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Matt Singer

Matt Singer is the managing editor and film critic of the website ScreenCrush.com. For five years, he was the on-air host of IFC News on the Independent Film Channel, hosting coverage of film festivals and red carpets around the world. He’s been a frequent contributor to the television shows CBS This Morning Saturday and Ebert Presents At the Movies, and his writing has also appeared in print and online at The Village Voice, The Dissolve, and Indiewire.
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The Best Movie Posters of 2016

Our ongoing celebration of the best from the world of film in 2016 continues with our ranking of the finest movie posters of the year. In the gallery above you’ll see our picks for the 25 best. They range from massive hits to to tiny indie releases; we decided not to limit our list just to huge commercial successes. We don’t determine a movie’s quality by its box office totals. Why should we determine a poster’s quality that way?

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Warner Bros./Warner Bros./Paramount
Warner Bros./Warner Bros./Paramount
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The Best Movie Trailers of 2016

December is officially upon us, and so is year-end list-making season. We’re kicking things off by looking backwards and forwards: By ranking the finest teasers, trailers, and coming attractions of 2016. To qualify, only the trailer had to be released in this calendar year; you’ll see trailers below for movies that haven’t even been released yet and can’t be judged next to the films they represent. That’s as it should be; beyond their function as pieces of advertising, trailers should stand alone, as bite-sized entertainments and even, in a few rare occasions, as works of art. Here are the ten trailers of 2016 (plus a few honorable mentions) that came closest to that lofty ideal.

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‘Bad Santa 2’
Broad Green Pictures
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‘Bad Santa 2’ Review: Objectively a Worse Santa Than Before

The opening of Bad Santa 2 feels exactly right The first movie gave its degenerate, safe-cracking mall Santa a glimmer of a happy ending, an absurd outcome for a man who had screwed and robbed and drank and cursed his way across a large swath of the Phoenix metro area. 12 years later, Bad Santa 2 finds its antihero back at rock bottom; alone, drunk, and broke. In a despairing voiceover, Billy Bob Thornton croaks out a treatise on the absence of happy endings in life — or any endings at all. Life, his Willie Soke muses, just goes on and on, consistently sucking forever. Then he writes a suicide note on an old pizza box and sticks his head in an oven.

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Cars 3
Pixar
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The ‘Cars 3’ Trailer Teases a Darker Pixar Movie

At the risk of flushing all of my critical cred right down the toilet, I will confess I don’t hate the first Cars. And Cars 2, while insane, is sort of fascinating in its madness. It’s not good, but I have watched it more than once. On the advice of my attorney, I will not comment on my physical or emotional impairment at the time of these screenings.

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Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm
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Get Ready to Rebel With a New ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ TV Spot

If you’re going to fight a Rebellion, you better have some rebellious soldiers. That’s why Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the key to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, this winter’s big Star Wars standalone film, supposedly the first in an ever expanding cinematic universe of spinoffs from the main movie saga (that continues next December with the still-untitled Episode VIII).

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Wedding Crashers
New Line
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A ‘Wedding Crashers 2’ May Be Crashing Multiplexes Soon

Journey back with me now to the heady days of the mid-2000s. George W. Bush was President. Iron Man was still known by most people as a Black Sabbath song. And a little raunchy comedy called Wedding Crashers became a phenomenon in theaters, crossing an astounding $209 million in the U.S. alone. The film cemented the bankability of its leads, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and helped launch the careers of much of its supporting cast, including Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, and a young Bradley Cooper. The film, about a pair of bros who, y’know, crash weddings, is still remembered fondly to this day.

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You Can Finally Bask in the ‘La La Land’ Earworm ‘City of Stars’

Pretty much since the first moment I saw the first teaser for La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s amazing new musical hitting theaters next month, I’ve been waiting for the soundtrack. Sometimes I’ve put on one of the film’s trailers to hear the music again. Other times I’ve caught myself humming some of the tunes while walking down the street, particularly the earworm “City of Stars,” sung by Ryan Gosling’s character. Via Variety, I now know when my suffering will end with the release date of the La La Land soundtrack (December 9) and, in the meantime, I can now listen to a duet version of “City of Stars” by Gosling and co-star Emma Stone, which is available on YouTube (and embedded above).

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Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm
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Steven Spielberg Gave J.J. Abrams Two Ideas to Use in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’” Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf, asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.

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Columbia
Columbia
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‘Inferno’ Review: Tom Hanks Saves the World. Any Questions?

Inferno marks the third movie from director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks based on the popular novels by Dan Brown about Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon. They’re all vary degrees of bad — and Inferno is easily the worst of the bunch — but what’s particularly galling about this franchise are the years Howard and Hanks, two of our most dependable filmmakers, have wasted on it. Together they’ve made Splash and Apollo 13; separately their credits include Cinderella Man, The Paper, Saving Private Ryan, Captain Phillips and so many others. How many great movies could they have made, as a team or as individuals, if they hadn’t committed their talents to these cruddy thrillers?

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Movie Theater
Matt Singer
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A Step-by-Step Consumer Guide to Good Theater Projection

Rarely a week goes by these days without someone proclaiming movies dead or dying or zombified and feasting on the brains of their victims. (That’s what you get for turning your brain off at the theater!) Mainstream Hollywood has seen better days, but film as an art form is just fine; in a world where Moonlight, The Handmaiden, Arrival, and Loving are all competing for screen space, there’s still life left in movies yet. I’m more concerned about movie theaters, where the presentation of those films seems to get worse every single year.

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