The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films (150-51)

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Saraband

Saraband


2003 / Sweden-Denmark-Norway-Italy-Finland-Germany-Austria / 120m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Borje Ahlstedt, Julia Dufvenius, Gunnel Fred
"Saraband touches on all the director's abiding themes and echoes a dozen or more of his pictures. There is also a recurrent shade of red in clothes and walls that in Bergman films and stage sets is associated with the interior life. Devastating in its honesty and lack of sentimentality, the film takes place in the idyllic countryside of Dalarna in central Sweden. This entrancing province, however, is only seen through windows and the magical summer light is not exploited for lyrical effect as has been the custom in Swedish cinema for a century… Saraband is a stylistically simple, morally complex movie of Strindbergian intensity, flawlessly performed." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Pascale Ferran, Leonard Keigel, Miguel Marías, Richard Brody, Joseph McBride.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Holy Girl

The Holy Girl

La Niña santa (original title)

2004 / Argentina-Spain-Italy-Netherlands-Switzerland / 103m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Mercedes Moran, Carlos Belloso, Alejandro Urdapilleta, Maria Alche, Julieta Zylberberg, Mia Maestro, Marta Lubos, Arturo Goetz, Alejo Mango, Monica Villa
"Lucrecia Martel's elusive, feverish and altogether amazing second feature takes place at a provincial Argentine hotel during a conference of otolaryngologists. Amalia (Alché), a moody teenager whose divorced mother and sad-sack uncle both work at the hotel, is in the throes of adolescent self-discovery. In Amalia's mind and body, spiritual and sexual impulses seem to mingle like molecules forming a volatile compound… The Holy Girl may occasionally frustrate your desire for clarity and order, but in the end it will reward your patience, and you leave the theater in a state of quiet awe. It is a film that defies categorization, but I'm tempted to call it a miracle." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Paul Julian Smith, Andrew Haigh, Félix Sabroso, Adrian Danks, Alexander Horwath.
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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Le Scaphandre et le papillon (original title)

2007 / France-USA / 112m / Col / Drama, Medical Drama
Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josee Croze, Anne Consigny, Patrick Chesnais, Niels Arestrup, Olatz Lopez Garmendia, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Marina Hands, Max von Sydow
"In the year between the stroke that left him paralyzed and the death from pneumonia that came two days after his memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, was published, Jean-Dominique Bauby told his ex-wife (via the fluttering lash of one eye) that he wanted to see his story on the screen. I think—I know—he’d be over the moon about Julian Schnabel’s movie... Whatever Schnabel’s posturings as a painter, he’s a major film director, alive not only to light and texture but to characters’ emotions—which twist the light and warp the textures and permeate the canvas." - David Edelstein, New York Magazine
Selected by Pierre Lam, Lloyd Michaels, Susanne Bier, Cyrus Frisch, Leonard Maltin.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Capturing the Friedmans

Capturing the Friedmans


2003 / USA / 107m / Col / Family & Personal Relationships, Documentary
Arnold Friedman, Elaine Friedman, David Friedman, Seth Friedman, Jesse Friedman, Howard Friedman, John McDermott, Frances Galasso, Joseph Onorato, Anthony Sgueglia
"So many of us have joked - and in our darkest moments, wondered - exactly what family films would reveal about us and those bound to us by blood… Andrew Jarecki has made exactly that self-absorption the heart of his engagingly evenhanded and intelligently assembled first feature. Essentially, that's what the film is about, the American middle-class obsession with documenting innocuous daily life with eight-millimeter cameras, and now videotape. Mr. Jarecki assembled film from a continuing familial tragedy and shrewdly wove it into a grim, watchable wormhole narrative about a family's decades-long tumble into shattering denial, lies and abuse." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Martyn Pick, Mike D'Angelo, Geoffrey Macnab, David Denby, Michael Atkinson.
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Cafe Lumiere

Café Lumière

Kôhî jikô (original title)

2003 / Japan-Taiwan / 108m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara, Kimiko Yo, Nenji Kobayashi
"The director, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, is famous for his peerlessly beautiful cinema - and infamous for the complexity of his narratives. That reputation was earned in dense masterworks like The Puppetmaster, but Cafe Lumiere is as simple as the sun, as guileless as a glass of water. Conceived in tribute to Ozu, the plot resembles one of the master's domestic melodramas, attenuated to a vanishing point. Were you to blow on Cafe Lumiere, it would surely float right off the screen. Little danger of that: Its skill will take your breath away… A master in thrall to the everyday sublime, Mr. Hou joins Ozu as one of the great shapers of the celluloid art." - Nathan Lee, The New York Sun
Selected by Mia Hansen-Løve, Marcelo Panozzo, Brad Stevens, Marcela Gamberini, Siu Heng.
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Ten

Ten

10 (alternative spelling)

2002 / France-Iran / 92m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Urban Drama
Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Roya Arabshahi, Katayoun Taleidzadeh, Mandana Sharbaf, Armene Moradi
"Breezily naturalistic yet disconcertingly self-reflexive, Abbas Kiarostami’s films deny their audiences the traditional comforts of movie-going… His newest movie is a dependably brainy provocation. Aggressively minimalist but far from stingy with its gifts, Ten is a disarmingly lifelike, yet formally rigorous, road movie. The premise is so simple, it’s high concept: two digital video cameras affixed to a car’s dashboard, one framing the driver, the other the passenger. The entire movie is comprised of conversations—10 in this case—between the two, as the car navigates the eerily familiar streets of downtown Tehran." - Elbert Ventura, PopMatters
Selected by David Robson, Lauren Bliss, Shohini Chaudhuri, J. Hoberman, Geoff Andrew.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Intruder

The Intruder

L'Intrus (original title)

2004 / France-South Korea / 130m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Michel Subor, Gregoire Colin, Yekaterina Golubeva, Bambou, Florence Loiret, Lolita Chammah, Alex Descas, Dong-ho Kim, Se-tak Chang, Hong-suk Park
"It's clear enough that The Intruder is a dying man's long goodbye; whether it's a final accounting of a guilty conscience, a premonition of the hereafter, or a little of both is harder to say. There's a fair chance at least half the movie takes place in the protagonist's head. But Denis declines to distinguish between planes of reality: Fluidly merging an interior and an exterior journey, the film establishes a dreamy parity between memory and anticipation, fact and hallucination... This mysterious object may be Denis's most gorgeous film, but more than that, it's a fearless filmmaker's boldest experiment yet, a direct line from her unconscious to yours." - Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
Selected by Óscar Contreras, Kevin Lee, Florian Schneider, Annett Busch, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Departed

The Departed


2006 / USA-Hong Kong / 152m / Col / Crime, Police Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Corrigan
"The Hong Kong action movie Infernal Affairs has the sort of hook that would fill an arena in the rock world: Two police-academy graduates work as moles on opposite sides of the law… Shot through by his most propulsive storytelling since Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese's remake orchestrates such a perfect balance between these mirroring characters that the film achieves a kind of musical symmetry… The Departed has that Goodfellas pop, from the first-rate cast to the sharp black comedy to the startling incidents of violence. Scorsese is revisiting familiar territory, but the details are still fresh." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Youssef Cherif Rizkallah, Gavin Smith, Andrew Sarris, Ian Christie, Molly Haskell.
See also 1,000 Noir Films
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L'Enfant

L'Enfant

The Child (English title)

2005 / Belgium-France / 95m / Col / Drama, Social Problem Film
Jeremie Renier, Deborah Francois, Jeremie Segard, Fabrizio Rongione, Olivier Gourmet, Anne Gerard, Bernard Marbaix, Jean-Claude Boniverd, Stephane Bissot, Mireille Bailly
"The Dardenne brothers' new film The Child, or L'Enfant, is an example of how cinema has the power to convince, to move and to compel with the fewest possible material resources. It is as gripping as any thriller, with the abrasive force of social-realist drama, and yet it is also unapologetically concerned with redemption - a theme that is just a style accessory in many movies, but is here absolutely authentic. It is a spiritual and even religious story, though religion of any sort is quite absent. In some scenes, it even had this unbeliever fearing for the lead character's immortal soul." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Charles Gant, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Wenke Wegner, Richard Brody, A.O. Scott.
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Memories of Murder

Memories of Murder

Salinui chueok (original title)

2003 / South Korea / 130m / Col / Crime, Police Drama
Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Hae-il Park, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Tae-ho Ryu, No-shik Park, Seo-hie Ko, Mi-seon Jeon
"A police procedural like no other, Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder has the epic aura of a sociographic novel, but you won't see a less pretentious movie this year. Set in 1986 and loosely based on what's been called South Korea's first serial-killer case, the film encourages ambivalences to grow like super-weeds, gumming up what is traditionally experienced as the most logical of narrative pleasures... It's an altogether remarkable piece of work, deepening the genre while whipping its skin off, satirizing an entire nation's nearsighted apathy as it wonders, almost aloud, about the nature of truth, evidence, and social belonging." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Masaaki Oba, Yuki Tanada, Annett Busch, Chris Fujiwara, Gavin Smith.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Lady Bird

Lady Bird


2017 / USA / 94m / Col / Comedy Drama, Coming-of-Age
Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Lois Smith, Stephen Henderson, Odeya Rush, Jordan Rodrigues
"Greta Gerwig's directorial debut stars Saoirse Ronan as a high-school senior struggling to assert her independence in Sacramento.Snappy, spirited and shot through with the pangs and pleasures of leaving childhood behind, Lady Bird is a sharp-witted solo first feature by actress and now writer-director Greta Gerwig. The film abounds with pinpoint insights into its mildly rebellious heroine's hunger to shed the restraints of home and Catholic school and bust into an independent life, and does so with a wealth of keenly observed detail. Modestly scaled but creatively ambitious, it succeeds on its own terms as a piquant audience pleaser." - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
Selected by Wesley Morris, A.O. Scott, Owen Gleiberman, Peter Keough, Stephen Farber.
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Moolaade

Moolaadé


2004 / Senegal-Burkina Faso-Morocco-Tunisia-Cameroon-Switzerland-Germany / 120m / Col / Drama, Social Problem Film
Fatoumata Coulibaly, Maimouna Helene Diarra, Salimata Traore, Dominique Zeida, Mah Compaore, Aminata Dao, Rasmane Ouedraogo, Ousmane Konate, Bakaramoko Sanogo, Modibo Sangare
"Moolaadé, which unfolds in rural West Africa, is a brilliantly effective reworking of old-school agitprop, complete with bravura group theatrics… Presented as a parable, Moolaadé is a work of unpretentious simplicity and formal eloquence. For Sembene, who considers it the most African of his films, Moolaadé follows Faat Kiné (2000) as the second movie in a trilogy on contemporary women… Moolaadé may be didactic, but it never sacrifices play on the altar of preachiness. Drawing on the village's expressive gregariousness, Sembene makes his points through a "naturally" Brechtian combination of masks, musical numbers, and socially constructed characters." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Sheila Johnston, Wanuri Kahiu, Kevin Lee, Luke Robinson, Richard Brody.
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La La Land

La La Land


2016 / USA / 128m / Col / Musical Romance, Romantic Drama
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothe, Sonoya Mizuno, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Tom Everett Scott
"The director of Whiplash delivers a musical romance that rushes from first love to heartache via showtunes, love songs and free jazz. Propelled by charming performances from its leads, it’s a sweet-natured drama that’s full of bounce… It’s an unapologetically romantic homage to classic movie musicals, splashing its poster-paint energy and dream-chasing optimism on the screen. With no little audacity, La La Land seeks its own place somewhere on a continuum between Singin’ in the Rain and Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You, with a hint of Alan Parker’s Fame for the opening sequence." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Gerald Peary, Owen Gleiberman, Marshall Fine, Valérie Donzelli, Dana Stevens.
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Horse Money

Horse Money

Cavalo Dinheiro (original title)

2014 / Portugal / 103m / Col / Culture & Society
Ventura, Vitalina Varela, Tito Furtado, Benvindo Tavares, Antonio Santos, Alberto 'Lento' Barros, Pedro Tavares, Isabel Cardoso, António Semedo, Luiz Mendonça
"The restless spirits of Portugal’s post-colonial underclass stumble dazedly though the wilds of Horse Money, the latest — and in some respects the most striking — of director Pedro Costa’s hallucinatory bulletins from the Lisbon slum known as Fontainhas… Less overtly “difficult” than some of Costa’s work, Horse Money still lacks a traditional narrative structure and demands a patient, inquisitive audience, but the director’s cult of admirers has been growing (as evidenced by a Criterion DVD set of the first three Fontainhas features) and should continue to do so with this strange, hauntingly beautiful effort." - Scott Foundas, Variety
Selected by Nobuhiro Suwa, Yale Gontijo, Eloy Enciso, Guy Maddin, João Pedro Rodrigues.
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My Winnipeg

My Winnipeg


2007 / Canada-USA / 80m / Col-BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Social History
Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Amy Stewart, Louis Negin, Brendan Cade, Wesley Cade, Lou Profeta, Fred Dunsmore, Kate Yacula, Jacelyn Lobay
"Guy Maddin's homage to his home town of Winnipeg is an outstanding and often hilarious piece of film-making… Yes, it's a brief, black-and-white autobiographical essay on the film-maker's home town, an often snowbound burgh in distant Manitoba. But it's also a Guy Maddin film, which means it resembles no documentary you've seen... Probably the only film ever to mix Freud, Proust and a love of ice hockey, My Winnipeg is a joyous, mischievous, hilarious flight of fancy. It's also a strangely profound demonstration of the way film can reanimate faded memory and bring ghosts back to life." - Jonathan Romney, The Independent
Selected by Paula Arantzazu Ruiz, Sandi Tan, Laurie Anderson, Mike D'Angelo, Jonathan Romney.
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Kill Bill Vol. 1

Kill Bill Vol. 1


2003 / USA / 111m / Col-BW / Action Thriller, Martial Arts
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama, Chia Hui Liu, Michael Parks
"Brutally bloody and thrillingly callous from first to last, Kill Bill covers its action in a kind of delirium-glaze. Its storyline rolls out in a simulacrum universe, a place which looks and sounds like planet Earth in the early 21st century, but isn't. It's a martial- arts movie universe where the normal laws of economics, police work, physiology and gravity do not apply: a world composed of a brilliantly allusive tissue of spaghetti western and Asian martial-arts genres, on which the director's own, instantly identifiable presence is mounted as a superstructure… Kill Bill just leaves you feeling excited: pointlessly, wildly excited. How many films can do that?" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Desirée de Fez, Graeme Tuckett, Fernando F. Croce, Milan Pavlovic, Ricardo Luis Alvarez.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Adaptation

Adaptation.


2002 / USA / 114m / Col / Comedy Drama, Satire
Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, Cara Seymour, Brian Cox, Judy Greer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ron Livingston, Jay Tavare
"Spike Jonze and the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman concoct an intricate, scrambled parallel universe populated by anxious, itchy people, some appearing really to exist. The hero is Mr. Kaufman himself (Cage), a screenwriter struggling to adapt The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean's nonfiction meditation on flowers, obsession and Darwinian theory. He is tormented by writer's block and by his twin brother, Donald (also Mr. Cage)… This is a remarkable, impossible movie — about itself but also about its own nonexistence — and one of the most formally audacious, intellectually charged American movies in quite some time." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Jennifer Lynch, Laslo Rojas, Lee J. Chase IV, Lloyd Michaels, Michael Atkinson.
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Blue is the Warmest Colour

Blue is the Warmest Colour

La Vie d'Adèle (original title)

2013 / France-Belgium-Spain / 179m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Lea Seydoux, Adele Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Aurelien Recoing, Catherine Salee, Benjamin Siksou, Mona Walravens, Alma Jodorowsky, Jeremie Laheurte, Anne Loiret
"The colorful, electrifying romance that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm courageously dives into a young woman’s experiences of first love and sexual awakening. Blue Is the Warmest Color stars the remarkable newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos as a high schooler who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twentysomething art student, played by Léa Seydoux. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, this finely detailed, intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth. It has captivated international audiences and been widely embraced as a defining love story for the new century." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kseniya Zueva, Michael Atkinson, Anne Billson, Nick James, Stephanie Zacharek.
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Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood


2019 / USA-UK-China / 161m / Col-BW / Showbiz Comedy, Showbiz Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern
"The sort of high-wire, playfully enjoyable riff on movies that only Quentin Tarantino could get away with, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is a massively fun shaggy-dog story that blends fact and fiction, inserting made-up characters at the heart of real, horrible events (Charles Manson horrible) and then daring history to do its worst. Sitting at the mature, Jackie Brown end of Tarantino’s work, the film is also a love letter to Los Angeles and the film industry, bringing his tongue-in-cheek storytelling together with exquisite craft and killer lead performances from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. And yet, it’s still very much a Tarantino film, trading in genuine emotion one minute, unapologetically silly the next." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
Selected by Scott Foundas, Nadav Lapid, Todd McCarthy, Ty Burr, John Waters.
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Gravity

Gravity


2013 / USA-UK / 91m / Col / Science Fiction, Psychological Sci-Fi
Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen, Phaldut Sharma, Amy Warren, Basher Savage, Janis Ahern
"Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, about astronauts coping with disaster, is a huge and technically dazzling film. Watching Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's spacefarers go about their business, you may feel—for the first time since The Right Stuff, perhaps—that a Hollywood blockbuster grasps the essence of a job that many can't imagine without feeling dizzy. The panoramas of astronauts tumbling against starfields and floating through space stations are both informative and lovely… For all its stunning exteriors, it's really concerned with emotional interiors, and it goes about exploring them with simplicity and directness, letting the actors's faces and voices carry the burden of meaning. It's a film about what happens to the psyche as well as the body in the aftermath of catastrophe." - Matt Zoller Seitz, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Satish Padmanabhan, J. Hoberman, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Rod Lurie, Kristin Thompson.
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This is Not a Film

This is Not a Film

In film nist (original title)

2011 / Iran / 75m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Jafar Panahi
"In December 2010, the film-makers and pro-democracy activists Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof were sentenced to six years in prison for alleged crimes against national security… While pursuing his appeal, and confined to his apartment under effective house arrest, Panahi managed to make this gripping, zero-budget film about a day in his life, shot entirely within his flat… This Is Not a Film is a compelling personal document, a quietly passionate statement of artistic intent, and an uncompromising testament to his belief in cinema. The government is trying to cut off the oxygen to his livelihood and life. But this film-maker is hitting back." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Jake Mulligan, Richard Combs, Lou Ye, Adam Nayman, Molly Haskell.
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Inception

Inception


2010 / USA-UK / 148m / Col / Sci-Fi Action, Psychological Sci-Fi
Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine, Dileep Rao
"The movies often seem to come from the recycling bin these days: Sequels, remakes, franchises. Inception does a difficult thing. It is wholly original, cut from new cloth, and yet structured with action movie basics so it feels like it makes more sense than (quite possibly) it does. I thought there was a hole in Memento: How does a man with short-term memory loss remember he has short-term memory loss? Maybe there's a hole in Inception too, but I can't find it. Christopher Nolan reinvented Batman. This time he isn't reinventing anything. Yet few directors will attempt to recycle Inception. I think when Nolan left the labyrinth, he threw away the map." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Andrew Yusu Cheng, Manfred Wong, Kenneth Turan, Denis Villeneuve, Stephen Teo.
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35 Shots of Rum

35 Shots of Rum

35 rhums (original title)

2008 / France-Germany / 101m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Alex Descas, Mati Diop, Nicole Dogue, Gregoire Colin, Jean-Christophe Folly, Djedje Apali, Eriq Ebouaney, Ingrid Caven, Stephane Pocrain, Julieth Mars Toussaint
"Recent American films about families all too often pierce eardrums with unrelenting shrieks of dysfunction and misery. Amid the din, French filmmaker Claire Denis's sublime 35 Shots of Rum stands out all the more for its soothing quiet, conveying the easy, frequently nonverbal intimacy between a widowed father, Lionel (Descas), and his diligent university-student daughter, Joséphine (Diop). An homage to both Yasujiro Ozu's similarly themed Late Spring (1949) and her own mother's relationship with her grandfather, 35 Shots is Denis's warmest, most radiant work, honoring a family of two's extreme closeness while suggesting its potential for suffocation." - Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice
Selected by Ian Wild, Hynek Pallas, Karim Aïnouz, Therese Grisham, Mónica Delgado.
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Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

The Fast Runner (alternative title); Atanarjuat (alternative title)

2001 / Canada / 172m / Col / Adventure, Drama
Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Madeleine Ivalu, Pauloosie Quilitalik, Eugene Ipkarnak, Pakak Innuksuk, Neeve Irngaut, Abraham Ulayuruluk
"Zacharias Kunuk's first feature—as well as the first feature to be made in the Inuktitut language—is an epic account of an Inuit blood feud, shot on DV in northernmost Canada. Mysterious, bawdy, emotionally intense, and replete with virtuoso throat singing, this three-hour movie is engrossing from first image to last, so devoid of stereotype and cosmic in its vision it could suggest the rebirth of cinema. As the arctic light and landscape beggar description, so the performances go beyond acting, and the production itself seems little short of miraculous." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Sophie Mayer, S.F. Said, Kevin Macdonald, Philip Dodd, Wenke Wegner.
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Stranger by the Lake

Stranger by the Lake

L'Inconnu du lac (original title)

2013 / France / 100m / Col / Erotic Thriller, Gay & Lesbian Film
Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d'Assumcao, Jerome Chappatte, Mathieu Vervisch, Gilbert Traina, Emmanuel Daumas, Sebastien Badachaoui, Gilles Guerin, Francois-Renaud Labarthe
"The tired old trope 'erotic thriller' does no justice to how confrontationally and explicitly sexual this movie is — nor how thrilling, nor how menacing and complex. Alain Guiraudie's L'Inconnu du lac, or Stranger by the Lake, is a psychological suspense drama set at a French lakeside cruising spot for gay men… Guiraudie creates an atmosphere of absolutely frank homoeroticism, utterly without inhibition or self-consciousness or taboo… But when a single, terrible event takes place, the mood swings to that of classic Hollywood suspense, like John M Stahl's Leave Her to Heaven (1945) or George Stevens's A Place in the Sun (1951), movies in which a beautiful lake becomes the epicentre of danger." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by David Lowery, Nadav Lapid, Ari Aster, João Pedro Rodrigues, Adam Nayman.
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The Irishman

The Irishman


2019 / USA / 209m / Col / Crime Drama, Gangster Film
Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Harvey Keitel, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Kathrine Narducci
"Martin Scorsese returns with his best picture since GoodFellas and one of his best films ever. It’s a superbly acted, thrillingly shot epic mob procedural about violence, betrayal, dishonesty and emotional bankruptcy starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, set in a time before “toxic masculinity” had been formally diagnosed but when everyone lived with the symptoms. The film has been talked about for the hi-tech “youthification” technology which allows De Niro to appear as a younger man: it’s no more artificial than the traditional wigs, latex etc and it’s amazing how quickly you get used to it. De Niro’s eyes achieve an eerie, gluey gleam in this manifestation as a digital ghost from his past." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Paul Schrader, Amy Taubin, Elia Suleiman, Isaac León Frías, David Ehrenstein.
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Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko


2001 / USA / 112m / Col / Fantasy, Psychological Drama
Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Mary McDonnell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Duval, Patrick Swayze, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Katharine Ross, Noah Wyle
"Writer-director Richard Kelly's debut feature, the Lynchian Donnie Darko, is a tale of adolescent angst ripe with enigmatic sci-fi underpinnings. Regardless of whether Kelly's titular protagonist (Gyllenhaal) is seemingly deranged or merely on the brink of saving humanity from itself, his timewarping fantasies become startling metaphors for confused teenage male development. This endlessly inventive film is the virtual antithesis of happy-go-lucky '80s teen flicks, hauntingly gauging the pulse of a nation gripped by sexual repression and political uncertainty." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by James King, Marc Evans, Peg Aloi, Shohini Chaudhuri, Jurgen Egger.
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Waltz with Bashir

Waltz with Bashir

Vals Im Bashir (original title)

2008 / Israel-France-Germany-USA-Japan-Finland-Switzerland-Belgium-Australia / 90m / Col / Military & War, Animation
Ori Sivan, Ronny Dayag, Shmuel Frenkel, Professor Zahava Solomon, Ron Ben-Yishai, Dror Harazi, Boaz Rein-Buskila, Carmi Cna'an, Miki Leon, Yehezkel Lazarov
"Has Israel made a mass, semi-conscious decision to forget about the Sabra and Chatila massacres of the 1982 Lebanese war, in which Israeli forces allowed Christian Phalangist militia into Palestinian refugee camps to slaughter civilians? This extraordinary animated documentary by Israeli film-maker Ari Folman - a kind of fictionalised docu-autobiography - suggests that Israelis have indeed forgotten, in a kind of huge, willed amnesia. But his movie makes an acid-trip down memory lane, and Folman might have created his generation's very own Apocalypse Now." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Vassilis Economou, Alex Gibney, James Marsh, Kevin Macdonald, J. Hoberman.
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Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead


2004 / UK-USA-France / 99m / Col / Comedy, Horror
Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Nick Frost, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Jessica Stevenson, Peter Serafinowicz, Rafe Spall
"When Sex Lives of the Potato Men came out, I suggested the dilemma facing the British film industry was whether to put the gun barrel to our heads or in our mouths. But with the release of Shaun of the Dead, I'm inclined to say the dilemma is whether to opt for Moët or Veuve Clicquot. Because this cheerful horror comedy, starring and co-written by Simon Pegg of Channel 4's Spaced, is as smart as paint. It's pacily directed, nicely acted and boasts a script crammed with real gags… The spoof genre is usually so tricky but this brings it off: it's spirited, good-natured, likable and funny, with great support from Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy as Shaun's mum and stepdad. If it sometimes looks like a feature-length episode of Spaced, well that's a good thing." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by George A. Romero, Norm Wilner, Dane Benko, Drew Goddard, Anne Billson.
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Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone


2010 / USA / 100m / Col / Post-Noir (Modern Noir), Family Drama
Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Sheryl Lee, Lauren Sweetser, Tate Taylor, Isaiah Stone, Ashlee Thompson
"Every once in a rare while a movie gets inside your head and heart, rubbing your emotions raw. The remarkable Winter's Bone is just such a movie… Director Debra Granik has adapted the 2006 novel by Daniel Woodrell into a brutally honest movie about secrets that fester among families in the Missouri backwoods… Granik handles this volatile, borderline horrific material with unblinking ferocity and feeling. She did the same with her 2004 debut feature, Down to the Bone, with the great Vera Farmiga as a cocaine-addicted wife and mother. In Jennifer Lawrence, Granik has found just the right young actress to inhabit Ree. Her performance is more than acting, it’s a gathering storm… Winter's Bone is unforgettable. It means to shake you, and does." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Warwick Thornton, Molly Haskell, Mike D'Angelo, Maria Ulfsak, Suncica Unevska.
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Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty


2012 / USA / 157m / Col / War, Action Thriller
Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Edgar Ramirez, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, Jason Clarke, Fares Fares, Frank Grillo
"After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the CIA make al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a prime target… It’s a relatively new kind of American patriotic war movie, counter-programming jaded paranoid fantasies like the Bourne movies or the liberal horror stories thrown up by the War On Terror. It’s measured, seething with suppressed emotion, unafraid of slow stretches and false trails, snapping shut like a mantrap when blood is shed… Gripping throughout, with an impressive central performance, this is like a Dogme 95 redo of a Chuck Norris film — by heroic effort, the good guys find and kill a bad guy. How you feel about that is something Bigelow leaves you to decide." - Kim Newman, Empire
Selected by Thomas Elsaesser, Rod Lurie, Antoine Fuqua, Nick James, Tim Grierson.
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Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo


2003 / USA / 100m / Col / Children's/Family, Animation
Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Geoffrey Rush, Andrew Stanton, Elizabeth Perkins
"Finding Nemo has all of the usual pleasures of the Pixar animation style--the comedy and wackiness of Toy Story or Monsters Inc. or A Bug's Life. And it adds an unexpected beauty, a use of color and form that makes it one of those rare movies where I wanted to sit in the front row and let the images wash out to the edges of my field of vision. The movie takes place almost entirely under the sea, in the world of colorful tropical fish--the flora and fauna of a shallow warm-water shelf not far from Australia. The use of color, form and movement make the film a delight even apart from its story." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, George Kuchar, Josh Larsen, Kristian Lin.
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Ida

Ida


2013 / Poland-Denmark / 80m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Psychological Drama
Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Jerzy Trela, Adam Szyszkowski, Halina Skoczynska, Joanna Kulig, Dorota Kuduk, Natalia Lagiewczyk, Afrodyta Weselak
"We are so used to constant movement and compulsive cutting in American movies that the stillness of the great new Polish film Ida comes as something of a shock. I can’t recall a movie that makes such expressive use of silence and portraiture; from the beginning, I was thrown into a state of awe by the movie’s fervent austerity. Friends have reported similar reactions: if not awe, then at least extreme concentration and satisfaction. This compact masterpiece has the curt definition and the finality of a reckoning—a reckoning in which anger and mourning blend together.” - David Denby, The New Yorker
Selected by Paul Schrader, Dana Stevens, John McNaughton, Christian Petzold, Sofia Coppola.
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Borat

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan


2006 / USA-UK / 84m / Col / Comedy, Mockumentary
Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Pamela Anderson, Bob Barr, Chester, Charlie
"Borat is the hero of this extraordinary mocu-reality adventure: a film so funny, so breathtakingly offensive, so suicidally discourteous, that strictly speaking it shouldn't be legal at all. He is the naive provincial TV reporter supposedly from Kazakhstan, though it is clear that this "Kazakhstan" is a joke cardboard country, a post-Soviet neverland picked at random... The fascination of Borat's comedy situationism, his theatre of cruelty, is that its hero is deeply unsympathetic. Ali G had a kind of goofy charm, but Borat is just so horrible, with a deplorable quality mitigated only by his ineffectuality." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Peter Farrelly, Peter Debruge, Anupama Chopra, Robbie Collin, Todd McCarthy.
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Burning

Burning

Beoning (original title)

2018 / South Korea / 148m / Col / Crime Drama, Mystery
Ah-in Yoo, Steven Yeun, Jong-seo Jun, Soo-Kyung Kim, Seung-ho Choi, Seong-kun Mun, Bok-gi Min, Soo-Jeong Lee, Hye-ra Ban, Mi-Kyung Cha
"Lee Chang-dong’s Burning is a superbly shot and sensuously scored movie, a mystery thriller about obsessive love taken from a short story by Haruki Murakami but with something of Patricia Highsmith or maybe the kind of Ruth Rendell novel that Claude Chabrol might have filmed. It’s a psychological drama set in the modern consumerist Korea of the callous Gangnam-style rich and poor young people who often go invisibly to ground, pursued by credit-card debt… Lee creates a sense of mood and place with masterly flair, and the film uses such a gripping musical soundtrack; at one stage, Lee uses the heady Miles Davis jazz score from Louis Malle’s Lift to the Scaffold." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Ari Aster, Paul Schrader, Jia Zhangke, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Isaac León Frías.
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The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street


2013 / USA / 180m / Col / Addiction Drama, Crime Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley
"Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street is abashed and shameless, exciting and exhausting, disgusting and illuminating; it's one of the most entertaining films ever made about loathsome men. Its star Leonardo DiCaprio has compared it to the story of the Roman emperor Caligula, and he's not far off the mark. Adapted by Terence Winter from the memoir by stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who oozed his way into a fortune in the 1980s and '90s, this is an excessive film about excess, and a movie about appetites whose own appetite for compulsive pleasures seems bottomless… This is a reptilian brain movie. Every frame has scales." - Matt Zoller Seitz, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Ben Wheatley, Ari Aster, Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Richard Brody, Dan Callahan.
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Avatar

Avatar


2009 / USA-UK / 161m / Col / Science Fiction, Sci-Fi Action
Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi, Joel Moore, C.C.H. Pounder, Stephen Lang
"The computerized creation that is Pandora overflows with beauty and terror (those banshees are a wonder) that dwarves the mundane stuff where the villains, military (Lang) and corporate (Ribisi), bluster with predictable results. The last third of the movie, a battle between the Na'vi and their human destroyers, is a groundbreaking blend of digital and live-action. OK, it's unnerving that a movie preaching peace hits its visual peak with scenes of mass destruction. But Avatar is no Hollywood wankfest. It extends the possibilities of what movies can do. Cameron's talent may just be as big as his dreams." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Tatsuya Mori, Venkateswaran Narayanan, Luc Besson, Antoine Fuqua, Thomas Elsaesser.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Stories We Tell

Stories We Tell


2012 / Canada / 108m / Col / Biography, Documentary
Michael Polley, Harry Gulkin, Susy Buchan, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley, Cathy Gulkin, Marie Murphy, Robert MacMillan, Anne Tait
"As if adapting a family photo album into a humane Rashomon-esque documentary, Sarah Polley's multi-faceted and confrontational Stories We Tell lays out the complex history of her family makeup and investigates the seeds of her own existence. Inward-looking, and yet eschewing narcissism, Polley constructs the mostly Toronto-based narrative via inherently nostalgic Super 8 footage… The film's greatest success is the way it captures the essence of what it means to be a family, despite the fissures in the cracks of its foundation—that sly ethos from which we appreciate, become annoyed, feel guilty, and ultimately understand our relations both socially and genetically.” - Nick McCarthy, Slant Magazine
Selected by Tamara Dondurey, Alex Gibney, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Guy Maddin, Deepa Mehta.
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12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave


2013 / USA-UK / 134m / Col / Period Film, Rural Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Lupita Nyong'o, Alfre Woodard, Michael K. Williams
"It will be impossible to ever look at Gone With the Wind the same way after 12 Years a Slave, a brutally powerful and emotionally devastating film that takes great pains to rip any lingering vestiges of romanticism from America’s most shameful institution. You might be able to shrug off even the lurid depiction of slavery in Django Unchained to some extent as a cartoonish Tarantino fantasy. But 12 Years does not flinch from showing the most horrifyingly graphic details of Solomon Northup’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) struggle to survive in a hellish pre-Civil War Louisiana, which he documented in a remarkable memoir… Well-meaning films like Lincoln and Lee Daniels’ The Butler merely scratch the surface compared to the deep and painful truths laid bare by 12 Years a Slave. It’s about time, Scarlett O’Hara." - Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Selected by Peter Bradshaw, Norm Wilner, Tim Robey, Dan Callahan, Susanne Bier.
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The Incredibles

The Incredibles


2004 / USA / 121m / Col-BW / Family-Oriented Adventure, Animation
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Wallace Shawn, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Brad Bird, Lou Romano, Elizabeth Pena
"The Incredibles is brought to us by former Simpsons director Brad Bird… It's an all-conqueringly funny and blastingly energised family comedy that made me feel like one of its tiny pixillated civilians that get flung through walls, plunged into indigo-blue oceans or catapulted into the sky like a vanishing dot… Plenty of ideas go into the mix. There's something of X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spy Kids and also the quirky retro-feel of TV shows like Get Smart and the 1960s Batman. But as ever with Pixar, influences are subsumed into something new, something supercharged with insolent originality and modernity." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Peet Gelderblom, Aryan Kaganof, Dane Benko, Lee J. Chase IV, Sofia Coppola.
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Mystic River

Mystic River


2003 / USA-Australia / 137m / Col / Mystery, Urban Drama
Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Kevin Chapman, Adam Nelson, Emmy Rossum, Cameron Bowen
"Clint Eastwood's film, scrupulously faithful to the letter and sprit of Dennis Lehane's novel, has the gritty efficiency of superior crime fiction and the somber weight of tragedy. Set in working-class Irish Catholic Boston, this film revisits the themes of violence, honor and guilt that have haunted many of Mr. Eastwood's movies; it is among the most humane of his films, but also the most rigorously pessimistic. Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn play Dave, Sean and Jimmy, boyhood friends who must revisit the traumas of their youth when Jimmy's daughter is murdered." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Rogelio Llanos, Fanny Lignon, Yoshihiro Nakamura, Angela Glaser, Chiara Borroni.
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Amores perros

Amores perros


2000 / Mexico / 153m / Col / Ensemble Film, Urban Drama
Emilio Echeverria, Gael Garcia Bernal, Goya Toledo, Alvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas, Marco Perez, Rodrigo Murray, Humberto Busto, Gerardo Campbell
"Amores Perros, was a foreign- film Oscar nominee, but it didn't stand a chance. Blood actually sizzles on a grill in it, and the stench of its Mexico City is stronger than that of the average art house's popcorn… Inarritu doesn't give you a Mexico City that's a vista-laden window on exotic locales. Written by Guillermo Arriaga, the film is a side-streety, rat's-eye view of a city undergoing economic upheaval… This is hard core, and it ain't pretty. His movie doesn't have to be falsely gorgeous, though 2 1/2 hours after it begins, it finds the human beauty that spills out of the knife wounds." - Wesley Morris, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Amat Escalante, Jean-Christophe Berjon, Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano, Anupama Chopra, Denis Villeneuve.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Her

Her


2013 / USA / 126m / Col / Romance, Science Fiction
Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Lyn Adrianna, Lisa Renee Pitts, Gabe Gomez, Chris Pratt, Artt Butler, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde
"A delicate, droll masterwork, writer-director Spike Jonze's Her sticks its neck out, all the way out, asserting that what the world needs now and evermore is love, sweet love. Preferably between humans, but you can't have everything all the time... I love this film, and I'm one of the most technophobic and least gadget-centric people on the planet. It's unusually witty science fiction and it's unfashionably sincere, as well as a work of such casual visual inspiration that a second viewing of Her feels more like a first… It is a small film made by enormous talents working in harmony. Jonze's first solo script is topical in the right ways, and forward-thinking in the right ways. We're living in this enticingly lonely world, more or less, already. But does Siri really understand your needs?" - Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Selected by Nick Kroll, Scott Foundas, Abel Ferrara, Ty Burr, Carrie Rickey.
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The World

The World

Shijie (original title)

2004 / China-Japan-France / 140m / Col / Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
Tao Zhao, Taisheng Chen, Jue Jing, Zhong-wei Jiang, Yi-qun Wang, Hong Wei Wang, Jing Dong Liang, Shuai Ji, Wan Xiang, Alla Shcherbakova
"The title of Jia Zhang-ke’s 2004 masterpiece, The World — a film that’s hilarious and upsetting, epic and dystopian — is an ironic pun and a metaphor. It’s also the name of the real theme park outside Beijing where most of the action is set and practically all its characters work… Jia, with his choreographed wide-screen long takes in long shot, may be the best cinematic composer of figures in landscapes since Michelangelo Antonioni. And as with Antonioni, the disconnections count more than the connections… Flawed only by its abrupt and stylistically awkward ending, The World is a tragic, visionary work — a global newspaper that somehow catches our muddled drift in all its surreal splendor. Maybe its biggest achievement is that it actually lives up to its title." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Jytte Jensen, Annett Busch, Daryl Chin, Roger Koza.
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Up

Up


2009 / USA / 96m / Col / Children's/Family, Animation
Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft, John Ratzenberger, David Kaye, Elie Docter, Jeremy Leary
"There are scenes in Up of such beauty, economy and poetic wisdom that they belong in any anthology of great movie moments… As was the case with WALL-E, Up shows that, for Pixar, progress is not just a technological matter. It is moving forward in artistry, cultivating realms of wordless splendor that evoke the best of the silent days… To watch Up with any attention is to be moved and astonished by the economy with which specific visuals are invested with emotion throughout: The armchairs where Carl and his wife once sat every night, the wife's childhood scrapbook and even the house itself - these all become powerful images." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Anna Smith, Gary Tarn, Taika Waititi, Jasper Sharp, Carrie Rickey.
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Irreversible

Irréversible


2002 / France / 97m / Col / Crime Drama, Marriage Drama
Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel, Jo Prestia, Philippe Nahon, Stephane Drouot, Jean-Louis Costes, Michel Gondoin, Mourad Khima, Gaspar Noe
"You can’t see Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible without starting a heated discussion with someone else who saw it, or part of it. Many viewers walk out midway through… It would be easy and convenient to dismiss Irreversible as blatant sensationalism. But Noé's bruising film is too artfully crafted to write off as exploitation. To see it is to absorb it, even against your will. Noé, the acclaimed French director of Carne and I Stand Alone, tells his story backward, as in Memento, but offers nothing as comforting as amnesia… Noé's considerable accomplishment is to examine the relationship between life and art, time and memory. Irreversible means to knock you for a loop. It does." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Rob Cohen, Alex Pintică, Stefan Popescu, Rob Nilsson, Barry Adamson.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Mysteries of Lisbon

Mysteries of Lisbon

Mistérios de Lisboa (original title)

2010 / Portugal-France / 272m / Col / Melodrama, Period Film
Adriano Luz, Maria Joao Bastos, Ricardo Pereira, Clotilde Hesme, Jose Afonso Pimentel, Joao Arrais, Albano Jeronimo, Joao Baptista, Martin Loizillon, Julien Alluguette
"Mysteries of Lisbon is intensely and captivatingly strange, a sinuous melodrama about secrecy, destiny and memory in which everyone involved appears to be in a state of hypnosis and on the edge of departing for some Magrittean alternative universe. "Mysteries" is exactly right… It could be that Ruiz has some kind of satirical relationship with his source material, that he has taken its preposterous intricacy and, entirely deadpan, constructed from it a meditation on the arbitrariness of fate and the unknowability of the past. Or perhaps he has just found in it the ideal basis for a gorgeous, mesmeric spectacle, and one with great human warmth. Either way, for those with open minds, the cinema of Ruiz offers enormous and unique pleasure. " - Peter Bradhsaw, The Guardian
Selected by Nandini Ramnath, Jesús Piquero, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Javier Rebollo, Oscar Contreras.
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The Assassin

The Assassin

Nie yin niang (original title)

2015 / Taiwan-China-Hong Kong-France / 105m / Col-BW / Drama, Martial Arts
Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Shao-Huai Chang, Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh, Ethan Juan, Zhen Yu Lei, Fang Mei, Dahong Ni, Jacques Picoux
"The first film in eight years from the Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien is an immaculate treasure box of light, texture and movement – though just when you think you’ve pinned it down, it slips your grasp as nimbly as its lead character darting through a silver birch grove. For the first time in his estimable 35-year career, Hou has made a wuxia, or period martial-arts film… If you’ve seen swordsmen and/or women bouncing through a bamboo forest, you’ve seen wuxia – yet you’ve almost certainly never seen it carried off with this degree of delicacy and refinement. There’s a little forest-bouncing here, but the fight scenes are few and far between." - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Selected by Lisandro Alonso, J. Hoberman, Amy Taubin, Scott Foundas, Ricardo Bedoya.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


2003 / New Zealand-USA / 201m / Col / Epic, Fantasy Adventure
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan
"Long live the king! The Part 3 jinx that plagued The Matrix, The Godfather and the original Star Wars can't contaminate The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. New Zealand director, producer and co-writer Peter Jackson does author J.R.R. Tolkien proud by turning his tome into a film epic by which all future film epics will be judged. King pops your eyes, excites your senses and brings you in as close as a whisper for scenes of startling emotion. Many reviewers who resisted the two previous films have come aboard to hail King, as if the series has only now kicked in. Bull. All three films are equal and indispensable to the tale being told." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Wuershan, Douglas Pratt, James Berardinelli, Brian Tallerico, Erik Childress.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Host

The Host

Gwoemul (original title)

2006 / South Korea-Japan / 119m / Col / Sci-Fi Horror, Monster Film
Kang-ho Song, Byeon Hie-bong, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae, Ah-sung Ko, Dal-su Oh, Jae-eung Lee, Dong-ho Lee, Je-moon Yoon, Pil-Sung Yim
"When was the last time you saw a really good mutant monster movie? The Host is the biggest commercial success in Korean cinema history and it's easy to see why. A cross between Godzilla and Jaws, it manages to be both truly scary and truly funny – sometimes all at once. It seems that the American military stationed in Seoul is responsible for dumping vast quantities of formaldehyde into the Han River. Years have passed, and the result is a gigantic serpentine horror that terrorizes the coastline… The direction by Bon Joon-ho has more than enough flair for this sort of thing." - Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor
Selected by Murat Tolga Şen, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Ken Terawaki, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Pascale Ferran.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The New World

The New World


2005 / USA / 135m / Col / Historical Film, Romantic Drama
Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, Wes Studi, David Thewlis, Yorick van Wageningen, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Ben Mendelsohn, Raoul Trujillo, John Savage
"With most movies, a shorthand description or a reference to another film is enough to convey a sense of the experience. But Terrence Malick's The New World is not like any other movie. In its emotional effect and in the ways it makes its points, this motion picture is much more akin to poetry or music. Malick uses cinema in a way no one else uses it, in a way that no one else has ever used it. Through elliptical and seemingly oblique methods, he forges moments of staggering emotional power… The New World is a masterpiece. It's also a little bit boring… It's dull and then dazzling, dull and then brilliant, dull and then awe-inspiring… Malick tells the story of Pocahontas, and the film's central insight, which is never overtly stated, is that she, even more than the colonists, was in a very real sense the first American." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Ulrich Hocherl, Steve Rybin, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Matt Zoller Seitz, Carrie Rickey.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Margaret

Margaret


2011 / USA / 150m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Anna Paquin, J. Smith Cameron, Mark Ruffalo, Jeannie Berlin, Jean Reno, Sarah Steele, John Gallagher Jr., Cyrus Hernstadt, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin
"This is a glorious mess! … The writer-director’s [Lonergan] sprawling look at the effect a gruesome accident has on Manhattan teen Lisa Cohen (Paquin) bursts with ambition and specificity in its novelistic, social-drama narrative… Paquin deserves the highest accolades for her ferociously committed performance, turning what could have been a privileged prep-school archetype into a scorching depiction of adolescent grief. And though not all of Lonergan’s conceits work on a scene-by-scene basis, the film has a cumulative power – solidified by a devastating opera-house finale – that’s staggering. This is frayed-edges filmmaking at its finest." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Selected by Emily Wardill, Christian Petzold, Calum Marsh, Ari Aster, Tim Robey.
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2046

2046


2004 / Hong Kong-China-France-Italy-Germany / 129m / Col-BW / Science Fiction, Romantic Drama
Tony Leung, Gong Li, Takuya Kimura, Faye Wong, Zhang Ziyi, Carina Lau, Chen Chang, Wang Sum, Ping Lam Siu, Maggie Cheung
"In his nine-film career, Wong has perfected the romance noir genre, and these days, he has it all to himself… 2046 stakes out its own territory as a complex, visually rich, pull-out-all-the-stops rumination on memory, regret, relationships and the creative process. While it falls just shy of a masterpiece, Wong's idiosyncratic command of the medium, along with Christopher Doyle's cinematography, William Chang's set and costume design and a veritable Murderers Row of Chinese and Hong Kong actresses make this a rare, sumptuous movie treat. It already feels like a classic." - G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Yael Shuv, Peter Körte, Tobias Kniebe, Jean-Paul Torok, Michael Atkinson.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream


2000 / USA / 100m / Col / Addiction Drama, Psychological Drama
Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald, Louise Lasser, Keith David, Sean Gullette, Dylan Baker, Hubert Selby Jr.
"Aronofsky's second film is a relentlessly grim wallow in the depths of human misery, a film that doesn't so much ponder the void as plunge into it. It's also a gripping, uncomfortably intense tour de force that tops even [Pi] (1998) in terms of ambition and stylistic overload. A visual stylist of the highest order, Aronofsky is a student of the more-is-more school of filmmaking… For him, style and substance are hopelessly intertwined, and the film's rhythmic, hypnotic repetition provides a fitting visual equivalent to the rapturous, ritualized repetition of the junkies it depicts. But as brutal and raw as Requiem for a Dream is, it retains a shattering sense of humanity throughout." - Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
Selected by Paul McGuigan, Sean Byrne, Zach Ralston, Ralph Umard, Thomas Schmitt.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge!


2001 / USA-Australia / 126m / Col / Musical, Romance
Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Garry McDonald, Jacek Koman, Matthew Whittet, Kerry Walker, Kylie Minogue
"If a feeling is too intense to put into words, then put it into song. That’s an artistic mandate that applied for millennia to all forms of drama (Greek tragedy, Italian opera, Hollywood movies), though later audiences found it laughably peculiar. Leave it to Baz Luhrmann, the unreconstructed Aussie romantic who infused Shakespeare with an urban urgency in Romeo + Juliet, to go both retro and now-tro in a musical that blends MGM and MTV. It’s a convulsive love story daubed in a giddily gaudy palette, with the never-prettier Nicole Kidman entrancing hunkily soulful Ewan McGregor in an orgasmic swirl of color, design and pop music." - Richard Corliss, TIME
Selected by Kerem Akca, Paul Feig, Owen Gleiberman, Richard Corliss, Mark Cousins.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3


2010 / USA / 103m / Col / Family-Oriented Adventure, Animation
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, John Morris
"The first two films in Pixar’s animated Toy Story franchise are brilliant bookends, models of technique warmed by humor and imagination. Toy Story 3, coming 11 years after the last one, should have been a letdown. I mean, how hard can you squeeze a golden goose before the bird calls a work stoppage? No worries. Toy Story 3, decked out in nifty, non-showy 3-D, is a joy to behold. It hits every button from laughter to tears and lifts you up on waves of visual dazzlement. And you don’t need to take a kid along to appreciate it. Jeez, people, we were all kids once. And the way the Pixar wizards re-create a sense of childhood wonder is damn near genius." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Terry Jones, Daniel Herculano, Cecilia Barroso, Miguel Gomes, Ty Burr.
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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


2001 / New Zealand-USA / 178m / Col / Epic, Fantasy Adventure
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom
"It's thrilling indeed to sit through a mega-budget blockbuster sword-and-sorcery picture that's the work of a genuine filmmaker—that has passion and urgency, that has characters who are (whatever their stature or alien protuberances) dramatically compelling, that is more than the sum of the scores (hundreds?) of millions that have been thrown at it. It's true that the first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, is basically a lot of people running away from special effects. But what volcanic special effects! What otherworldly settings through which to run! What magnificent music to run to! What illustrious actors doing the running!" - David Edelstein, Slate
Selected by John H. Foote, Jonathan Lack, Roque Baños, Wuershan, Helmut Fiebig.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Piano Teacher

The Piano Teacher

La Pianiste (original title)

2001 / Austria-France-Germany / 130m / Col / Psychological Drama, Erotic Drama
Isabelle Huppert, Benoit Magimel, Annie Girardot, Susanne Lothar, Udo Samel, Anna Sigalevitch, Cornelia Kongden, Thomas Weinhappel, Georg Friedrich, Philipp Heiss
"Isabelle Huppert and Benoit Magimel won best acting awards in Cannes… for their unblinking portrayal of the sadomasochistic relationship between an imperious, sexually repressed piano teacher at a Viennese conservatory and a handsome younger student who idolizes her. This powerful, deeply disturbing film is neither titillating soft-core porn nor a psychiatric case study, but a platform for the director, a serious moral theorist, to explore voyeurism (the audience's as well as the main character's). The movie also addresses sex and power, and the relationship between art and life." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Hannah Fidell, Pierre Lam, Andreas Thomas, Catherine Jessica Beed, Andrey Zvyagintsev.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Blissfully Yours

Blissfully Yours

Sud sanaeha (original title)

2002 / Thailand-France / 125m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Drama
Kanokporn Tongaram, Min Oo, Jenjira Jansuda, Sa-gnad Chaiyapan, Kanitpat Premkij, Jaruwan Techasatiern
"In Blissfully Yours, a delicate, ethereal dream of a film from the young Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, one of the more original and promising new voices to hit the international cinema scene in recent years, two Thai women and a male Burmese companion voyage into the wild, away from civilization and its discontents. There, in a forest as thick with mystery as a painting by Henri Rousseau, Mr. Weerasethakul lets loose beauty with a vengeance… For the three travelers, the trip into the forest will be no simple day in the country; it is something more urgent and necessary." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Gertjan Zuilhof, Goran Gocic, Jed Rapfogel, Samuel Wigley, Ulrich Köhler.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds


2009 / USA-Germany / 153m / Col / War, Adventure
Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Bruhl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido
"Energetic, inventive, swaggering fun, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is a consummate Hollywood entertainment—rich in fantasy and blithely amoral. It's also quintessential Tarantino—even more drenched in film references than gore, with a proudly misspelled title (lifted from Italian genre-meister Enzo Castellari's 1978 Dirty Dozen knockoff) to underscore the movie's cinematic hyperliteracy… Inglourious Basterds may still be a tad long at two and a half hours and a little too pleased with itself, but it's tough to resist the enthusiastic performances and terrific dialogue—if you're not put off by the juvenile premise or cartoonish savagery." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Rodrigo Fonseca, Kenji Fujishima, Owen Gleiberman, Isaac León Frías, Glenn Kenny.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel


2014 / USA-Germany / 100m / Col-BW / Comedy, Farce
Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray
"The Grand Budapest Hotel is the filmic equivalent of one of the elaborate, multi-layered cream cakes that its young female lead, pastry chef Agatha (Saoirse Ronan), spends so long confecting. It is gorgeous to look at, full of candy colours, and extravagant camera movements. Its eye-popping visuals are complemented by Alexandre Desplat’s wonderfully jazzy score and by the lively and eccentric star cameos dotted throughout the movie… Anderson has a knack of turning out live-action dramas that are as stylised as cartoons. Here, though, he makes us care deeply about his characters. Anderson’s style may be high kitsch but the story he is telling is dark and elegiac." - Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent
Selected by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Leonard Maltin, Richard Brody, Alex Gibney, Stephen Teo.
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Hunger

Hunger


2008 / UK-Ireland / 96m / Col / Drama, Prison Film
Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Helena Bereen, Larry Cowan, Liam Cunningham, Dennis McCambridge, Liam McMahon, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Rory Mullen
"With Hunger, British filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen has turned one of history’s most controversial acts of political defiance into a jarring, unforgettable cinematic experience. In Northern Ireland’s Maze prison in 1981, twenty-seven-year-old Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands went on a hunger strike to protest the British government’s refusal to recognize him and his fellow IRA inmates as political prisoners… Featuring an intense performance by Michael Fassbender, Hunger is an unflinching, transcendent depiction of what a human being is willing to endure to be heard." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Steven Boone, Wong Sui-kei, Surbhi Goel, Clio Barnard, Laurence Kardish.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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In Vanda's Room

In Vanda's Room

No Quarto da Vanda (original title)

2000 / Portugal-Germany-Switzerland-Italy / 170m / Col / Drama
Lena Duarte, Vanda Duarte, Zita Duarte, Pedro Lanban, Antonio Moreno, Paulo Nunes, Fernando Paixao
"Pedro Costa’s longest and most challenging film is also the one in which he most fully discovers his present method (shooting beautifully composed tableaux without camera movement in digital video, with scripted dialogue) and subject matter (immigrants from Cape Verde and junkies, all nonprofessional actors playing themselves, inhabiting hovels in a Lisbon slum that are audibly and visibly being razed)… Sandwiched between Costa’s Bones and Colossal Youth, which feature some of the same people and settings, as well as comparably exquisite lighting and employment of color, this is passionate and demanding chamber cinema of a very special kind." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Javier Packer-Comyn, Rebecca Shatwell, Un-Seong Yoo, Travis Gutiérrez Senger, Steven Boone.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Distant

Distant

Uzak (original title)

2002 / Turkey-Netherlands / 110m / Col / Psychological Drama, Urban Drama
Muzaffer Ozdemir, Emin Toprak, Zuhal Gencer, Nazan Kirilmis, Feridun Koc, Fatma Ceylan, Arif Asci, Nazli Aydin, Ahmet Bugay, Ebru Ceylan
"Distant, a moving character piece from Nuri Bilge Ceylan, clearly derives some of its sensibilities from the hallowed cinematic churches of Andrei Tarkovsky and Yasujiro Ozu (and there's a little Chekhov, too, in his approach)… Distant works subtly on the senses and the brain. A story that observes silent behavior as much as talk, that looks down streets and sees things we normally wouldn't notice, it's a movie of powerful accumulation. The compositions are masterful, especially the snow-covered scenes in Istanbul and, most memorably, the spectacle of an overturned ship in the wintry harbor." - Desson Thomson, The Washington Post
Selected by Matt Boyd, Amanda Boyle, Rodrigo Bedoya, Amat Escalante, Pier Marton.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread


2017 / USA / 130m / Col / Period Film, Romantic Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, Richard Graham, Camilla Rutherford, Harriet Sansom Harris, Brian Gleeson, Julia Davis, Nicholas Mander, Lujza Richter
"False gods strut through the movies of Paul Thomas Anderson: rapacious oilmen, well-endowed porn stars, inventors of new religions and spinners of old lies. Phantom Thread, the writer-director’s ultra-fascinating bad romance (powered by an uncommonly sophisticated script by Anderson himself), gives us a real god – or at least one who’s earned his perch. Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis, greying, fastidious, never unpersuasive) rules his private corner of London’s 1950s haute fashion world. A dresser of wasp-waisted princesses, he pursues his craft in total concentration and near-complete silence… Even though the tone here is impeccable as a Max Ophüls classic or high-period Bertolucci, you really have to go to something subversive like The War of the Roses to get a hint of the comic blackness. It’s sexy, silly and undeniably wonderful – like the best of affairs." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Ari Aster, Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Ricardo Bedoya, Miguel Gomes, Nanni Moretti.
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La Cienaga

La Ciénaga

The Swamp (English title)

2001 / Argentina-USA-Japan-France-Switzerland-Spain-Brazil / 99m / Col / Drama
Mercedes Moran, Graciela Borges, Martin Adjemian, Leonora Balcarce, Sylvia Bayle, Sofia Bertolotto, Juan Cruz Bordeu, Noelia Bravo Herrera, Maria Micol Ellero, Andrea Lopez
"Character is destiny, it has been said. As true as that may be, Martel's remarkable debut film, La Ciénaga, shows how geography and climate also determine human fate. For whether or not we recognize it, we all live in nature. And in La Ciénaga nature looms over the characters like a malevolent giant exhaling fetid vapors… As La Ciénaga perspires from the screen, it creates a vision of social malaise that feels paradoxically familiar and new. Anyone who has wilted during the dog days of summer will recognize its mood and identify with the characters' pervasive sense of exasperation. But La Ciénaga is the first film I've seen that makes this mood its subject." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Benjamín Naishtat, Pedro Pinho, Lila Avilés, Vinícius Reis, Pedro Adrián Zuluaga.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Roma

Roma


2018 / Mexico-USA / 135m / BW / Family Drama, Political Drama
Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, Verónica García, Andy Cortés, Fernando Grediaga
"Alfonso Cuarón dives into his Mexican boyhood with this absorbingly rich tribute to the resilient women who raised him. With his white-knuckle sci-fi thriller Gravity, Mexican auteur Alfonso Cuarón extracted an intimate character study from the vastness of outer space. Now he goes in reverse: In his deeply personal black and white marvel Roma, Cuarón unhurriedly observes the smallest parts first, before expanding to gradually reveal the social and political canvas of 1970s Mexico City… In his personal journey down memory lane (occasionally lightened by humorous anecdotes about a family dog and an extra-wide Ford Galaxie that barely fits in the driveway), Cuarón retroactively examines Cleo’s (Aparicio) life in respectful tribute, not guilt-ridden apology. A richly textured masterpiece, Roma is cinema at its purest and most human." - Tomris Laffly, Time Out
Selected by Boots Riley, Wesley Morris, David Ansen, Leonard Maltin, Stephen Farber.
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Leviathan

Leviathan


2012 / France-UK-USA / 87m / Col / Natural Environments, Documentary
Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Alexis Zegerman, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Stanley Townsend, Kate O'Flynn, Caroline Martin, Oliver Maltman, Sarah Niles, Samuel Roukin
"Documentary filmmaking is often derided for being stuffy; Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel won’t be accused of that. Their documentary about commercial fishing has mere scraps of incidental dialogue, a deafening boat engine on much of the soundtrack, only a handful of scenes that show human faces and, for the first 10 minutes (at least) of weaving nighttime digital camerawork, you frequently have no idea what the heck you are looking at… But the imagination here is arresting; ropes and nets look like undulating monsters, flocks of gulls are shot from dizzying upside-down angles.“ - Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
Selected by David Raboy, Raymond Bellour, Robert Greene, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Peter Keough.
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Certified Copy

Certified Copy

Copie conforme (original title)

2010 / France-Italy-Belgium-Iran / 106m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Juliette Binoche, William Shimell, Jean-Claude Carriere, Agathe Natanson, Gianna Giachetti, Adrian Moore, Angelo Barbagallo, Andrea Laurenzi, Filippo Troiano, Manuela Balsimelli
"The great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami travels to Tuscany for a luminous and provocative romance in which nothing is as it appears. What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people—played by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell—getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier: a mind-bending reflection on authenticity, in art as well as in relationships. Both cerebrally and emotionally engaging, Certified Copy reminds us that love itself is an enigma." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Stojan Pelko, Keith Uhlich, Adrian Martin, Yale Gontijo, Robert Greene.
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A Prophet

A Prophet

Un Prophète (original title)

2009 / France-Italy / 155m / Col / Crime Drama, Prison Film
Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb, Jean-Philippe Ricci, Gilles Cohen, Antoine Basler, Pierre Leccia, Foued Nassah
"A Prophet is a prison film like The Godfather is a gangster film. Meaning this knockout punch of a thriller surpasses its trappings to speak in a universal language about the ways power corrupts the human condition. Newcomer Tahar Rahim is astounding as Malik, 19, an illiterate Arab who begins serving six years by bootlicking César (Arestrup), an imprisoned Corsican crime boss…. Director Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) scores a triumph of the highest order with the defiant poetry of his vision. A Prophet is a new crime classic." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Ryan Coogler, Pam Cook, Jean-Marc Vallée, Nick Kroll, Graeme Tuckett.
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Goodbye to Language

Goodbye to Language

Adieu au language (original title)

2014 / Switzerland-France / 70m / Col / Avant-garde/Experimental, Drama
Heloise Godet, Kamel Abdeli, Richard Chevallier, Zoe Bruneau, Christian Gregori, Jessica Erickson, Marie Ruchat, Jeremy Zampatti, Daniel Ludwig, Gino Siconolfi
"Mr. Godard has a habit of blending gravity with whimsy. His latest film, a 70-minute 3-D visual essay called Goodbye to Language, exhibits the formal and philosophical mischief that has been his late-career calling card. It is baffling and beautiful, a flurry of musical and literary snippets arrayed in counterpoint to a series of brilliantly colored and hauntingly evocative pictures — of flowers, boats, streets, naked bodies and Mr. Godard’s own dog, a mixed-breed scene-stealer identified in the credits as Roxy Miéville." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Laurie Anderson, J. Hoberman, James Quandt, Raymond Bellour, Amy Taubin.
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Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York


2008 / USA / 124m / Col / Psychological Drama, Showbiz Drama
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Sadie Goldstein, Tom Noonan, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis
"For his directorial debut, the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has outdone himself, for good or ill, with the strangest, saddest movie imaginable, a work suffused with almost evangelical zeal in the service of disillusion. It's a film of mad Beckettian grandeur about the terrible twin truths of existence: life is disappointing and death inescapable. And it supplies a third insight: art is part of life and so doomed to failure in the same way… At the end of it all, you will feel as if you have lived through some crazy tragedy… It is not for everyone, but is utterly extraordinary in its way. If Charlie Kaufman never does anything again, this will stand as his cracked monument." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by David Sorfa, Ed Park, Theo Anthony, Marco Gualtieri, Philip Yung.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Get Out

Get Out


2017 / USA / 104m / Col / Horror, Gothic Film
Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root, LilRel Howery
"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner meets The Stepford Wives in Get Out, in which a white girl brings her black boyfriend home to meet her parents, whose superficially warm welcome masks an unthinkably dark secret. Blending race-savvy satire with horror to especially potent effect, this bombshell social critique from first-time director Jordan Peele proves positively fearless — which is not at all the same thing as scareless. In fact, from the steady joy-buzzer thrills to its terrifying notion of a new way that white people have found to perpetuate the peculiar institution of slavery, Get Out delivers plenty to frighten and enrage audiences. But it’s the fact that Peele doesn’t pull a single one of his punches that makes his Blumhouse-backed debut a must-see event." - Peter Debruge, Variety
Selected by Boots Riley, Amy Taubin, Leonard Maltin, Richard Brody, Ty Burr.
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The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight


2008 / USA-UK / 152m / Col / Crime Drama, Comic-Book Superhero Film
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Ron Dean, Cillian Murphy
"What a brooding pleasure it is to return to Nolan's Gotham City—if "pleasure" is the right word for a movie that gazes so deeply and sometimes despairingly into the souls of restless men. In The Dark Knight, the continuation of Nolan's superb 2005 reboot of the Batman franchise, Batman Begins, fair Gotham is a modestly cleaner, better-lit place than it was when last we saw it, if still a far stretch from the shining city on a hill its winged protector believes it can be... So The Dark Knight will give your adrenal glands their desired workout, but it will occupy your mind, too, and even lead it down some dim alleyways where most Hollywood movies fear to tread." - Scott Foundas, The Village Voice
Selected by Tony Jaa, Dane Cook, Miwa Nishikawa, Yuki Tanada, Erik Childress.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Dancer in the Dark

Dancer in the Dark


2000 / Denmark-France-Sweden-Italy-Germany-Norway-Netherlands-Iceland-Finland-UK-USA / 140m / Col / Musical Drama, Melodrama
Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Joel Grey, Vincent Paterson, Cara Seymour, Jean-Marc Barr, Vladica Kostic, Udo Kier
"Dogma 95 godfather Lars Von Trier's attempts to reinvent filmmaking continue with Dancer in the Dark… A bare-bones description doesn't quite capture Dancer in the Dark's richness… Von Trier traffics in a quality more compelling than simple irony and never relies solely on the contrast between the glitzy fantasies of Hollywood and the stark realities of working-class life. Each musical sequence arises naturally out of the rhythms and materials of its surroundings (a factory, a bridge, a house) and reflects an attempt by Björk to understand rather than escape her surroundings, to bring them in line with her own boundlessly generous and forgiving view of humanity." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Leste Chen, Zhang Jiarui, Naomi Kawase, Félix Sabroso, Laslo Rojas.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Far from Heaven

Far from Heaven


2002 / USA-France / 107m / Col / Melodrama, Marriage Drama
Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn, Michael Gaston, Ryan Ward, Lindsay Andretta, Celia Weston
"Todd Haynes has both updated the now-classic Douglas Sirk melodramas of the 1950's and paid ardent, intelligent homage to their lush, subversive spirit. Julianne Moore plays Cathy Whitaker, a Hartford housewife whose leafy domestic idyll is shattered by her husband's homosexuality and her own illicit friendship with a black landscaper (Haysbert). The cast, which also includes Dennis Quaid as Cathy's unhappy husband and Patricia Clarkson as her poisonously compassionate best friend, is uniformly superb. The movie transcends irony or caricature, and reminds us how humane and how artful melodrama can be." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Briony Hanson, Alan Jones, Hans-Dieter Delkus, Kristian Lin, Quim Casas.
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The Son

The Son

Le Fils (original title)

2002 / Belgium-France / 103m / Col / Drama, Social Problem Film
Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart, Nassim Hassaini, Kevin Leroy, Felicien Pitsaer, Remy Renaud, Annette Closset, Fabian Marnette, Pierre Nisse
"The emotional terrain The Son stakes out has been plowed over many times before. The death of a child commonly provides warrant either for sentimental psychobabble or for righteous violence. With their uncompromising, almost unbearable rigor and their ruthless refusal of melodrama, the Dardenne brothers mount an implicit critique of the therapeutic nostrums and the vigilante fantasies to which we have become accustomed… Nothing about The Son is easy, and it has the balked, minimalist force (as well as the working-class setting) of one of Raymond Carver's better stories. To call it a masterpiece would be to insult its modesty." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Matt Sobel, Andrew Droz Palermo, Kseniya Zueva, Igor Drljaca, Oto Horák.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Bu san (original title)

2003 / Taiwan / 82m / Col / Comedy Drama, Showbiz Drama
Kang-Sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Tien Miao, Chun Shih, Chao-Jung Chen, Kuei-Mei Yang
"The poet and critic Parker Tyler once described the movie theater as the "psychoanalytic clinic of the average worker." Tsai Ming-liang's latest feature puts one such clinic under analysis. Goodbye Dragon Inn concerns the inner life of a poured-concrete cavern in the heart of Taipei… Because the theater is about to shut down, there's a superficial resemblance to the canned nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso. But Goodbye Dragon Inn is far less sentimental and considerably funnier than the old Miramax pocket liner. And because Tsai is the director, Goodbye Dragon Inn is also a movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Zachary Wigon, Cesar Zamberlan, Rodrigo Moreno, Lorena Cancela, Michael J. Anderson.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Pasted Graphic

Million Dollar Baby


2004 / USA / 137m / Col / Sports Drama, Melodrama
Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Lucia Rijker, Brian F. O'Byrne, Anthony Mackie, Margo Martindale, Riki Lindhome
"Clint Eastwood takes what appears to be a conventional boxing-melodrama plot about a crusty old trainer whose heart is melted by a spirited young fighter and turns it into a glowing, somber meditation on friendship, ambition and death. The picture's scale is small, and its pacing leisurely, which gives you a chance to savor three lovely performances: from Swank as the young boxer, Freeman as world-weary former contender and Eastwood as the trainer… Mr. Eastwood has achieved a level of mastery that leaves him with nothing to prove, and so, unafraid of sentiment and willing to risk cliché, he has made a graceful, lyrical, devastating masterpiece." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Mark Glaser, Michael Althen, Ulrich Hocherl, David Stratton, Isaac León Frías.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Nostalgia for the Light

Nostalgia for the Light

Nostalgia de la luz (original title)

2010 / France-Germany-Chile-Spain-USA / 90m / Col / Social History, Documentary
Gaspar Galaz, Lautaro Nunez, Luis Henriquez, Miguel (Architect), Victor Gonzalez, Vicky Saaveda, Violeta Berrios, George Preston, Valentina Rodriguez
"This magical, moving documentary is from Patricio Guzman, the Chilean filmmaker who has spent a lifetime exploring his country’s unsteady relationship with its past. While others bury their heads in the sand over Pinochet’s murderous regime during the 1970s and ’80s, or the slave labour on which Chile’s nineteenth-century prosperity was built, Guzman heads to the sands of the country’s Atacama Desert to confront with poetry and sensitivity – but also a journalist’s keen eye and rigour – themes of remembering and forgetting, exploring and ignoring... A truly eye-opening experience." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
Selected by Zachary Wigon, Mónica Delgado, Ari Aster, Sukhdev Sandhu, Alex Gibney.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In

Låt den rätte komma in (original title)

2008 / Sweden-Norway / 114m / Col / Horror, Drama
Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord, Mikael Rahm, Kark-Robert Lindgren, Anders T. Peedu
"Stick your neck out for this Swedish horror show. It's a winner, full of mirth and malice, plus a young romance you'll never see on the Disney Channel. Eli (Leandersson) shows up just in time for 12-year-old Oskar (Hedebrant), who lives with his divorced mom in dank Stockholm. The kids at school are always kicking Oskar's ass, which helps fuel revenge fantasies. So it’s good to have a vampire on your side, especially Eli, who arrives in town with Hakan (Ragnar), an older dude, and a thirst for blood that must be slaked. Cue a series of bloody murders. Oskar doesn’t guess what Eli is at first, except that she smells funny and only comes out at night. But when he does, watch out.The two young leads are dynamite. And director Tomas Alfredson knows how to pin you to your seat. See it now before Hollywood remakes the thing and ruins it." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Jordan Peele, Edgar Wright, Scott Derrickson, Barry Levinson, Anne Billson.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Parasite

Parasite

Gisaengchung (original title)

2019 / South Korea / 132m / Col / Black Comedy, Family Drama
Song Kang-ho, Jo Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-sik, Park Seo-joon, Lee Sun-kyun, Jung Ji-so, Lee Jeong-eun, Jang Hye-jin, Andreas Fronk
"Described by its creator as “a comedy without clowns, a tragedy without villains”, Parasite is more Shakespearean than Hitchcockian – a tale of two families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, told with the trademark genre-fluidity that has seen Bong’s back catalogue slip seamlessly from murder mystery, via monster movie, to dystopian future-fantasy and beyond… For me, Parasite is best described as a melancholy ghost story, albeit one disguised beneath umpteen layers of superbly designed (and impeccably photographed) generic mutations. Thrillingly played by a flawless ensemble cast who hit every note and harmonic resonance of Bong and co-writer Han Jin-won’s multi-tonal script, it’s a tragicomic masterclass that will get under your skin and eat away at your cinematic soul." - Mark Kermode, The Observer
Selected by Ari Aster, Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Amy Taubin, Scott Foundas, Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
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The Headless Woman

The Headless Woman

La Mujer sin cabeza (original title)

2008 / Argentina-Spain-France-Italy / 87m / Col / Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Maria Onetto, Claudia Cantero, Cesar Bordon, Daniel Genoud, Guillermo Arengo, Ines Efron, Alicia Muxo, Pia Uribelarrea, Maria Vaner, Andrea Verdon
"Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel arrived on the international film scene eight years ago with her unique style already fully formed… Now along comes her magnificently confounding The Headless Woman, and I officially surrender. Maybe she’s finally put it all together, maybe I’m just slow — either way, this is one stunning piece of work… As pure filmmaking, The Headless Woman is indisputably superb and non-stop evocative; there’s scarcely a shot that doesn’t throb with ambiguous menace or portent. Indeed, there’s a strong genetic resemblance to David Lynch’s Inland Empire, another tale of a wealthy middle-aged woman who tumbles down an unexplained rabbit hole." - Mike D'Angelo, IFC
Selected by Lance Edmands, Yale Gontijo, Lorena Cancela, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, Robbie Collin.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Songs from the Second Floor

Songs from the Second Floor

Sånger från andra våningen (original title)

2000 / Sweden-France-Denmark-Norway-Germany / 98m / Col / Surrealist Film, Black Comedy
Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Hanna Eriksson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjorn Fahlstrom, Sten Andersson, Rolando Nunez, Lucio Vucina, Peter Roth, Klas-Gosta Olsson
"This beguilingly entertaining absurdist comedy played the Cannes Film Festival, and scenes from the picture still float in my head. The writer-director Roy Andersson uses the wide screen to compose chillingly beautiful shots and locks the camera in place as the often humorous action unfolds. The movie eschews conventional narrative, choosing to build, in discrete episodes, on the horrifyingly hilarious revelation that Fate rolls into everyone… Songs From the Second Floor, an example of an unsung genre, is a heartbreakingly thoughtful minor classic, the work of a genuine and singular artist." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Mike Leigh, Ruben Östlund, Babak Jalali, Mania Akbari, Gillies MacKinnon.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Carol

Carol


2015 / UK-USA / 118m / Col / Period Film, Romantic Drama
Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, Sarah Paulson, John Magaro, Cory Michael Smith, Kevin Crowley, Nik Pajic, Carrie Brownstein
"Todd Haynes has turned Patricia Highsmith's novel of lesbian love in Fifties New York into an exceptionally beautiful film, with a career-best performance from Cate Blanchett. Carol is gorgeous, gently groundbreaking, and might be the saddest thing you’ll ever see. More than hugely accomplished cinema, it’s an exquisite work of American art, rippling with a very specific mid-century melancholy, understanding love as the riskiest but most necessary gamble in anyone’s experience. It’s hard to imagine a director handling this project more surely than Todd Haynes, a supreme chronicler of feminine emotional pain - from Safe through Far From Heaven and Mildred Pierce - who reasserts his status here as one of the greats." - Tim Robey, The Telegraph
Selected by Tim Robey, David Ehrenstein, Stephen Farber, A.O. Scott, Dana Stevens.
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Tabu

Tabu


2012 / Portugal-Germany-Brazil-France / 118m / BW / Avant-garde/Experimental, Romantic Drama
Teresa Madruga, Laura Soveral, Ana Moreira, Henrique Espírito Santo, Carloto Cotta, Isabel Muñoz Cardoso, Ivo Müller, Manuel Mesquita, Paulo Amorim, Hortêncílio Aquina
"The Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’s third feature, Tabu, is one of the most original and inventive—as well as trenchantly political and painfully romantic—movies of recent years. It’s a film in a rare genre: its plot is so adroitly and sensitively imagined and realized that a mere telling of the things that take place would suffice to reveal the depth of the director’s imaginative discernment—his ample and nuanced vision of the extraordinary elements and implications of ordinary lives. But it’s also realized with a casually audacious sense of cinematic form even as it ignores conventional wisdom regarding cinematic politics." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Selected by Boglárka Nagy, Logan Sandler, Cecilia Barroso, Chico Fireman, Lorena Cancela.
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Amelie

Amélie

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (original title)

2001 / France-Germany / 122m / Col / Romance, Comedy
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Claire Maurier, Clotilde Mollet, Yolande Moreau, Flora Guiet
"Paris: city of light, city for lovers swept up by the air of romance. It’s the perfect setting for Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s wonderful Amélie, a film with a golden, glowing heart. This massive hit at the French box office is the very dictionary definition of ‘feel-good’ — its irresistible charms will dispel the heaviest clouds hanging over the head of the gloomiest misanthrope. Freed from the darker imagination of Marc Caro (with whom he collaborated on Delicatessen and The City Of Lost Children) and the restraints Hollywood thrust upon him during Alien Resurrection, Jeunet has created one of the most joyous films of recent years. With its gallery of affectionately drawn grotesques and eccentrics, Amélie is filled with sunshine.Jeunet has created one of the most joyous films of recent years. With its gallery of affectionately drawn grotesques and eccentrics, Amélie is filled with sunshine." - Alan Morrison, Empire
Selected by Pierfrancesco Diliberto, Piero Chiambretti, Myrna Maakaron, Iain McCaig, Jean Olle-Laprune.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Memento

Memento


2000 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery, Crime Thriller
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Jr., Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris, Callum Keith Rennie, Larry Holden, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox
"Nolan's Following was one of the most original British films of the '90s, and this follow-up makes no compromise. It opens with reverse action: a Polaroid photo fading and sliding into the camera, a corpse returned to life, a gun pulled from the head, a bullet sucked into the barrel. The action thereafter plays forwards as usual… This taut, ingenious thriller displays real interest in how perception and memory shape action, identity and, of course, filmic storytelling. Moreover, a plot strand featuring Stephen Tobolowsky even touches the heart. There's grade A work from all concerned, especially Pearce, but in the end this is Nolan's film. And he delivers, with a vengeance." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Frank Schnelle, Josh Bell, Mat Whitecross, Cyrus Frisch, Philip Kemp.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
See also 1,000 Noir Films
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Syndromes and a Century

Syndromes and a Century

Sang sattawat (original title)

2006 / Thailand-France-Austria-Netherlands / 105m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Nu Nimsomboon, Arkanae Cherkam, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Jenjira Pongpas, Sophon Pukanok, Manasanant Porndispong, Wanna Wattanajinda, Apirak Mittrpracha
"Syndromes and a Century is a poem on screen: a film of ideas and visual tropes that upends conventional narrative expectations, not out of a simple desire to disconcert but to break through the carapace of normality, to give us the knight's-move away from reality that the Russian formalists said was the prerogative of art. It's a movie to be compared with the work of Antonioni - or Sergei Parajanov… If you want a film as challenging and exhilarating as the most weird and wonderful exhibition at Tate Modern, if you are bored with all the usual boilerplate material coming out of Hollywood, or even if you're not, then this is a film for you. Try it." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Sarah Turner, Yale Gontijo, Blake Williams, Isaac León Frías, Jonathan Romney.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Zama

Zama


2017 / Argentina-Brazil-Spain-Dominican Republic-France-Netherlands-Mexico-Switzerland-USA-Portugal-Lebanon / 115m / Col / Adventure Drama, Slice of Life
Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujín, Nahuel Cano, Mariana Nunes, Carlos Defeo, Rafael Spregelburd, Carlos Cano, Jorge Román
"After a hiatus of nearly a decade, the brilliant Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel (The Holy Girl, The Headless Woman) returns with an entrancing 17th-century period drama. The title character, a magistrate in rural Argentina, longs to return to his native Spain so he can be reunited with his wife and children; waiting on his deliverance, he idles away his time with native women and petty political squabbles until he's sent into the jungle on a suicide mission to capture a violent bandit. As always with Martel, the story is opaque but the atmosphere is rich and immersive, with meticulously designed frames that balance one's attention between the principal characters and marginalized individuals (in this case women, slaves, and Native Americans). The soundtrack is also characteristically vibrant, as Martel conjures up a vivid world beyond the frame." - Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ari Aster, J. Hoberman, James Quandt, Molly Haskell, Andrei Plakhov.
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Oldboy

Oldboy

Oldeuboi (original title)

2003 / South Korea / 120m / Col / Thriller, Psychological Drama
Min-Sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Byeong-ok Kim, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh, Seung-Shin Lee, Jin-seo Yun, Tae-kyung Oh, Yeon-suk Ahn
"It’s easy to feel blasé about the steady stream of action-oriented movies from the Far East, but this latest head-spinner… is far, far too good to leave to the ‘Asia Extreme’ crowd… Choi Min-Sik is in the Pacino or De Niro class, running the gamut from terrifying rage to abject degradation. The implausibilities in the plot melt away because we’re living the experience with him, thanks also in part to the bravura expressiveness of Park’s direction. Hitchcock and Fincher are reference points, but this combines visceral punch, a tortured humanity and even an underlying Korean political resonance given the weight of the past. Quite an achievement then." - Trevor Johnston, Time Out
Selected by David Duchovny, Leste Chen, Louis Leterrier, Stanley Rosen, Lúcia Murat.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
See also 1,000 Noir Films
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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (original title)

2011 / Turkey-Bosnia and Herzergovina / 150m / Col / Crime Drama, Psychological Drama
Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel, Ahmet Mumtaz Taylan, Firat Tanis, Ercan Kesal, Ugur Aslanoglu, Murat Kilic, Safak Karali, Emre Sen
"Few films are about simply waiting and talking, but this is one; a film in which, for most of the time, nothing appears to be happening – but, in fact, everything is. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's new film is long and difficult, and perhaps not for everyone, but I can only say it is a kind of masterpiece: audacious, uncompromising and possessed of a mysterious grandeur in its wintry pessimism... Ceylan displays pure, exhilarating mastery in this film: it is made with such confidence and flair... With his two early features, Distant (2002) and Climates (2006), Ceylan has showed himself a superb film-maker. This is his greatest so far." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Akin Omotoso, Nadav Lapid, Kleber Mendonça Filho, John Powers, Pawel Pawlikowski.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Children of Men

Children of Men


2006 / USA-UK / 109m / Col / Science Fiction, Action Thriller
Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Pam Ferris, Danny Huston, Peter Mullan, Oana Pellea
"Children Of Men is set in 2027, but each strand of its dystopian vision comes tethered to 2006. It's all chillingly, disgustingly plausible, and the familiarity only amplifies its power to shock… Cuarón directs Children Of Men with remarkable long takes and indelible images, but it isn't the kind of craft that immediately calls attention to itself; Cuarón moves the story along with an intensity that makes it hard to pay attention to anything else. It's a film of astonishing immediacy, with all the urgency of a late-night phone call, but the human element drives it… It's a heartbreaking, bullet-strewn valentine to what keeps us human." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Yudai Yamaguchi, Denis Villeneuve, Stephanie Zacharek, Todd McCarthy, Alex Ross Perry.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Sideways

Sideways


2004 / USA / 123m / Col / Comedy Drama, Buddy Film
Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke, Jessica Hecht, Missy Doty, M.C. Gainey, Alysia Reiner, Shake Tukhmanyan
"Raise your glasses to a vintage American comedy that gets damn near everything right… This baby has it all: inspired direction by Alexander Payne, who fuses bracing wit and emotional gravity into something funny, touching and vital; a nuanced script by Payne and Jim Taylor that serves as a model of screen adaptation by shaping dialogue into classic comic contours; and a quartet of actors who qualify as a cinematic dream team… Sideways is inarguably a special occasion. Doubters may hedge about calling it a classic and might insist on checking back in a few years to see how it has aged. Fair enough. But it's not too early to call it pure movie bliss." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Shyamaprasad, James Frazier, Anupama Chopra, Owen Gleiberman, Leonard Maltin.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Silent Light

Silent Light

Stellet licht (original title)

2007 / Mexico-France-Netherlands / 136m / Col / Psychological Drama, Rural Drama
Cornelio Wall, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz, Peter Wall, Elisabeth Wall, Jacobo Klassen, Irma Thiessen, Alfredo Thiessen, Daniel Thiessen, Autghe Loewen
"Silent Light is told with the same powerful simplicity and stylistic austerity as Reygadas’ previous films, Japón and Battle in Heaven, but without the shock of explicit sexual or violent imagery, scenes that seemed designed to provoke our comfort level… Silent Light is entrancing, powerful, pure, a work of cinema art sheered to the essentials and a work of spiritual exploration and identity where religion and faith are never directly discussed but are behind every conversation. Reygadas isn’t preaching, he’s telling a human story framed by their beliefs and their commitment to their faith and family. In that space between the mortal and the spiritual, miracles occur." - Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
Selected by Jean-Pierre Garcia, Ludmila Cvikova, Monika Wagenberg, Lance Edmands, Wenke Wegner.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Colossal Youth

Colossal Youth

Juventude Em Marcha (original title)

2006 / Portugal-France-Switzerland / 155m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte, Gustavo Sumpta, Cila Cardoso, Isabel Cardoso, Alberto 'Lento' Barros, Antonio Semedo, Paulo Nunes, Jose Maria Pina
"Featuring the residents of a Lisbon slum, Pedro Costa's Colossal Youth is a mesmeric, visually stunning portrait of a deprived community that confirms its director as one of Europe's major talents. The intransigently austere Colossal Youth is the kind of film that must usually look for its exposure in those areas beyond the remit of commercial distribution, where cinema meets moving-image gallery work… Colossal Youth demands to be seen more than once: a first viewing just about lets you acclimatise to its mesmerically slow pacing, visual stillness and incantatory verbal rhythms." - Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound
Selected by Jesús Piquero, Kieron Corless, Michel Lipkes, Pimpaka Towira, Roger Koza,
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Y tu mama tambien

Y tu mamá también


2001 / Mexico / 105m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Road Movie
Maribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Marta Aura, Diana Bracho, Emilio Echeverria, Veronica Langer, Arturo Rios, Ana Lopez Mercado, Nathan Grinberg
"The director, Alfonso Cuarón, works with a quicksilver fluidity, and the movie is fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating. The film, which takes place in Mexico, follows two hormonally consumed teenage boys, Julio (Bernal) and Tenoch (Luna), whose infantile macho games seem more like baby steps when they meet Luisa (Verdú), a sad-eyed young woman who is married to Tenoch's older cousin. Tenoch and Julio come on to Luisa by promising her a tour of the wondrous beach called Heaven's Mouth. By the end, Julio and Tenoch are left with their eyes wide open. Those in the audience will have seen something unforgettable, too." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Jean-Christophe Berjon, Barbara Schweizerhof, Anupama Chopra, Nigel Andrews, David Ehrenstein.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis


2013 / USA-UK-France / 105m / Col / Musical Drama, Period Film
Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett, Max Casella, Jerry Grayson, Jeanine Serralles, Adam Driver, Stark Sands
"Inside Llewyn Davis gets everything softly, quietly right. T-Bone Burnett supervised the music, and it never sounds as if it's been lifted out of some dusty vault — it's alive. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel gives us a half-tarnished, half-burnished vision of early 1960s New York, just dreamy enough, rather than laden with false nostalgia... Intentionally or otherwise, the Coens might be channeling the Hal Ashby of The Landlord, or Next Stop, Greenwich Village–era Paul Mazursky. Whatever they're doing, it's remarkable — cockeyed humanism at its best." - Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice
Selected by Alex Pintică, Ari Aster, Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Mia Hansen-Løve, Isaac León Frías.
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Still Life

Still Life

Sanxia haoren (original title)

2006 / China-Hong Kong / 113m / Col / Drama, Social Problem Film
Tao Zhao, Sanming Han, Hong Wei Wang, Zhou Lan, Yong Huang, Jianlin Peng, Zhubin Li
"The fifth feature by Jia Zhang-ke, China's greatest contemporary filmmaker, is set in the vicinity of China's immense Three Gorges, where the ongoing construction of the world's largest dam has already forced the relocation of almost two million people. Against this epic canvas, their paths crisscrossing but never intersecting, a coal miner and a nurse (both from Jia's home province of Shanxi) search for their former mates. This 2006 drama may seem to be worlds apart from the surreal theme-park setting of Jia's previous film, The World, but there are similarities of theme, style, scale, and tone: social and romantic alienation in a monumental setting, a daring poetic mix of realism and lyrical fantasy, and an uncanny sense of where our planet is drifting." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Masaaki Oba, Ackbar Abbas, Blue Un Sok Kim, Elise Nakhnikian, Shohini Chaudhuri.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums


2001 / USA / 109m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Seymour Cassel, Kumar Pallana
"Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (Huston), had three children—Chas, Margot, and Richie—and then they separated. Chas (Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens and seemed to have an almost preternatural understanding of international finance. Margot (Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player and won the U.S. Nationals three years in a row… The Royal Tenenbaums is a hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption from Wes Anderson." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Noel Murray, Bert Rebhandl, Dane Benko, Miriam Bale, Robbie Collin.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films