iOS app Android app

Ben Mankiewicz

Entries by Ben Mankiewicz

Appreciating Ernest Borgnine: From the Packers to Pancakes

(37) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 11:58 AM

It is the only piece of celebrity memorabilia I display. It is an old-school, type-written letter, held up on my refrigerator by magnets of Elizabeth Taylor from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on one side and Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron from An American in Paris on the other....

Read Post

Forget the Twitter Hate: Little Boy Writes Beautiful Letter to Kyle Williams

(67) Comments | Posted January 26, 2012 | 1:36 PM

Twitter is busy reminding us what's wrong with sports and more specifically, sports fans.

Thanks to Owen Shure, seven years old from Los Angeles, we have an example of what's right.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams, 23 years old from San Jose, is now well known to...

Read Post

Why Clarence Clemons Matters to Race Relations

(9) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 10:36 AM


Iconic is a wildly overused word, but the cover photo of Born to Run -- Bruce Springsteen grinning and leaning on Clarence Clemons' broad shoulder -- is a powerful and memorable picture, one that meets the standard for iconic rock n' roll images....

Read Post

Memorial Day, Father's Day and Getting Dad to Talk World War II

(19) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 9:08 AM

Every morning my father would wake up, walk over to his car and urinate all over his tires.

He was peeing for his country.

I suppose I should explain it was the winter of 1945 along the Siegfried Line and my dad was helping to hold positions won by...

Read Post

Mel Gibson, Transexuals and 5 Other Things (Good and Bad) About The Hangover 2

(16) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 5:41 PM

The Hangover Part II is getting a bad rap. Don't get me wrong, it's not, you know, "good." But it has no business being at 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The vehemence of the negativity is steeped in the success and originality of the first film.

And no...

Read Post

Mitchell Page: What to Do When Your Boyhood Hero Dies

(17) Comments | Posted March 14, 2011 | 2:15 PM

I'd met him only once, in passing. He didn't know my name or anything about me. He was a 59-year-old alcoholic who'd been battling those demons for years, probably decades.

But Mitchell Page was a huge part of my life, casting a shadow nearly as large as any friend or...

Read Post

The 10 Best Non-Independent Movies of 2010

(33) Comments | Posted January 3, 2011 | 2:30 PM

First of all, my headline is a lie. Sorry. There are 11 movies on my top-10 list because I've spent my whole life putting off tough decisions and I think this list ought to reflect my character flaw.

The other part of the headline is the truth. You will find...

Read Post

Born to Rank: The Top 25 Bruce Springsteen Songs

(176) Comments | Posted September 22, 2010 | 2:49 PM

November 16 -- that's Christmas, Hanukkah (Hannakuh? Channukah? I'm a horrible Jew) and a birthday all rolled up in one for Springsteen fans. The box set of Darkness on the Edge of Town, his fourth album, hits stores. Not only does it include the remastered record, but 21 unreleased songs...

Read Post

Why the World Cup Is Better Than Twilight

(17) Comments | Posted July 1, 2010 | 10:53 AM

Let me make this clear right at the start: I don't like soccer... and I don't like Twilight either. I don't like soccer because I wasn't born in Germany, Brazil, England or Ghana. I was born in Washington, DC -- where we play baseball, basketball and football (poorly, I might...

Read Post

A Nightmare on Elm Street -- Wildly Inappropriate (And Also Bad)

(38) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 8:37 PM

There's really no comparing the latest rendition of A Nightmare on Elm Street to Wes Craven's now-iconic 1984 slasher film. The original is far better and mind you, I say this having never actually -- you know -- seen the original. Nonetheless, I'm certain of this for very serious reasons,...

Read Post

Scorsese vs. Polanski: Finally Some Real Movies, Shutter Island and Ghost Writer

(3) Comments | Posted February 19, 2010 | 9:06 AM

Martin Scorsese one night. Roman Polanski the next. It isn't often you get to see fresh work by a couple of Oscar winning directors on back to back evenings. Scorsese's Shutter Island, then Polanski's The Ghost Writer. It's one of the pleasures of being a film critic.

(One of...

Read Post

Amy Adams, Michael Cera and Why Movies Suck in January

(14) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 10:46 AM

First and foremost, I wanted to apologize to my mother for using the word "suck" in the headline. Then I remembered she'll never read this because she doesn't own a computer, or as she calls them, without an ounce of sarcasm - and I swear this is true - an...

Read Post

Forget 16-0 -- The Colts Need to be Punished for Unsportsmanlike Conduct

(92) Comments | Posted January 1, 2010 | 2:49 PM

The good people of Indianapolis appear disconsolate - crestfallen even - over Jim Caldwell and Bill Polian's decision to remove all the team's players who are good at football and replace them with players who are good at knitting. Of course, most of us don't live in Indianapolis.


Read Post

Top 11 -- Yes, 11 -- Movies of 2009

(294) Comments | Posted December 28, 2009 | 10:41 AM

I've decided to take a stand in 2010. Not an important one, mind you, like on health care or climate change or banking reform or torture. No, I'll take my stand on numbers.

Enough with top 10 lists. What's so special about 10 anyway? It's just a number, no...

Read Post

Travolta and Williams Make You Nostalgic for Battlefield Earth

(3) Comments | Posted December 7, 2009 | 9:13 AM

Over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, Old Dogs made $24 million, not exactly a blockbuster, but with a budget of $35 million, once this "film" (I promised myself years ago I'd stop using air-quote marks in speech and when writing -- a promise I've sadly failed to keep) is finished stealing...

Read Post

New Moon Hits New Low In Boredom

(68) Comments | Posted November 30, 2009 | 1:49 PM

They say New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight series, is a single-day box office champion, knocking Batman off his perch. Most money ever made in a single day by any film. Ever. Which is weird, because New Moon isn't just one of the dullest movies ever made. It's...

Read Post