<p>Adam Driver at the 2013&nbsp;Toronto International Film Festival.</p>

Adam Driver at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

'Girls' star Adam Driver reported to be in contention to play Nightwing in 'Batman Vs. Superman'

How many heroes are they packing into this film anyway?

In just a few minutes of screentime, Adam Driver positively crushes it playing a small role in "Inside Llewyn Davis," and I can't wait to see the film again in no small part because I want to see that sequence again. Driver's been a busy man lately, and I suspect that it's just a matter of time until most audiences have seen him in at least one thing.

"Girls" may be a big hit in terms of coverage, but it has been written about far more than it has actually been watched. More than anything, I'm guessing "Girls" has helped put him on the radar of other filmmakers, and now we're going to start seeing much more of him. He's one of the stars of "This Is Where I Leave You," the ensemble comedy by Shawn Levy adapting Jonathan Tropper's novel, and he was in both "The F Word" and "Tracks" at this year's Toronto Film Festival. He was also seen recently in both "Lincoln" and "Frances Ha," all of which indicates that both major commercial filmmakers and respected indie voices are paying attention to Driver's work.

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<p>Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are very good together in the well-made but troubling 'Saving Mr. Banks'</p>

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are very good together in the well-made but troubling 'Saving Mr. Banks'

Credit: Walt Disney Company

Review: Emma Thompson brings real soul to true-life Disney drama 'Saving Mr. Banks'

Corporate mythmaking gets no more canny than this

While "Saving Mr. Banks" is based on the actual events that led to the making of "Mary Poppins," one of the most justifiably beloved films made during the entire time Walt Disney was the actual head of the studio that still bears his name, it is corporate myth-making on a large scale, and some of the choices that were made in telling the story make me uncomfortable. As a piece of entertainment, "Saving Mr. Banks" is very well-made and emotional, but as something that purports to be true, it is disturbing in the way it rewrites actual events.

P.L. Travers, creator of the character Mary Poppins, was a complicated figure by any standards, nearly as complicated as the most famous character she created, and her relationship with Walt Disney was contentious, to say the least. The script by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith covers the broad strokes of their famous interaction and the film makes some very smart observations about the creative process. In particular, Emma Thompson's portrayal of Travers is filled with lovely grace notes, and I'm sure at least part of that is informed by the fact that Thompson is a formidable writer in her own right. She understands the highs and lows of being a writer, and she captures the emotional weather that most writers face in pretty much every moment she's onscreen.

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<p>Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence almost perpetually seem to be on the verge of making an inside joke to each other.</p>

Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence almost perpetually seem to be on the verge of making an inside joke to each other.

Credit: HitFix

Lawrence and Hutcherson think their 'Catching Fire' director is 'too nice' for Hollywood

And how is Katniss like Mystique?

Yes, Jennifer Lawrence has a new haircut.

And, yes, it's freakin' adorable.

One of the reasons people seem to like Lawrence on an almost chemical level is because she seems to present the "real" Jennifer Lawrence in any interview you see, something that is not easy to do. There is a very real and understandable drive to protect some degree of your privacy when you are a public figure, and I don't blame anyone for doing their best to guard parts of themselves.

But Lawrence, simply by virtue of how she carries herself, makes it seem like she's got nothing to hide and no filter with which to hide it. She is outspoken and charming and very direct about things. It helps when she's comfortable, and at this point, I think it's safe to say that she's comfortable when it comes to speaking about anything regarding "The Hunger Games."

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<p>Fans will finally learn what happens after the Skywalker's family saga ends when 'Star Wars:&nbsp;Episode VII' is released on December 18, 2015.</p>

Fans will finally learn what happens after the Skywalker's family saga ends when 'Star Wars: Episode VII' is released on December 18, 2015.

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

'Star Wars Episode VII' finally announces firm release date for December 2015

Is fandom ready for a 'Star Wars' Christmas?

What does a December release mean for a "Star Wars" film?

In practical terms, nothing. The film is the film. There won't be any difference in the film just because they're releasing it on a different date. But in terms of sentiment, it's a huge deal for "Star Wars" fandom, and more than anything, this would seem to announce clearly that this is not all going to be out doing everything the same way it's always been done.

Recently, there was word of a behind-the-scenes struggle between Robert Iger and Kathleen Kennedy over the release date of "Star Wars: Episode VII," with the producer pushing for a possible 2016 release. A December date in 2015 seems to be the best possible compromise, giving director JJ Abrams and his entire creative team more room to get the script ready and put the right amount of polish on the universe.

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<p>Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake play folk singers in the early '60s in the new film 'Inside Llewyn Davis'</p>

Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake play folk singers in the early '60s in the new film 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Credit: CBS Films

Review: The Coen Bros deliver a charming look at early '60s folk music in 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Oscar Isaac puts it all together in his best role yet

The release of a new film by Joel and Ethan Coen is one of those moments that I like to savor each time it happens precisely because none of us have any idea how many more of them we'll get. I feel like they have been on an amazing run recently, and if anything, they're getting more daring, more controlled, more impressive. Their films have a thematic density that is dazzling, and they never seem to be struggling to make something "important," instead simply following their own peculiar muse to consistently interesting effect.

Oscar Isaac stars as Llewyn Davis, a folk singer struggling at the fringe of the scene in Greenwich Village in 1961, and he's facing a moment that any artist who does not find immediate success must face at some point, the question of whether or not to continue working in a field where you are frustrated. Llewyn survives thanks to a complicated economy based on free cigarettes, sleeping on couches, and showing up somewhere just in time to get invited to stay for dinner, and he seems like he's on the verge of breaking through to real success. After all, he sees it happening to the people around him. His friends Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan) are a real draw as a duo, and he feels like he's very close to having a moment of his own if he can just play the right gig.

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<p>Saoirse Ronan gives a strong and confident performance in 'How I Live Now'</p>

Saoirse Ronan gives a strong and confident performance in 'How I Live Now'

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Review: Saoirse Ronan shines in dreamy and deeply felt 'How I Live Now'

Kevin Macdonald gets this adaptation right

"Young-adult literature" did not technically exist when I was a young reader, so it's kind of amazing to see just how huge a piece of the publishing pie the broad genre has become. I've been trying to decide what I think the definition of a young adult novel is, and I think the best version of it has to do with fiction that captures that moment where someone is wrestling with their identity and defining their place in the world. It often seems to be concerned with someone learning a sense of personal responsibility, and while the general trappings of the genre can be ridiculous and exaggerated, like zombies and vampires and werewolves, there is something genuine that they seem to address when they're done well.

Meg Rosoff's "How I Live Now" was well reviewed and won several awards, and while it was a success, no one would ever look at this and think that it's going to become the next "Twilight" or "Hunger Games." Wisely, instead of trying to shoehorn Rosoff's small and delicate book into the wrong shape, the script by Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni, and Penelope Skinner is a modestly-scaled story, and Kevin Macdonald has made a movie that feels like a largely internal journey, a window into the heart of Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), an angry girl who is on the verge of becoming an angry woman before she is sent for a summer to a relative's farm. It's often melodramatic to call something "life-changing," but that's very true in this case, and it's handled with genuine grace and subtlety.

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<p>We voted on our ten favorite Marvel movies, and there's not a single duck from outer space on the list.</p>

We voted on our ten favorite Marvel movies, and there's not a single duck from outer space on the list.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Ranking The 10 Best Marvel Movies So Far

From 'Spider-Man' to 'Blade,' see where your favorites showed up

Making lists is one of those things that unites film fans, and it seems to be an almost reflexive action. "What's that? 'Thor: The Dark World' is coming out? Hmmm… seems like we should rank all the Marvel movies so far."

For the purposes of this particular gallery, the HitFix staff voted on every Marvel title since "Blade" was released, and as always, I was surprised by the final result. It's interesting when we get people like Guy Lodge voting in these because he will flat out tell us that he's not a fanboy, and yet that makes his votes more urgent because he's looking at them as a film fan first.

There were some titles that I was not surprised to see here as well. It does not surprise me to see that the sequels to both "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" still place so high on the list. Those films were both made near the start of this superhero cycle, and there was such an amazing energy about them, about what these filmmakers were starting to recognize as the potential of these movies and these characters. It still shines through when you watch the movies, and that sense of invention is what makes the best of these movies so exciting.

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<p>Wolverine's got a real problem with lead in next summer's 'X-Men:&nbsp;Days Of Future Past'</p>

Wolverine's got a real problem with lead in next summer's 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Hugh Jackman and James Mangold sign on for another bloody 'Wolverine' adventure

We examine what this news means to the franchise

At this point, someone might want to check to see if Hugh Jackman still knows for sure that he's not really Wolverine.

Chris Eggertsen and I decided to discuss today's surprising news about James Mangold and Hugh Jackman both working together on a new "Wolverine" sequel, and I think it's a solid look at some of the biggest ramifications of the news. In the meantime, if you loved the movie, there's going to be even more of it when it arrives on home video.

If you're enjoying our new emphasis on video (or if you're not), I'd love to hear some feedback from you about it. We'll be doing more and more as we settle into HitFix Headquarters in the heart of Hollywood.

"The Wolverine" will be on Blu-ray and DVD on December 3, 2013.

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<p>Elizabeth Henstridge gets her chance to shine on this week's dramatic episode of 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'</p>

Elizabeth Henstridge gets her chance to shine on this week's dramatic episode of 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

The 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' confront death in the most dramatic episode yet

Can the show get away with happy endings every week?

Death must be a part of this show, even more than any of the other Whedonverse shows. If you are willing to work in this world, and if you are willing to put yourself on the line, then we must see that death can happen, and that's just part of it. For that to work, though, there can't be a cheat code that will always save every cast member. If you're not willing to destroy the status quo, then none of it matters.

Having said that, tonight's episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." is the first time I've felt any emotional connection to the show, and it seems like it establishes some key things about these characters in a more direct way than we've seen so far.

For example, I was getting tired of the "Fitz carrying a torch for Skye" thing after just a few weeks of it. It feels like very familiar ground, and I don't just want to see earlier Whedon characters renamed and plugged into this show. Xander's crush on Buffy was fine for a while, but that show learned quickly that he couldn't just pine away for her forever. It's a dead end for a character.

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<p>Cobie Smulders seems more than ready to sign up for as many Marvel movies as possible.</p>

Cobie Smulders seems more than ready to sign up for as many Marvel movies as possible.

Credit: HitFix

Cobie Smulders says you always say yes when superheroes come calling

Maria Hill will be back in several new Marvel movies, and Smulders seems thrilled

I'm curious to see how filmmakers cast Cobie Smulders in the future. She's had an interesting decade with "How I Met Your Mother" launching her to prominence. A mere ten years ago, she was one of the young stars of ABC's flash-in-a-pan series "Veritas: The Quest," but once she was part of the break-out ensemble comedy that's wrapping things up with a controversial final season right now, it seems like she would suddenly start getting bigger roles.

Oddly, that's not how it has played out. I like "The Slammin' Salmon," and I think she's funny in it, but that's the biggest film role she played before "The Avengers," where she made her first appearance as Maria Hill. "Delivery Man" is still a smaller supporting role, but it's a step in the right direction. Next year, she's starring in a David Wain comedy along with some folks like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Shannon, Ed Helms, and Christopher Meloni. In addition, she's the voice of Wonder Woman for "The LEGO Movie," and she'll be back as Hill for the S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

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