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Best Movies of All Time

  • A painter and his househelper-turned-subject find an unexpected spiritual and sensual bond by way of their mutual sensibility to light and color. A fictionalized account of the creation of one…

  • A man is dead. Who among the greedy, ruthless, amoral singing-and-dancing suspects stuck in the snowbound countryside mansion has done it? 8 women is an acquired taste, bien sûr. What…

  • FILM Gosford Park d: Robert Altman; scr: Julian Fellowes Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India d: Ashutosh Gowariker; scr: Mulholland Dr. d, scr: David Lynch   CHECK THESE OUT…

  • While most film directors struggle – and fail – to create screen magic, Laurent Firode succeeds beautifully with his romantic-existential comedy Le Battement d’ailes du papillon / Happenstance. The key…

  • A mysterious con job that seems to be a cover for something ominously more dangerous forms the basis for director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie’s complex suspense thriller The…

  • One of the masterworks of world cinema, Trois couleurs: Rouge / Three Colors: Red is the final segment of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Trois couleurs trilogy – the other two being Bleu…

  • Jane Campion’s hauntingly beautiful The Piano is one of the rare successful attempts to bring the Gothic sensitivity of the Brontë sisters to the screen. Holly Hunter is superb as…

  • Forget Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and anything else he and his myriad imitators have done. C’est arrivé près de chez vous / Man Bites dog is the real thing. Directed…

  • Before he set out to make only ugly, tedious trash like G.I. Jane (1997), Gladiator (2000), and Black Hawk Down (2001), Ridley Scott directed at least three cinematic gems: Alien,…

  • A film by one of the world’s best directors, Gianni Amelio, the Academy Award-nominated Porte aperte / Open Doors tells the harrowing story of an assistant judge who tries to…

  • Winner of the 1985 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Luis Puenzo’s La Historia oficial / The Official Story is deeply disturbing in its unflinching depiction of the evil lurking…

  • Despite a not too convincingly debauched Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, played with itsy-bitsy-cutesy flair by Academy Award nominee Tom Hulce, the visually stunning Amadeus is an intriguing treatise on the coexistence…

  • Cinematographer Carroll Ballard’s second directorial effort (following The Black Stallion in 1979), Never Cry Wolf is a stunningly beautiful meditation on nature and on life itself. Based on the true…

  • Costa-Gavras made a reputation for himself as a director of provocative, controversial political thrillers. His 1969 anti-Greek junta film, Z, became the first non-English language film in more than thirty…

  • A superb cast that includes Academy Award nominee Fernanda Montenegro (Central do Brasil / Central Station) brings to life the conflicted characters of Eles Não Usam Black-Tie / They Don’t…

  • Once upon a time, before becoming involved in bloated mainstream Hollywood productions, Jonathan Demme directed a little gem called Melvin and Howard (as in Hughes, the oil millionaire-turned-film producer-turned-total nut…

  • 1975 is the only year in which all films nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award also figure in our Best of the Best list. The five films are: Barry…

  • Chinatown with Jack Nicholson. “You may think you know what you’re dealing with,” one character admonishes sleazy private detective Jake Gittes, “but believe me, you don’t.” Released shortly after the…

  • Throughout most of his career, Greek-born director Costa-Gavras has set his sights on political themes. With the Academy Award-winning Z (1969), he attacked the right-wing military junta that seized power…

  • Musicals tend to be either vacuous and light as air (e.g., An American in Paris) or vacuous and heavy as lead (e.g., Doctor Dolittle). Cabaret fits into neither category. Set…

  • Veteran actress-screenwriter-playwright Ruth Gordon enjoyed a major film career renaissance following her Oscar-winning devilish turn in Rosemary’s Baby in 1968. In Harold and Maude, the 75-year-old Gordon had her first…

  • Quite possibly Bernardo Bertolucci’s best film, Il Conformista / The Conformist is a first-rate psychological thriller that associates fascistic tendencies with repressed sexuality. Politicians everywhere should take a good look…

  • Set in the amoral Swinging London of the 1960s, Darling is a morality tale that holds up surprisingly well. Julie Christie plays a beautiful model who sleeps her way to…

  • On paper, there is precious little that is innovative about Jacques Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg / The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. It’s just your usual story of a handsome boy…

  • [Photo: Claire Bloom, Julie Harris The Haunting.] After Jack Clayton’s The Innocents (1961), Robert Wise’s The Haunting is the best haunted house story ever filmed. But is the house really…

  • Lawrence of Arabia is generally the most admired motion picture released in 1962, while The Manchurian Candidate is the most admired strictly political film to come out that year. We,…

  • Possibly the best ghost story ever filmed, Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, an adaptation of Henry Jamess’ novel The Turn of the Screw, offers spooky apparitions, demented religiosity, repressed sexuality (in…

  • Better known for his early neo-realist films Ladri di biciclette /The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Sciuscià / Shoeshine (1946), Vittorio De Sica created a harrowing portrait of the horrors of…

  • The guilty pleasure of all guilty pleasures. An unabashedly sentimental story about East meets West, a bland performance by leading man William Holden (Sunset Boulevard, Network), an awful (and awfully…

  • Considered by many one of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s lesser films, The Barefoot Contessa is a classy, intelligently written, and generally well acted morality tale. Inspired by the life of Rita…

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