Brad Pitt

They have things in common. Johnny is only a few months older than Brad. They were country boys from the rough northern edge of the South: Johnny Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky; and Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. They make vague claims about having Cherokee blood, and they can get $30 million for a picture—which is not a Cherokee trait. The Indian heritage is as sentimental as it is uncertain; it indicates that they would like to think of themselves as outside the cozy, $30-million-a-picture club.

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Good times to be a zombie in Hollywood.

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If You Rebuild It, They Might Not Come

Brad Pitt's beautiful houses are a drag on New Orleans

Brad Pitt's beautiful houses are a drag on New Orleans.

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What Mindy Kaling gets about work-love balance that most rom-com writers don't.

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Since first seeing The Artist, I believed it was going to win Best Picture. It’s “different” without being challenging or difficult or worrying. The Artist could have been designed by a computer to appeal to anyone who has a sense of nostalgia for movie history. (And 54 percent of Academy voters are over sixty). It is also a light, entertaining picture in which froth passes for energy, and pat ironies are made to seem intelligent. I enjoyed it, until the moment I guessed how close it was to getting Best Picture.

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The Armistice was signed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In less than an hour it will be the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year, or 11:11 11/11/11. All the world's computers will shut down and the mountains will be laid low and the seas will arise to cover the earth and Herman Cain will win the Republican nomination for president. Or not. I've never been very good at predicting the future. Update: Missed it!

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Dmitri Shostakovich is currently on trial in the Supreme Court. So are Fritz Lang, Sergei Prokofiev, and Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking. For years, these artists’ works, and many others like them, were readily and freely available to American audiences.

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The New York Times called it a rare rally—and a rare rally it is. Alas, Somalia is not a Muslim country about which we particularly care. It has no oil. It is poor. It suffers from ongoing drought. It has a new enemy: pirates. And, after all, it is an African society with Arab undercurrents. When did anybody really care about a place like this? It is true that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have grasped these people to their hearts—and to their fortunes. But that’s not nearly enough. Maybe nothing would be nearly enough.

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Moviegoers with an interest in either Brad Pitt or statistics will find much to enjoy in Moneyball, the new film adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book examining the analysis-heavy strategy employed by the cash-strapped Oakland Athletics. Since its release, the book has been frequently invoked as a portrait of how teams with smaller payrolls can gain a competitive advantage by foregoing players who rack up impressive traditional statistics, like RBIs, in favor of those with talents in more obscure realms, such as on-base percentage.

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Stanley Kauffmann is on temporary leave. This review was written by David Thomson. The Tree of LifeFox Searchlight The Greatest virtue of Terrence Malick’s new film may be the controversy attending it. Whatever we think of The Tree of Life as a show or a work of art, there are going to be defenders and doubters driven to join a fierce debate that turns on these questions: “Very well, in 2011, with the movies on life support, what should an ambitious American motion picture look and feel like? What should it do to us? And what do we require of this strange medium?

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