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Matt Singer

Matt Singer is the managing editor and film critic of the website ScreenCrush.com. For five years, he was the on-air host of IFC News on the Independent Film Channel, hosting coverage of film festivals and red carpets around the world. He’s been a frequent contributor to the television shows CBS This Morning Saturday and Ebert Presents At the Movies, and his writing has also appeared in print and online at The Village Voice, The Dissolve, and Indiewire.
Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm
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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Review: The Saga Continues…

The original Star Wars was driven by nostalgia for pulp magazines, Saturday-morning serials, and a simpler era with clear-cut heroes and villains. The new Star Wars is driven by nostalgia for the original Star Wars, and a simpler era when that title evoked words like “adventure” and “excitement,” and not words like “the taxation of trade routes,” and “Jar Jar Binks.” The characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are all searching for something of great importance to the galaxy far, far away. I won’t reveal what this MacGuffin is, but I will tell you what it represents: that old Star Wars magic. Can director J.J. Abrams and the rest of the saga’s new creators find it?

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20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
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‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Trailer: The End Is Nigh for Marvel’s Mutants

I’m an old enough nerd to remember when the first X-Men movie came out in theaters. At that time, comic books were not the number one driver of all things in popular culture. Bryan Singer’s X-Men certainly featured all the comic’s beloved heroes and villains, but there did seem like there was a concerted effort to tamp down some of their comic-book-ness. Everyone dressed in black. There was no spandex. The story was grounded in weighty real-world themes like prejudice and vengeance. It was the X-Men you knew, but watered down just a bit. It was a rum and coke, not a shot of gin. X-Men: Apocalypse, in comparison, looks like a bottle of Beefeater.

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Category: General
The Weinstein Co.
The Weinstein Co.
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‘Joy’ Review: Jennifer Lawrence Is Totally Miscast in This Business Biopic

Jennifer Lawrence was 24 when she shot Joy. Her character, Joy Mangano, was 34 when she invented the Miracle Mop and became one of the first stars of the QVC network. This fact remains inescapable throughout Joy. Lawrence remains watchable in Joy because, as one of our best young actors, she can’t help but be watchable. But she’s totally miscast as a divorced mother of two who’s been repeatedly beaten down by life’s disappointments. This part was meant for the Jennifer Lawrence of a 2025, not the one of 2015.

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Category: General
The Revenant
20th Century Fox
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‘The Revenant’ Review: This Revenge Western Is Beautiful And… Uh… Well, It’s Beautiful Anyway

How good does a movie have to look to offset its other deficiencies? The Revenant is as beautiful a movie as has ever been made. The photography by master cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is inconceivably gorgeous; sweeping wide shots that juxtapose tiny, insignificant men against the overwhelming grandeur of nature, close-ups so intimate they seem like invasions of the actors’ privacy, and action sequences of shocking violence.

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Category: General
Creed
New Line
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‘Creed’ Review: An Old Franchise Flies High Again

“The way I imagine it, after the fight, he’s riding home in a cab, with the roar of the people chanting ‘Rocky!’ still in his ears. And he just drops over dead. In other words, he has achieved everything possible and he dies when he’s on top. I don’t think people want to see Rocky when he’s 80.”

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Category: General
Memento
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Someone Is Remaking Christopher Nolan’s ‘Memento’

If you were interested in movies back in the year 2000 and you didn’t have some kind of brain-destroying amnesiac condition, you remember Memento. The second feature by a British filmmaker named Christopher Nolan, Memento became a breakthrough in American cinemas (the indie made an impressive $25 million in U.S. theaters) and Nolan’s calling card in Hollywood, where he went on to become one of the most important and interesting filmmakers of his generation.

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Category: General
unnamed
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‘The Big Short’ Trailer: Four Investment Bankers Walk Into a Global Economic Collapse

Adam McKay’s best known as the director of Will Ferrell comedies like Anchorman and Step Brothers. His films tend to be weird, bizarre, and silly. But his 2010 buddy cop comedy The Other Guys ended on a note that was more outraged than outrageous: Animated infographic closing credits that outlined the reasons and details of the 2008 economic collapse (which was the background of the case investigated in the film by Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s characters).

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Black Mass
Warner Bros.
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‘Black Mass’ Review: Johnny Depp as a Wicked Boston Gangster

Jawny Depp can be a great actuh. But at a certain point in the recent past, Jawny seemed to stop looking faw great material and stahted looking faw anything that would affawd him the awppawtunity to put on a crazy wig and speak in a weeuhd accent. In the past few yeeuhs he’s played a vampiyuh with crazy hair and a weeuhd accent, a Native American with a bird on his head and a weeuhd accent, a Canadian detective with a fake nose and a weeuhd accent, a singing wolf with crazy hair and a weeuhd accent, a British art thief with a crazy mustache and a weeuhd accent, and now, in Black Mass, he’s James “Whitey” Bulgah, with thinning hair and a thick Bahston accent. Do you think Jawny even remembuhs what he really sounds like at this point?

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Category: General
Legendary
Legendary
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Report: ‘Pacific Rim 2’ Has been ‘Halted Indefinitely’

A fascinating new article in The Hollywood Reporter, details a growing battle between Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures, the production company behind films like The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Godzilla, and Jurassic World. This spat between entertainment titans sounds like it could grow into a full-on war akin to a rumble between giant robots and interdimensional aliens — partly over the studio’s reluctance to make a movie about giant robots warring with interdimensional aliens. That film, of course, is Pacific Rim 2, and according to THR, it’s been “halted indefinitely.”

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Category: General
Demolition
Fox Searchlight
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‘Demolition’ Review: A Strong Jake Gyllenhaal Performance in a Weak Movie

Naomi Watts’ is the second-billed star in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition. On the film’s official Fox Searchlight website, her name appears above the title next to Jake Gyllenhaal’s. But she barely appears in the film’s trailer. She’s onscreen for less than one second. She says just three words. (“You miss her?”) It’s almost like the trailer is trying to hide her.

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Category: General
Sicario
Lionsgate
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Review: ‘Sicario’ Is One of the Most Intense Movies of the Year

‘Sicario’ is an exercise in prolonged tension like few others. Every moment from the first scene to the last is suspenseful. The opening, a deadly raid on a drug kingpin’s safe house establishes a terrifying precedent: In this film, violence can erupt at any time without any warning, and no one and nothing can be trusted. Having thoroughly unsettled the audience, director Denis Villeneuve keeps viewers on edge with shifty characters, sudden bursts of gunfire, and the careful use of a persistent, pounding score. Remember the scene in Boogie Nights where Alfred Molina is randomly tossing firecrackers at Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly? Sicario is like that scene for two straight hours with no “Sister Christian.” It is intense.

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Category: General

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