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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.
Magic Mike XXL review
Warner Bros.
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‘Magic Mike XXL’ Review: Just Like Riding a Pony

Magic Mike was a movie about strippers trying to make ends meet in the midst of the Great Recession, the difficulty of modern romance, and the dangers of drug use. Magic Mike XXL is a movie about strippers stripping. And not a whole lot else.

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Ted 2
Universal
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‘Ted 2’ Review: Hateful Teddy Bears Are People Too, Bro

It’s funny that the poster for Ted 2 features the title character with his back to the camera and his hands suggestively poised near his crotch above the tagline “Ted is coming, again” because the whole movie revolves around the fact that Ted can’t come, not even once. Ted doesn’t have any genitals or a reproductive system, so he can’t have a baby with his wife. His search for a sperm donor eventually spills into the legal system, where a court case will decide a surprisingly complex question: Is Ted a person?

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‘Jurassic World’ Review: The Park Is Open and Full of Dumb People

When all you care about is money, bad things happen. That’s the message of Jurassic World, where greedy theme-park executives hoping to spike attendance engineer the “Indominus Rex,” a genetically-modified dinosaur that immediately turns on its creators and runs amok. Designed as a cautionary tale about the dangers of building a meaner, badder monster purely for the sake of profits, Jurassic World works equally well as a cautionary tale about doing the same thing in movies. All of the rationalizations provided by Jurassic World’s employees — “Consumers want them bigger, louder, more teeth.” “Somebody’s gotta make sure this company has a future!” — could have been taken directly out of the mouths of the studio executives who approved this gene splice of a reboot and a sequel. Their creation — the Indominus or the movie, there’s basically no difference — is as advertised; huge, mean, and visually striking. But this experiment is not without consequences.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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Clint Eastwood to Direct Movie About Heroic Pilot Chelsey ‘Sully’ Sullenberger

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was struck by a flock of geese during takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. The plane’s captain, Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, successfully brought the plane down in the Hudson River, where all 155 passengers and crew members were evacuated and survived. It was an incredible story, one that played out in real time on the news; I vividly remember being at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and watching the whole rescue play out on television.

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Entourage Movie
Warner Bros.
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Review: The ‘Entourage’ Movie Is Basically ‘Entourage’ Season 9 on a Larger Screen

That’s Entourage in a nutshell. Whenever things threaten to get too serious, the show (and now the film) would just trot out a celebrity cameo or two, distract the audience for a couple minutes, and then carry on as if nothing ever happened. For better or worse, the Entourage movie is an extremely faithful adaptation of the Entourage television show. All the main characters and most of the key supporting players from the show’s eight seasons are back, along with series creator Doug Ellin (who co-wrote and directed the movie). Even though the TV show ended with its lovable bad boys making their first tentative steps toward maturity and monogamy — Vince gets engaged, his manager Eric (Kevin Connolly) finally settles down with his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and Ari decides to retire to spend more time from his family — all of that gets instantly erased before the movie’s opening credits roll. Status quo restored, Vince, Eric, Ari, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), and Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) return to their luxurious, lascivious ways with R-rated abandon. Shouldn’t these characters have grown up by now?

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Jaws
Universal
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‘Jaws’ Is Coming Back to Theaters For Its 40th Anniversary

On June 20, 1975 a movie about an angry fish opened in about 500 theaters around the country. It was called Jaws, it was directed a guy named Steven Spielberg, it was scary as hell, and it changed the world forever. Its unique release strategy (wide instead of limited), intense television marketing campaign, and record-breaking box office essentially created the summer movie season (and made Spielberg a household name). 40 years later, regardless of its impact, Jaws remains a masterpiece, and a much better and more interesting movie than the vast majority of so-called summer blockbusters that it birthed.

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Mad Max Fury Road
Warner Bros.
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‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Review: The Ultimate Car Chase Movie

“This is a movie that strains at the leash of the possible, a movie of great visionary wonders.” That lovely sentence concluded Roger Ebert’s 1985 review of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Thirty years later, Mad Max is finally back in a new sequel, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Ebert’s words feel truer than ever. Fury Road is an incredible achievement, one that strains so hard at the leash of the possible that it eventually breaks free and barrels headlong into the realm of insane genius. Forget Max Rockatansky; director George Miller, the guy who co-conceived and shot this gorgeous, glorious lunacy, is the true madman here. And the true hero for having pulled it off.

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Avengers 2 review
Marvel
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‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review: Joss Whedon Assembles an Inspiring Blockbuster

There’s a lot to like about Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the coolest thing about it is the way it reclaims the comic book part of the phrase “comic-book movie.” Rather than using these characters to do something “edgy” or “adult” or “important,” or sanding down their quirkier edges to appeal to as broad and mainstream an audience as possible, Age of Ultron doubles down on its source material’s geeky origins.

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‘Terminator Genisys’ Trailer: The Franchise’s Old Continuity Gets Terminated

The last Terminator Genisys trailer was so convoluted and confusing that ScreenCrush editor Mike Sampson and I spent an entire piece trying to figure out the plot of the film. (We were not successful, either.) At the very least, the new Genisys spot makes things a bit clearer. Right off the bat they also reveal one significant plot twist: John Connor (Jason Clarke) has been mechanized by Skynet and the evil computers of the future, and sent back in time to kill his mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). Also, I just realized that Sarah and John Connor are played in this film by two actors with the same last name. Which, whoa. And, of course, there’s also Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the T-800, but this time he’s an older model who’s Sarah Connor’s protector. How and why remains to be seen, but hey, that’s why you’ve got to buy a ticket. To figure out how a robot can age and learn to a be a good guy who smiles awkwardly. (Very awkwardly.)

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Marvel
Marvel
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The Latest ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Trailer Puts the Spotlight on Black Widow

We’re approaching that point in the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ marketing campaign where it can start to feel like we’ve already seen every big stunt and setpiece in the film before the movie’s even opened. But the new ‘Avengers’ trailer reveals yet another amazingly cool beat that’s never been seen before: Chris Evans’ Captain America loses his shield in battle with James Spader’s Ultron, so Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow snatches it while trailing the fight on a motorcycle, then slides under a semi-truck Fast & Furious-style and tosses it up to Cap so he can continue the battle. Awesome awesome awesome. (Marvel’s going to try to use that as a pull-quote on the poster, aren’t they?)

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