#473 December 12, 2023


Matt writes: On the first day of this month, RogerEbert.com bid farewell to its cherished Senior Editor Nick Allen. Click here to read our in-depth tribute to him, the intro from which is posted below…

In addition to overseeing and editing the work of others, for the past eight years, RogerEbert.com Senior Editor Nick Allen has been one of our site’s most prolific and invaluable writers. He began by writing dispatches at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 before going on to cover other major festivals such as SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Fantasia and many others. The interviews, essays and reviews—both for film and television—he penned for us are a treasure trove that can be found in their entirety on his Contributors page, but with Allen leaving his position at the site this week for an exciting new job, we are spotlighting fifty-one of his articles in this special tribute. We hope you enjoy them.

In his Meet the Writers interview, Allen shared a moviegoing experience that he will never forget: “A public pre-release screening of ‘Fast & Furious 6,’ for the way that an audience reacted when the sound didn’t work for the first 10 minutes. Everyone started making cartoonish car sounds during an opening chase scene for a bizarre yet touching communal experience. The movie itself was a particularly good time for me as well.” The “Fast & Furious” franchise become one of many cinematic works lucky enough to be examined and championed by Nick.

On a personal level, Nick is kind and compassionate and we hope you join us in wishing him well in his new endeavor. He will be missed. 


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024). Directed by George Miller. Written by George Miller and Nick Lathouris. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke. Synopsis: The origin story of renegade warrior Furiosa before she teamed up with Mad Max in “Fury Road.” Debuts in the US on May 24th, 2024.

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project (2024). Directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. Synopsis: A look at the life of poet, Nikki Giovanni and the revolutionary historical periods through which she lived, from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter. Debuts on HBO on January 8th, 2024.

In the Shadow of Beirut (2023). Directed by Garry Keane and . Synopsis: A portrait of modern-day Lebanon as seen through the eyes of four families living in the impoverished Sabra and Shatila neighborhoods of the city, the scene of an infamous massacre in 1982. US release date is TBA.

Freud’s Last Session (2024). Directed by Matt Brown. Written by Mark St. Germain and Matt Brown. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Goode, Jodi Balfour. Synopsis: The movie’s story sees Freud invite iconic author C.S. Lewis to debate the existence of God. And his unique relationship with his daughter, and Lewis’ unconventional relationship with his best friend’s motherf. Debuts in the US on January 12th, 2024.

Good Grief (2024). Written and directed by Dan Levy. Starring Dan Levy, Ruth Negga, Himesh Patel. Synopsis: When his husband unexpectedly dies, Marc’s world shatters, sending him and his two best friends on a soul-searching trip to Paris that reveals some hard truths they each needed to face. Debuts on Netflix on January 5th, 2024.

How to Have Sex (2023). Written and directed by Molly Manning Walker. Starring Mia McKenna-Bruce, Shaun Thomas, Lara Peake. Synopsis: Three British teenage girls go on a rites-of-passage holiday – drinking, clubbing and hooking up, in what should be the best summer of their lives. US release date is TBA.

All of Us Strangers (2024). Written and directed by Andrew Haigh (based on the novel by Taichi Yamada). Starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy. Synopsis: A screenwriter drawn back to his childhood home enters into a fledgling relationship with a mysterious neighbor as he then discovers his parents appear to be living just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before. Debuts in the US on January 26th, 2024.

The Settlers (2023). Directed by Felipe Gálvez Haberle. Written by Felipe Gálvez Haberle, Antonia Girardi and Mariano Llinás. Starring Sam Spruell, Mark Stanley, Alfredo Castro. Synopsis: A mixed-race Chilean, rides south on an expedition led by MacLenan, a former Boer War English captain and Bill, an American mercenary, to fence off land granted to Spanish landowner José Menéndez. US release date is TBA.

The Monk and the Gun (2024). Written and directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji. Starring Tandin Wangchuk, Harry Einhorn, Tandin Phubz. Synopsis: An American who travels into Bhutan in search of a treasure and crosses path with a young monk who wanders through the serene mountains, instructed by his teacher to make things right again. US release date is TBA.

Handling the Undead (2024). Directed by Thea Hvistendahl. Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist and Thea Hvistendahl. Starring Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Bahar Pars. Synopsis: On a hot summer day in Oslo, the dead mysteriously awaken, and three families are thrown into chaos when their deceased loved ones come back to them. Who are they, and what do they want? Debuts in the US on February 9th, 2024.

Baghead (2023). Directed by Alberto Corredor. Written by Christina Pamies and Bryce McGuire (based on the short film written by Lorcan Reilly). Starring Freya Allan, Peter Mullan, Saffron Burrows. Synopsis: A young woman inherits a run-down pub and discovers a dark secret within its basement – Baghead – a shape-shifting creature that will let you speak to lost loved ones, but not without consequence. Debuts in the US on December 28th, 2023.

Mayhem! (2023). Directed by Xavier Gens. Written by Xavier Gens, Magali Rossitto, Guillaume Lemans and Stéphane Cabel. Starring Nassim Lyes, Loryn Nounay, Olivier Gourmet. Synopsis: A model prisoner’s leave ends in tragedy when his past resurfaces, forcing him to flee. He starts over in Thailand, until a local criminal coerces him back into crime. After this man attacks his family, he vows revenge. US release date is TBA.

Self Reliance (2024). Written and directed by Jake Johnson. Starring Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Andy Samberg. Synopsis: Given the opportunity to participate in a life or death reality game show, one man discovers there’s a lot to live for. Debuts on Hulu on January 12th, 2024.

Bob Marley: One Love (2024). Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. Written by Reinaldo Marcus Green, Terence Winter, Frank E. Flowers and Zach Baylin. Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir, James Norton, Lashana Lynch. Synopsis: A look at the life of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley. Debuts in the US on February 14th, 2024.

Race for Glory: Audi Vs. Lancia (2024). Directed by Stefano Mordini. Written by Stefano Mordini, Filippo Bologna and Riccardo Scamarcio. Starring Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Katie Clarkson-Hill. Synopsis: Inspired by true events that occurred during the fierce rivalry between Germany (Audi) and Italy (Lancia) at the 1983 Rally World Championships. Debuts in the US on January 5th, 2024.

I.S.S. (2024). Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. Written by Nick Shafir. Starring Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr. Synopsis: When a world war event occurs on Earth, America and Russia, both nations secretly contact their astronauts aboard the ISS and give them instructions to take control of the station by any means necessary. Debuts in the US on January 19th, 2024.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024). Directed by Adam Wingard. Written by Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett and Jeremy Slater. Starring Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens, Brian Tyree Henry. Synopsis: The next installment in the new Warner Bros. monster franchise. Debuts in the US on April 12th, 2024.

The Zone of Interest (2024). Written and directed by Jonathan Glazer (based on the novel by Martin Amis). Starring Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller, Freya Kreutzkam. Synopsis: The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp. Debuts in the US on February 2nd, 2024.

Tenth Anniversary of The Unloved

Matt writes: The Unloved, Scout Tafoya’s indispensable video essay series, just celebrated its tenth anniversary. Read our celebration article here, and don’t miss the series’ 120th installment embedded above that explores Michael Winterbottom’s western, “The Claim.”

R.I.P. Norman Lear (1922-2023)

Matt writes: “All in the Family” creator Norman Lear, who I believe was the greatest television producer of all time, died on December 5th at age 101. Be sure to read the tributes to him penned by Chaz Ebert and Nell Minow as well as view the Q&A embedded above that he participated in at Ebertfest 2017 following a screening of the documentary, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”

Free Movies

The Emperor Jones (1933). Directed by Dudley Murphy. Written by DuBose Heyward (based on the play by Eugene O’Neill). Starring Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Frank H. Wilson. Synopsis: Unscrupulously ambitious Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island. 

Watch “The Emperor Jones”

Glen or Glenda (1953). Written and directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.. Starring Edward D. Wood Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot. Synopsis: A psychiatrist tells the stories of a transvestite (Glen or Glenda) and a pseudohermaphrodite (Alan or Anne).

Watch “Glen or Glenda”

Dante’s View (1998). Directed by Steven A. Adelson. Written by Liane Bonin. Starring Guinevere Turner, Sheryl Lee, Brett Harrelson. Synopsis: In a botched robbery, Samantha grabs stolen jewels and leaves her dying boyfriend at the scene. When her truck breaks down in Death Valley, she befriends June, an innocent girl who dreams of escaping her dead-end life.

Watch “Dante’s View”

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