Writer/director Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy film combines elements of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Spirited Away to create inventive, multilevel world of wartime horror within an adult fairytale. And just like any fairytale, the richly-layered work is worth coming back to again and again to unwrap all the meanings. Here’s a guide on the symbols, images and themes to look out for.
Whether you need to settle an argument or start one, rally the masses or inspire an individual, you can turn to the movies for some advice. We’ve rounded up best pep talks in film and television—get ready to get the job done.
These films take the timeless hostage scenario to a whole new level of twisted—where cannibals play mind games with cops, psychotic killers take the form of fan girls and snipers, bombs are on buses and vampire strippers are a thing. Our list of demented hostage films isn’t for the faint of heart.
1. Funny Games
When two deranged young men take a family hostage in their home, they’re forced to engage in a slew of savage games in order to stay alive. Naomi Watts’ and Michael Pitt’s grueling performances—loving, brave mother and perverse, psycho killer, respectively—and a thrilling, fourth-wall breaking scene make the movie well worth enduring the horrors.
2. Silence of the Lambs
FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodi Foster) is drawn into a game of wits with one villain behind bars (the Hannibal Lector), while pursuing another serial killer, “Buffalo Bill,” on the loose. When Bill takes a new victim hostage, Starling’s race against the clock begins. She must get the information she needs from the cryptic psychopath Hannibal (cue the mind games) to apprehend Bill before he murders his prey.
Article: 4 Life Lessons from the “Black Swan”
A dark and disturbing mindfuck of a movie (think Roman Polanski’s Repulsion set in the world of Dario Argento’s Suspiria), Black Swan brilliantly challenges our long-held beliefs and ideals—and teaches us a few lessons along the way. Here are the top reasons why the psychological thriller gets more unsettling with every viewing.
Of course you meant to see them in the local art-house theater when they were released. Maybe you even did—and have been thinking about them ever since. Well, you’re in luck! These stellar movies, all winners at Sundance Film Festivals past, are available streaming on Netflix right now.
There’s something about summer that makes road trips a must: ‘Tis the season to ditch the office and head to the highway with your best friend. If that’s not an option, make a date with that special someone to enjoy the open road from the comfort of your couch. Here are just a few of moviedom’s most memorable journeys–including a few you can catch on SundanceTV this month.
The Duo: ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd)
The Travel Route: Calumet City, Illinois to Chicago
The famed SNL pair’s approach to the wide, open road can best be summed up by their famous exchange in the Bluesmobile. (Elwood: “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes. It’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.” Jake: “Hit it.”) The brothers stick by each other as their “mission from God” to save their childhood orphanage leads them to spirited musical performances, neo-Nazis, a homicidal woman played by Carrie Fisher—and, ultimately, back to jail. Although this time around, they’re together.
More often than not, the most memorable movies we see are rooted in heavy, hard-to-watch subject matter. This can certainly be said of the gritty films on this list—all wartime pics set in Africa, all dealing with the real-life conflicts that have ravaged the beautiful continent over the last century.
Dad. He taught you how to catch a baseball, make pancakes and pull weeds. But it’s his useless two cents’ worth, ahem, sage advice that’s priceless. And although he covered many bases, there are a few things he missed—that’s where the big screen comes in.
It was a long (long, long) winter. Thankfully, that’s behind us now. Summer’s now just around the corner and with it, the most buzzed about movies from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival are now hitting the theaters. Here are our top eight picks to catch on the big screen.
Never underestimate a Tarantino woman—in his impressive body of work, the director’s strong and charismatic female characters reign supreme. Here are ten of our favorite gunsligers.
As Megan Draper on AMC’s Mad Men, Canadian actress/singer Jessica Paré has captivated characters and viewers alike (Don Draper put a ring on it, and her “Zou Bisou Bisou” rendition has well over a million views on Youtube), but she also boasts some impressive big-screen credits. With the series winding down (sob), take a peek at Pare’s movie roster, and get a taste of what’s to come for the actress.
We’ve compiled a top 10 list of the sexiest foreign films—they’re not all necessarily erotic, with lots of skin. Nor are they all uplifting, life-affirming tales of carnal romance with happy endings. But they do focus on issues of sexuality and sensuality in artful ways—and that’s sexy.
Article: January Jones Gets Dramatic
Fans know and love her as Betty (Draper, then Francis) on Mad Men, but there’s another side to the actress. If you haven’t seen January Jones like this, do yourself a favor and check out some of her best dramatic characters.
1. Lou Ann Norton, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
This neo-Western, Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut (he also stars), features Jones as the wife of a Border Patrol Agent (Barry Pepper) who shoots and kills a Mexican immigrant cowboy (Julio Cedillo). Rather than fess up, he tries to cover up his crime and is kidnapped for his troubles. Lou Ann, meanwhile, is fed up with him and their life in Texas and decides to leave it all behind and return home to Ohio.
Although the funnyman can make us laugh all the way through the credits (hello, Ron Burgundy), some of his best bits come in at only a few seconds long.
For many, prom is the pinnacle of their high school career. There’s the romance, the decorations, the excuse to get fancy and, most importantly, the drama. In honor of this unrivaled event, we’ve compiled a list of the best proms on film.
Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” But these days, it’s not hard to find gay characters in mainstream Hollywood films. Here are ten of our favorite gay sex scenes—or, at least, sexy scenes—in mainstream movies.
Article: Top 5 Ways to Get More of Jon Hamm
There’s no denying Jon Hamm’s TV superstardom—Don Draper is one of the most indelible characters of our time, but the actor shines on the big screen as well. As Mad Men draws to a close, take a look at Hamm’s Top 5 movie roles—including one you can catch in theaters now.
After starring in countless Western classics (Rio Bravo, True Grit, Red River…), screen legend John Wayne has doled out plenty of no-bullshit advice — applicable on the frontier and nearer to home. Here are seven quotes to live by from the man, the myth, and the legend himself.
Article: Stuck? Need to Get Inspired (Without Getting off the Couch)? Marathon the Following 10 Movies
Life is tough. Family dramas, workplace dilemmas, emotional dead ends — sometimes you hit a roadblock at every corner. When you feel like you need rethink your entire course, take a cue from one of these characters who have been there, done that — and then some. One of these films just might change your…
He won a screenwriting Oscar at the age of 26. Five years later, as a legitimate movie star, he acted in one of the most ridiculed films ever made and appeared on the cover of gossip rags. Now, with Argo, Ben Affleck is recognized as one of the most talented and embraced directors in Hollywood. But he’s not alone.
Each actor to step into MI6 Agent Bond’s shoes has made the role his own–we’ve had some suave womanizers (Roger Moore, Pierce Bronsan) and some fierce menacers (Sean Connery, Daniel Craig)–and through it all the action franchise has remained a swaggering and unstoppable force at the box office. It’s a lot of pressure to be cast as a Bond, and it’s no surprise that the lucky men who’ve filled the role each needed some action-thriller practice to cut their teeth. Below we’ve compiled a list of our favorite action pics starring Bond actors, before their stint as the legendary spy.
1. Layer Cake with Daniel Craig
Two years before his first Bond pic Casino Royale, the actor was being primed for stardom via this well-crafted British crime thriller. Craig plays “XXXX,” a London drug kingpin on the verge of retirement who finds himself knee-deep in the drug trade. With its impressively styled action sequences, Layer Cake is more than 007 1.0. It’s also a modern action classic.
Clint Eastwood. The name alone commands respect. And in honor of the rugged, one-of-a-kind wisdom exemplified by Clint’s characters in The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider and other movies, here are seven memorable quotes.
If love were easy, romantic films wouldn’t exist. In the movies, the quest for love is like trying to swim across a wide, piranha-filled river while arrows are shot at you from all sides. And in the end, whether we win love or lose love, we learn from it. These ten films preach the gospel of perseverance, no matter what the treasure chest of romance ultimately holds.
1.Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986)
Thanksgiving parties bookend two years of romance, adultery, betrayal, alcoholism, religious mania and hypochondria among a group of erratic New Yorkers. Lesson learned: Love is better when you accept that it is very unpredictable. Also, New Yorkers can be quite neurotic.
What’s your favorite Leo role of all time? Maybe the vengeful Amsterdam Vallon in Gangs of New York, or the tough-as-nails U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island? Wait. He was also amazing as the undercover cop in The Departed and Howard Hughes in The Aviator. Actually, his portrayal of stock-broker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street was epic as well. What do these modern classics have in common? DiCaprio and Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese! That’s what! So here’s a challenge for you: Pick your favorite Leo movie NOT directed by Scorsese.
Masterful at portraying unusual characters, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been an artist, a revolutionary, a tailor and a pirate (among others); he’s been Russian, Israeli, French and British (among others). To top it off, many of these characters are based on real people, making it that much trickier to get them just so. Vote…