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Brad Pitt's Fury Beats Gone Girl Over a Weak Box Office Weekend

In a tepid weekend for the box office, Brad Pitt's World War II epic, Fury, claimed the top spot with $23.5 million, beating back Gone Girl, which brought in $17.8 million for a domestic total of $107 million. Other new releases also had lackluster performances, with the animated The Book of Life bringing in $17 million for third, and Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me barely coming in fifth with $10.2 million. Steve Carrell's family comedy, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, stuck around in fourth with $12 million. 

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Dear White People Is One of the Best Feature-Filmmaking Debuts in Recent Years

Justin Simien’s Dear White People positions itself as a skewering of racial attitudes among students and faculty at a prestigious university, but, at heart, it’s a touching, even earnest story about acceptance — or, rather, our longing for said acceptance. That the film’s satire isn’t contradicted by its sincerity is certainly a testament to the talents of this young director and his impeccable cast. But it also maybe says something about our own racial moment. The film is called Dear White People, but it might as well be called Dear Everybody. It’s hilarious, and just about everyone will wince with recognition at some point in the film.

It opens with news of a "race war" ... »

Kristen Stewart’s Tense Acting Style Serves Her Well As a Gitmo Guard in Camp X-Ray

Peter Sattler’s Camp X-Ray starts off with images of 9/11, followed by scenes of a Muslim man being captured at home and whisked off to Guantánamo Bay. But the film is not nearly as grandiose and politically minded as that suggests. It’s really a chamber piece between two people. Almost literally so: Most of the movie is set in a small, nondescript cement holding area at Gitmo lined with a few bolted doors. The place doesn’t even look like a prison. It looks more like an empty hospital waiting room. Or, more appropriately, a psych ward.

Is Ali himself a good guy? At first, the film is non-committal. »

Oscar Futures: How Many Nominations Can Birdman Fly Away With?

Every week between now and January 15, when the nominations are announced, Vulture will consult its crystal ball to determine the changing fortunes in this year's Oscar race. Check back every Friday for our Oscar Futures column, when we'll let you in on insider gossip, confer with other awards-season pundits, and track industry buzz to figure out who's up, who's down, and who's currently leading the race for a coveted Oscar nomination.

If You’re Going to Do Nicholas Sparks Melodrama, The Best of Me, at Least Do It Right

As presented in the opening scenes of the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me, Dawson Cole, the film’s male protagonist, is the Nicholas Sparks–iest character you could imagine. Played as an adult by James Marsden, Dawson works on an oil rig, reads Stephen Hawking books in his spare time, sends cash money home in an envelope, and looks up at the stars at night; he’s a soulful, strapping, wandering, working-class romantic. And of course, he has a soul mate: The beautiful Amanda (played as an adult by the great Michelle Monaghan), now a wife and mother who also likes to look up at the stars, especially as an escape from her raging finance-bro hemorrhoid of a husband (Sebastian Arcelus).

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Listen Up Philip Asks, How Long Can You Watch a Terrible Person For?

Writer-director Alex Ross Perry raises fascinating aesthetic questions in his third feature, Listen Up Philip. Can we identify with an asshole so flaming that nearly every word out of his mouth burns yet another bridge to the human race? More important: Can we even watch him for longer than a few minutes?

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  • Posted 10/17/14 at 1:20 PM
  • Video

Watch Elisabeth Moss Very Firmly Hand Jason Schwartzman His Ass

The New York Times just named Elisabeth Moss "one of the most exciting actresses in American movies," and you can see the Mad Men star's cinematic talents on display in this exclusive clip from Alex Ross Perry's new movie Listen Up Philip, out today. Moss stars in the film alongside Jason Schwartzman, and he's playing the film's putative protagonist, a dyspeptic novelist who spends most of his time upbraiding the people in his life who can't possibly measure up to his high standards. But once Schwartzman retires to the country to pursue his muse, leaving his girlfriend (Moss) behind in Brooklyn, the film takes on her perspective as she blossoms on her own. Eventually, Schwartzman returns, still expecting to rule the roost. As you'll see in this clip — featuring Moss, Schwartzman, and one cantankerous cat — things do not go as planned.

11 Great Michael Keaton Roles

Hollywood loves a comeback story, and this one couldn’t be any sweeter. With the much-anticipated release of Birdman this weekend, Michael Keaton is back on top. One of Hollywood's biggest draws in the 1980s, he seemed to be able to do it all. His work with Ron Howard showcased his biting comedic talents and quickly made him a leading man. Playing a crude ghost with the most and a legendary superhero for Tim Burton made him a worldwide superstar. But by the late ’90s, Keaton'sstar was on the decline, though he continued to work consistently. With around 80 roles under his belt, we look back on 11 that shine brightest.

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Take the Brad Pitt Movie-Hair Quiz

This quiz originally ran on October 25, 2013. We are republishing it to correspond to the release of Fury this weekend. 

What happens when you take Macklemore's head and rattle it around a tank for a couple hours: does the hair stay in place? That's what Fury is looking to explore this weekend with Brad Pitt rocking a skin-short hair on the side with slicked back hair on the top look. It's a cut famously described as the "Hitler Youth" in a New York Times trend story from three years ago. But not only is the haircut time period appropriate, it's also appropriate considering Pitt's history of iconic movie hair. Over his 25-year career, he's mixed up his hairdos in ways big and small, both on his face and scalp. Take the Brad Pitt Hair Quiz and find out how well you remember all of his movie dos. You'll see just the hair and have to guess the movie. Luckily, right or wrong, you'll get to see that handsome mug of his. Good luck!

Director Justin Simien on Dear White People and Black Stories in Hollywood

Dear White People, which opens this weekend, is a movie that demands attention, and not just because of its provocative title. Writer/director Justin Simien, who started to work on the script in 2006, was able to make a movie that is both a compelling portrait of four unique black characters and a rich satire that fully captures the state of race and racism in post-Obama America. Vulture spoke with Simien about the evolution of the film, the honor and frustration of being compared to Spike Lee, Chappelle's Show, and how to fix the movie industry.

"Hollywood is a world where the only thing that gets green-lit is something that made money the last year." »

Subtitle Issues Might Hurt Guardians of the Galaxy in China

Last week, the talk surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy was that it seemed to be on pace to gross over $800 million internationally. However, this week has revealed a possible roadblock. China Daily reports that poor subtitle translations might hinder the film's popularity in China. China Daily says the translation has ruined much of the film's humor and has led to mixed reviews from critics. Popular users of the Chinese social-media platform Weibo identified at least 80 mistakes: "Aside from a lot of mistranslations, the subtitles failed to show the original feel of the movie, such as jokes, puns and homophones. We cannot help but doubt the professionalism of the translator." 

Guardians made $30 million in its opening weekend there. »

Studio Ghibli’s Latest, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, Is Quiet But Powerful

Magical and melancholy, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya comes from the other mad genius of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata, who co-founded the beloved Japanese animation company alongside the great Hayao Miyazaki back in 1985. Somewhat more idiosyncratic than Miyazaki — and with a darker streak — Takahata was responsible for 1988’s war drama Grave of the Fireflies, still probably the most scarring animated film I’ve ever seen, but also possibly the most beautiful. The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is a gentler work, and at first, it feels slighter, too. Based on an old, popular Japanese legend, it starts off like an odd little fable, but then its expansive sadness sneaks up on you.

Hand-drawn, in a style that looks at times like lightly colored charcoal sketches. »

David Ayer Represents the Best and Worst of American Filmmaking With His WWII–Set Fury

David Ayer’s Fury is a ferociously gory World War II film that raises all kinds of ugly moral questions before losing them in a cloud of blood and gore. It begins smashingly, though, with turns you rarely see in stories of “the Greatest Generation.” The scarred, leather-faced tank commander, Don “Wardaddy” Collier (an aggressively deglamorized Brad Pitt), butchers a solitary German officer rather than take him prisoner. A short time later, he not only decides to shoot an SS man who surrenders to him, but he forces — in an excruciatingly prolonged scene — a jittery clerk-typist, Private Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), to pull the trigger. “Don’t make me do this!” weeps Ellison as Collier slaps him and wrestles him into position to fire a bullet into the head of a man who has pulled out photos of his wife and children and is begging for his life. And then — blam!

It’s not just what the bad guys do. It’s what the good guys do, too. »

  • Posted 10/16/14 at 6:00 PM
  • Movies

Warwick Davis Will Be in Star Wars: Episode VII

Warwick Davis's strategy of basically daring J.J. Abrams to refuse him has apparently worked out: He's going to have a brief role in Star Wars: Episode VII after all. Davis played Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi and had various roles in Phantom Menace; thinking out loud to IGN last year, Davis mused that in the new film, he could play a bad guy or even a Jedi, adding that "a villain with a lightsaber is the ultimate goal, if that's not asking too much." He just wants people to see his face! Davis cautioned that he wasn't "dying to get back inside an Ewok suit," but after Life's Too Short, he'd probably still prefer it to a frog suit.

  • Posted 10/16/14 at 4:17 PM
  • Movies

15 New Details About Interstellar

So far, the only things we've known about Christopher Nolan's Interstellar are mostly what we've been able to glean from its handful of trailers. (To recap: Matthew McConaughey goes to space to find a new Earth while Jessica Chastain stays at home and broods.) No longer! Today marks the debut of Entertainment Weekly's cover story on the film, and it's chock-full of amusing anecdotes and previously unknown plot details (as well as a few other ones that many people have guessed). Here are 15 of the most interesting:

There's a robot. »

  • Posted 10/16/14 at 11:30 AM
  • Movies

Watch Keira Knightley and Ellie Kemper Have a Cockfight

In Lynn Shelton's new film Laggies (in select theaters October 24 and nationwide November 7), Keira Knightley plays Megan, a sweet but slackerrific 28-year-old whose total lack of motivation utterly stumps her friends and family. At a time when all her friends are embracing their adult responsibilities, Megan would much rather hang out with her new teenage friend Annika (Chloe Moretz) and refuse to grow up, and nowhere is that enthusiasm gap more evident than when Megan is forced to celebrate the imminent wedding of her prissy friend Allison (Ellie Kemper). In this exclusive clip from the film, Megan treats a bachelorette party game as the impetus for an immature (but enjoyably scandalous joke), but Allison is not having it. A very unique cockfight then ensues, with Knightley and Kemper pitted head to head.

Watch the Trailer for Ron Howard’s Whale Movie In the Heart of the Sea

It's taken more than ten years for Hollywood to adapt In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick's National Book Award–winning tale of the whaling expedition that inspired Moby-Dick, but now, thanks to Ron Howard, the movie is finally here. Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Brendan Gleeson star as sailors forced to battle for survival after their boat is sunk by a whale. Harpoons, broken rigging, the threat of cannibalism — this will surely be your dad's favorite movie of the year.

Paul Rudd Invited All of Kansas City to a Post-Game Party at His Mom’s Place Because He’s Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd spent much of his youth growing up in Kansas. Meaning he was there in 1985, the last time the Kansas City Royals made the World Series. So it makes sense that Rudd would want to party like a teenager now that the Royals are heading back. Rudd was at the game last night, and when he was interviewed afterward, he agreed it would only be right to throw a keg party at his mom's place to celebrate. Watch the video below and debate if the potential of hanging out with Paul Rudd is enough incentive to start caring about baseball.

Emma Stone on Trying Not to Ruin Birdman

Emma Stone seems to have an affinity for movies about men who dress up in animal suits and fly around New York City. Things are going to get pretty meta, so hang on. In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (in theaters Friday), The Amazing Spider-Man star plays the petulant daughter (and terrible personal assistant to) Michael Keaton’s Riggan, a washed-up movie star who made his fame and fortune in a superhero franchise and is now trying to revive his career by launching a play adaptation of a Raymond Carver novel on Broadway. And now, in real life, while releasing a movie about trying to make it on Broadway, Stone is actually about to be on Broadway, singing every day in preparation to take over for Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles opposite Alan Cumming’s Emcee in the revival of Cabaret. Got it? Good! Vulture talked to her for a hot minute at a Birdman lunch earlier this week hosted by Peggy Siegal about terrible jobs, her fear of heights (or lack thereof), and the pressure of not messing up the movie’s many very long, highly choreographed takes.

"There was a time where I had to move at a certain speed around the corner because that’s where the stitch was, and Alejandro told me, 'You’re ruining the movie!'" »

  • Posted 10/15/14 at 11:59 PM
  • Obits

Modern Family Actress Elizabeth Peña Dead at 55

Actress Elizabeth Peña has passed away from natural causes at the age of 55, CNN reports. Peña had a prolific acting career that spanned more than three decades, starring in features such as Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Jacob’s Ladder, Lone Star, La Bamba, Rush Hour, and The Incredibles. Most recently she was seen playing the mother of Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria on Modern Family. Today, her co-stars and other admirers in the Hollywood community took to Twitter to pay their respects: