Total Recall

Thursday, Apr. 04 2013, 09:32 AM

Dinosaurs! They've all been dead for millions of years, but at the box office, they'll never go extinct. This weekend's 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg's classic blockbuster Jurassic Park is just the latest example of how much filmgoers love getting stomped on by the big scaly beasts, but Hollywood has a long tradition of studios reaping Tyrannosaurus-sized grosses out of dino-thrillers -- or occasionally looking like cavemen when audiences don't show up. In honor of the movie biz's continued love affair with our prehistoric pals, this week's list offers a look back at some of the most dino-centric movies we could think of. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Mar. 28 2013, 02:01 PM

Ready or not, a Real American Hero is invading the box office this weekend, and to help herald G.I. Joe: Retaliation's arrival in theaters, we decided to dedicate this week's list to other toys and/or games that made the jump from store shelves to the big screen. It would be wise not to expect any Best Picture winners in here, obviously, but you might be surprised by the amount of good old-fashioned nostalgic fun that can come from reliving memories of movies from an often rather cynically motivated genre. (Word to the wise: This is also one of the most 1980s-centric lists we've done in quite some time.) Get ready to beg your parents for more action figures and stuffed animals -- it's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Mar. 21 2013, 02:36 PM

He's one of the most eminently mockable major stars in Hollywood, thanks to his frequently questionable tonsorial choices and evident thirst for somewhat less-than-challenging paycheck gigs, but as much as we love to rib Nicolas Cage, there's no getting around the fact that he's done some very impressive work over the course of his long career. Though many filmgoers will always think of blockbuster action flicks like Con Air, The Rock, and the National Treasure series when they hear Cage's name, he's never been afraid to take on smaller, less conventional projects with less-than-obvious commercial prospects. We'll be hearing rather than seeing him in this weekend's The Croods, but we still thought now would be a perfect time to count down the best-reviewed movies of Cage's career.

Thursday, Mar. 14 2013, 04:53 PM

He hasn't always played the nicest characters, but both onscreen and off, Steve Buscemi has always come across as a pretty interesting person -- a gifted thespian, talented director, and former firefighter who helped clear rubble from the World Trade Center after 9/11, he's one ubiquitous character actor whose Hollywood success doesn't seem to have turned him into anything other than a regular guy from Brooklyn. Of course, in this weekend's The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, he's anything but regular... which is why we decided we couldn't miss the opportunity to dedicate a list to some of Buscemi's best-reviewed roles. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Mar. 07 2013, 12:42 PM

From a prime-time soap sweetheart on Dawson's Creek to a film star with three Academy Award nominations (and counting) under her belt, Michelle Williams has come a long way over the course of her 20-year career -- and this weekend, she steps into one of Hollywood's most hallowed bubbles, playing Glinda the Good Witch in Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful. We decided now would be the perfect time to take an appreciative look back at some of her proudest critical moments, and you know what that means: It's time to Total Recall, Michelle Williams style!

Thursday, Feb. 28 2013, 05:09 PM

From independent dramas to a certain trilogy of big-budget sci-fi prequels, Ewan McGregor has led an admirably varied life on the big screen -- as well as off, where he's an accomplished stage actor as well as a bestselling author. This weekend, McGregor takes another step in a new direction with his appearance in Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer, a tongue-in-cheek, action-packed retelling of everyone's favorite magic bean-fueled fairytale, and we decided to take the opportunity to pay tribute with a look back at some of his finest films. Yes, that's right...it's time for Total McRecall!

Friday, Feb. 22 2013, 09:10 AM

Watching the Academy Awards is a perfectly fine way to spend an evening, but let's face it: Half the fun of the Oscars is trying to predict who'll win, and the other half is bellyaching about who wasn't even nominated. It's in that spirit that we assembled this week's list -- looking back over the last few decades of Oscardom, plenty of worthy films have been honored, but just as many (if not more) have seen their contributions to cinema unfairly overlooked in favor of some rather questionable nominations. Obviously, this is meant to be a conversation starter rather than a complete list, but hey -- that's what the comments are for. Let's Total Recall!

Thursday, Feb. 07 2013, 02:37 PM

Over the course of a career spanning two decades and dozens of movies, Jude Law has become one of the most successful actors of his generation -- in fact, just a few years ago, he made the industry's "top 10 most bankable" list. This weekend, he has the honor of starring in Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh's (alleged) swan song as a director of feature films; to celebrate, we decided to take the opportunity to pay tribute to some of Mr. Law's biggest critical hits. Of course, given his propensity for smaller parts, we had to prune a few entries from the upper reaches of Law's Tomatometer; his roles in films like The Aviator, Hugo, and Lemony Snicket weren't quite substantial enough to make the grade. Still, we think you'll find plenty to love in this week's list. Without further ado... Jude Law's best movies!

Thursday, Jan. 31 2013, 04:26 PM

It may not be getting much critical love at the moment, but this weekend's Stand Up Guys has at least one thing going for it: An expertly seasoned cast that includes Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken, and Al Pacino. They've all made plenty of great films -- in fact, you can check out our countdown of Walken's best movies right here -- but seeing those names together made us realize that we've never dedicated a list to the mighty Pacino filmography, and we knew we had to take this chance to repent. Join us, if you will, for a stroll through a world where one of the greatest actors of his generation always lived up to his greatest potential, and movies like 88 Minutes and Jack and Jill never happened. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 24 2013, 02:33 PM

With 11 directors, 15 writers, and a cast of dozens, this weekend's Movie 43 is the biggest picture of 2013 -- at least in terms of cast and crew. But all those people didn't get together to make any old film: Movie 43 is part of the rich Hollywood tradition of anthologies -- movies in which sometimes-disparate collections of filmmakers come together to create a larger statement. We decided to dedicate this week's list to those efforts, and while limiting our choices to movies with multiple directors forced us to make some painful cuts (sorry, Creepshow fans), we still ended up with a pretty broad overview of a genre that's probably never gotten enough love from mainstream audiences. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 17 2013, 04:11 PM

Awards season is in full swing, and film fans everywhere are either debating their picks for who's about to win or arguing over those who've already won. That goes double for us at RT, and to celebrate our annual embrace of Oscar fever, we've decided to dedicate this week's list to the films getting ready to duke it out for this year's Best Picture Academy Award. With room for real-life stories, a little romance, a few songs, some hard-hitting drama, and even some action and/or comedy, this year's batch of nominees is certainly an eclectic bunch -- so let's take a look at them all, reminisce about how many we've seen, and then hit the comments section to weigh in on their odds of winning come February 24. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 10 2013, 04:32 AM

Hey girl, Ryan Gosling has three movies scheduled for release this year -- and with the first, Gangster Squad, making its long-delayed arrival in theaters this weekend, we decided not to waste any time giving the impressively prolific (not to mention widely eclectic) leading man his due by taking a fond look back at his ever-growing filmography's critical highlights. And you know what that means, folks: It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 03 2013, 03:16 PM

January is traditionally known as a cinematic graveyard, so it's only appropriate that our local cineplexes are kicking off 2013 with something as death-obsessed as Texas Chainsaw 3D, the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending saga of the cannibalistic lunatic Leatherface and his equally depraved family -- and the most recent in a growing list of slasher flicks to make use of Hollywood's on-again, off-again fascination with 3D technology. Of course, we couldn't help thinking of some previous entries in the genre, and you know what that means -- it's time to Total Recall, 3D horror style!

Thursday, Dec. 27 2012, 10:32 AM

Since making his debut with Reservoir Dogs 20 years ago, Quentin Tarantino has enjoyed one of the fastest-rising -- and consistently critically lauded -- careers of any director in modern Hollywood. He's back this weekend with the Jamie Foxx-led revenge fantasy Western Django Unchained, and the reviews are typically solid -- which means now is the perfect time to dedicate a feature to taking a fond look back at his earlier efforts. So cover the kids' ears and keep an eye on Marvin in the back seat, because this week, we're serving up Total Recall Tarantino style!

Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012, 04:20 PM

I grew up in a household that owned four Christmas albums -- Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, and the Boston Pops. And that was it. So part of what I enjoy about Christmas as an adult is the discovery of the vast thicket of vintage holiday music out there, from Pearl Bailey and Lena Horne to the Ray Conniff Singers and the Three Sons. Same deal with movies; I came of age in the 1970s, the golden era of It's a Wonderful Life being in the public domain and airing all day, every day, throughout the month of December. As I got older (and wrote the book Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas), I was delighted to find that I had as many new buried treasures among Christmas films as I've had with music.

Thursday, Dec. 06 2012, 01:17 PM

The rest of the heavy hitters Hollywood has planned for us in 2012 are being stored away until later in December, but Gerard Butler can't wait -- he's back in theaters this weekend with his latest rom-com, Playing for Keeps. Although its Tomatometer fate can probably be guessed by the fact that it isn't being screened for critics, don't feel too badly for Butler -- his filmography has plenty of critical highlights to fall back on, and this week's list offers proof. From period drama to family-friendly fantasy and bone-crunching action, he's stayed plenty busy over the last 15 years and change -- and now it's time to pay tribute, Total Recall style!

Tuesday, Nov. 20 2012, 07:54 PM

Over the course of his Academy Award-winning career, Ang Lee has crossed over from Taiwanese box office successes to American arthouse classics and Hollywood blockbusters, proving his hand with family drama, comedy, period pieces, epic martial arts action, romance, and even superheroes along the way. But up 'til now, he's never tried making a 3D adventure about a shipwrecked boy and his CGI tiger -- so in honor of this weekend's Certified Fresh Life of Pi, we decided to take a look back at Lee's wildly eclectic filmography, and came up with a list that has something for pretty much everyone. You know what that means: It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Nov. 15 2012, 09:21 AM

For the last couple of years, Kristen Stewart has been The Twilight Saga's Bella Swan -- and the middle of one of the most hotly contested love triangles in recent pop culture history. The debate between Team Jacob and Team Edward reaches its senses-shattering conclusion this week, with the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, but no matter which side you're on, there's no denying that Stewart's film career has always been about more than vampires and werewolves. Over the last decade, she's assembled a crowded, surprisingly eclectic filmography, and Breaking Dawn Part 2 is only one part of a busy year that also includes her turn in On the Road, debuting December 21; we decided to join in the fun by celebrating her work with this week's Total Recall. Without further ado, here are Kristen Stewart's best-reviewed movies!

Thursday, Nov. 08 2012, 03:21 PM

There aren't many actors who have the depth and sensitivity to carry indie fare and enough charisma to lead a blockbuster franchise, but with one foot in the art house and the other firmly planted at the multiplex, Daniel Craig is one star who can have his Layer Cake and eat it too. With his third Bond outing, Skyfall arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fresh look at some of his critical highlights. However, our list doesn't count a handful of brief appearances and cameo roles that are also worth checking out.

Thursday, Nov. 01 2012, 01:51 PM

Hollywood can't get enough of that state-of-the-art 3D CGI, but this weekend, Disney issues a proud tribute to our 8-bit past with the classic arcade throwback Wreck-It Ralph. If you're anything like us, Ralph's Q*Bert and King Koopa cameos will trigger long-buried arcade flashbacks, but even if you've never lost a quarter (or hours of your life) to a game, you've probably seen at least a few of the movies on our latest list. Yes, this week, we're paying tribute to movies whose plots hinge on video games, and you know what that means -- limber up your thumbs, because it's time for Total Recall!


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