Couchella Rocks: Why Concerts Are Better Online Than in Person

The first weekend of Coachella's two-weekend run just ended, and it was incredible, featuring a generous mixture of hip-hop (Outkast), indie rock (Arcade Fire) and dance acts (Disclosure). Even better, I didn't have to buy a ticket or travel to Indio, California to see a minute of it. I caught the whole thing from my… » 4/16/14 5:01pm 4/16/14 5:01pm

Draft Day Proves That Kevin Costner Should Just Make Sports Movies

Draft Day isn't a great movie, but it's good enough, and that's entirely thanks to the fact that Kevin Costner is in it. Costner is like your dad: You loved the guy at first, and then maybe you rebelled against him—thought you had outgrown him—but now you've come around to the fact that he gets you in ways that other… » 4/11/14 9:00am 4/11/14 9:00am

No-Win Scenario: Errol Morris' Great, Infuriating The Unknown Known

On February 29, 2004, director Errol Morris won an Academy Award for The Fog of War. Subtitled Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara, it consisted of a one-on-one interview with the former Secretary of Defense as he looked back at his management—and mismanagement— of the Vietnam War. But as Morris took the … » 4/03/14 10:04am 4/03/14 10:04am

That's My Bush: Pop Culture Classics That Best Captured W.'s Presidency

It's been more than five years since George W. Bush left office, and yet it seems that we'll never be rid of him or his presidency. In part that's because the legacies he left us—the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2008 financial crisis—continue to loom over much of Barack Obama's presidency. But it's also because he … » 4/02/14 5:00am 4/02/14 5:00am

The Lone Avenger: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Reviewed

When Marvel pooled its superhero talent for 2012's The Avengers, the rationale was obvious: If Iron Man or Thor or the Incredible Hulk could top the box office solo, just think how massive a summer blockbuster with all of them would be. And although the result was indeed a mega-hit—it's the all-time third-biggest film… » 4/01/14 3:33pm 4/01/14 3:33pm

Kick 'Em All: How The Raid 2 Turns Violence Into Art

Violence is such a constant in movies that we rarely appreciate when it's done well. The smallest hint of sexual content or nudity lands a film an R or a dreaded NC-17, but summer action blockbusters can inundate us with shootouts, explosions, car crashes, and off-screen deaths, and as long as there's no blood, they'll … » 3/26/14 4:55pm 3/26/14 4:55pm

The Toxic Male Rivalry in the National's Mistaken for Strangers

I didn't grow up with a brother, just a younger sister. So it won't come as a surprise that I've always found myself more comfortable around women than men. While I have plenty of close male friends, as a competitive person I've often felt a tension around other men. Conversations always seem to drift toward an endless … » 3/26/14 12:00pm 3/26/14 12:00pm

Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational: Muppets Most Wanted,…

When Roger Ebert gave The Naked Gun a rave review back in 1988, this is how he praised it: "You laugh, and then you laugh at yourself for laughing. Some of the jokes are incredibly stupid. Most of them are dumber than dumb." Muppets Most Wanted is that way, too. This sequel to the very enjoyable 2011 reboot has all kinds … » 3/19/14 5:25pm 3/19/14 5:25pm

Game Over: Why Good Video Games Don't Make Good Movies

About 10 years ago, Roger Ebert enraged the gaming industry by declaring that video games aren't art. "Video games by their nature require player choices," he wrote in 2005, "which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control." Despite the vitriol gamers aimed at him, he… » 3/12/14 11:20am 3/12/14 11:20am

More Rush. Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, Reviewed.

The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders, Saturday Night Live's horror trailer in the style of a Wes Anderson movie, is funny not just because it's so stylistically dead-on but also because it's so affectionate. In the nearly 20 years since releasing his debut, Bottle Rocket, Anderson has become an indie-film force… » 3/05/14 5:20pm 3/05/14 5:20pm

Your Handy Guide For What Will Win The Oscar Categories No One…

One of the more competitive Oscars campaigns in recent years culminates Sunday, when millions of people will gather around their televisions and think, "Ellen DeGeneres is a pretty dull host, but at least she's not Seth MacFarlane." Tomorrow, Will and I will do our predictions for the eight major prizes, but here I'm… » 2/26/14 7:21pm 2/26/14 7:21pm

Twang 'n' Roll: Eric Church and the New Rock Stars of Country Music

When did the "rock star" label start being applied chiefly to people who weren't actual rock stars? The term once referred to the men who commanded huge arena audiences around the world, flashing their monstrous power chords and flaunting their indulgent drum solos. But as rock music lost its cachet in the 21st century,… » 2/19/14 12:00pm 2/19/14 12:00pm

Happy Anti-Valentine's Day: The Unromantic Sex of House of Cards

Last year, after the first season of House of Cards debuted, showrunner Beau Willimon participated in a Q&A with Vulture readers about the acclaimed Netflix series. Amid the expected questions about plot specifics and the rationale behind releasing all 13 episodes at once, one inquiry stood out: "Why are all the intimate … » 2/12/14 11:00am 2/12/14 11:00am

I Wouldn't Buy This For A Dollar. RoboCop, Reviewed.

No matter what you think of director Paul Verhoeven's movies, the one thing you could never call them is dull. Whether it's Showgirls or Total Recall, Basic Instinct or Starship Troopers, they've got this giddy, slightly demented intensity that makes them feel campy, exuberant, alive. A Dutch filmmaker endlessly… » 2/11/14 6:25pm 2/11/14 6:25pm

Sympathy for the Loser: Mitt Romney's Sobering Netflix Documentary

The new Mitt Romney documentary Mitt, which is currently streaming on Netflix, opens with the event that most likely will be his legacy—Election Night 2012. His campaign over, his defeat at the hands of Barack Obama assured, he sits among his quiet, despondent family in a hotel suite. "What do you think you say in a… » 2/05/14 1:00pm 2/05/14 1:00pm

Excellence, Not Ego: Remembering The Great Philip Seymour Hoffman

What surprised me the most when I heard the news of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death was that his passing ran so counter to the reputation he had earned over his 25 years as an actor. Dependable, intelligent, consistently remarkable: These are the qualities we had come to associate with Hoffman's work. His death at the… » 2/03/14 12:03pm 2/03/14 12:03pm