The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films (250-151)

Beginning on this page is TSPDT's detailed look at the 21st Century's Most Acclaimed 250 Films. Each film's current ranking and previous ranking is provided with each entry, along with cast lists, review quotes (with external links to full review), links to IMDB and Amazon, and a sampling of five critics/filmmakers who voted, at one time or another, for the film in question.
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Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice


2014 / USA / 148m / Col / Detective Film, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Joanna Newsom, Eric Roberts, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, Jena Malone
"Adapted from Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel, the movie has been compared by many to the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski, a drug-fueled LA comedy with a similarly labyrinthian mystery (or "mystery") and some shared themes. But Vice is a richer, deeper, sweeter, equally funny movie… Mostly it's a long, shaggy, knockabout comedy about eccentrics who pursue their own appetites and manias and indulge their private demons while remaining oblivious to their effect on others. As such, it's a great people-watching film, showcasing a diverse cast whose performances are the acting equivalent of self-caricatures rendered under the influence: the line goes where it goes." - Matt Zoller Seitz, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Kim Morgan, Matt Zoller Seitz, Miriam Bale, Carlos Losilla, Anne Billson.
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The Best of Youth

The Best of Youth

La Meglio gioventù (original title)

2003 / Italy / 373m / Col / Period Film, Family Drama
Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Adriana Asti, Sonia Bergamasco, Fabrizio Gifuni, Maya Sansa, Valentina Carnelutti, Jasmine Trinca, Andrea Tidona, Lidia Vitale
"The annotated family album as social history, or vice versa, The Best of Youth is another thick spine on the top shelf of Italian cine-novels. Covering nearly 40 years in a remarkably compact six hours, Marco Tullio Giordana's fleet-footed marathon seeks a country's whole equation among the intellectual middle-class Caratis of Rome while keeping to the tempos of family routine and reunion… The movie has the addictive episodic intimacy of great TV." - Jessica Winter, The Village Voice
Selected by Gary Meyer, Kenneth Turan, Lloyd Michaels, Kenneth Turan, A.O. Scott.
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Frances Ha

Frances Ha


2012 / USA / 86m / BW / Comedy Drama, Slice of Life
Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, Charlotte d'Amboise, Grace Gummer, Daiva Deupree, Isabelle McNally, Justine Lupe
"Greta Gerwig is radiant as Frances, a woman in her late twenties in contemporary New York trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances, and, above all, her intimate but shifting bond with her best friend, Sophie (Sumner). Meticulously directed by Noah Baumbach with a free-and-easy vibe reminiscent of the French New Wave’s most spirited films, and written by Baumbach and Gerwig with an effortless combination of sweetness and wit, Frances Ha gets at both the frustrations and the joys of being young and unsure of where to go next. This wry and sparkling city romance is a testament to the ongoing vitality of independent American cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ginette Vincendeau, Phillip Lopate, Ryan Gilbey, Tom Charity, Mike D'Angelo.
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Evolution of a Filipino Family

Evolution of a Filipino Family

Ebolusyon ng isang pamilyang Pilipino (original title)

2004 / Philippines / 540m / BW / Drama
Elryan de Vera, Angie Ferro, Pen Medina, Marife Necesito, Ronnie Lazaro, Lui Manansala, Banaue Miclat, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Joel Torre, Angel Aquino
"An intimate epic made with uncompromising and austere seriousness, Lav Diaz's Evolution of a Filipino Family patiently and methodically observes the collapse and hopeful revival of a poor farming clan, meant to symbolize a nation's history spanning 1971 to 1987… Lensed over nine years in black-and-white video, pic is twice as long as Diaz's acclaimed Batang West Side. However, Evolution justifies its extraordinary length with an approach that will recall, for Western viewers at least, vestiges of Bela Tarr, Samuel Beckett, Frank Norris and William Faulkner." - Robert Koehler, Variety
Selected by Paolo Bertolin, May Adadol Ingawanij, Ekkehard Knörer, Raya Martin, John Gianvito.
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Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild


2012 / USA / 93m / Col / Drama, Fantasy
Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes, Pamela Harper, Gina Montana, Amber Henry, Jonshel Alexander, Nicholas Clark, Joseph Brown
"This Malick-inspired response to Hurricane Katrina, about a six-year-old bayou-dweller and her father, has ambition and poetry to burn. Benh Zeitlin's debut feature is part film, part hallucination: a ripe and gamey piece of what you might call Apocalyptic Southern Gothic, ambitious and flawed but sprinting with energy. It's set at the time of the Katrina catastrophe – though it could as well be happening hundreds of years in the future, when much-prophecied climate calamities have come to pass… Beasts of the Southern Wild is a vividly poetic and maybe even therapeutic response to one of the most painful and mortifying episodes in modern American history." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Amy Taubin, Ty Burr, Todd McCarthy, Roger Ebert, Peter Bradshaw.
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Dogtooth

Dogtooth

Kynodontas (original title)

2009 / Greece / 97m / Col / Psychological Drama, Family Drama
Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Christos Passalis, Mary Tsoni, Anna Kalaitzidou, Alexander Voulgaris
"The film’s provocative conceit and the cold-blooded precision of its violence recall Michael Haneke, particularly Funny Games and Time Of The Wolf, but Lanthimos has a prankish sense of humor, and favors an offhand absurdity that aligns him closer to Luis Buñuel. As Dogtooth’s carefully cultivated fictional world begins to unravel, the fallout accelerates too fast for anyone on screen to cope. The truth goes hand-in-glove with a feeling of blind panic. It’s an exhilaratingly unpredictable experience, and not an easy one to shake." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Christine Dollhofer, Paul Whitington, Peter Bradshaw, Anthony Lane, Michael Atkinson.
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Before Midnight

Before Midnight


2013 / USA / 109m / Col / Comedy Drama, Marriage Drama
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Prior, Charlotte Prior, Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Walter Lassally, Ariane Labed, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Athina Rachel Tsangari
"Before Midnight is intimate and intelligent, and also undemanding in the best possible way, acted with charm and lack of ego, especially by Delpy: the story of people who have all the cares of middle age but somehow retain the idealism and curiosity of their youth. It's a secular, happier – if shallower – version of Rossellini's Journey to Italy, to which it explicitly alludes, having given cinephiles time to notice the resemblance for themselves... This is a great end to the trilogy – if it is the end. As an organic experiment in collaboration between actors and director, it is a triumph, co-created and co-owned by Delpy, Linklater and Hawke." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Paul Whitington, Tim Grierson, Jeremy Thomas, David Ansen, Phillip Lopate.
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Match Point

Match Point


2005 / UK-USA-Luxembourg / 124m / Col / Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
Brian Cox, Matthew Goode, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Penelope Wilton, Ewen Bremner, James Nesbitt, Rupert Penry Jones, Alexander Armstrong
"Match Point is Woody Allen's most satisfying film since Bullets Over Broadway (1994) and his most compelling since Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). Philosophically and plotwise, it's right in line with some of his previous work. Yet Match Point breaks new ground in a handful of significant ways: For one, there is no Woody Allen surrogate. For another, he gets out of New York, and something about being in London and using British actors frees him of the tics and cliches -- the barnacles -- that have accumulated around his art." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Maria Kuvshinova, Oti Rodriguez Marchante, Pierre Lam, Patrick Laurent, Philip Siegel.
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The Arbor

The Arbor


2010 / UK / 94m / Col / Biography, Avant-garde/Experimental
Manjinder Virk, Christine Bottomley, Natalie Gavin, Parvani Lingiah, Danny Webb, Kate Rutter, Liam Price, Robert Haythorne, Josh Brown, Gary Whitaker
"Verbatim theatre is a new form of contemporary political drama, in which the proceedings of some hearing or trial are reconstituted word-for-word on stage, acted out by performers. Now artist and film-maker Clio Barnard has experimentally and rather brilliantly applied this technique to the big screen, ventriloquising the past with a new kind of "verbatim cinema". She has journeyed back 30 years with a movie about the late Andrea Dunbar – dramatist and author of Rita, Sue and Bob Too – who, physically weakened by alcoholism, died in 1990 of a brain haemorrhage aged 29… Barnard has created a modernist, compassionate biopic: a tribute to her memory and her embattled community." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Briony Hanson, Jeremy Deller, Jonathan Romney, Debra Zimmerman, Eva Weber.
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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
Selected by Ben Wheatley, Antoni Królikowski, Richard Brody, Alexander Horwath, Ginette Vincendeau.
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Secret Sunshine

Secret Sunshine


2007 / South Korea / 142m / Col / Slice of Life, Family Drama
Do-yeon Jeon, Kang-ho Song, Yeong-jin Jo, Mi-kyung Kim, Yeong-jae Kim, Seo-hie Ko, Myeong-shin Park
"On its surface the transparent and horrifying tale of a mother’s grief, Secret Sunshine has the kind of emotional depth and thematic complexity that rewards repeat viewings. Mr. Lee, a distinguished novelist before he turned to filmmaking (he has also served as South Korea’s minister of culture and tourism), composes the cinematic equivalent of prose that is clear, elegant and lyrical… To praise the perfection of Secret Sunshine would be to risk misrepresenting its main virtue, which is its attention to minor infelicities and inconveniences as well as to unspeakable crimes and intolerable heartaches. It is a great movie, by a major figure in world cinema." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Hirokazu Koreeda, Kazuhiro Soda, Wong Shuk-han, Peter Debruge, Alexander Horwath.
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The Sun

The Sun

Solntse (original title)

2005 / Russia-Italy-France-Switzerland / 115m / Col / Biopic, War Drama
Issei Ogata, Robert Dawson, Kaori Momoi, Shiro Sano, Shinmei Tsuji, Taijiro Tamura, Georgi Pitskhelauri, Hiroya Morita, Toshiaki Nishizawa, Naomasa Musaka
"The most perverse installment of Aleksandr Sokurov's dictator cycle, The Sun follows the Russian director's meditations on Hitler (Moloch, 1999) and Lenin (Taurus, 2000) with a curiously upbeat portrait of Japan's last divine emperor, Hirohito, in the immediate aftermath of World War II... Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him. He contrives a shock ending that, as measured as everything else in this engrossing, supremely assured movie, acknowledges one last blood sacrifice on the emperor's altar." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Ian Christie, Sitora Alieva, Philippe Grandrieux, Tim Robey, Maya Turovskaya.
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Birdman

Birdman


2014 / USA-Canada / 119m / Col / Black Comedy, Satire
Michael Keaton, Lindsay Duncan, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Kenny Chin, Jamahl Garrison-Lowe, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan
"The vast majority of Iñárritu’s hilarious, beautiful, film-defying film plays out in an apparently continuous, cut-free sequence that prowls through the St James Theatre in New York City, where Riggan (Keaton) hopes to resuscitate his flagging career… Working with the great cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Iñárritu turns the film into a high-wire act – live, unpredictable, light as air, yet also fatalistically locked on course… Yet Birdman isn’t a piece of empty showmanship. It’s a piece about empty showmanship, and its unhinged premise – a fairground-mirror image of the career of its leading man – couldn’t have been told in a smarter way." - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Selected by Travis Gutiérrez Senger, Fernanda Solórzano, Peter Bradshaw, Edgar Wright, Richard Corliss.
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24 Hour Party People

24 Hour Party People


2001 / UK / 115m / Col / Comedy Drama, Biography
Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Ron Cook, Keith Allen, Chris Coghill, Paddy Considine, Dave Gorman, Sean Harris, Shirley Henderson, Andy Serkis
"Here's the real deal in a rock movie. It's a fractured fever dream that looks at the British music scene through the drug-glazed eyes of Tony Wilson, played with hurricane force and bruising wit by Steve Coogan… Shot on digital video by brilliant cinematographer Robby Muller, the movie really is a blast, mixing newsreel footage with the made-up stuff, throwing in celebrity cameos (including one by Wilson himself), and skewering whatever bull gets in its way. Like the music, the film is outspoken, roaringly funny, defiantly sexual and relentlessly in your face. I couldn't have liked it more." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stonei
Selected by Adam McKay, Dávid Klág, Andrew Pulver, Penny Woolcock, Tom Charity.
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Unknown Pleasures

Unknown Pleasures

Ren xiao yao (original title)

2002 / China-Japan-South Korea-France / 112m / Col / Drama, Urban Drama
Wei Wei Zhao, Qiong Wu, Qing Feng Zhou, Hong Wei Wang, Ru Bai, Xi An Liu, Shou Lin Xu, Ren Ai Jun, Dao Xiao, Zi Ying
"Generically, Unknown Pleasures is a youth film. Two unemployed boys, Bin Bin (Zhao Wei Wei) and Xiao Ji (Wu Qiong), vegetate in the ugly provincial city of Datong… Shot in digital video, Unknown Pleasures teems with visual interest. Jia uses the format to film all manner of public places. Yu's camera hunkers down in restaurant booths and sidles into automobile backseats, frequently observing the characters in real time. Drawing on Jia's influences Robert Bresson and Hou Hsiao-hsien, Unknown Pleasures suggests a coolly formalist reinvention of neorealism. The film is both distanced and immediate—a fiction with the force of documentary." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Paolo Bertolin, Michael Berry, Chuck Stephens, Dennis Lim, Robert Koehler.
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Millennium Mambo

Millennium Mambo

Qian xi man po (original title)

2001 / Taiwan-France / 119m / Col / Urban Drama, Romantic Drama
Qi Shu, Jack Kao, Chun-hao Tuan, Yi-Hsuan Chen, Jun Takeuchi, Doze Niu
"Set at the dawn of the millennium, Mambo stars the mesmerizing Shu Qi as an aimless beauty who drifts between men in what feels like one long, unending night, although it may span anywhere from a few months to several years. Hou's celebrated single shots are framed as carefully as ever, and ravishingly lit by frequent collaborator Mark Lee Ping-bin (In the Mood for Love), but Lim Giong and Yoshihiro Hanno's looping techno score gives the movie a toe-tapping forward momentum, even if its heroine is mainly going in circles." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Mia Hansen-Løve, Fábio Andrade, Massimo Causo, Enriqie Vidal, Jorge Didaco.
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Darwin's Nightmare

Darwin's Nightmare


2004 / Austria-Belgium-France-Germany / 111m / Col / Environmental Science, Documentary
Elizabeth 'Eliza' Maganga Nsese, Raphael Tukiko Wagara, Dimond Remtulia, Marcus Nyoni, Sergey Samarets, Jonathan Nathanael, Msafiri 'Safiri' Habat, Dima Rogonov, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jura Biriuchev
"The Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria some 40 to 50 years ago, an apparent attempt to replenish the overfished waters that led to the extinction of hundreds of indigenous species… Quietly outraged and actively upsetting, Darwin's Nightmare spirals out from a case study of one cannibalistic killer to a far bigger and more rapacious fish. The ruthless supremacy of the Nile perch and its devastating effect on the lake's ecosystem constitute a gruesomely resonant metaphor for the impact of global capitalism on local industry… Darwin's Nightmare strings together cruel ironies into a work of harrowing lucidity.” - Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
Selected by B. Ruby Rich, Isabel Stevens, Brian Hill, Claas Danielsen, Dick Fontaine.
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Paranoid Park

Paranoid Park


2007 / France-USA / 85m / Col / Psychological Drama, Coming-of-Age
Gabe Nevins, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Dan Liu, Lauren McKinney, Scott Green, John 'Mike' Burrowes, Grace Carter, Jay 'Smay' Williamson, Christopher Doyle
"Paranoid Park is a swooping skateboarding free zone where young men learn to fly. It’s also the title of Gus Van Sant’s most recent film, a haunting, voluptuously beautiful portrait of a teenage boy who, after being suddenly caught in midflight, falls to earth. Like most of Mr. Van Sant’s films Paranoid Park is about bodies at rest and in motion, and about longing, beauty, youth and death, and as such as much about the artist as his subject. It is a modestly scaled triumph without a false or wasted moment." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Tata Amaral, Roger Koza, David Ehrenstein, Dennis Lim, Amy Taubin.
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Drive

Drive


2011 / USA / 100m / Col / Crime, Thriller
Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Kaden Leos, Jeff Wolfe, James Biberi
"At a time when action films routinely pass off freneticness as excitement, Drive is a reminder of how powerful the genre can be when every shot and every line of dialogue has a purpose, deployed for maximum impact. Owing a debt to the Zen-like simplicity and nocturnal L.A. ambience of Walter Hill’s The Driver—which, in turn, took a page from Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï—the film is little more than an exercise in style, but it’s dazzling and mythic, a testament to the fundamental appeal of fast cars, dangerous men, and tension that squeezes like a hand to the throat." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Christopher Campbell, Marshall Fine, Roger Ebert, Ty Burr, Andrew O'Hehir.
See also 1,000 Noir Films
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Another Year

Another Year


2010 / UK / 130m / Col / Marriage Drama, Ensemble Film
Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Oliver Maltman, Peter Wight, David Bradley, Martin Savage, Karina Fernandez, Michele Austin, Philip Davis
"Like Life Is Sweet or All or Nothing, it’s another film that warmly observes a married couple, their family and their relations with themselves and the outside world. Yet there’s a wisdom and restraint to this film and a confidence of purpose that makes it Leigh’s most mature work to date. It follows a year in the life of a sixtysomething couple, Tom (Broadbent) and Gerri (Sheen)… They live together in a home on a quiet street somewhere in suburbia that reflects their settled, earthy personalities. They’re social creatures, and it’s their interaction with friends and family that Leigh focuses on, mostly in their home, over lunch, dinner or a drink at their kitchen table." - Dave Calhoun, Time Out
Selected by Janez Burger, Dave Calhoun, Leonard Maltin, Rob White, Owen Gleiberman.
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Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York


2002 / USA / 166m / Col / Crime Drama, Period Film
Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, Henry Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Lewis, Alec McCowen, David Hemmings
"Scorsese's brutal epic of mid-19th-century Manhattan is a near-great film that, as time goes by, may well make up the distance… The real achievement of the movie is in the way it brings history to life — not merely by meticulously recreating its details, but by offering a troubling and timely interpretation of how the violence and iniquity of the past continues to ramify into the present. The film, flawed and indelible, is nothing less than an attempt to reimagine the germs of America's historical identity. It suggests, with vivid plausibility, that clues to the national character can be found in the violent, contradictory and often tragic story of the urban immigrant working class." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Carlos Manga, Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger, Glenn Kenny, Jonathan Romney, A.O. Scott.
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Fahrenheit 9/11

Fahrenheit 9/11


2004 / USA / 122m / Col / Politics & Government, Documentary
Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Craig Unger, Jack Cloonan, James Moore, Dan Briody, Rosemary Dillard, Martha Brill Olcott, Jim McDermott, Roy Gladding
"Assessing the merits of a political film is a tricky business. Obviously, its quality is partly a function of its power to persuade, but its persuasiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Yet there are other things to consider: The movie's passion. Its serious purpose. Its tone. Its mix of words and images, and the way both linger in the mind. There's the way the movie fashions its arguments, and the cumulative effect the experience provides -- what you feel walking out, what you think about the next day. By all these measures, Fahrenheit 9/11 is Michael Moore's best film." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Alexandra Zeevalkink, Douglas Kellner, Gordon Quinn, John Corner, Peter Bradshaw.
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Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop


2010 / UK / 87m / Col / Visual Arts, Documentary
Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Debora Guetta, Space Invader, Monsieur Andre, Zeus, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Caledonia Curry, Borf
"A genuinely hip, thought-provoking work of art disguised as a doomed documentary resurrected, Exit Through the Gift Shop is not just the definitive portrait of street-art counterculture, but also a hilarious exposé on the gullibility of the masses who embrace manufactured creative personas. Though it's credited as a Banksy picture—as in the ever-elusive U.K. graffiti ninja whose puckish, anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian stencils have appeared everywhere from metropolitan billboards worldwide to the West Bank barrier wall—the film ostensibly began with him tapped as its on-camera subject." - Aaron Hillis, The Village Voice
Selected by Warwick Thornton, Robbie Collin, Frédéric Boyer, Ty Burr, Owen Gleiberman.
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Inside Out

Inside Out


2015 / USA / 94m / Col / Fantasy Comedy, Animation
Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, Paula Poundstone
"Inside Out, a comedy-adventure set inside the mind of an 11-year old girl, is the kind of classic that lingers in the mind after you've seen it, sparking personal associations. And if it's as successful as I suspect it will be, it could shake American studio animation out of the doldrums it's been mired in for years. It avoids a lot of the cliched visuals and storytelling beats that make even the best Pixar movies, and a lot of movies by Pixar's competitors, feel too familiar. The best parts of it feel truly new, even as they channel previous animated classics (including the works of Hayao Miyazaki) and explore situations and feelings that everyone has experienced to some degree." - Matt Zoller Seitz, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Nick Kroll, Steven Gaydos, A.O. Scott, Owen Gleiberman, Peter Bradshaw.
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Poetry

Poetry


2010 / South Korea / 139m / Col / Family Drama, Slice of Life
Jeong-hie Yun, Da-wit Lee, Hira Kim, Nae-sang Ahn, Myeong-shin Park, Yong-taek Kim
"As in his equally exceptional last film, Secret Sunshine (2007), Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry is a perfectly paced and performed character study of a woman raising a child on her own who must contend with a heinous act of violence. In her 60s, Mija (the marvelous Korean screen vet Yun Jung-hee) lives with her sullen adolescent grandson, Wook (Lee David), whose mother is looking for work in Busan… Poetry stands out as both a quietly scathing condemnation of male violence (and the craven attempts to cover it up) and an ode to the strength of a senescent woman all too frequently dismissed." - Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice
Selected by Ludmila Cvikova, Paul Whitington, Peter Bradshaw, Samuel Wigley, Adrian Martin.
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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 Dana Stevens, David Stratton, Joanna Hogg, Paul Julian Smith, Todd McCarthy.
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Vera Drake

Vera Drake


2004 / UK-France / 125m / Col / Drama, Social Problem Film
Imelda Staunton, Philip Davis, Peter Wright, Eddie Marsan, Alex Kelly, Daniel Mays, Sally Hawkins, Adrian Scarborough, Heather Craney, Ruth Sheen
"Staunton plays a middle-aged cleaning woman in 1950s London who performs illegal abortions in her spare time, motivated not by money or ideology but by an intuitive conviction that she's providing a desperately needed service for desperately needy women. The acting is brilliant and Leigh's screenplay - developed through his usual process of improvisation and rehearsal - is very long on compassion, very short on preaching and politics." - David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor
Selected by Gerardo Cailloma Navarrete, Michael Brooke, Dan Sallitt, Peter Bradshaw, Andrew Bujalski.
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Whiplash

Whiplash


2014 / USA / 107m / Col / Musical Drama, Psychological Drama
Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Damon Gupton, Suanne Spoke, Max Kasch
"You don’t think of jazz drumming as a rigorous academic discipline - but that is how it is portrayed in writer-director Damien Chazelle’s riveting Oedipal drama Whiplash. There is barely a whiff of cigarette smoke here and sex, drink and drugs - staples of most jazz based movies - seem off limits too. Instead, the drama largely plays out in rehearsal rooms in the basement of a prestigious conservatory. Chazelle’s achievement is to bring a ferocious, barbed intensity to a film that could easily have seemed a claustrophobic and austere chamber piece." - Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent
Selected by Matthew Sweet, Edgar Wright, Gerald Peary, David Ansen, Amy Taubin.
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The Hours

The Hours


2002 / USA-UK / 114m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Stephen Dillane, Miranda Richardson, George Loftus, John C. Reilly, Ed Harris, Jack Rovello, Allison Janney
"This remarkably faithful and moving screen adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning theme and variations on Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway stars Nicole Kidman as the English author who committed suicide in 1941… Ms. Kidman's Woolf is one of the most disturbing portraits of mental imbalance ever brought to the screen… David Hare's lean, incisive screenplay and Philip Glass's churning minimalist score fold stories that take place in different eras into a single timeless plane. Ed Harris gives a furious, anguished portrayal of an eminent poet dying of AIDS." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Mohamed Al-Daradji, Ali Ulvi Uyanik, David Wain, Kathleen Murphy, Xavier Dolan.
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Old Joy

Old Joy


2006 / USA / 76m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Daniel London, Will Oldham, Tanya Smith, Robin Rosenberg, Keri Moran, Autumn Campbell, Steve Doughton, Lucy the Dog, Matt McCormick, Darren Prolsen
"Carefully accumulating and juxtaposing details to form an interconnected web of loneliness, regret, and longing for happier times gone by, Reichardt’s Old Joy would warrant being called a mash-up of Sideways and Brokeback Mountain if it weren’t so superior to those heralded 'independent' predecessors in both form and content… Kelly Reichardt’s deceptively simple film achieves its perceptivity from laidback unobtrusiveness, her cautiously detached direction providing an intimate fly-on-the-wall perspective on friends Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham) as they reunite to take a weekend camping trip to the hot springs nestled deep within Oregon’s Cascade Mountains." - Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
Selected by Andrew Haigh, Ray Carney, Samuel Wigley, Jason Wood, Amy Taubin.
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Gosford Park

Gosford Park


2001 / UK-USA-Italy / 137m / Col / Comedy Drama, Mystery
Eileen Atkins, Bob Balaban, Alan Bates, Michael Gambon, Charles Dance, Tom Hollander, Stephen Fry, Richard E. Grant, Derek Jacobi, Kelly Macdonald
"Robert Altman, near the peak of his directorial game at 76, melds the staid worlds of Upstairs Downstairs and Agatha Christie-style mystery into an acutely observed period whodunit, set in 1932 on a posh country estate. Michael Gambon is the rich "randy old sod" with many enemies who gives a weekend shooting party. Kristin Scott Thomas is the lady of the house. The guests include an American film producer (Balaban) and the matinee idol Ivor Novello (Northam). Greed and snobbery reign, and upstairs meets downstairs on the back stairs. The ensemble acting is sublime." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Daniel Lindvall, Yael Shuv, Geoff Andrew, Joseph McBride, A.O. Scott.
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Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs

Wu jian dao (original title)

2002 / Hong Kong / 100m / Col / Crime, Police Drama
Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Eric Tsang, Chapman To, Ka Tung Lam, Ting Yip Ng, Chi Keung Wan, Sammi Cheng, Kelly Chen
"This blistering thriller packs an almighty punch. It combines exhilarating action with liquid-nitrogen existential cool, gleaming and shimmering with the city's glass and steel. When going to the movies can seem like a pretty earnest business, it's good to have one that gets you hugging yourself with excitement. Infernal Affairs hangs on the operatic confrontation of cop and villain that feels a little like the great De Niro-Pacino face-off in Michael Mann's Heat. But for my money, it's got something more elusive and complex than Mann ever achieved." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Sean Cubitt, Sakura Yang, Alexandra Seitz, Bjoern Becher, Anupama Chopra.
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Munich

Munich


2005 / USA-Canada / 160m / Col / Docudrama, Political Thriller
Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zorer, Gila Almagor, Michel Lonsdale, Mathieu Amalric
"With Munich, Steven Spielberg forgoes the emotional bullying and pop thrills that come so easily to him to tell the story of a campaign of vengeance that Israel purportedly brought against Palestinian terrorists in the wake of the 1972 Olympics. An unsparingly brutal look at two peoples all but drowning in a sea of their own blood, Munich is by far the toughest film of the director's career and the most anguished. Mr. Spielberg has been pummeling audiences with his virtuosity for nearly as long as he has been making movies; now, he tenders an invitation to a discussion." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Nacho Ruiz Capillas, Armond White, Owen Gleiberman, Ty Burr, Roger Ebert.
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Elle

Elle


2016 / France-Germany-Belgium / 130m / Col / Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virginie Efira, Judith Magre, Christian Berkel, Jonas Bloquet, Alice Isaaz, Vimala Pons
"Elle might just be the most Paul Verhoeven film yet, due to its willingness to push buttons, explore transgressive territory and take constant delight in venturing where the vast majority of filmmakers would fear to tread. This is, after all, the man who gave us Basic Instinct and Showgirls… The film has an ace up its sleeve in the form of Isabelle Huppert, giving an Oscar-worthy (and impeccably dressed) performance as Michele, a video game company founder living in Paris who is raped and stalked by a ski-masked assailant… Whatever your take, it's a film that will inspire debate for decades to come." - Catherine Bray, Time Out
Selected by Roger Koza, Alexander Horwath, Todd McCarthy, David Stratton, Stéphane Delorme.
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Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung fu (original title)

2004 / Hong Kong-China / 98m / Col / Martial Arts, Action Comedy
Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Qiu Yuen, Leung Siu Lung, Dong Zhi Hua, Chiu Chi Ling, Xing Yu, Chan Kwok Kwan, Sheng Yi Huang, Xiaogang Feng
"Not for nothing is Hong Kong megastar Chow rivalling Jackie Chan in popularity, although he relies more on digital effects than the Master himself. This movie delivers a savage karate-chop to the funny bone. Like Chow's wackily eccentric comedy Shaolin Soccer… and also Jeff Lau's supremely zany Chinese Odyssey, this is pure silliness. But unlike those two, the silliness achieves a kind of critical mass. The mixture of fun, slapstick action and acutely judged dabs of sentimentality is managed with great energy by writer-director Chow. He's working with fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping, who modifies his style to provide something less obviously beautiful, but very spectacular and inventive." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Adam McKay, Ho Wen-long, Spike Lee, Adrian Martin, Anupama Chopra.
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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World


2003 / USA / 138m / Col / Adventure Drama, Sea Adventure
Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy, Chris Larkin, Lee Ingleby, George Innes, Mark Lewis Jones, Richard McCabe, Robert Pugh
"This stupendously entertaining movie, adapted from two of the novels in Patrick O'Brian's 20-volume maritime adventure series, celebrates an idea of England that might have seemed a bit corny even in 1805, when the action takes place, but that is brought to vibrant life thanks to Russell Crowe's commanding performance and Peter Weir's thoroughgoing mastery… The combat scenes are shot with economy and vigor, but the most thrilling parts of the movie take place between skirmishes, when the complex system of authority and deference that runs the Surprise — and the personality traits needed to keep it running — is at the center of attention." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Tim Robey, David Parkinson, Ty Burr, David Sterritt, Michael Wilmington.
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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 Shigehiko Hasumi, Stephen Teo, Tien-Hsiang Wen, Verena Lueken, Adrian Martin.
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21 Grams

21 Grams


2003 / Germany-USA / 125m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melissa Leo, Clea Duvall, Danny Huston, Eddie Marsan, Paul Calderon, Annie Corley
"Returning to the motif of their remarkable debut, Amores Perros, director Alejandro González Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga give us another car crash, another set of characters linked by the tragedy, and even another blood-soaked back-seat victim, inevitable reminders of their previous film... Ultimately, it reminds me more of PT Anderson's Magnolia than Amores Perros, and also pulls off Almodóvar's trick of giving you a plot that's sheer melodrama but gets you thoroughly engrossed and involved in spite of it." - Rob Mackie, The Guardian
Selected by Li Shaohong, Mat Whitecross, Srdan Golubovic, Houshang Golmakani, Jonathan Romney.
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Morvern Callar

Morvern Callar


2002 / UK-Canada / 97m / Col / Psychological Drama, Road Movie
Samantha Morton, Kathleen McDermott, Jim Wilson, Raife Patrick Burchell, Dan Cadan, Carolyn Calder, Steven Cardwell, Bryan Dick, Andrew Flannigan, Dolly Wells
"This is a mesmeric, startling and sometimes baffling movie from Lynne Ramsay, the follow-up to her magnificent debut Ratcatcher; and while it may not have the closed perfection of that film, it undoubtedly announces Ramsay as one of the most distinctive talents in British cinema... Ramsay's movie is so gorgeously serene in its strangeness that it can afford to rise above worries of this kind. Alwin Kuchler's beautiful cinematography, and perhaps especially Paul Davies' outstanding sound design, are all of the very highest calibre, and an inspired fit with the fierce seriousness of Ramsay's vision and Morton's terrific performance." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Jasper Sharp, Emma Gray Munthe, Glenn Kenny, Samuel Wigley, Tom Charity.
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Flight of the Red Balloon

Flight of the Red Balloon

Le Voyage du ballon rouge (original title)

2007 / France-Taiwan / 115m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Juliette Binoche, Simon Iteanu, Fang Song, Hippolyte Girardot, Louise Margolin, Anna Sigalevitch, Flore Vannier-Moreau, Gregory Dreyfuss, William Hatig, Clara Dumont
"The shadow of Albert Lamorisse's 1956 fantasy The Red Balloon hovers over Hou Hsiao-hsien's drama. The magical balloon with a mind and a heart of its own tags along after a young boy (Iteanu), placidly and wistfully looking in on the gentle child and his nanny, while its image is echoed in paintings and other references during Hou's lovely tour of Paris. At the center of the film is a single mother (Binoche)… Hou's first film made outside of Asia is his most emotionally turbulent, yet he remains, like the balloon, outside looking in, a compassionate but distant observer capturing it all with a graceful restraint and floating beauty that ultimately carried me away with it." - Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Selected by José Luis Guerín, J. Hoberman, Andrew O'Hehir, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Graham Fuller.
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Good Night, and Good Luck

Good Night, and Good Luck


2005 / USA-France-UK-Japan / 93m / BW / Political Drama, Period Film
David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Ray Wise, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels, Tate Donovan, Robert Burke, Reed Diamond
"Most of the high-profile biopics of recent years -- Ray, Kinsey, Alexander, The Aviator, A Beautiful Mind -- have gone all out for a big scale, in terms of the time and territory covered, depth of characterization and visual opulence. But George Clooney's inspiring biography of newsman Edward R. Murrow, Good Night, and Good Luck, goes the other way. Its production values are toned down to a minimalist level and its subject's distinguished career captured for one moment of moral courage." - William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Selected by Nanni Moretti, Ty Burr, Peter Keough, David Ansen, Phillip Lopate.
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Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea


2016 / USA / 137m / Col / Family Drama, Slice of Life
Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol, C.J. Wilson, Kara Hayward, Tate Donovan, Anna Baryshnikov, Heather Burns
"This long, heartbreaking drama by the writer-director of Margaret (2011) and You Can Count on Me (2000) centers on a seething, tight-lipped young janitor (Casey Affleck) who arrives in the title Massachusetts seaport to bury his older brother and discovers that he's been named legal guardian of his 16-year-old nephew (Lucas Hedges). The protagonist recoils from the idea of fatherhood, and the stress of this unwanted responsibility makes him the wrong guy to jostle at a bar. A playwright by training, Lonergan writes leather-tough dialogue that serves mainly to protect the characters from their own raw emotion; despite all the hard talk, this is a movie of deep sorrow, compassion, and forgiveness." - J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Selected by Dana Stevens, Michel Ciment, Mike D'Angelo, Todd McCarthy, Ty Burr.
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Oasis

Oasis


2002 / South Korea / 133m / Col / Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
Kyung-gu Sol, So-Ri Moon, Nae-sang Ahn, Seung-wan Ryoo, Kwi-Jung Chu, Jin-gu Kim, Byung-ho Son, Ga-hyun Yun, Myeong-shin Park, Kyung-geun Park
"Lee Chang-dong's Oasis is, at first blush, one of those occasional miracles that approach leapingly scandalous material with a superhuman charity and somehow dodge charges of tastelessness. In the end, it's a daring heartbreaker… Oasis is utterly beguiling because Lee, like many other percipient Asian filmmakers, is simply more attentive to his characters' emotional tumult than the audience's. No movie in recent memory has translated so clearly the secret language of lovers normally lost on the rest of the world." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Ik-June Yang, Sean Baker, Alice Rohrwacher, Jerry Schatzberg, Kazuki Ohmori.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Traffic

Traffic


2000 / USA-Germany / 147m / Col / Crime Drama, Social Problem Film
Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Luis Guzman, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Steven Bauer, Erika Christensen, Amy Irving, Tomas Milian
"Traffic examines the question of drugs as politics, business, and lifestyle. With an innovative color-coded cinematic treatment to distinguish his interwoven stories, Steven Soderbergh embroils viewers in the lives of a newly appointed drug czar and his family, a West Coast kingpin’s wife, a key informant, and police officers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The film, which delivers a complex and nuanced take on an issue of international importance without sacrificing any energy or suspense, is a contemporary classic, and the winner of four Oscars, for best director, best screenplay, best editing, and best supporting actor for Benicio del Toro." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Wain, Cameron Crowe, Roger Ebert, Manohla Dargis, A.O. Scott.
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Bad Education

Bad Education

La Mala educación (original title)

2004 / Spain / 105m / Col / Drama, Mystery
Gael Garcia Bernal, Fele Martinez, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Lluis Homar, Francisco Maestre, Francisco Boira, Raul Garcia Forneiro, Nacho Perez, Javier Camara, Alberto Ferreiro
"The great Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's newest film is a delirious, headlong immersion and re-invention of film noir, a style that has lured countless film makers onto its treacherous shoals… Bad Education contemplates the wonder of storytelling itself and the human instinct to embroider reality to make the tales we tell more real and conclusive, if less strictly factual. It insists that stories, the stories within stories, and the fantasies they crystallize, are the best (and maybe the only) tools at our disposal for making sense of it all." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Shohini Chaudhuri, Claudia Siefen, D.A. Miller, Agnès Poirier, Andreas Kilb.
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25th Hour

25th Hour


2002 / USA / 134m / Col / Urban Drama, Crime Drama
Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Tony Siragusa, Levani, Misha Kuznetsov, Isiah Whitlock Jr.
"In 25th Hour Spike Lee takes the story of a convicted drug dealer's last day of freedom and expands it into a meditation on New York and America in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001… From the opening credits sequence, showing two beams of blue light where the World Trade Center once stood, to the closing moments, which evoke the dream of the wide-open road, Lee takes the spiritual moment and crystallizes it into art. The result is a film of sadness and power, the first great 21st century movie about a 21st century subject." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Glenn Kenny, Joshua Rothkopf, Annett Busch, Roger Ebert, Roger Koza.
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Los Angeles Plays Itself

Los Angeles Plays Itself


2003 / USA / 169m / Col-BW / Essay Film, Film & Television History
Encke King
"Most movies are intended to transform documentary into fiction; Thom Andersen's heady and provocative Los Angeles Plays Itself has the opposite agenda. This nearly three-hour "city symphony in reverse" analyzes the way that Los Angeles has been represented in the movies... A manifesto as well as a monument, Los Angeles Plays Itself has its origins in a clip lecture that Andersen originally "intended for locals only," but as finished, it is an essay in film form with near-universal interest and a remarkable degree of synthesis." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Joao Rui Guerra da Mata, James Bell, Calum Marsh, Ry Russo-Young, John A. Riley.
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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, Ed Gonzalez, Tim Robey.
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Carlos

Carlos


2010 / France-Germany-Belgium / 333m / Col / Biopic, Crime Drama
Edgar Ramirez, Alexander Scheer, Alejandro Arroyo, Fadi Abi Samra, Ahmad Kaabour, Talal El-Jordi, Juana Acosta, Nora von Waldstatten, Christoph Bach, Rodney El Haddad
"Carlos, directed by Olivier Assayas, is an epic, intensely detailed account of the life of the infamous international terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez—also known as Carlos the Jackal. One of the twentieth century’s most wanted fugitives, Carlos was committed to violent left-wing activism throughout the seventies and eighties, orchestrating bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings in Europe and the Middle East. Assayas portrays him not as a criminal mastermind but as a symbol of seismic political shifts around the world, while the magnetic Édgar Ramírez brilliantly embodies him as a swaggering global gangster." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Edvinas Puksta, Glenn Kenny, Kent Jones, Leonard Maltin, Todd McCarthy.
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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 Alex Gibney, Cameron Bailey, Deepa Mehta, Guy Maddin, J. Hoberman.
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The Wrestler

The Wrestler


2008 / USA / 109m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry, Wass Stevens, Judah Friedlander, Ernest Miller, Dylan Keith Summers, Tommy Farra
"Darren Aronofsky gives this bruiser of a movie exactly the kind of no-bull honesty it needs… Working from a script by Robert Siegel, Aronofsky transcends what could have been a formula story in lesser hands. Ram (Rourke) wants to get back in the top venues, but steroids, a fake tan and long, bottle-blond hair don't cut it in the new wrestling world, where gimmicks range from alien costumes to staple guns… Rourke doesn't make a single false move in this movie… You watch The Wrestler (with a superb title song from Bruce Springsteen) in a state of pure exhilaration. A great actor in a great movie will do that to you." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by James Franco, Neil Young, Laurence Boyce, Martyn Pick, Tim Robey.
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The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville

Les Triplettes de Belleville (original title); Belleville Rendez-Vous (alternative title)

2003 / France-Canada-Belgium-UK / 80m / Col / Comedy, Animation
Jean-Claude Donda, Dirk Denoyelle, Monica Viegas, Michele Caucheteaux, Michel Robin, Graziela de Vila, Noel Baye, Suzy Falk, Nicole Shirer, Germaine Charest
"Sylvain Chomet's ravishingly weird animated feature unfolds in a universe of sheer impossibility, where size, proportion and balance are ruled by the whims of the director's perverse pen and his peculiar imagination. Although that imagination has evidently been fed by sources as various as Betty Boop, Jacques Tati and European comic books, its products are too strange to be assimilated into any known tradition… It is surely the oddest movie of the year — by turns sweet and sinister, insouciant and grotesque, invitingly funny and forbiddingly dark. It may also, by dint of Mr. Chomet's sheer inventiveness, be one of the best." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Elise Nakhnikian, Jenny McCartney, Shaun Tan, Keith Uhlich, Henry Selick.
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Weekend

Weekend


2011 / UK / 97m / Col / Gay & Lesbian Film, Romantic Drama
Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race, Laura Freeman, Loreto Murray, Jonathan Wright, Sarah Churm, Vauxhall Jermaine, Joe Doherty, Kieran Hardcastle
"Naturalistic without being ineloquent, heartfelt yet unsentimental, Weekend is the rarest of birds: a movie romance that rings true… Per the title, there’s a proscribed duration to what transpires, but we’re so hooked on the moment that the shape of the affair never plays as structure. Veteran editor Andrew Haigh proves adept at scripting characters with full, compelling personalities, facilitating fearless and beguiling performances from his two young leads, and working with DP Urszula Pontikos to devise a visual scheme that’s both organic and evocative. Perhaps the loveliest film to ever show a jizzed belly, Weekend manages to have universal appeal without muting its gayness." - Eric Hynes, The Village Voice
Selected by Luke Robinson, Adam Roberts, Ashley Clark, Briony Hanson, Charles Gant.
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Together

Together

Tillsammans (original title)

2000 / Sweden-Denmark-Italy / 106m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Lisa Lindgren, Gustaf Hammarsten, Michael Nyqvist, Emma Samuelsson, Sam Kessel, Anja Lundqvist, Jessica Liedberg, Ola Norell, Axel Zuber, Shanti Roney
"Lukas Moodysson's first feature, Show Me Love, won lots of hearts with its comic yet swooningly fervent study of a smalltown girl-on-girl love affair. His new feature is a brilliant expansion of film-making scope, despite being conceived on the same domestic, suburban lines. It is an almost perfect light comedy: funny, original, touchingly tender, with superbly managed modulations of tone between laughs and tears. Together is about a commune in Sweden in 1975, occupied by a bunch of hippies who give their children names like Tet, after the Tet Offensive." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by James Gunn, David Wain, Armond White, David Ansen, Wes Anderson.
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Three Times

Three Times

Zui hao de shi guang (original title)

2005 / France-Taiwan / 135m / Col / Romance, Drama
Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Fang Mei, Mei Di, Su-jen Liao, Chen Shi-Zheng, Lee Pei-hsuan, Huang Ruo-shi, Liao Ling-tzu, Ko Yu-Lun
"Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Three Times is split into three episodes set in Taiwan, each running about 40 minutes and featuring Chang Chen and Shu Qi; all three reflect Hou’s overriding concern with the way one’s sense of freedom, desire, and life possibilities is inflected by the age one lives in… Seen in isolation, the first episode has the most satisfying plot and the last the least. But the film’s achievement lies mostly in the beautifully articulated similarities and differences among the three—in their compositions and themes, in the way space is defined and camera pans connect characters, in their use of music and other means of personal." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Zeina Durra, Adrian Martin, Michael Glover Smith, Yoel Meranda, Roger Koza.
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Regular Lovers

Regular Lovers

Les Amants réguliers (original title)

2005 / France / 183m / BW / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Louis Garrel, Clotilde Hesme, Julien Lucas, Nicolas Bridet, Mathieu Genet, Raissa Mariotti, Caroline Deruas-Garrel, Rebecca Convenant, Marie Girardin, Maurice Garrel
"This tender portrait of late-1960s French youth stars Louis Garrel as François, a 20-year-old Parisian struggling through the fires of revolutionary promise and its smoldering remains… The beauty of the film - the shimmering black-and-white tones and the purity of the compositions, at once austere and harmonious - suggests that the director sees this layover less as a retreat into narcissism than as a necessary journey into the self… While the film’s desperately sad finale indicates that Philippe Garrel knows the truth of ’68 better than most and might have suffered a crisis in faith in the years since, this magnificent film is itself proof that all was not lost." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Boris Nelepo, Khalil Joreige, David McDougall, Richard Brody, Roger Koza.
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In the Bedroom

In the Bedroom


2001 / USA / 130m / Col / Family Drama, Crime Drama
Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, William Mapother, William Wise, Celia Weston, Karen Allen, Frank T. Wells, W. Clapham Murray
"In this perfectly observed, wrenchingly acted drama, Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson are the Fowlers, a middle-class couple living in Camden, a quiet, picturesque Maine fishing town. Their lives are torn apart when their only child, a 21-year-old son, is murdered by his girlfriend's jealous husband. Learning that a legal technicality ensures that the killer will serve only a light sentence, they are beside themselves with grief, anger and mutual recrimination. In exploring the psychological processes of grief and revenge, the profoundly quiet, deeply disturbing film doesn't make a misstep." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Lance Edmands, Cüneyt Cebenoyan, Ian J. MacLeod, Roger Ebert, Owen Gleiberman.
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Crimson Gold

Crimson Gold

Talaye sorkh (original title)

2003 / Iran / 96m / Col / Drama, Crime
Hossain Emadeddin, Kamyar Sheisi, Azita Rayeji, Shahram Vaziri, Pourang Nakhaei, Kaveh Najmabadi, Saber Safaei, Yadollah Samadian, Ramin Rastad, Ehsan Amani
"Iranian director Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold is an anti-blockbuster—a deceptively modest undertaking that brilliantly combines unpretentious humanism and impeccable formal values… Crimson Gold isn't as showy a critique of Iranian society as The Circle, but it's no less forthright. The screenplay, by Panahi's mentor, Abbas Kiarostami, is based on an actual incident. The subject is not gender oppression but class relations—with the camera often assigned the perspective of a lower-class outsider… Panahi is above all an urban filmmaker, and Crimson Gold unfolds in the midst of life. The movie is spare yet richly observant. " - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Tariq Ali, Eran Kolirin, Antonia Carver, Alfredo de Villa, Oto Horák.
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The Aviator

The Aviator


2004 / USA-Germany / 170m / Col-BW / Drama, Biography
Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Ian Holm, Danny Huston, Gwen Stefani, Jude Law
"What's required for enjoying The Aviator is an interest in Howard Hughes, or aviation, or classic Hollywood or any combination of those three. Bring that, and director Martin Scorsese takes care of the rest. His actors are well cast, and their performances are flashy in the best way. The period detail is sumptuous. Scorsese places us in the world of 1930s Hollywood as though settling us into a stuffed chair, and then keeps attending to us, playing songs from the era in the correct style, bringing out cigarette girls with the right haircuts and depicting, with the ideal combination of faithfulness and imagination, characters out of history." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Glenn Kenny, Jeanine Basinger, Roger Ebert, Michael Wilmington, Carrie Rickey.
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Bowling for Columbine

Bowling for Columbine


2002 / USA / 120m / Col / Law & Crime, Documentary
Michael Moore, Denise Ames, Arthur A. Busch, Barry Glassner, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, James Nichols, Matt Stone, Dick Clark, Seth Collins
"Bowling for Columbine, is a tonally and thematically scattershot but unforgettable examination of why the U.S. has a vastly higher rate of firearm-related homicides than other Western countries… Like much of Moore's work, Columbine mixes smart satire, petty bullying, and tough humanism. He isn't afraid to transcend the boundaries of good taste, and much of the film would come across as pat and mean-spirited if it weren't so clearly rooted in a sense of horror and concern. Throughout Columbine, Moore touches nerves, both in horrific footage of the Columbine shooting and in interviews where the subjects are so overcome with emotion that they lose their bearings." - Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
Selected by Carolee Schneemann, Amy Berg, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Tien-Hsiang Wen, Peter Davis.
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Sexy Beast

Sexy Beast


2000 / UK-Spain-USA / 88m / Col / Crime Thriller, Gangster Film
Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, Cavan Kendall, Julianne White, Alvaro Monje, James Fox, Robert Atiko, Nieves del Amo Oruet
"This stylish, jolting and surprisingly moving gangster picture is lifted above the conventions of the genre by Jonathan Glazer's smooth, syncopated direction and the wit and grit of the cast. Ray Winstone plays Gal, a retired London gangster whose idyllic life in Spain is interrupted by the arrival of Don Logan (Kingsley), who wants to recruit Gal for a complicated heist. Mr. Winstone's slow-moving magnetism is a perfect foil for Mr. Kingsley's terrifying intensity. Amanda Redman, as Gal's tough and devoted wife, helps to give the picture a welcome and unexpected depth of feeling." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Warwick Thornton, Samuel Wigley, Jane Giles, Nick James, A.O. Scott.
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Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire


2008 / UK / 120m / Col / Urban Drama, Inspirational Drama
Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Rajendranath Zutshi, Jeneva Talwar, Freida Pinto, Irfan Khan, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Sunil Kumar Agrawal
"Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire hits the ground running. This is a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time, about a Mumbai orphan who rises from rags to riches on the strength of his lively intelligence. The film's universal appeal will present the real India to millions of moviegoers for the first time. The real India, supercharged with a plot as reliable and eternal as the hills. The film's surface is so dazzling that you hardly realize how traditional it is underneath. But it's the buried structure that pulls us through the story like a big engine on a short train." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Michael Pitiot, Ding Sheng, Ching Siu-Tung, David Spaltro, Ian J. MacLeod.
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Fat Girl

Fat Girl

À ma soeur! (original title); For My Sister (alternative title)

2001 / France-Italy / 86m / Col / Psychological Drama, Coming-of-Age
Anais Reboux, Roxane Mesquida, Libero De Rienzo, Arsinee Khanjian, Romain Goupil, Laura Betti, Albert Goldberg, Odette Barriere, Anne Matthijsse, Pierre Renverseau
"Twelve-year-old Anaïs is fat. Her sister, fifteen-year-old Elena, is a beauty. While the girls are on vacation with their parents, Anaïs tags along as Elena explores the dreary seaside town. Elena meets Fernando, an Italian law student; he seduces her with promises of love, and the ever watchful Anaïs bears witness to the corruption of her sister’s innocence. Fat Girl is not only a portrayal of female adolescent sexuality and the complicated bond between siblings but also a shocking assertion by the always controversial Catherine Breillat that violent oppression exists at the core of male-female relations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Sarah Nichols, Barry Adamson, Kim Morgan, Lizelle Bisschoff, Dan Sallitt.
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Time Out

Time Out

L'Emploi du temps (original title)

2001 / France / 134m / Col / Psychological Drama, Family Drama
Aurelien Recoing, Karin Viard, Serge Livrozet, Jean-Pierre Mangeot, Monique Mangeot, Nicholas Kalsch, Marie Cantet, Felix Cantet, Olivier Le Joubioux, Maxime Sassier
"Time Out is as timely and wrenching a film as you'll find anywhere in these dog days of corporate downsizing. Vincent (the superbly subtle French stage actor Aurelien Recoing, in his first major film role) is deemed unnecessary after eleven years as a company drone. It's a common story. What's uncommon in this psychological spellbinder from writer-director Laurent Cantet (Human Resources) is that Vincent doesn't tell anyone — not his wife, Muriel (an outstanding Karen Viard), his parents, his three children or his friends... It's a great movie." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Marc Munden, Victor J. Morton, Elise Nakhnikian, Tim Robey, Kenneth Turan.
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Kings & Queen

Kings & Queen

Rois et reine (original title)

2004 / France / 152m / Col / Comedy Drama, Family Drama
Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric, Catherine Deneuve, Maurice Garrel, Natalie Boutefu, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Magali Woch, Hippolyte Girardot, Noemie Lvovsky, Elsa Wolliaston
"Rich and strange, Arnaud Desplechin's Kings & Queen is a movie of large gestures and outsize performances. This extravagant family melodrama runs two and a half hours and never lags, so moment-to-moment enthralling are Desplechin's narrative gambits, as well as his reckless eccentricity… Kings & Queen does not lack for conventional histrionics. As a single mother lumbered by a complicated past, as well as her weathered stick of a father (Garrel), Emmanuelle Devos gets to express every emotion; her all-out performance in the role of Nora does everything but upstage co-star Mathieu Amalric's manic turn as her flamboyant ex-husband." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Gerhard Midding, Steve Rybin, Stephanie Zacharek, Chris Chang, Gavin Smith.
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George Washington

George Washington


2000 / USA / 89m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Candice Evanofski, Donald Holden, Damian Jewan Lee, Curtis Cotton III, Rachael Handy, Paul Schneider, Eddie Rouse, Janet Taylor, Derricka Rolle, Ebony Jones
"Green's movie is about black and white kids whiling away a long, hot summer in North Carolina… It is superbly photographed and its tremendous compositional sense shows the rigour of a young master… This is also a movie which shows poor white and young black people without aggression, without cynicism, without attitude, without Tupac or Eminem on the soundtrack… George Washington is an almost awe-inspiringly accomplished movie with an absolute faith in its own aesthetic sense, and an unapologetic preoccupation with finding beauty in the look of ordinary places, people and things." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Aditya Assarat, Andrew Droz Palermo, Chris Butler & Sam Fell, Rhys Graham, Jason Wood.
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The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty

La Grande bellezza (original title)

2013 / Italy-France / 141m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi, Galatea Ranzi, Franco Graziosi, Giorgio Pasotti, Massimo Popolizio
"Paolo Sorrentino's La Grande Bellezza is a compelling tragicomedy of Italy's leisured classes in the tradition of Antonioni's La Notte or Fellini's La Dolce Vita. It is a pure sensual overload of richness and strangeness and sadness, a film sometimes on the point of swooning with dissolute languour, savouring its own ennui like a truffle. But more often it's defiantly rocking out, keeping the party going as the night sky pales, with all the vigour of well-preserved, middle-aged rich people who can do hedonism better than the young. It is set in Rome, populated by the formerly beautiful and the currently damned, and featuring someone who doesn't quite fall into either category." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Justyna Budzik, Andrzej Luter, Dominik Wierski, Marta Nieradkiewicz, Paweł Sitkiewicz.
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The Five Obstructions

The Five Obstructions


2003 / Denmark-Belgium-Switzerland-France-Sweden-Finland-UK-Norway / 90m / Col-BW / Documentary
Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier, Daniel Hernandez Rodriguez, Jacqueline Arenal, Vivian Rosa, Alexandra Vandernoot, Patrick Bauchau, Marie Dejaer, Meschell Perez
"Von Trier's playful side comes through in The Five Obstructions, a cinematic game in documentary form. Von Trier calls up Jørgen Leth and invites him to remake his 1967 short The Perfect Human… It's fascinating to peek at the natural camaraderie of two artists bickering over the need for creative limitations… The Five Obstructions provides a challenging study of how a filmmaker works around the conditions of the day, and his own nature, to record some kind of truth. The film is also valuable for raising awareness about Leth, whose work hasn't been as widely recognized as that of his European contemporaries, but who now makes an impressive case for his skills, five times over." - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Eduardo Escorel, João Moreira Salles, Ally Derks, Amanda Boyle, Kenneth Turan.
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Wendy and Lucy

Wendy and Lucy


2008 / USA / 80m / Col / Psychological Drama, Road Movie
Michelle Williams, Walter Dalton, Larry Fessenden, Will Oldham, John Robinson, Will Patton, Lucy the Dog, David Koppell, Max Clement, Sid Shanley
"Based, like Reichardt’s Old Joy, on a short story by Jon Raymond, Wendy is as simple as a real catastrophe: a young homeless woman loses her dog. And the film’s genuine power comes not from transcending or expanding that piddling premise, but making the situation burn on your eyes like sulfur… Like its heroine, Reichardt’s movie is a vulnerable, small-boned, fragile thing in a world where digital hyper-editing and bullet-time violence command attention. By today’s standards, it’s virtually an anti-movie, a glimpse of a snapshot of a minor occurrence. But it’s far closer in its way to what movies are fundamentally about than 10,000 Wolverine's and Hannah Montana's." - Michael Atkinson, IFC
Selected by Emily Richardson, Katha Schulte, David Jenkins, Guy Lodge, Michael Atkinson.
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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." - Matt Zoller Seitz, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Guy Lodge, Kristin Thompson, Tim Robey, Paul Whitington, David Ansen.
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Two Lovers

Two Lovers


2008 / USA-France / 110m / Col / Drama, Romantic Drama
Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov, Anne Joyce, Elliot Villar, Craig Walker, Carmen M. Herlihy
"Bravely wearing his heart on his sleeve, James Gray directs the tender and terrific Two Lovers as an antidote to the virus of hip. Forget the setting in modern Brooklyn. You watch Joaquin Phoenix yearn for Gwyneth Paltrow, the blond goddess-next-door, and it could be Marlon Brando putting his first tentative moves on Eva Marie Saint in 1954's On the Waterfront. This is delicate business, the kind of lost art that usually gets crushed under the jackboots of the trendy... The film's secrets unfold slowly, allowing Phoenix and Paltrow — a luminous fusion of grace and grit — to build a relationship in full… It'll get to you." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Roberto Manassero, Alejandro G. Calvo, Joe Swanberg, Ed Gonzalez, Carlos Losilla.
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This is Not a Film

This is Not a Film


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 Richard Combs, Lou Ye, Ed Gonzalez, Kevin B. Lee, Peter Bradshaw.
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The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right


2010 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy Drama, Domestic Comedy
Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Yaya DaCosta, Kunal Sharma, Eddie Hassell, Zosia Mamet, Joaquin Garrido
"I’m tempted to start this review by falling back on a tried-and-true movie critic formulation and saying something like “Lisa Cholodenko’s Kids Are All Right is the best comedy about an American family since...” Since what? Precedents and grounds for comparison seem to be lacking, so I may have to let the superlative stand unqualified for now. Which is fine: Ms. Cholodenko’s film is so canny in its insights and so agile in its negotiation of complex emotions that it deserves to stand on its own. It is outrageously funny without ever exaggerating for comic effect, and heartbreaking with only minimal melodramatic embellishment." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Jan Göransson, Charles Gant, Isabel Stevens, Cyrus Frisch, Leonard Maltin.
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Pasted Graphic

Persepolis


2007 / France-USA / 96m / Col-BW / Coming-of-Age, Animation
Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian, Gabrielle Lopes, Francois Jerosme, Sophie Arthuys, Jean-Francois Gallotte, Arie Elmaleh, Mathias Mlekuz
"Persepolis is a small landmark in feature animation. Not because of technical innovation, but because it translates a sensitive, introspective, true-to-life, "adult" comic story into moving pictures. While Robert Crumb only achieved the big screen as a porno-groovy shadow of himself and Daniel Clowes decamped to live- action, Marjane Satrapi's made the crossing; with the aide of French comic-book artist Vincent "Winshluss" Paronnaud (both making their first feature here), Satrapi's four autobiographical Persepolis volumes have been smartly streamlined and storyboarded into 95 minutes of screen time." - Nick Pinkerton, The Village Voice
Selected by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Sara Driver, Fernando Trueba, Nag Vladermersky, Dave Calhoun.
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Summer Hours

Summer Hours

L'Heure d'été (original title)

2008 / France / 103m / Col / Ensemble Film, Family Drama
Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jeremie Renier, Edith Scob, Dominique Reymond, Valerie Bonneton, Isabelle Sadoyan, Alice de Lencquesaing, Emile Berling, Kyle Eastwood
"Universally acclaimed by critics, the multiple award-winning Summer Hours is the great contemporary French filmmaker Olivier Assayas’s most personal film to date. Three siblings, played by Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, and Jérémie Rénier, must decide what to do with the country estate and objects they’ve inherited from their mother. From this simple story, Assayas creates an exquisitely nuanced drama about the material of globalized modern living. Naturalistic and unsentimental, Summer Hours is that rare film that pays respect to family by treating it with honesty." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Toni Ulled, Glenn Kenny, Kent Jones, Tim Robey, Graham Fuller.
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The Artist

The Artist


2011 / France-Belgium / 100m / BW / Romantic Drama, Showbiz Comedy
Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Joel Murray, Bitsie Tulloch
"A movie set in Hollywood’s silent era that is virtually wordless: a gimmick? No: sustained cinematic inspiration, deserving of every prize it received, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. This delightfully inventive comedy, about a swashbuckling star (supreme Gallic charmer Jean Dujardin) and the peppy waif (Bejo) he befriends, echoes true-life Hollywood stories of the 1920s and ’30s — sort of, if Douglas Fairbanks had suffered John Gilbert’s career dip in early talkies while Ginger Rogers was on the rise. Another way to put it: the movie is Singin’ in the Rain, reveling in the same acumen and effervescence, but silent and in black and white." - Richard Corliss, TIME
Selected by Josephine Botting, Agnès Poirier, Richard Corliss, Ty Burr, Peter Bradshaw.
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About Schmidt

About Schmidt


2002 / USA / 125m / Col / Comedy Drama, Black Comedy
Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates, June Squibb, Howard Hesseman, Len Cariou, Harry Groener, Connie Ray, Mark Venhuizen
"Alexander Payne's About Schmidt is an impressively bleak comedy with intimations of social satire. Like Payne's previous Citizen Ruth and Election, it's essentially a character study set against the flat normality of the filmmaker's native Nebraska. Payne's dedication to fly-over country is the mark of his integrity. Indeed, in adapting the basic situation of Louis Begley's 1996 novel—the sixtysomething hero's wife dies as he is forced into retirement and his only child prepares to marry a man he dislikes—the filmmaker has made a fascinating transposition of the material." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Borja Cobeaga, Nigel Cole, Josh Bell, Leonard Maltin, Gerald Peary.
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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… 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, Stephen Teo, Anna Smith, Charles Gant.
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House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Daggers

Shi mian mai fu (original title)

2004 / Hong Kong-China / 111m / Col / Action, Martial Arts
Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi, Andy Lau, Song Dandan, Wang Yabin, Zheng Lu, Wu Weifeng, Yan Yan, Zheng Jie, Zhao Hongfei
"Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers, like his Hero (2004) and Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) combines excitement, romance and astonishing physical beauty; to Pauline Kael's formula of "kiss kiss bang bang," we can now add "pretty pretty." Forget about the plot, the characters, the intrigue, which are all splendid in House of Flying Daggers, and focus just on the visuals. There are interiors of ornate elaborate richness, costumes of bizarre beauty, landscapes of mountain ranges and meadows, fields of snow, banks of autumn leaves and a bamboo grove that functions like a kinetic art installation." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Monte Hellman, Paul Wells, Josef Schnelle, Briony Hanson, Michael Wilmington.
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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 Carrie Rickey, Fernanda Solórzano, Michael Brooke, Paul Whitington, Peter Bradshaw.
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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 Marcelo Panozzo, Brad Stevens, Marcela Gamberini, Siu Heng, Lorena Cancela.
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The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth


2000 / UK-USA / 140m / Col / Period Film, Romantic Drama
Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Dan Aykroyd, Eleanor Bron, Terry Kinney, Anthony LaPaglia, Laura Linney, Jodhi May, Elizabeth McGovern, Penny Downie
"Davies has brought an unexpected intensity, a genuine passion, to his adaptation of Wharton's novel of love, cruelty and guile in America's high society of the early 20th century… This outstanding film shows how masterly is Davies's visual sense and what a light, adroit touch he has turned out to have with "period" furniture and detail. It is a revelation to see how he has transformed the novelistic conventions of place and character with such tact, and the kind of sobriety and discretion that allows the cast to give vivid, attractive performances." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Agnès Poirier, Clio Barnard, Tim Robey, Geoff Andrew, Jonathan Romney.
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The Circle

The Circle

Dayereh (original title)

2000 / Iran-Italy-Switzerland / 90m / Col / Drama, Escape Film
Maryam Parvin Almani, Nargess Mamizadeh, Fereshteh Sadr Orafal, Mojgane Faramarzi, Elham Saboktakin, Monire Arab, Solmaz Panahi, Fatemeh Naghavi, Maedeh Tahmasbi, Maryam Shayegane
"A harrowingly powerful film by Jafar Panahi which shows that Iranian cinema is not purely a matter of parable, fable and childhood innocence - it can be disquietingly explicit about the real-life adult world. This is the story of four women bullied and marginalised by a society that makes no bones whatever about men having all the cards - it is remarkable to think that merely to allude to this fact is a dissentient act in modern Iran, and it is at the heart of the reason why Panahi's film was banned there… This is a compelling, humane and deeply serious film." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Michael Koller, Iciar Bollain, Roumuald Karmakar, Guy Barefoot, Andreas Kilb.
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What Time is it There?

What Time is it There?

Ni na bian ji dian (original title)

2001 / Taiwan-France / 116m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Kang-Sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao, Cecilia Yip, Chao-Jung Chen, Guei Tsai, Arthur Nauzyciel, David Ganansia, Jean-Pierre Leaud
"The Taipei director Tsai Ming-liang has managed to create an underplayed melodrama about family dynamics and dysfunction that harks back to the spare, unchecked heartache of Yasujiro Ozu. Mr. Tsai has devised a storytelling style here that's both a natural evolution of his previous filmmaking and his most fully realized directing to date, with scenes that also combine the seemingly disparate methods of Ozu, Robert Bresson and Jacques Tati. In finding his own way, Mr. Tsai sets loose shock waves of comedy, which both unleash a wave of euphoria in the audience and communicate the pleasure he gets from filmmaking." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Michelangelo Frammartino, Amit Itzcar, Jan Philippe V. Carpio, Steve Rybin, Michael Koresky.
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A Christmas Tale

A Christmas Tale

Un conte de Noël (original title)

2008 / France / 153m / Col / Ensemble Film, Family Drama
Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Consigny, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, Hippolyte Girardot, Emmanuelle Devos, Chiara Mastroianni, Laurent Capelluto, Emile Berling
"In Arnaud Desplechin’s beguiling A Christmas Tale, Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. That simple family reunion setup, however, can’t begin to describe the unpredictable, emotionally volatile experience of this film, an inventive, magical drama that’s equal parts merriment and melancholy. Unrequited childhood loves and blinding grudges, brutal outbursts and sudden slapstick, music, movies, and poetry, A Christmas Tale ties it all together in a marvelously messy package." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by William Brown, Roger Ebert, Philip French, Martin Scorsese, Kent Jones.
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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 Jose Enrique Monterde, Newton Aduaka, Ángeles González-Sinde, Philippe d'Hugues, Leonard Keigel.
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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, Calum Marsh, Kristin Thompson, Roger Koza, Tom Gunning.
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To Be and to Have

To Be and to Have

Être et avoir (original title)

2002 / France / 104m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Georges Lopez, Alize, Axel, Guillaume, Jessie, Johann, JoJo, Julien, Laura, Letitia
"This thoroughly delightful documentary by Nicolas Philibert has a miraculous simplicity and clarity - and yet displays its own deeply intelligent sort of sophistication. Philibert has followed a year in the life of an infant school in rural France: one teacher and a dozen or so little kids, aged from four to 10, all taught by him in one room. M Georges Lopes is a few years shy of retirement, apparently childless and unmarried, having dedicated himself to teaching very small children… Philibert's camera responds to the eternal mystery of their faces, and the future-ghosts of the adults they will become. In its humanity and its quietly passionate idealism, this film is a tonic." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Patricio Guzmán, Andrea Segre, Havana Marking, Wolfram Schutte, Julia Jager.
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In Praise of Love

In Praise of Love

Éloge de l'amour (original title)

2001 / France / 97m / Col-BW / Drama, Showbiz Drama
Bruno Putzulu, Cecile Camp, Claude Baignieres, Jean Davy, Francoise Verny, Audrey Klebaner, Jeremie Lippman, Remo Forlani, Mark Hunter, Philippe Loyrette
"Jean-Luc Godard’s best feature since Nouvelle Vague is in some respects as difficult as that film, though visually it’s stunning and unique even among Godard’s work. The first part, set in contemporary Paris, was shot in black-and-white 35-millimeter, while the second, set in Brittany two years earlier, is in floridly oversaturated color… As in his magnum opus, Histoire(s) du Cinema, Godard is centrally concerned with the ethics of true and false representation and with the lost promise of cinema, which leads to some anti-American reflections ranging from reasonable to over-the-top. This is a twilight film, dark and full of sorrow, yet lyrical and beautiful as well." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Paul Buck, Ann Hui, Helena Ylänen, Dennis Grunes, Lorena Cancela.
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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
"A masterly tale about lives and stories and the art of their telling, Mysteries of Lisbon is also an elegiac meditation on love lost and rediscovered through misted memory. Directed by the Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz and set mainly in Portugal, with detours to other European corners, it is a period picture based on a work by the prolific Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-90)… Made for European television and originally divided into six one-hour episodes, the movie now runs an absorbing, astonishingly fast four and a quarter hours." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Nandini Ramnath, Jesús Piquero, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Javier Rebollo, Oscar Contreras.
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In the City of Sylvia

In the City of Sylvia

En la ciudad de Sylvia (original title)

2007 / Spain-France / 84m / Col / Drama, Romantic Drama
Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Xavier Lafitte, Michael Balerdi, Laurence Cordier, Tanja Czichy, Gladys Deussner, Eric Dietrich, Charlotte Dupont, Philippe Ohrel
"The foolhardy attempts of a bookish lothario to stoke the fires of his fading memory are captured with mad invention in this unusual film from Catalan iconoclast José Luis Guerín. The serene plazas and back alleys of Strasbourg are the hunting ground for Xavier Lafitte’s Él, a young artist who has taken to trailing beautiful women around the city in the hope of locating an old flame called Sylvia. What at first feels like a fractured, experimental and slightly seedy mood piece on male perspective and fantasy blossoms into a meditation on desire and becomes something both profound and logical. That it works is in no small part due to Guerín’s sterling work behind the camera." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Tom Charity, Vadim Rizov, Pimpaka Towira, Antonio Espinoza, Jose Carlos Cabrejo.
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Gladiator

Gladiator


2000 / USA-UK / 154m / Col / Sword-and-Sandal, Historical Epic
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Harris, David Schofield, John Shrapnel, Thomas Arana
"A generation after changing audience tastes and crippling budgets banished lavish ancient historical spectacle from the screen, Ridley Scott re-enters the arena with Gladiator, and it's a stunning Roman triumph. Much has been made of the use of modern screen technology and a cast of thousands that comes courtesy of super-computers, but that should not eclipse the urgent contemporary themes that Scott explores. Throughout this captivating movie, Scott builds a bridge between the beginning of the first millennium and the end of the second." - Desmond Ryan, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Selected by Marwan Hamed, Kathleen Murphy, Peter Körte, Barry Norman, Owen Gleiberman.
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Kill Bill Vol. 2

Kill Bill Vol. 2


2004 / USA-China / 136m / Col-BW / Action Thriller, Martial Arts
Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Chia Hui Liu, Michael Parks, Larry Bishop, Sid Haig, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeannie Epper
"In this deliciously perverse picture, everything is operatic, including the despair and the pauses. Uma Thurman, whose speaking voice has a lyric, teasing quality, is just the performer to get the mordant slyness across. Mr. Tarantino's movies are also about loss and betrayal, and Vol. 2 is a double-burger helping of those motifs. It is rich, substantial and sustained, yet also greasy kids' stuff, a wrapper filled with an extra large order of chili fries, stained with ketchup, salt and cheese." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Kevin Smith, Xavier Pérez, Milan Pavlovic, Gerard Alonso Cassadó, Desirée de Fez.
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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 Chris Fujiwara, Isamu Hirabayashi, Yuki Tanada, Annett Busch, Roger Koza.
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As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty

As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty


2000 / USA / 288m / Col / Biography, Documentary
Jonas Mekas, Oona Mekas
"At 288 minutes, this is a blizzard of detail and filmmaking technique, and the movie crystallizes Mr. Mekas's life into a few hours of blissful, and eventually mournful, experience… With its intentionally rough-hewn cuts, it is a journal, with hand-typed titles interspersed throughout that skitter past like lightning flashes and are meant to evoke moments… As I Was Moving Ahead has a lovely, unadorned, though distended sentimentality. Even though he has sliced much of his last 30 years into this movie and broken the film into 12 chapters, Mr. Mekas understands the unreliability of memory. More astoundingly, he manages to tame that phenomenon and get it on film." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Eduardo Coutinho, Javier Packer-Comyn, Flavia de la Fuente, Radu Jude, Matías Piñeiro.
See also The 1,000 Greatest Films
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Almost Famous

Almost Famous


2000 / USA / 122m / Col / Comedy Drama, Coming-of-Age
Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Patrick Fugit, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Angarano, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, Philip Seymour Hoffman
"Cameron Crowe's loose, affectionate look back on his earlier career as a teenage rock journalist overflows with wonderful performances and memorable moments. Patrick Fugit brings the perfect balance of intelligence and innocence to the role of William Miller, a San Diego teenager who takes to the road with a scruffy band called Stillwater, on assignment for Rolling Stone. Almost Famous isn't perfect -- it lacks a necessary dimension of demonic sleaze -- but Mr. Crowe's smart, compassionate writing and performances by Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee and Frances McDormand (among many others) make it hum." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Todd Gilchrist, Edward Havens, Noel Murray, Josh Bell, Frank Darabont.
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Waking Life

Waking Life


2001 / USA / 100m / Col / Ensemble Film, Animation
Trevor Jack Brooks, Lorelei Linklater, Wiley Wiggins, Glover Gill, Lara Hicks, Ames Asbell, Leigh Mahoney, Sara Nelson, Jeanine Attaway, Erik Grostic
"Free will versus determinism, dreams versus reality are among the topics addressed by Richard Linklater's witty, "trippy" voyage into the Twilight Zone in which an assortment of characters spout contradictory theories of human consciousness. The technically innovative movie finds the perfect metaphor for the philosophic paradoxes in its visual style: live action transformed into a cartoon by digital animation. The spiels are funny and humane. Wiley Wiggins is the zonked-out everyman who absorbs them on a dreamlike journey from which he finds himself unable to awaken." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Pierre Lam, Andy Sparks, David Spaltro, Doug Cummings, Roger Koza.
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The Return

The Return

Vozvrashchenie (original title)

2003 / Russia / 110m / Col / Psychological Drama, Coming-of-Age
Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko, Natalia Vdovina, Gailina Popova, Alexej Suknovalov, Lazarj Dubovik, Elizaveta Alexandrova, Ljubovj Kasakova, Andrej Sumin
"Andrey Zvyagintsev's The Return is… suggestive of a lost era—the highly crafted allegorical Eastern European art films of the '60s and '70s… The Return begins as a mysterious quest, shades into a discomfiting thriller, then a survival story, and finally a tragic parable. Primordial and laconic, this remarkably assured debut feature has the elegant simplicity of its title. The mode is sustained, the structure overt. Some may be put off by the movie's cool technique and boldly closed form, but it clearly announces Zvyagintsev as a director to watch." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by John Wrathall, Hind Mezaina, Jamie Thraves, Vassilis Economou, Ali Ulvi Uyanik.
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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." - Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Selected by Nick Kroll, Carrie Rickey, Charles Gant, Don McKellar, Edgar Wright.
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Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom


2012 / USA / 94m / Col / Comedy, Childhood Drama
Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Kara Hayward, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban
"Anderson's movies are vulnerable to the charge of being supercilious oddities, but there is elegance and formal brilliance in Moonrise Kingdom as well as a lot of gentle, winning comedy. His homemade aesthetic is placed at the service of a counter-digital, almost hand-drawn cinema, and he has an extraordinary ability to conjure a complete, distinctive universe, entire of itself. To some, Moonrise Kingdom may be nothing more than a soufflé of strangeness, but it rises superbly." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Kent Jones, Kristin Thompson, Edgar Wright, David Jenkins, Manohla Dargis.