pre taxi driver*
One of the best mindfuck movies ever (up there with Mulholland Dr., Inception, and its ilk), and Gilliam manages to get Willis to give a great performance. It’s brilliantly written, and all three actors are great. But what’s truly incredible is how Gilliam did it. He didn’t have a whole lot of time, or money, but he makes it look and feel truly extraordinary. A truly great film.
When I started this, I though, "Really? This is Ridley Scott's best film in between Blade Runner and Gladiator? This seems like a scene out of the sitcom based on Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." But Scott Directs Sarandon, Davis, and Pitt into three great performances, and one of the most memorable (if overblown) finales of all time. Thelma & Louise lives up to its hype.
Obviously technically brilliant, and filled with some of the most iconic shots of all time, Citizen Kane still must be judged with other films. And it's a bloody brilliant piece of filmmaking, enthralling and interesting. Occasionally melodramatic, but never dull, Citizen Kane lives up to its title as Greatest Film Ever.
One of the best films to come out of the ’70s, and one of Jack Nicholson’s best performances. Five Easy Pieces is a subtler film than one first expects, and Bob Rafaelson and Carole Eastman do a brilliant job of telling its story. And that ending was one of the best-written endings in all of cinema.
Not as godawful as some reviews would have one think, but nowhere near as good as it should’ve been, with that cast and director. Honestly, the only funny bits were Flight of the Conchords alums Jemaine Clement and Kristin Schaal. I’d see a spin-off with those two any day.
A well-made, entertaining thriller that occasionally crosses the border to torture porn, Unthinkable is slightly outdated in terms of its politics, but the acting is top-notch. Samuel L. Jackson uses all the intensity he posses, and Carrie-Anne Moss is subtler than one would expect from the former Trinity. Michael Sheen, always excellent, is wasted here, but they can’t all be perfect.
A fairly conventional biopic saved by multiple brilliant performances (especially by Fry and Sheen). Unfortunately, the movie (and its writer) can't live up to Wilde himself, but that doesn't matter. Fry captures him so perfectly that you may forget you're watching a movie. And then you realize you are, once again, once Ioan Gruffudd starts to try to act.
Not quite as amazing as The Deal or The Queen (the absence of Stephen Frears is sorely felt), The Special Relationship is still a very funny, very well-written and acted political docudrama.
Quietly brilliant, and quite possibly the least showy film about British politics out there. Obviously, it's not an ornate costume drama á la Elizabeth, but the actors understand the material so well that they don't feel any need to be showy about their performances. Helen Mirren, of course, is a goddess as The Queen, but Michael Sheen and Helen McCrory are very excellent as well.
A brilliantly written and excellently realised drama about the Blair/Brown struggles. Michael Sheen and David Morrissey (in particular) are excellent, and Stephen Frears directs Peter Morgan's script beautifully.
One of the greatest and most influential films ever. Murnau is a master of suspense, and Schreck creates one of the scariest and most disconcerting characters of all time in Count Orlok. For an example of its wide influence, SpongeBob SquarePants has a running gag involving Orlok.
An atmospheric, yet confusing adaptation of Wilde’s novel. Barnes is certainly beautiful enough for the role of Gray, but his is a confusing performance. Firth shows up and steal the scene by just being there, and the ever-lovely Rebecca Hall makes an appearance. Only Ben Chaplin seems entirely out of place as Basil.
A perfectly nice, genial, corny British romcom that happens to have three young actors on the top of their respective games. Also, an odd turn by a pre-Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch in which he gets punched repeatedly.
Hot Fuzz by way of The Wire. One of the best miniseries' ever, with a brilliant leading turn by Andrew Garfield, and brilliant support by David Morrissey, Rebecca Hall, and especially Sean Bean.
One of the more moving movies I've seen recently (less the terrible 80s-centric score, but they can't all be perfect), The Accused is a poignant and well-acted legal revenge drama. Jodie Foster won her first Oscar for it, and it's easy to see why.
One of Scorsese's rawest, truest dramas about a single mother trying to make end's meet. Ellen Burstyn is a revelation as Alice Hyatt, the "singing waitress", and there's an awesome, post-Taxi Driver Jodie Foster cameo thrown in for good measure.
One of the best whodunits ever, elevated by two brilliant central performances. Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter is a masterclass in acting, and Jodie Foster's Clarice Starling is one of the best protagonists ever written
Such a charming, sweet movie. 100% of the credit for its charm, though, comes from its brilliant star, Audrey Hepburn. In one of cinema's greatest ambiguous characters, she makes existentialism look downright fun. And at this point in American culture, you have to see Breakfast. I'm glad I did.
A thoroughly ridiculous (and not in the good sense) Western spoof. It seems like it should work, but it's too long by about an hour and nothing really works; not the humour, not the actions scenes, and certainly not the unfortunately labyrinthine plot.
If you accept a decent majority of this "true" story as The Men Who Stare At Goats-style movie hokum, The Hunting Party is actually a pretty fun and exciting journalism thriller. Richard Gere and Terrence Howard have excellent chemistry as old journalistic partners, and Diane Kruger has an awesome cameo. Now, about that ending…
New writer Ehren Kruger can't keep up with old scribe Kevin Williamson, but Scream 3 is still a smart, sharp, scary ride. Also, Patrick Dempsey may have missed his calling on Grey's Anatomy. He does a mean homicide detective.
A prickly, well-written, excellently-acted little familial drama from Noah Baumbach (who would go on to do prickly, well-written, etc. familial dramas Margot at the Wedding and Greenberg). Jesse Eisenberg and Jeff Daniels are the highlights, but Laura Linney's overlooked performance is brilliant as well.
Starts (very) well, but it has a saggy middle and a sappy end. Only Russell Brand's magnetic energy, as well as his awesome chemistry with both Helen Mirren and indie darling Greta Gerwig, who, after this and No Strings Attached, needs her own damn romcom.
We can add another sequel to add to Randy's great sequel list: Scream 2. Faster and funnier (if not as original) than the first, Scream 2 amps up the irony-drenched humour, but has a very big heart as well.
And thus begins my watching (finally) of the much lauded Scream franchise. The first installment (generally realised as the best) does not disappoint. It's scary as hell, and funny enough to hold its own with Sam Raimi's great Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn.
A highly potent familial drama with three excellent central performances from Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, and Marisa Tomei. This is one of the "truest" dramas ever, as Roger Ebert put it, and first-time director Todd Field really takes advantage of shooting on location in Maine.
A wildly unfocused, incredibly biased, and worst, unconvincing look at the creation of Israel. Also, if a movies is called "Miral", then why did you make Miral only a passing character, Julian Schnabel?
A fairly large disappointment, from the 93% on RottenTomatoes and the seven Oscars. Oh, well. It's still a funny and touching look at what behind the scenes of Romeo & Juliet could've been, but likely weren't. The acting's hammy on everyone but Judi Dench and Gwenyth Paltrow's parts, and the ending blows. So, it's an Oscar movie.
A thrilling, shocking, and above all, brilliant thriller, Hanna is the best film of Joe Wright's short career. Reteaming with his Atonement star Saoirse Ronan (who is excellent), he makes Hanna the second great film of the year.
A simple and sweet little dramedy that works far better than it has any right to. Also, is unique in the fact that this is the first time I have ever felt roused by a sports movie. Ever.