movies

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on movies:

Here’s the new batch of classic movies on Apple TV+ in April

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Here’s the new batch of classic movies on Apple TV+ in April
Apple TV+ has dozens of classic films for subscribers to watch. And it just added to the collection.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ just added two dozen more classic movies to its limited-time collection, including three John Wick films, the original Ghostbusters, a pair of Transformers movies and more.

They join an existing selection of films available to the streaming service’s subscribers, as well as all the content Apple TV+ itself produces or buys.

Napoleon stands tall as one of Ridley Scott’s finest films [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★☆

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Napoleon (played by Joaquin Phoenix) leads the charge on a grim battlefield.★★★★☆
Napoleon (played by Joaquin Phoenix) leads the charge on a grim battlefield. But Ridley Scott's Napoleon isn't all about war.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Apple TV+ took its biggest gambles this year as a distributor of theatrical features with gargantuan budgets and run times to match, hoping that America will want to return to the epics of yesteryear in time for the holidays.

With Martin Scorsese’s heartbreaking Killers of the Flower Moon garnering headlines and climbing toward recouping its budget, here comes Ridley Scott’s Napoleon. The Apple Original biopic about the diminutive French emperor — in theaters now, and coming to Apple’s streaming service at some point in the future — proves Apple TV+ is a safe bet for good movies.

Coupling unfliniching violence with a keen sense of the absurd, it’s one of Scott’s finest films.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from Hollywood’s traditional players, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads

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Apple's iTunes movie trailers go dark as streaming supplants downloads.
iTunes movie trailers go dark.
Photo: Tookapic/Pexels CC

May 24: Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads May 24, 2013: Apple begins phasing out the option for users to download movie trailers from its once enormously popular trailers.apple.com website.

The move signifies a major change taking place in the way customers consume digital content. Downloads will continue to decline as streaming services like YouTube and Netflix pick up steam.

Ghosted is a lifeless spy flick you should skip [Apple TV+ movie review] ☆☆☆☆

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Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in ☆☆☆☆
Movies like Ghosted are basically the hangover after the champagne-chugging party of Marvel's hit movies.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewNew Apple TV+ action movie Ghosted is probably the most fake movie you’ll see this year, if indeed you decide to punish yourself by watching it. Slackly paced, howlingly unfunny, acted in complete boredom and frustration, and deeply uninterested in the handful of genres it touches upon, it’s maddeningly devoid of anything resembling a spark of creativity or charisma.

The flick boast some big-name stars, including Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, but Apple kept this one away from critics until the day before release for a very good reason.

Today in Apple history: Apple pays $15 million to promote Mission: Impossible

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Sadly, Apple's Mission: Impossible deal doesn't quite work out as planned.
Sadly it doesn't quite work out as planned.
Photo: Paramount

April 18: Today in Apple history: Apple pays $15 million for Mission: Impossible movie tie-in April 18, 1996: Apple unveils a massive $15 million promotional tie-in for the Mission: Impossible movie starring Tom Cruise.

Designed to promote the PowerBook, which Cruise uses in the spy flick, the marketing campaign comes at a particularly bad time. Attempting to climb back into the black after reporting its largest quarterly loss ever, Apple is in the middle of trying to perform its very own impossible mission. And that’s just the start of the problems.

Sharper spins out a web of power and deceit [Apple TV+ review] ★★★☆☆

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Justice Smith and Briana Middleton in a scene from Sharper, a neo-noir thriller on Apple TV+.★★★☆☆
Tom (played by Justice Smith, left) and Sandra (Briana Middleton) find they have something in common.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewApple TV+ neo-noir thriller Sharper centers on a circle of power players and would-be moguls scattered across New York City. The film adopts a La Ronde structure in tracing the malice and greed that motivates the con artists. And its sleek, Instagram-inspired look, as well as its ’80s-style score, make the ill-gotten gains shine all the brighter.

Premiering today, Sharper is a perfectly fine movie. But unfortunately, it’s designed to be forgotten the day after it’s been seen.

Emancipation denied: Apple TV+ Oscar bait flops (but Mole gets a nom)

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'Emancipation' on Apple TV+ stars will Smith
"Emancipation" will not be the second Apple TV+ film to win a Best Picture Oscar.
Graphic: Apple TV+

The Apple TV+ Christmas special The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday in the Animated Short Film category. And Brian Tyree Henry picked up a best supporting actor nom for his role in Causeway, the indie film starring Jennifer Lawrence as a wounded Afghanistan vet returning to her hometown.

However, Apple’s streaming service will not be earning back-to-back Best Picture Oscars. It’s big Oscar bait release — Emancipation, the Civil War-era movie starring Will Smith as a slave fighting for his freedom — was completely shut out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is a perfect gift for the holidays [Apple TV+ review] ★★★★★

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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse review on Apple TV+: This animated short film hits all the right notes.★★★★★
This animated short film hits all the right notes.
Image: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewThe Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, a half-hour animated short based on the book by Charlie Mackesy, is a heartfelt and splendidly drawn detour into melancholy holiday cheer.

Beautifully drawn, sensitively acted by an all-star voice cast, and written to carefully corral the emotions of viewers young and old, this one is quite the Christmas miracle. Premiering December 25 on Apple TV+, it’s one of the best animated films the streaming service has yet produced.

Spirited will haunt you with the ghost of Christmas crap [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆☆

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Spirited review Apple TV+: There's plenty of singing and dancing in ☆☆☆☆
There's plenty of singing and dancing in Spirited, but do you really expect jokes in your musical comedies?
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review Spirited, the Apple TV+ musical comedy remake of A Christmas Carol, is a depressingly literal, overly sarcastic and nightmarishly unfunny look at the lives of the people who work from beyond the grave to make Christmas cheer.

In the film, which hits the streaming service today, Will Ferrell plays a spirit who’s lost his mojo when he meets a man who’s more persuasive than he is. The laughs never start and the songs never stop in this gaudy waste of money and talent.

Raymond & Ray dramedy digs up a dull day at the graveyard [Apple TV+ review] ★★☆☆

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Raymond & Ray review Apple TV+: Half-brothers Raymond (played by Ewan McGregor, left) and Ray (Ethan Hawke) must come to terms with their father's weird posthumous demand.★★☆☆
Half-brothers Raymond (played by Ewan McGregor, left) and Ray (Ethan Hawke) must come to terms with their father's weird posthumous demand.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review In aimless new dramedy Raymond & Ray, Ethan Hawke and Ewen McGregor play half-brothers who must bury their father — and decades of trauma — over the course of a long, late-summer day.

Directed by Rodrigo García, and produced by Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Roma), the film is never believable for even a second. Inessential by design and pleasant enough, this one’s built to go in one ear/eye and out the other just as quickly.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever is about as palatable as a warm PBR [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆

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The Greatest Beer Run Ever review Apple TV+:Zac Efron plays John “Chickie” Donohue, a good old boy on a mission in The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a film based on a true story.☆☆☆
Zac Efron plays John “Chickie” Donohue, a good old boy on a mission in The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a flat film based on a true story.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ Review With new movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Apple TV+ seems anxious to pick up some easy awards from industry insiders who prefer heartwarming tales of friendship and broad gestures over strong ideas and nuance.

Zac Efron leads an ensemble cast as John “Chickie” Donohue, a guy going nowhere in life during the Vietnam War who decides he’s going to finally do something with himself. Chickie’s crazy bid for respectability — via a wild trip to the war zone, toting beer for the demoralized troops — provides hope for his whole neighborhood back home.

Director Peter Farrelly, who won the Best Picture Oscar in 2019 for the risible Green Book, returns to the well of  hopelessly condescending middlebrow emptiness with The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

10 best movies on Apple TV+

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Best movies on Apple TV+
Ready for movie night? These are the best movies on Apple TV+.
Photos: Apple TV+

From Irish folklore to ’60s New York, from culture clashes to meteors, here is a list of the very best films on Apple TV+ so far.

You can divine the company’s best impulses by seeing the best films it acquired, from arcane, auteurist curiosities and thoughtful genre pieces to documentaries that attempt to break free from the usual niches.

Cha Cha Real Smooth might be the worst movie of the year [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆☆

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Cha Cha Real Smooth☆☆☆☆
Take a long second to get used to this face.
Photo: Apple TV+

Only moments ago Cooper Raiff was a niche figure, someone you could avoid with a little effort. But now, he is the filmgoing public’s problem, thanks to Cha Cha Real Smooth, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+.

Writer/director/actor Raiff’s excruciating 2020 feature debut, Shithouse, captured enough viewers and earned enough praise to garner him a second chance to waste our time with the equally galling and charmless Cha Cha Real Smooth.

Apple TV+ paid an absurd amount of money for this garbage film. Unfortunately, the big gamble on this “Sundance hit” landed the streaming service an indifferently directed trifle starring a weaselly narcissist.

Apple TV+ movies sizzle reel shows a network at less than peak performance

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Apple TV+s Luck
Luck, which features a dragon voiced by Jane Fonda, is just one of the star-studded films coming to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Apple kicked off Tuesday’s Peek Performance event with a look at the upcoming Apple TV+ slate of movies — and it’s not a very pretty picture.

You can look forward to the kind of forgettable, star-studded stuff that Netflix has become so adept at providing a rapacious public, most of whom seem just as eager to forget these types of movies exist. While promising Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon remains free of both a release date and a trailer, the Apple TV+ sizzle real showcased several upcoming movies that don’t inspire confidence.

The Sky Is Everywhere delivers a big dose of young adult emotions [Apple TV+ review]

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The Sky Is Everywhere review on Apple TV+: Lennie (played by Grace Kaufman) goes heavy on the grief in this young adult film.
Lennie (played by Grace Kaufman) goes heavy on the grief in this young adult film.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Sky Is Everywhere, the new Apple TV+ film based on the young adult novel by Jandy Nelson, is exactly what you’re picturing based on its title.

Director Josephine Decker steps away from the indie film world to embrace the things a big studio budget can afford (in this case A24 as well as Apple). And she makes sure that every cent is up there on the screen. Decker gives in too much to the sugar high of teen romance, but she and her very committed cast get an A for effort.

Swan Song is smart sci-fi done right [Apple TV+ review]

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Mahershala Ali in Swan Song
Mahershala Ali in Swan Song
Photo: Apple TV+

Just before the end of the year, Apple TV+ has one more prestige item to push. New sci-fi movie Swan Song stars multiple Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali and multiple Academy Award nominee Glenn Close.

Swan Song, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+, is a number of things: an inspirational disease drama, a sleek sci-fi parable, a clone movie, and the feature debut of an Academy Award-winning short film director, Benjamin Cleary.

Arriving so soon after Tom Hanks’ ho-hum Finch, viewers could be forgiven for preparing for the worst. Thankfully, there’s no need.

Apple TV+ will get at least 10-12 original movies per year

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It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
Apple's embracing original movies in a big way.
Photo: riviera 2005/Flickr CC

Apple TV+ is looking to ramp up its investment in original movies, and has hired a former WarnerMedia executive to help it, according to The Information.

The report cites “two people familiar with the situation” as saying that Apple wants to “beef up its original film production” to better compete in the streaming stakes.

Focusing on major movies could prime Apple TV+ for success [Opinion]

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It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
Photo: riviera 2005/Flickr CC

The deal to bring legendary director Martin Scorsese’s future films to Apple TV+ sounds like a gift for movie fans who subscribe to the streaming service.

But signing Scorsese and other top filmmakers could turn out to be a shrewd and self-serving move that benefits Apple, too. Focusing on films crafted by the world’s top directors could differentiate the fledgling Apple TV+ from dominant rivals like Netflix. And it looks like Apple might be timing the market perfectly.

Universal will sell digital movies just weeks after their theatrical debut

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Some analysts think Apple should snap up a movie studio. Bad idea!
Or you could watch them from the comfort of your own home.
Photo: Naoya Fujii/Flickr CC

A new deal means that movie fans won’t be waiting as long to see Universal Pictures movies pop up for sale on iTunes and other digital platforms after their theatrical debut.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, an agreement between theater chain AMC Entertainment and Universal means that the theatrical exclusivity window will be cut from 75 days to just 17 days. This means certain titles will be available after just 2.5 weeks after they first arrived in theaters.

How to use Apple TV app’s new data-saving features

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The Apple TV app gets a raft of new features in iOS 12.3.
The Apple TV app just added new data saving features.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Binge-watching your favorite Apple TV shows on an iPhone is a great way to run through your data plan limits if you’re not careful, so Apple is introducing a way to wrangle in your data slurping habits.

iOS 13.4 beta 2 introduced some new settings to the Apple TV app for iPhone and iPad, giving users the option to control the size of downloads as well as lowering the amount of data used while streaming content. If Apple’s TV app is one of your major entertainment hubs, you’ll want to know how to take advantage of the new features.

Share your music with other AirPods, wirelessly

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AirPods sharing
Things are about to get romantic.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you and a friend both have AirPods or Beats headphones, you can share audio coming from a single iPhone or iPad. This is great for listening to the same music track or podcast, or — most useful I reckon — watching a movie together. Apple makes it really easy for you to share your audio stream with someone else. In fact, you could say it’s easier than doing it the old way, because A) there are no wires to get tangled and B) there’s no splitter adapter to lose.

Here’s how to set up audio sharing on AirPods.

Apple TV+ picks up second movie from A24 studios

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Apple spent more than $20 million advertising Apple TV+ last month
Apple TV+ is stocking up on movies now.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ is starting to stock up on new movies.

Apple has inked its second film deal with indie studio A24, which is already working with the iPhone-maker on Sofia Coppola’s next movie. The two companies are set to produce an adaptation of the critically acclaimed young adult novel The Sky Is Everywhere written by Jandy Nelson.

Apple snaps up Christmas Carol movie with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds

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Will Ferrell
But will it be Anchorman Will Ferrell or Holmes and Watson Will Ferrell?
Photo: Eva Rinaldi/Wikipedia CC

Apple has picked up the rights to a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.

The movie, which will be shown on Apple TV+, will be written and directed by Sean Anders and John Morris, the creators of the hit Daddy’s Home movies.