Top Films by Year

Frozen River 7.8

Another story from the desolate, barren, culture-free northern fringe of America, where folks are just getting by, or trying to, by hook or crook, in this case crook. Melissa Leo gives a sensational performance, lying to her son, batting her eyes at a cop, exhibiting the determination of desperation, constantly balancing the need to cut […]

Vicky Cristina Barcelona 8

Scarlett Johansson was a caricature and Javier Bardem was a mythical (or metaphorical) male, but they set the stage for Rebecca Hall’s Vicky, who portrayed a conflicted heart to perfection (ironically, a similar role to Johansson’s in Lost in Translation, with Barcelona replacing Tokyo). Perhaps never having seen her before helped convince me. The narrator’s […]

Man on Wire 8

A down-to-earth retelling of what has to be one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Climbing Everest or robbing Brinks seem mundane compared to walking on a wire suspended between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. I cringed in my seat, not surprisingly, at photos of Philippe Petit peering off the roof, and smiled out […]

Chris and Don 7

A story about love, Hollywood, art, being gay in mid-20th-century Europe and America, and, in subtle subtext, aging. Christopher Isherwood was the hook, the famous name, and it helped that he was so good looking and, apparently, charming, on top of being British and a good writer. But Don Bachardy was the real story, and […]

Dark Knight 7.8

Far more enjoyable than I had any reason to expect, because there was this underlying story of human relationships, motivations and emotions that carried on through the cartoon razzmatazz. The fact that three earthbound characters – played skillfully by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman – knew Batman’s identity provided the link between those […]

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