David Edelstein

David Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine and for NPR's Fresh Air, and an occasional commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. He has also written film criticism for the Village Voice, The New York Post, and Rolling Stone, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section.

A member of the National Society of Film Critics, he is the author of the play Blaming Mom, and the co-author of Shooting to Kill (with producer Christine Vachon).

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Amy Schumer’s rise has been swift, from standup comedian to star of her own sketch comedy TV series. Now she stars in a movie she also wrote - a romantic comedy called “Trainwreck.” The film is directed by Judd Apatow and features Bill Hader and Tilda Swinton. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: In “Trainwreck,” Amy Schumer plays a magazine...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. One of the sensations in this year's Sundance Film Festival was Sean Baker's film, "Tangerine," which is set in the Los Angeles subculture of transgender sex workers. Much of Baker's script was constructed out of stories he heard from the actors themselves, and he shot the entire film on an iPhone with an assortment of low-cost adapters. Film critic David Edelstein has this review....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The major studio releases of the July 4 weekend are sequels - the fifth in the "Terminator" series, "Terminator Genisys," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and "Magic Mike XXL," which picks up the story of a former male stripper, played by Channing Tatum. Here's what our film critic David Edelstein has to say about these two films. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: A film producer once told me...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Film critic David Edelstein has a review of "Inside Out," the new movie from Pixar Animation Studios. It's co-written and directed by Pete Docter, who made "Up" and had a hand in the script for "WALL-E." Amy Poehler provides the voice of Joy, who is the actual emotion joy in a young girl's head. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Most of Pixar's new masterpiece "Inside Out" is set inside the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: The winner of the Grand Jury Prize for a documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival was a film by Crystal Moselle about a group of teenage brothers she encountered by chance on a street in New York. It's called "The Wolfpack." Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: In the stunning documentary "The Wolfpack," we meet the six Angulo brothers of New York's Lower East...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new espionage comedy "Spy," which stars Melissa McCarthy and features Jude Law and Rose Byrne. McCarthy's breakout performance in the 2011 comedy "Bridesmaids" earned her a supporting actress Oscar nomination. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Back when Hugh Grant made his name as an adorably abashed romantic lead in "Four Weddings And A...

Much of Brad Bird's Disney sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland is terrific fun, but it's one of the strangest family movies I've seen: Bird's not just making a case for hope, he's making a furious, near-hysterical case against anti-hope. After a perplexing prologue in which George Clooney in a futuristic suit addresses an unseen audience, Bird flashes back to perhaps the 20th century's most enduring symbol of technological optimism: The 1964 New York World's Fair. Clooney's character, Frank Walker,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The character Mad Max is an Australian cop whose family is murdered and who wanders the desert after the collapse of civilization, preferring to remain alone. Mel Gibson played Max in three films directed by George Miller, the last in 1985. Max has returned, this time played by Tom Hardy, in the long-awaited fourth installment, "Mad Max: Fury Road," which also stars Charlize Theron...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In the new zombie film "Maggie," Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Wade, a Midwestern farmer trying to keep his infected daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, from being taken away. The film opens in theaters today and also can be seen on demand. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: "Maggie" isn't a great movie, but it's a haunting one. It's like a one...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The blockbuster season begins with "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," the second film to bring together heroes from different Marvel screen adaptations to battle an enemy too big for just one. Here, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and many others are united under the direction of Joss Whedon. Film critic David Edelstein has a review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Two decades ago, film...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi won an Oscar for his 2011 film, "A Separation, but a film he made in 2009 has just been released in the United States. It's called "About Elly," and it's a mystery that centers on a kindergarten teacher invited on a beach trip by the mother of one of her students. Film critic David Edelstein has a review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: What can I tell you about Elly, the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In 2002, journalist Michael Finkel conducted a series of interviews with accused murderer Christian Longo, who'd actually been impersonating Finkel when he was captured. Those interviews are now the core of the new movie "True Story" which features Jonah Hill as Finkel and James Franco as Longo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Here's the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Kristen Stewart impressed the critics at last year's Cannes Film Festival for her supporting role in the new film "Clouds Of Sils Maria." Stewart plays the personal assistant to an aging movie star played by Juliette Binoche, who is about to appear in a play opposite an infamous young Hollywood actress. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: "Clouds...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In 2010, writer-director Noah Baumbauch and actor Ben Stiller collaborated on the abrasive comedy-drama "Greenberg." Now they've reunited with something more upbeat - a comedy called "While We're Young." Stiller and Naomi Watts play a married couple in their 40s, befriended by a 20-something couple, played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Film critic David Edelstein has this...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. There were reports last spring from the Cannes Film Festival that a low-budget American horror movie with no big-name stars was making audiences scream. The same report came out of the Toronto Film Festival in the fall. That movie was called "It Follows," and it opens in theaters today. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: There are many ways a...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The streets of Northern Ireland in 1971 are the setting for the new film "'71," in which Jack O'Connell, best known for his starring role in "Unbroken," plays an English soldier cut off from his unit in the middle of a riot. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: The most powerful thing about the Belfast, Northern Ireland, period thriller "'71" is that no...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: In "Maps To The Stars," director David Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner focus on a group of Hollywood stars, want-to-be stars, ex-stars and desperate hangers-on. John Cusack plays a self-help guru whose clients include Julianne Moore, who won a best actress prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival for her performance as an actress clinging to fame. Film critic David Edelstein has this review....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: One of this year's Academy Awards nominees for best foreign language film is "Wild Tales," an Argentinian film containing six short stories. It was co-produced by filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: I'm guessing that the oldest subject in literature isn't love or war or the struggle for survival, but revenge. Someone takes something from you,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Under the pen name Snowqueens Icedragon, former British television executive E L James wrote a series of stories on the Internet inspired by the "Twilight Saga," stories that became the basis of her bondage-infused novel "50 Shades Of Grey." The first book in her phenomenally best-selling trilogy is now a film, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Film critic David Edelstein...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In 1999, Nickelodeon launched the cartoon series "SpongeBob SquarePants," created by animator and former marine biologist, Stephen Hillenburg. The sea sponge, and his starfish, squid, snail and other friends, have now appeared in over a hundred shorts and two feature films. The second, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water," opens this week. Film critic David Edelstein plunged...

The word "Timbuktu" is slang in the West for East of Nowhere, but in the film Timbuktu, this city in Mali on the edge of the Sahara is an epicenter, a volatile crossroads for several distinct cultures. There are African women in radiant colors, white-garbed Muslim men in mosques, fishermen who live along the river and nomadic herders who pitch their tents on dunes. And then there are the most recent arrivals: an al-Qaida-affiliated group called Ansar Dine that in 2012 took over Timbuktu and...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The Oscar buzz was strong for Julianne Moore at the world premiere of "Still Alice" at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, and she's still the favorite, after a recent Golden Globes win and an Academy Awards nomination. Moore plays a professor who finds out after a series of memory lapses that she has Alzheimer's. The film also stars Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart. Film critic David...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. This week, the Martin Luther King drama "Selma" opens in theaters nationwide. The film recounts the months leading up to King's 1965 march for voting rights from Selma to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. The movie is directed by Ava DuVernay. It stars David Oyelowo as King and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon Johnson. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID...

"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air 's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios." Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving." However, Edelstein says, in an era in which some 1,000 films may be released in the U.S. each year, the law of averages...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Now 71 years old, the English director Mike Leigh continues his prolific career with the new movie "Mr. Turner," a biographical portrait of the great 19th century English landscape painter J. M. W. Turner. Once again, Leigh's stock company of actors researched and helped create their own roles. Foremost among them is Timothy Spall, who won this year's Cannes Film Festival and New...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The seventh feature by the writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson, best known for his films "Boogie Nights," "There Will Be Blood" and "The Master," is the first film adaptation of a novel by Thomas Pynchon. It's a laid-back mystery called "Inherent Vice," starring Joaquin Phoenix. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: I don't know what Paul Thomas...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: One of the sensations of this year's Sundance Film Festival was a low-budget Australian horror film called "The Babadook." The story of a mother, a son and a top-hatted demon was written and directed by Jennifer Kent, a former actress. On Monday, "The Babadook" was awarded the prize for the year's best first film by the New York Film Critics Circle. Our film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID...

Major studios once churned out scores of great-person biographical pictures. But now you rarely see them except during awards season. They're prime Oscar bait. The new Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory Of Everything, is a perfect specimen. It's a letdown, finally, but Eddie Redmayne is amazingly tough. He captures the fury inside Hawking's twisted frame. And then there's The Imitation Game , which Benedict Cumberbatch lifts far above the standard biopic formula. He's award-caliber strange....

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The new film "Foxcatcher" is based on the true story of the wealthy chemical company heir John du Pont and his fraught relationship with two Olympic wrestlers - Mark Schultz and his brother Dave. Is directed by Bennett Miller, who made "Capote" and "Money Ball." And it stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review. DAVID EDELSTEIN,...

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