The music "biopic" parody Weird stars Daniel Radcliffe in an over-the-top version of Al Yankovic's life. In the film, making up words to songs that already exist is considered the work of a visionary, playing the accordion is akin to being a guitar hero and Yankovic is asked to be the next James Bond.
Tesla unfolds as a series of funny-sad vignettes from the life of Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor who has often been relegated to a historical footnote — as the younger, hipper rival to Thomas Edison.
The film tells the true story of Richard Phillips, whose container ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain from the small lifeboat where he was held hostage for five days. Tom Hanks stars in the film, which is directed by Paul Greengrass.
Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay for the film Lincoln, which focuses on the 16th president's tumultuous final months in office. Kushner read more than 20 books before writing about Lincoln, a man who had "an enormous capacity for grief that didn't deprive him of the ability to act."
Two of the year's most highly anticipated movies arrive this week. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, and Skyfall, the third film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond 007, directed by American Beauty Oscar-winner Sam Mendes. Film critic David Edelstein has this review of both.
Rhapsody in Blue, a 1945 film version of the life of George Gershwin, is out for the first time on DVD. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says it's a fascinating mixture of real facts, pure invention and memorable musical moments.
Meryl Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd's biopic about the former prime minister of the United Kingdom. Film critic David Edelstein applauds her performance, calling it "one of the greatest impersonations I'd ever seen."
The lives of writers drive two films opening this week: The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, dramatizes a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, meanwhile, examines who wrote Shakespeare's plays. Critic David Edelstein says both films show how hard it is to write about writers.
James Franco doesn't just spend his time acting in the movies. The star of Milk, Howl and the forthcoming 127 Hours is also an accomplished writer and graduate student. He explains how he juggles his many roles — and why he continues to take on new challenges.
Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires painted an unflattering portrait of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. The film version gets the programmer-nerd details (and Harvard's oak-and-crimson ambiance) right -- but fails to see the upside of a worldwide social network.