NEWS: ROGER EBERT MOVIE REVIEWS
Setup News Ticker
   NEWS: ROGER EBERT MOVIE REVIEWS
Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

Travel the Culinary World with Netflix's "Ugly Delicious"
This film from Rainer Sarnet builds a bizarre love story stuffed with supernatural lunacy.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

Annihilation
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

Every Day
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

The Cured
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

Mute
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

The Lodgers
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

The Young Karl Marx
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

Half Magic
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

Hannah
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 23, 2018

November
Stream a documentary about Muhammad Ali or a 1970s gang classic. And Oprah comes to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 22, 2018

Greta Gerwig Joins Short Legacy of Female Best Director Nominees
The choreographer Jennifer Monson has long been drawn to the natural world. Her "bend the even" was born on the Illinois prairie.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 22, 2018

Berlin 2018: "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot," "Optimism," "L. Cohen"
The choreographer Jennifer Monson has long been drawn to the natural world. Her "bend the even" was born on the Illinois prairie.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 22, 2018

Looking with Loving Eyes: Sally Potter on "The Party"
The choreographer Jennifer Monson has long been drawn to the natural world. Her "bend the even" was born on the Illinois prairie.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 21, 2018

Netflix's "Seven Seconds" Takes Too Long to Get Where It's Going
This week's episode questioned whether empathy remains a viable mode of personal or political action.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 21, 2018

Game Night
The movie's Presidents' Day weekend ticket sales in North America — and a global total of $387 million — have upended Hollywood myths.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 21, 2018

A Great Anthropological Experience: Steve James and Laura Checkoway on Their Oscar-Nominated Documentaries
The movie's Presidents' Day weekend ticket sales in North America — and a global total of $387 million — have upended Hollywood myths.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 21, 2018

CSO's African American Network to Screen Timely Silent Film "The Scar of Shame"
The movie's Presidents' Day weekend ticket sales in North America — and a global total of $387 million — have upended Hollywood myths.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 20, 2018

When Is a Superhero Movie Not Just a Movie? When it is "Black Panther."
Hear the week's most notable tracks from Courtney Barnett, Gregory Porter, Tinashe and more.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 20, 2018

A Universal Story: Rutger Hauer on "Samson"
"Cycles of My Being," written for the tenor Lawrence Brownlee by Tyshawn Sorey and Terrance Hayes, grapples with hope and hate.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 20, 2018

Criminal Mind: On Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet"
"Cycles of My Being," written for the tenor Lawrence Brownlee by Tyshawn Sorey and Terrance Hayes, grapples with hope and hate.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 20, 2018

The Visual Language of "Mudbound" Cinematographer Rachel Morrison
"Cycles of My Being," written for the tenor Lawrence Brownlee by Tyshawn Sorey and Terrance Hayes, grapples with hope and hate.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 20, 2018

#322 February 20, 2018
The American director's second stop-motion film received a warm reception when it opened the Berlin Film Festival.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 19, 2018

Dreams of Africa: The Fantasy Politics of "Black Panther"
Auction prices for high-end collectible automobiles have dropped as specialists have replaced speculators. Cars that do sell have one thing in common: They still work.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 19, 2018

American Horror: On Criterion's "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Silence of the Lambs"
Michael Tracy's art isn't his only legacy. He is restoring the Spanish colonial heritage of tiny San Ygnacio. So why don't they love him there?

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 18, 2018

Berlin 2018: "Grass," "Dovlatov," "Transit"
Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 17, 2018

Monster Hunt 2
Tania Bruguera's "Untitled (Havana, 2000)" is recreated, with a tunnel, nude bodies and videos of Fidel Castro. The work asks questions about history and politics.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Chinese New Year: Man's Best Friend
Wes Anderson's new movie opens a festival that will showcase nearly 400 films. In the face of rising criticism, the event's director says he's focused on the audience.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

The History of Hollywood's Difficult Women
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Early Man
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Irreplaceable You
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

The Party
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Samson
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Nostalgia
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Western
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Looking Glass
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

The Boy Downstairs
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 16, 2018

Detective Chinatown 2
The unique, life-size relief sculptures of humped creatures and other beasts of burden are about 2,000 years old, but little is known about their origins.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 15, 2018

Home Entertainment Consumer Guide: February 15, 2017
The show has bumped Alexander McQueen from the list of the museum's 10 most attended exhibitions, but doesn't come close to King Tut or the Mona Lisa.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 15, 2018

Interview: Chicago Filmmaker Michael Glover Smith on "Mercury in Retrograde"
A pair of deaf actors create and star in a series about best friends in Los Angeles struggling with love, work and all those irritating people who can hear.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 15, 2018

Sundance Provides Platform For Black Filmmakers
A pair of deaf actors create and star in a series about best friends in Los Angeles struggling with love, work and all those irritating people who can hear.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 15, 2018

Black Panther
A pair of deaf actors create and star in a series about best friends in Los Angeles struggling with love, work and all those irritating people who can hear.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 15, 2018

Sweet, Sensitive "Everything Sucks!" Premieres on Netflix
A pair of deaf actors create and star in a series about best friends in Los Angeles struggling with love, work and all those irritating people who can hear.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 15, 2018

Giving It Texture: Costume Designer Ruth Carter on "Black Panther"
A pair of deaf actors create and star in a series about best friends in Los Angeles struggling with love, work and all those irritating people who can hear.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 14, 2018

Oxford Film Festival 2018 Highlights: Community and Compassion
Under Riccardo Muti, the orchestra made no huge statements, no overarching themes, during its performances in New York.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 14, 2018

Tehran Taboo
Under Riccardo Muti, the orchestra made no huge statements, no overarching themes, during its performances in New York.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 14, 2018

Double Lover
Under Riccardo Muti, the orchestra made no huge statements, no overarching themes, during its performances in New York.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 14, 2018

"Star Trek: Discovery" Returns to Series' Musical Roots
Under Riccardo Muti, the orchestra made no huge statements, no overarching themes, during its performances in New York.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 13, 2018

We Hung Onto It: Ryan Coogler on "Black Panther"
Omarosa Manigault Newman struck at Donald Trump using what she learned from him on "The Apprentice."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 13, 2018

Clint Eastwood's Accidental Heroes
Omarosa Manigault Newman struck at Donald Trump using what she learned from him on "The Apprentice."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 13, 2018

Berlin 2018: "Tower. A Bright Day."
Omarosa Manigault Newman struck at Donald Trump using what she learned from him on "The Apprentice."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 13, 2018

Bright Wall/Dark Room: "Stigma & Myth in Belle Rive" by Paul Fischer
Omarosa Manigault Newman struck at Donald Trump using what she learned from him on "The Apprentice."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 12, 2018

The Journey of a Remarkable Artist: The Career of Gary Oldman
Previews, openings and some last-chance picks.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 11, 2018

Johann Johannsson: 1969-2018
Alex Ross Perry charts the happiness, misery and profound self-absorption of assorted Brooklynites. It's funny! (Also sad and squirm-inducing.)

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 11, 2018

Jóhann Jóhannsson: 1969-2018
Alex Ross Perry charts the happiness, misery and profound self-absorption of assorted Brooklynites. It's funny! (Also sad and squirm-inducing.)

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

Video Q&A with Ahmad Kiarostami
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

Fifty Shades Freed
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

Peter Rabbit
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

Golden Exits
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

When We First Met
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

The Ritual
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

Permission
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

The Female Brain
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 09, 2018

Basmati Blues
David Grann's true crime tale is our February pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 08, 2018

The 15:17 to Paris
We all loved Mr. Mahoney as the lovably cranky Martin Crane. But his work beyond "Frasier" was equally versatile and nuanced.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 08, 2018

Short Films in Focus: The 2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films
Scared to be bused to a predominantly white school in New Orleans, the actor was given some empowering advice from his father.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 08, 2018

Diary of a Sundance Juror
Scared to be bused to a predominantly white school in New Orleans, the actor was given some empowering advice from his father.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 07, 2018

Ebertfest 2018 Will Be Dedicated to Roger Ebert and Mary Frances Fagan
The Australian director Barrie Kosky takes a fresh look at one of opera's most performed works. Without the castanets.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 07, 2018

Why The Bad Batch is one of the best films of 2017
With movie studios avoiding competition with the Super Bowl, the newcomer "Winchester" took in $9.3 million this weekend.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 07, 2018

"Be Careful With It": Moments of Martin
Tuesday is the 100th anniversary of some British women getting the right to vote. Posters illustrating their fight are on display for the first time at Cambridge.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 07, 2018

Great Cast Can't Make Awful "Here and Now" Work
In "The World Only Spins Forward," Isaac Butler and Dan Kois tell the story of Tony Kushner's epic play in the words of the artists who made it and the fans who love it.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 07, 2018

Sundance 2018 Interview: Sara Colangelo on "The Kindergarten Teacher"
In "The World Only Spins Forward," Isaac Butler and Dan Kois tell the story of Tony Kushner's epic play in the words of the artists who made it and the fans who love it.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 06, 2018

The Ebert Fellows on Sundance 2018
This story centers on an eccentric heiress played by Ms. Mirren. The movie has a vast mansion, a psychologist and, well, you can probably guess the rest.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 06, 2018

#321 February 6, 2018
Benefits were held for Tony Bennett's Exploring the Arts, the National Cares Mentoring Movement and East Side House Settlement.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 05, 2018

John Mahoney: 1940-2018
The 2016 election changed the course of Nina Hoss's career. You may know this film and stage actress from TV, where she played Astrid on "Homeland."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 05, 2018

Overheard lives: an appreciation of eavesdropping in the city
The 2016 election changed the course of Nina Hoss's career. You may know this film and stage actress from TV, where she played Astrid on "Homeland."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 05, 2018

The Cloverfield Paradox
The school had let the entertainer keep his honorary degree despite sexual misconduct accusations, but changed its mind once it took tributes away from the casino mogul.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 05, 2018

2018 Super Bowl Previews Tease "Avengers: Infinity War," "Solo: A Star Wars Story"
The school had let the entertainer keep his honorary degree despite sexual misconduct accusations, but changed its mind once it took tributes away from the casino mogul.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 05, 2018

Sundance 2018: "Shirkers," "Generation Wealth," "Colette"
Previews, openings and some last-chance picks.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 05, 2018

Sundance 2018: "Genesis 2.0," "The Cleaners"
Previews, openings and some last-chance picks.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

Winchester
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

A Fantastic Woman
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

Bilal: A New Breed of Hero
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

The Cage Fighter
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

Before We Vanish
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

Lies We Tell
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

Scorched Earth
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 02, 2018

Braven
A portion of "Turf," a duet section from Camille A. Brown's "ink" that takes the dancers from boyhood innocence to teenagers protecting their turf to manhood.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 01, 2018

Home Entertainment Consumer Guide: February 1, 2017
Instead of a ho-hum parade of tried-and-true, regal style reigned at the screening of Marvel's new "Black Panther" movie.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 01, 2018

24 Frames
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, the "Giovanni" is part of an ambitious season celebrating the Paris Opera's 350th anniversary.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 01, 2018

The Blackest Sundance Ever: Diversity at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, the "Giovanni" is part of an ambitious season celebrating the Paris Opera's 350th anniversary.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 01, 2018

The Unloved, Part 50: "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" and "The Counselor"
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, the "Giovanni" is part of an ambitious season celebrating the Paris Opera's 350th anniversary.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Feb 01, 2018

Sundance Goes From #MeToo to What's Next
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, the "Giovanni" is part of an ambitious season celebrating the Paris Opera's 350th anniversary.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 31, 2018

Children of God in New York
Hillary Clinton's cameo at the Grammys set off a debate about how far glitzy awards shows should go in needling Democrats' favorite target.

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 31, 2018

Sundance 2018: Fathers and Daughters
Ms. Perlman will assume Ms. O'Donnell's part in the New Group production of David Rabe's "Good for Otto."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 31, 2018

Sundance 2018: "A Boy, A Girl, A Dream," "Search," "Madeline's Madeline"
Ms. Perlman will assume Ms. O'Donnell's part in the New Group production of David Rabe's "Good for Otto."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 31, 2018

Sundance 2018: "Night Comes On," "Skate Kitchen"
Ms. Perlman will assume Ms. O'Donnell's part in the New Group production of David Rabe's "Good for Otto."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 31, 2018

Turning on the Light: Henry Fonda and Will Brown


On the night of September 28, 1919, in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, a black man named Will Brown was lynched: He was stripped, beaten, and hanged from a lamppost; his body was burned on a bonfire and dragged behind a car through the streets; the lynching rope was cut up and the pieces were sold as souvenirs. And fourteen-year-old Henry Fonda witnessed the lynching. Fonda only spoke about the lynching near the end of his life, but the seared-in memory still burned. From a 1975 interview with Norman Parkinson:


There''s real rage in Lincoln''s voice; is Fonda imagining himself standing between Will Brown and the mob that murdered him? But Lincoln''s threat doesn''t disperse the mob, so he turns to comedy: 'I''m just a fresh lawyer tryin'' to get ahead. […] Maybe these boys do deserve to hang. But with me handling their case, don''t look like you''ll have much to worry about on that score.' Lincoln wins over the mob, and then he makes his speech: 'Trouble is, when men start taking the law into their own hands, they''re just as apt […] to start hangin'' somebody who''s not a murderer. We do things together that we''d be mighty ashamed to do by ourselves.' The mob disperses. Lincoln has saved the young men. Fonda has saved Will Brown.

Henry Fonda tried to save Will Brown again in 1943. 'The Ox-Bow Incident' is a scathing indictment of vigilante justice; the movie rejects the masculinity Westerns would embrace; it condemns violence. A mob accuses some men of murdering a rancher and wants to lynch them. There isn''t a doorway for Fonda to block this time. He can only watch. ('We both just were observers.') At the end of the movie, Fonda delivers an emotional monologue: 'Man just naturally can''t take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurting everybody in the world.'

In 1954, Henry Fonda saw Reginald Rose''s teleplay 'Twelve Angry Men' and decided to produce a movie adaptation. '12 Angry Men' was the first and last movie he produced. He gave himself the role of Juror 8: the voice of reason; the barrier between the angry men and the accused. Juror 8 keeps his cool in a hot room, but there''s anger in Fonda''s eyes: '12 Angry Men' is the trial Will Brown never got.

Henry Fonda was a lifelong Democrat, but his obsession with due process and his rejection of vigilantism went beyond politics. He chose characters who stood

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 30, 2018

Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt Star in NBC's Funny "A.P. Bio"
Ms. Perlman will assume Ms. O'Donnell's part in the New Group production of David Rabe's "Good for Otto."

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 30, 2018

Sundance 2018: A Filmmaker's Point-of-View


Editor's note: Jomo Fray is one of three recipients of the Sundance Institute's Roger Ebert Fellowship for Film Criticism for 2018.


In the novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson recalls his time in the '60s during the cultural revolution and writes:


I feel like we are on the brink of starting to discover as a wider culture the systems and subsystems of power that are at play in our society. The terrifying part is in seeing our own deep flaws, but the exciting component is using these moments of reflection to have a conversation around who we are and if this is the way we truly wish to live. I think art is, at its heart, a constant conversation of this very question. Although Hunter S. Thompson wrote these words 47 years ago, I believe a measure of it still rings true. As a culture we are beginning to face the systemically abhorrent treatment of women within the film industry (and other industries) as well as the lack of funding and support for traditionally overlooked communities within filmmaking and art. Again, the wave is rising and it is a question of will we push past the water mark left to us by the cultural revolution or have the wave break and roll back again. My time at 2018 Sundance Film Festival filled me with a hope that we may rise. 

During my time at the festival, I spent a large amount of time in the company of artists and fellow filmmakers. Among the filmmakers I spoke with, there was a deep excitement for the future of our form. The palpable excitement around creators normally relegated to the fringe was electric. The visibility of women and people of color at the festival this year, in front of the camera and behind, felt tangible. Seeing another artist of color felt exciting; there was a real sense of camaraderie this year. I felt seen and supported. 

Not only did the programming reflect these shifts, but also the goals of the Sundance Institute itself. It is one thing to champion women and people of color in film but it is something else to 'aggressively advocate' as Robert Redford said during the opening press conference for the festival. This felt like a significant turn. Not even in behavior, because there have been Sundance Institute initiatives in the past that have championed these filmmakers, but the difference was in the strength and conviction of the articulation. They wanted to aggressively support the work and development of new voices from communities often overlooked in film. As a filmmaker on the ground, I felt this resolution. There seemed to be an added intent in the ways that the festival stood with filmmakers. One can see this even in the introduction of the Code of Conduct this year. On every festival badge one can find this printed on the back: 

Sundance Institu

Roger Ebert Movie Reviews
Jan 30, 2018

Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt Star in NBC's Funny 'A.P. Bio'


NBC has been on something of a comedy roll lately with their most acclaimed two-hour block of funny programming on Thursday nights since the heyday of Must-See TV. Sadly, while the critics have embraced shows like 'The Good Place' and 'Great News,' audiences haven''t exactly done the same. In fact, the rumor is that last week''s season finale of 'Great News' was probably the series finale, although the other three members of this quartet—'The Good Place,' 'Superstore,' and 'Will & Grace' seem to have comfortably found their audiences. So, NBC does what a network does when one of their half-hours is faltering—try to find a replacement. And they''re doing so this week with the smart and funny 'A.P. Bio,' a comedy that hinges on how much you enjoy Glenn Howerton''s abrasive style. For me, his blend of smarm and idiocy works, and this character isn''t too far from his Dennis on 'It''s Always Sunny in Philadelphia'. Missing that FX hit? You''ll get some of your fix here, but it could come at too high of a cost.

Howerton plays Jack Griffin, a disgraced philosophy professor who lost his job when he freaked out after not being given tenure at a major university. The fall from grace dropped him all the way to his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, where he''s stuck in a local high school, teaching Advanced Placement Biology, a subject about which he knows little and cares less. He enters class every day telling his kids to shut up, and informs them he will not be teaching them anything about actual biology. 'A.P. Bio' is a spin on the traditional educational comedy in that the teacher is the irresponsible asshole and it''s up to the kids to keep him in line. Well, the kids and also the put-upon principal played by the seemingly everywhere Patton Oswalt, whose world-weary style is a perfect counterpart to Howerton''s take-no-prisoners approach.

'A.P. Bio' works best when focused on Jack and his students. While he repeatedly states that there will be no lessons learned and he refuses to actually become emotionally invested in them, they''re a likable crew of young performers, especially Aparna Brielle and Jacob McCarthy. The show is less effective when it becomes reminiscent of TV Land''s 'Teachers,' showing us how Jack interacts with his co-workers, most of whom aren''t much better at their job than Griffin—they''re just less self-aware. A lot of the teacher''s lounge material falls flat, but could improve as the show progresses. Ultimately this is a star vehicle for Howerton, with a sidecar for Oswalt.

And that''s one of the reasons that, while I think 'Great News' is a tick overrated by some of my colleagues, I hope this doesn''t replace that show. 'Great News' comes from a classic ensemble comedy structure—it''s a show that allows different performers time in the comedy spotlight every week—and those are the programs that often grow and improve over time. Shows like 'A.P. Bio' that are built so heavily on the persona of one comedian rarely work as well in the long-term. Sure, Howerton could allow for some of the kids in his class or fellow teachers to shine, but the first four episodes don''t seem to indicate that''s going to happen soon, whereas 'Great News' was getting better every week. There are also rumors that if this show is a hit that Howerton will never go back to 'Sunny,' and that they''re holding up production there to see how this does. So, while I like 'A.P. Bio' more than about half the comedies on network TV, I''m conflicted because its success could mean the end of two superior shows—'Great News' and 'It''s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.' Of course, 'Great News' could already be canceled no matter what and 'Sunny'

  • CEOExpress
  • 1 Boston Place | Suite 2600
    Boston MA 02108
  • 617 482 1200
    617 299 8649 (fax)
  • Contact

©1999-2018 CEOExpress Company LLC