Joe Gross

Books & culture reporter

Joe Gross writes about movies, books, music and popular culture for the Austin American-Statesman. He's worked for the American-Statesman since 2002 and has contributed to Rolling Stone, Spin and other publications. He lives in Austin with his family.

Latest from Joe Gross

Austin’s Scott Von Doviak digs into Boston’s past in new crime novel
 Scott Von Doviak has lived in Austin since 1996. Which practically makes him a native — at least by the standards of an era in which more and more folks flow into town every year about a month or so after South by Southwest makes them say, “Wow, Austin rocks!” But his excellent new crime novel, “Charlesgate Confidential...

Posted: 4 days ago

Scott Von Doviak has lived in Austin since 1996. Which practically makes him a native — at least by the standards of an era in which more and more folks flow into town every year about a month or so after South by Southwest makes them say, “Wow, Austin rocks!” But his excellent new crime novel, “Charlesgate Confidential...
‘Bad Times at the El Royale,’ Tenacious D coming to Fantastic Fest
 Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” will close this year’s Fantastic Fest. And Tenacious D is showing up. “Bad Times” seems aesthetically fitting, what with 1990s filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez having a long association with Fantastic Fest’s parent company and &ldquo...

Posted: 4 days ago

Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times at the El Royale” will close this year’s Fantastic Fest. And Tenacious D is showing up. “Bad Times” seems aesthetically fitting, what with 1990s filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez having a long association with Fantastic Fest’s parent company and &ldquo...
Is ‘A Simple Favor’ a thriller or a comedy or what?
 The debate about “A Simple Favor” will likely center around one question: At what point in the often thoroughly enjoyable semi-comic thriller does it shift tonally from elevated Lifetime Movie of the Week (which is not a knock) to overly goofy, in a way that reminds you that, yes, this was directed by Paul Feig, the guy behind...

Posted: 5 days ago

The debate about “A Simple Favor” will likely center around one question: At what point in the often thoroughly enjoyable semi-comic thriller does it shift tonally from elevated Lifetime Movie of the Week (which is not a knock) to overly goofy, in a way that reminds you that, yes, this was directed by Paul Feig, the guy behind...
‘The Front Runner’ will close Austin Film Festival; second wave of films announced
 “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as former presidential candidate Gary Hart, will close the Austin Film Festival, it was announced today.   Director Jason Reitman will be on hand to discuss the movie, which chronicles the rise and fall of the exceptionally talented senator who was the front-runner for the Democratic...

Posted: 5 days ago

“The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as former presidential candidate Gary Hart, will close the Austin Film Festival, it was announced today.   Director Jason Reitman will be on hand to discuss the movie, which chronicles the rise and fall of the exceptionally talented senator who was the front-runner for the Democratic...
Superheroes, slashers and a star is born (again): 40 movies to watch for this fall
 Welcome to autumn, when studios large and small traditionally roll out the quality pictures and indies don’t feel the relentless competition of summer blockbusters (“Sorry to Bother You,” “Blindspotting” and “Eighth Grade” notwithstanding). Until December, that is, which might as well be a second...

Posted: 6 days ago

Welcome to autumn, when studios large and small traditionally roll out the quality pictures and indies don’t feel the relentless competition of summer blockbusters (“Sorry to Bother You,” “Blindspotting” and “Eighth Grade” notwithstanding). Until December, that is, which might as well be a second...
‘John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection’ is an ace
 “John McEnroe wasn’t all that tall, and he was arguably the best serve-and-volley man of all time, but then McEnroe was an exception to pretty much every predictive norm there was. At his peak (say 1980-1984), he was the greatest tennis player who ever lived – the most talented, the most beautiful, the most tormented: a...

Posted: 12 days ago

“John McEnroe wasn’t all that tall, and he was arguably the best serve-and-volley man of all time, but then McEnroe was an exception to pretty much every predictive norm there was. At his peak (say 1980-1984), he was the greatest tennis player who ever lived – the most talented, the most beautiful, the most tormented: a...
Texas Book Festival announces 2018 author lineup
 Journalist Susan Orlean, science fiction author John Scalzi, comedian Phoebe Robinson, astronaut Scott Kelly and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro are just a few of the authors who will be in Austin in October for the 23rd Texas Book Festival, festival organizers said Wednesday. More than 280 writers — including novelists...

Posted: 19 days ago

Journalist Susan Orlean, science fiction author John Scalzi, comedian Phoebe Robinson, astronaut Scott Kelly and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro are just a few of the authors who will be in Austin in October for the 23rd Texas Book Festival, festival organizers said Wednesday. More than 280 writers — including novelists...
Dale Watson looking for extras for ‘Yellow Rose’ (Note: not THE Yellow Rose)
 Dale Watson is in the middle of filming a feature called “Yellow Rose” (based on the 2017 short film “Yellow Rose,” in which Watson also starred) and the man is looking for extras. From his Facebook page: "Do you want to come be an extra in a Dale Watson movie? We are filming a movie called Yellow Rose about...

Posted: 26 days ago

Dale Watson is in the middle of filming a feature called “Yellow Rose” (based on the 2017 short film “Yellow Rose,” in which Watson also starred) and the man is looking for extras. From his Facebook page: "Do you want to come be an extra in a Dale Watson movie? We are filming a movie called Yellow Rose about...
Regina Hall shines in the smart, sweet ‘Support the Girls’
 Andrew Bujalski’s charming “Support the Girls” opens with some seriously boring Austin. This isn’t the impossibly cool, overeducated and underemployed Austin of 1989 in “Slacker,” nor the retro ’70s Austin of “Dazed and Confused” or the Austin-playing-the-Permian-Basin of “Friday...

Posted: 26 days ago

Andrew Bujalski’s charming “Support the Girls” opens with some seriously boring Austin. This isn’t the impossibly cool, overeducated and underemployed Austin of 1989 in “Slacker,” nor the retro ’70s Austin of “Dazed and Confused” or the Austin-playing-the-Permian-Basin of “Friday...
William ‘James T. Kirk’ Shatner coming to Austin in January
   SHAAAAAAAAATNER! SHAAAAAAAAAATNER! William Shatner -- Captain James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker and the man whose face became the mask that Michael Meyers uses in “Halloween,” among other credits  - is coming to Bass Concert Hall Jan. 12 for a conversation following a screening of the almighty “Star Trek II: The Wrath...

Posted: 26 days ago

  SHAAAAAAAAATNER! SHAAAAAAAAAATNER! William Shatner -- Captain James T. Kirk, T.J. Hooker and the man whose face became the mask that Michael Meyers uses in “Halloween,” among other credits  - is coming to Bass Concert Hall Jan. 12 for a conversation following a screening of the almighty “Star Trek II: The Wrath...