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).

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. There were reports last spring from the Cannes Film Festival that a low-budget American horror movie with no big-name stars was making audiences scream. The same report came out of the Toronto Film Festival in the fall. That movie was called "It Follows," and it opens in theaters today. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: There are many ways a...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The streets of Northern Ireland in 1971 are the setting for the new film "'71," in which Jack O'Connell, best known for his starring role in "Unbroken," plays an English soldier cut off from his unit in the middle of a riot. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: The most powerful thing about the Belfast, Northern Ireland, period thriller "'71" is that no...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: In "Maps To The Stars," director David Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner focus on a group of Hollywood stars, want-to-be stars, ex-stars and desperate hangers-on. John Cusack plays a self-help guru whose clients include Julianne Moore, who won a best actress prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival for her performance as an actress clinging to fame. Film critic David Edelstein has this review....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: One of this year's Academy Awards nominees for best foreign language film is "Wild Tales," an Argentinian film containing six short stories. It was co-produced by filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: I'm guessing that the oldest subject in literature isn't love or war or the struggle for survival, but revenge. Someone takes something from you,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Under the pen name Snowqueens Icedragon, former British television executive E L James wrote a series of stories on the Internet inspired by the "Twilight Saga," stories that became the basis of her bondage-infused novel "50 Shades Of Grey." The first book in her phenomenally best-selling trilogy is now a film, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Film critic David Edelstein...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In 1999, Nickelodeon launched the cartoon series "SpongeBob SquarePants," created by animator and former marine biologist, Stephen Hillenburg. The sea sponge, and his starfish, squid, snail and other friends, have now appeared in over a hundred shorts and two feature films. The second, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water," opens this week. Film critic David Edelstein plunged...

The word "Timbuktu" is slang in the West for East of Nowhere, but in the film Timbuktu, this city in Mali on the edge of the Sahara is an epicenter, a volatile crossroads for several distinct cultures. There are African women in radiant colors, white-garbed Muslim men in mosques, fishermen who live along the river and nomadic herders who pitch their tents on dunes. And then there are the most recent arrivals: an al-Qaida-affiliated group called Ansar Dine that in 2012 took over Timbuktu and...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The Oscar buzz was strong for Julianne Moore at the world premiere of "Still Alice" at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, and she's still the favorite, after a recent Golden Globes win and an Academy Awards nomination. Moore plays a professor who finds out after a series of memory lapses that she has Alzheimer's. The film also stars Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart. Film critic David...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. This week, the Martin Luther King drama "Selma" opens in theaters nationwide. The film recounts the months leading up to King's 1965 march for voting rights from Selma to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. The movie is directed by Ava DuVernay. It stars David Oyelowo as King and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID...

"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air 's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios." Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving." However, Edelstein says, in an era in which some 1,000 films may be released in the U.S. each year, the law of averages...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Now 71 years old, the English director Mike Leigh continues his prolific career with the new movie "Mr. Turner," a biographical portrait of the great 19th century English landscape painter J. M. W. Turner. Once again, Leigh's stock company of actors researched and helped create their own roles. Foremost among them is Timothy Spall, who won this year's Cannes Film Festival and New...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The seventh feature by the writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson, best known for his films "Boogie Nights," "There Will Be Blood" and "The Master," is the first film adaptation of a novel by Thomas Pynchon. It's a laid-back mystery called "Inherent Vice," starring Joaquin Phoenix. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: I don't know what Paul Thomas...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: One of the sensations of this year's Sundance Film Festival was a low-budget Australian horror film called "The Babadook." The story of a mother, a son and a top-hatted demon was written and directed by Jennifer Kent, a former actress. On Monday, "The Babadook" was awarded the prize for the year's best first film by the New York Film Critics Circle. Our film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID...

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. And then there's The Imitation Game , which Benedict Cumberbatch lifts far above the standard biopic formula. He's award-caliber strange....

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The new film "Foxcatcher" is based on the true story of the wealthy chemical company heir John du Pont and his fraught relationship with two Olympic wrestlers - Mark Schultz and his brother Dave. Is directed by Bennett Miller, who made "Capote" and "Money Ball." And it stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN,...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The second feature by the 29-year-old director Damien Chazelle is called, "Whiplash" and centers on the agony of a drummer in a high-powered music school. The movie stars the young film actor Miles Teller from "The Spectacular Now" and J.K. Simmons, who is best known for his TV roles on "Law And Order" and "Oz." "Whiplash" won a grand prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival....

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's best-selling mystery novel, "Gone Girl" arrives in movie theaters today. It's directed by David Fincher, best known for "The Social Network" and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." And it stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and in smaller roles, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN,...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: The new film "Pride" gathers a group of actors, among them Bill Nighy and "The Wire's" Dominic West, to tell the story of a 1980's British coal miner strike unexpectedly joined by a coalition of gay men and women. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: The rah-rah-union, rah-rah-gay-rights, boo-hiss-Maggie Thatcher ensemble comic drama "Pride" grabbed me from the first...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of a new film "Starred Up" by the Scottish director David Mackenzie. Actor Jack O'Connell from the British TV series "Skins" and the upcoming film "Unbroken" plays a teenage inmate in a maximum-security adult prison. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: None of the inmates in the brutal British prison drama "Starred Up" thinks of escape or even imminent release. It's not...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, BYLINE: Kevin Whitehead writes for Point of Departure and Wondering Sound and is the author of "Why Jazz?" He reviewed Jackie Byard, "The Late Show Live at the Keystone Korner Volume Three" on the High Note label. Coming up film critic David Edelstein reviews "Cavalry" starring Brendan Gleeson. This is FRESH AIR. This is FRESH AIR. In the new movie "Calvary" Brendan Gleeson plays an Irish village priest...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript 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. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: In the late '80s, when "Batman" directed by Tim Burton came out, most of us expected something campy and lightweight like the TV show. But Burton, following graphic...

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

Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: 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. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Boyhood isn't a...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Director John Carney had a surprise hit with his low-budget musical "Once." And he returns to the musical arena - this time in New York and not Dublin - with his new movie "Begin Again." Keira Knightley plays a heartbroken singer-songwriter who teams up with a down and out drunken producer played by Mark Ruffalo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: The...

Transcript 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. DAVID...

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