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AuthorPhoto_Joe Leydon

Joe Leydon


JOE LEYDON is an award-winning film critic for Variety, the premier showbiz newspaper and website, and an adjunct professor at Houston Community College and University of Houston.  He also is a blogger at, a contributing writer for MovieMaker magazine, communications director for Cowboys & Indians magazines, a Q&A host at the Denver and Nashville film festivals, a contributing critic for Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, and author of the book Joe Leydon’s Guide to Essential Movies You Must See (Michael Wiese Productions). From 1982 until 1995, he was film critic for The Houston Post. From 1995 until 1999, he was a film critic and entertainment reporter for KPRC-TV. (Several interviews he did with celebrities during this period can be seen on YouTube.) More recently, he has reviewed films and DVDs forThe San Francisco Examiner,, The Katy Courier and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Leydon also has written for New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Boston Globe, The Toronto Star and Austin American-Statesman. He has appeared as a guest on the television programs Countdown with Keith Olbermann, At the Movies, Kudlow & Cramer andMSNBC Live.  A New Orleans native, Leydon earned a BA degree in Journalism at Loyola University in N.O., and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications Studies at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston.  He is the proud father of George Leydon, who is an outstanding young man almost entirely because of his mother, Anne Sarsonas Leydon.  

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Cinco de Mayo Movies

From rampaging mummies to Salma Hayek's global debut, 5 great movies to toast Cinco de Mayo

By Joe Leydon

What should a cineaste watch while celebrating Cinco de Mayo? There are mucho options, to be sure, but here are five diversas peliculas that run the gamut from warm and ...

Best & Worst Oscar Moments

Oscars 2014: Best and worst moments, including Matthew McConaughey's victory dance

By Joe Leydon

After devoting most of the last six months handicapping the Oscar race, movie bloggers likely will spend most of the next 36 hours trashing Sunday’s evening’s Academy Awards ...

That Kooky Academy

Oscar snubs and surprises: 3-way race for Best Picture but no love for Disney

By Joe Leydon

It strikes me as entirely apt, and deliciously ironic, that I started out Thursday morning by doing a phone interview with legendary jockey Calvin Borel for an upcoming issue of ...

Drunken Golden Globes

Drunk stars galore (and one gentleman Leo) prevail at sloshy Golden Globes

By Joe Leydon

I have to ask: Was Leonardo DiCaprio the only major star not inebriated at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards? Don’t get me wrong: I’m not so prudish ...

Gifts for Film Buffs

8 last-minute gift suggestions for movie lovers (and proud Texans)

By Joe Leydon

Yes, Virginia, you still have time to select appropriate presents for the movie lovers on your Christmas list. Here are eight recommendations, ranging from a 2013 release of special interest ...

All About Oscar

The Butler didn't do it: Golden Globe nominations sort out Oscar favorites

By Joe Leydon

The Golden Globe nominations were announced December 12, and you know what that means, right? Not that snobbish film critics will start making jokes about the taste and intelligence of ...

Top Holiday Films

10 don't-miss movies of the holiday season

By Joe Leydon

We have made a list — and checked it twice — to ascertain what’s in store for audiences during the holiday movie season. It’s quite possible that one or two ...

Movie Matters

Saturday Night Live star finds the joy of playing it straight in Nebraska

By Joe Leydon

After years of broadly comical hijinks as a worthy successor to the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players, Will Forte is ready for his close-up as a serious dramatic ...

Actor Gone Too Soon

Before his tragic death, Paul Walker gave the performance of his career

By Joe Leydon

At the time he was killed November 30 in a Los Angeles auto mishap at the ridiculously young age of 40, Paul Walker was less than two weeks away from ...

50 Years Later

The day JFK died: TV anchor recalls exclusive interview with assassin's mother

By Joe Leydon

Last weekend, Bob Schieffer returned to the scene of the crime. The veteran CBS newsman and longtime Face the Nation host was in Dallas — specifically, in the former Texas Schoolbook ...

The Oscar Race Is On

Texas films and other Oscar hopefuls crowd Toronto International Film Festival roster

By Joe Leydon

Each year, organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival dazzle tens of thousands of filmmakers, journalists and ticket-buying movie buffs by programming the most important event of its kind in ...

Funny Lady Lake

Lake Bell finds the funny on both sides of the camera in In a World...

By Joe Leydon

In a world where talented but underemployed people often become multitaskers to control their own destiny, Lake Bell has given herself a world-class showcase — and created something hugely entertaining in ...

A Waste of Star Talent

Lee Daniels' The Butler fails to deliver on tragic and triumphant story

By Joe Leydon

The newly released Lee Daniels’ The Butler is just good enough to make you wish it were much better. The film — originally known simply as The Butler before a protracted ...

Woody Allen Winner

Cate Blanchett shines in title role of shocking and mysterious Blue Jasmine

By Joe Leydon

There is more than a hint of Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois in the title character Cate Blanchett plays so precisely and affectingly in Blue Jasmine (at Cinemark West Plano), Woody ...

Springsteen & I

Crowd-sourced rockumentary captures Bruce Springsteen fan fervor

By Joe Leydon

Call it a crowd-sourced rockumentary, and you won’t be far off the mark. Springsteen & I — which screens Monday, July 22, and Tuesday, July 30, in Dallas and some 500 ...

Mondo Cinema

R.I.P.D.: At least this loud and clunky movie doesn't suck

By Joe Leydon

As expensive and useless as something you’d buy in a duty-free store, R.I.P.D. appears to be the work of filmmakers who saw Men in Black at ...

Movies Are My Life

Unfinished Song is a movie about old people worth watching

By Joe Leydon

Years before he became a fanboy icon while demanding kneeling by puny humans as General Zod in Superman II — and decades before he flaunted his versatility as an acerbic transsexual ...

Avoid Bad Flicks

10 summer movies you need to see

By Joe Leydon

The big news at the megaplexes during the long Memorial Day weekend was the box-office face-off between two highly hyped sequels: Fast & Furious 6, yet another guilty-pleasure installment in the ...

At the Movies

Frances Ha is another labor of love for indie filmmaker Noah Baumbach

By Joe Leydon

If Frances Ha (at Angelika Film Center Dallas) had not been filmed in relative secrecy — as the New York Times recently noted, few knew of its existence until its surprise ...

At the Movies

Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron banter about each other and At Any Price

By Joe Leydon

Henry Whipple, the Iowa farmer and seed salesman played by Houston native Dennis Quaid in Ramin Bahrani’s quietly devastating At Any Price (now playing at The Magnolia), tries just ...

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