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5 new releases we love: A luminous rap record, a rejuvenating prelude to summer, and more 5 new releases we love: A luminous rap record, a rejuvenating prelude to summer, and more

There’s a lot of music out there. To help you cut through all the noise, every week The A.V. Club is rounding up A-Sides, five recent releases we think are worth your time. You can listen to these and more on Spotify.

Lizzo loves herself, and learns to love somebody else, on the empowered yet tender Cuz I Love You Lizzo loves herself, and learns to love somebody else, on the empowered yet tender Cuz I Love You

Three years after breaking into the popular consciousness (if not the Billboard charts) with “Good As Hell”—a song that you’ve probably heard, even if you don’t recognize its title—Lizzo’s time has come. Freshly signed to Atlantic Records, Lizzo specializes in R&B/pop empowerment anthems in the Beyoncé mold, with a…

Chicago, it's a Long Shot, and you can see it early and for free Chicago, it's a Long Shot, and you can see it early and for free

“Seth Rogen dates way above his pay grade” is practically a comedy subgenre of its own at this point. This time around, he’s playing Fred Flarsky, a political writer who reconnects with his unrequited childhood crush, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who also happens to be the sitting U.S. Secretary of State, in…

Shudder picks up Guillermo del Toro-approved festival hit Tigers Are Not Afraid Shudder picks up Guillermo del Toro-approved festival hit Tigers Are Not Afraid

After a festival run that began with its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in 2017 and stretched out for nearly a year and a half, Mexican writer-director Issa López’s excellent magical realist horror-fantasy Tigers Are Not Afraid is finally set to make its U.S. debut. It will do so courtesy of AMC’s horror streaming…

Nick Kroll is...Simon the Devious on an accident-prone What We Do In The Shadows Nick Kroll is...Simon the Devious on an accident-prone What We Do In The Shadows

The rest of the episode was perfectly fine, but this week What We Do In The Shadows featured a guest star whose first appearance on screen prompted a row of exclamation points and some enthusiastic underlining in my notes. Nick Kroll is always hilarious, and his one-episode arc as Manhattan vampire king Simon the…

Romeo and Juliet are reborn in Kenya in the vibrant lesbian romance Rafiki Romeo and Juliet are reborn in Kenya in the vibrant lesbian romance Rafiki

From its opening frames, Rafiki is bursting with life. Introduced riding her skateboard through the streets of Nairobi, Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) observes the sensual delights that surround her. Bright red peppers being chopped into juicy bits at a food stall. Cassava root being peeled and pounded into flour. The…

Hail Satan? is an insider look at an activist movement born to raise hell Hail Satan? is an insider look at an activist movement born to raise hell

What makes a religion, anyway? Historically, Christian churches have served as community centers for their congregants, provided those congregants conformed to a certain moral code. More recently, thanks to the evangelical movement’s (re)positioning of itself as the “moral majority” in the wake of Roe v. Wade, those…

No twist, we're just giving away M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable trilogy on Blu-ray No twist, we're just giving away M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable trilogy on Blu-ray

Earlier this year, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan completed a film trilogy that was technically 19 years in the making—except no one really knew it was supposed to be a trilogy until 2017, when the connection between Split and 2000's Unbreakable was revealed in one of the filmmaker’s signature third-act twists.…

Horror legend Barbara Crampton to lead the audiobook cast of Fangoria's Our Lady Of The Inferno Horror legend Barbara Crampton to lead the audiobook cast of Fangoria's Our Lady Of The Inferno

Preston Fassel’s novel Our Lady Of The Inferno marked the return of Fangoria magazine’s storied book imprint back in September. Now, the book, which we said “transfers the punchy midcentury pulp aesthetic to the equally grimy milieu of New York City in the early ’80s,” is preparing to bring its grimy…

How season 8’s premiere mirrors Game Of Thrones’ very first episode

There were a lot of parallels between season eight’s premiere and the very first episode of Game Of Thrones. Royalty arrives in Winterfell. Someone asks where Arya is. Jaime and Bran meet. The White Walkers arrange body parts into designs. We even get a throwback sexposition scene (sex + exposition, a hallmark of…

Weekend Box Office: Hellboy has a Little competition Weekend Box Office: Hellboy has a Little competition

Box-office receipts are often sobering reminders for critics that our opinions maybe aren’t as powerful as we like to think they are. But it’s tempting to wonder if the underperformance of Hellboy at the domestic box office this past weekend had anything to do with the gleeful dunking Rotten Tomatoes (and, therefore,…

Jon Favreau unveils footage from The Mandalorian at Star Wars Celebration Jon Favreau unveils footage from The Mandalorian at Star Wars Celebration

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and what can only be described as a nonviolent, Star Wars-themed gang of “Mandalorian Mercs” welcomed Jon Favreau on stage for The Mandalorian panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, a presentation that gave attendees a first look at the upcoming Disney+ live-action series.

Disney teases Paul Reubens, cantina hits, and "space shawarma" at Galaxy's Edge Disney teases Paul Reubens, cantina hits, and "space shawarma" at Galaxy's Edge

Day three of Star Wars Celebration Chicago kicked off with a panel about the Galaxy’s Edge attractions Disneyland and Disney World are preparing for launch later this summer. Hosted by a geeked-out Josh Gad, the presentation was about as high on branding and corporate partnerships as one might expect—one of the big…

The first trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker has arrived

After spoiling us with new Star Wars movies in December 2015, 2016, and 2017, Lucasfilm and Disney sat out the end of 2018 without substantial hints about what our friends Rey, Finn, and BB-8 have been up to since The Last Jedi blew up everything we thought we knew about Star Wars. Finally, though, we have our first…

Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker is revealed at Star Wars Celebration Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker is revealed at Star Wars Celebration

The title of the ninth official chapter of the Star Wars saga—and the final chapter in the Skywalker series—was announced today in Chicago, at an arena presentation that marked the main event of this year’s Star Wars Celebration. The full title of the film will be Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker.

Littlefinger gets what's coming to him, and a new generation takes control Littlefinger gets what's coming to him, and a new generation takes control

Lord Petyr Baelish, a.k.a. Littlefinger, Lord Protector of the Vale and a real sneaky bastard, finally gets what’s coming to him.

Investigative journalist Billy Jensen has a vision for “true crime 2.0” Investigative journalist Billy Jensen has a vision for “true crime 2.0”

The first time I heard of Billy Jensen was when I read I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, Michelle McNamara’s posthumous book detailing her dogged attempts to catch the serial killer she dubbed “The Golden State Killer.” After McNamara died suddenly in April 2016, Jensen—a journalist and friend of McNamara’s— joined her…

Erotic topiary gives What We Do In The Shadows a comedic boost Erotic topiary gives What We Do In The Shadows a comedic boost

I didn’t realize how badly I needed a Matt Berry monologue about erotic topiary in my life until it happened. Bolstered by Berry’s hilarious cold open—I about spit out my Diet Coke when he proudly said, “my mother!”—this week’s episode of What We Do In The Shadows went by just as fast as last week’s, but felt more…

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