T’Challa’s in heaven, or something close to it. The newly crowned king of Wakanda stands under a star-dappled sky—a temporary tourist in the land of his ancestors—and he talks with his father, T’Chaka, who died not long before. “You are a good man with a good heart,” T’Chaka tells him—not as a compliment, but as a warning. “And it is hard for a good man to be king.” Black Panther officially opens today. I realize that a lot of you… Read more

Just moments after the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 41-33, Philly Head Coach Doug Pederson stood up on stage in a storm of confetti. When ESPN’s Dan Patrick asked Pederson how he went from coaching high school football to leading a team to an NFL Championship, Pederson deflected the credit upstairs. “I can only give the praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity,” he said. Next up: Zach… Read more

Darkest Hour is the only second-best movie made about the Miracle of Dunkirk this year. But it’s still pretty great. This historical drama doesn’t have the sleight-of-hand timeline or pounding soundtrack of Christopher Nolan’s World War II film, Dunkirk. What it does have is tons of drama (endemic to the historical narrative), soaring writing (often supplied by the movie’s real-life inspiration) and a superlative performance by Gary Oldman—the odds-on favorite to win an Oscar for Best Actor. And while it… Read more

Oscar—Hollywood’s very own golden, naked Santa Claus—handed out gifts this morning, and he was especially generous to The Shape of Water. The fantasy romance helmed by monster impresario Guillermo del Toro snagged 13 Oscar nominations, including ones for Best Director (del Toro), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins) and Best Picture. Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s riveting war flick, collected eight, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri nabbed seven. But digging deeper into the nominations announced this morning, we find some interesting themes in… Read more

Case Keenum’s season was over. Most everyone knew it. His Minnesota Vikings put up a valiant fight against the New Orleans Saints, but when the Saints’ all-world quarterback Drew Brees led his team down the field for a go-ahead field goal with 25 seconds left, fans watching knew that if Keenum’s Vikings weren’t quite dead yet, the mortician was taking measurements. And then this happened: The Vikings were on their way to the NFC Championship Game, and Keenum—a well-traveled backup… Read more

I really liked The Florida Project, but it did feature some extraordinarily lax parenting. Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), the 6-year-old girl at the center of Project, and her pint-size posse roam the streets of Kissimmee, Fla. without a hint of supervision—begging from strangers, frolicking along busy roads and occasionally setting fire to deserted condo developments. Well, judging from this clip from Forever My Girl (courtesy Grace Hill Media), Billy (Abby Ryder Fortson) just may be the Bizarro version of Mooney. In… Read more

I don’t have a lot of heroes. But Fred Rogers is one of them. I didn’t have as much appreciation for him when I was actually watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. His show was wedged between PBS’s two slickest, sexiest educational programs at the time, Sesame Street and The Electric Company. By comparison, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was staid. Calm. Maybe a little boring. If I had to choose between Mister Rogers and Electric Company’s Spider-Man, my 6-year-old self would choose Spidey every… Read more

Love it or hate it, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has sparked plenty of debate. I’ve argued with people over [spoilers to follow] Rey’s parentage, the relative speed of First Order star destroyers v. Rebel cruisers and why, in this universe, bombs drop but Leia floats. But one of the more interesting, geekier discussions I’ve had has been over the First Order’s official wild child, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver). Some believe that Kylo’s story arc is already set… Read more

On Jan. 19, the war drama 12 Strong will hit theaters and hit ’em hard. Produced by action impresario Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie focuses on 12 American special ops soldiers who fight the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, as the wreckage of the World Trade Center still smolders. The movie might not have an Avengers-level budget, but it has an unmistakable Hollywood sheen. It stars Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, as the heroic Captain Mitch Nelson. Award-winning character actor Michael Shannon… Read more

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, ran away with plenty of hardware from the Golden Globes last night, including for Best Drama, and it’s only fitting: In a year filled with so much rage, Three Billboards seemed a fitting entertainment capstone. It’s a Molotov cocktail of a film, filled with fire and fury that seems ready to burn the movie screen down. But its message goes deeper than that. And I wonder whether some folks are missing its real point. [Warning:… Read more

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