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John Beifuss

Title: Movie reviewer
Contact: 901-529-2394 | Send John an email

Recent Work

  • Film Review: 'Joe' Published 04/17/2014 at 3:37 p.m.

    “Southern Gothic” may be too genteel or literary a term for “Joe,” even if the new film from director David Gordon Green is adapted from an acclaimed work of Southern literature, a 1991 novel of rural violence and sacrifice by ...

  • 'Time Warp Drive-In' returns with monthly marathons Published 04/17/2014 at 12:06 p.m.

    After a successful test run in October, the “Time Warp Drive-In” concept returns Saturday, April 26, to the Malco Summer Drive-In with a program of music and “blaxploitation” films dubbed “Soulful Cinema.”

  • Film Review: 'Under the Skin' Published 04/17/2014 at 11:30 a.m.

    The Scottish accents are impenetrable and the narrative obscure, but Scarlett Johansson speaks the universal language in “Under the Skin,” a movie that counts on the associations the viewer brings to the connection of its title noun with the fleshy ...

  • Actor Assante, "Old Forest" anniversary screening highlight "On Location" fest lineup Published 04/11/2014 at 4:34 p.m.

    An appearance by actor Armand Assante and a 30th-anniversary screening of Memphis filmmaker Steven J. Ross’s “The Old Forest” are among the highlights on the schedule for the 15th annual On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest, set for ...

  • Film Review: 'The Unknown Known' Published 04/10/2014 at 11:38 a.m.

    As Rumsfeld speaks, an on-screen graphic breaks down Iraqi deaths from 2004 to 2009: 23,894 are defined as “enemy,” while almost three times as many — 66,081 — are classified “civilian.” As the tag line on the poster for “The ...

  • Film Review: 'Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1' Published 04/10/2014 at 11:31 a.m.

    Von Trier’s title character, Joe — played as a teenager and young adult by lovely newcomer Stacy Martin, and as our bruised and battered adult narrator by Charlotte Gainsbourg — is addicted to lust, but she hardly ever seems happy, ...

  • Film Review: 'The Raid 2' Published 04/10/2014 at 11:09 a.m.

    Unnecessarily pretentious but also frequently astonishing, “The Raid 2” is writer-director Gareth Evans’ sequel to his punishing “The Raid” (2012), but you shouldn’t fret if you missed the earlier entry. The byzantine underworld and law-enforcement alliances eventually become clear, but ...

  • What to Watch: King Kong obscurities reborn, ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ and more Published 04/08/2014 at 12:31 p.m.

    This week, giant monsters attack.

  • Movie Capsules: What's Showing Published 04/03/2014 at 3:25 p.m.

    Descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

  • Film Review: 'The Face of Love' Published 04/03/2014 at 11:33 a.m.

    Does “The Face of Love” belong to Annette Bening? If you’re speaking of an ideal, the answer is debatable; if you’re speaking of the new movie with that name, the answer is most definitely yes.

  • Film Review: 'Frankie & Alice' Published 04/03/2014 at 11:24 a.m.

    “Frankie & Alice” may be “based on true events,” as an opening title promises, but it seems more truly inspired by star-producer Halle Berry’s desire for an ostentatious showcase to demonstrate that her Best Actress recognition for “Monster’s Ball” didn’t ...

  • Movie Capsules: What's Showing Published 03/27/2014 at 4:03 p.m.

    Descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

  • Film Review: 'Tim's Vermeer' Published 03/27/2014 at 3:47 p.m.

    Produced and narrated by Penn Jillette and directed by Teller, the movie raises compelling questions about the value of art and the process of painting.

  • Film Review: 'Enemy' Published 03/27/2014 at 3:30 p.m.

    “Enemy” represents a rather bold career move for Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. Grim? Surreal? Yes and yes, but also darkly funny.

  • Film Review: 'Bad Words' Published 03/27/2014 at 3:16 p.m.

    As the difference of only one word in the titles suggests, the deservedly R-rated “Bad Words” is a “Bad Santa” relocated from the context of Christmas to the culture of spelling bees.

  • What to Watch: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘The King of Comedy,’ ‘Performance,’ and more Published 03/26/2014 at 9:56 a.m.

    In this week's 'What to Watch,' John Beifuss updates his 2013 year-end rankings re:'The Wolf of Wall Street' and dispenses four stars to a handful of revived masterpieces

  • We Take You There: On the scene at MidSouthCon Published 03/24/2014 at 2:07 p.m.

    A dispatch from the only place in Memphis last weekend where the fate of "Walking Dead" characters was more hotly debated than that of Josh Pastner.

  • Craig Brewer named new president of Indie board; screening committee members sought Published 03/21/2014 at 4:31 p.m.

    Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer is the new president of the board of Indie Memphis, the nonprofit arts organization best known for the annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, set this year for Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at venues in and near Overton ...

  • Film Review: 'Divergent' Published 03/20/2014 at 12:11 p.m.

    “Divergent” is too busy warning us about the dangers of conformity to develop a distinctive personality of its own. Veronica Roth’s trilogy of young adult science-fiction novels has sold some 10 million copies to date, but this movie adaptation of ...

  • Film Review: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Published 03/20/2014 at 11:58 a.m.

    Like the tool-stuffed pastries baked by the film’s winsome young Agatha, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” -- the latest delight from writer-director-master chef Wes Anderson — is an irresistible frosted confection with a steely, purposeful center.

  • Fantasyland: MidSouthCon attracts authors, artists and aliens Published 03/20/2014 at 10:49 a.m.

    Being allergic to sunlight has not prevented vampires from becoming overexposed. So it’s something of a relief to report that “Bitten,” a new series on the Syfy network, is not about vampires, as you might have anticipated from its title.

  • What to Watch: ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Frozen’ and more out this week Published 03/18/2014 at 12:43 p.m.

    Druids and Disney – here are some of this week’s new home entertainment releases.

  • Film Review: 'Gloria' shines in its depiction of normalcy Published 03/13/2014 at 2:29 p.m.

    As reported this week in The New York Times, a recent study by San Diego State University concluded that 2013 was not the “banner year for women in film” suggested by the box-office and critical success of such movies as ...

  • Dissecting a rumor: Craig Brewer to direct film for Justin Timberlake. Or maybe not. Published 03/06/2014 at 1:49 p.m.

    John Beifuss clears the air on the latest rumor involving hometown faves Craig Brewer and Justin Timberlake.

  • Pink Palace's giant-screen theater reopens in 3D Updated 03/07/2014 at 12:27 a.m.

    After a seven-week, million-dollar renovation that represents the first upgrade in the theater’s almost 20-year history, the giant-screen auditorium at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum reopens this weekend with a new digital projection system, new sound, new seats, a new ...

  • Oscar winner 'Great Beauty' and underpublicized 'Selfish Giant' screen at Brooks Published 03/06/2014 at 10:50 a.m.

    In 2013, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art re-established itself as a viable alternate “art house” cinema, booking some of the more significant foreign and independent films of the year for its Dorothy K. Hohenberg Auditorium. This week, the museum ...

  • Film Review: 'Adult World' Published 03/06/2014 at 10:45 a.m.

    The movie is rated R, yet sensitive 12-year-old girls and the boys scared to talk to them probably represent the ideal audience for “Adult World,” a wan coming-of-age sitcom in feature-film drag about a pretty, young would-be poet (Emma Roberts) ...

  • What to Watch: ‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Hunger Games’ and more Published 03/04/2014 at 3:31 p.m.

    The Oscar winner comes (to your) home this week.

  • Oscar Picks: John Beifuss and Chris Herrington on what will win, what should win and what got left out Published 02/28/2014 at 11:26 a.m. 1 Comment

    Lead film writer John Beifuss and entertainment editor Chris Herrington break down the top Oscar categories ahead of Sunday's broadcast.

  • Film Review: 'The Wind Rises' Published 02/27/2014 at 10:59 a.m.

    “The Wind Rises” by the Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki may be the best of this year’s five nominees in the Academy Award competition for Best Animated Feature.

  • Film Review: 'The Past' Published 02/27/2014 at 10:50 a.m.

    “The Past” is the latest film from Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi, whose previous feature, “A Separation,” is a modern masterpiece that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. Those familiar with the earlier film will recognize Farhadi’s ...

  • Movie Capsules: What's Showing Published 02/27/2014 at 10:44 a.m.

    Descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

  • What to Watch: ‘Gravity,’ ‘Nebraska’ available for your Oscar prep work Published 02/25/2014 at 10:33 a.m.

    Oscar hopefuls 'Gravity' and 'Nebraska' arrive, along with a controversial French epic whose Memphis run was a short one.

  • Film Review: 'In Secret' Published 02/20/2014 at 11:42 a.m.

    A tale of lust, betrayal, death and cruel fate, “In Secret” is adapted from “Thérèse Raquin,” an 1867 novel by Emile Zola that is described as “noirish” or “proto-noir” in many stories about the movie.

  • Film Review: 'Pompeii' Published 02/20/2014 at 11:38 a.m.

    “Pompeii” offers moviegoers a chance to see attractive young performers more or less batter-fried like a Gus’s drumstick in what volcanologists describe as a “pyroclastic flow”: a fast-moving wave of gas, rock and ash that here is an accurate substitute ...

  • Mickey's back and seeking an Oscar Updated 02/20/2014 at 12:07 a.m.

    The Oscar-nominated “Get a Horse!” is the first new Mickey Mouse theatrical short film in almost 60 years since “Runaway Brain” in 1955.

  • What to Watch: 'Fantastic Mr. Fox,' 'Darkman' and more Published 02/18/2014 at 11:14 a.m.

    This week, the return of a saucy fox, a scarred superhero and a spoiled movie star

  • 'Pope of Mope' Morrissey announces Memphis tour date Updated 02/13/2014 at 3:12 p.m.

    If misery truly does love company, expect a packed Orpheum theater on May 27 when British singer Morrissey headlines what apparently is his first Memphis concert.

  • Film Review: 'The Lego Movie' Published 02/13/2014 at 10:38 a.m.

    On the basis of their three feature films, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are masters of transforming unlikely source material into something wonderful.

  • Film Review: 'Robocop' Published 02/13/2014 at 10:32 a.m.

    The first “RoboCop,” released in 1987, was a science-fiction box-office smash, sure, but also a violent political cartoon and garish social satire. Now, inevitably, comes a remake of “RoboCop” that marks the Hollywood coming-out party of another director from overseas, ...

  • Movie Capsules: What's Showing Published 02/13/2014 at 10:12 a.m.

    Descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

  • Film Review: Remake 'About Last Night' is funny romcom Published 02/13/2014 at midnight

    It opens on Valentine’s Day, and it’s pitched as a “date movie,” but “About Last Night” may make some couples uncomfortable.

  • What to Watch: 'All is Lost,' 'Red Flag' and more Published 02/11/2014 at 1:15 p.m.

    Robert Redford gets lost, a 'Girls' star hits the road and overseas girls and women fight the good fight on the small screen this week.

  • 'Meanwhile in Memphis' chronicles evolution of the modern music era Published 02/06/2014 at 11:23 a.m.

    Nearly eight years in the making, the two-hour documentary chronicles the past few decades of the Memphis music scene, when new yet recognizable breeds of “misfit mavericks” (to quote the late Jim Dickinson) emerged from the literal rubble of Stax ...

  • Film Review: 'The Monuments Men' Published 02/06/2014 at 10:57 a.m.

    “The Monuments Men,” a fact-inspired World War II story about the Allied effort to save the great art and architecture of Europe, suggests the answer is yes. It also suggests George Clooney may be taking his volunteer responsibility as an ...

  • Movie Capsules: What's Showing Published 02/06/2014 at 10:45 a.m.

    Descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

  • What to Watch: ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club,’ ‘Bates Motel,’ and more Published 02/04/2014 at 10:01 a.m.

    New this week for home entertainment fans: Sly and Arnie are in the slammer, Matthew McConaughey is in the Oscar race, Norman Bates is in high school and William Holden is face-down in the swimming pool.

  • Oxford Filmfest starts Thursday Published 02/03/2014 at 10:13 a.m.

    Expanding its national and even international reach while retaining the strong Mississippi identity and Memphis presence that characterized its first decade, this year’s Oxford Film Festival begins Thursday and continues through Sunday, Feb. 9, at various venues in the historic ...

  • Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer inks TV deal Updated 01/31/2014 at 12:04 a.m.

    Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer has signed a deal with the new television division of Paramount to create pilots for two dramas, including one that could be shot locally.

  • What to Watch: 'Rush,' 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' and more Published 01/28/2014 at 2:27 p.m.

    Ron Howard goes racing, animated food comes alive and two horror masters are new to streaming on the little screen this week.