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A guide to spotting your 'Thrones' faves outside of Westeros

One of the great pleasures of "Game of Thrones" -- and there are many (as well as many frustrations) -- is that the show almost exclusively casts actors from across the pond (and beyond) who may be unfamiliar to many American viewers unless you watch British TV and films.

These aren't the Judi Denches, the Daniel Craigs, the Idris Elbas and the...Read more

What's opening in theaters next week

MOVIES

Opening Friday:

"Me Before You" (PG-13): Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin star in this adaptation of Jojo Mojes' novel about a woman who becomes the caretaker for a man left paralyzed by an accident. Bring Kleenex. Bring a box.

"Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" (R): Andy Samberg stars as a popular singer in crisis-mode after his new ...Read more

The 'Nashville' series finale was as nutty as we could've hoped

"OK, you're crazy, and we're done."

That was Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) ending his short-lived relationship with Layla Grant (Aubrey Peeples) on Wednesday night's series finale of "Nashville." But Barkley's line works equally well as a viewer's farewell to this prime-time soap, which after premiering in 2012 as a surprisingly credible ...Read more

Movie review: X-Men go back for more in 'Apocalypse'

We already knew the superhero v. superhero story is the comic book movie trend of summer 2016, but let's not forget that the X-Men films had long ago staked out this territory, with the long-standing rivalry between Professor X and Magneto. This time, there's a third party in their battle, an ancient Egyptian God nicknamed Apocalypse (and you ...Read more

Capsule reviews of feature films

THE ANGRY BIRDS. 2 stars. Well-made, funny, fast and furious and featuring a strong celebrity voice cast (Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph, Blake Shelton, Jason Sudekis), this computer animated 3-D adventure is nothing less or more than a 97-minute ad for the Angry Birds gaming franchise. An island of flightless birds is hoodwinked and almost decimated ...Read more

Q&A with Oscar Isaac, a bad guy of biblical proportions in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

If you were casting a supervillain in a comic-book movie, odds are Oscar Isaac wouldn't be the first person you'd think of. Until he broke out to worldwide fame last year in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as ace pilot Poe Dameron -- a guy squarely on the light side of the Force -- Isaac was best known for his work in heady, small-scale fare like...Read more

Movie review: Art overcomes obstacles in 'The Idol'

Acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad won Academy Award nominations for his past two features, "Paradise Now" and "Omar," riveting thrillers about the political plight facing many living in the eternally troubled Mideast.

Now he heads in a more optimistic direction with "The Idol," a happy, uplifting biopic about Mohammad Assaf, an ...Read more

Crimes, rhymes in 'Cop Rock': ABC's heavily panned 1990 series of song, dance and police calls gets new life on DVD

Before the rise of Lucious and Cookie's "Empire," the giddiness of "Glee" and the wackiness of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," there was "Cop Rock."

The 1990 drama co-created by veteran producer Steven Bochco ("Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue"), which mashed gritty police drama with original musical numbers showcasing cops and criminals singing and ...Read more

A new 'Roots' for a new generation

No one believes that "Roots," a new interpretation of Alex Haley's blockbuster novel airing next week, will get the attention the 1977 version did. Then again, expectations weren't too high the first time around.

ABC, whose pride and joy at the time was "Happy Days," was so skeptical of the sprawling history lesson about American slavery that ...Read more

Movie review: Latest 'X-Men' is big in scale, tiny in originality

It's hard to know whether to welcome "X-Men: Apocalypse" with melancholic disappointment or testy annoyance.

Bryan Singer, a more than capable director, once again returns to the Marvel mutant saga he began in 2000. He launched the first two films in the series with a level of craftsmanship and intelligence that turned the comic-book genre into...Read more

Movie review: 'Weiner' is in-the-moment chronicle of politician's infamous fall

Anthony Weiner's 2013 mayoral campaign was supposed to be a comeback, a vindication of the former congressman whose career imploded two years earlier after he accidentally shared a sexually explicit photo on his public Twitter account. (He intended to send the picture to a specific woman; oops!)

Public outcry and relentless mockery in the media...Read more

Movie review: 'Love & Friendship' is a wonderful Austen adaptation

"Does this woman always get her way?" demands a character in Whit Stillman's "Love & Friendship," a smashing adaptation of Jane Austen's perky novella "Lady Susan." The woman in question is, of course, the unscrupulous Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale). If she were a man, she might be called a rogue or a swine. Being a woman, though, Lady ...Read more

Whit Stillman enjoying his first hit movie at age 64

MINNEAPOLIS -- Whit Stillman, a brainy screenwriter and director of unconventional films, delivers new surprises in his latest.

"Love & Friendship" is loosely based on Jane Austen's unfinished juvenile novelette of letters "Lady Susan." It looks like a tasteful period drama with historic sets and costume finery. When the comedy arrives, it ...Read more

Movie review: 'Looking Glass' doesn't reflect clever writing of Lewis Carroll

"Alice Through the Looking Glass," the sequel to the 2010 release "Alice in Wonderland," should have been called "Alice in Blunder Land." From a complete disregard of Lewis Carroll's book to a convoluted tale of time travel, the sequel falls apart faster than Humpty Dumpty on a trampoline.

The action picks up three years after Alice's (Mia ...Read more

Album review: Dylan takes another stroll down Tin Pan Alley

With "Fallen Angels" (Columbia), Bob Dylan makes at least one thing clear: It seems we got him all wrong, again.

Just when it appears possible to fix some aspect of Dylan's art and music, he does something that makes any attempt to pin him down look misguided.

Take Dylan's relationship with the Tin Pan Alley songwriting factory that dominated ...Read more

Movie review: McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence are just X-meh in 'Apocalypse'

The stakes in the boringly apocalyptic "X-Men: Apocalypse" couldn't be higher. Its long-entombed, ready-to-party mutant god, played by Oscar Isaac is both invincible and immortal, and he wants to control every single mind in every single human on Earth. The world's nukes are unleashed willy-nilly, though that part works out fine. It's a "just ...Read more

Movie review: 'X-Men: Apocalypse' loses some of the magic

The last two "X-Men" movies -- "Days of Future Past" (2014) and "First Class" (2011) -- were wonderful surprises that didn't conform to the notion that sequels are, more than likely, woefully inferior to the original. Rejuvenating the Marvel franchise with a strong, alternate cast playing youthful versions of the characters turned out to be a ...Read more

Movie review: Ralph Fiennes force of nature in 'A Bigger Splash'

Ralph Fiennes' performance in "A Bigger Splash" is a lot like a tornado in a trailer park. He's impossible to ignore, you never know which way he's going and heaven help anyone who gets in his way.

It takes a tour de force performance to stand out in a film that features compelling performances by Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota ...Read more

Movie review: 'Love & Friendship' full of delightful surprises

Prepare for a mixed review.

I can't choose whether "Love & Friendship" is the best Jane Austen film I have ever seen, or the best I could ever hope to see. Which is better, the cast's elegant character work or the charm and wit of writer/director Whit Stillman's overall control? Is it more dangerous to laugh yourself silly or applaud to the ...Read more

Female directors on their own in U.S., not overseas

In March 2015, an Australian researcher published a statistic that drew both laughs and gasps in the business community there: Fewer large Australian companies were run by women than by men named Peter.

The damning statistic prompted some introspection in the Australian film industry in particular, where women represent 17 percent of directors,...Read more