Matt Singer is the managing editor and film critic of the website ScreenCrush.com. For five years, he was the on-air host of IFC News on the Independent Film Channel, hosting coverage of film festivals and red carpets around the world. He’s been a frequent contributor to the television shows CBS This Morning Saturday and Ebert Presents At the Movies, and his writing has also appeared in print and online at The Village Voice, The Dissolve, and Indiewire.
Matt Singer Biography
It’s almost too perfect that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is about a bunch of rebels trying to steal information from the Empire. Interviewing one of the film’s stars feels like an act of espionage.
Too many Hollywood comedies, Office Christmas Party included, seem to expend all their creativity in the casting office. Filmmakers assemble these impressive lineups acting talent — and Office Christmas Party has as good a collection of actors as any comedy this year — and then sets them adrift in dumb stories with no jokes, hoping their evident charisma and endless improvisations will deliver enough laughs to fill out a decent trailer. The people in this movie are funny, but the movie would be a lot funnier if it gave those people some clever material to perform.
By now, you definitely know that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of what Disney is calling the Star Wars “Anthology Films,” spun off from the main saga. But did you know Rogue One is not the first live-action Star Wars spinoff film? In the 1980s, Lucasfilm produced two TV movies based on Star Wars, The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. They never played theaters in the United States, but they did get theatrical releases overseas. That’s just one of the galactic facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
A meal at McDonald calls to mind words like “processed,” “synthetic,” “safe,” and “familiar.” The Founder, the story of the man that transformed McDonald’s from a regional burger chain into a fast-food juggernaut, is not a particularly compelling biopic, but it’s not a bad cinematic translation of what it feels like to eat at Mickey D’s. Every beat comes straight out of the great-but-complicated man movie biography playbook. Each element seems selected to fulfill the audience’s expectations for this kind of film. In one scene, the title character screams at a McDonald’s franchisee for deviating from the company’s strictly mandated burger toppings: two pickles, a sprinkle of onions, and a squirt of ketchup and mustard. This particular owner dared to break the rules and put lettuce on their burger. Lettuce! The Founder is a movie with no lettuce.
What a difference six months makes. Back in the summer, the world of film was all gloom and doom. Television was great; the movies were terrible. One respected critic even speculated that someday the world would look back at 2016 as “the year that movies died.”
Happy holidays! You have absolutely no time to yourself, with all the gift-giving and card-mailing, and whatnot. So how are you going to find time to pick out something to watch? That’s where our new series, On Demand With ScreenCrush, comes in. Every two weeks, ScreenCrush Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer joins you to recommend three handpicked new titles you can watch at home right now from Movies on Demand. These are big new releases you won’t find streaming on Netflix, and the choices run the gamut from indie favorites, to major blockbusters, to insightful documentaries, and everything in between — all available with your remote.
Here is the mathematical formula to create a Tom Cruise Movie™.
Have you ever seen those movie ads on TV filled with gushing quotes from critics and thought to yourself, “I saw that movie; it was terrible. Where did they find these positive reviews?” If you have, you’re not alone — and you’re going to love ScreenCrush’s newest series, Critics Are Raving, which balances the cinematic scales with trailers full of slightly more accurate (and slightly more negative) lines from reviews. Real critics. Real quotes. Really bad movies. That’s what’s Critics Are Raving is all about.
Okay, so I guess William got that mole of his taken off at some point? Who knew he was so into cosmetic surgery? He should have gotten some plugs for that bald head of his while he was at it.
Our ongoing celebration of the best from the world of film in 2016 continues with our ranking of the finest movie posters of the year. In the gallery above you’ll see our picks for the 25 best. They range from massive hits to to tiny indie releases; we decided not to limit our list just to huge commercial successes. We don’t determine a movie’s quality by its box office totals. Why should we determine a poster’s quality that way?