NPR: David Edelstein

David Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine and for NPR's Fresh Air, and an occasional commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. He has also written film criticism for the Village Voice, The New York Post, and Rolling Stone, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section.

A member of the National Society of Film Critics, he is the author of the play Blaming Mom, and the co-author of Shooting to Kill (with producer Christine Vachon).

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1:15pm

Fri December 19, 2014
Movie Reviews

The Strange World — And Life — Of 'Mr. Turner'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:48 pm

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1:32pm

Fri December 12, 2014
Movie Reviews

Depicting An Unstable Era, 'Inherent Vice' Never Jells, But It's Addictive

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1:42pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Movie Reviews

Prayers And Holy Water Can't Exorcise The Terrifying 'Babadook'

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2:42pm

Tue November 25, 2014
Movie Reviews

Benedict Cumberbatch Lifts Above Biopic Formula In 'Imitation Game'

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 7:25 pm

Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech in The Imitation Game.
Jack English The Weinstein Company

Major studios once churned out scores of great-person biographical pictures. But now you rarely see them except during awards season. They're prime Oscar bait. The new Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory Of Everything, is a perfect specimen. It's a letdown, finally, but Eddie Redmayne is amazingly tough. He captures the fury inside Hawking's twisted frame.

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1:56pm

Fri November 14, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Foxcatcher': A Bloated True-Crime Story Based On Wealthy Heir John du Pont

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2:06pm

Fri October 10, 2014
Movie Reviews

In 'Whiplash,' A Young Drummer Plays Till He Bleeds

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2:35pm

Fri October 3, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Gone Girl': A Gripping Film That's More Fun Than The Book

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4:32pm

Fri September 26, 2014
Movie Reviews

British Coalminers Strike With A Gay Coalition In 'Pride,' A Crowd-Pleaser

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1:47pm

Mon September 8, 2014
Movie Reviews

In A Brilliantly Disorienting Film, A Teenager Is 'Starred Up' To An Adult Prison

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2:44pm

Fri August 8, 2014
Movie Reviews

In The Irish Film 'Calvary,' A Priest's Crisis Of Faith Is Weirdly Jokey

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 2:57 pm

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4:19pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Movie Reviews

Sailing Through Space With 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'? Hilarious

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 10:57 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. The newest film adaptation of a Marvel comic is "Guardians of the Galaxy," which features five Motley warriors against an armada of space villains. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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1:13pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Movie Reviews

Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Indelible Bond In 'Most Wanted Man'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:18 am

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2:28pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Movie Reviews

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

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This is FRESH AIR. Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new film "Boyhood." It was written and directed by Richard Linklater, who also made the movies, "Slacker," "Dazed And Confused," "School Of Rock," "The Before Sunrise" Trilogy and "Bernie." "Boyhood" covers a dozen years and was shot over a 12 year period. It stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and newcomer Ellar Coltrane as the boy we watch grow up.

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2:14pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Movie Reviews

In Charming Film 'Begin Again,' Music Can Save A Life

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11:58am

Fri June 27, 2014
Movie Reviews

In The Mood For Apocalypse? Skip 'Transformers,' See 'Snowpiercer'

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 1:25 pm

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Opening today, in many theaters, is the fourth in Michael Bay's "Transformer" series, "Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction." It's inspired by the Hasbro toys that turn mostly cars and trucks into robots. Another very different kind of apocalyptic, action movie that rolls out today is "Snowpiercer" by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who made the acclaimed giant monster film, "The Host." Film critic David Edelstein has these reviews.

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3:00pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Jersey Boys' And 'Venus In Fur' Are Just As Intense On Screen

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This is FRESH AIR. Film critic, David Edelstein, reviews two movies based on shows he saw on Broadway - the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons musical, "Jersey Boys," directed for the screen by Clint Eastwood and the David Ives play "Venus In Fur," filmed by Roman Polanski.

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2:58pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Obvious Child': A Momentous Film Of Small, Embarrassing Truths

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Jenny Slate plays Donna, a standup comic who gets pregnant after sleeping with an earnest, Vermont-bred business student named Max (Jake Lacy).
Courtesy of A24 Films

Obvious Child centers on Donna Stern, an aspiring standup comic in her late 20s who's out of her depth in the grown-up world. After getting smashed and having unprotected sex with a guy she barely knows, Donna discovers she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion. It shouldn't be a particularly earthshaking turn. But in a world of rom-coms like Knocked Up and Juno, in which the heroines make the heartwarming decision to go ahead with their pregnancies, this modest little indie movie feels momentous.

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1:02pm

Fri June 6, 2014
Movie Reviews

Beautiful Acting Aside, It Isn't Hard To Find Fault In 'Our Stars'

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 3:40 pm

Ansel Elgort (Augustus) and Shailene Woodley (Hazel) star in The Fault in Our Stars, the film adaptation of John Green's bestselling young adult novel about two teens with cancer.
James Bridges Twentieth Century Fox

I know people who cried at the trailer of the romantic teen cancer movie The Fault in Our Stars — at the movie they'll need a life preserver to keep from drowning in a flood of tears. Me, I didn't cry, though at times my tear ducts tingled; I was on the verge. The film is a little slick for my taste, too engineered. But it's gently directed by Josh Boone and beautifully acted. Whatever the faults, it's not in the stars.

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12:04pm

Fri May 16, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Godzilla': A Fire-Breathing Behemoth Returns To The Big Screen

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 3:41 pm

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Since 1954, the fire-breathing behemoth Godzilla has had many incarnations. In the Japanese original he was a thinly disguised symbol of the atom bomb but in later films he would fight other giant monsters and even space aliens. In 1998 there was a poorly received American remake by Roland Emmerich. Now comes another American version at a time when the restored original is also in theaters and available on DVD.

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12:11pm

Fri May 9, 2014
Movie Reviews

'God's Pocket' Is Horrifying, Humanist And Heartbreaking

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:40 pm

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Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his final film roles, stars as Mickey in "God's Pocket," the new movie directed by John Slattery. Slattery is famous for his role as Roger Sterling on TV's "Mad Men" and over the years has directed several episodes of that AMC series. He makes the transition to feature film directing with "God's Pocket" which he and Alex Metcalf adapted from the 1983 novel by Pete Dexter.

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12:04pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Ida': A Coming-Of-Age Story With An Eerie Luster

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:23 pm

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The Polish-born director Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski's is best known for the English-language movie "My Summer of Love," a lesbian coming-of-age film that was a breakthrough for actress Emily Blunt. His new film is called "Ida," spelled I-D-A and centers on an orphan who learns the secret of her past when she's on the brink of becoming a nun. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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1:31pm

Fri April 25, 2014
Movie Reviews

In 'Locke,' A Man's Life Unravels En Route To London

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 4:11 pm

Tom Hardy plays the title character in the British film Locke — in which a man's life unravels in the course of a solo drive from Birmingham to London. He's the only person the audience sees in this film, written and directed by Steven Knight.
A24

Locke is a most unusual film. It might not seem so odd as a radio play or even a stage play. The protagonist, his situation — they're fairly conventional. But to do what Locke does as a movie — that takes daring. The film is set in one space at one time. The arc of action is continuous. There is only one character on screen and just the top third of him, a man in a car, southbound on a motorway toward London. His name is Ivan Locke, he's played by Tom Hardy, and he's upending his life in front of your eyes.

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2:20pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Movie Reviews

Undead Hipsters And An Abstract Alien Star In Two Arty Horror Pics

In Under The Skin, Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who adopts an English accent and cruises Scotland enticing hitchhikers into a darkened building.
Film4

Every so often a high-toned arthouse director dips a toe into the horror genre and the results are uplifting: You realize vampires and space aliens are subjects too rich to be the sole property of schlockmeisters. That's the case with two new arty genre pictures: Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin and Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive — both slow, expressionist, non-narrative, the kind of films that drive some people crazy with boredom and put others in their thrall.

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11:11am

Fri March 28, 2014
Movie Reviews

In 'Noah,' Earth And The Bible Get A Computer-Generated Reboot

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 2:20 pm

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Darren Aronofsky had a surprise hit in 2010 with "Black Swan," which won an Oscar for its star, Natalie Portman. His latest film, "Noah," is a big budget Bible epic based on the story of Noah's Ark. Russell Crowe plays the title character, and the movie also features Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson.

Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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10:13am

Fri March 21, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Nymphomaniac': Chasing Sex, But Only On Her Terms

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:09 pm

Felicity Gilbert, Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin in one of the episodic flashbacks that spin out the story of Nymphomaniac: Volume I.
Christian Geisnaes Magnolia Pictures

Lars von Trier's latest provocation is an episodic sexual epic called Nymphomaniac, which comes in two two-hour parts, or "volumes," though it's basically one movie sliced in half. The thinking must have been, "Who wants four hours of hardcore sex and philosophizing?," and if you say, "Me, me!," I suggest seeing both back to back: It's an art-house orgy!

Should you see it at all? I recommend it guardedly. It's dumb, but in a bold, ambitious way movies mostly aren't these days, especially when there's sex in the equation. And it's funny, sometimes intentionally.

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4:02pm

Fri March 7, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 4:46 pm

Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H., a hotel concierge given to bedding his elderly guests, in Wes Anderson's latest film.
Bob Yeoman Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Wes Anderson has his share of groupies and his somewhat smaller share of skeptics who find him a tad precious. As someone who leans toward the precious view, but is open to his grace notes, I found The Grand Budapest Hotel mostly delightful.

It's a madcap comedy, but with hints of tragedy lurking outside the usual Anderson dollhouse frames. The central character is Gustave H., played by Ralph Fiennes. He's the concierge of a kitschy, opulent, high-class European hotel between World Wars I and II.

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1:24pm

Fri February 28, 2014
Movie Reviews

Liam Neeson's Action Chops Take Flight In 'Non-Stop'

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Liam Neeson became a bankable action hero in 2008 with the thriller "Taken." Now almost 62, he's still getting out of tight corners with his fists in the new action thriller "Non-Stop," most of which unfolds on a transatlantic flight from New York to London. The film also stars Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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1:14pm

Fri February 21, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Wind Rises' Is Exquisite, And Likely To Be Hayao Miyazaki's Last

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:57 pm

In the film, which Miyazaki says is his last, the wind carries off the parasol of a fragile girl, Nahoko, into the hands of Jiro — who will fall in love with her.
Studio Ghibli Nibariki

The 73-year-old Japanese animation titan Hayao Miyazaki says The Wind Rises is his final film, and if that's true — and I hope it's not but fear it is, since he's not the type to make rash declarations — he's going out on a high.

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2:18pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Movie Reviews

Masterpieces In Peril, 'Monuments Men' Protects, But Also Panders

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:32 pm

Critic David Edelstein says that The Monuments Men has "an all-star cast" — including Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett — but that "the stars are all low-wattage."
Claudette Barius Columbia Pictures

George Clooney's The Monuments Men tells the largely true story of a squad of art experts who, near the end of World War II, are assigned to protect the masterworks of European society from Nazi theft and Allied bombardment. You'll notice those are two separate goals.

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10:31am

Fri January 24, 2014
Movie Reviews

Middle-Aged And Divorced, 'Gloria' Takes On Life's Uncertainties

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. "Gloria" is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of uncertainties. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize - the Silver Bear - at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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