-positive Adrian … Read more

‘Hello, Dolly!’ Broadway Review: All Bettes Are Off as Bernadette Peters Takes Center Stage

Photo: Julieta Cervantes Don’t pity Bernadette Peters for taking over for the force of nature known as Bette Midler in the title role of the Tony-winning hit musical revival “Hello, Dolly!” The Broadway veteran is, as the Act 2 song goes, back where she belongs and bringing a distinctly Broadway energy to this warhorse of … Read more

‘Kings’ Theater Review: Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington and Confronts Big, Bad Lobbyists

Mrs. Smith goes to Washington in Sarah Burgess’ new play, “Kings,” which opened Tuesday at the Public Theater. Rep. Sydney Millsap (Elsa Davis, “House of Cards”) is as high-minded as James Stewart’s senator but much tougher. The joke of Frank Capra’s 1939 classic movie is that, while Stewart’s character meant well, he’s essentially incompetent, and … Read more

All 7 Aardman Animations Features Ranked, From ‘Wallace & Gromit’ to ‘Chicken Run’ (Photos)

Aardman Animations In the same way that we look to France for fashion and Japan for electronics, we look to England for coziness. That’s at least in part due to Bristol-based Aardman Animations, the 46-year-old studio best known for its “Wallace & Gromit” franchise. With Aardman’s latest release “Early Man” hitting theaters, let’s revisit the … Read more

‘Black Panther’ Film Review: Supporting Players Steal Show in Marvel’s Excellent African Adventure

Marvel Studios It used to be that once characters became established stars in the world of comics, publishers would create anthology titles like “Superman Family” or “Archie’s Gals and Pals,” thus allowing readers to get not only new stories about the title character but also ancillary tales about, say, Lois Lane or Principal Weatherbee. I … Read more

‘Winchester’ Film Review: Helen Mirren Looks Bored, and With Good Reason

Ben King/CBS Films/Lionsgate Based on a true story — or as the movies guardedly put it these days, “inspired by true events” — “Winchester” hurls Dame Helen Mirren into her first horror movie. With 129 acting credits listed to her name on IMDb, it’s amazing to find Mirren hasn’t really done horror before, although John … Read more

‘Ophelia’ Film Review: Daisy Ridley Gives Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroine a Provocative Do-Over

Sundance Film Festival We’ve had “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” and “Fortinbras Gets Drunk,” and now there’s “Ophelia,” an intelligent and gorgeous spin on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” from the point of view of the melancholy prince’s beloved. “Hamlet” of course has its share of memorable characters — recall the bit player who claimed that the play … Read more

‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’ Film Review: Doc Explores the Many Lives of the Actress-Activist

Sundance Film Festival “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” could easily have been a 10-hour miniseries; it would take at least two hours merely to go through each of her 50 or so film performances. As a second-generation star, an outspoken activist, an entrepreneur and feminist icon, Fonda almost seems like a living metaphor for the … Read more