For the past 30 years, there have been a few unspoken rules about big-screen movie releases: 1. January is a dumping ground 2. July 4 weekend is family-friendly blockbuster central 3. December is prime Oscar bait 4. Did I mention January is a dumping ground? But all those rules have since gone the way of VCRs and TiVo because of the global pandemic. (Not that I needed to tell you the reason why.) With the Oscars pushed all the way from February to the end of April, movie studios are still rolling out all its golden hopefuls. If anything, these…


Everyone loves to watch a good movie. They can make us laugh, cry, angry, recoil in disgust, and everything else in between. They can also have a significant impact on the way people live — and not just by getting them to go to the movie theater.

A movie can make people think in different ways. It can cause them to be inquisitive, particularly if the film is based on a real story. If the flick is set in an exotic location, it can lead to people perusing the likes of TripAdvisor and hotel booking sites for their next holiday…


Copy and paste. That’s what I’m sooooooo tempted to do for this 2021 Movie Preview. Fact is, many of the most anticipated movies of this new calendar year are merely remnants from the scrap heap of film that was 2020. I mean, do you know how many times I’ve written the preview text for Black Widow in the past 12 months? At this point, even my 93-year-old grandma knows that the film is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Same for No Time to Die — honestly, it seems like Daniel Craig confirmed his retirement from James…


I, like, totally understand why director Patty Jenkins chose to set the Wonder Woman sequel in the 1980s. This was the decade of excess in all its glory. Think big shoulder pads and bigger hair. Neon wasn’t just a color shade; it was an attitude. And it can be argued (by, uh, me) that 1984 — the year that introduced us to Cyndi Lauper and the Footloose soundtrack and Ghostbusters — was the most awesome of all. …


Don’t look now but we’re already deep into October. And in any other year, that means we’d be knee-deep into the Serious Movie Season. With the fall film festivals wrapped, the Oscar prognosticators would be making their lists and checking it twice as if they’re proxies of Santa up in the North Pole. This would inevitably lead to social media hot takes. Lordy, I never thought I’d say this but I’m actually nostalgic for Joker discourse. It all seems so quaint in 2020, doesn’t it? But just because the cineplexes have primarily and tragically gone dark doesn’t mean that the…


To paraphrase the great Cher Horowitz, 2020 has been way harsh, Tai. Even from a movie perspective — minor in the grand scheme of a worldwide devastating health pandemic, but still! — we missed out on sitting in air-conditioned theaters this summer to see surefire blockbusters Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Fast & Furious 9, In the Heights, Jungle Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick. (Hey, at least we got Hamilton, Eurovision and Kissing Booth 2.) But hope springs eternal in the form of a fall movie season. Not only are super-heroines Wonder Woman and Black Widow (EDIT: Just kidding — both movies were…


Let’s start with good news! There will be summer movies in 2020. One more time with emphasis? DONE. There will be summer movies in 2020. And here’s the interesting twist: Even though the season has a reputation for its proliferation of sequels, spinoffs and revivals, this year’s edition will be a one-of-a-kind event of which we’ve never seen before. Because of our current health pandemic, a handful of anticipated movies will debut on your favorite at-home screen — who knew Trolls: World Tour would turn out to be such a popular trailblazer — while others are set to premiere at…


Almost one year ago, the guys who once declared that there would be no sleep till Brooklyn vaulted on stage at the local Kings Theater and proceeded to take audiences on a raucous three-and-a-half-hour-long exploration of all things Beastie Boys. With vintage pictures, archival footage and audio samples projected on a large screen behind them, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond detailed how three middle-class weirdos in gritty New York City in the 1970s and 80s became beloved hip-hop groundbreakers.

Spike Jonze, who directed that two-man show, has distilled it into a tight (well, tighter) 119-minute set and…


To review: Our world has been crippled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everybody and their grandma is home in self-isolation and looking to entertainment to take their minds off the terrifying 24/7 news cycle. Turning to a familiar film serves as emotional escapism at its most glorious. So, friends, I say this with love: WHY THE HECK ARE YOU WATCHING PANDEMIC MOVIES?!!! The 2011 thriller Contagion continues to be the most downloaded catalogue title on the Fandango streaming service. Meanwhile, Outbreak, released way back in 1995, ranked №9 among all its offerings. It’s not even a great movie! Though psychological experts…


It was the empowering motivator known as Lizzo who ordered us to “kick off your shoes, take a deep breath, time to focus on you.” No chance she was referring to self-isolation amid a frightening health pandemic in “Feelin’ Good,” but you know what? Times are tough. Let’s just go with it. Yup, just because the live music industry is a casualty of the Coronavirus doesn’t mean you must miss out on the experience of seeing your favorite artists. Sit back — you’re home anyway because of the quarantine, no? — mentally escape the madness, and bask in all the…

Mara Reinstein

Mara Reinstein is the film critic of Us Weekly. She is also a contributing writer for Parade, The Cut, Variety, Emmy and TV Guide. She lives in New York City.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store