The Big Picture

By The Ringer

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The Ringer dives into movies as Sean Fennessey sits down with Hollywood’s biggest filmmakers, breaks down the latest industry trends, handicaps the upcoming Oscars race, and reviews new films with Ringer colleagues like Shea Serrano, Amanda Dobbins, and Bill Simmons.

Episode Date
'Parasite' Is the Movie of the Year—Will the Oscars Agree? | The Oscars Show

After winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes, soaring to international box office success, and riding a wave of extraordinary festival buzz, Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' has finally hit U.S. theaters. Donnie Kwak joins Amanda and Sean to break down Bong's career, what makes his latest so special, and the movie's chances come Oscar time (1:52). Then, Sean and Amanda break down the evolving conversation around 'Joker,' two unusually bad trailers that premiered over the weekend, and the complex race for Best International Feature Film (28:56).

Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Donnie Kwak

Oct 15, 2019
Top Five Will Smith Movies and the Bizarre Truth of 'Gemini Man' | The Big Picture

As Ang Lee's hyperreal new action movie 'Gemini Man' hits theaters, Sean and Amanda look back at the long, fascinating career of rapper, sitcom star, screen legend, and Instagram icon Will Smith. They discuss the flaws and innovations of Lee's work with 120 frames per second 3-D 4K and the future of how we see movies (0:50). Then, they share their top five Will Smith performances and whether or not he will ever win an Oscar (21:33).

Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Oct 11, 2019
The 'Joker' Aftermath and Martin Scorsese's Marvel Movie Mishegas | The Oscars Show

Todd Phillips's 'Joker' is one of the year's biggest hits and most controversial films. Chris Ryan joins Sean and Amanda to talk about the film's success and whether all the hubbub was worth it (1:07). Then they take a close look at Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar chances, the Best Actor race, and Martin Scorsese's comments about Marvel movies (32:20). Then, Sean is joined by The Ringer's Shea Serrano to talk about his new book, 'Movies (and Other Things)' (55:08).

Host: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Chris Ryan and Shea Serrano

Oct 07, 2019
A 'Joker' Deep Dive (SPOILERS) | The Big Picture

Todd Phillips's 'Joker,' a gritty homage to '70s films like 'Taxi Driver,' has become one of the year's most anticipated and controversial movies. Sean and Jason Concepcion explore the long history of the Batman supervillain, in comic books and on screen (1:30). Then, they take a close look at the new Joaquin Phoenix–starring movie, its societal ramifications, and what it means for the superhero movie genre at large (41:20). Finally, Sean is joined by writer-director Noah Hawley to discuss his feature film debut, 'Lucy in the Sky' (75:18).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Jason Concepcion and Noah Hawley

Oct 04, 2019
'The Irishman' Is (Almost) Here, Eddie Murphy Is Back, and 'Diego Maradona' Scores | The Oscars Show

Marty back! 'The Irishman' premiered at the New York Film Festival to rapturous reviews over the weekend, so Sean and Amanda look at the film's chances at the Oscars. Is Martin Scorsese's latest the new front-runner (1:40)? They also discuss Robert De Niro's hilarious comments on cable, look at Eddie Murphy's return to the screen in Netflix's 'Dolemite Is My Name,' and analyze a quietly shifting Best Documentary category (39:07). Then, Oscar-winning documentarian Asif Kapadia joins to discuss the making of his new film, 'Diego Maradona' (57:16).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Asif Kapadia

Oct 01, 2019
'Star Wars' Goes Marvel, 'Judy' Goes for Oscar, and J.Lo Goes Running to the Super Bowl | The Big Picture

Sean and Amanda break down a busy news cycle, including Jennifer Lopez's Oscars-related decision to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show and Marvel guru Kevin Feige turning his attention to the 'Star Wars' franchise (1:20). Then, they look at Renée Zellweger's comeback vehicle 'Judy,' a biopic that feels too familiar despite its star's best efforts (29:03). Then director Daniel Scheinert stops by to talk about his poignantly weird ode to a pair of dumbasses living in Alabama (59:40).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Daniel Scheinert

Sep 27, 2019
'Downton Abbey,' 'Breaking Bad,' and Why TV Is Still Jealous of Movies | The Oscars Show

Sean and Amanda are joined by Chris Ryan to break down the phenomenon of turning TV series into movies after the box office success of 'Downton Abbey.' Then, the trio discuss the shows they'd like to see extended into new movies, explore Maggie Smith's chances at a third Academy Award, and rank their favorite awards shows in the aftermath of a lackluster Emmys ceremony (1:00). After that, 'Downton' director Michael Engler swings by to talk about supersizing the costume drama into one of the year's most surprising movie hits (57:00).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Michael Engler and Chris Ryan

Sep 24, 2019
'Ad Astra' Is a Masterpiece, and Brad Pitt Has Won 2019. Plus: James Gray on Making His Space Epic. | The Big Picture

Sean and Amanda dive deep into the career of Brad Pitt by sharing their top five favorite performances and examining his work in two of the year's best movies, 'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood' and James Gray's new space drama 'Ad Astra' (0:38). Then, Gray joins Sean to talk about his long career, working on a bigger canvas than ever before, and the perilous future of movies (48:47).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: James Gray

Sep 20, 2019
Oscar Bait Reborn: 'Hustlers' Cashes In, 'The Goldfinch' Flops Hard, and 'Jojo Rabbit' Hops into the Best Picture Race | The Oscars Show

After winning the Audience Award at TIFF, 'Jojo Rabbit' is likely to follow in the footsteps of past winners like 'Green Book' and 'Three Billboards,' straight to the Oscars. Sean and Amanda break down its chances and the post-festival discourse (0:51) before examining the box office success of 'Hustlers' and the failure of 'The Goldfinch' to reassess what we talk about when we talk about "Oscar Bait" (9:55). Then, documentary filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer joins to discuss his latest, 'Where's My Roy Cohn?,' a close look at the controversial lawyer and political operator who brokered power for everyone from Joseph McCarthy to Donald Trump (62:31).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Matt Tyrnauer

Sep 17, 2019
'Hustlers' Is Undeniable and So Is Jennifer Lopez, Oscar Contender | The Big Picture

With the release of 'Hustlers,' a stripper-criminal saga, Sean and Amanda take a close look at the movie career and unusually persistent superstardom of Jennifer Lopez, who has received the best reviews of her career for the film (1:04). Then, Sean is joined by 'Hustlers' writer-director Lorene Scafaria to talk about how she translated a New York magazine feature story into one of the year's most exciting movies (46:56).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Lorene Scafaria

Sep 13, 2019
An 'It Chapter Two' Deep Dive, 'Joker' at Venice, and Big Winners at the Toronto International Film Festival | The Oscars Show

'The Oscars Show' returns to read the tea leaves out of Venice and TIFF, including the shocking Golden Lion win for 'Joker'; the divisive reaction to 'Jojo Rabbit'; and the glorious rise of Jennifer Lopez, 'Hustlers' star and Academy Awards contender (1:09). Then Sean digs into this weekend's smash hit, 'It Chapter Two,' with a conversation about the making of the Stephen King saga with director Andy Muschietti (32:04). Finally, Jason Concepcion joins to talk about the challenges of adapting King's work and what 'It Chapter Two' had to sacrifice to make it to the big screen (69:46).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Andy Muschietti and Jason Concepcion

Sep 10, 2019
Top Five Stephen King Movies and the Most Anticipated Movies at the Toronto International Film Festival | The Big Picture

Ringer contributor Adam Nayman joins Sean to break down the films he's most looking forward to at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (1:10). Then, ahead of the release of 'It Chapter Two,' Sean and Adam share their favorite adaptations of Stephen King novels, including the classics you'd expect along with a few curveballs (7:30).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Adam Nayman

Sep 06, 2019
The Best Movies at the Telluride Film Festival and the Triumphant Return of the Oscars Show | The Oscars Show

Sean has returned from Telluride bearing takes on the very best that the Colorado film festival had to offer, among them 'Marriage Story,' 'Ford v. Ferrari,' Uncut Gems,' 'Waves,' and (yes, seriously) 'The Two Popes.' Then, Sean and Amanda take a close look at where the Oscar race stands after Venice and Telluride, what to look forward to at the Toronto International Film Festival, and how a very competitive Best Actor race is shaping up.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Sep 04, 2019
The Five Most Anticipated Movies of the Fall Festivals. Plus: 'The Irishman' Is Almost Here ... and It's Three and a Half Hours Long | The Big Picture

Awards season is nearly upon us, and Netflix has landed on a rollout strategy for its big movies, among them the Eddie Murphy vehicle 'Dolemite Is My Name,' Noah Baumbach's 'Marriage Story,' and Martin Scorsese's hugely anticipated (and also quite long) 'The Irishman' (0:45). Then, with the esteemed Venice, Telluride, and the Toronto film festivals approaching, Sean and Amanda share the movies they're most looking forward to and what their festival showings will mean for the coming Oscar race (33:53).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Aug 29, 2019
The Future of ‘Star Wars,’ Marvel, Pixar, and Disney’s Movie Monopoly. Plus: Our Summer Movie Awards and Paul Downs Colaizzo on ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ | The Big Picture

Disney’s D23 Expo brought with it a lot of news about the near and far future of streaming (1:00). Plus, we hand out awards for a slow summer in movies (18:00), and Sean talks to the writer and director of ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon,’ Paul Downs Colaizzo (54:35).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Chris Ryan and Paul Downs Colaizzo

Aug 27, 2019
Spider-Man Is Out of the MCU and Movies Are in a State of IP Crisis. Plus: Ben Berman on Untangling ‘The Amazing Johnathan Documentary’ | The Big Picture

A public, corporate feud between Marvel and Sony could spell the end of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—are we stuck caring about this forever, and will we ever return to the days of movie stars (0:45)? Then, Ben Berman joins the show to discuss his strange and postmodern documentary on magician and comedian “The Amazing Johnathan” (74:51).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Wesley Morris and Ben Berman

Aug 22, 2019
Why ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ Fell Prey to the Summer Box Office Slump. Plus: Making ‘Ready or Not’ With Radio Silence | The Big Picture

‘Blinded by the Light’ struggled in what was another slow weekend at the box office, while ‘Good Boys’ broke the trend of superhero and franchise-IP movies dominating 2019. We discuss that, the late-breaking news that Annapurna’s debt will be paid off by Larry Ellison, and ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’—Richard Linklater’s latest film (2:00). Then, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella—collectively known as Radio Silence—join the show to share their collaborative creative process in making their ‘Ready or Not’ (41:31).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella

Aug 20, 2019
Top Five Springsteen Songs, 'The Hunt' Cancellation,' Trailer Breakdowns, and 'Blinded by the Light' With Gurinder Chadha | The Big Picture

With the release of the Springsteen-inspired coming-of-age film 'Blinded by the Light,' Sean welcomes Chris Ryan to share their five favorite songs from The Boss. They also discuss the recent cancellation of the controversial thriller 'The Hunt,' debate the trailers for 'Little Women,' 'A Hidden Life,' 'Parasite,' and more (1:00). Then Gurinder Chadha, writer-director of 'Blinded by the Light,' swings by to share her journey and explain why Springsteen has been so pivotal to her creative life (51:00).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Gurinder Chadha and Chris Ryan

Aug 16, 2019
Mailbag Special: Favorite Acting Performances Ever, Lingering Tarantino Thoughts, and the Dark Future of the Movie Business | The Big Picture

We open the mailbag to answer some of our listeners’ most-pressing questions: What films are we most looking forward to for the rest of the year? Is Adam Driver our best working actor (and is he hot)? What are Sean’s guilty-pleasure movies? And more.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Aug 13, 2019
The ‘Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood’ Take Cycle, Reviewed | The Big Picture

We attempt to have a nuanced conversation about the complicated reception to Quentin Tarantino’s new film. (0:00) Then, we break down the latest shakeup in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' leadership, and how it will affect the Oscars' future (2:00). Plus: Oscar-nominated writer-director Andrea Berloff joins the show to talk about ‘The Kitchen’—her crime drama about 1970s New York, starring Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, and Melissa McCarthy (1:06:34).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Andrea Berloff

Aug 09, 2019
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse’ vs. ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ Plus: Avi Belkin on ‘Mike Wallace Is Here’ | The Big Picture

Sean and Amanda finally cave and watch each others’ beloved films after months and months of refusing (1:00). Then, director Avi Belkin joins the show to talk about his motivation for diving into a subject like Mike Wallace (1:13:23).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Avi Belkin

Aug 05, 2019
Making ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ the Action Movie Event of the Summer, With David Leitch | Interview

‘Hobbs and Shaw’ director David Leitch joins to talk about the challenges of adapting a successful franchise, his work on 'John Wick,' and the state of the action-comedy genre.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: David Leitch

Aug 02, 2019
‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ Is Quentin Tarantino’s Most Sentimental Film Yet (SPOILERS) | Exit Survey

We gather to discuss Quentin Tarantino’s ninth—and allegedly penultimate—film, ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.’ We break down everything from Leonardo DiCaprio grappling with the end of his career in the leading role, to Brad Pitt’s quiet charisma, to the way historical accuracy competes with fantasy.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, Chris Ryan

Jul 26, 2019
Top Five Quentin Tarantino Films. Plus: David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, and A.J. Eaton on ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’ | The Big Picture

The ‘Cats’ trailer set fire to Twitter, and Marvel extinguished the flames by announcing its next decade of IP dominance—what are we looking forward to most (1:00)? Then, we finally hash it out: We debate the top five Quentin Tarantino movies (16:15). Lastly, producer Cameron Crowe, director A.J. Eaton, and titular star David Crosby join the show to discuss ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name,’ the long-in-the-works documentary about Crosby’s legendary life and music career (1:22:45).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Jason Concepcion, Chris Ryan, David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, A.J. Eaton

Jul 23, 2019
We’re Debating ‘The Lion King’ in 2019. Why? | Exit Survey

Disney is in the midst of a nostalgia churn, and the latest installment is a remake of ‘The Lion King,’ the iconic 1994 peak of the Disney golden era. Have we reached a dark place with live-action remakes, and are there more to come? Plus, does the 2019 all-star cast live up to the original voice performances?

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Jul 19, 2019
The Theatrical Movie Business Is a Disaster, So ‘The Farewell’ Is a Miracle, With Lulu Wang | Interview

The slow box office summer continued this weekend as ‘Stuber’ failed to make a real impact in theaters. Is streaming going to put an end to the big-budget action comedy (0:37)? Plus, a long conversation with Lulu Wang about her path to becoming a filmmaker, the deeply personal experience of making ‘The Farewell,’ and what wider success means for a Sundance darling (42:30). 

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Lulu Wang

Jul 16, 2019
The Making of an Action Star in 2019, Plus: Reviving Action-Comedy and 'Stuber' With Director Michael Dowse | Interview

David Shoemaker joins the show to talk about how action stars are minted in the post–The Rock era of filmmaking, Dave Bautista’s rise to legitimate actor, and who is primed to make the leap from WWE to the big screen (0:45). Then, ‘Stuber’ director Michael Dowse comes in to talk about the role of improvisation in his films, working with Bautista and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, and what his future in directing looks like (25:07).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: David Shoemaker, Michael Dowse

Jul 12, 2019
Are We Headed for a 2020 Oscars Disaster? Plus: How Disney Runs the Movie World, and Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Stearns on 'The Art of Self-Defense' I Discussion

We take an early survey of the alleged frontrunners in the 2020 Oscars—a slim list of movies that are already getting negative buzz—before discussing the live-action remake trend that Disney is employing in its latest effort to dominate the financial landscapes of moviemaking (1:00). Then, Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Stearns join the podcast (previously recorded at SXSW) to discuss their partnership in making ‘The Art of Self-Defense’ (54:17).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Stearns

Jul 09, 2019
Making ‘Midsommar,’ A Deep Dive Into the Movie Freakout of the Year | Interview

Chris Ryan joins to discuss ‘Midsommar,’ Ari Aster’s shocking Swedish nightmare follow up to his debut horror hit ‘Hereditary’ (1:00). Then, Aster comes by to talk about the challenges of making a horror film set exclusively in the daylight, the pressure of following ‘Hereditary,’ and what he’s doing next (14:47).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Chris Ryan and Ari Aster

Jul 03, 2019
‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Is Here, and So Is the Future of MCU (SPOILERS) | Exit Survey

Friendly neighborhood MCU fan Micah Peters joins the show to discuss ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ the Marvel movie tasked with following ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ the wonders of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, and how the movie stacks up to last year’s smash hit ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.’

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Micah Peters

Jul 02, 2019
The Best Movies of 2019 So Far. Plus, ‘Yesterday’ Deletes the Beatles. | The Big Picture

In this double episode, Sean and Amanda review ‘Yesterday,’ a movie that delivered in Beatles nostalgia but came up short in plot payoff (1:00). Then, Adam Nayman calls in from Toronto to share his top five movies of a slow year so far (42:50).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Adam Nayman

Jun 28, 2019
Why Horror Is Bigger Than Ever, Plus: Gary Dauberman on ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ | The Big Picture

The horror genre spent decades as the lowbrow stepchild of the movie industry, but now it’s the vehicle for exciting young filmmakers like Ari Aster and Jordan Peele. Chris Ryan joins the show to help make sense of how we got here (1:00). Then, Gary Dauberman stops by to discuss his path from writing spec scripts to becoming the director of ‘Annabelle Comes Home’—the latest movie in the 'Conjuring' universe, a series he helped grow (21:31).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Chris Ryan and Gary Dauberman

Jun 25, 2019
'Toy Story 4' Is a Masterpiece. Is It in Pixar's Top 5? | The Big Picture

Despite the threat of sequel fatigue, Pixar has managed to create classics. 'Toy Story 4' is the latest example, a fascinating portrait of identity that doubles as a treatise on trash. Rob Harvilla joins Sean Fennessey to talk about the new film, what it means to kids and parents, and how the studio has persisted for 25 years (1:36). Then, they share their top five Pixar movies (28:43).

Jun 21, 2019
Is 2019 the Worst Movie Summer Ever? 'Men in Black: International' Isn't Helping | The Big Picture

'Men in Black: International' is yet another in a series of disappointing and drab sequels to hit this summer. What went wrong with the alien comedy relaunch? And should young stars like Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson count on shaky franchises to brighten their careers (1:15)? Then, we examine what makes a great summer movie slate, and what—if anything—we can learn from the lineups of the past 10 years (36:40).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Jun 18, 2019
#ReleaseTheSnyderCut, Dylan and Scorsese’s Netflix Deep Fake, and Jim Jarmusch on ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ | The Big Picture

We dive deep on ‘The Snyder Cut’—the unreleased director’s cut of ‘Justice League’—and the activism surrounding it from DCEU fans, before reviewing the Netflix Bob Dylan mockumentary ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’ (1:00). Then, indie film pioneer Jim Jarmusch joins the show to discuss his new film 'The Dead Don’t Die,' his first foray into the zombie genre (37:55).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Rob Harvilla, Jim Jarmusch

Jun 14, 2019
Why 'Dark Phoenix' Flopped and 'Late Night' Works, Plus Joe Talbot on 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' | The Big Picture

We go over Mindy Kaling’s feature screenwriting debut, ‘Late Night, before reviewing the box office flop of ‘Dark Phoenix,’ the most recent and final release of this generation of the X-Men franchise (1:00). Then, ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ director Joe Talbot joins to talk about his directorial debut—a picturesque examination of his hometown in the face of rapid gentrification (55:45).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Amanda Dobbins and Joe Talbot

Jun 11, 2019
The Failure of ‘Dark Phoenix' and the End of X-Men Movies ... For Now | Exit Survey

Sean is joined by Chris Ryan to dive deep on the existing X-Men franchise, a two-decade-long series of movies that have seldom delivered but still grabbed our attention. Then, the two review the newly released “Dark Phoenix” and speculate over the direction Disney will take with X-Men’s intellectual property.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Chris Ryan

Jun 07, 2019
A 'Chernobyl' Deep Dive With Creator Craig Mazin and Mallory Rubin | The Big Picture

Sean is joined by Mallory Rubin to react as fans to HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’—a science-laden docudrama that snuck up as one of the best shows on television this year (1:00). Then showrunner Craig Mazin comes to the studio to talk about making the jump from film to TV and how writing for feature-length comedy prepared him for conveying a real-life tragedy on screen (37:00).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Mallory Rubin and Craig Mazin

Jun 04, 2019
'Rocketman' Sings, but Will It Soar? I Exit Survey

We give our immediate reactions to ‘Rocketman’—Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John biopic, starring Taron Egerton. How is Egerton’s singing? How does the film handle John’s sexuality in comparison to a film like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody?’ Is “Elton John is good” the first thing Sean and Amanda have ever agreed on?

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

May 31, 2019
‘Booksmart’ Bombed. Why Couldn't the Internet Save It? Plus, the Oscar Favorites at the Cannes Film Festival | The Big Picture

The discourse around ‘Booksmart’ blew up on Twitter over the long weekend, but the film still disappointed at the box office. What, if anything, is there to make of the reaction (1:15)? Then we discuss the breakout movies from the Cannes Film Festival, the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,' and early Oscar favorites (25:41).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

May 29, 2019
Will Smith’s ‘Aladdin’: Why Does This Movie Exist? | Exit Survey

Disney is releasing its third live-action remake of a beloved animated classic this year alone—is this overflooding the market or is it a smart strategy for bolstering their incoming streaming platform? Plus, we examine how Will Smith’s career led him to be a charming (if lacking) Genie, and the perplexing decisions of an ultimately interesting filmmaker in Guy Ritchie.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

May 24, 2019
'Booksmart' Bonanza and the Best High School Movies, With Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein, and More | The Big Picture

We preview ‘Booksmart,’ Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut out this weekend, and the latest in a long tradition of what we call “high school movies"—of which we share our top five lists (1:10). Then (recorded previously at SXSW), Sean is joined by Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Katie Silberman, and Billie Lourd to talk about making ‘Booksmart’ and what it takes to make a successful high school comedy in 2019 (49:30).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Olivia Wilde, Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Katie Silberman

May 21, 2019
Making ‘John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum’ With Chad Stahelski, and Watching It With Shea Serrano | The Big Picture

Chad Stahelski, the mind behind John Wick, joins the show to discuss some of the unique difficulties of shooting one of the most action-packed franchises in Hollywood, his relationship with Keanu Reeves, and the converging arts of stunt making and directing (2:11). Then, Shea Serrano calls in to wax poetic about the Wick universe and what ‘Parabellum’ means for its future (50:42).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Chad Stahelski, Shea Serrano

May 17, 2019
The WTF Movies of 2019 So Far | The Big Picture

You asked and we answered—sort of. In a year dominated by superheroes, it's been hard to find a common theme at the movies for just about anything else. So we share some of the weirdest movies of the year so far, like 'Serenity,' 'Under the Silver Lake,' and 'Wine Country.' Then we break down some of our favorites, including Olivier Assayas's 'Non-Fiction' and Claire Denis's 'High Life.'

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Amanda Dobbins

May 14, 2019
‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ Exit Survey, Plus Werner Herzog on His Epic Career | The Big Picture

Micah Peters joins the show to make sense of the public’s obsession with Pokémon and the release of ‘Detective Pikachu’ (1:30). Then, Werner Herzog comes by the studio to discuss his new documentary, ‘Meeting Gorbachev,’ and the scope of his long and successful career (26:30).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Micah Peters and Werner Herzog

May 10, 2019
'Endgame' Reigns in Theaters, While Netflix Rules at Home—What's the Future? Plus ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile’ Director Joe Berlinger | Interview

We discuss the continued dominance of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ at the box office and the ramifications for wide-release movies and smaller festival darlings alike (1:30) before analyzing Zac Efron’s portrayal of Ted Bundy (26:40) in Netflix's ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.’ Then the film's director, Joe Berlinger, joins the show to discuss his documentary work, his second narrative film, and its companion documentary (31:40).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Amanda Dobbins, Joe Berlinger

May 07, 2019
Charlize Theron, Plus an Interview With ‘Long Shot’ Director Jonathan Levine | Career Arc

We examine Charlize Theron’s arc on the big screen—from prototypical roles that leaned heavily on her sexuality to her turn toward action stardom, ultimately leading to her role as secretary of state in Jonathan Levine’s new comedy, ‘Long Shot’ (0:45). Then, Levine joins the show to talk about working with Theron, Seth Rogen, and what types of films he sees himself making in the future (49:15).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Amanda Dobbins, Rob Harvilla, Jonathan Levine

May 03, 2019
‘Avengers: Endgame’ Has Overwhelmed Hollywood. Is That OK? | The Big Picture

We discuss the high-wire act that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was trying to pull off—stitching together over a decade of films into one neat, fan-serviceable, creative ending—and if it ultimately worked (1:00). Then, we take a step back and look at some of the numbers ‘Endgame’ put up at the box office, and whether it spells total domination for the mid-budget movie (23:40). Finally, we look ahead to a summer full of non-Marvel movies and share which ones we’re most excited for (40:30).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Chris Ryan

Apr 30, 2019
‘Avengers: Endgame’: Emergency Deep Dive (SPOILERS) | Exit Survey

‘Avengers: Endgame,’ the culmination of more than a decade of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, is finally here. We discuss how the long-running arcs of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and many others have been strung together and resolved in ‘Endgame.’ Plus, we break down the movie’s complex ideas about time travel, character deaths, and, ultimately, its stakes. Finally, we take stock of where this leaves the MCU, and what could be in store for Phase 4 and beyond.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Mallory Rubin

Apr 26, 2019
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ | Marvel Month

‘Avengers: Endgame’ is just days away, and with that comes the final installment in our Marvel Month series: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’ We discuss our relationships with Spider-Man as a cinematic figure, Tom Holland’s portrayal of a character who hadn’t been quite nailed down by other talented actors like Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and where the character is headed as the Marvel story drifts further into space—decidedly different than the high school setting of this film.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Adam Nayman

Apr 24, 2019
The Oscars Schedule Changes, and Andrew Garfield On ‘Under the Silver Lake’ | Interview

We go over the week in the movie world: Beyoncé’s documentary ‘Homecoming,’ the Oscars happening two weeks earlier, and the movies we’re anticipating will enter the Best Picture conversation (1:40). Then Andrew Garfield joins the show to talk about his new film ‘Under the Silver Lake,’ an L.A.-based noir film that is a change of pace from his career arc thus far (33:00).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Andrew Garfield

Apr 19, 2019
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ | Marvel Month

In the penultimate episode of our Marvel Month preview series, we sit down to discuss ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ How does AI function as a villain in the Marvel universe? Does the movie jump from location to location too frequently? Is this movie better now than when it actually came out?

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Micah Peters

Apr 17, 2019
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ | Marvel Month

As ‘Avengers: Endgame’ inches closer, we continue our Marvel month with one of the most effective, influential, and surprising movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ We review the original ‘Guardians’ comics, then examine the movie’s star-making ability, its use of music, and its long-lasting impact on the MCU.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: David Shoemaker

Apr 12, 2019
Top Five Rock Movies, Plus Elisabeth Moss and Alex Ross Perry on ‘Her Smell’ | Interview

We go over some of the most iconic rock star movies ever made and review the recent slew of films in that vein—including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Vox Lux,’ and more (1:30). Then, Elisabeth Moss and Alex Ross Perry join the show to talk ‘Her Smell,’ their recent installment in the trend (31:00).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Lindsay Zoladz, Elisabeth Moss, Alex Ross Perry

Apr 11, 2019
'Shazam!’ and the Future of the DCEU With David F. Sandberg | Interview

Sean is joined by Miles Surrey to assess the landscape of DC films after the breakout success of ‘Shazam!' (2:00). Then, 'Shazam!' director David F. Sandberg swings by to talk about how he turned his terrifying short, 'Lights Out,' into a feature-film career in Hollywood, the movies that inspired him, and his future in the DCEU (13:30).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: David F. Sandberg and Miles Surrey

Apr 08, 2019
‘The Avengers’ | Marvel Month

We break down Joss Whedon's 'Marvel’s The Avengers’—a landmark in the cinematic universe that established the rapport between the tentpole superstars and set the tone for the films going forward. How has the MCU changed our relationship with movie stars, and does that make Marvel the most important force in Hollywood right now?

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Chris Ryan

Apr 05, 2019
Matthew McConaughey | Career Arc

With Harmony Korine’s latest film ‘The Beach Bum’ now in theaters, Sean, Amanda, and Rob take a look back through Matthew McConaughey’s mercurial career—including his breakthrough moments, peaks and valleys, and where his stardom stands today.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Amanda Dobbins, Rob Harvilla

Apr 02, 2019
Bill Hader on ‘Barry,’ and Mary Kay Place and Kent Jones on ‘Diane’ | Interview

In a rotating-guests episode of 'The Big Picture,' Sean is first joined by Bill Hader to discuss how filmmaking played into the conception of his HBO show ‘Barry’ (2:15). Then, Mary Kay Place and Kent Jones join the show to discuss Jones’s first narrative feature, ‘Diane,’ which stars Place as a mother trying to bond with her drug-addicted son (41:10).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Bill Hader, Mary Kay Place, and Kent Jones

Apr 01, 2019
'Captain America: The First Avenger' | Marvel Month

In the first episode of our Marvel Cinematic Universe series—dropping once a week in the lead-up to ‘Avengers: Endgame’—Sean and Amanda go deep on the first Captain America movie. How did this movie set the tone for patriotism in superhero movies? Did it succeed as a period piece/spy drama? Why don’t Avengers have more sex?

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Amanda Dobbins

Mar 29, 2019
Top Five Movies of 1999, Plus David Modigliani on ‘Running With Beto’ | Discussion

Now 20 years removed, we convene to discuss and share our top five movies from 1999—the year many believe was the greatest year of movies ever (1:00). Then, a conversation with ‘Running With Beto’ director David Modigliani from SXSW (1:08:00).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Amanda Dobbins, Chris Ryan, and David Modigliani

Mar 26, 2019
A Deep Reading of Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ (Feat. SPOILERS) | Exit Survey

We react to ‘Us,’ Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to the social thriller ‘Get Out.’ We give a spoiler-laden explanation of the ending, analyze Peele leveling up as a filmmaker, and parse some of the cultural (but largely personal) themes that peek through in the film. (Disclaimer: there are spoilers in this podcast.)

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Mar 22, 2019
Jordan Peele on ‘Us’ | Interview

Oscar-winning director and writer Jordan Peele joins the show—the day after the premiere of his new film ‘Us’ at SXSW—to discuss following up ‘Get Out,’ working with stars like Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, and Winston Duke, and tackling complex themes within the horror genre.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Jordan Peele

Mar 19, 2019
Ben Affleck | Career Arc

With ‘Triple Frontier’ now streaming on Netflix, we launch the first episode in a series of career retrospectives on Hollywood’s biggest stars. From ‘Good Will Hunting’ to ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Armageddon’ to ‘The Town,’ ‘Justice League’ to the "Jenny From the Block" video, we identify Affleck’s breakthrough moments and peak performances before breaking down his latest movie.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, Rob Harvilla

Mar 15, 2019
‘Us’ and the Best Movies at SXSW, Plus Sebastián Lelio on ‘Gloria Bell’ | The Big Picture

Sean, Chris, and Amanda convene to talk about their favorite movies from the SXSW Film Festival—including Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated directorial follow-up to ‘Get Out’ (1:05). Then, Sean sits down with ‘Gloria Bell’ director Sebastián Lelio to discuss working with Julianne Moore and John Turturro and the calculus behind remaking one of your own films (55:30).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Chris Ryan and Sebastián Lelio

Mar 12, 2019
‘Captain Marvel’ Is a ’90s Nostalgia Play. Did It Work? | Exit Survey

Brie Larson stars as ‘Captain Marvel’ in the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its first stand-alone female superhero movie. We react to what it means for the forthcoming ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and how directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck incorporated elements of the 1990s into the Marvel machine.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Mar 08, 2019
‘Leaving Neverland,’ Spielberg’s Oscar Battle with Netflix, and the Best Movies of 2019 So Far | The Big Picture

Steven Spielberg is waging war against Netflix—what does this mean for the Academy Awards (0:57)? Then, Rob Harvilla joins the show to discuss ‘Leaving Neverland,’ the new Michael Jackson documentary on HBO, and its potential ramifications for the future of writing about music (18:08). Finally, Sean and Amanda share the best movies they’ve seen so far in this year and preview some of ones they’re anticipating most in March (40:15).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Rob Harvilla

Mar 05, 2019
The Oscars Aftermath Mailbag, Plus Neil Jordan on ‘Greta’ | Interview (Ep. 132)

Amanda and Sean put a bow on the 2019 Oscars by answering the burning questions they didn’t have time for on Sunday night (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by writer-director Neil Jordan to discuss his latest film, ‘Greta’ (48:06).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Neil Jordan

Feb 28, 2019
Oscars 2019: Instant Reactions to ‘Green Book’ and the Two Warring Academies | The Oscars Show (Ep. 131)

We react to what we feared might happen all Oscars season—a ‘Green Book’ Best Picture victory—by weighing the power of the old Academy vs. the new Academy. Plus, reactions to Spike Lee's long-awaited Oscar win, Alfonso Cuarón’s coronation, and Olivia Colman's shocking Glenn Close in Best Actress.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Feb 25, 2019
Pro Wrestling Goes to the Movies, Plus Stephen Merchant on ‘Fighting With My Family’ | Interview (Ep. 130)

Sean sits down with ‘Masked Man’ host David Shoemaker to discuss the evolution of pro wrestling on the big screen (0:31). Then Stephen Merchant joins to talk about his relationship to wrestling, working with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and turning Florence Pugh into a believable professional wrestler (21:28).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Stephen Merchant, David Shoemaker

Wrestling film recommendations:

The Big Show Off

Night and the City

The Foul King

Feb 22, 2019
The 2019 Oscar Narratives, Explained | The Oscars Show (Ep. 129)

A host of Ringer staffers join Sean and Amanda to break down the narratives that have emerged in the lead-up to the 2019 Oscars. Why does Netflix want an Oscar so badly? What happened to our beloved ‘A Star Is Born'? Plus, we make the case for each Best Picture nominee, do our best to see into the future and predict next year’s Oscars, and more.

To see this podcast in video form, go to The Ringer’s YouTube page!

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Mallory Rubin, Jason Concepcion, Chris Ryan, Alison Herman, Micah Peters, Kate Halliwell

Feb 20, 2019
The 2019 Oscars: Final Ballot Predictions | The Oscars Show (Ep. 128)

The Academy has flip-flopped again, saying they would reinstate the four categories they cut from the telecast just last week. Is that the right decision, an indication of a true crisis, or both (0:39)? Plus, an exhaustive breakdown of every Oscars category, including who will (and should) win (36:30).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins

Feb 19, 2019
The Case for a ‘Black Panther’ Best Picture Win, Plus a Conversation With Nominee Ruth E. Carter | The Oscars Show (Ep. 127)

Micah Peters and Rob Harvilla join the show to make the case for why ‘Black Panther’ transcends the Marvel Cinematic Universe and should be taken more seriously as a Best Picture nominee (1:00). Then Ruth E. Carter, the film’s costume designer, joins to detail the unique demands of designing for a comic book movie, her work with Spike Lee, and her path from Broadway to Hollywood (21:38).

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Ruth E. Carter, Rob Harvilla, Micah Peters

Feb 15, 2019
The Oscars Are Removing Four Categories From the Telecast. Why? Plus a Conversation With Nominee Nicholas Britell | The Oscars Show (Ep. 126)

We sift through what’s real and what’s just British after the BAFTAs this weekend, and whether or not the ‘A Star Is Born’ media blitz is helping or hurting its stock at the Oscars. Then we wonder what might happen if the Oscars telecast is as much of a disaster as it’s shaping up to be. Finally, Sean sits down with Nicholas Britell—the composer of the ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Moonlight,’ and ‘Succession’ soundtracks—to talk about the process of conceiving a score and working with a director to execute their vision.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Nicholas Britell

Feb 12, 2019
The Top Five Steven Soderbergh Films | Discussion (Ep. 125)

With today’s Netflix release of Steven Soderbergh’s newest film, ‘High Flying Bird,’ we sit down to list and discuss the top five movies he’s made in a prolific career.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Chris Ryan

Feb 08, 2019
The Most Unpredictable Oscar Race, Plus the Directors of ‘Free Solo’ | Interview (Ep. 124)

We take stock of a Best Documentary Oscars race that doesn’t include ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ and ‘Three Identical Strangers’—two of the most commercially successful documentaries of the year (0:40). Then ‘Free Solo’ directors Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi join the show to talk about the challenges of filming a climber in a life-or-death situation (18:22).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guests: Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi

Feb 07, 2019
'The Wife'-a-Palooza, Plus Barry Alexander Brown on Editing ‘BlacKkKlansman’ | The Oscars Show (Ep. 123)

We spend an inordinate amount of time talking about ‘The Wife,’ Glenn Close’s latest film that will likely net her her first Best Actress win at the Oscars (1:09). Then we assess the stock of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ and ‘Roma’ after the Directors Guild Awards (40:30). Finally, Sean sits down with ‘BlacKkKlansman’ editor Barry Alexander Brown to discuss working with Spike Lee and the role of an editor in the filmmaking process (59:15).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Barry Alexander Brown

Feb 05, 2019
‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Director Dan Gilroy on Genre-Hopping with Netflix | Interview (Ep. 122)

Dan Gilroy joins the show to talk his Netflix-backed horror-thriller art-world satire, directing Jake Gyllenhaal, and the commercialization of creativity.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Dan Gilroy

Feb 01, 2019
Are the Oscars in a State of Crisis? | The Oscars Show (Ep. 121)

This week we break down a big win for ‘Black Panther’ at the SAG Awards and whether it will improve its Best Picture chances (2:20). Then Sean shares his Academy Award nomination frustrations, and we examine how the telecast could be headed for disaster (16:00). Finally, we take a long look at the Best Director race, ‘Roma,’ and Netflix’s standing in the Oscar conversation (45:26).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

How Does Netflix Make Money? | Ringer PhD

Jan 30, 2019
Oscar Nominations: What We Know and What We Don’t | The Big Picture (Ep. 120)

Our instant reactions to the 2019 Oscar nominations pose as many questions as answers: Is 'Roma' the new favorite? Is ‘A Star Is Born’ doomed? And why couldn’t the Academy get it together for Ethan Hawke? Then we turn to the never-ending 'Green Book' saga in Stock Up/Stock Down and examine the Best Picture betting odds as they stand on January 22.

Hosts: Amanda Dobbins, Chris Ryan

Jan 22, 2019
M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ Is a Twist On Superhero Box Office Power | Exit Survey (Ep. 119)

We react to ‘Glass,’ veteran director M. Night Shyamalan’s final installation in an almost-two-decade-long trilogy that includes ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split.’ Where does the movie, which stars a cast of James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bruce Willis, fit into a catalogue that includes home runs like ‘The Sixth Sense’ and lows like ‘The Happening?’

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Justin Charity

Jan 21, 2019
A Fyre Festival Documentary Arms Race, and Bing Liu on Creating ‘Minding the Gap’ | Interview (Ep. 118)

Rob Harvilla calls in to make sense of the release of two Fyre Festival documentaries in the same week by Netflix and Hulu. Then, ‘Minding the Gap’ director Bing Liu talks about navigating the complicated and personal themes in his documentary.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Bing Liu, Rob Harvilla

Jan 18, 2019
What Does 'Best Picture' Even Mean? | The Oscars Show (Ep. 117)

This week, we explore how the various guild awards can tell us who is in the best position to bring home Oscars (0:53). Then, we try and digest the deluge of ‘Green Book’ controversies (25:21). Finally, we try and place our finger on an answer to the existential question hanging over our show: What does 'Best Picture' even mean (32:42)?

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins


This Is the Most Wide-Open Best Picture Race in Years, Sean Fennessey

Green Book Director Used to Flash His Penis As a Joke, Anna Silman

Jan 15, 2019
Top Five L.A. Movies, Plus Karyn Kusama on ‘Destroyer’ | Interview (Ep. 116)

Chris Ryan joins the show to break down the latest news that the Oscars will be hosted by committee and share his top five Los Angeles films. Then, director Karyn Kusama joins the show to discuss ‘Destroyer’—her second movie with a distinct take on L.A.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Karyn Kusama, Chris Ryan

Jan 11, 2019
Instant Reactions to a Truly Ludicrous Golden Globes | The Oscars Show (Ep. 115)

We unpack a shocking night as the Golden Globes crown ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Rami Malek, Glenn Close, and ‘Green Book’ — and ‘A Star Is Born’ comes away with only one award. What does it mean going forward for Oscars front-runners Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and more?

Hosts: Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins

Jan 07, 2019
Adam McKay on ‘Vice,’ Power, Comedy, and Criticism | Interview (Ep. 114)

‘Vice’ writer-director Adam McKay joins the show to talk about his relationship to the politics of Dick Cheney, learning to take criticism from his days in comedy, and whether ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Vice’ are a better indication of his future than ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Anchorman.’

Host: Sean Fennessey

Jan 04, 2019
Our Golden Globes Predictions, Plus ‘Cold War’ Director Pawel Pawlikowski | The Oscars Show (Ep. 113)

We share our ballot picks for all 14 movie categories ahead of Sunday’s Golden Globes and preview whether ‘A Star Is Born’ is the juggernaut we think it is (0:50). Then Sean sits down with ‘Cold War’ writer-director Pawel Pawlikowski to discuss how he crafted a detailed, memory-driven film about characters modeled after his parents (54:00).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Jan 02, 2019
The ‘Vice’ Backlash and the Oprah Bounce | The Oscars Show (Ep. 112)

We examine and dissect the backlash against Adam McKay’s ‘Vice,’ starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney (0:55). Then we touch on ’Black Panther,' ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ and ‘Cold War’ in Stock Up/Stock Down (32:53), before closing out with a Best Picture race odds breakdown (59:43).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Dec 27, 2018
‘Aquaman’: The Weird, Sort of Good (?) Future of Comic Book Movies | Exit Survey (Ep. 111)

Sean Fennessey and David Shoemaker take a trip into the cinematically gorgeous — but ultimately average — world of the latest DC Universe release, 'Aquaman.'

Dec 21, 2018
It’s Time for ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Fever | Exit Survey (Ep. 110)

Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, and Juliet Litman discuss ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ the sequel to the classic Disney film, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Dec 19, 2018
‘Roma,’ ‘The Mule,’ and the Mailbag | The Oscars Show (Ep. 109)

The debate over how to watch ‘Roma’ is starting to obscure actual conversations about ‘Roma’ (1:15), and ‘The Mule’ doesn’t quite make the Oscars cut (9:15). Plus, a mailbag full of questions about ‘A Star Is Born,’ up-and-coming actors, and the future of Netflix’s influence on theaters (13:19).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Dec 18, 2018
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’: One of the Best Superhero Movies Ever | Exit Survey (Ep. 108)

Sean Fennessey and Micah Peters recap the surprising highs of the latest installment of the ‘Spider-Man’ universe — an animated film that's also a major achievement in the genre.

Dec 14, 2018
Barry Jenkins on ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and Life After ‘Moonlight’ | Interview (Ep. 107)

Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins returns to 'The Big Picture' to discuss his life and work since ‘Moonlight’ won Best Picture at the Oscars and the unique challenge of recreating 1970s Harlem for his adaptation of James Baldwin’s ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guest: Barry Jenkins

Dec 13, 2018
The Kevin Hart Fiasco and the Best Performances of 2018 With Wesley Morris | The Oscars Show (Ep. 106)

Kevin Hart is out as host of the Academy Awards after a bungled non-apology tour. What happens next (0:50)? Plus: What the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards mean for ‘Roma,’ ‘A Star Is Born,’ and the Best Picture race (11:45), and a conversation about the best acting performances of the year with The New York Times’ Wesley Morris (19:30).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Guest: Wesley Morris

Dec 11, 2018
The Top 10 Films of the Year | Discussion (Ep. 105)

We break down which movies made the final cut for our top 10 lists this year — including everything from ‘Black Panther’ and ‘A Star Is Born’ to ‘Burning,’ ‘Support the Girls,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ and more.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Guests: Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman

Dec 07, 2018
The Golden Globes Nominations: Surprises and Snubs | The Oscars Show (Ep. 104)

Reacting to the Golden Globes nominations, including surprising love for ‘Vice,’ chaos in the category definitions, pleasant surprises and alarming snubs, and why we love Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg as hosts.

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Dec 06, 2018
John Krasinski on ‘A Quiet Place’ and the Question of a Sequel | Interview (Ep. 103)

Actor, writer, and director John Krasinski joins the show to talk about how he became not just the star, but also the writer-director of the box office smash ‘A Quiet Place,’ how he evolved after ‘The Office,’ and where he’s going next.

Nov 29, 2018
Do the Oscars Need 'Star' Power—and 'Black Panther'—to Thrive? | The Oscars Show (Ep. 102)

Can 'Black Panther' and 'A Star Is Born' power through an onslaught of smaller, highly regarded films like 'Roma,' and 'The Favourite'? (0:57); stock up/stock down for 'Green Book' and 'Widows' (22:00); and a close look at an unusually competitive Best Actress race (34:45).

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Nov 27, 2018
Steven Caple Jr. on ‘Creed II,’ the Rocky Franchise, and Making a Great Sports Movie | Interview (Ep. 101)

‘Creed II’ director Steven Caple Jr. joins the show to talk about Sylvester Stallone’s influence on his filmmaking and the 'Creed' franchise as well as the unique challenges of the 'Rocky' legacy.

Host: Sean Fennessey

Nov 21, 2018
Steve McQueen on ‘Widows’ and Reinventing the Heist Movie | Interview (Ep. 100)

Academy Award–winning director Steve McQueen stops by to discuss his new film, the Viola Davis–starring heist drama ‘Widows.’

Host: Sean Fennessey

Nov 19, 2018
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald | Exit Survey (Ep. 99)

'Binge Mode' meets 'The Big Picture' as Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion join Sean Fennessey to react to the second film in Harry Potter’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series.

Nov 16, 2018
The Top Five Coen Brothers Films | Discussion (Ep. 98)

With 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' set to hit Netflix November 16, Sean Fennessey taps Chris Ryan and Adam Nayman to share and dissect their top five Coen brothers films.

Nov 15, 2018
‘Outlaw King’ Is Netflix’s Foray Into Prestige. Did It Work? | The Oscars Show (Ep. 97)

Dissecting ‘Outlaw King’ and what it means for Netflix’s upcoming releases of ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ and ‘Roma’ (1:20), stock up/stock down with ‘The Front Runner’ (23:15), and the emerging favorites for the Best Supporting Actress category (36:45).

Now Netflix Wants to Conquer Prestige Movies—and the Oscars. Why? Sean Fennessey

Hosts: Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins

Nov 13, 2018
Body Horror to the Extreme With ‘Overlord’ Director Julius Avery | Interview (Ep. 96)

Sean Fennessey sits down with ‘Overlord’ and ‘Son of a Gun’ director Julius Avery to discuss his winding path from a rough town in Australia to making films in Hollywood. Before the two chat, Chris Ryan joins to assess the amorphous state of mainstream horror and gore films.

Nov 09, 2018
Greg Kinnear on The Bill Simmons Podcast | Interview (Ep. 95)

Bill Simmons sits down with House of Cards actor Greg Kinnear about his pre-acting career and how he made the transition into Hollywood.

Nov 07, 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody I Exit Survey (Ep. 94)

Sean Fennessey is joined by Rob Harvilla to break down the good, the bad, and the Queen of this weekend's box office smash.

Nov 05, 2018
The Top Five Westerns Since 1993 | Discussion (Ep. 93)

In honor of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2,’ Sean Fennessey sits down with Chris Ryan — the Doc Holliday to his Wyatt Earp — to list and discuss their top five Western films of the last two and a half decades.

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ Closed the Book on Movie Westerns, K. Austin Collins

Nov 02, 2018
Luca Guadagnino on the Gory Glory of 'Suspiria' | Interview (Ep. 92)

Sean Fennessey sits down with director Luca Guadagnino to discuss how his latest film, ‘Suspiria,’ relates to the stories he’s chosen to tell thus far, the moviegoing public’s relationship to ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ and how Bob Dylan may be his next muse.

Nov 01, 2018
Introducing 'The Oscars Show' and the 2018 Oscar Narratives I The Oscars Show (Ep. 91)

Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins kick off The Big Picture’s new Oscars Show with a look at the biggest movies of 2018 and how they would have been viewed through the lens of the now-delayed “Popular Movie” category (1:13). They then discuss whether Claire Foy’s stock is up or down after her performance in ‘First Man’ and the buzz surrounding ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ (17:00) before diving deep into the Best Actor race (30:23).

We Actually Fixed the Oscars, The Big Picture

We’re About to See the Most Competitive Best Actor Oscars Race in Years, Sean Fennessey

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Queen That ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Gets Completely Wrong, Steven Hyden

Oct 30, 2018
The Top 5 Streaming Horror Films Right Now with Bill Simmons | Discussion (Ep. 90)

The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Bill Simmons each run down their lists of five great horror films they love that are streaming right now.

Oct 26, 2018
Paul Dano on Directing His First Film and Adapting Richard Ford's 'Wildlife' | Interview (Ep. 89)

Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with actor and now screenwriter/director Paul Dano to discuss the trials of directing his first film and adapting one of his favorite authors, Richard Ford.

Oct 25, 2018
The Big Picture: A Ringer Movies Podcast

The Ringer's Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey sits down with Hollywood's biggest filmmakers to discuss how they are shaping the industry. Past guests including directors of Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and OJ: Made in America.

Oct 18, 2018
'The Oath’ and Ike Barinholtz’s Response to the Chaotic News Cycle | The Big Picture (Ep. 88)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey speaks with comedic talent Ike Barinholtz about his directorial debut, ‘The Oath,’ and how it’s a direct response to the breakneck speed of the news cycle since the election.
Oct 12, 2018
‘A Star Is Born’: Instant Analysis | The Big Picture (Ep. 87)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey is joined by colleagues Juliet Litman, Amanda Dobbins, Lindsay Zoladz, and Andrew Gruttadaro to discuss their immediate reactions to the ‘A Star Is Born’ phenomenon—weighing in on Bradley Cooper’s emergence as an auteur, what the film is saying about pop music, the press tour, Lady Gaga, and more.
Oct 08, 2018
David Lowery on Directing Robert Redford's Final Film, 'The Old Man and the Gun' | The Big Picture (Ep. 86)
Ringer Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey is rejoined by filmmaker David Lowery to discuss his new movie 'The Old Man and the Gun,' directing Robert Redford in his final performance, and his knack for crafting modern-day fables.
Sep 28, 2018
Ethan Hawke Will 'Blaze' a Trail as a Director, Too | The Big Picture (Ep. 85)
Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey chats with actor and occasional director Ethan Hawke about his new film 'Blaze,'a biopic about the creative life and tragic death of the musician Blaze Foley.
Sep 21, 2018
Nicole Holofcener, 'The Land of Steady Habits,' and the Characters From Her Own Life | The Big Picture (Ep. 84)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with filmmaker Nicole Holofcener about her consistent career in film and how she's able to draw on inspiration from her life to create the characters and stories in her movies.
Sep 14, 2018
Michel Gondry Reunites With Jim Carrey in ‘Kidding’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 83)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with with Michel Gondry to discuss his long career in film and reteaming up with Jim Carrey 14 years after ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ to create the upcoming Showtime series ‘Kidding.’
Sep 07, 2018
Aneesh Chaganty on Leaving Google to Make ‘Searching’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 82)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with first-time filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty to discuss leaving his job at Google to make ‘Searching,' a thriller starring John Cho shot entirely through the POV of screens.
Aug 31, 2018
The Summer Movie Awards | The Big Picture (Ep. 81)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan highlight this summer’s movies by awarding the biggest surprises, best independent films, best scenes, the best and worst movie of the summer, and much more.
Aug 24, 2018
How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Jon M. Chu Earned His Spot | The Big Picture (Ep. 80)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ director Jon M. Chu to talk about his development as a director and how his personal experience as a Chinese American inspired him to make this movie.
Aug 17, 2018
We Actually Fixed the Oscars | The Big Picture (Ep. 79)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey, Bill Simmons, and Amanda Dobbins discuss the recent announcement about upcoming changes to the Academy Awards and debate how to usher the ceremony into the new era.
Aug 09, 2018
Making ‘Mission: Impossible’ the Best Movie Franchise, With Christopher McQuarrie | The Big Picture (Ep. 78)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ director Christopher McQuarrie to talk about his creative collaboration with Tom Cruise, the challenges and rewards of coming back for a second ‘Mission: Impossible’ film, and his personal reckoning with his role as a filmmaker post-‘The Usual Suspects.’
Jul 27, 2018
Bo Burnham’s ‘Eighth Grade’ Captures the Experience of Middle School and Right Now | The Big Picture (Ep. 77)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with comedian and first-time filmmaker Bo Burnham and actress Elsie Fisher to discuss ‘Eighth Grade,’ their perceptive film about the cringeworthy experience of middle school.
Jul 20, 2018
What Inspires Gus Van Sant? | The Big Picture (Ep. 76)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant about his lasting legacy in film, reteaming with Joaquin Phoenix on 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot,' the role his late friend Robin Williams played in the film, and where to go when you’ve accomplished so much.
Jul 13, 2018
Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Is a Cinematic Acid Trip | The Big Picture (Ep. 75)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with first-time filmmaker and longtime musician Boots Riley about the challenging transition from making music with his group The Coup to making his first feature-length film, the experimental social comedy ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ on his own.
Jul 09, 2018
'Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Goes Big, With Peyton Reed | The Big Picture (Ep. 74)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey speaks with filmmaker Peyton Reed about returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make an Ant-Man sequel and the challenges of merging his story with the aftermath of 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
Jul 06, 2018
Why ‘Sicario’ Needed a Sequel, With Stefano Sollima | The Big Picture (Ep. 73)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan discuss the unlikely 'Sicario' franchise and its approach to violence and morality along the U.S.-Mexico border with ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ director Stefano Sollima.
Jun 29, 2018
Do You Love Scary Dinosaurs? J.A. Bayona’s 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Has Scary Dinosaurs | The Big Picture (Ep. 72)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with filmmaker J.A. Bayona about his new film, 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,' and what it’s like creating a terrifying new dinosaur and diving into a major franchise.
Jun 22, 2018
‘Incredibles 2’ and Brad Bird’s Super-Powered Return to Pixar | The Big Picture (Ep. 71)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with Pixar original Brad Bird about returning to his animation roots with ‘Incredibles 2’ after making live-action movies like ‘Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol’ and ‘Tomorrowland.'
Jun 15, 2018
Morgan Neville’s Mister Rogers Documentary Reminds Us to Be a Good Neighbor | The Big Picture (Ep. 70)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville about his new film, ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor,’ about one of the world’s foremost champions of kindness and decency, Mister Rogers.
Jun 13, 2018
Hereditary’ Is the Most Disturbing Horror Movie in Years, With Ari Aster | The Big Picture (Ep. 69)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Ari Aster to discuss his first full-length feature, ‘Hereditary,’ and the process of crafting a deeply disturbing experience for moviegoers.
Jun 08, 2018
Truth, Fiction, and a Hollywood Heist Movie, With Bart Layton | The Big Picture (Ep. 68)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with writer-director Bart Layton about his path from unconventional documentaries to his ambitious new docufiction heist movie, ‘American Animals.'
Jun 01, 2018
'Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Instant Analysis | The Big Picture (Ep. 67)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and David Shoemaker convene for an instant-reaction breakdown of the latest 'Star Wars' spin-off movie, ‘Solo,’ to discuss whether Alden Ehrenreich lives up to Harrison Ford’s legacy, how the story’s timelines fit together, and whether the movie actually works.
May 25, 2018
Making ‘First Reformed,’ the Best Movie of the Year So Far, With Paul Schrader | The Big Picture (Ep. 66)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with legendary filmmaker Paul Schrader to discuss his powerful new film, ‘First Reformed,’ starring Ethan Hawke; his patient style of filmmaking, and his major career achievements, such as cocreating ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘Raging Bull,’ and ‘The Last Temptation of Christ.’
May 21, 2018
Emergency ‘Deadpool 2’ Debate | The Big Picture (Ep. 65)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Andrew Gruttadaro digest the latest blockbuster superhero movie, ‘Deadpool 2,’ by unpacking what worked and what didn’t among the numerous meta jokes and pop culture references. They discuss the long-anticipated arrival of Josh Brolin’s "Cable," why Deadpool is so popular, and where the character and the franchise goes from here.SPOILER ALERT: This episode contains serious spoilers for the movie. Be warned!
May 18, 2018
Making the Melissa McCarthy Machine, With Ben Falcone | The Big Picture (Ep. 64)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with comedic filmmaker Ben Falcone about ‘Life of the Party’—his new movie starring his wife, Melissa McCarthy—and what it’s like to creatively collaborate with his life partner.
May 14, 2018
Jason Reitman Is Not Here to Make a Blockbuster | The Big Picture (Ep. 63)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with filmmaker Jason Reitman about his early box office success with movies like ‘Juno’ and ‘Up in the Air,’ the complicated nature of making movies that are not meant to be blockbusters in 2018, and his new and terrifying film about parenting, ‘Tully,’ starring Charlize Theron.
May 10, 2018
Emergency ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Breakdown I The Big Picture (Ep. 62)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and David Shoemaker take an exhaustive trip through the galaxy to break down the plot twists, character deaths, and paths forward for the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the action-packed, plot-heavy ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ SPOILER ALERT: The second half of this episode contains serious spoilers for the movie. Be warned!
Apr 27, 2018
William Friedkin Meets a Real-Life ‘Exorcist’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 61)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with legendary filmmaker Willam Friedkin, who’s responsible for films such as 'The French Connection,' 'The Exorcist,' 'Sorcerer,' and 'To Live and Die in L.A.' Friedkin discusses his distinguished career in film and why, at 82, he decided to create a new documentary about a real-life exorcism called 'The Devil and Father Amorth.'
Apr 23, 2018
4/20 Special: Jay Chandrasekhar’s ‘Super Troopers’ Return | The Big Picture (Ep. 60)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with comedic actor, director, and writer Jay Chandrasekhar about returning to make a ‘Super Troopers’ sequel 17 years after the original. Chandrasekhar also discusses what it’s like being an Indian American in Hollywood, returning to his roots, and bridging the divided audiences in comedy.More from Sean Fennessey on Movies
Apr 20, 2018
Life and Death in the American West With ‘Lean on Pete’ Director Andrew Haigh | The Big Picture (Ep. 58)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with filmmaker Andrew Haigh about his emotionally devastating ‘Lean on Pete,’ about an orphaned boy (Charlie Plummer) and his horse, the titular Pete, and their journey from Oregon to Wyoming in search of a long-lost family member. Haigh also discusses his long career as a director and the difference between making TV shows and making movies.
Apr 13, 2018
'Blockers’ and the Revival of the Studio Comedy With Kay Cannon | The Big Picture (Ep. 58)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with Kay Cannon, the veteran screenwriter on ‘30 Rock,' New Girl,’ and all three ‘Pitch Perfect’ movies to discuss her new R-rated studio comedy and directorial debut ‘Blockers’ and her transition from writing to directing.
Apr 06, 2018
Steven Spielberg's Top 5 Movies With Bill Simmons and Chris Ryan | The Big Picture (Ep. 57)
In preparation for Steven Spielberg's ‘Ready Player One,’ The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan discuss and debate the prolific filmmaker's best movies of all time. They cover everything from ‘Jaws’ to ‘Jurassic Park,’ from the ‘Indiana Jones’ series to ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ and many, many more (1:00). And later, CEO of The Ringer Bill Simmons stops by to give his take on how terrifying 'Jaws' was and Spielberg's career (43:00).Ringer web store
Mar 30, 2018
Cults, Sex, and the American Dream in 'Wild Wild Country' I The Big Picture (Ep. 56)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with 'Wild Wild Country' directors Maclain and Chapman Way and producer Mark Duplass about the arduous process of making an in-depth documentary that features a 64,000-acre ranch in Oregon, a spiritual guru, ritualistic group sex, assassination plots, guns, drugs, and bioterrorism.You can find the official Ringer web store here:
Mar 27, 2018
The Best Movies at the SXSW Film Festival | The Big Picture (Ep. 55)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan recap the best movies they saw at the SXSW Film Festival, including ‘Ready Player One,’ ‘A Quiet Place,’ ‘Eighth Grade,’ and more.
Mar 16, 2018
Cory Finley Breaks From the Stage with ‘Thoroughbreds’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 54)
Ringer Editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with first time director Cory Finley about his film ‘Thoroughbreds’ and his transition from playwright to filmmaker.
Mar 09, 2018
Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Red Sparrow’ Transformation With Francis Lawrence | The Big Picture (Ep. 53)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with filmmaker Francis Lawrence about making ‘Red Sparrow,’ his fourth film in a row starring Jennifer Lawrence; their working relationship forged through ‘The Hunger Games’ movie franchise; and his new creative venture with Apple TV.More on movies from the Ringer
Mar 02, 2018
Is ‘Three Billboards’ Actually Just ‘Crash’ 2.0? Plus, Other Oscars Takes | The Big Picture (Ep. 52)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with The Ringer’s Amanda Dobbins and K. Austin Collins and New York Times critic Wesley Morris to discuss eerie similarities between ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and the notorious 2006 Best Picture winner, ‘Crash’ (0:00). Then, Chris Ryan joins to discuss ‘Shape of Water’ and its status as the clear front-runner to win Best Picture (0:00).More on the Oscars from The Ringer:
Feb 27, 2018
'Annihilation,’ ‘Ex Machina,’ and Alex Garland’s Disturbing Sci-Fi Vision | The Big Picture (Ep. 51)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey speaks with acclaimed writer and director Alex Garland about the making of the Natalie Portman sci-fi thriller ‘Annihilation’ and the tricky nature of adapting Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling book. They also discuss Garland’s first film, ‘Ex Machina’; his time as a novelist and screenwriter of movies like ‘28 Days Later...’ and ‘Sunshine’; and a lot more.For more movie coverage, check out The Ringer
Feb 23, 2018
Yance Ford Made ‘Strong Island’ to Face Down the Past | The Big Picture (Ep. 50)
Ringer Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey speaks with Academy Award-nominated documentarian Yance Ford about making Netflix’s ‘Strong Island,’ a personal film about the tragic murder of his brother, William, and the larger implications in the story about segregation, race, violence, and power.
Feb 19, 2018
Why Stop-Motion Animation Takes Forever to Make, With Nick Park | The Big Picture (Ep. 49)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with ‘Wallace and Gromit’ creator and Academy Award–winning animation director Nick Park to discuss the time-consuming process of making stop-motion animation, his commitment to the form, and his new underdog cavemen comedy, ‘Early Man.’
Feb 16, 2018
The Rise of Alex Ross Perry: From the Art House to the Mouse House | The Big Picture (Ep. 48)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey speaks with filmmaker Alex Ross Perry about his quick-and-cheap working style and his shift from art house movies like his latest, ‘Golden Exits,’ to his upcoming big-budget ‘Winnie the Pooh’ adaptation for Disney.
Feb 12, 2018
'Icarus’ Filmmaker Bryan Fogel on Why Russia Won’t Be at the Olympics | The Big Picture (Ep. 47)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Bryan Fogel to discuss his Academy Award–nominated documentary, ‘Icarus.’ Fogel explains how his journey into the world of blood doping and cycling was transformed into a larger story about the state-run Russian Olympic doping program.
Feb 09, 2018
The Art of True Crime Documentary with Erin Lee Carr | The Big Picture (Ep. 46)
Ringer Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey speaks with documentarian Erin Lee Carr (‘Mommy Dead and Dearest’) about her new project “Drug Short,” an installment in Netflix’s new doc series ‘Dirty Money’ and why she’s drawn to grim and morally gray stories.
Feb 02, 2018
Oscar Season: The Snubs and Surprises of the Academy Awards Nominations | The Big Picture (Ep. 45)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, and K. Austin Collins react to the 2018 Oscar nominations. They break down the front-runners, the most shocking snubs, and what to look forward to come March 4. Also: the Academy’s apparent love of fish sex.
Jan 23, 2018
Making Kick-Ass Liam Neeson Movies With Director Jaume Collet-Serra | The Big Picture (Ep. 44)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with director Jaume Collet-Serra to discuss teaming up with movie star Liam Neeson for a fourth time in his new movie, ‘The Commuter’; the difficulties of shooting a movie in a confined space; and why he keeps coming back to genre films.
Jan 12, 2018
The Urgency of ‘The Post’ With Screenwriters Liz Hannah and Josh Singer | The Big Picture (Ep. 43)
The Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with first-time screenwriter Liz Hannah and Academy Award-winning scribe Josh Singer about 'The Post,' their collaboration for Steven Spielberg about the men and women who published the Pentagon Papers in The Washington Post.
Dec 29, 2017
The Best Movies of 2017 | The Big Picture (Ep. 42)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey, Chris Ryan, Amanda Dobbins and K. Austin Collins rank and debate the best movies of 2017.
Dec 22, 2017
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Is Just the Beginning for Rian Johnson | The Big Picture (Ep. 41)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with writer-director Rian Johnson about making ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ putting his own spin on the franchise, and his upcoming spinoff trilogy.
Dec 18, 2017
Was 2007 the Best Year for Film? | The Big Picture (Ep. 40)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey, Chris Ryan, and Andy Greenwald go back to 2007 to discuss the most fascinating year for movies in recent memory.
Dec 15, 2017
Sean Baker’s Wondrous ‘The Florida Project’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 39)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with Sean Baker, who was recently awarded Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle for his latest film, ‘The Florida Project.’ They discuss how Baker tells authentic stories about underrepresented communities, his use of inexperienced actors, and why he prefers making smaller-budget films.
Dec 08, 2017
Errol Morris's Catnip for Conspiracy Theorists | The Big Picture (Ep. 38)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with documentarian Errol Morris to discuss his new Netflix miniseries ‘Wormwood,’ a story of mind control, LSD, the CIA in the 1950s, and murder. They also discuss Morris’s classic works like ‘The Thin Blue Line,’ as well as the day he spent with Donald Trump to discuss the president’s favorite film, 'Citizen Kane.'
Dec 01, 2017
Joe Wright Bounces Back From His Darkest Hour | The Big Picture (Ep. 37)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with director Joe Wright to discuss how he picked himself up after the failure of his 2015 film, ‘Pan,’ to deliver ‘Darkest Hour,’ a Winston Churchill biopic that stars a mesmerizing Gary Oldman. Plus: Wright discusses the changing state of the movie business and why he took the reins on an episode of ‘Black Mirror.’
Nov 22, 2017
The Past, Present, and Future of Superhero Movies | The Big Picture (Ep. 35)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey is joined by fellow Ringer staffers and comic book enthusiasts Jason Concepcion and David Shoemaker to discuss the evolution, the current state, and the future of the movie universes of DC and Marvel.
Nov 17, 2017
Greta Gerwig on ‘Lady Bird,’ One of the Year’s Best Movies | The Big Picture (Ep. 34)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with actor, writer, and director Greta Gerwig to discuss her critically acclaimed film ‘Lady Bird.’ Gerwig shares her years-long writing process, how she casts actors, and a defense of Dave Matthews Band.
Nov 13, 2017
Passing Time With Richard Linklater | The Big Picture (Ep. 33)
Richard Linklater to discuss the impact of war in his new film, ‘Last Flag Flying,’ as well as his tendency to creatively revisit his previous films over time, like with ‘Dazed and Confused,' ‘Before Midnight,’ and ‘Boyhood’ (1:00). Linklater also discusses the state of sexual harassment news in Hollywood (28:00).
Nov 10, 2017
How to Make a Marvel Movie Funny With ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Director Taika Waititi | The Big Picture (Ep. 32)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with Taika Waititi about his transition from small indie comedies in New Zealand to Marvel’s big-budget superhero epic ‘Thor: Ragnarok.’
Nov 03, 2017
Ruben Östlund Is Trying to Provoke You | The Big Picture (Ep. 31)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with filmmaker Ruben Östlund about his new film, ‘The Square,’ satirizing the art world, and why he enjoys toying with audiences.
Oct 27, 2017
Todd Haynes on Growing Up and Going ‘Wonderstruck’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 30)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Todd Haynes to discuss his journey of making movies as a child to channeling youth and finding children to star in his latest film, ‘Wonderstruck.’
Oct 20, 2017
Noah Baumbach and Capturing the American Family | The Big Picture (Ep. 29)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with writer-director Noah Baumbach to discuss his new film, ‘The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)’; creating a serious role for Adam Sandler; Netflix purchasing his film; and how he captures the American family.
Oct 16, 2017
Darren Aronofsky on Pushing the Envelope | The Big Picture (Ep. 28)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky to discuss his polarizing film, ‘Mother!,’ and the art of putting both his characters and the audience under duress.
Oct 11, 2017
Stephen Frears and the Inner Workings of the Royal Family | The Big Picture (Ep. 27)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins break down their favorite films about the British royal family (1:00) before Sean sits down with acclaimed director Stephen Frears to discuss his new film ‘Victoria and Abdul,’ making films about the royals, and his longevity in the industry (10:00).
Sep 29, 2017
Dissecting 'Mother!,' the Most Controversial Movie of the Year | The Big Picture (Ep. 26)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey, Amanda Dobbins, and K. Austin Collins attempt to wrap their heads around Darren Aronofsky’s controversial new film, ‘Mother!’
Sep 22, 2017
Danny Strong and the Recipe for a Classic Biopic | The Big Picture (Ep. 25)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey and executive editor Chris Ryan reveal their favorite biopics and hash out what makes them great (1:00). Then, Sean sits down with writer, actor, and director Danny Strong to discuss his recent J.D. Salinger biopic, ‘Rebel in the Rye,’ and how doubling down on his passion paid off (12:00).
Sep 15, 2017
'It' Director Andy Muschietti on Adapting Stephen King | The Big Picture (Ep. 24)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with Kate Knibbs about Stephen King’s classic horror novel ‘It’ (0:30) before sitting down with Andy Muschietti, who discusses adapting the book for the screen and re-creating the terrifying character Pennywise (6:20).
Sep 08, 2017
Jay Baruchel’s Directorial Debut and Making an Authentic Hockey Movie | The Big Picture (Ep. 23)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with Katie Baker about the best hockey films ever made (0:30) before he sits down with actor and now director Jay Baruchel about making his first film, 'Goon: Last of the Enforcers'; hockey fandom; and filming the perfect hockey fight (6:00).
Sep 01, 2017
Janicza Bravo and Brett Gelman Channel Rejection and Anxiety to Make ‘Lemon’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 22)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey chats with Alison Herman about Janicza Bravo’s approach to uncomfortable comedy and her direction of “Juneteenth,” the instant-classic episode of ‘Atlanta’ (1:00). Then Sean sits down with Bravo and her husband/producing partner, Brett Gelman, to discuss the tumultuous five-year process of getting their film ‘Lemon’ into the world (10:00).
Aug 18, 2017
The Safdie Brothers and ‘Good Time,’ an Instant New York Classic | The Big Picture (Ep. 21)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and K. Austin Collins discuss the Safdie Brothers’ new crime film, ‘Good Time.’ (0:30) Then, Sean sits down with the Josh and Benny Safdie to discuss making a movie starring Robert Pattinson, capturing New York City on-screen, and the frenetic pace of ‘Good Time’ (11:00).
Aug 11, 2017
Taylor Sheridan, 'Wind River,' and How to Write a Killer Movie | The Big Picture (Ep. 20)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan discuss screenwriter Taylor Sheridan’s films ‘Sicario,’ ‘Hell or High Water,’ and his new film, ‘Wind River,’ starring Jeremy Renner (0:40). Then, Sean and Sheridan discuss 'Wind River,' how he depicts raw and realistic scenarios in his movies, and why he decided to get behind the camera (11:00).
Aug 04, 2017
Jenny Slate, Gillian Robespierre, and Elisabeth Holm on ‘Landline’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 19)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Amanda Dobbins discuss Gillian Robespierre’s ‘Obvious Child’ (0:10) and her new film, ‘Landline.’ Then Sean is joined by Robespierre, Jenny Slate, and Elisabeth Holm to discuss growing up in the ’90s, the sacrifices of independent filmmaking, and collaborating on their second project together (10:00).
Jul 21, 2017
Matt Reeves Puts Humanity in ‘The Planet of the Apes’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 18)
The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan discuss the successes and failures of filmmakers who have recently overseen big-budget franchises, such as Matt Reeves’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ series, Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ series, and Christopher Nolan’s sustained run (1:05). Later, Sean sits down with Matt Reeves to discuss the intricate filmmaking process of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ and what to expect from his next movie, ‘The Batman’ (13:30).
Jul 14, 2017
David Lowery’s Strange and Beautiful ‘A Ghost Story’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 17)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey and Vanity Fair film critic Richard Lawson discuss filmmaker David Lowery’s latest, ‘A Ghost Story,’ an unconventional film with an unconventional debut at Sundance (1:00). Later, Sean chats with Lowery about the making of the movie and why he no longer watches his movies or reads his reviews (9:30).
Jul 06, 2017
Female-Powered Comedy With ‘Rough Night’ Creators Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs | The Big Picture (Ep. 16)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey and staff writer Lindsay Zoladz discuss the dearth of female filmmakers in the R-rated comedy space (2:00) before Sean chats with the ‘Rough Night’ writing and directing team of Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs about meeting at the UCB Theatre, developing ‘Broad City,’ and making a studio comedy starring big names like Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, and Zoë Kravitz (17:00).
Jun 16, 2017
Modern Horror and ‘It Comes at Night’ Director Trey Edward Shults | The Big Picture (Ep. 15)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey and film critic K. Austin Collins discuss the emergence of modern horror films like ‘The Witch’ and the increasing emphasis on tone over standard horror tropes (1:00). Then, Sean is joined by Trey Edward Shults, who explains how working through his own darkness led to making his latest film, ‘It Comes At Night’ (15:50).
Jun 08, 2017
Amy Schumer’s Career Arc, and ‘Snatched’ Director Jonathan Levine | The Big Picture (Ep. 14)
Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey discusses comedic storytelling and Amy Schumer’s career arc, from stand-up comedian to movie star, with Jason Zinoman of The New York Times (0:50). Then Sean is joined by filmmaker Jonathan Levine (‘The Wackness,’ ‘50/50’) to discuss collaborating with Schumer on his new comedy, ‘Snatched’, his own career arc, finding his path, and dealing with bad reviews (14:20).
Jun 01, 2017
Doug Liman on ‘The Wall’ and Making Movies His Way | The Big Picture (Ep. 13)
May 15, 2017
Guy Ritchie and the Challenges of Making ‘King Arthur’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 12)

Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey and executive editor Chris Ryan explore the career arc of renowned director Guy Ritchie (0:30) before sitting down with Ritchie (10:00) to discuss the challenges of making his new film, King Arthur, and his personal philosophies surrounding fear, results, and self-confidence.

May 11, 2017
‘Sleight’ Director J.D. Dillard | The Big Picture (Ep. 11)

Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with first-time director J.D. Dillard to discuss how he went from dropping out of school to being on the set of The Force Awakens with J.J. Abrams to debuting his first film, Sleight, at Sundance. Dillard also talks about helming the long-rumored reboot of The Fly.

Apr 28, 2017
'Free Fire’ Director Ben Wheatley | The Big Picture (Ep. 10)

Ringer Editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with director Ben Wheatley to discuss his latest film, Free Fire (0:10), getting sought out by star actors and directors like Armie Hammer and Martin Scorsese (6:40), and striking a balance between entertaining and traumatizing an audience (14:40).

Apr 21, 2017
‘The Lost City of Z’ Director James Gray | The Big Picture (Ep. 9)

Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with acclaimed director James Gray to discuss the high stakes of filming his new movie, The Lost City of Z, in the jungle, the near-impossible task of making a classic film, and why he isn’t interested in making a television series.

Apr 13, 2017
Jake Johnson and Joe Swanberg on Their New Film ‘Win It All’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 8)

The Ringer’s Chris Ryan and Sean Fennessey sit down with actor Jake Johnson and director Joe Swanberg to discuss their new gambling film Win It All, why they wanted to make a movie for Netflix, and what it’s like teaming up for multiple projects.

Apr 07, 2017
‘The Discovery’ Director Charlie McDowell | The Big Picture (Ep. 7)

The Ringer's Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey sits down with director Charlie McDowell to discuss his new film The Discovery (1:55), casting Robert Redford (12:58), being one of Netflix's first major features (21:05) and how to pull off an ending with a twist (18:45).

Mar 31, 2017
Interview With 'Get Out' Director Jordan Peele | The Big Picture (Ep. 6)

Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with writer-director Jordan Peele (of 'Key & Peele' fame) to discuss his new hit film, 'Get Out,' how and why he made it, and its overwhelmingly positive reception. Peele also talks about ideas for alternate scenes and endings as well as his reasoning behind some of the movie's most pivotal moments.

Mar 09, 2017
'A Cure for Wellness' Director Gore Verbinski on Making Something Outside the Box and the Future of the Industry | The Big Picture (Ep. 5)

Gore Verbinski has been directing movies for two decades now, including The Ring, Rango, The Lone Ranger, and the first three Pirates of the Caribbean features. His latest picture, A Cure for Wellness, breaks away from big-budget Hollywood features with a lesser-known cast and unique premise. On the latest Channel 33 episode, he spoke with Sean Fennessey about the joy in making something different and the future of the industry.

Feb 17, 2017
Barry Jenkins on Crafting the Sincerity of ‘Moonlight’ | The Big Picture (Ep. 4)

Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight is one of the heavyweights in this year’s Academy Awards race, racking up eight nominations. The film was the first movie for Jenkins in eight years, and provided particular challenges due to limited funding and time. One way he overcame those obstacles and made his movie unique was by casting non-actors alongside actors, something he discussed with Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey.

Feb 09, 2017
Interview With ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Director Ezra Edelman | The Big Picture (Ep. 3)

Ringer editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Ezra Edelman to discuss the making of O.J.: Made in America, his epic eight-hour Oscar-nominated documentary examining O.J. Simpson’s rise and fall through the lens of race, place, celebrity, and time.

Feb 03, 2017
Interview With ‘20th Century Women’ Director Mike Mills | The Big Picture (Ep. 2)

Mike Mills’s past two films — Beginners and 20th Century Women — have both been semi-autobiographical. Beginners focuses on Mills’s father, who came out at age 75 shortly before his death, while 20th Century Women is based on Mills’s mother as a way to look at the 1970s. On Channel 33, Sean Fennessey talked to Mills about his experience making the films, and how he blends his own childhood with his art.

Jan 19, 2017
Interview With 'Hidden Figures' Director Ted Melfi | The Big Picture (Ep. 1)

The Ringer's Sean Fennessey sits down with Ted Melfi to discuss the success of his latest film, Hidden Figures (1:10), and how it came about (3:19), as well as the difficulties of making an entertaining movie about math (8:00). Melfi also shares what it's like working with Taraji P. Henson (18:27) and Kevin Costner (21:15), getting Pharrell to score his movie (29:20), and how he feels about the "Hidden Fences" mishap (38:45).

Jan 13, 2017