Tuesday, September 30, 2014

At the Movies – October 2014 – Part 1: Independent Films

Kill the Messenger – Mystery/Thriller Drama – Oct 10
Plot Summary: Based on a true story, Gary Webb is an investigative journalist who uncovers something very troubling: the CIA is not only arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua, they are also importing cocaine into California. Webb decides to pursue the story only to find himself the target of a vicious smear campaign aimed at completely destroying his life. Key Filmmakers Involved: Director Michael Cuesta, composer Nathan Johnson, and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt. Actors Involved: Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Sheen, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, Andy Garcia, Paz Vega, Michael K. Williams, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Tim Blake Nelson. Quality Potential: High/Medium. Kill the Messenger has a very interesting story and a great cast. Director Michael Cuesta is a fantastic television director (doing great work on Six Feet Under, Dexter, and Homeland). What is odd, however, is that the film has not been screened at any of the big Fall film festivals seemingly indicating that Focus Features does not quite believe it to be a potential Oscar powerhouse (even though it looks a bit like one on paper). In any case, the film should be worth checking out in some form. It sort of reminds me of one of my favorite films: JFK. Trailer: Here.

Camp X-Ray – Drama – Oct 17
Plot Summary: Pvt. Amy Cole is newly assigned to Guantanamo Bay. At first she tries to do her job, but the place begins to wear her down; however, she finds some happiness when she befriends a man who has been imprisoned there for eight years. Key Filmmakers Involved: Writer-director Peter Sattler. Actors Involved: Kristen Stewart, Peyman Moaadi, and John Carroll Lynch. Quality Potential: Medium. Camp X-Ray looks like a very good character drama, creating a friendship between two very unlikely participants. The film also showcases the idea that people are all similar once you strip away the politics, religion, and social pressures. On a personal level, under different circumstances, enemies might be the best of friends. Peter Sattler makes his feature debut, coming from a background graphic design and storyboarding. Camp X-Ray will also give Kristen Stewart a chance to remind people that she is actually a fairly good actress (putting the stink of the Twilight films behind her). Trailer: Here.

Young Ones – Action/Drama Sci-Fi – Oct 17
Plot Summary: In the near future, the Earth has all but run out of water. In this wasteland, a teenage boy struggles to survive and protect his family. Key Filmmakers Involved: Writer-director Jake Paltrow and composer Nathan Johnson. Actors Involved: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, and Elle Fanning. Quality Potential: Medium/Low. Young Ones looks like a decent bleak post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama, and it features a very good cast. Jake Paltrow has proved himself to be an adequate television director; this is his second feature. For most people, I think this is probably one to skip, but for fans of narratives set in wastelands this may be worth a rental. Trailer: Here.

White Bird in a Blizzard – Drama/Thriller – Oct 24
Plot Summary: Kat Conner is just a normal teenage girl in 1988, but her whole life is blown-up when her mother suddenly disappears. Key Filmmakers Involved: Writer-director Gregg Araki. Actors Involved: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe, Shiloh Fernandez, and Angela Bassett. Quality Potential: Medium/Low. White Bird in a Blizzard looks very much like Gregg Araki’s other work – unblushing in its approach the social, emotional, and sexuality of teenagers, struggling to find their place in the world. Although he has been making films since the 1990s, he has only more recently found a bigger audience (though still relatively small overall) with films like Mysterious Skin (his best film), Smiley Face, and Kaboom. He has assembled a strong cast and this does have some breakout potential as Shailene Woodley is on a big time hot streak in 2014. Yet, Araki’s style is probably still too different to really crossover into mainstream appeal. Trailer: Here.

Nightcrawler – Drama – Oct 31
Plot Summary: Lou Bloom is desperate for a job. He finds just what he is looking for when he discovers the world of freelance crime journalism. Key Filmmakers Involved: Writer-director Dan Gilroy, composer James Newton Howard, and brilliant cinematographer Robert Elswit. Actors Involved: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, and Riz Ahmed. Quality Potential: High. Nightcrawler debuted on the festival scene in September to rave reviews. It has made a place for itself in the Oscar conversation for Best Film and Best Actor. It is a strong gritty character drama lead by Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance to date. Dan Gilroy has been around Hollywood for a while now as a screenwriter (The Fall is probably his best work), but he has certainly turned some heads with his debut behind the camera. What also makes the film very interesting is its willingness to attack the current state of news broadcasting/journalism (which is abhorrently sensationalized). Trailer: Here.

Horns – Drama/Fantasy Horror – Oct 31
Plot Summary: Ig Perrish is the prime suspect after his girlfriend is mysteriously murdered. He maintains his innocence, but everyone in town believes him to be guilty. Suddenly, he awakens one morning to find that he is starting to grow horns, becoming the devil that everyone believes him to be. Now, he must find out who did kill his girlfriend to clear his name. Key Filmmakers Involved: Director Alexandre Aja. Actors Involved: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham, Max Minghella, Kelli Garner, James Remar, Joe Anderson, and David Morse. Quality Potential: Medium/Low. Alexandre Aja has made a number of horror films; most of them are terrible save for maybe High Tension. Horns looks to be his best film, lead by a great performance by Daniel Radcliffe (who is having a good year with this film and the fun indie rom-com What If). Radcliffe and Juno Temple are fantastic young actors and Horns has a refreshingly different story. As far as horror films go, Horns might be one of the best of the year. Trailer: Here.

Art-House Comedies:

Laggies – Romantic Comedy – Oct 24

Plot Summary: Megan just does not want to grow up. When her boyfriend proposes to her, she flees, seeking refuge with a teenage girl (who she just met), unwilling to face her own future. As this is a rom-com of sorts (or an indie take on the genre), we know she will meet a new guy who gets her out of her funk – but it is the journey that will be the fun part. Key Filmmakers Involved: Director Lynn Shelton. Actors Involved: Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Gretchen Mol, Ellie Kemper, Kaitlyn Dever, Mark Webber, and Jeff Garlin. Quality Potential: High/Medium. Laggies is one of the films I am most interested in seeing in October. It looks like a great romantic comedy (a genre I love), which Lynn Shelton should do some fun things with (her film Your Sister’s Sister is also quite good). Plus, the cast is fantastic (filled with top notch actors and comedians). Trailer: Here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Movie of the Week – 49th Parallel

This week’s movie: 49th Parallel (1941)

The year is 1941. The United States is still neutral as war has engulfed the globe. Canada, however, has been fighting with their British and French allies. A German U-boat has been ravaging the waters near Eastern Canada, but the allies are moving in. To stay concealed, the Germans decide to hide in the Hudson Bay – a place where no one would ever look for them. Once there, the captain of the boat sends out a reconnaissance team to look for supplied; however once the team reaches the coast, the U-boat is spotted by Canadian patrol planes and destroyed. Now, the German survivors must make their way through Canada without being discovered.

The film is by brilliant auteurs the Archers (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressbuger). It is one of their earliest projects together, and already showed-off their creative chemistry and the promise of the wonderful work that was to come from them during the 1940s. The film was nominated for Best Picture and Pressburger won an Oscar for his writing. They worked with composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, cinematographer Freddie Young, editor David Lean, and art director David Rawnsley (Young and Lean would later make the brilliant epics Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago together).

The film has an excellent cast (featuring a few actors that worked frequently with the Archers). Eric Portman, Laurence Olivier, Finlay Currie, Anton Walbrook, Leslie Howard, and Raymond Massey star in the film. On a side note, the more I watch Anton Walbrook the more I find that he is becoming one of my favorite actors. He is just incredible.

49th Parallel is a propaganda film, like many of the films made during WWII. It is a film aimed at showcasing the spirit and diversity of the Canadian people, willing to come to the aide of Europe to fight against the Nazis. To this degree, it is an effective film, as it does provide many different characters, all played by great actors. The name of the film comes from the border between the United States and Canada, the largest unprotected border in the world. This is probably not a film for everyone, but for those who enjoy WWII era films or who want to see all the great films that the Archers made (something I do really encourage) it is a good little film. I am always surprised to see Laurence Olivier pop up in it as a French-Canadian trapper. He made this almost right after Rebecca playing almost the polar opposite type of character.

Trailer: Here
Available on: DVD and Video On-Demand (or you can watch the film on YouTube here)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Directors to Watch: Part 4 – Movies Spotlight – September 2014

One of the great things about cinema is its constant inflow of great talent. These are three directors who having been active for many years but are about to debut potentially very impressive work in the States, thereby introducing themselves to a bigger audience.

Filmography to Date:

David Ayer, 46, got his start after leaving the U.S. Navy rewriting the script for the WWII thriller U-571 (using his own Navy service experiences as reference – today, however, it is a film he is not proud of as it distorts history; while it is fictional, it presupposes that American troops captured the German Enigma code when it was really the British). He then collaborated on the script for The Fast and the Furious. Next, he wrote his first solo screenplay, Dark Blue. He did extensive research into the Los Angeles Police Department for the film, this lead to him writing another LA-based crime drama Training Day. Sticking with what was working, he was hired based on a story pitch to write the action movie S.W.A.T.

Ayer had made a name for himself writing crime dramas about police in Lose Angeles. In 2005 he got a chance to write and direct his own film. Harsh Times is a lot darker than his previous work, but still featured many of the same themes. He then directed the more action-oriented Street Kings. Next, he wrote and directed his best film to date End of Watch – this time effectively employing a found-footage style. Earlier this year, Ayer wrote and directed Sabotage. It is more of an action film than his previous work, but just does not work. It is by far his worst film as a director.

2014 Film:

Ayer leaves Los Angeles police crime dramas behind to return to the WWII period. He writes and directs Fury, an action war/drama about a battle-hardened Sherman tank five-man crew. It is near the end of the war, but they are tasked with a deadly mission behind enemy lines. The film stars Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Pena. The film is garnering a lot of buzz as a potential Oscar contender. Here is the trailer. The film comes out October 17th.


Ayer does not have any new films in production, but he has been rumored to be attached to remakes of Commando and The Wild Bunch.

Career Highlights:

1)      Training Day (2001) – writer (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      Harsh Times (2005) – writer, director (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      End of Watch (2012) – writer, director (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

Filmography to Date:

Lynn Shelton, 48, is a primary figure in the American independent film style known as mumblecore (other prevalent members include Jay and Mark Duplass). She got her start writing and directing her own micro-budget films We Go Way Back and My Effortless Brilliance. In 2009, she had her first quasi hit with Humpday, a film that played very well at Sundance – winning a Special Jury Prize. She also won the Independent Spirt Awards’ John Cassavetes Award for the film. She then started to make her characteristically low-budget feeling films with bigger-named actors. The first is my favorite of her films so far Your Sister’s Sister, and then Touchy Feely.

Shelton has also made a career directing episodes of television. She has done good work on Mad Men, Ben and Kate, and New Girl.

2014 Film:

Shelton’s new film Laggies is slated to come out October 24th. It is about Megan, a woman in her late twenties who is still not ready to grow up. So, she decides to hang out with a high school girl she meets, hiding from her life. It is an interesting reversal of the man-child character that comedy has done to death. Shelton is directing with the script from newcomer Andrea Seigel. The film stars Keria Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Sam Rockwell. It is garnering a lot of positive buzz as being incredibly fun. It played to very good reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Here is the trailer.


Upcoming, Shelton is directing the pilot for the new ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat about a Taiwanese family making their way in 1990s America. She is also working on a new film called Open to Anything.

Career Highlights:

1)      Your Sister’s Sister (2011) – writer, director (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

Filmography to Date:

Morten Tyldum, 47, got his start in his home country of Norway, working on television. In 2003, he made his first feature Buddy. He next made the crime thriller Fallen Angels; however, it was his next film that propelled him into Hollywood.

 In 2011, he made the fantastic crime thriller Headhunters (which you should see if you have not). The film mixes strong violence with black comedy, striking visuals and a great twisty story. The film also showcases Tyldum’s ability to get really strong performances from his actors (Aksel Hennie is wonderful in it).

2014 Film:

Tyldum’s new film is The Imitation Game. It is based on the true story of mathematician/logician Alan Turing, an Englishman who helped the Allies win WWII by cracking the Enigma code. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keria Knightley, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, and Allen Leech. It is among my most anticipated films for 2014 – and, from what I have seen, it looks excellent. I am interested to see if the film gets into the darker side of Turing life (he was chemically castrated by the British government because he was gay). Here is the trailer. It is slated for release November 21st.


Tyldum has a few projects that he is in various stages of development – that said, he is likely to become a very in-demand filmmaker after The Imitation Game.

Career Highlights:

1)      Headhunters (2011)* – director (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)

*Editor’s picks

Monday, September 22, 2014

Movie of the Week – Public Enemies

This week’s movie: Public Enemies (2009)

John Dillinger is public enemy number one after a string of headline-grabbing bank robberies during the 1930s; however, the Feds are closing in around him and other notable criminals like Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. Melvin Purvis has been tasked with heading up the Chicago office with the specific goal of capturing or killing Dillinger. The two men play a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Public Enemies is the latest film from American auteur Michael Mann (at least until his cyber thriller Blackhat comes out in 2015), master of the sprawling crime drama. Mann worked with a superb group on the film including: composer Elliot Goldenthal, cinematographer Dante Spinotti, and production designer Nathan Crowley.

The film has a phenomenal cast, headlined by Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. The supporting ensemble features David Wenham, Jason Clarke, Stephen Dorff, Channing Tatum, Rory Cochrane, Carey Mulligan (although, she is in it for maybe a second), Branka Katic, Emilie de Ravin, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Giovanni Ribisi, John Ortiz, Shawn Hatosy, Stephen Graham, Stephen Lang, Lili Taylor, and Leelee Sobieski.

Michael Mann has made a number of fantastic crime dramas – Thief, Heat, Collateral, and Miami Vice (highly underrated). Public Enemies is his first period crime drama, though he has made a few great period dramas (notably The Last of the Mohicans). What works exceptionally well about his films, Public Enemies included, is that he garners wonderful character-driven performances in worlds that feels very gritty and realistic. Some of that has to do with his collaborations with Dante Spinotti, whose photography is stunning and feels naturalistic. He is also the best at shooting gun fights. His staging, photography, and sound design are second to none (Heat probably has the best gun fight ever filmed). In some ways, Public Enemies feels a lot like Heat. The themes are the same in many ways. And, both feature great action set pieces. The film was mildly received upon its release in 2009 and has still not really found an audience, but it is magnificent. Depp and Bale are fantastic and it is visually dazzling. I think it is a must-see for fans of Mann’s work and those who enjoy grand crime dramas. It is probably the best gangster film of the last five years (my three favorite films of 2009 are Inglourious Basterds, Up, and Public Enemies to give you an idea of the esteem I hold for this film).

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TV Series of the Month – The Office (U.S.)

This month’s TV Series: The Officer (2005-2013)

The workplace mockumentary follows the employees of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s Scranton, PA, branch, both their work and personal lives. It is a remake of the British series of the same name.

The show is created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who also created the British series; however, it is developed for American audiences by Greg Daniels.

In many ways, The Office was able to differentiate and maybe even outshine its British counterpart. The first season was a bit rocky as it tried to find its place, but from the start of season two the series found its voice, creating a very funny and heartfelt show. Yet, as funny as the show is, its best attribute is its great characters. Over the course of nine seasons, these characters are developed and become people the viewer comes to really care about. It is one of the best sitcoms of recent memory.

Trailer: Here
Available on: DVD and Video On-Demand

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Movie of the Week – La Rafle

This week’s movie: La Rafle (2010)

In July 1942, French officials attempted to round up thousands Jews in Paris (and its surrounding region) to appease their Nazi occupiers and reduce France’s Jewish population, they captured around 13,000 (about 4,000 of which were children). The event is known as the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup. The French government did not apologize until 1995.

The film is written and directed by Rose Bosch who worked with composer Christian Henson and cinematographer David Ungaro.

The cast is very good. The film stars Melanie Laurent, and features an ensemble including: Jean Reno, Gad Elmaleh, Sylvie Testud, Anne Brochet, Denis Menochet, and Adele Exarchopoulos.

La Rafle is a powerful film telling one of the many truly sad Holocaust stories of WWII. When the war ended, President Charles De Gaulle promoted the idea of a France that did all it could to fight and sabotage the Nazis while they occupied the country – a France separate from the few who collaborated as part of the Vichy government, because he thought that the country needed to heal and put the truth (things like the extent of the Vichy government and the 1942 roundup) away for the moment. Instead, he hailed the French people as all being involved in the underground resistance movement, supporting the allied effort. Thus, France has grown up with this culture. Films like La Rafle remind us what horrors good people are capable of and that though it was Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party that wanted to eradicate the world of those it deemed undesirable good people too were compliant and apathetic. It reminds us that we must not simply allow evil to propagate because the alternative is difficult. The story also tells too of thousands of brave Parisians who hid around 5,000 Jews, also reminding us what good people are capable of when they dare to have courage. Other films well worth checking out in regards to France’s WWII occupation by the Nazis include Marcel Ophuls’s brilliant documentary The Sorrow and the Pity exposing many forgotten truths and the elaborate documentary series The World at War, specifically the chapters entitled: France Falls: May-June 1940 and Genocide:1941-1945.

Trailer: Here
Available on: DVD and Video On-Demand

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stars to Watch: Part 14 – Movies Spotlight – September 2014

What He Has Been In:

Adam Driver, 30, graduated from Juilliard in 2009 and began looking for work in New York City as an actor. After some television work, he started getting supporting roles in more notable films such as J. Edgar, Lincoln, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, and What If (a great romantic comedy that came out this past August). His film work has made him an in-demand actor. But, it is on television where Driver has really shined.

Driver’s big break came on HBO’s dramedy series Girls, created by Lena Dunham. He plays Adam the boyfriend character of Dunham’s Hannah. Driver is fantastic on the series, making a name for himself. He is funny and very emotionally emotive with incredible charisma.

September Film:

Driver has two films slated for release in September. The first is Tracks. It is about a young Australian woman who embarks on a trek across the West Australian desert with only her four camels and trusted dog. Driver plays a journalist coving the story who also falls for the young woman. It stars Mia Wasikowska and is directed by John Curran. The film looks like it might be the month’s best drama. Here is the trailer.

The second is the ensemble comedy This Is Where I Leave You from Shawn Levy. In addition to Driver, it also features Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, and Jane Fonda (among others). It looks like a decent comedy (maybe worth renting). Here is the trailer.


Driver’s upcoming schedule is packed with high profile projects. First he is in Noah Baumbach’s new dramedy While We’re Young, which also stars Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, and Amanda Seyfriend. Then, he is in the Jeff Nichols sci-fi drama Midnight Special with Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, and Michael Shannon (it is a film I am very excited to see in 2015). After that, he can be seen in J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII. He is rumored to be playing one of the film’s main villains. Finally, he also has a role in Martin Scorsese’s next drama Silence about seventeenth century Jesuit priests who are persecuted in Japan. The film also stars Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe, and Liam Neeson (who played an 18th century Jesuit priest in The Mission).

Career Highlights:
1)      Girls (2012-present)* – lead (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      What If (2014) – supporting (Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

What He Has Been In:

Bill Hader, 36, is known for playing very funny characters on television and in films. He got his start in Los Angeles when he joined Second City. From there, he was added to the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2005, where he became a fan favorite during his nine years on the show.

Hader is one of the great comedy actors to find himself often cast by Judd Apatow in his many projects. Hader is fantastically funny, creating great characters with small supporting roles in films, such as: Knocked Up, Hot Rod, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, Adventureland, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Paul, Monsters University, and They Came Together (which came out earlier this summer).

He also continues to do fun work on television with parts in The Venture Bros., The Mindy Project, and Bob’s Burgers.

September Film:

Hader appears in two films. The first is the dramedy The Skeleton Twins. It is about two estranged twins who almost die on the same day. Shaken up, they decide to try and reconcile their relationship. He co-stars with Kristen Wiig. It is one of Hader’s first leading roles. It looks like a very good drama and should lead to bigger things for him. Here is the trailer.

The second is the romance drama The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them. It stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. Hader plays a supporting role. The film was initially split into two films, one from the woman’s perspective and one from the man’s. It has now has been combined for theatrical release; however, critics claim that it worked much better as two separate films. Here is the trailer.


Hader has some great projects on his upcoming schedule. Next summer he co-stars in the comedy Trainwreck, written by and starring Amy Schumer (maybe the funniest comic right now). It is directed by Judd Apatow and has a fantastic ensemble supporting Schumer and Hader including: Daniel Radcliffe, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, and Marisa Tomei. Then, he has voice roles in two Pixar films. The first is Inside Out, about a young girl named Riley who is uprooted from her life in the Midwest and moved to San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions, but the move allows her negative emotions to try and take over. Hader voices Fear. The second is The Good Dinosaur, about a 70-foot-tall teenage Apatosaurus who befriends a human boy.

Career Highlights:
1)      Saturday Night Live (2005-2013) – lead
2)      Hot Rod (2007) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      Superbad (2007) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
4)      Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
5)      Adventureland (2009)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

What She Has Been In:

Analeigh Tipton, 25, got her start as a figure skater as a juvenile. She then pursued a modeling career. She placed third on Cycle 11 of America’s Next Top Model in 2008. She then got into film and television. She started off fairly quickly with roles in The Green Hornet, Crazy, Stupid, Love., Damsels in Distress, and Warm Bodies. She also had a reoccurring role in season three of HBO’s Hung.

Recently, Tipton featured in a supporting role in this summer’s action blockbuster Lucy. She also starred in the short film/commercial The Power Inside. It is weird and fun.

September Film:

Tipton stars opposite Miles Teller (who is also a star to watch featured this month) in the romantic comedy Two Night Stand in September. The film looks rather generic, but Tipton and Teller are good young actors. If they are able to find chemistry together, it could end up being a very fun film. Here is the trailer.


Upcoming, Tipton has maybe her most high profile acting jobs to-date. First, she stars in her own new sitcom on ABC. It is called Manhattan Love Story and is about the inner workings of the mind of a young man and young woman as they begin a new relationship. It co-stars Jake McDorman and is created by Jeff Lowell. Then in 2015, she stars opposite Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, and Sienna Miller in writing/directing team Anna Boden and Ryan Feck’s new drama Mississippi Grind, about two down on their luck guys who go on a road trip through the South.

Career Highlights:
1)      Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      Damsels in Distress (2011) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      Warm Bodies (2013) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

What He Has Been In:

Miles Teller, 27, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, appearing in many short films. He made his feature debut in 2010’s Rabbit Hole. He then took roles in lots of films geared towards teenagers, including: Footloose, Project X, 21 & Over, That Awkward Moment, and Divergent.

While Rabbit Hole did showcase Teller’s talent as an actor, it is his performance in James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, opposite Shailene Woodley, that really caught people’s attention (including mine). He is very good in the film, playing the lead Sutter. His emotional range is wonderful and his chemistry with Woodley is palpable.

September Film:

Like Analeigh Tipton, Teller stars in September’s Two Night Stand. Here is the trailer.


Teller has his best and biggest projects upcoming. First, he stars in the Sundance Film Festival winning drama Whiplash, playing an aspiring drummer who is brutalized verbally and emotionally by his teacher. Then, Teller stars as Mr. Fantastic in Josh Trank’s reboot of The Fantastic Four. Also joining Teller in the film are Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Michael B. Jordan. Teller is also attached to a sequel. After that, Teller returns for the Shailene Woodley led YA sci-fi sequel to Divergent, Insurgent. Finally, Teller is slated to reunite with his Whiplash writer/director Damien Chazelle in the musical dramedy La La Land (the director has also stated that he would like Emma Watson to co-star).

Career Highlights:
1)      Rabbit Hole (2010) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      Project X (2012) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      The Spectacular Now (2013)* – lead (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks