It is an absorbing film, much like a surreal visual poem that couldn’t be more cinematic in the way it is told, sustained exclusively on its editing (and the endless possibilities that it offers to a story like this, including beautiful match cuts) and a dazzling use of colors.
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)
This charming biopic about Serge Gainsbourg is definitely not special, and I really don’t know what is so heroic about him, but it is a delight to see how he wrote some of his songs and met the women of his life, in a surreal and stylish depiction of part of his existence.
This average time-travel science-fiction fantasy is Laloux’s most efficient feature-length animation of the three he made, with a great score and a plot that is more interesting than Fantastic Planet and more focused than Time Masters.
A sincere biopic about a most admirable man and enriched by Ben Kingsley’s exceptional performance – even if the story is in fact more didactic than really compelling and with Gandhi not as fascinating as a character as the strength of his convictions and accomplishments.
Bergman won an Oscar for her role but it was Boyer who should have won many for his meticulous performance as the mysterious husband (he was nominated, though) in this taut thriller whose tension is increased by an exemplary art direction and mise-en-scène.
The General (1926)
A true classic in every sense of the word, hysterically funny like few others and featuring some of the most exciting locomotive chases ever filmed, as well as an epic-scale production, a beautiful score and a cinematography in sepia that feels like a travel in time.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
A very funny and entertaining musical in gorgeous Technicolor, with excellent dialogue, an animal magnetism exuded by Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, and nice musical numbers like “Bye, Bye Baby” and Monroe’s glamorous rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
A supremely important and very disturbing historical document available today after a remarkable reconstruction to its originally intended form, and whose highlight is the fantastic camerawork handled by the men who were there and could capture these essential images.
Germany Year Zero (1948)
Even if it tends to diverge a bit from neorealism into melodrama, especially in its last moments, this is a gut-wrenching tale set against the wreckage of a post-war Berlin about a tragic boy who embodies the pain of a collapsed society struggling to survive.
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
A decent spin-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, not as delightful and touching as that comedy but still very funny and surprisingly sweet, with great performances by Jonah Hill and Russell Brand. And remember, “when the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.”
Get on Up (2014)
Boseman is closer to a caricature of James Brown than of the real man in this infuriatingly disjointed mess full of jumps in time that follow no cohesion or logic, and it doesn’t offer any insight whatsoever into who the man was or what made him a “genius” besides being a complete douche bag.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele knows how to combine humor and psychological horror to make us feel constantly uncomfortable and apprehensive, and it is really amazing the way he tackles the nuances of daily-life racism – even though the villains’ motivations don’t really make any sense.
An infuriating look into a misogynist, patriarchal society/legal system dominated by outrageous religious values that force women to be in a position of submission and humiliation before their husbands – which is something that seems inevitable in a theocratic state like Israel.
The kind of movie that succeeds very well trying to be a lot of things at once: hilarious, heartbreaking, mysterious and even with some horror in it – and it is Whoopi Goldberg who steals the scene in a priceless, unforgettable performance from the moment she shows up.
The Ghost Writer (2010)
An engaging and tense thriller with an intriguing mystery and a stylish direction that bring to mind Polanski’s finest works, and some scenes here are spectacular, especially the final sequence, while Ewan McGregor puts in a very strong performance.
I think I will never really grasp what made this mildly entertaining movie so adored when it was released; it is funny and has great performances (especially Bill Murray, ad-libbing insanely), but it drags a bit and the special effects look awfully cheesy and dated today.
Don’t even listen to what the sexist detractors are pouting so much about, this excellent, hilarious reboot is even better than the original movie, with great actresses playing intelligent women who can kick more ass than a lot of men – and the special effects are sensational.
Argento’s latest giallo in English is frustratingly conventional and pointless, with actors who are oddly inexpressive and a plot that cannot even justify its existence, while he never displays the directing skills that made him such a respected cult filmmaker in the first place.
The Gift (2015)
It would have been so easy to make Edgerton’s character into a Max Cady-like psychopath, but Edgerton (now the writer/director) is intelligent to dissolve the line between heroes and villains, creating a smart psychological thriller with a great eye for revealing details.
It is not one of the worst movies ever made like many people say, but it is interminable, structurally messy and the dialogue can be hideous sometimes, with the biggest problem being Lopez’s complete lack of charisma and nonexistent chemistry with Affleck.
It is easy to just enjoy the gorgeous sight of Rita Hayworth exhaling beauty and sensuality, but let’s not overlook how stupid, implausible and misogynist this film really is, painting Gilda as a mischievous femme fatale when in fact she is a victim in the hands of two hideous men.
Gimme Danger (2016)
Jarmusch makes a documentary that looks surprisingly cheap, amateurish and poorly made (even the ridiculous font used seems like from PowerPoint), being also superficial and irritatingly conventional like a TV special and not offering anything relevant in terms of context.
Ginger & Fred (1986)
What seems at first like a harmless condemnation of television as an insane, ridiculous circus (and as such it comes off as a silly, dated and mostly unfunny film) soon turns out to be a truly melancholy and touching experience, with Masina and Mastroianni shining together.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
What begins as a clever satire that uses lycanthropy as a witty metaphor for puberty soon gets sadly derailed in a disappointing development in which it seems to go awry and lose its way (mainly its thematic focus) into mere gore and violence (though I do like how it ends).
The kind of failed artsy horror pulp Western in which even the stunning moments help make it feel all the more pretentious, silly and empty, and there is nothing more ridiculous than an Iranian feminist vampire wearing a chador – is that supposed to be ironic or just stupid?
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
An intriguing drama centered on the strong sexual tension between Johannes Vermeer and a woman who would supposedly become the subject of his most famous painting – but even if visually stunning, the result could have been a bit more involving.
The highest-grossing European production in 2009, this intense Swedish thriller is both an interesting investigation drama and a terrifying sexual abuse story – and Naoomi Rapace’s magnetic performance makes it certainly worth seeing.
An underwhelming, overly convoluted and completely forgettable mess of a sequel full of inconsistencies and nonsensical situations, and it depends on too many coincidences and plot holes to keep its implausible narrative moving on.
This final chapter is not as infuriatingly incoherent as the previous one but is even less interesting, with very little tension and few surprises. Besides, it also lacks that chemistry between the two leads, who are once again barely seen together.
This American adaptation of Larsson’s best-seller is just as intriguing as the Swedish version but Fincher manages to create much more tension and maintain a more fluid pace – and it has a magnificent performance by Rooney Mara, who is definitely the star here.
The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
Though the film’s subject may not appeal to everyone, it is fascinating how Soderbergh uses a low-budget, experimental approach to take an honest look at the private life of an escort played by porn actress Sasha Grey as she deals with her clients, her work and her boyfriend.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
A stupid teen flick that may be mildly amusing at times but is mostly really silly and forgettable, with awful dialogue and clichés everywhere, being only worth it for its nice ’80s songs and not much else.
Give Up Tomorrow (2011)
An unbelievable and revolting real story about an absurdly horrendous injustice suffered by a young man who has been trying to win a fight for over fifteen years now against powerful people who wanted to see him executed despite every indisputable evidence of his innocence.
The Glass Menagerie (1973)
Kudos to Hepburn for her outstanding performance in this fabulous adaptation for TV of Williams’ play, as she finds the perfect tone for her character at just one step back from being annoying, while Miles and Moriarty shine in their wonderful long scene together.
Glen or Glenda (1953)
With awful performances and ludicrous dialogue, this atrocious movie has a lot of heart but sadly no brains, and so it is repetitious, full of nonsensical stock footage and unintentionally surrealistic without making much sense as a narrative whatsoever.
The true backbone of this honest, involving film is Paulina García, who shines immensely with so much talent and charisma, giving shape to a complex, sympathetic character in a story that is more nuanced than it appears to be.
Go West (1925)
It is so much fun to see Keaton throw the West upside down as he befriends a jolly cow in a ranch, struggles to arrive in time for lunch and sets a herd of cattle free in the city while trying to make his way as a cowboy, even if hilariously clueless about what he is doing.
Despite the talented director and cast, this is an incredibly dull and poorly directed movie with serious pacing issues, empty characters and blatant incoherences, while its original raison d’être as an allegory is simply discarded in favor of a forgettable, pointless reimagining.
This debased Americanized version of the original Japanese film, re-edited to include Raymond Burr as a reporter, is relatively well made but full of inconsistencies, bad re-dubbing and terrible exposition, with him annoyingly narrating all the time what we can easily see.
An appalling and terrifying documentary that exposes the horrific truth behind this abusive cult created by a ridiculously delusional man who discovered the most ingenious way to brainwash so many incredibly stupid people into becoming willing prisoners of his lucrative sham.
The original Japanese classic before it was re-edited for the American audience is this fun catastrophe movie that offers a smart commentary on nuclear tests in a postwar era, showing a Tokyo devastated by a monster born as a consequence of the destructive actions of man.
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
A politically engaged (and very funny) musical that reflects the historical context to which it belongs and, clearly in favor of Roosevelt’s New Deal, uses the magical transformation of the limited theater stage into a gigantic cinematic space to show that everything is possible.
The Gold Rush (1925)
A heartbreaking silent comedy re-released with a narration by Chaplin himself that only adds to it instead of standing in the way, and it is a classic that features numerous memorable scenes in one single film, some of them quite moving while others extremely funny.
The Golden Dream (2013)
What Quemada-Diez did here was make a most realistic and definitive cinematic depiction of the journey undertaken by all those migrants who set out full of hope after the American Dream but find themselves caught in a devastating nightmare that should teach us something about solidarity.
Dhalia’s first Hollywood film is this efficient thriller that relies on a constant tension and on the uncertainty surrounding a kidnapping that may only be a product of the protagonist’s fear and paranoia. A solid movie but almost ruined by an implausible end.
Gone Girl (2014)
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike deserve many awards for their exceptional performances in this brilliant thriller that keeps us always guessing at the very edge of our seats with its deliciously elaborate plot and never ceases to surprise us with every incredible twist it throws on our laps.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
This immortal classic – the definition of Hollywood period epic – remains even today a splendorous spectacle that stands above most modern blockbusters with its astonishing production values and holds our full attention for almost four hours as we follow its two unforgettable characters.
Gonzaga: De Pai pra Filho (2012)
A solid biopic that gains from focusing on the tempestuous relationship between father and son, and making that the true core of this absorbing story instead of Gonzaga’s early life and rise to fame; but the result is also a bit more schematic than emotionally investing.
Despite its admirable intentions, this is a frustrating drama that lacks enough dramatic intensity and strength to deliver its intended message about evil and conformity – and it doesn’t help at all that Mortensen cannot do much in an unconvincing performance.
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
It is dazzling to look at (if you don’t mind about all those rubber-looking characters), but Pixar aims too low with this derivative animation made for very small children – a silly, predictable and forgettable movie about facing your fears, the importance of family and whatever, who cares.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Robin Williams is excellent, making the most of his improvisation skills and ad-libbing every one of those funny broadcasts (though his frenetic sense of humor may not be for everyone), and it is a great thing that the movie has a lot of heart and understands the complexity of that conflict.
Leone reaches the level of absolute perfection in this third film of his Dollar Trilogy, a magnificent Spaghetti Western – arguably the best of them all – that features fantastic performances, an unforgettable score and a sublime, breathtaking cinematography.
The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
This Sergio Leone-inspired Korean Western is well directed, funny and thoroughly entertaining especially for fans of Spaghetti Westerns, pretty much like Tarantino’s well-known pastiches, but it is also overlong and doesn’t seem to know how to end.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
A heartfelt and deeply honest drama with great performances and an excellent script written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that doesn’t even let us notice how attached to the characters we become – and I guess we can all forgive it for that sentimental “it’s not your fault” scene.
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)
A haunting, gorgeous and nearly-silent tribute to the experience of cinema-going that perfectly combines melancholy and deadpan humor, with a deliberate pacing that may prove too slow to casual moviegoers as it puts sometimes a good deal of emphasis on still moments.
Goodbye First Love (2011)
Hansen-Løve is a very talented director who knows how to tell a simple yet poignant story in a way that always rings true and real, and it relies on a beautiful cinematography and a surprising pair of actors who even make their perfectly affected romantic lines sound natural.
Goodbye to Language (2014)
It is interesting to see Godard break further away from the rules of cinematic language and make us take part in the brainstorming process inside his head, but after a while the experience becomes more and more excruciating, like the work of a pretentious philosopher.
This modern classic is a fascinating tale about the rise and fall of an ambitious gangster, perfectly directed (and edited) and told in a most brutal way by Martin Scorsese, with many memorable moments and a remarkable performance by Joe Pesci, who steals the show.
Even if it does manage to be efficient sometimes, this overly twisted horror movie is unfortunately mostly unscary, which is not a problem per se, but it tries too hard to be much more graphic and sickening than genuinely unsettling.
Grace of Monaco (2014)
This fictionalized portrayal of Grace Kelly’s life is a relatively absorbing character study until it finally decides to glamorize her with sacred music and a godlike back light behind her in a heavy-handed, hagiographic third act that feels terribly embarrassing.
Mungiu uses his usual naturalistic style (with many long takes and even no score) to create a gripping criticism on Romanian society, showing a series of exasperating incidents that compel an honest and methodical man to do things he would never do in normal circumstances.
Gran Torino (2008)
Eastwood is funny but cartoonish, snarling and scowling all the time, but the problem with this film is that it clearly doesn’t know if it is supposed to be taken serious or not – and what makes it all worse is certainly the awful acting from the entire cast and the lame ending.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Anderson’s grandest film to date is a thrilling ride and a visually dazzling pastiche that is deliciously preposterous, entertaining and hilarious in the same measure, with a fantastic soundtrack and a phenomenal production design like nothing he has ever made before.
Grand Central (2013)
Rahim and Seydoux display a great chemistry together in this delicate drama that Zlotowski conducts with a candid approach while knowing well how to inject tension in the scenes at the nuclear plant, even though it also builds to a not-very-satisfying conclusion.
Grand Hotel (1932)
The kind of wholesome production made in those days but with a fabulous constellation of stars to make it an unforgettable Hollywood classic – especially Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore, who are so great that they even manage to outshine the rest of the cast.
The Grand Moment (1958)
Inspired by Italian neorealism, especially Bicycle Thieves, this is a solid drama that wins us little by little (and with a lot of heart) as it follows a series of misfortunes in the life of a young man who desperately needs money to pay for his expensive wedding.
Grand Piano (2013)
Tense enough and with some good moments here and there, this thriller manages to entertain despite (or because of) its heavy-handed direction and a ludicrous plot whose greatest problems include a villain whose motives are ridiculous and a lame third act where little makes sense.
Le Grand Soir (2012)
A precise proof that worse than a pointless movie is a movie that is pointless and dull, and it seems like the work of a mental retard with a foolish idea of “rebellion against the system,” throwing two insufferable characters in an endless succession of scenes with no cohesion or direction.
La Grande Illusion (1937)
An apparently simple yet notably complex film that uses a subtle approach to explore a gamut of humanistic themes, and Renoir avoids any sort of sentimentality, which can also be seen in the elegant way that his camera seems to float, unaffected, among the characters.
The Grandmaster (2013)
Wong Kar-Wai seems only concerned about his irritating aesthetics in this hugely unfocused mess that even includes a useless narration and inexplicably irrelevant characters like The Razor – not to mention the use of a theme from Once Upon a Time in America for no clear reason.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Ford and Johnson were able to transpose Steinbeck’s masterpiece into a splendid film that preserves the book’s essence (even with a different, upbeat ending) without infringing the infamous rules of the Hays Code, yet it also feels a bit rushed and lacking in sufficient information (e.g., Noah vanishing without explanation).
Grave Encounters (2011)
The movie’s desperate attempt to look amateurish is risible and the actors are mostly terrible, but the good thing is that it manages to create a disturbing atmosphere and even finds a good justification for the characters to carry around their cameras in the most terrifying moments.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
A devastating animation that never holds back in its haunting depiction of the horrors of war and the people whose lives are destroyed by it, and the result simply ranks among one of the most powerful anti-war films to be ever experienced – animated or not.
Cuarón does not seem to grasp the 3D technology that well nor is he always able to stick to the basic rules that he established for his own universe, but he overcomes these few flaws with astounding visuals, wonderful long takes and claustrophobic scenes to put us on the very edge of our seats.
The Great Beauty (2013)
Bringing to mind Fellini’s visual and narrative style, along with Malick’s contemplative poetry, this deeply sensitive character study works as a razor-sharp criticism of high society – a true love letter to Rome and that great beauty underneath so much mediocrity and disappointment.
The Great Dictator (1940)
Chaplin’s first all-talking picture is this wonderful, hilarious classic that makes a poignant statement against dictatorial regimes with countless memorable moments, from the dictator’s speech in incomprehensible German to an unforgettable conclusion.
The Great Escape (1963)
By investing good part of its narrative in the many particulars of the great escape planning, this outstanding prison break movie increases our connection with a large gallery of memorable characters, making us deeply care about its consequences in a tense, breathtaking final act.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
A very faithful adaptation that, with all its glamorous costume and production design, overstylized visuals and anachronistic music that only add to it, proves to be a surprisingly riveting experience and lives up to the good novel that inspired it.
The Great Madcap (1949)
It is hard to believe that one of Buñuel’s first films was this silly and inconsistent little comedy that, despite a great performance by Fernando Soler and some funny moments, feels pretty dated with its naiveté and lack of nuance – not to mention a terrible, cringe-inducing ending.
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Ranks among the barely passable Disney animated movies of the ’70s and ’80s (most), as nothing in it feels really sufficient – not the amount of Vincent Price (whose character appears very little), nor the amount of songs (though the few ones are nice), nor the level of fun.
The Greatest (2009)
The plot is pretty sad and depressing but it is hard to feel anything at all and not be left cold watching this movie – which is certainly a fault of all those melodramatic performances from most of the cast, the film’s endless clichés and how predictable everything really is.
The Green Hornet (2011)
A pointless action-packed movie that lacks the retro style and doesn’t even resemble the TV series, with sleep-inducing action scenes, an irritating dialogue stretched forever and a messy script (co-written by Seth Rogen) that never decides between annoying and tedious.
The Green Inferno (2013)
Eli Roth displays a surprising maturity (at least most of the time) with this nasty, tense and well-directed horror movie that, awful acting apart, pays a welcome homage to the Italian cannibal genre and Ruggero Deodato – most especially his cult classic Cannibal Holocaust.
Green Lantern (2011)
I’m surprised to see that so many people hated this movie, since it is not bad but rather an entertaining superhero movie (despite an irregular CGI) with good dialogue and decent acting, especially from Peter Sarsgaard, who seems to be having a lot of fun as the bad guy.
The Green Prince (2014)
A fascinating and suspenseful documentary that tells an almost unbelievable story of a man who betrayed his own culture for what he believed in and two people from different backgrounds who became unexpected friends as they got caught in the eye of an everlasting storm.
Green Room (2015)
Saulnier, who had already shown great talent with Blue Ruin, comes up with another genre movie that is quite tense, brutal (lovers of gory violence will have a lot of fun, for sure) and also claustrophobic as it confines the characters in a closed room surrounded by neo-Nazis.
The Grey (2011)
A thrilling movie that really knows how to extract tension from extreme situations – even though some moments seem a bit illogical, like the jolly barbecue in the woods -, with an intense story about man facing nature and fear, a stunning cinematography and strong performances.
Grey Gardens (1975)
An absorbing and darkly-humored film that seems today like a precursor to reality shows, observing the decadent lives of two extremely eccentric women in a decrepit mansion and working as an authentic character study centered on the insane relationship between them.
Il Grido (1957)
An insufferably dull, outdated and pointless film that forces us to be in the company of a hateful macho man (who I couldn’t feel any sympathy for) as his life is surrounded by several weak women who have no personality – and the ending is simply ridiculous.
Groundhog Day (1993)
It is so easy to fall in love with such a sweet, delightful and hilarious comedy that has so many classic moments, but what is most fascinating about it is how the incredibly creative plot always finds a way to reinvent itself while exploring the many possibilities of its premise.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The type of irreverent Marvel superhero movie that we were all waiting for but haven’t admitted yet, and it is a wonder to see how organically it combines a zany, quirky sense of humor with thrilling action and good unsentimental drama (like the awesome opening scene).
An entertaining sequel that offers a delightful combo of action and humor like the first movie, with a spectacular production design, an impeccable makeup and top-notch visual effects, even though it may feel a bit bloated and has a few structural bumps along the way.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
A remarkable drama considering its important subject for the time it came out, and it works very well despite a few discrepancies in tone, like a silly ice cream scene that plays for cheap laughs. But it is Hepburn and Tracy who bring it to a higher level with wonderful performances.
The Guest (2014)
Thrilling, well constructed and well paced, this excellent blend of 1980s thriller, horror and action film has Dan Stevens at his most enticing and delivers everything it sets out to, with an amazing direction, an awesome retro soundtrack and a stylish climax that made me laugh in joy.
A disjointed, pointless and depressing exercise in nihilism, with Korine just throwing together random scenes to show the filth of the white trash. But all that he manages to do is make us feel sick at following the loathsome lives of a bunch of repulsive characters.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
A sharp, intelligent film that boasts a great cast (Ehrenreich is a revelation) and uses the very form of visual spectacle to poke fun at the grandiose cinema of the Hollywood golden age which served the main purpose of alienating the public in order to maintain society’s status quo.
La Haine (1995)
Focusing on a day in the life of three social outcasts of Paris and impressively well filmed in black and white with extremely elegant long takes, this powerful drama comes as a profoundly relevant commentary on the continuous cycle of hate that only generates more hate.
The movie is uneven and seems like it was made about ten years too late (while today it feels dated), but it is made worth it by its songs, its irreverence in the way it wants to capture the free spirit of those rebellious times and its timeless message in favor of peace.
This stressful musical of loud, hysterical songs feels much longer than it should be as it clearly believes that every character must have their own moment to sing and shine to the detriment of the movie’s own focus, and its pedestrian sense of humor makes it even more irritating.
Hall Pass (2011)
Better than just being funny and making good use of that bawdy humor that the Farrelly brothers are well known for, this is a delicious comedy that works because of its characters, who earn our sympathy without any effort in a story that can be touching and is full of heart.
It is admirable that Vidor wanted to show “the Southern Negro as he is” in this historically important, all-black musical film intended for a general audience as an authentic representation of black culture in the 1920s, but it is also unfortunately very condescending and artificial.
The Hallow (2015)
It has some clichés here and there that could have been avoided and the characters sometimes don’t seem to be the brightest people in this sort of situation, but still this atmospheric horror movie works quite well, especially in a second half that can be really unnerving.
Like the classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre that came out some years before, this terrifying and ruthless classic of the 1970s has become a major influence on the modern horror genre, building its tension and constant sense of menace to a nerve-wracking degree.
Halloween II (1981)
A terrible, useless sequel that invests in mindless gore instead of creating any real tension, and it is ridiculous (and disappointing) how it turns Michael Myers into an indestructible monster and leaves the rest of the cast to be mere bodies for slaughter.
A mediocre movie that feels more like an episode of an anthology series stretched for 98 minutes (with shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and even James Bond), and it takes too long to gain momentum and move into high gear to make us care about its stupid plot.
The only good thing in this terrible remake (so rock ‘n’ roll that it could have only been made by Rob Zombie) is the music, since the setup is long to the point of tedious and the movie simply degenerates into brainless gore with no imagination or real tension.
Hand in Hand (2012)
After her ridiculous Declaration of War, Donzelli comes up with another hateful hipster little film – a pretentious mess that proves again that she doesn’t have any understanding of narrative structure, and so it is only confusing about what it wants to be (and say).
The Handmaiden (2016)
Park Chan-Wook explores the power of narrative (the way you tell a story and its ramifications), creating another astounding visual spectacle full of dark humor, sexual desire, betrayal and revenge, with intense performances and a wonderful production design, editing and score.
The Hangover (2009)
What makes this hilarious comedy stand out is how it works as a great combo of well-developed characters, non-stop laughs from beginning to end and absurd, unpredictable plot that should certainly make this movie be regarded in the years to come as a classic cult comedy.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
A pathetic excuse for a sequel, actually more of a lazy rehash than anything else. Everything is so boring and predictable, the jokes are disgusting and not at all funny, and Zach Galifianakis is absolutely unbearable. But at least it has Ed Helms.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
A lazy attempt at something different from the previous films, departing so much from them in every way possible that it can’t even justify being part of the same franchise – and it is odious, unoriginal and unforgivably unfunny, with each awful joke worse than the one before.
This average thriller with tones of fairy tale features stylish editing and an electrifying score, and it is particularly efficient in the exciting fighting and action scenes but not so interesting when showing the character’s adaptation in a world she only knew via an encyclopedia.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
What makes this film so special and unforgettable – right there with its flawless structure, impeccable direction, three-dimensional characters and phenomenal dialogue – is how Woody Allen is won over by such a surprising amount of optimism, and the result is just perfection.
Hannah Arendt (2012)
While the dialogue is at times repetitive and even expository, the rather elliptic plot suffers from the fact that the protagonist remains a nearly inscrutable puzzle during most of the time – but by the end when her motivations are finally made clear, it all fits perfectly into place.
It is a pity that the psychological complexity of the previous film gives place to a bloated and not so engaging cat-and-mouse game that lacks the chemistry between the two characters and has a rather frustrating ending, being only worth it because of Lecter.
Hannibal Rising (2007)
Not only an unnecessary prequel but also terribly written: overlong, filled with clichés and ridiculous dialogue, and failing to depict the character’s evolution to become a monster in a believable way – and Gaspard Ulliel is absolutely awful.
Happiness Never Comes Alone (2012)
This romantic comedy is no example of originality – and it knows that, since it makes welcome references to classic works mirrored in this love fable – but it is a delightful story that benefits from a good chemistry between the leads with a lot of charm and a hilarious physical humor.
A refreshing film that will leave you smiling, with a cheerful character that may at first be mistaken for simple-minded in her constant optimism but later on proves to be much more complex in the way she sees things – which Sally Hawkins does a wonderful job in showing.
Hardcore Henry (2015)
See the wonders that can be made with GoPro, like this fast-paced, heart-pounding and even hilarious “video game movie” that puts us in the shoes of its protagonist in the middle of a cat-and-mouse hunt and never ceases to surprise us with spectacular stunts that are worthy of every award imaginable.
Harold and Maude (1971)
A lovable film that continues to resonate for long after it is over and makes you wish it would never end – and the best about it is how the relationship between the characters evolves in such an honest way, with a lot of humor and melancholy to the sound of Cat Stevens’ sweet songs.
A decent adaptation that is almost identical to the book, relying on remarkable technical aspects and on Rowling’s impressive imagination (yet with not much added by Columbus), and it should definitely please the fans and entertain everyone else.
This second movie is slightly superior to the first one in some aspects, as the story flows in a better pace and the mystery is more gradually developed. Again, the technical aspects are outstanding and this adaptation should please those who enjoyed the original one.
Cuarón is definitely a better director for this adaptation than Columbus, since this is a darker, more character-centered story compared to the previous two, and the result is more condensed and not so faithful, which works for the best as it leaves out some of the book’s few problems.
Newell does a great job condensing an enormous book so full of details, even if the film feels inevitably rushed, while the fantastic performances and first-rate technical aspects contribute for a story that is darker and more urgent than before as the characters reach adolescence.
The sweetness of the first stories seems now entirely gone, with this one adopting a much more serious tone, and Yates manages to condense the longest (and weakest) book into a decent film even if it feels more like a transition chapter between the fourth and sixth chapters.
The most mature book to date is adapted into a beautifully paced film with a greater focus on the characters’ personal drama, and it may feel like not much is happening when in fact many conflicts arise. I only miss the glorious end of the novel, which becomes here a more intimate confrontation.
This first part of the last chapter is definitely the best of the series, more concerned about the drama than the action, with a perfect pace and an intelligent script that wisely focuses more on the emotional weariness of its characters, which unfortunately may not please everybody.
A solid, satisfying conclusion to the series even if a bit underwhelming, investing more in a desolate, melancholy tone than something more devastating and dramatic, and it has excellent performances, mainly Alan Rickman as one of the most complex characters of the series.
This sweet movie is adorable like James Stewart’s character, who charms us distributing business cards and being nice to everyone that he meets, while Josephine Hull deserved the Oscar she won for her hilarious, on-the-edge-of-hysteria performance.
A plotless (and interminable) travelogue that seems more like a cheap excuse for Hawks to spend vacation in Africa, and it is hard to empathize with hunters working to catch animals for zoos (I was rooting for the rhinos) but at least the characters are charismatic (despite the casual sexism).
The Hateful Eight (2015)
It is curious that Tarantino chose to make a chamber film using the extremely wide Ultra Panavision 70 and yet creates a claustrophobic experience that also works as a sharp allegory of America, even if it has some pacing problems (especially with the intrusive chapter five).
The Haunting (1963)
A sophisticated Gothic tale that doesn’t show us anything that would actually frighten us to death but still manages to create an eerie sense of dread as it probes into the psychological and emotional unbalance faced by its protagonist and blurs the line between reality and illusion.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
Though it does have its moments and a nice, creepy atmosphere, it seems more like a movie made for TV, with cheap production values, a lot of annoying clichés and a derivative plot that brings to mind a thousand better horror films that you could be watching instead.
Haute Cuisine (2012)
Though enjoyable to watch, this film seems pointless and trivial, as it merely follows a woman in charge of preparing the meals for the President of France – and it never offers any real conflict to justify its existence.
Le Havre (2011)
Even if not special or memorable, this is an enjoyable film that invests well in a theatrical tone to tell a simple story. A comedic drama that makes curious use of a fable-like illumination and affected performances to turn a potentially dense drama into a light, funny experience.
If you’ve ever wondered what Mission Impossible or Kill Bill would have been like if made by Soderbergh, now you have the answer. The fight scenes are pretty efficient but the formulaic plot holds no surprises, with an irregular pacing and apathetic action scenes.
The Headless Woman (2008)
With an exemplary cinematography, Martel shapes a simple hit-and-run premise into an intelligent (and unpredictable) social commentary – on race, class and gender issues – as well as a deliberate character study that forces us to share the character’s psychological disorientation.
Benoît Magimel is a good actor and the film knows how to explore its bleak, grey locations, but this is nothing but a dull and silly man’s flick that lacks focus and doesn’t seem to know what kind of story it actually wants to tell.
Heart of America (2002)
While Elephant, on one hand, focused on the time and space factors that converge unrelated people to those tragic incidents, Uwe Boll is more concerned about the characters – and this is a sympathetic and surprisingly moving drama that relies on decent performances.
A spectacular film that left me astonished, since Xavier Dolan is so young but so incredibly talented and full of ideas, which he proves once again, starring, directing and producing this fascinating work about passion, obsession and the idealized nature of unrequited love.
An intense and very complex character study with Pacino and De Niro delivering two explosive performances as men so alike but on opposite sides of the same battle. Still, the film has too many characters and scenes that make it feel much longer than it should be.
Heaven Knows What (2014)
It is like Christiane F. written by Harmony Korine – which is certainly not a compliment -, a film that comes as another realization that realistic (which it definitely is) doesn’t necessarily mean good, as it follows the empty lives of a bunch of hateful people who are not worthy of our time.
A gory, trashy cult classic of the genre with an interesting (and very disturbing) idea, fascinating villains and a great makeup that stands out above all else, yet on the other hand the poor special effects and cheesy moments make it feel like a second-rate horror movie.
Hellraiser: Deader (2005)
It is like two completely different – but equally awful – ideas/stories that got stitched together into an incomprehensible movie that makes no sense, and to top all that the dialogue is just as awful, as well as the amateurish direction, cinematography and editing.
The Help (2011)
Although Viola Davis offers a fantastic performance here, this disgusting melodrama is much more concerned about making you cry than saying anything meaningful, while most of the characters are one-dimensional and several unnecessary details are constantly added to the story with the sole purpose of cheap sentimentality.
Helter Skelter (1976)
Despite being too clinical sometimes but with a fantastic performance by Steve Railsback as Charles Manson, this is an absorbing and disturbing account of the investigation and prosecution of Manson and his “family” following their horrific mass murders in the 1960s.
Apart from the solid performances, there’s little else to praise in this mediocre film that mistakenly believes that resorting to shocking, purposeless violence is enough to draw what it assumes to be the “portrait of a serial killer,” instead of developing his motivations.
For those of us who are or have ever been in love, this achingly beautiful romance hits the right notes of delicacy and sensibility about the human need to share our lives with someone who is actually a projection of our own expectations – which does not make these feelings any less real.
It is irritating enough that they alter most of the original legend just for the sake of doing so, but the real problem here is that the jokes and pop references to modern times and American culture are far from smart and get tired fast, with the third act being a silly, unexciting mess.
Clint still seems obsessed with the mortality issue, but it is clear that he doesn’t know what he is doing with this esoteric babble that lacks focus and purpose, presenting three poorly-written stories combined without any fluidness and leading to a corny ending that is simply lamentable.
The last twenty minutes are so terrible they almost ruin an excellent first hour that knows how to develop a gripping mystery and keep us terrified – which only proves that sometimes simpler is better as opposed to too much information leading to plot holes and inconsistencies.
The Hidden Face (2011)
What seems to begin as a ghost story full of the most basic, worn-out clichés soon turns out to be an ironic, claustrophobic and original idea that cleverly plays with the conventions of the genre, even if it ends though on an unsatisfying note.
High Noon (1952)
At first the character’s irrational insistence to stay in the city may be a puzzle for the viewer (and an infuriating contrivance), but soon it reveals a fascinating complexity about him in this superbly edited Western that relies on a visceral performance by Cooper (and his bleeding ulcer).
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
A cheap rip-off of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with villains who are disgusting perverts that you want to see dead and main characters who act really stupid most of the time. By the end, it has no room for any moral questions, for a matter of life and death justifies anything.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
I can’t see any good reason to remake a bad movie changing the nature of the depraved villains but keeping all of those lame faults found in the original movie – especially characters who are irritatingly stupid and the only smart one being the dog.
The Hills of Disorder (2006)
Despite the amateurish editing (with an awful amount of dissolves), uneven cinematography and a messy beginning, this hugely absorbing combination of documentary and fiction observes more than it says and is elevated by the strength of what it shows and the reflection it provokes.
A hard watch and devastating examination of a horrible disaster and the revolting campaign carried out by those responsible to discredit the victims, and it shows in details the pain caused to the survivors and families of the victims as well as their efforts to seek justice.
His Girl Friday (1940)
I guess the term “screwball” couldn’t be more well illustrated than by this laugh-out-loud comedy whose characters shoot their overlapping lines in an insanely frenetic rhythm, with Grant and Russell simply hilarious and displaying an enormous chemistry together.
The History of Eternity (2014)
With an outstanding cinematography and mise-en-scène, this gorgeous film has at least two scenes that are unforgettable in their sublime beauty, while narrative-wise it offers a delicate and deeply poetic story about people imprisoned in their own existences.
It is sad to see a talented actor like Will Smith wasted in such an idiotic romantic comedy – a movie that is silly and implausible, full of clichés, ridiculous situations, unfunny gags, painful dialogue and with an extremely corny and embarrassing ending.
Bearing no resemblance to the real Hitchcock, Hopkins seems like a caricature in a biopic that is only intriguing when it shows the production of Psycho but never when it focuses on his personal life – where marital conflicts and an imaginary Ed Gein are sadly contrived.
The commercial purpose is obvious when such a short and light book is split into three films in a clear attempt to recreate the epic greatness of The Lord of the Rings. So, the tone seems a bit irregular (with nothing really urgent) but the story manages to be fluid and entertaining.
Jackson continues to stretch this paper-thin story to a very massive length that never really justifies such measure, and its splitting into parallel plots dilutes some of its focus while the excessive use of dei ex machinis reduces the urgency it so desperately aims for.
It is all payoff (a very long one by the way) and no setup, and even if it is nice to look at and gets moderately exciting towards the end, it is cold and forgettable just like the previous films and shows (again) that it all should have been made into one (or two) film(s) only.
Hold Back (2012)
With a naturalistic approach that makes use of grainy visuals and an appropriate handheld camera, this urban drama makes a statement against intolerance and hypocrisy even though it resorts to some cheap narrative tricks and is not really sure how to end.
Holding the Man (2015)
The jumps in time can be a bit distracting (even though I understand the point and it makes sense for the film to be structured like that), but this is a very sad, tragic story told in a very honest way and with excellent performances by Ryan Corr, Craig Stott and Anthony LaPaglia.
The Hole (1998)
The musical numbers don’t always fit organically within the story, but Tsai’s bleak idea of a post-apocalyptic Taiwan under constant rain and in maximum literal isolation is a powerful one as he pictures modern disconnected people turning into cockroaches in the middle of garbage.
Ahead of its time, this romantic comedy suggests that happiness may be found in freedom, away from the pernicious wealth of high society – but it is also a bit naive, reducing the complexity of its themes to matters of right and wrong while ending with an easy, predictable resolution.
The Holy Girl (2004)
Whereas in La Ciénaga Martel was always able to maintain a tight structure and focus even with a huge gallery of characters, in this case her notably flawed narrative – despite her usual social commentary and a promising premise – lacks cohesion and seems to go nowhere.
Holy Hell (2016)
A well-made and unbelievable story that is too bizarre to be true, about the horrors of spiritual cults and how a narcissist prima donna was able to deceive and control for over twenty years the lives of a bunch of pathetically naive people and make them serve him with absolute devotion.
Holy Motors (2012)
An incredibly absorbing and thought-provoking film that takes us in a mind-boggling journey with a character that drifts from one role to the next in many puzzling rendezvous and identities – a narrative experiment that proves to be fascinating and surprisingly moving.
The Holy Mountain (1973)
This psychedelic, LSD-induced masterpiece is not only visually ambitious, with an impeccable cinematography and editing, but also incredibly imaginative as it makes use of archetypes and symbolism in a brilliant social commentary, and it is wonderful how the fantastic score helps create the perfect atmosphere in every scene.
Home Alone (1990)
An entertaining (but overrated) Christmas family movie that may be thin and silly (especially in its third act) but is also refreshingly funny and tender, with a great Oscar-nominated score by John Williams and hilarious performances by Culkin, Pesci and O’Hara.
Home Care (2015)
It may lack subtlety sometimes when dealing with its subject matter, but even so this is a delicate drama that understands how the fear of death can make people embrace irrational beliefs or anything that might give them comfort against their own best judgment.
The Homesman (2014)
It is sad to see a film begin so well, relying on stunning visuals and an impressive performance by Swank, and then go downhill in a second half that suffers from some serious problems of tone and does itself a great disservice by abruptly shifting the lead role from her to Jones.
A solid psychological horror that takes its time to make us like its characters and care about them before investing in a creepy, intriguing mystery. It is just a pity, though, that it doesn’t offer a more consistent payoff and seems to wrap up too all of a sudden.
An insufferably disjointed and overlong film that has serious trouble defining the rules of its universe and suffers from a messy structure, expository narration, intrusive flashbacks, predictable revelations (when not ridiculously sentimental) and a heap of clichés.
Horrible Bosses (2011)
Irritating to the point of almost unwatchable, with nothing remotely funny about following these unbearable retards amid stupid gags and so many homophobic/racist/sexist remarks – and Charlie Day is an awful actor who thinks that yelling in a high pitch makes him funny (it doesn’t).
Hot Fuzz (2007)
With a fantastic direction and Oscar-worthy editing, it boasts a brilliant script that combines hilarious comedy, exhilarating action and clever thriller while paying an incredible attention to the smallest details – though too restrained with violence in its climax.
Hot Girls Wanted (2015)
Despite its tendency towards moralizing, this is a revealing documentary that says a lot about those who enjoy feeding their sexual fantasies with everything that is so misogynist and degrading to women, from videos of teenager manipulation all the way to abuse simulations.
I really wanted to like this film, but truth is, it didn’t resist very well the action of time and looks pretty dated now, both structurally and aesthetically (and can only be found now in horrible quality), despite offering some good performances and a nice ending.
One of Paul Walker’s last films is this suspenseful thriller that can be quite tense in a minimalist way when not contrived or melodramatic, yet it could have been set in any city hit by a fictional hurricane without the need of using a real tragedy as a plot device.
A delicious combination of horror and goofy comedy that is amusing and funny (the rogue hand and the raccoon scene are particularly hilarious), and it works quite well even if its attempt to show the traumatizing effects of the Vietnam War on veterans falls flat.
A generic, derivative and stupid Psycho rip-off that doesn’t mind insulting the viewer’s intelligence all the way through, with a ridiculous twist that makes no sense and only makes it more than evident that no one involved gave a crap about it.
The House at the End of Time (2013)
An uneven film that, despite too many clichés, has an ingenious structure and a good share of inspired moments – only it is a pity that these moments are in service of a story that is so silly and sometimes so over the top that it even resembles a comedy, or a self-parody.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
An unpleasant experience akin to being raped, or, in other words, a stupid, unscary and repellent gore fest that begins very well but then tries too hard to be “rock ‘n’ roll” and full of style with an irritating large amount of references and awful cutaway scenes inserted everywhere.
The House of the Devil (2009)
Ti West obviously knows the genre inside out, as he emulates the style and feel of those horror movies of the ’80s with admirable skill (including the zooms) and spends a good time in the anticipation (maybe too long) to let apprehension and tension slowly settle in.
House of Tolerance (2011)
A sad film about a group of prostitutes in a Parisian brothel at the end of the 19th century, with a very fluid narrative and a beautiful production design (and cinematography) that explores quite efficiently the gloomy romantic view of being a woman submissive to men and their pleasure.
House of Voices (2004)
The production design and cinematography are stunning and help create an eerie atmosphere along with the melancholy score, but the problem is that the script never makes the character’s growing insanity and obsession any clear and turns out to be completely empty in the end.
House of Wax (2005)
An infuriating movie full of clichés and stupid characters who are there only to be slaughtered in some juicy, gruesome deaths – which happen to be the only effective thing in this idiotic mess, I must add. But we have to go through a lot of nothing to get to the good part.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
So silly and campy that it is likely to provoke more unintentional laughter than chills, given its complete disdain for realism, coherence and plausibility – like nobody able to hear a woman screaming that loud in the house or the ludicrous details involving the twist in the end.
A highly diverting blend of gory horror and hilarious dark comedy that works delightfully well on both ends, and it is great to see how it easily moves from one genre to another and from one twist to the next while remaining always fresh, surprising and unpredictable.
It draws more attention for the cheesy makeup and how everyone appears fully naked onscreen considering the time it was made (during Brazilian dictatorship with its filthy censorship), but apart from that the film is more a curious history lesson made in a welcome naturalistic style.
How to Change the World (2015)
Using a great amount of precious 16 mm reels, this is a remarkable account of the efforts undertaken by the Greenpeace organization in the ’70s and ’80s as an extraordinary movement that set out to stop ecological crimes and had to deal with a lot of tension inside their own group.s inside their own group.
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Monroe and Bacall are charming and charismatic as ever, but in an only occasionally amusing (yet outdated and rarely really funny) story about three women trying to catch a rich man to marry – a plot that, let’s be honest, may not be everyone’s idea of a good, fun comedy.
How to Survive a Plague (2012)
An extremely enlightening overview of that which was the most devastating plague that hit the world in the past century, and an essential historical document that shows how activism played the most important role during the acme of the epidemic.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
A very entertaining animation that benefits from an honest story and great visuals, and approaches its moral lesson with the level of respect that it deserves instead of becoming too cute or preachy – even though the resolution is too easy and makes it lose some of its power.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
It chooses the easy way in some aspects (like Hiccup and his father not feeling any resentment towards the woman who abandoned them) but makes up for it with moments of more complex development (like Drago not changing his mind with mere words), making this a worthy sequel to a great movie.
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
While the plot may seem a bit derivative (as well as the score and the characterizations) when compared to Miyazaki’s greater works, this captivating animation is nevertheless an entertaining adventure of enchanting visuals and an always delicious sense of humor.
Let’s be honest, it is disappointing to see a movie that wants to praise the magic of Cinema but whose 3D doesn’t always work so well, and it feels like two different stories clumsily combined, with unnecessary subplots and a mediocre leading performance by Asa Butterfield.
Human Capital (2013)
A sharp and intelligent social commentary with strong performances and a multilayered narrative that examines the value of human life in our world and interweaves the perspectives of three characters to show the irremediable impact that people have on each other’s lives.
The mere idea is grotesque but the execution is not as repulsive as the hype will lead you to think, and even if Dieter Laser is truly menacing as the mad doctor, the other actors are mostly terrible and the movie offers a lot more involuntary humor than actual horror.
Tom Six manages to create a disturbing atmosphere using a black and white cinematography and wide-angle shots, but this awful sequel drags forever with not enough material to fill 90 minutes and most of it is so vile and sickening that it just overwhelms whatever merits it has.
Tom Six has no idea what structure, pacing or taste is, and he clearly wanted to make the vilest piece of garbage ever – which it is safe to say he accomplished -, although it would have been cheaper and more effective for him to look for therapy instead.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The heavy changes in the original story, like its inevitable softening to be more palatable for children, may displease some, but still it tackles serious themes with a lot of wonderful songs and spectacular visuals, among the best that Disney has ever put on screen.
I wonder if this is supposed to be an absurdist, Swedish version of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (without the crass humor), with great visuals (the cinematography is gorgeous) and impressive makeup but awfully unfunny and with a ridiculous plot that has no structure or focus.
McQueen’s debut is gripping and intense, with some amazing long takes and a disturbing story that depicts the horrendous impact of a hunger strike on the human body, even though I don’t like how the plot is suddenly deviated from Davey Gillen to Bobby Sands.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The dystopic universe could have been better explored, while the shaky camera in the action scenes makes it a bit hard to follow what is actually happening on screen, but still this is an exhilarating movie that benefits a lot from great performances and charismatic characters.
The restless camera in the action scenes still makes it a tad difficult to see what is going on like in the first movie, but what is great about this bleak, intense sequel is that it focuses less on the fighting and more on the political issues, the desolation, the characters.
Leaving aside the action that was so present in the previous films to invest more in the characters, this third chapter is a grim, intelligent and riveting character study that finds space to discuss relevant matters like media manipulation and proves to be the strongest installment of the series so far.
Despite some structural problems and narrative stupidities (it is a mystery that Katniss and the rebels are not killed right away, given how incompetent they seem), and most importantly a silly, artificial and sexist last scene, this is still an efficient conclusion that works thanks to the adult way that it shows the outcome of a revolution.
Hungry Hearts (2014)
An anguishing and extremely unsettling story that becomes more and more like a horror movie (with some nice use of ultra wide-angle lenses) as we witness a desperate man trying to prevent a newborn child from getting hurt by a foolish woman who is completely out of her mind.
The Hunt (2012)
An extremely nerve-wracking thriller with a fantastic Mads Mikkelsen as a man going through a terrifying ordeal. However, it is impossible for me to overlook some major implausibilities, especially the character staying in that town against all good sense and the naive ending.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
With an excellent direction by Taika Waititi (who always finds ways to surprise me) and great performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, this is a funny and refreshing sweet road movie (or in this case “bush movie”) that makes us laugh out loud with its offbeat humor.
The Hunting Ground (2015)
Despite some reported issues regarding its credibility, this is a great companion piece to The Invisible War in what concerns institutionalized misogyny and brutality against women (and in this case also men) that go shockingly ignored when the interests of powerful people are involved.
The Hunting Party (2007)
The actors seem to be having a lot of fun and the dialogue is mostly very funny, but it is really hard to buy into most of this ludicrous “based in real events” plot that has a major revenge cliché as motivation for the main character and is a tonal mess in its stupid third act.
Hurricane Bianca (2016)
It is terrible in terms of character development and has a nonsensical plot full of caricatures and clichés, but the biggest sin of this low-budget, crowd-funded effort is how unfunny it is – which is unacceptable when the star here is one of the funniest drag queens in the planet.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Kathryn Bigelow’s intense, powerful war film is unbearably suspenseful as it holds the tension from one sequence to the next while dramatically focusing on its characters – and Jeremy Renner is outstanding as the bomb disarmer who is addicted to his dangerous job.
Flanagan continues to prove after his excellent Oculus that he is one of the most interesting names in recent years when it comes to genuine horror, with another smart, well-directed and tense movie that does have a few clichés here and there but works quite well all the same.
The Hustler (1961)
With an exceptional cast – most especially Paul Newman and Piper Laurie in outstanding performances -, this is a profoundly compelling and richly complex character study about an arrogant, self-destructive anti-hero in search of his own “character” and finding it in a most painful way.
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
The kind of outdated love story that shouldn’t have space in modern times, and it has the wrong lead character, since her relationship with FDR is the weakest element of the plot and her intrusive narration is always useless and expository.
This delightful British comedy about the invention of the first vibrator in the medical treatment of female hysteria in the Victorian Era is a very funny film that benefits from an elegant dialogue, a sharp cast and a perfect chemistry between Dancy and Gyllenhaal.
I Am Divine (2013)
This is an efficient and enjoyable documentary about the life and career of John Waters’ muse of filth, even though it feels excessively reverential and has a structure that is a bit too conventional – which seems pretty ironic, considering the unconventional subject in question.
I Am Love (2009)
Exquisitely directed and acted, with an amazing Tilda Swinton perfectly conveying the discovery of love, this is a beautiful and sumptuous Italian drama that brings to mind the aesthetic and narrative style of Luchino Visconti, growing in a crescendo towards a glorious, explosive end.
I Am Michael (2015)
A remarkably sympathetic and nuanced character study about an idealist LGBT activist who slowly becomes a pathetic shadow of himself due to fear and religion, and it is beautiful to see how the film never vilifies him, which would have been actually quite easy.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
The fact that this unmissable documentary has been somehow met with strong opposition from a segment of the public is symptomatic evidence of its importance as an objective examination that should make us seriously reflect on the very roots of racism in America.
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Centered on a proud protagonist struggling with the revolting indifference of a state that doesn’t care about those in need, this bleak and depressing film is also quite touching when showing the generosity of people even under horrible circumstances of poverty and despair.
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006)
A poignant film of stunning, Tarkovskian beauty, but Tsai seems a bit too interested in playing with the structure of his works now, given how after a strong first hour it seems to drift away without direction only to finally make up for its flaws with a heartfelt, beautiful ending.
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
The general opinion about this movie seems curiously divided between finding it either smart or pretentious, but for me it is neither, rather a quirky, mildly funny story that makes a welcome use of existentialist issues and a great cast. Good, though nothing special.
I Killed My Mother (2009)
Xavier Dolan is a really talented, promising young director, and his filmmaking debut is this sensitive and engaging approach to a semi-autobiographical subject, a story that balances subtle humor and compelling drama in a more than satisfying way.
I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
This film’s humor is not for everybody (you see, I was the only one laughing out loud in a cinema full of people), and it has a story that could have been made into a depressing tragedy but is presented here as a light and delightful romantic comedy with great performances.
I Only Want You to Love Me (1976)
This Fassbinder film made in a hurry for television is always interesting, even if its non-linear structure is a bit distracting and it also lacks that sympathy that we usually see in his films towards the good-hearted, foolish protagonist who is doomed from the beginning.
I Origins (2014)
What a wonderful surprise to see Mike Cahill confront science and spirituality with so much competence in this extremely challenging, thought-provoking blend of romance, drama and science fiction sustained by an always gripping mystery and clever dialogue.
I can’t see anything appealing or satisfying in this revenge exploitation movie, and it looks cheap and ugly in basically every aspect: the subpar acting, poor direction (even the framing is awful), amateurish pacing and ridiculous deaths that don’t justify all the violence that precedes them.
I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but this flawed movie spends way too much time showing the protagonist’s horrendous suffering and humiliation in an overlong (and graphic) setup before finally moving on to the entertaining part where we get to see her actions against her aggressors.
I Stand Alone (1998)
The deranged horse butcher from Carne is now struggling to regain any control of his life after spending many years in jail, in a heart-wrenching and incredibly disturbing film that has an amazing performance by Philippe Nahon and an absolutely brilliant final act.
A simple yet absolutely original project made like a documentary using only landscape footage and the voice of the protagonist (whose face we never see), and the result is a devastating and profoundly moving road movie that shows a man gradually sliding into depression as he finds himself alone and far from the woman he loves.
I Want Your Love (2012)
By expanding to full length his impressive (and deeply involving) short movie, Matthews displays once more his remarkable talent for showing graphic intimacy with so much passion and honesty; the only problem, however, is that the film is also too diffuse and fragmented.
I Wish (2011)
A delicate film that relies on the talent and charisma of its young actors and makes us easily relate to their dreams and wishes with a simple but honest story, while Koreeda proves again that he knows quite well how to draw natural performances from children.
Another thought-provoking story by one of the most fascinating Brazilian directors of his time, following his current obsession with how an artist’s creative process can be hindered by intense passion and reasoning – a theme Brant has been exploring since his brilliant Delicate Crime.
I’m All Yours (2015)
It has an irregular structure with a lot of underdeveloped elements and doesn’t even manage to explain how Donnadieu became such a stupid religious fanatic, but still this is a lively and modern comedy that can be quite funny and has a nice performance by Vimala Pons.
I’m So Excited! (2013)
This is Almodóvar’s pit stop back to his light comedies, but, even if mildly amusing, the film lacks in structure and ends up looking ironically like the airplane where the story takes place, drifting aimlessly around and around without knowing where to go.
Ichi the Killer (2001)
Definitely shocking in its excess of gore and brutal violence, this bizarre (and inadvertently hilarious) manga story is filled with a surprising dose of dark humor and features a cute but odd anti-hero and an always fascinating sadomasochistic villain.
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)
This unnecessary fourquel was obviously conceived to make (more) money only, with an uninspired story that is dull, unfunny and full of the lamest clichés about the “value of family” – and Scrat is the only thing that still works, even if in homeopathic doses.
Ice Poison (2014)
It takes a very insightful director to tackle different social matters in this subtle way, never preaching or offering solutions, with a story that unfolds in a careful pace and gives us time to connect with the characters as we closely observe their lives and actions.
What a completely wasted opportunity for a thought-provoking discussion about human nature, aiming instead at the most obvious with a dull development and a ridiculous third act that made me imagine what a talented director like Werner Herzog could have done with this material.
With a 1.37:1 aspect ratio and a gorgeous, oppressive cinematography in black and white, this gripping drama does a flawless job to explore the silence and empty spaces within the frames to underline the elusive void present in the lives of these two women.
An intriguing, tense and solidly structured thriller centered on a mystery that is pretty well developed – even if it cannot escape the clichés of the genre -, but what makes it stand out is how it turns out to be much more intelligent than it seems despite its flaws and absurdities.
The Ides of March (2011)
Clooney proves again that he knows how to direct intelligent films that rely on a great dialogue, and this intriguing character study is gripping from the first scene to the last, centered on a brilliant political battle and with an intense performance by the always fantastic Ryan Gosling.
The Idle Class (1921)
Chaplin is back to the Mutual-style two-reelers with this light comedy, playing two roles in a funny story of mistaken identities. Enjoyable, though not really special.
If I Stay (2014)
A shameless melodrama that follows The Lovely Bones as another schmaltzy teenage life-and-death joke, painfully interminable, full of unbearable exposition and corny lines, and downright manipulative, trying to make us cry at all costs with every cliché imaginable.
Pistereanu carries this drama with a surprising talent and intensity, but after two careful first acts with long scenes that show the character’s life inside the prison using a realistic, almost documentary-like approach, the film reaches a disappointing conflict that is hard to buy.
A special, bittersweet and sometimes surprisingly funny celebration of the act of living, beautifully directed and with a wonderful performance by Takashi Shimura as an awkward old protagonist who should inspire us all to reconsider the way we have been living our lives.
Ilo Ilo (2013)
A not so interesting effort that seems confused about what it wants to say and has a flawed plot that suffers from many unresolved elements, like the mother’s contrived jealousy, a lack of decent explanation for the boy’s bad behavior and his abrupt bonding with the maid.
The visual effects are a true delight but it is hard to follow such a confusing mess of a narrative that stretches for so long and doesn’t seem to know where to go, which seems to result from the many unfortunate plot alterations that had to be made after Ledger’s death.
Imaginary Heroes (2004)
This family drama should have focused more on the emotional impact of the tragedy on the characters, but instead it goes for artificial conflicts and pathetic clichés, suffering also from an excess of information with many unnecessary details added at every moment to create new useless twists.
Imagining Argentina (2003)
It is, yes, well-intentioned but that doesn’t compensate for its silly, heavy-handed execution full of artificiality, shallow dialogue and cartoonish villains – and Banderas’ character acts so irrationally that I find it unbelievable that he is not killed before halfway through the story.
The Imitation Game (2014)
A mediocre biopic that caters to the lowest common denominator (it doesn’t even bother to explain how Turing’s machine actually works), full of cheap clichés and artificial situations that one would expect from an ordinary movie made for TV, not a multiple Oscar nominee.
Imitation of Life (1959)
A lavish, touching melodrama that remains always focused and held together even when trying to flesh out the personal conflicts of so many characters – which it does in a way that is quite realistic and sincere despite how in the end Sirk tries way too hard to force us into tears.
The Immigrant (1917)
One of the most entertaining of Chaplin’s short silents, very funny and delightful, and the scene in the restaurant is non-stop laughs.
The Immigrant (2013)
An interesting story with a lot of potential but undermined by its inability to make us relate to it in almost any level, tending towards melodrama and becoming like a soap-opera after some time. In the end, it remains cold, with characters that could have been more well explored.
The Impossible (2012)
A terrifying and harrowingly realistic disaster movie with a superb cast (Tom Holland is a revelation) and an exceptional production design. Few movies this year were this powerful, holding a strong emotional punch and able to move me beyond words.
The Imposter (2012)
It is hard to believe that this shocking, unbelievable true story actually happened, since what begins as an apparently simple case of imposture turns out to be something much more horrific once you look deeper into it – something that must be seen to be believed.
In a Better World (2010)
A challenging meditation on how hurt-induced revenge and the intention of getting rid of a menace can overlap when someone looks for a motive to get even. It could have been much better, though, had it not moved its focus to a minor subject (in comparison) in the third act.
In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)
Fassbinder uses a personal loss as starting point for another depressing story about exploitation that doesn’t dare offer any easy answers, even though the result this time feels also arbitrary, with his usual cold, detached approach leaving little room for empathy.
In Search of the Ultra-Sex (2015)
This is basically What’s Up, Tiger Lilly? with trashy vintage porn, a puerile and retarded movie that believes to be much wittier than it is but is only unfunny with its childish, pedestrian humor and irritating re-dubbing, and it feels a lot longer than its relatively short duration.
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
I hate when someone recounts a story in which he was not always present, but even if there is nothing like witnessing the sweet revenge of a beast (monster or victim?), this intense film of evocative visuals grows even more compelling when showing the lengths that people can go to survive a horrible ordeal.
In the House (2012)
A smart and fascinating drama that ingeniously dissolves the barrier that separates fiction from reality as we witness a talented teenager using a curious ploy to draw his intrigued teacher into a witty meta-discussion on the production of a narrative work.
In the Intense Now (2017)
An intuitive and perceptive reflection that constructs an unexpected narrative from the unexpected, putting together amateur footage and archive material from the same period in an attempt to examine how we can capture special moments in time without even realizing it.
It is admirable the dedication of Angeline Jolie to something she believes in so ardently, but even though her movie is well directed and holds a strong impact in its intended message, the characters are poorly developed and remain a puzzle until the very end.
In the Loop (2009)
A hilarious political satire with a witty dialogue and a deliciously British sense of humor that I imagine is not for everyone – and Peter Capaldi is priceless and steals the show every time he appears, swearing insanely and shouting the f-word to everyone.
In the Name of… (2013)
It takes long to shape a premise and focus on its intentions, with the character’s sexual and moral conflict not so naturally explored and made clear only too late, and it is hard not to feel uneasy with a film that wants us to understand a pedophile, which is what he is after all.
In the Shadow of Women (2015)
The best about this charming and deceptively simple film is how it gives new contours and nuances to its characters (made all the more real by the excellent performances) as the story progresses, but it is just a pity that it ends with such an easy and rather frustrating resolution.
In Time (2011)
It has an intriguing idea but the plot lacks so much information regarding the backstory and mechanics of its universe that it becomes incoherent, implausible and utterly stupid, with plot holes, pretentious dialogue and muddled motivations – especially from Murphy’s character.
Inbetween Worlds (2014)
A gripping and extremely tense film that depicts with surprising realism (and outstanding sound design) the daily life of soldiers in Afghanistan as they are confronted with difficult choices, calling into question weather some people are simply not fit for this kind of job.
An intense, gripping and absolutely wonderful drama that tells a devastating story about love, hate, secrets and amends, and it does so in a completely unpredictable way, with a powerful performance by Lubna Azabal and an unbelievable, jaw-dropping ending.
Adopting a naturalistic approach to depict the difficult reality of that place, this solid drama is complex enough to be worth checking out, centered on a woman who gets voluntarily caught up in a war that is not hers and driven by tragic circumstances to a drastic decision.
Some consider it too dark and weaker than the other chapters, but this informal prequel is also another first-rate adventure, offering unstoppable action and plenty of fun as the character goes in a dangerous journey into the mystic to retrieve a powerful magic stone.
A hugely entertaining adventure that offers everything that made Raiders so successful and more: exhilarating action scenes, hilarious dialogue with a perfect comic timing and, of course, the pleasure of seeing Harrison Ford and Sean Connery together.
A disappointing chapter that suffers from a lame interaction between the characters, an inconsistent plot that makes no sense and action scenes that are never memorable, relying too much on CGI and never managing to create any sense of real danger, with a terrible ending.
Toby Jones is truly great here, even though overshadowed by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s fantastic performance in the far superior Capote (the comparison is inevitable), but this film suffers from many terrible documentary-like statements that explain what we can easily see.
Infernal Affairs (2002)
A very smart and taut thriller that prefers to focus on its characters and the relationship between them instead of jumping into action, shootings and twists as is usually expected from this kind of crime movie.
A movie so fast paced and rushed that it almost doesn’t give us time to realize how ludicrous the plot is and how little sense it makes, with so many holes and inconsistencies, a lot of empty exposition and even Langdon constantly suffering from laughable “flashback crisis.”
After an awfully convoluted beginning heavy on ugly, clumsy exposition, it proves to be just a cheap rehash of Alien with a modern feel (notice the amount of lens flares) and an atmospheric narrative that collapses almost ridiculously in a nonsensical, incoherent conclusion.
The Informant! (2009)
Matt Damon is so confident and charismatic as a compulsive liar who becomes an unusual corporate whistleblower for the FBI, and even if the narrative is not as compelling as it could be, this is a nice film that manages to be interesting in all its oddness.
The Informers (2008)
Great performances in a desolate story by Bret Easton Ellis about moral decay amidst society glamour in the Los Angeles of 1983, showing rich people living of sex, drugs, power, wealth and fame, and the misery of their lives.
Inherent Vice (2014)
The plot is overlong, extremely intricate – convoluted would be the exact word – and has way too many characters, but still this trippy private eye crime-comedy compensates for its flaws with a delicious, groovy ’70s vibe, a great soundtrack and a hilarious dopehead humor.
Inherit the Wind (1960)
This wonderfully-written film was daring for the time it came out and remains relevant in our times, as it exposes religion and bigotry as a hindrance to human thinking and impresses us with Fredric March’s three-dimensional character, even though it ends with a terrible last scene.
The Innkeepers (2011)
Another display of talent from Ti West, who better than many understands that more efficient than the scares is the tension that comes from the waiting and from what we don’t see; he’s just not so skillful though in providing a payoff worthy of all the buildup.
A distasteful (and inexplicably overrated) French slasher that begins intriguing but soon gets excessively vicious, outrageous and disgusting, trying at all costs to be polemic and throwing us in a brainless flood of gushing blood and gratuitous gore.
Inside Deep Throat (2005)
This is a very well-edited and amusing documentary that investigates the cultural influence of one of the most polemic films ever made, as well as its impact on politics, the sexual revolution and the porn industry. An enlightening account that is fascinating and surprising.
Inside Job (2010)
An angry, compelling and must-see documentary that dissects the causes and consequences of the global economic meltdown of 2008, probing deep into the truth behind it and exposing a corrupted political system that favors the wealthy to the detriment of the poor.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
A wonderfully melancholy character study that paints the character’s state of spirit with half shadows, gorgeous folk music and a grayish cinematography, to tell an insightful story full of heart that avoids with great gusto being a conventional underdog crowd pleaser.
Inside Out (2015)
Pixar always hits the mark when combining entertainment, intelligence, inventiveness and a lot of heart, and it is an endless pleasure to see them create a whole fascinating universe with a stunning production design for this exciting journey into the corners of someone’s mind.
Very well directed and certainly one of the scariest movies I have seen in the past few years, this smart horror movie knows how to avoid the clichés and maintain a constant tension instead of going for the cheap scares – and it really knows how to scare the hell out of the viewers.
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
A solid and entertaining sequel that not only maintains the high level of scares found in the terrifying original movie, especially in its first half, but also has an ingenious plot structure that makes up for its poor attempts at humor (which are always misplaced).
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
Is Insidious the new Saw? This passable movie bears no connection with the end of the second installment and seems like it could have been the backdoor pilot of a TV series preceding the events of the first two films, and it isn’t very original or scary at all.
An inspiring, enraging and extremely sad documentary about this admirable young man whose only crime in this anti-democratic society was to seek knowledge and try to make it accessible to everyone – and his stupid death shows that a lot must be changed/fought for in this corrupted world.
The Internship (2013)
Even if definitely predictable and formulaic, this is a decent movie that delivers a fair amount of laughs and makes for a good time – and it has its heart in the right place and does not insult our intelligence like most comedies today.
The Interpreter (2005)
A disastrous film that wants to be more complex than it should be, coming up with more and more unnecessary details at the expense of simple concision, and so the obvious, predictable narrative gets lost amid contrivances, implausible scenes and plot holes the size of Africa.
Even with enormously ambitious ideas and a nice grandiose score, this gorgeous but flawed science fiction movie suffers from heavy-handed, expository dialogue, plot holes and inconsistencies, mainly in the end, which is contrived and we can’t make any heads or tails of it.
The Interview (2014)
What a bold move to poke the tiger and expect some sense of humor from a dictator – and, let’s just face it, there was no way it wouldn’t be controversial, even if it’s just a funny comedy with an adorable bromantic chemistry between Rogen and Franco like in Pineapple Express.
A gloomy, romantic vampire story with an elegant dialogue and a sensual Gothic atmosphere that makes us want to know more and more about those dark creatures. Still, the film suffers from some serious miscasting – except for Dunst, who is pretty good.
Into the Abyss (2011)
A compelling look at capital punishment, even if Herzog clearly wants to convince us that it is wrong. Still, he also shows other people’s opinions, allowing us to draw our own conclusions about the subject while raising an interesting discussion on the value of life.
Into the Forest (2015)
Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood are great, and up to a certain point this seems like a very mature film about sisterhood (despite a few silly elements such as a book that contains all of the world’s knowledge) – until it is almost ruined by an incredibly stupid ending.
Into the Woods (2014)
A nearly unbearable musical that believes that a bloated, unfocused mishmash of several fairy tales is enough to be interesting, but it only manages to be a torture for the ears with irritating songs and voices besides poor character development, plot holes and no sense of pacing.
The Intouchables (2011)
A conventional and predictable French comedy that offers few surprises, even if there are some funny moments and the actors are great. The only problem is that it feels a bit unrealistic in the way it develops the unusual friendship between its two characters.
It is hard not to think that when it came out this creepy pre-Twilight Zone sci-fi did a great disservice to a country already stirred by the collective paranoia of McCarthyism, but now it is no less than an essential classic that reflects very well the political turbulence of those days.
Freeman brings Nelson Mandela to life in an exceptional performance indeed but this barely ordinary drama – inspiring as it may be – fails to match the greatness of its real-life character due to Eastwood’s poor directing choices and blatant political naiveté.
The Invisible War (2012)
A disturbing and essential documentary that exposes the outrageous and horrifying rape and cover-up inside the US military, leading to numerous lives ruined by psychological damage – which hopefully will make women rethink before joining the armed forces.
The Invisible Woman (2013)
The costume design and art direction are outstanding, though the usually reduced depth of field stands a bit in the way, and in its first half the story develops well the characters’ mutual affinity but later sinks with Nelly’s contrived, unconvincing feelings of being left aside by Dickens.
The Invitation (2015)
Kusama’s direction is excellent, especially in the way she explores the mise-en-scène and the geography of the house where the narrative takes place, and she knows very well how to create an uncomfortable feeling of unrest as we follow it from the point of view of its main character.
Ip Man (2008)
The unfortunate lack of structure and focus of the irregular script is compensated by an outstanding cinematography and production design, a wonderful score and – above all else – spectacular fight scenes of the most exhilarating and well choreographed ever filmed.
Ip Man 2 (2010)
A bloated, overlong sequel that is more concerned about following the formula of the Rocky movies than having an identity of its own, with all of it making it look like a conventional and very predictable Hollywood product, including a ridiculously caricatural villain.
I can’t imagine how the directors could even think that this daring, realistic film would be approved by the Brazilian dictatorship when it was made, since it exposes a harsh truth like a television news story, with mostly improvised dialogue and non-professional actors.
The Iron Lady (2011)
Apart from Streep’s performance, nothing else works in this terrible, disjointed mess of a biopic that is so badly written and directed, full of illogical narrative elements (the schizophrenia thing is unbelievable) and trying hard to soften the image of the character in an entirely artificial way.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Although enjoyable, this sequel adopts a more serious tone and grants the main character a tragic nuance, which unfortunately turns the movie into a less gratifying experience, since what made the first so great was its sarcastic human hero who never seemed to care about others.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
The fact that it manages to be entertaining, especially in its first half, compensates for a flawed script that even comes up with a pathetic post-traumatic panic attack for our hero and never raises the stakes to make us believe that there is something to fear.
It looks like it was made by anyone, since Babenco directs it without any passion or conviction and wastes Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in a tiring narrative that becomes so unnecessarily long with a lot of scenes that could have been cut without any damage to the story.
Irrational Man (2015)
Allen recycles familiar Dostoyevsky themes already seen in three of his other films – most especially Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors -, and despite his heavy-handed direction and an irritating narration, it is curious to see how he tells this darker story with a warm cynicism.
It Follows (2014)
It is a pleasure to see a terrifying horror movie that invests in a nightmarish atmosphere of tension with moments of suspenseful anticipation, an excellent electronic score and an efficient camerawork that makes the best use of zooms and pan shots.
It Happened One Night (1934)
This charming classic may be the very first screwball comedy of Cinema, a funny, amusing and optimistic movie with a deliciously sharp dialogue and wonderful performances from Gable and Colbert, who have a great onscreen chemistry together.
It is impressive to see that most of what Praunheim was saying in this 1971 film about the gay culture remains the same over forty years later, and despite its excessively preachy character it is still for sure a must-see today as it was when it was made.
It Might Get Loud (2008)
It is fascinating to see those three rock legends interacting and talking about the electric guitar, their personal stories and what inspires them – and even if it could have benefited from a more linear structure, this insightful documentary never ceases to be interesting.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Capra finds the most perfect balance between bittersweet and optimistic in this timeless holiday tale, to remind us that life is always worth it, even in the worst of circumstances. A wonderful story that resonates for a very long time after it is over.
Dolan extracts some intense performances from his talented cast and makes an extremely exhausting drama that never feels like a filmed play but rather a depressing and claustrophobic experience (full of close-ups) that forces us to stay in the company of a horrible family.
The Italian Job (2003)
This exhilarating action-packed movie is quite satisfying for what it intends to be: an exciting, fast-paced fun ride that benefits from a great dose of humor, a fine cast and the beauty of its locations, especially Venice.
Ivan’s Childhood (1962)
Tarkovsky’s first major film is this wonderful drama about the loss of innocence and the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of a Russian orphan boy, and each shot is beautifully crafted, leading to a most poignant, devastating ending.
J. Edgar (2011)
A complete disaster that portrays Hoover as a selfish, insecure and intolerant man but we never find out who he really was. Besides, the makeup is atrocious, while the overly desaturated cinematography and dragging pace keep the audience even more emotionally distant.
Jack Reacher (2012)
This thrilling crime movie is gripping and well written, even with some blatant clichés along the way. And the best about it is, of course, Tom Cruise, who offers a magnetic performance in a great narrative full of awesome twists and exciting hand fights.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
An unoriginal and forgettable movie so full of worn-out clichés and so far-fetched that it will only be surprising or exciting for someone who has never seen anything in their lives before, with also an intrusive, clichéd score and a good cast that certainly deserved better.
Not even near as funny as it believes to be with its amount of hackneyed jokes that you would expect from an absolute retard, this is an irritating collection of hidden camera pranks that never come together as a narrative and just seem to have no purpose whatsoever.
Filmed in 16 mm, which creates an authentic feel of watching a documentary piece, this is a magnetic and emotionally resonant film that relies on Natalie Portman’s superb performance and a magnificent score that plunges us into the dread and nightmare endured by the character.
Jackie Brown (1997)
Not Tarantino’s best work but still an enjoyable homage to blaxploitation with a welcome comeback by Pam Grier – and although this solid crime movie has charm and style, it is also a bit overlong and could have had a few scenes left out in post-production.
Jane Eyre (2011)
The production design and costumes are indeed exquisite, as well as the absorbing Gothic atmosphere. However, the film lacks passion and mystery, while the dialogue sounds incredibly cheesy and Wasikowska is too apathetic for the role.
Jane Got a Gun (2015)
O’Connor’s direction is a tad heavy-handed (some of the flashback scenes and even the score are horribly corny and misplaced), but the film is solid enough in its attempt to create a nuanced context for the characters and make us care about them in a tense third act.
Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015)
What this excellent and well-directed documentary does so well is create a profoundly nuanced portrait of a sensitive, three-dimensional woman who only wanted to be happy, and it may not tell everything about her (how could it?) but offers a touching look at her complex character.
The stunning cinematography – in an almost square ratio of rounded corners – knows how to explore the green vastness of its landscapes, but Alonso mistakes tedious for contemplative, and it doesn’t help that the last half hour turns out to be a full incursion into absolute nothingness.
The Jazz Singer (1927)
Notable as the first feature film with audible dialogue and touching as it shows a man torn apart by a difficult decision, it becomes a disgusting melodrama in its last fifteen minutes, when its two possible endings are thrown in together and the character makes a most unacceptable choice.
Je Suis Charlie (2015)
A barely superficial recap structured from tedious scenes of witnesses and friends of the victims talking endlessly to the camera (which is, well, the most frustrating kind of documentary) without adding anything new or offering any insight into such a complex subject.
Jean Charles (2009)
Fact is, Jean Charles would have never had his life filmed if he hadn’t been killed in such revolting circumstances. Otherwise, if not for such a lamentable incident, he would only be another dead man with a life story not interesting enough to become a film.
Jean de Florette (1986)
It almost makes us feel guilty that we are rooting for the villains, who conspire so greedily to force a man off his own land, and is elevated even more by Jean-Claude Petit’s wonderful score and two excellent performances by Yves Montand and Daniel Auteuil.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Despite the fact that the two main characters are complete idiots and the cinematography is so dark that sometimes it is really hard to see what is in front of us, this is a fun and creepy horror movie that is all the more intriguing when you know it was made by a convicted pedophile.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
The narrative feels a bit long and could have certainly been shorter, but Crowe carries out this well-written, superbly-edited romance/character study with a lot of honesty and talent, relying on fantastic performances by Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger.
Jersey Boys (2014)
A dull, uninvolving and derivative biopic full of the clichés that Eastwood has by now become an expert on, and it doesn’t give us any reason why this story deserves to be told or what makes those characters remotely interesting besides Frankie Valli’s voice.
Jersey Girl (2004)
Some may argue that it has a heart (and it does), but it also has too many clichés – including a heavy-handed soundtrack that always makes plain explicit what Affleck’s character is feeling -, and it doesn’t help that his relationship with Liv Tyler’s is so forced from the get go.
Jesus Camp (2006)
It is appalling to see the nefarious effects of religion and the fundamentalist indoctrination of children carried out by those ignorant, delusional ministers who are so strongly committed to brainwashing them into becoming a bunch of fanatics and turning the USA into a theocracy.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
A super tacky rock opera that looks awfully outdated and has only a few good songs amid many horrible ones (of course, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice), but even worse is how it soon becomes a tedious, inconsequential series of Biblical events after a promising beginning.
A minor melodrama that came as a consolation prize for Davis, who didn’t get the main role in Gone with the Wind – and, just like in that film, the protagonist is a spoiled, impudent woman who likes to manipulate the men around her. The highlights include the elegant dialogue and Davis’ fierce performance.
Jimmy’s Hall (2014)
I hope this is not Loach’s final film as it has been rumored, a solid drama that takes the easy way but shows in an honest manner how in all times religion has been a hindrance to knowledge and pleasure, as embodied here by Jim Norton in a strong, nuanced performance.
The last ten minutes are so disturbing and grotesque that they will leave me thinking about this whole business for a long time, and even though Jarecki’s methods are ethically questionable (he withholds important evidence), this is a fascinating documentary that sheds light on something too bizarre to be real.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)
A very compelling documentary that takes a good look at one year in the life of a workaholic diva of yore who was born to be in the spotlight, and it proves to be quite revealing not only about her need of stardom and recognition but also about show business itself.
Casting aside all of the glamour that is usually present in stories about national heroes and martyrs, this nuanced character study is instead a naturalistic portrait of the man behind the hero and of the sociopolitical conditions that would lead him to become a revolutionary.
Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)
An extremely fascinating, profoundly frustrating yet also surprisingly cheerful account of the greatest adaptation that never was as gloriously envisaged by the mind of an artistic genius obsessed with the idea that he was creating a sacred masterpiece that would change the universe forever.
With Cage’s best and most nuanced performance since Bad Lieutenant and a solid, sensitive direction by Green in what seems like the finest drama of his career to date, this bleak film also offers outstanding performances by Sheridan and (especially) non-actor Poulter.
John Dies at the End (2012)
The complete mess of a plot tries at every cost to be a smart-ass comedy filled with an offbeat humor that, apart from a very few inspired moments, is simply embarrassing – as we can see, for instance, from an awful aracnicide joke in the movie’s ridiculous last hour.
Johnny Guitar (1954)
The first 45 minutes are perfect, with impeccable performances (Crawford at her best) and an exceptional dialogue, but then the film starts to lose steam and drag in a few moments, while Vienna’s peaceful (passive, that would be) motivations become a bit exasperating.
Jonathas’ Forest (2012)
The strong second half benefits from an impressive sound design that immerses us in a relentless jungle to make us feel the character’s agony and isolation, but even so the result feels a bit incomplete, as if less than a sum of its parts – parts which hardly come together in a satisfying way.
The Joneses (2009)
A great idea with a misguided execution. The characters are supposed to be professionals but it is a mystery how they got that job in the first place since they all do stupid things that could be so easily avoided – and the ridiculous third act pretty much ruins everything.
Journal de France (2012)
A fascinating documentary centered on the work of a curious artist who kept a register of many episodes of our history with his camera, and it is an irresistible collection of amazing footage of historical events and new scenes that he shot throughout his beloved France.
Journey to Italy (1954)
An intimate and involving drama about an unhappy couple facing the collapse of their marriage while on a trip that only exposes their mutual discontent. It feels sad and real, but it is a pity that the story ends in such an easy and artificial way.
Russell tries so hard to lampshade the blatant artificiality (typical of a soap-opera) of this absurd, unbelievable story based (very slightly) on true events that the result is, well, pretty hard to buy and to be engaged with even if it is enjoyable and mostly refreshing to watch.
Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
Despite its fragmented, diffuse structure and obvious lack of a narrative center, this competent Japanese horror movie manages to create an oppressive atmosphere with an intriguing mystery that can be pretty disturbing sometimes, even if some of it also falls flat.
The Judge (2014)
If it weren’t for the strong performances, there would be very little else to commend in this sentimental, interminable and predictable pile of clichés complete with one-dimensional characters, a ridiculous cinematography and expository dialogue from beginning to end.
The Judge and the Assassin (1976)
Despite its promising premise, sophisticated direction and witty sense of humor, it is a pity that this frustrating film doesn’t know how to explore its themes into something more consistent and feels only bureaucratic and outdated, with not enough to offer us in terms of narrative.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
An always fascinating courtroom drama whose truly indisputable cinematic strength lies in many unforgettable performances from the entire cast and an extremely complex, thought-provoking script that never ceases to question our perceptions about the case and History itself.
Jug Face (2013)
Never make a pact with a demon, fine we all know that, and this little horror movie, despite a rather curious idea (the pit, especially), doesn’t have much to offer beyond that and doesn’t work in any level – not as a tense slow-burn nor as an creepy hillbilly sect story.
This decent film has a great cinematography and knows how to build tension in a scene that takes place in a train, but apart from that it didn’t deserve most of the Oscar nominations and wins that it got and feels a bit unclear about its purpose, reaching an anticlimactic ending.
Julia’s Eyes (2010)
The stunning cinematography creates a perfect oppressive atmosphere in this thriller that grows really tense and frightening, but the film is also weakened by poor narrative choices, and if you think in retrospect you will see some plot holes. Besides, the lame last scene is unforgivable.
Julie & Julia (2009)
A flawed movie that wants to be two stories in one but is not so well edited to make everything flow naturally. Even so, what raises this light comedy above average is definitely Meryl Streep, who once again turns something highly ordinary into a pleasant experience.
Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
Fellini’s first film in color is this brilliant LSD-infused satire that enchants us with its gorgeous art direction and colorful costumes, while using a magnificent symbolism to depict the psyche of a passive woman who needs to break free from the bonfire of her married-life martyrdom.
Juliet’s Band (2016)
I don’t see why this story was made into 48 minutes of narrative (too long for a short but too short for a feature movie), since it has enough material to fill up an excellent long-length film – and the problem here is exactly an abrupt and frustrating ending that doesn’t go anywhere.
I don’t know what is so revelatory about what Julieta wants to tell her daughter, all I know for sure is that this corny soap-opera seems more like a cheap excuse for Almodóvar to tell whatever comes to his mind even if he doesn’t really seem to have anything to say.
The special effects and make-up are atrocious, and this excruciating movie wants us to care about a silly game that has nothing compelling or adventurous about it and whose rules seem ridiculously arbitrary – and it all ends in an awfully sentimental conclusion.
The Jungle Book (1967)
In his desire to make a universally well-received film, Walt Disney decided to play safe with this light-hearted and hugely entertaining delight that would hardly not please everyone, with an expressive animation, great catchy songs and many adorable characters.
The Jungle Book (2016)
The magnificent visual effects seem to be the only thing that makes this new version worth watching (despite the lame 3D), given how everything else is so by the book (no pun intended) and plays a bit too safe to be memorable – you will probably forget it right after it is over.
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
It gives good attention to the details of its universe and has a stunning visual design, but the plot is derivative, with an excess of dei ex machina (the handsome guy always has to save the narrow-minded lady in danger) and lame aliens who display the same cultural habits as humans.
Jurassic Park (1993)
A modern classic whose superb script is even more impressive than Spielberg’s expert direction and the jaw-dropping effects to create the dinosaurs – including several scenes serving multiple functions and narrative elements introduced that turn out to be essential later.
Jurassic World (2015)
The visual effects are as good as they can be – despite the aseptic look of the establishing shots of the park -, and this is an entertaining update of the dinos to a new generation even if it lacks the wow factor and can’t match the original classic in any way possible.
Just Like Brothers (2012)
A pleasant film that balances lightness, tenderness and melancholy without being an irregular experience. The only problem is that the three main characters never seem to fully form the bond of friendship you expect to see from the trip they are taking together.
Just Like Our Parents (2017)
Even though this weak and extremely irregular film does a few things right here and there, it is really hard to overlook so many flaws, like the amount of clichés, the occasionally cheesy dialogue and the poor characterization of its characters (and their motivations).