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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.
Sundance Film Festival
Getty Images
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ScreenCrush’s Complete (and Slightly Altitude Sick) Coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

January is considered something of a dump month at the movies, when studios quietly release many of their clunkers. (With apologies to Monster Trucks, see: Monster Trucks.) At this time of year, true cinephiles basically have to hang their hats on the awards contenders from the previous year still making their way into theaters around the country, and, for those lucky enough to attend, the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

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EPIX
EPIX
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The Craziest, Cage-iest Moments of Nicolas Cage

The first weekend of 2017 will also give us the first Nicolas Cage movie of 2017 (but by no means the last; according to IMDb, Cage will appear in at least five more films this year). It’s called Arsenal, and in most respects it is a fairly standard DTV crime thriller; Adrian Grenier and Johnathon Schaech play brothers who get entangled in the criminal underworld and have to fight their way out.

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Sony
Sony
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‘Arrival’ Review: Amy Adams Takes an Emotional Sci-Fi Journey

The 50th anniversary of Star Trek this week really put in perspective just how long we’ve been living with the concept of extraterrestrial. In 2016, there’s something downright familiar about aliens, maybe because in most situations our conception of them remains rooted in our conception of ourselves: They look like us with pointy ears or a ribbed nose, or they don’t look like us, but they behave like us, with motivations and actions that are easily recognizable and understandable. One of Arrival’s greatest achievements is the way it makes alien seem alien again: Strange and inhuman and beyond the limits of our comprehension. It readjusts our thinking about what life on other worlds might be like. And in doing so, it also readjusts our thinking about what life on our world can be like.

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The Accountant
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‘The Accountant’ Review: Action! Romance! Tax Deductions! This Movie Has It All

Hollywood is so obsessed with superheroes these days they made a superhero movie about an accountant. It’s called The Accountant, and it is indeed about a guy who prepares people’s taxes, looks for deductions, and monitors financial records for fraud. But in his off-hours, this guy is also a master martial artist and a sniper capable of hitting targets a mile away. He also has a secret identity and what amounts to a low-rent Batcave, an Airstream trailer full of weapons and cash, stashed in a storage unit. He’s played by former Daredevil and current Batman Ben Affleck. He doesn’t wear a cape, but he might as well.

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Empty movie theater
Alamy
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A Small Issue at Movie Theaters Is Becoming a Major Problem

Going to the movies in 2016 can be a frustrating situation. People texting on their phones. Exorbitant ticket prices. People talking on their phones. Sound that’s either way too loud or way too soft. People taking pictures of the screen with their phones and then posting them to Facebook in the middle of the movie. For a lot of these problems, there’s no easy solution. An experience designed to take us away from our everyday troubles is now fraught with them.

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Disney
Disney
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‘Moana’ Trailer: The Rock and a Wacky Rooster Make Animated Waves

Not long ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios was all but left for dead. Disney subsidiary Pixar was the animated world’s critical darling, and its frequent box office champ. As 2D animation began to lose favor with audiences, so did a lot of Disney proper’s offerings. But the last few years have seen the Mouse House rebound in a major way, with some of the biggest animated hits in the company’s history, including Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia, which made a whopping $1 billion worldwide earlier this year.

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Sully
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‘Sully’ Review: Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks’ Take on American Heroism

Even by the standards of a biopic about an incredibly famous man at the center of an incredibly famous real-life event there isn’t a ton of suspense in Sully. Everyone who was alive and conscious on January 15, 2009 remembers what happened that day, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane was struck by birds during takeoff.(I certainly do; I’d just arrived at my condo for the Sundance Film Festival and watched the rescue efforts unfold on live television.)

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Beetlejuice 2
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Say ‘Beetlejuice’ Three Times and It Might Become a Broadway Show

The current Broadway listings read like a video store restock list: Aladdin, The Color Purple, Finding Neverland, Holiday Inn, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Matilda, School of Rock, and more. Movies are big business on Broadway, and there are more adaptations coming all the time; upcoming movie-based shows include A Bronx Tale, Amelie, Anastasia, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That last one is technically based on the book by Roald Dahl, which has already been adapted twice for film; once by Mel Stuart and once by Tim Burton. This, as it turns out, is not the only Burton movie that could soon be playing on the Great White Way.

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