Parabola's Films Watched in 2013

by parabola33 | created - 02 Jan 2013 | updated - 30 Dec 2013 | Public
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1. Still Mine (2012)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
72 Metascore

An elderly couple fight against local authorities in rural New Brunswick to build their final home.

Director: Michael McGowan | Stars: James Cromwell, Ronan Rees, Geneviève Bujold, Campbell Scott

Votes: 3,409 | Gross: $1.15M

Finely acted (James Cromwell is a perfect grouchy, exasperated old man), but is rather slow-going as would be expected. If you're interested in seeing a loving couple face old age, dementia, and rural building code bureaucrats then it might be more up your alley. 6/10 (4-JAN)

2. Stories We Tell (2012)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary

7.6
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91 Metascore

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director: Sarah Polley | Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley

Votes: 10,488 | Gross: $1.60M

The story of Sarah Polley's mother is interesting itself, and some of her family members make for good interviewees onscreen. But beyond that, the documentary upends certain conventions and adds a new layer to the storytelling. In fact, the Polley history is just an example that is used to show how memories can vary and be interpreted/remembered differently. 7/10 (5-JAN)

3. Laurence Anyways (2012)

Not Rated | 168 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
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73 Metascore

A drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a male-to-female transsexual's relationship with her lover.

Director: Xavier Dolan | Stars: Melvil Poupaud, Emmanuel Schwartz, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye

Votes: 13,803

Dolan's films continue to be ambitious in their artfulness ... and length! This one is more than 2.5 hrs long, but that time is mostly put to good use in following the ups and downs in the relationship of the two main characters. There are a few detours or style embellishments that don't seem necessary, but overall the unique storyline and strong acting make this a solid film. 7/10 (5-JAN)

4. Lingo (2012)

13 min | Short, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Maryam is an Afghan immigrant, living with her young son in Canada. After a fire breaks out in their neighborhood they both become entangled in the consequences.

Director: Bahar Noorizadeh | Stars: Shaima Eshan, Andressa Ester, Farhad Sarwari

Votes: 10

I appreciated this short more on repeat viewing, as there's more nuance to the understanding/misunderstanding of language that goes on. Besides some nice establishing shots, the single-take interview where most of the discussion takes place is well done. I was more harsh in my first review (5/10 when I saw it at TIFF) than it probably deserved. 6/10 (6-JAN)

5. Paparmane (2012)

19 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

6.6
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A cosmic encounter between a parking attendant in mourning and an exuberant telegram singer. A depressed cat will transform the lives of this wobbly duo.

Director: Joëlle Desjardins Paquette | Stars: Sophie Desmarais, Monique Gosselin, Steve Laplante

Votes: 10

This short nicely balances funny and serious. 7/10 (6-JAN)

6. Malody (2012 Video)

13 min | Short, Drama

6.7
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Set inside a roadside diner, a sick woman meets herself as a little girl in the reflection of a mirror. The diner 'set' is built within a large wooden wheel and is literally rolled through ... See full summary »

Director: Phillip Barker | Stars: Alex Paxton-Beesley, Ashleigh Warren, Thomas Hauff, Ryan Granville-Martin

Votes: 21

Third time I've seen this (TIFF and Toronto After Dark), and it's still frustrating to understand what it's "about" ... maybe it's not supposed to make sense except to the director and it's just a showcase for admittedly neat special effects. Still 5/10 (6-JAN)

7. Reflexions (2012)

6 min | Short, Drama

5.6
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At a funeral, the dark truth reveals itself as the mourning family takes a moment to reflect.

Director: Martin Thibaudeau | Stars: Nathalie Breuer, Tony Robinow, Marianne Fortier, Rosalie Fortier

Votes: 14

This one was pretty neat from the technical perspective. The overall scene is a funeral, but the camera zeroes in on reflexive surfaces which reveals other aspects of what's really going on in the lives of those involved. Some of it is a little gimmicky, but overall it's effective. 7/10 (6-JAN)

8. Ne crâne pas sois modeste (2012)

19 min | Short, Biography

7.6
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Deco Dawson uses rare audio recording and film footage taken from Jean Benoit's studio in Paris to whimsically illustrate the life of the last official member of the hugely influential Surrealist group.

Director: deco dawson | Stars: Brock MacGregor, Brent Neale

Votes: 9

My original TIFF review (5/10) admitted that I probably didn't get it -- I'm not familiar with surrealists in general, nor Jean Benoit specifically. This time around I was more into it and could appreciate the weirdness and the unique style as an homage. It had a dreamy quality to it that you just have to go with. I'm still no expert on surrealism, but this can be enjoyable in the right frame of mind. 7/10 (6-JAN)

9. Bydlo (2012)

9 min | Animation, Short

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, this animated short is a tragic vision inspired by the 4th movement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer's ... See full summary »

Director: Patrick Bouchard

Votes: 80

Maybe because this was my third time seeing it, it gets an extra point for familiarity and still being really impressive stop-motion animation. 7/10 (6-JAN)

10. Old Growth (I) (2012)

5 min | Short, Drama | Completed

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

In a desolate, wintry landscape, an old man braves the elements to gather wood. Illustrated with a patient eye, minute detail, and exquisite cadence, this meditative documentation is a lament for nature's sacrifice to fuel man's existence.

Director: Tess Girard

Believe it or not, the description makes it sound even more exciting than it is. Probably supposed to be thoughtful or symbolic, but really just boring. 3/10 (6-JAN)

11. Chef de meute (2012)

13 min | Short

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Clara's overwhelming family can't understand her solitary life, wishing she would find someone to grow old with. Following her aunt's sudden death, Clara is put in charge of her pet. Little... See full summary »

Director: Chloé Robichaud | Stars: Eve Duranceau, Monique Gosselin, Richard Fréchette, Jean-Sébastien Courchesne

Votes: 112

Another short that finely balanced the drama and (dark) comedy. A lonely young women begrudgingly inherits a spinster relative's dog after her death; awkward bonding ensues and helps the women with perspective. 7/10 (6-JAN)

12. Crackin' Down Hard (2012)

10 min | Short, Comedy

5.8
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An earnest young outdoors-man goes out into the barren desert for some hiking and yoga. But his serenity is brought to a grinding halt when a strange man appears from out of nowhere and tempts him with hookers.

Director: Mike Clattenburg | Stars: Genevieve Genest, Caitlin Howden, Yoursie Thomas, Nicolas Wright

Votes: 15

A really funny short ... good example of how a good one-joke premise is suited for the format. 8/10 (6-JAN)

13. Goon (2011)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Sport

6.8
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64 Metascore

Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way.

Director: Michael Dowse | Stars: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Eugene Levy

Votes: 76,633 | Gross: $4.17M

Seann William Scott's character was a lot dumber than I thought he'd be -- which is saying something, considering he's not exactly known to play the brightest of people, and I wasn't expecting much from a hockey fighter, anyway. The movie does have some good laughs, especially if you're a hockey fan and can appreciate some of the stereotypes. While the dumbness and predictable story is a bit of a drag, there's some really nice hockey action, brutal violence, and plenty of Canadian faces. 6/10 (7-JAN)

14. Rebelle (2012)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, War

7.1
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84 Metascore

Somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, Komona, a 14-year-old girl, tells her unborn child growing inside her the story of her life since she has been at war. Everything started when she was abducted by the rebel army at the age of 12.

Director: Kim Nguyen | Stars: Rachel Mwanza, Alain Lino Mic Eli Bastien, Serge Kanyinda, Ralph Prosper

Votes: 6,338 | Gross: $0.07M

The familiar "child soldier" premise had me wary going in, but this film was really well done. There are some fantasy/hallucinogenic aspects to the storyline, so it's best to know that beforehand (which I did) so that it's not off-putting in what you'd expect to be a completely realistic film. The actors do a great job, considering they are novices. I can agree with this one being Canada's nomination for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars. 7/10 (8-JAN)

15. The World Before Her (2012)

TV-PG | 90 min | Documentary

7.6
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77 Metascore

Two young women follow completely divergent paths in the new, modernizing India-one wants to become Miss India, the other is a fierce Hindu Nationalist prepared to kill and die for her beliefs.

Director: Nisha Pahuja | Stars: Pooja Chopra, Marc Robinson, Ankita Shorey, Ruhi Singh

Votes: 759

Contrasting the two "camps" attended by these girls (one preparing for the Miss India finals, another following the teachings of Hindu nationalists) was really intriguing. Not only does it show the extremities of options for Indian women, but there's also a surprising similarity sometimes. 7/10 (9-JAN)

16. Midnight's Children (2012)

TV-14 | 146 min | Drama

6.2
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56 Metascore

A pair of children, born within moments of India gaining independence from Britain, grow up in the country that is nothing like their parent's generation.

Director: Deepa Mehta | Stars: Rajat Kapoor, Vansh Bhardwaj, Anupam Kher, Neha Mahajan

Votes: 2,504 | Gross: $0.14M

While the story is interesting (if you just go with the fantasy elements), I feel like the movie could have been better if it were more 'serious'. The acting felt a bit too light, and not enough time was spent on ramifications of certain big events ... odd considering this is a really long movie! It seems a perfect example of "the book is way better", and I haven't even read it ... it just felt like there were bits missing, and it didn't quite reach where it should hae. 6/10 (10-JAN)

17. Cosmopolis (2012)

R | 109 min | Drama

5.0
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58 Metascore

Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric

Votes: 40,064 | Gross: $0.74M

In terms of strange movies about a guy riding around in a limo, I have to say that Holy Motors was way more entertaining than this -- and I'm not even sure what to make of that one! This movie was just so slow, and the dialogue so dense, it was difficult to get into or care about anything. In the Q&A afterward, Cronenberg mentioned that the dialogue is exactly from the book (didn't know it was based on a book!), so I have a feeling that reading it would help understand the movie. 4/10 (11-JAN)

18. The End of Time (2012)

109 min | Documentary

6.1
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56 Metascore

Explores our perception of time.

Director: Peter Mettler | Stars: Peter Mettler, Freya Blekman, Richie Hawtin, George Mikenberg

Votes: 321 | Gross: $0.00M

I was hoping this would be more investigative but the stuff that Mettler filmed, while sometimes intriguing or fantastic-looking on screen, was often only tangentially related to the concept of time. Too much talking-head stuff going on with mumbo jumbo. 5/10 (12-JAN)

19. My Awkward Sexual Adventure (2012)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Romance

6.1
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To win back his ex-girlfriend, a conservative accountant enlists the help of an exotic dancer to guide him on a quest for sexual experience, leading him into a world of strip clubs, sensual massage parlors, cross-dressing and S & M.

Director: Sean Garrity | Stars: Jonas Chernick, Emily Hampshire, Sarah Manninen, Vik Sahay

Votes: 7,967

Still good on second viewing. Too silly in parts, but forgivable for the likable characters and good laughs. 7/10 (12-JAN)

20. Amour (2012)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama

7.9
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94 Metascore

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud

Votes: 78,684 | Gross: $6.74M

Between this and 'Still', I think I've had my fill for a while of films dealing with growing old. This movie is sloooow, but that's certainly not unexpected -- just need to be prepared when watching it. Emmanuelle Riva is excellent and deserves her nominations; the progression of Anne's condition is heartbreaking. The movie is well done, but not something I'd sit through again. 7/10 (19-JAN)

21. Les Misérables (2012)

PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical

7.6
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63 Metascore

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried

Votes: 266,615 | Gross: $148.81M

I've never seen the show and am familiar with only little bits of the music. Given how popular it is, I'm surprised I didn't find the songs more memorable ... but I'm not a big musical fan anyway, so that could explain it. Unfortunately the songs take up way too much time getting plot points across, so the movie drags on way, way too long. I thought Anne Hathaway was impressive, but otherwise I was rather bored. 5/10 (19-JAN)

22. Lincoln (2012)

PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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86 Metascore

As the War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Votes: 214,476 | Gross: $182.21M

Considering most of the movie is listening to politicians talk, it's exceptionally impressive how engaging it is. The acting is thoroughly excellent, especially Daniel Day-Lewis. It's interesting how so much of the story still resonates with the present day. 8/10 (19-JAN)

23. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

R | 157 min | Drama, Thriller

7.4
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95 Metascore

A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong

Votes: 234,780 | Gross: $95.72M

Impressively done, keeping up the drama for a decade-long manhunt that covers both the day-to-day grind of uncovering clues and also the tense mission to take out bin Laden. It was all matter-of-fact without injecting political bias, so it's surprising to hear some of the criticisms that have come out. I thought it was excellent and am surprised by Bigelow's directing snub. 8/10 (19-JAN)

24. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 500,112 | Gross: $136.03M

Very well done as a movie, but totally gives off the "Hollywood-ized" vibe of making things more dramatic than they really were. But from setting the scene, to making it feel like late 70s/early 80s (I don't think that Boba Fett was available, though), and sustaining the suspense, it was all very good. 8/10 (25-JAN)

25. Django Unchained (2012)

R | 165 min | Drama, Western

8.4
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81 Metascore

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

Votes: 1,095,399 | Gross: $162.81M

This was great right up until the last 30 mins or so. I felt it ran out of steam and totally could have ended earlier with the right tweaks. But still, very good. Christoph Waltz is deserving of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Quentin Tarantino may be a great writer & director, but he should really stay behind the camera. 8/10 (25-JAN)

26. Sound City (2013)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Music

7.8
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76 Metascore

A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.

Director: Dave Grohl | Stars: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Vinny Appice

Votes: 10,849 | Gross: $0.42M

A straightforward but very entertaining documentary. The music, stories, and technical details are pulled together nicely, and Dave Grohl enlisted some really great talent to interview. 8/10 (31-JAN)

27. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.8
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81 Metascore

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver

Votes: 584,452 | Gross: $132.09M

The acting was superb and felt completely genuine ... Cooper and Lawrence were great, definitely deserving of their nominations. Nice to see De Niro and Chris Tucker in non-annoying roles. Very good story, and I noticed that the camera work was a little different but fitting. 8/10 (1-FEB)

28. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

R | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.6
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58 Metascore

John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson, Graham Greene

Votes: 321,991 | Gross: $100.01M

Not quite as good as the first two, but Sam Jackson makes for an excellent sidekick. 8/10 (9-FEB)

29. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
69 Metascore

John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q

Votes: 355,824 | Gross: $134.53M

It doesn't *feel* as much like a Die Hard movie -- John McClane is more like a super hero now, and the visual style is very different. Could have easily been another series and they just plopped in the McClane character. Still it was a fun, if sometimes silly, movie. 7/10 (12-FEB)

30. A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

R | 98 min | Action, Thriller

5.3
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28 Metascore

John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working undercover, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.

Director: John Moore | Stars: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Votes: 178,132 | Gross: $67.35M

By far the worst of the series. Take a bad 80s spy/action film and insert a cranky and repetitive John McClane. There were some pretty explosions and extensive action -- but everything was way over the top. Poor story and no interesting secondary characters. 5/10 (14-FEB)

31. The Impossible (2012)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, Thriller

7.6
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73 Metascore

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast

Votes: 163,720 | Gross: $19.02M

A very harrowing and impactful movie. Naomi Watts and Tom Holland (eldest son) gave excellent performances, they were really effective at playing scared & beaten yet determined characters. Some parts felt too contrived -- but out of many thousands of people impacted, maybe some miraculous scenes did play out this way. 7/10 (18-FEB)

32. The Longest Daycare (2012)

PG | 5 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.3
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Maggie Simpson spends the day in the Ayn Rand School for Tots.

Director: David Silverman

Votes: 4,139

Nice to see something like this from The Simpsons, they should make more shorts. They packed a good, amusing, action-packed story (with some heart) into only 5 minutes, so that's commendable. But at the same time, this isn't even the best Simpsons story from the Ayn Rand School for Tots (see "A Streetcar Named Marge"), so for something new it still feels like a bit of a rehash (common Simpsons complaint over the past decade). But I'm probably being too harsh, it's still good! 7/10 (23-FEB)

33. Adam and Dog (2012)

TV-PG | 16 min | Animation, Short, Drama

6.9
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Adam, and a dog, in the Garden of Eden.

Director: Minkyu Lee

Votes: 2,061

You probably have to be a dog lover and a little preachy to really like this ... I'm neither. It's quietly effective & simple storytelling, but didn't really click for me. 5/10 (23-FEB)

34. Fresh Guacamole (2012)

Unrated | 2 min | Animation, Short, Fantasy

7.4
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Transforming familiar objects into fresh guacamole.

Director: PES

Votes: 3,178

One of the most unusual recipes you'll ever see! This was pretty amusing & clever, but my opinion is that something with more depth & some story is what should win an Oscar. 7/10 (23-FEB)

35. Head Over Heels (2012)

TV-PG | 11 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Walter and Madge have grown apart: he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling. When Walter tries to reignite their old romance, the couple must face their equilibrium.

Director: Timothy Reckart | Stars: Nigel Anthony, Rayyah McCaul

Votes: 1,997

This had a really imaginative design and heartfelt story. I felt it was more consistent than Paperman, so this would be my vote for the Animated Short Oscar. 7/10 (23-FEB)

36. Paperman (2012)

G | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.3
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An office worker meets the girl of his dreams and uses a fleet of paper airplanes to get her attention.

Director: John Kahrs | Stars: John Kahrs, Kari Wahlgren, Jack Goldenberg, Jeff Turley

Votes: 27,932

Some really well done scenes and romantic touch, but the story got a little gooey-magical at the end after starting off more grounded in reality. Minor complaint, but that's why I pick Head Over Heels for the Oscar. 7/10 (23-FEB)

37. Abiogenesis (2011)

TV-G | 5 min | Animation, Short, Action

6.6
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In this breathtaking science fiction spectacle, a strange mechanical device lands on a desolate world and uses the planet to undergo a startling transformation, that has profound implications for an entire galaxy.

Director: Richard Mans

Votes: 517

The animation was nifty, but more of a technological show-off rather than much of a story. 6/10 (23-FEB)

38. Dripped (2011)

9 min | Animation, Short, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jack is a strange character. He steals paintings from museums to eat them. He feeds himself with the artistic process of the painter. But one day, the museums are closed and he will have to paint by himself to survive.

Director: Léo Verrier

Votes: 225

Odd story of a guy powered by eating stolen artwork. 6/10 (23-FEB)

39. The Gruffalo's Child (2011 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 27 min | Animation, Family

7.1
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A little Gruffalo ignores her father's warnings and tiptoes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse.

Directors: Uwe Heidschötter, Johannes Weiland | Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Shirley Henderson, Robbie Coltrane, Rob Brydon

Votes: 2,053

The whole time I was watching it felt like this should be a children's story that I was familiar with -- why else make a 27 min short story (I now see IMDB has it as TV movie) with such a famous cast of voices. It's cute enough, but not super-memorable. 6/10 (23-FEB)

40. Death of a Shadow (2012)

20 min | Short, Drama, Fantasy

7.3
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Stuck in a dark limbo between life and death, a deceased soldier Nathan Rijckx collects shadows of dying men and women to buy back his own second chance at life. Obsessed by a girl he met ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Van Avermaet | Stars: Matthias Schoenaerts, Laura Verlinden, Peter Van den Eede, Benjamin Ramon

Votes: 1,542

Definitely unique, but it felt like if the acting was just a little bit better and the effects/design just a little more dark & sophisticated and the story just a little bit deeper ... then it would be more satisfying. So it loses a little something for not reaching full potential. 6/10 (23-FEB)

41. Henry (III) (2011)

TV-PG | 21 min | Short, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Henry, a great concert pianist, has his life thrown in turmoil the day the love of this life, Maria, disappears mysteriously. He'll then discover the inevitable verdict of life.

Director: Yan England | Stars: Gérard Poirier, Marie Tifo, Hubert Lemire, Ariane-Li Simard-Côté

Votes: 629

I think I've seen my fill of sad old people in films this year, so this wasn't as engaging. Nicely acted and overall well-done, but it didn't leave a lasting impression. 6/10 (23-FEB)

42. Curfew (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 19 min | Short, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On the brink of demise, a self-destructive man who has sadly reached the lowest point in his life, receives an unexpected call from his estranged sister to look after her young daughter for the night.

Director: Shawn Christensen | Stars: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek, Kim Allen, Dana Segal

Votes: 5,197

A little long, but overall I thought this one was a good balance of seriousness with a bit of dark humor. 7/10 (23-FEB)

43. Buzkashi Boys (2012)

28 min | Short, Drama

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Set against the dramatic landscape of contemporary Afghanistan and the National sport of Buzkashi - a brutal game of horse polo played with a dead goat - Buzkashi Boys tells the coming of ... See full summary »

Director: Sam French | Stars: Fawad Mohammadi, Jawanmard Paiz, Wali Talash

Votes: 666

This one was also a little too long, but it was impressive to see something of this quality come from Afghanistan. The two boys were excellent in their roles, and this was an excellent coming-of-age type story. I think the serious tone and interest in seeing Afghani culture might carry this to the Oscar for live action short. 8/10 (23-FEB)

44. Asad (2012)

R | 18 min | Short, Adventure, Drama

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A coming of age fable of a Somali boy as he struggles to survive in his war-torn land.

Director: Bryan Buckley | Stars: Harun Mohammed, Ibrahim Moallim Hussein, Ali Mohammed, Abdiwale Mohamed

Votes: 756

This is another short showing an intriguing foreign culture. Although it does a better job duration-wise and has a crowd-pleasing ending, I think Buzkashi Boys will will the Oscar. 8/10 (23-FEB)

45. Flight (I) (2012)

R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
76 Metascore

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle, John Goodman

Votes: 284,662 | Gross: $93.77M

In another year, Denzel would win the Oscar; but despite a great performance, it won't beat out Daniel Day-Lewis. There was a fair amount more to the story than the trailers let on -- I thought it was an excellent portrayal of struggles vs. addition and self-destruction. Could easily have replaced some of the other Best Picture nominations. 8/10 (23-FEB)

46. Looper (2012)

R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
84 Metascore

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano

Votes: 469,410 | Gross: $66.49M

Of course the time travel logic inconsistencies have to be ignored (as the characters all but argue in the movie itself), but besides that I really enjoyed this stylish and inventive film. 8/10 (2-MAR)

47. To Sir, with Love (1967)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.

Director: James Clavell | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall

Votes: 13,136 | Gross: $42.43M

Pretty good, for it's time. Watching it nowadays it's a familiar story, and parts of it look kinda silly -- but it's still good. I'd like to see how Sir would handle today's youth ... he'd crack for sure! 7/10 (9-MAR)

48. Strangers on a Train (1951)

PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 107,156 | Gross: $7.63M

The story is good, even if the style feels outdated and at times a little over-dramatic. I though the main psycho and the weird sister should totally get together. I'll never see a merry-go-round without laughing again. 7/10 (9-MAR)

49. Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.

Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky | Stars: Jonathan Blow, Brandon Boyer, Renaud Bédard, Anthony Carboni

Votes: 18,749

One of those documentaries where the subject matter is just the setup and the real story is about the people involved and their issues. This is no guide on how to create your own video game, but you do get to see some interesting personalities and root for them (or cringe at their insecurities). 7/10 (9-MAR)

50. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
84 Metascore

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

Votes: 266,711 | Gross: $45.51M

Still feels fresh and charming on second viewing. Highly recommended. 9/10 (9-MAR)

51. After the Credits (2010)

15 min | Short, Comedy, Romance

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

We've seen it a hundred times before - boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, and they live happily ever after. Until the credits roll. And after that, it's a completely different story.

Director: Josh Lawson | Stars: Toby Schmitz, Robin McLeavy, Nicholas Brown, Maya Stange

Votes: 56

Great idea and executed well; very funny in a realistic & cringe-worthy kind of way. 8/10 (9-MAR)

52. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

PG-13 | 132 min | Drama, Sport

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
86 Metascore

A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel

Votes: 539,140 | Gross: $100.49M

I've managed to avoid spoilers for all these years, but I knew that *something* tragic would happen. Rather than ruin things, that added to the tension of wondering what would happen and to who. I think it was really well-executed and it helps to think of it not as a boxing movie. Excellent performances all around, although a tad long with some of the side stories. 8/10 (9-MAR)

53. The Invisible War (2012)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Crime

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
75 Metascore

An investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military.

Director: Kirby Dick | Stars: Amy Ziering, Kirby Dick, Kori Cioca, Jessica Hinves

Votes: 6,164 | Gross: $0.07M

Sadly the documentary wasn't very surprising, but hopefully it will help spread word about this serious issue. The military is the ultimate boy's club and if there isn't accountability then things won't get better. 7/10 (9-MAR)

54. It's a Disaster (2012)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
57 Metascore

Four couples meet for Sunday brunch only to discover they are stuck in a house together as the world may be about to end.

Director: Todd Berger | Stars: Rachel Boston, Laura Adkin, Kevin M. Brennan, David Cross

Votes: 9,132 | Gross: $0.04M

I loved the sarcasm and snark and self-involvement of all the characters. A really hilarious movie! 8/10 (9-MAR)

55. Moon (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
67 Metascore

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw

Votes: 288,245 | Gross: $5.01M

Still intriguing to watch a second time, especially to look for more clues. Fantastic performance by Sam Rockwell, it's too bad this is likely to remain underseen. 8/10 (9-MAR)

56. Sound City (2013)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Music

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
76 Metascore

A documentary on the fabled recording studio that was located in Van Nuys, California.

Director: Dave Grohl | Stars: Trent Reznor, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Vinny Appice

Votes: 10,849 | Gross: $0.42M

A good rock doc, still entertaining a second time through. 8/10 (9-MAR)

57. Side Effects (I) (2013)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
75 Metascore

A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Votes: 159,731 | Gross: $32.17M

This was a really well-done thriller, but also an interesting look at the effects (good & bad) in our prescription society. Jude Law actually didn't annoy me. Rooney Mara was excellent conveying her character's turmoil (I still need to see Dragon Tattoo ...). 8/10 (22-MAR)

58. Friends with Kids (2011)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
55 Metascore

Two best friends decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic, so they can avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships.

Director: Jennifer Westfeldt | Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd

Votes: 38,045 | Gross: $7.25M

Pretty funny film; although predictable, it wasn't as cutesy as a typical version would be. Great cast ... even Megan Fox seemed to have some personality. 7/10 (29-MAR)

59. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
58 Metascore

A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis

Votes: 687,964 | Gross: $303.00M

Not as intense as the LotR films, but still great to watch. 9/10 (30-MAR)

60. Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater (2011 Video)

63 min | Documentary, Comedy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Louis jokes about fatherhood, success, and flying first class at the Beacon Theatre in New York.

Director: Louis C.K. | Star: Louis C.K.

Votes: 7,748

I know, not really a movie, but I'll list it anyway. If you're a fan of Louis' comedy then you'll find this funny for sure. 7/10 (12-Apr)

61. Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious (2012 TV Special)

Not Rated | 61 min | Documentary, Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Aziz Ansari channels his crude side in this 2012 comedy special, taking on topics like watching porn and the struggles of dating in New York City.

Director: Jason Woliner | Star: Aziz Ansari

Votes: 1,898

He seems to annoy a lot of people, but I find him pretty funny. This special was alright, but not hilarious. 6/10 (12-Apr)

62. Hodejegerne (2011)

R | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
72 Metascore

An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

Director: Morten Tyldum | Stars: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Julie R. Ølgaard

Votes: 86,795 | Gross: $1.20M

Although it got kind of ludicrous, for the most part this was a smart & tense crime thriller. Not only was it surprisingly good, but there's some (what I assume) random Norwegian quirkiness. 7/10 (12-Apr)

63. Like Someone in Love (2012)

Not Rated | 109 min | Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
76 Metascore

In Tokyo, a young sex worker develops an unexpected connection with a widower over a period of two days.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami | Stars: Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase, Denden

Votes: 8,259 | Gross: $0.22M

I totally fell for the deceptive description and glossy poster. When the director is lauded as a famous 'auteur', that should be a warning that it's going to be on the dull side. And this sure was. But if you can appreciate the deliberateness of watching an old man shuffle around his apartment in his slippers, this film may have what you're looking for. 3/10 (13-Apr)

64. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 26,346 | Gross: $0.44M

A mindbender, but a different kind than Primer. This one is more mood than puzzle, but still very intriguing and I enjoyed it quite a bit. 8/10 (13-Apr)

65. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 26,346 | Gross: $0.44M

As mentioned, I don't think it's necessarily a puzzle to be figured out, but it’s still rewarding to watch again. There's definitely more insight into what's going on once you know where it goes. 8/10 (20-Apr)

66. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.

Directors: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen | Stars: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, Trent Reznor

Votes: 3,350

I've never gotten into Rush, but recognized that they were really respected and Canadian icons. So I don't know how insightful this doc is for super fans, but for someone like me it was an entertaining recap of their career and I was impressed at how grounded and likable they are. Their longevity is impressive, and the film does a good job exploring why they are so popular and yet not quite mainstream -- especially with reviewers. 7/10 (21-Apr)

67. Detachment (2011)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
52 Metascore

A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment.

Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden, Lucy Liu

Votes: 64,239 | Gross: $0.07M

This is definitely different from the typical substitute-comes-to-teach-troubled-students film. Parts of it feel more like a documentary, and the overall mood is bleak and depressing but realistic. Certainly not an upbeat film, but well done. 7/10 (26-Apr)

68. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 291,972 | Gross: $11.29M

Been meaning to watch this for years and I'm glad I finally did. A very good spy drama, even though it's not of the action variety. 7/10 (26-Apr)

69. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
72 Metascore

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 428,473 | Gross: $228.78M

If you liked the reboot then this is a worthy sequel. Lots of fun action and some shout-outs to past Trek lore. 8/10 (17-May)

70. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
81 Metascore

Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Votes: 562,871 | Gross: $304.36M

Although very enjoyable and has lots of good things going for it, Silva's schemes were absurdly too complicated for what he was trying to achieve. There were enough lull moments in the film to get you thinking about it, then it just nagged me the rest of the time! Normally if it's exciting enough you can let it go until you think about it afterwards (e.g., recent Star Trek movies), but this time it really annoyed me. I'm probably being too harsh. :) 7/10 but could have been better. (29-May)

71. Upstream Color (2013)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig

Votes: 26,346 | Gross: $0.44M

Third time watching it in a short period, and the dreamy, mysterious quality is still very engaging. 8/10 (1-Jun)

72. Womb (2010)

Unrated | 111 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
48 Metascore

A woman's consuming love forces her to bear the clone of her dead beloved. From his infancy to manhood, she faces the unavoidable complexities of her controversial decision.

Director: Benedek Fliegauf | Stars: Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville, Peter Wight

Votes: 11,535

It's been a few years since I saw this at TIFF, but it’s one of those films that leaves an impression and I have thought about it many times. Eva Green is excellent, and it was a nice surprise to see that a lot of the supporting cast are now somewhat familiar faces. Some very interesting ethical and psychological issues are raised, and there's an overall tension to the film that keeps you engaged even though it moves somewhat slowly at times. 8/10 (1-Jun)

73. Dial M for Murder (1954)

PG | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Votes: 123,254 | Gross: $0.01M

Quite enjoyable, even if it feels a little dated. The plot is mostly clever, but relies on a heavy dose of convenience for things to fall into place in the end. Grace Kelly certainly captivates just being on screen, and the rest of the cast does a fine job. 7/10 (1-Jun)

74. The Central Park Five (2012)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Crime, History

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
79 Metascore

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon | Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana

Votes: 5,409 | Gross: $0.27M

It's sadly so common to have these stories of injustice, but the fact that these BOYS were manipulated and robbed of their youth (and really, their future) makes it worth. It’s recent enough that there is a decent amount of video footage -- mostly news reports and police recordings -- that helps set the time period. It’s a tragic story, but an excellent recap. 7/10 (1-Jun)

75. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
79 Metascore

A partially idealized and fictionalized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Brett Harrelson

Votes: 76,918 | Gross: $20.19M

Somehow I had never gotten around to seeing this, but it was pretty good. Courtney Love was sadly perfect for her role, but still kind of annoying. Harrelson was excellent. 7/10 (1-JUN)

76. Movie 43 (2013)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

4.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
18 Metascore

A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

Directors: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken, Bob Odenkirk | Stars: Emma Stone, Stephen Merchant, Richard Gere, Liev Schreiber

Votes: 86,905 | Gross: $8.83M

Pretty stupid, but a lot of stupidly funny bits. Wouldn't actually recommend it to anyone or watch it again, though. 4/10 (1-JUN)

77. Before Sunrise (1995)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
77 Metascore

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert, Hanno Pöschl

Votes: 212,316 | Gross: $5.54M

I had the misconception that this was more sappy-romance, but it was actually very thoughtful and engaging -- but admittedly talky and not fast-paced, so be warned. Hawke and Delpy have good chemistry and I actually plan on checking out the sequels. 7/10 (1-JUN)

78. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An in-depth look at the Canadian rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the '70s to their current heavy rock style.

Directors: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen | Stars: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, Trent Reznor

Votes: 3,350

Still good when re-watching; the guys in the band are very likable. 7/10 (1-JUN)

79. Iron Man Three (2013)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
62 Metascore

When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Director: Shane Black | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle

Votes: 616,615 | Gross: $409.01M

A worthy sequel: better than part 2 and definitely way better than the 3rd installment of many other franchises. Lots of cool action, but not mind-numbing and relentless. 8/10 (2-JUN)

80. This Is the End (2013)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Fantasy

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
67 Metascore

While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the Biblical Apocalypse.

Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen | Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel

Votes: 339,637 | Gross: $101.47M

Very funny, if you like the typical humor from these guys. If not, this isn't going to change your mind! This is also a surprisingly good, fx-heavy apocalyptic story. 7/10 (12-JUN)

81. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
77 Metascore

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 39,253 | Gross: $0.89M

One of those "you wouldn't believe it if it were fiction" stories. Mix of luck and audacity let this guy pull off the ruse for a little while. I can buy that the family was tricked, because they didn't seem like the sharpest tools in the shed (Spain is, like, across the country right?). Very interesting, especially hearing Bourdin describe his tactics. 7/10 (21-JUN)

82. Another Earth (2011)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
66 Metascore

On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the Solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.

Director: Mike Cahill | Stars: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, DJ Flava

Votes: 80,464 | Gross: $1.32M

I knew going in that the sci-fi element to this was really just a backdrop and not really the main focus. Brit Marling is one of those actresses that is very natural and seems familiar from somewhere, but she hasn't done much else and I have seen it (the new one, The East, looks interesting); she's also one of the writers for each of these. Anyway, a somewhat predictable storyline but still well played by the actors. 7/10 (21-JUN)

83. World War Z (2013)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
63 Metascore

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Votes: 515,947 | Gross: $202.36M

It was decent enough while watching it, but overall didn't leave a strong impression. There were some good action scenes, which gave a good epic feel to things ... but the zombie investigation moved far too quickly and conveniently. I hear the book is much, much better. 6/10 (28-JUN)

84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

R | 158 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.8
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71 Metascore

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 362,338 | Gross: $102.52M

I finally got around to seeing this one, and it's another excellent Fincher film. Of course he's adapting source material and even has the original movie to follow ... but since I've never read/seen those, I'll have to judge this on on its own and say that it's excellent. Really good cast all around, and the visuals and soundtrack are very moody. 8/10 (13-JUL)

85. Sneakers (1992)

PG-13 | 126 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.1
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A security pro finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his unique team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Sidney Poitier, Jo Marr

Votes: 46,593 | Gross: $51.43M

For some reason I had this on VHS when I was younger and watched it regularly. I know I rank it higher than it truly deserves, but I have a soft spot for it. :) Seeing it again recently, it's oddly prescient -- NSA funding of projects for domestic eavesdropping? Hmmm ... 9/10 (27-JUL)

86. The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

PG | 251 min | Documentary, History, War

8.3
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From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Ophüls | Stars: Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Charles Braun, Maurice Buckmaster

Votes: 3,006

You have to be properly prepared for a 4+ hour, B&W, subtitled documentary of primarily interviews about WWII. Once you accept that, this is a fascinating look back at what it was like to live in Occupied France. This isn't some historian's account or a dissection of military strategy, but rather firsthand stories from the people who lived it (with 20-25 years of hindsight and fuzzy memory). From collaborators, resistance fighters, German commanders, and many regular folk, there are a lot of different perspectives to piece together. It was a complicated time and this doc certainly reflects that. Admittedly I know little of the background or central figures, so I was constantly pausing to check Wikipedia -- but I feel more educated from the experience. 8/10 (29-JUL)

87. The China Syndrome (1979)

PG | 122 min | Drama, Thriller

7.4
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A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director: James Bridges | Stars: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady

Votes: 22,411 | Gross: $51.72M

This was even better than I expected; I thought it would feel more out-of-date, but it is still very much relevant in the aftermath of Fukushima. Good performances all around, and it kept up the suspense. 8/10 (17-Aug)

88. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy

7.2
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63 Metascore

Ron Burgundy is San Diego's top-rated newsman in the male-dominated broadcasting of the 1970s, but that's all about to change for Ron and his cronies when an ambitious woman is hired as a new anchor.

Director: Adam McKay | Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd

Votes: 290,209 | Gross: $85.29M

It defies odds that this setup can sustain the laughs for so long, but somehow it just works. Shows what you can do with the right group of great, goofy comedians. 8/10 (17-Aug)

89. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.7
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Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders

Votes: 21,367 | Gross: $0.01M

Very twisty and every character's motives are hard to pin down. A good story to navigate through. 7/10 (17-Aug)

90. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

R | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.5
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A bookish CIA researcher finds all his co-workers dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, Max von Sydow

Votes: 39,061 | Gross: $41.51M

The romance angle felt unnecessary, this could have been an even better thriller. Still good, though. 7/10 (17-Aug)

91. Chinatown (1974)

R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

8.2
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86 Metascore

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez

Votes: 241,961 | Gross: $29.20M

I was quite disappointed in this one, especially given the excellent IMDB rating. At times I was bored, but worst of all there were some plot issues that didn't add up to me and took away from getting into the movie. Maybe watching it again would improve my impression, but I don't see myself doing that anytime soon. 6/10 (17-Aug)

92. 42 (2013)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.5
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62 Metascore

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.

Director: Brian Helgeland | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie

Votes: 72,347 | Gross: $95.00M

Certainly enjoyable and educational, but doesn't necessarily stand high in terms of drama or shedding new light on an issue. There's not much shock value in the racism from that time, because by now we're aware of how reprehensible it is. Hopefully most people are more enlightened now, but I don't think this movie would change the minds of the racists out there. 7/10 (17-Aug)

93. Before Sunset (2004)

R | 80 min | Drama, Romance

8.1
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90 Metascore

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torrès

Votes: 186,208 | Gross: $5.79M

Excellent and believable follow-up, the chemistry between the leads remains intact. It was understandably awkward when they first see each other again after so much time, but they soon get back in sync. Before Midnight is a must-see now. 7/10 (17-Aug)

94. The Chumscrubber (2005)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

7.0
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41 Metascore

A darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia.

Director: Arie Posin | Stars: Jamie Bell, Allison Janney, Rory Culkin, Glenn Close

Votes: 16,855 | Gross: $0.05M

Decent teen-angst-suburbia-sucks film, with a surprising number of familiar faces in the adult roles. Very pessimistic movie and a little slow at times. 6/10 (17-Aug)

95. Side Effects (I) (2013)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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75 Metascore

A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Votes: 159,731 | Gross: $32.17M

Still really good on second viewing. 8/10 (18-Aug)

96. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

7.5
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70 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 157,108 | Gross: $2.40M

Maybe because I didn't see it until many years later, I don't have the same fondness for this that many others do. It was bad, but not in a silly enough way to be fun. It actually seemed like they were trying to make a good horror movie, but the budget and quality weren't there. 4/10 (19-Aug)

97. Evil Dead (2013)

R | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

6.5
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57 Metascore

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.

Director: Fede Alvarez | Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci

Votes: 137,953 | Gross: $54.24M

The nods to the original were certainly fun to pick out, but even on its own I thought this version was great. Jane Levy was excellent. I'm surprised this one is ranked below the original, but I'm sure there must be a nostalgia factor going on. 8/10 (19-Aug)

98. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

R | 84 min | Comedy

7.3
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89 Metascore

Kazakh TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson.

Director: Larry Charles | Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Chester

Votes: 316,312 | Gross: $128.51M

High five! Still outrageous and hilarious. 8/10 (26-Aug)

99. The World's End (2013)

R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

7.0
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81 Metascore

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from twenty years earlier unwittingly become humanity's only hope for survival.

Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike

Votes: 211,922 | Gross: $26.00M

Another excellent outing from this group, it's right up there with Hot Fuzz (but it'll be hard to ever top Shaun of the Dead). 8/10 (28-Aug)

100. Ordinary People (1980)

R | 124 min | Drama

7.8
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87 Metascore

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton

Votes: 38,812 | Gross: $54.80M

I don't see many straight-up, serious family drama's nowadays. This one still holds up after 30+ years with excellent performances all around. It can be a little dull in its seriousness sometimes, which holds it back from being rewatched too often. 7/10 (31-Aug)