A‑B

The A‑Team (2010)

Sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief is near­ly im­pos­si­ble when such a stu­pid movie in­sults our in­tel­li­gence from be­gin­ning to end, be­liev­ing to be much smarter than it is (when in fact it is just brain­less) and re­ly­ing on a lazy plot that could­n’t be more ob­vi­ous and does­n’t even make sense.


The ABCs of Death (2012)

It is un­even like most an­tholo­gies, with seg­ments rang­ing from scary to fun­ny to clever and sil­ly — and as such, some of them are quite ef­fi­cient while many are far from that, like “M Is for Mis­car­riage” and “Z is for Zetsumet­su,” both which stand out as par­tic­u­lar­ly aw­ful.


Aba­cus: Small Enough to Jail (2016)

A re­al­ly good ex­am­ple of how to make a co­he­sive doc­u­men­tary that touch­es on so many as­pects of a le­gal case and yet nev­er los­es its fo­cus or feels su­per­fi­cial, be­com­ing even quite touch­ing and tense as we re­al­ize what is at stake for this fam­i­ly who needs to prove their in­no­cence.


About Cher­ry (2012)

It is so ir­ri­tat­ing to see some­thing this aw­ful­ly struc­tured and edit­ed, full of ar­ti­fi­cial con­flicts and ter­ri­ble di­a­logue, un­able to main­tain fo­cus or — even worse — of­fer any in­ter­est­ing in­sight into its pro­tag­o­nist, who in the end re­mains a poor­ly de­lin­eat­ed sketch.


About Last Night… (1986)

The kind of movie that brings out the ro­man­tic in me and breaks my heart in the same pro­por­tion, de­pict­ing love and com­mit­ment with ab­solute sin­cer­i­ty and how all the con­flicts and lack of real com­mu­ni­ca­tion can sab­o­tage a re­la­tion­ship and lead to cer­tain dis­con­tent­ment.


About Last Night (2014)

An av­er­age re­make in which the two leads try their best but don’t have enough charm or good chem­istry to make us care (es­pe­cial­ly when most of the con­flicts feel ar­ti­fi­cial), and they get, alas, over­shad­owed by Hart and Hall as the in­tru­sive com­ic re­lief sec­ondary char­ac­ters.


About Time (2013)

The sound­track is spec­tac­u­lar and the plot so warm and de­light­ful that it makes me want to sim­ply for­get the few mis­steps that pop up here and there along the way — and it is also sur­pris­ing­ly touch­ing for a film that wants so much to sound pro­found and be a life les­son.


Above Us Only Sky (2011)

This movie is un­be­liev­ably aw­ful, a prod­uct of sheer in­com­pe­tence by a ter­ri­ble de­but­ing di­rec­tor in­ca­pable of cre­at­ing a sin­gle co­her­ent scene in this mess that re­lies on a ridicu­lous, il­log­i­cal shred of plot and a pro­tag­o­nist who is un­bear­able and im­pos­si­ble to care about.


Ab­sent (2011)

Though with el­e­gant shots and cam­era move­ments, this flawed film de­pends on a de­cep­tive score stress­ing all the time what the view­er should feel. Be­sides, the main twist is weak and leads to a cheap nar­ra­tive trick in the end that is ar­ti­fi­cial and naive.


Ab­sen­tia (2011)

Al­though it does have its tense mo­ments, this low-bud­get movie is not only marred by poor nar­ra­tive choic­es and a lame cin­e­matog­ra­phy but also leaves a lot unan­swered and so many el­e­ments un­der­de­vel­oped, with a frus­trat­ing end­ing that tries too hard to be pro­found.


The Abyss (1989)

What makes this film even more ab­sorb­ing than its spell­bind­ing vi­su­al ef­fects is the strong sense of ur­gency and dan­ger pro­voked by such a suf­fo­cat­ing un­der­wa­ter sce­nario, and the spe­cial edi­tion is even more mean­ing­ful in times of so much war and mind­less de­struc­tion.


ACAB — All Cops Are Bas­tards (2012)

A tense movie of bru­tal re­al­ism, di­rect­ed by Ser­gio Sol­li­ma’s son, who is in com­plete con­trol of the grip­ping ma­te­r­i­al in his hands. The char­ac­ters are com­plex and hu­man, and they make us al­ways un­der­stand their con­demnable ac­tions in view of the drain­ing work they have to car­ry on.


Las Aca­cias (2011)

A small gem that makes per­fect use of a re­al­is­tic ap­proach to tell a sen­si­tive sto­ry. Most­ly silent and show­ing more than say­ing, it takes its time to present us the char­ac­ters and the dy­nam­ics be­tween them — and Ger­mán de Sil­va is fan­tas­tic in an Os­car-wor­thy per­for­mance.


Ac­cused (2014)

De­spite the un­nec­es­sary flash­backs, this is a strong, heart­break­ing film that tells of the hell faced by an in­no­cent real-life woman in Nether­lands — a fe­male ver­sion of Ca­mus’ Meur­sault for that mat­ter -, con­demned by pub­lic opin­ion most­ly for her in­de­pen­dent and re­served na­ture.


Across 110th Street (1972)

Ef­fec­tive­ly vi­o­lent, bru­tal and with some out­stand­ing di­a­logue in its first half, soon, how­ev­er, this grit­ty crime dra­ma be­gins to in­sult our in­tel­li­gence with a se­ries of con­trived sit­u­a­tions that di­lute the re­al­is­tic feel it is aim­ing for and proves why it has nev­er be­come a clas­sic.


The Act of Killing (2012)

A shock­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing film that sets out to in­ves­ti­gate the twist­ed minds and souls of death squad lead­ers in In­done­sia, grow­ing to be­come a dis­turb­ing panora­ma of a so­ci­ety and of­fer­ing a unique sort of moral con­fronta­tion which could only be pos­si­ble through Cin­e­ma.


Adam (2009)

A bit­ter­sweet and un­con­ven­tion­al love sto­ry that ben­e­fits most­ly from Hugh Dan­cy’s great and ex­treme­ly im­pres­sive per­for­mance as a hand­some young man with As­perg­er’s Syn­drome.


Adap­ta­tion. (2002)

A re­mark­ably in­tel­li­gent film that blends re­al­i­ty and fic­tion to make a hu­mor­ous self-re­flec­tion about an au­thor and his cre­ative process, and it boasts some amaz­ing per­for­mances (Nicholas Cage is ex­cel­lent) and one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing scripts I can re­mem­ber.


Adiós, Saba­ta (1970)

Yul Bryn­ner does­n’t have Lee Van Cleef’s sar­don­ic charis­ma to make it at least fun to watch this Saba­ta film — which is­n’t much bet­ter than the dread­ful oth­er two -, with a ridicu­lous car­toon­ish vil­lain and se­ri­ous trou­ble with the mise-en-scène in its con­fus­ing ac­tion scenes.


The Ad­just­ment Bu­reau (2011)

A bril­liant, thought-pro­vok­ing blend of ro­man­tic thriller and sci­ence fic­tion de­vel­oped from a sim­ple but very well-con­ceived idea and with a cou­ple of char­ac­ters that are so easy to re­late to. Even if only loose­ly based on his sto­ry, I guess Philip K. Dick would have been proud.


Adore (2013)

An in­suf­fer­ably dull film that is so moral­is­tic it is em­bar­rass­ing, and it lacks any sense of di­rec­tion or real con­flict be­yond an awk­ward, pre­pos­ter­ous premise, prov­ing to be so com­plete­ly clue­less about its pur­pose that it does­n’t even care to of­fer a prop­er end to the sto­ry.


Adrift (2009)

Af­ter his mas­ter­piece Drained, Brazil­ian di­rec­tor Heitor Dhalia went on to make this third fea­ture film, which strays from his usu­al nar­ra­tive style and ven­tures into some­thing more sober — only this time he seems to have pla­gia­rized New Zealan­der film Rain.


Adrift in Tokyo (2007)

Be­ing quirky does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean fun­ny, and so this is a light, harm­less comedy/road movie — or a “walk movie” — that comes up with po­ten­tial­ly fun­ny sit­u­a­tions but does­n’t al­ways know how to ful­ly ex­plore them or how to main­tain a good fo­cus dur­ing the sec­ond act.


Ad­van­ta­geous (2015)

In its first hour, it tries too hard to be emo­tion­al in­stead of just fo­cus­ing on its ideas, but the film suf­fers most­ly from an ill-thought-out third act that, de­spite an in­trigu­ing rev­e­la­tion that should have come much be­fore, feels only forced, clichéd and is filled with cheesy di­a­logue.


Ad­ven­ture­land (2009)

A de­light­ful, sweet and sen­si­tive com­ing-of-age sto­ry di­rect­ed by Greg Mo­tol­la, who also made the in­cred­i­bly hi­lar­i­ous Su­per­bad, and it has a nos­tal­gic sound­track and some very good per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly by an al­ways great and charis­mat­ic Jesse Eisen­berg.


Ad­ven­tures in Babysit­ting (1987)

A rather sil­ly yet mild­ly en­joy­able com­e­dy that be­longs in the ’80s with its cheesy, dat­ed jokes and inane sense of hu­mor (as when some­one calls an­oth­er a homo as a slur), and to­day it won’t be seen as more than an or­di­nary pas­time that can still of­fer a few laughs.


The Ad­ven­tures of Ich­a­bod and Mr. Toad (1949)

This last an­i­mat­ed pack­age film be­fore Dis­ney fi­nal­ly got back on track af­ter WWII of­fers two sat­is­fy­ing sto­ries that may pale in com­par­i­son for in­stance with Fun & Fan­cy Free, re­leased a cou­ple of years be­fore and which also had only two nice-yet-not-un­for­get­table tales.


The Ad­ven­tures of Priscil­la, Queen of the Desert (1994)

A mod­ern clas­sic road movie that finds a spe­cial bal­ance be­tween flam­boy­ant com­e­dy and poignant dra­ma, and what makes it such an end­less plea­sure to watch is its re­fresh­ing com­bo of hi­lar­i­ous di­a­logue, ex­cel­lent per­for­mances from the main trio and, of course, the mu­sic.


The Ad­ven­tures of Tintin (2011)

It is a de­light to see Spiel­berg play with the pos­si­bil­i­ties of the 3D an­i­ma­tion — im­pos­si­ble cam­era move­ments, fab­u­lous scene tran­si­tions and also an amaz­ing long take — in this daz­zling semi-noir ad­ven­ture that in­vests more in the ac­tion than in its char­ac­ters but is still a lot of fun.


The Aer­i­al (2007)

A mean­ing­less project of pure in­dul­gence that makes nu­mer­ous gra­tu­itous ref­er­ences to silent clas­sics just for the sake of do­ing so. It is cer­tain­ly not an homage but an anachro­nis­tic and fu­tile ex­er­cise of style that one ex­pects to see made by a stu­dent as a school as­sign­ment.


Afer­im! (2015)

Radu Jude crafts this vi­su­al­ly clas­sic West­ern in black and white with a cam­era that seems to glide in wide-an­gle long shots, and uses a com­i­cal — and cu­ri­ous­ly the­atri­cal — ap­proach to show the racism and sex­ism of a time that does­n’t seem so dis­tant from mod­ern Ro­man­ian so­ci­ety.


An Afghan Love Sto­ry (2013)

With an ap­pro­pri­ate nat­u­ral­is­tic ap­proach — al­most doc­u­men­tary-like — that makes it feel like wit­ness­ing a real sto­ry, this gut-wrench­ing Afghan dra­ma shows that a pa­tri­ar­chal so­ci­ety dom­i­nat­ed by ig­no­rance and re­volt­ing re­li­gious val­ues can only lead to in­tol­er­ance and suf­fer­ing.


African Cats (2011)

A de­cent fam­i­ly movie for par­ents to bring their kids to the the­aters. It does­n’t re­al­ly of­fer any­thing about these fe­lines that we haven’t seen be­fore on the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel but is still good fun, with nice im­ages and a great sound de­sign.


The African Queen (1951)

A very en­ter­tain­ing and ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture shot on lo­ca­tion in Africa in glo­ri­ous Tech­ni­col­or and with a won­der­ful chem­istry be­tween Hep­burn and Bog­a­rt — she as a smart, de­ter­mined and strong-willed woman and he in a hi­lar­i­ous per­for­mance that grant­ed him his only Os­car.


Af­ter Earth (2013)

Though far from the com­plete dis­as­ter that most crit­ics claim it to be, this flawed star ve­hi­cle suf­fers from a ter­ri­ble per­for­mance by Jaden Smith and a slop­py script plagued by bad­ly con­ceived nar­ra­tive el­e­ments in a very pre­dictable, un­sat­is­fy­ing sto­ry.


Af­ter Lu­cia (2012)

A strong­ly un­set­tling ex­pe­ri­ence that works so well due to its great cast and ef­fec­tive nat­u­ral­is­tic style us­ing long sta­t­ic shots — and the re­sult is both a deeply com­plex char­ac­ter study about griev­ing and an im­por­tant (and ur­gent) so­cial state­ment on bul­ly­ing in schools.


Af­ter­shock (2012)

A ni­hilis­tic and cheap-look­ing ex­ploita­tion crap that has Roth’s re­pel­lent fin­ger­prints all over it: mediocre di­a­logue, a bunch of hate­ful char­ac­ters we want to see dead and a huge amount of gra­tu­itous vi­o­lence and gore for the sake of mind­less en­ter­tain­ment. In short, a waste of time.


L’Age d’Or (1930)

Though def­i­nite­ly fas­ci­nat­ing as a sur­re­al­is­tic ex­per­i­ment, it is more cryp­tic and ram­bling than Bunuel’s pre­vi­ous film Un Chien An­dalou, which makes it feel some­times that now he is go­ing for the “any­thing goes” phi­los­o­phy in­stead of hav­ing full con­trol of his ideas.


The Age of Ada­line (2015)

How frus­trat­ing it is to see a film so en­gag­ing (to a point where I would ac­tu­al­ly hold my breath many times in an­tic­i­pa­tion for what was to come next) col­lapse in a melo­dra­mat­ic con­clu­sion that choos­es the easy way in­stead of deal­ing with the the­mat­ic im­pli­ca­tions of its premise.


The Age of Stu­pid (2009)

This pass­able doc­u­men­tary (one of many alike), pre­sent­ed part­ly as fic­tion and with many in­ter­views, is not too con­sis­tent but of­fers some in­ter­est­ing ma­te­r­i­al, prompt­ing us to re­al­ize the most prob­a­ble re­sult of our care­less, de­struc­tive ways.


The Age of the Earth (1980)

If you feel the need to ex­plain your own film, this must be a sign that your in­ten­tions are not clear even to your­self, which is the pre­cise case with this pre­ten­tious artis­tic mas­tur­ba­tion of ran­dom sym­bols and con­fus­ing hys­te­ria that only Glauber Rocha could have come up with.


The Agony and the Ec­sta­sy (1965)

What makes this film fas­ci­nat­ing is the con­flict be­tween the two char­ac­ters, which is cen­tered most­ly on a great di­a­logue that ex­plores the mo­ti­va­tions and cre­ative process of a ge­nius, with Charl­ton He­s­ton de­liv­er­ing his typ­i­cal over­act­ing and Rex Har­ri­son as mag­net­ic as al­ways.


Ago­ra (2009)

A pow­er­ful and thought-pro­vok­ing his­tor­i­cal dra­ma that makes us feel like trav­el­ing back in time with its as­ton­ish­ing vi­su­als while at the same time of­fer­ing us an in­tel­li­gent nar­ra­tive that rais­es end­less­ly com­pelling and re­ward­ing dis­cus­sions about sci­ence and re­li­gion.


Aileen: Life and Death of a Se­r­i­al Killer (2003)

Broom­field­’s sec­ond film about Aileen sheds more light on her life and her mind af­ter a decade on death row but also feels like an ap­pen­dix of his first film, a bit re­dun­dant for any­one who has seen that one and not much more than an ex­cuse for clo­sure af­ter her ex­e­cu­tion.


Aileen Wuornos: The Sell­ing of a Se­r­i­al Killer (1992)

What makes this re­veal­ing doc­u­men­tary so dis­turb­ing and trag­ic is that it shows us that Aileen was clear­ly in need of psy­cho­log­i­cal help in­stead of an elec­tric chair and was sur­round­ed by a bunch of self-seek­ing psy­chopaths who shame­less­ly ex­ploit­ed her sit­u­a­tion for mon­ey.


Ain’t Them Bod­ies Saints (2013)

A sad, melan­choly Bon­nie & Clyde-like crime dra­ma that clear­ly bor­rows from Mal­ick, and it is nice to see the way that Low­ery ap­proach­es his nar­ra­tive even if it is quite con­ven­tion­al and worth see­ing more for its strong per­for­mances than by what he ac­tu­al­ly wants to tell.


Air Doll (2009)

It is frus­trat­ing to see an in­ter­est­ing premise be made into such an over­long film that fails be­cause of its the­mat­ic am­bi­tion and lack of fo­cus, as it tries to be about a good too many things at the same time and does­n’t know how to ful­ly ex­plore them into a con­sis­tent the­sis.


Air­plane! (1980)

The sense of hu­mor is ju­ve­nile to the point of get­ting un­fun­ny and even ridicu­lous some­times, with some (ac­tu­al­ly many) of the gags falling com­plete­ly flat, but at least this in­sane par­o­dy has a lot of in­spired mo­ments and nu­mer­ous de­li­cious ref­er­ences that com­pen­sate for all that.


Aja­mi (2009)

Aja­mi is a bru­tal, grip­ping and hon­est look at the end­less vi­o­lence that has been dev­as­tat­ing the Mid­dle East — a com­plex mo­sa­ic dra­ma set in a neigh­bor­hood where Jews, Mus­lims and Chris­tians clash against each oth­er in in­tense ha­tred and de­sire for re­venge.


Al­addin (1992)

It is de­light­ful, the songs are won­der­ful and the act­ing is good — de­spite Williams go­ing too far oc­ca­sion­al­ly with his buf­foon­ery and mak­ing it a one-man show — but there is not much be­sides that (es­pe­cial­ly in terms of nar­ra­tive) to raise it to the lev­el of the stu­dio’s best works.


Al­addin (2019)

Yes, there are prob­lems in the char­ac­ter­i­za­tions of Al­addin and Ja­far, but this wel­come live-ac­tion re­make com­pen­sates with daz­zling vi­su­als (the pro­duc­tion and cos­tume de­signs are tru­ly some­thing), great songs and a lot of en­er­gy, work­ing bet­ter once we over­look the plot’s flaws in log­ic.


Al­bert Nobbs (2011)

Glenn Close de­liv­ers a very sol­id per­for­mance, but this weak dra­ma does­n’t seem to know ex­act­ly what it wants to say, with an ir­reg­u­lar sto­ry that wan­ders with­out a clear di­rec­tion, giv­ing in to a lot of ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue and end­ing in an an­ti­cli­mac­tic con­clu­sion.


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

A del­i­cate and deeply res­o­nant melo­dra­ma like only Fass­binder could have made, telling with plen­ty of hon­esty a sim­ple but ob­jec­tive love sto­ry cen­tered on re­volt­ing mat­ters like prej­u­dice and racism — prob­lems rel­e­vant even to­day when it comes to im­mi­grants in Eu­rope.


Al­ice Does­n’t Live Here Any­more (1974)

The film is more im­pres­sive be­cause of Scors­ese’s di­rec­tion and Burstyn’s per­for­mance than what it has to tell, since some of its nar­ra­tive el­e­ments are poor­ly de­vel­oped and even the end­ing suf­fers from the kind of vague­ness that al­most con­tra­dicts what the film be­lieves to be about.


Al­ice in Won­der­land (1951)

The mar­velous sur­re­al­is­tic de­sign with beau­ti­ful vi­brant col­ors and cu­ri­ous geo­met­ric shapes that even seems to bor­row from Ger­man Ex­pres­sion­ism are sad­ly not enough to com­pen­sate for the film’s ex­cess of songs and glar­ing lack of fo­cus, giv­en its frus­trat­ing­ly episod­ic struc­ture.


Al­ice in Won­der­land (2010)

Tim Bur­ton’s loose adap­ta­tion of Lewis Car­rol­l’s book is a fail­ure right from the start, as it uses a stu­pid “re­turn to Won­der­land” premise and turns the orig­i­nal sur­re­al­is­tic dream plot into an ac­tu­al ad­ven­ture with shades of Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia and a lame fem­i­nist mes­sage.


Alien (1979)

A fan­tas­tic com­bi­na­tion of sci-fi and hor­ror, in­cred­i­bly sus­pense­ful and care­ful­ly struc­tured with ex­cel­lent pac­ing. Scott knows very well how to slow­ly build a dis­qui­et­ing ten­sion and el­e­vate it to the point of nerve-wrack­ing, mak­ing this film a gen­uine­ly scary mod­ern clas­sic.


Aliens (1986)

While the first film fo­cused on cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere of pure ten­sion, this se­quel is much more ac­tion-ori­ent­ed, even if its first hour is ac­tu­al­ly very slow — and in­stead of one alien, Cameron has now a horde of goo-spew­ing, acid-blood crea­tures to scare the au­di­ence to death.


Alien³ (1992)

Frus­trat­ing and poor­ly made, this third chap­ter has an in­trigu­ing be­gin­ning but the de­vel­op­ment lacks the un­bear­able ten­sion of the first film and the un­stop­pable ac­tion of the sec­ond, while its fi­nal act is like a tire­some slash­er movie and the CGI of the crea­ture atro­cious.


Alien: Res­ur­rec­tion (1997)

Def­i­nite­ly bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous in­stall­ment, this fourth Alien film does­n’t add any­thing new or rel­e­vant to the se­ries but nei­ther does it dis­ap­point. It has plen­ty of ac­tion and scares, a mild­ly in­ter­est­ing plot and a par­tic­u­lar­ly grotesque end­ing that works just fine.


Alien: Covenant (2017)

There is ab­solute­ly no rea­son for this to ex­ist oth­er than to be an ir­ri­tat­ing mess like Prometheus, since it does­n’t even care to an­swer any of the nu­mer­ous ques­tions that it raised in that movie or to come up with any­thing re­mote­ly in­tel­li­gent to jus­ti­fy the five years of wait­ing.


Alien Na­tion (1988)

Where­as the premise is in­trigu­ing and the cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences be­tween the two main char­ac­ters are amus­ing for a while, soon the movie de­cides that it should be more ac­tion than sci-fi, im­plod­ing in an aw­ful last half-hour full of car chas­es, stu­pid twists and ugly TV clichés.


Ali­ta: Bat­tle An­gel (2019)

I can’t think of a bet­ter ex­am­ple of un­can­ny val­ley than this dis­taste­ful movie, with its creepy-look­ing pro­tag­o­nist full of CGI on her face — and as for the rest, the plot is a dull, con­vo­lut­ed mess, the char­ac­ters are flat and life­less, and the di­a­logue is pret­ty much ter­ri­ble.


Aliyah (2012)

An en­gag­ing film that man­ages to en­com­pass low-key crime thriller, boil­ing fam­i­ly dra­ma and sweet ro­mance with Ju­daism as back­ground — even if the re­sult is a bit re­strained and not in­tense enough de­spite the good ef­fort put forth by both Wa­je­man and Mar­maï.


All About Eve (1950)

This so­phis­ti­cat­ed tale of am­bi­tion, glam­our and back­stab­bing in Hol­ly­wood and show busi­ness is su­perbly di­rect­ed by Mankievicz, with a de­li­cious sense of hu­mor, a ter­rif­ic en­sem­ble cast and an al­to­geth­er mem­o­rable di­a­logue from be­gin­ning to end.


All Good Things (2010)

It is cu­ri­ous to see that they changed the names of every­one in­volved in the Robert Durst case when even the char­ac­ter’s sworn state­ment in court is ex­act­ly the same, and this is a dark, heavy dra­ma about how peo­ple you think you know can change — or show who they tru­ly are.


All Is Lost (2013)

Red­ford car­ries this one-man movie on his shoul­ders, prov­ing what a har­row­ing and ab­sorb­ing ex­pe­ri­ence it can be to fol­low a man lost at sea and strug­gling for sur­vival, and all his sol­id work is com­ple­ment­ed by a haunt­ing score and an im­pres­sive job in sound de­sign.


All Nu­di­ty Shall Be Pun­ished (1973)

Nev­er mind the fun­ny one-lin­ers or how charis­mat­ic Dar­lene Glória is, this is what hap­pens when satire is made too ridicu­lous and be­comes self-par­o­dy, with car­i­ca­tures in­stead of char­ac­ters, in­com­pre­hen­si­ble mo­ti­va­tions and a flash­back struc­ture that does­n’t make much sense.


All That Heav­en Al­lows (1955)

De­spite the fact that the two char­ac­ters seem to fall in love in such an abrupt way, this is still an in­volv­ing silky melo­dra­ma whose ap­peal is not hard to un­der­stand, es­pe­cial­ly tak­ing into ac­count the im­pres­sive so­cial crit­i­cism that made it so ahead of its time.


All the Pres­i­den­t’s Men (1976)

Paku­la cre­ates a re­mark­ably ab­sorb­ing dra­ma that moves with­out hur­ry, fol­low­ing each step of a real-life jour­nal­is­tic in­ves­ti­ga­tion that should re­mind us of the ab­solute im­por­tance of a free press in de­mo­c­ra­t­ic coun­tries where pow­er­ful peo­ple still be­lieve they can rise above the law.


All the Women in the World (1966)

It does have its charm­ing mo­ments, even if it’s not so easy to sym­pa­thize with the main char­ac­ter or care enough about his re­la­tion­ship with the woman he falls in love with — and the movie also starts to drag af­ter a while and lose di­rec­tion close to the end.


Al­lied (2016)

A sil­ly movie that be­lieves to be ro­man­tic, sexy and tense when in fact it is only bland and ba­nal, un­able to en­gage us the way it wants and nev­er au­da­cious to come up with some­thing clever — and its poor at­tempt at plac­ing the ro­mance above all else in the end makes it too va­pid.


Al­manac of Fall (1984)

The gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and mise-en-scène bring to mind Tarkovsky’s works, while the un­com­fort­able nar­ra­tive is cen­tered on a group of pet­ty char­ac­ters who ma­nip­u­late one an­oth­er in ways that bring to mind Fass­binder, and so the re­sult is some­thing quite dif­fer­ent from Tar­r’s pre­vi­ous films.


Al­manya: Wel­come to Ger­many (2011)

A light, en­joy­able com­e­dy that, de­spite some fun­ny mo­ments, can’t re­sist turn­ing into a corny melo­dra­ma in its third act — and even if Samdere­li has her heart in the right place, she ru­ins the end with a lot of cheesy talk­ing and an em­bar­rass­ing slow mo­tion that clear­ly begs for our tears.


Al­most Fa­mous (2000)

It is al­most im­pos­si­ble not to fall in love with this won­der­ful au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal de­light that has a won­der­ful sound­track — oh man, is­n’t the sound­track just won­der­ful! — and a won­der­ful en­sem­ble cast that makes every­thing so fun­ny, sweet, mov­ing and tremen­dous­ly charm­ing.


Aloft (2014)

De­spite one of the plot­lines be­ing a lot less en­gag­ing than the oth­er, es­pe­cial­ly with an un­nec­es­sary love af­fair thrown in for no rea­son and Lau­ren­t’s poor­ly de­vel­oped char­ac­ter, this is still an in­ter­est­ing film about a man’s spir­i­tu­al jour­ney through sor­row, guilt and clo­sure.


Alone in the Dark (1982)

A lot in this movie is stu­pid or makes no sense when you think about it — like the truth about the Bleed­er’s face and how that asy­lum does­n’t have any emer­gency gen­er­a­tor -, but it has its mo­ments and Palance, Pleasence and Lan­dau seem to be hav­ing crazy fun as sick f***s.


Alone in the Dark (2005)

A go­daw­ful, in­com­pre­hen­si­ble schlock that can’t make it­self un­der­stood even with that end­less, gi­gan­tic text crawl that opens it, and I don’t be­lieve no one re­al­ized that Tara Reid can’t con­vince as some­one who would open the door of a mu­se­um, let alone be an ar­chae­ol­o­gist.


Amadeus (1984)

Im­pec­ca­bly di­rect­ed, with a won­der­ful art di­rec­tion, an out­stand­ing cin­e­matog­ra­phy and an un­for­get­table per­for­mance by Abra­ham as the en­vi­ous Salieri — the true pro­tag­o­nist of the sto­ry -, this is a splen­did mas­ter­piece that must def­i­nite­ly be seen in its three-hour di­rec­tor’s cut.


Aman­da Knox (2016)

An in­ter­est­ing doc­u­men­tary that feels too short, not of­fer­ing as much in­for­ma­tion about the case as it should, but at least takes an ob­jec­tive look at what hap­pened and ex­pos­es the sheer in­com­pe­tence of the in­ves­ti­ga­tors and lack of ethics of un­scrupu­lous jour­nal­ists.


Amant Dou­ble (2017)

Ozon con­cots a bizarre thriller that could have been eas­i­ly made by Bri­an De Pal­ma or Paul Ver­ho­even in the ’80s, sur­pris­ing us with the laugh­able ab­sur­di­ty of his sit­u­a­tions yet in the end fail­ing to come up with a con­sis­tent pay­off to match all the ten­sion and cu­rios­i­ty evoked un­til then.


Amar­cord (1973)

Felli­ni reach­es the high­est point of his per­son­al mus­ings as an artist, us­ing his un­mis­tak­able style to recre­ate his boy­hood into a stu­pen­dous se­ri­o­com­ic col­lec­tion of de­li­cious anec­dotes and semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal rem­i­nis­cences drenched in a sweet amount of nos­tal­gia.


Amaz­ing Grace (2006)

This av­er­age biopic has the per­fect ma­te­r­i­al to be made into a quin­tes­sen­tial mod­ern clas­sic, but it sad­ly lacks soul and in­ten­si­ty, re­sult­ing in a rather dull ex­pe­ri­ence that does­n’t quite live up to the im­por­tance of its real-life char­ac­ter.


The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man (2012)

A clum­sy copy of that Spi­der Man movie re­leased only a decade be­fore, tak­ing an in­fini­tude of time to retell the same thing. The 3D (orig­i­nal, not con­vert­ed) is so use­less and poor­ly done, while the sto­ry is ru­ined by pa­thet­ic mo­ti­va­tions from both the hero and the car­toon­ish vil­lain.


The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man 2 (2014)

Where the pre­vi­ous movie failed this se­quel suc­ceeds more than well, find­ing the ir­rev­er­ent tone that was miss­ing and mak­ing the char­ac­ters more re­lat­able, even if it also has its share of flaws, like an an­noy­ing, in­tru­sive score and a plot crowd­ed with vil­lains and sub­plots.


The Amer­i­can (2010)

Cor­bi­jn fo­cus­es on slow­ly build­ing a suf­fo­cat­ing ten­sion in this qui­et, con­tem­pla­tive and tech­ni­cal­ly as­ton­ish­ing dra­ma that grabbed me from the first scene till the very last — and it ben­e­fits from a more than ap­pro­pri­ate low-key per­for­mance by George Clooney.


Amer­i­can Hon­ey (2016)

Al­most three hours of film is too much for me to en­dure a di­rec­tor who does­n’t seem to know how to use a cam­era (I guess she must find fo­cus an over­rat­ed fea­ture) and a self-in­dul­gent, di­rec­tion­less nar­ra­tive that is full of an­noy­ing char­ac­ters and does­n’t go any­where.


Amer­i­can Hus­tle (2013)

A de­li­cious­ly styl­ish and hi­lar­i­ous con movie with a clever script and a fab­u­lous gallery of in­trigu­ing char­ac­ters, even if al­ways one step back from cross­ing the line be­tween de­light­ful­ly over-the-top and mad­ly car­i­cat­ur­al, in­clud­ing a mis­cast Jen­nifer Lawrence oc­ca­sion­al­ly over­act­ing.


Amer­i­can Made (2017)

A de­light­ful­ly cyn­i­cal and end­less­ly com­pelling biopic full of en­er­gy just like Tom Cruise’s per­for­mance (of course), ben­e­fit­ing es­pe­cial­ly from its ex­cel­lent, dy­nam­ic edit­ing and ex­cep­tion­al cin­e­matog­ra­phy that makes every­thing look like it ac­tu­al­ly filmed in the 1980s.


Amer­i­can Pas­toral (2016)

Cheesy, con­trived and heavy-hand­ed, it is made even worse by how it shows left­ist rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies as in­sane psychos/imbeciles and by the un­suc­cess­ful way it tries to make us sym­pa­thize with a pas­sive pro­tag­o­nist who nev­er re­acts to what is hap­pen­ing in front of him.


Amer­i­can Pie (1999)

Even if not al­ways fun­ny, this raunchy com­e­dy has some hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments that make for an en­joy­able time. A re­fresh­ing come­back to the teenage sex movies of the ’80s but with a gross­er and more po­lit­i­cal­ly in­cor­rect fla­vor of the ’90s.


Amer­i­can Pie 2 (2001)

More of the same with one dif­fer­ence: they are col­lege men now — like it mat­ters. It fol­lows the same for­mu­la but the gags are more stu­pid than fun­ny, look­ing like a cheap re­hash and with very lit­tle to make us laugh like the first movie.


Amer­i­can Psy­cho (2000)

Chris­t­ian Bale could­n’t have pos­si­bly been more per­fect as the nar­cis­sis­tic and de­ranged yup­pie Patrick Bate­man in this hi­lar­i­ous­ly sharp com­men­tary on Amer­i­can in­di­vid­u­al­ism that will make you laugh real hard at (not with) him and feel dis­gust­ed in the same mea­sure.


Amer­i­can Re­union (2012)

A very fun­ny and nos­tal­gic re­union that has its heart in the right place and is strict­ly for the fans of the fran­chise, who will be pleased to see again those fa­mil­iar faces from a decade ago and sur­prised to see that that raunchy hu­mor still works.


Amer­i­can Sniper (2014)

Though un­der­stand­ably ac­cused of be­ing jin­go­is­tic and racist — even if it makes a (dis­hon­est, yes) dis­tinc­tion be­tween Iraqi civil­ians and ter­ror­ists -, this is an ex­treme­ly tense (and very well edit­ed) war movie and a nu­anced char­ac­ter study with Coop­er in an in­tense per­for­mance.


Amer­i­can Wed­ding (2003)

The fun­ni­est of the three movies thanks to the smart de­ci­sion of hav­ing Sti­fler at the cen­ter of the sto­ry while the two most bor­ing char­ac­ters are prop­er­ly ig­nored: Kevin, who has a small­er part here, and Oz, who does not even ap­pear.


Amis­tad (1997)

Al­though tech­ni­cal­ly com­pe­tent and with won­der­ful per­for­mances by Hop­kins and Houn­sou (who should have been nom­i­nat­ed for an Os­car too), this is a bloat­ed and mis­struc­tured film that has an alarm­ing ten­den­cy to give in to melo­dra­ma and is not as strong as it could be.


The Ami­tyville Hor­ror (1979)

This in­cred­i­bly dull hor­ror movie is noth­ing but an aw­ful­ly con­coct­ed se­ries of bizarre events that have no re­la­tion be­tween one an­oth­er, aim­ing at the cheap scares with­out hard­ly ever be­ing scary and re­ly­ing on an il­log­i­cal plot and poor­ly-de­vel­oped char­ac­ters.


The Ami­tyville Hor­ror (2005)

What is the point of re­mak­ing a bad hor­ror movie if you can’t make it any bet­ter or scari­er? In fact, this aw­ful­ly for­mu­la­ic re­make does­n’t man­age to be scary at all, since it only reuses the most ob­vi­ous clichés of the genre and seems like an unin­spired copy of The Shin­ing.


Among the Be­liev­ers (2015)

Us­ing a seem­ing­ly de­tached ap­proach that does­n’t preach to the au­di­ence and un­der­stands that what it shows speaks for it­self, this is an im­por­tant doc­u­men­tary that of­fers a dev­as­tat­ing look at re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism brain­wash­ing kids and turn­ing them into ter­ror­ists.


Amour (2012)

Michael Haneke cre­ates a mag­nif­i­cent and beau­ti­ful­ly-act­ed film that man­ages to be im­pres­sive­ly sub­tle and hard-hit­ting at the same time, sur­pris­ing us with a lot of ten­der­ness and hon­esty in its ap­proach to­wards love and ag­ing while strik­ing us with such an over­whelm­ing in­ten­si­ty.


Amy (2015)

A sad ac­count of an in­cred­i­bly tal­ent­ed yet trag­ic artist who fell vic­tim to drugs and self-de­struc­tion, but the film dis­ap­points and seems like a mere col­lage of archive footage and in­ter­views to cre­ate a rel­a­tive­ly su­per­fi­cial nar­ra­tive of her life and not much else.


Ana, Mon Amour (2017)

It los­es some of its strength with jumps in time that can be dis­tract­ing and feel some­times ar­bi­trary, but even so this is a mov­ing, de­press­ing dra­ma that re­lies on two ex­cep­tion­al per­for­mances and of­fers a keen look at an un­sta­ble re­la­tion­ship based on co-de­pen­den­cy.


Ana­con­da (1997)

Even if you man­age to over­look how id­i­ot­ic and laugh­able all that (high­ly) in­ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion about ana­con­das is, it is still hard to ig­nore the non­sen­si­cal plot, the em­bar­rass­ing di­a­logue, the re­al­ly atro­cious spe­cial ef­fects and the ter­ri­ble act­ing from every­one on screen.


Anato­my of a Mur­der (1959)

With a fan­tas­tic cin­e­matog­ra­phy and su­perb di­rec­tion, this su­perla­tive court­room pro­ce­dur­al un­folds in an un­hur­ried fash­ion, dar­ing to make out­spo­ken use of sex­u­al ter­mi­nol­o­gy (some­thing un­think­able at the time it was made) and pre­sent­ing a bril­liant­ly com­plex script cen­tered on a fiery, breath­tak­ing rhetor­i­cal com­bat of the high­est qual­i­ty.


An­chor­man: The Leg­end of Ron Bur­gundy (2004)

While it does­n’t re­al­ly have a well de­fined plot and feels more like a se­ries of sketch­es, this turns out not to be a prob­lem, since most of these iso­lat­ed mo­ments are pret­ty fun­ny and the ex­cel­lent cast (in­clud­ing some wel­come cameos) nails it with their most­ly im­pro­vised lines.


And the Os­car Goes to… (2014)

A harm­less col­lec­tion of tid­bits about the Acad­e­my Awards that moves from one top­ic to the next in a clum­sy, rushed way and as­sumes that every­body knows the stars who are men­tioned and/or speak to the cam­era, but still the film is en­joy­able as a pleas­ant cu­rios­i­ty.


An­drei Rublev (1966)

An­drei Tarkovsky’s work is pure po­et­ry as he dwells for over three hours on the do­min­ions of faith, bru­tal­i­ty, and, main­ly, the role of the artist in our world. A true mas­ter­piece that should be seen and re­vis­it­ed many times by those who ap­pre­ci­ate works of Art.


An­gel Heart (1987)

A spec­tac­u­lar thriller that knows how to com­bine noir and hor­ror, with a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy, flaw­less edit­ing, a re­mark­able per­for­mance by Mick­ey Rourke (who is nev­er less than ex­tra­or­di­nary) and an ab­sorb­ing plot that holds our at­ten­tion from the first sec­ond un­til the very last.


The An­gel Was Born (1969)

While it is provoca­tive and re­lies on an un­set­tling at­mos­phere of “mar­gin­al” au­dac­i­ty, es­pe­cial­ly for the time it was made, it also lacks a bit in au­then­tic­i­ty and char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment — and its “anti-” struc­ture and un­con­ven­tion­al edit­ing could eas­i­ly put some peo­ple off.


An­gels & Demons (2009)

With much bet­ter pac­ing than the no­tably ir­reg­u­lar The Da Vin­ci Code, this is an en­ter­tain­ing adap­ta­tion that de­liv­ers what it sets out to and is far su­pe­ri­or to the nov­el, since it is clever enough to avoid some of its most ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tions and im­plau­si­bil­i­ties.


The An­gels’ Share (2012)

Ken Loach and screen­writer Paul Lev­er­ty man­age to find a re­mark­able bal­ance be­tween dra­ma and dark hu­mor in this en­gag­ing com­e­dy full of heart, with the re­sult feel­ing al­most like a fine Scotch whisky — a real plea­sure to the sens­es that makes you al­ways want­i­ng more.


An­i­mal House (1978)

Some of the gags are sil­ly and dat­ed (es­pe­cial­ly to­wards the end of the movie), but most of them are hi­lar­i­ous even with­out need of a well-de­fined struc­ture to wrap around them, since this is a com­e­dy that works quite well as a loose se­ries of raunchy chron­i­cles of col­lege.


An­i­mal King­dom (2010)

An in­tense thriller about a teenage boy who gets pulled into a lair of dan­ger­ous li­ons — his own crim­i­nal fam­i­ly. With an in­tel­li­gent script and a su­perb di­rec­tion, this well-paced dra­ma is ab­sorb­ing and has great per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly Jac­ki Weaver as the ma­tri­arch of the Codies.


The An­i­ma­trix (2003)

A fine col­lec­tion of nine short sto­ries con­ceived as a com­pan­ion piece to The Ma­trix Re­loaded and made ex­clu­sive­ly for those ac­quaint­ed with its uni­verse, but the prob­lem is that the an­i­ma­tion is un­even from one sto­ry to the next and they don’t of­fer much be­sides what we al­ready know.


An­jos do Arra­balde (1987)

Even though this film does­n’t have much fo­cus and eas­i­ly di­gress­es (there is a se­quence in the beach, for in­stance, that could have been en­tire­ly re­moved), it is a cu­ri­ous thing that it feels as though made by a woman and grasps so well the hor­rors of be­ing one in a misog­y­nist so­ci­ety.


Anna Karen­i­na (2012)

Joe Wright does an im­pec­ca­ble job adapt­ing this gi­gan­tic clas­sic nov­el into no more than 130 min­utes of sump­tu­ous ex­pe­ri­ence (the pro­duc­tion de­sign is splen­did), plac­ing the en­tire ac­tion on a the­ater stage that rep­re­sents so­ci­ety and ben­e­fit­ing from some ex­cel­lent per­for­mances.


Annabelle (2014)

Be­cause it fol­lows to the let­ter the con­ven­tions of the genre, this is an ef­fi­cient yet pass­able hor­ror movie that does­n’t come close to be­ing as scary as The Con­jur­ing but of­fers some good mo­ments here and there (like the el­e­va­tor scene, which is par­tic­u­lar­ly ter­ri­fy­ing).


Annabelle: Cre­ation (2017)

Much more ef­fec­tive than the first Annabelle movie, this is a smart pre­quel made by a very com­pe­tent di­rec­tor who knows how to avoid the clichés and build ten­sion most­ly through the use of si­lence, re­ly­ing on a creepy mys­tery that slow­ly grows to be­come some­thing ter­ri­fy­ing.


Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

An­oth­er hor­ror movie that sim­ply would­n’t ex­ist if the char­ac­ters were not so damn stu­pid all the time to make the stu­pid­est de­ci­sions over and over (de­ci­sions that no one would ever make in real life), which even elim­i­nates the ten­sion in some scenes that could have been re­al­ly creepy.


Anom­al­isa (2015)

A very hu­man and del­i­cate look at lone­li­ness, told as a stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion that feels like the per­fect choice for this kind of sto­ry, with waxy char­ac­ters that are all (but two) voiced by the same per­son; it is just a pity, though, that the end feels a bit abrupt.


Anony­mous (2011)

Em­merich los­es all cred­i­bil­i­ty try­ing to make us buy his the­o­ry at any cost, and even though it has a great pro­duc­tion de­sign and an in­trigu­ing premise, the movie is poor­ly di­rect­ed and has a weak script full of un­nec­es­sary soap-opera twists that make the plot even less be­liev­able.


An­oth­er Coun­try (1984)

In his first film, Kanievs­ka brings out sol­id per­for­mances from both Ru­pert Everett and Col­in Firth but suc­ceeds only fair­ly at cre­at­ing a com­pelling sto­ry whose themes could have been more ef­fi­cient­ly ex­plored and led to a much more thought-pro­vok­ing dra­ma.


An­oth­er Earth (2011)

An un­o­rig­i­nal dra­ma about loss, guilt, atone­ment and so on, with a huge amount of clichés and us­ing the in­ter­est­ing con­cept of an al­ter­na­tive Earth as a cheesy metaphor for a “new chance,” but at least Mar­ling and Mapother do a very great job de­spite the weak project they are in.


An­oth­er Me (2013)

An abysmal ex­er­cise of genre, aw­ful­ly writ­ten and laugh­ably sil­ly when you think about its inane plot and what it wants to say (what­ev­er that is), while made near­ly in­suf­fer­able to watch by an also clichéd di­rec­tion that fails to cre­ate any sus­pense at all.


An­oth­er Year (2010)

A fas­ci­nat­ing dra­ma that slow­ly grows on us with a sim­ple yet nu­anced sto­ry that fol­lows a year in the life of nor­mal peo­ple. The whole cast is fan­tas­tic, and Les­ley Manville de­serves an Os­car for her out­stand­ing per­for­mance as Mary the ec­cen­tric friend.


Ant-Man (2015)

This fun, de­light­ful movie — the last of Mar­vel’s Phase Two — has some great per­for­mances (Paul Rudd al­ways so charis­mat­ic) and re­lies on a de­li­cious sense of hu­mor that goes so well with the ac­tion scenes and the kind of ir­rev­er­ent su­per­hero sto­ry it wants to tell.


Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

The huge­ly ab­surd, sec­ond-rate “quan­tum” sci­ence and the slop­py, harm­less script are at least com­pen­sat­ed by (rel­a­tive­ly) ef­fec­tive ac­tion scenes and a (rel­a­tive­ly) fun­ny sense of hu­mor, but the most iron­ic is that the only re­al­ly in­ter­est­ing scene hap­pens mid end-cred­its.


An­to­nio das Mortes (1969)

There is vir­tu­al­ly noth­ing in this film that had­n’t been said be­fore (and in a bet­ter way) in Rocha’s most icon­o­clas­tic films, and it feels con­trived, con­fus­ing, dull, and rep­e­ti­tious; a real en­durance test for the view­er, even with so many evoca­tive shots and mes­mer­iz­ing tableaux.


Antz (1998)

The best thing about watch­ing this en­ter­tain­ing film is see­ing Woody Al­len’s fin­ger­prints all over it, main­ly in the pro­tag­o­nist’s in­se­cu­ri­ties and neu­ro­sis, even though the an­i­ma­tion does­n’t seem re­al­ly flu­id or nat­ur­al when it comes to its wood­en-faced, stiff-look­ing char­ac­ters.


Any­thing for Her (2008)

A tense and well-di­rect­ed French thriller with great per­for­mances by Lin­don and Kruger in a plot that is pret­ty con­ven­tion­al but ef­fi­cient as long as you are will­ing to ac­cept its rather lu­di­crous premise.


The Apart­ment (1960)

A deeply in­volv­ing dra­mat­ic ro­mance with great di­a­logue and three-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters (even if the plot is a bit pre­dictable), and it is quite a cu­ri­ous thing that this film is la­beled by many as a com­e­dy when in fact it is so melan­choly and rather heavy in tone.


Apoc­a­lypse Now (1979)

Cop­po­la’s all-time clas­sic is an in­tense Viet­nam War night­mare that sets out to por­tray with some of the most spec­tac­u­lar vi­su­als the un­fath­omable hor­ror and mad­ness of war, fol­low­ing a man as he goes fur­ther and fur­ther in a har­row­ing de­scent into the very heart of dark­ness.


Apoc­a­lypse Now Re­dux (1979/2001)

If most of the ex­tra scenes don’t add any­thing new to the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence, nei­ther do they stand in the way — ex­cept for an over­long one at a French plan­ta­tion that is dis­tract­ing and quite un­nec­es­sary. Still, this di­rec­tor’s cut is a must-see for all ad­mir­ers of Cop­po­la’s clas­sic.


The Ap­ple (1998)

Sami­ra Makhmal­baf was only 17 when she made this im­pres­sive ex­posé of this re­volt­ing real sto­ry and of the bla­tant gen­der in­equal­i­ty in Iran — and it is re­al­ly shock­ing to see that those girls were sent home by a so­cial work­er af­ter be­ing dis­cov­ered in such de­plorable con­di­tions.


Ap­pro­pri­ate Be­hav­ior (2014)

It is well edit­ed and has its mo­ments, both comedic and dra­mat­ic, but its mistake(s) is that it is­n’t as fun­ny or in­sight­ful as it thinks it is and re­lies on a quirky pro­tag­o­nist that most of the times comes off as self­ish and ter­ri­bly un­lik­able with her nar­cis­sis­tic con­flicts.


Aqua­man (2018)

I like how this re­fresh­ing and vi­su­al­ly spec­tac­u­lar su­per­hero movie com­bines the old-fash­ioned con­cept of hot ma­chos beat­ing each oth­er with their phal­lic, pointy weapons and a more mod­ern ap­proach, with brave fe­male war­riors kick­ing ass and a wel­come mes­sage about prej­u­dice.


Aquar­ius (2016)

So­nia Bra­ga de­liv­ers one of the best per­for­mances of her ca­reer in this ex­cep­tion­al sto­ry full of hu­man warmth about peo­ple, mem­o­ries and their in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with places/objects, ex­plor­ing our sense of moral vi­o­la­tion when we feel in­vad­ed in our own per­son­al space.


Ara­bi­an Nights: Vol­ume 1 — The Rest­less One (2015)

A rest­less di­rec­tor plunges us in a bril­liant blend of doc­u­men­tary and fic­tion to com­ment on the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion of con­tem­po­rary Por­tu­gal: aus­ter­i­ty, eco­nom­ic cri­sis, un­em­ploy­ment and the empti­ness of our times; and he does so with a lot of com­pas­sion and a won­der­ful hu­mor.


Ara­bi­an Nights: Vol­ume 2 — The Des­o­late One (2015)

It is a cu­ri­ous thing to no­tice how this sec­ond chap­ter of Miguel Gomes’ Ara­bi­an Nights tril­o­gy is a lot more con­ven­tion­al than the first in terms of struc­ture, but even so it is a won­der­ful film that achieves a lev­el of sub­lime per­fec­tion in its chron­i­cle about the tears of the judge.


Ara­bi­an Nights: Vol­ume 3 — The En­chant­ed One (2015)

Gomes re­lies too much now on a lot of text writ­ten on the screen, to the point that he ends up pre­vent­ing us from de­vel­op­ing a deep­er con­nec­tion with the char­ac­ters, but de­spite that this is a great film that shows us the beau­ty and po­et­ry of the every­day life of those com­mon peo­ple.


Arc­tic (2018)

Tense, har­row­ing and ben­e­fit­ing from a stel­lar per­for­mance by Mads Mikkelsen, this is a sur­pris­ing sur­vival film that ex­plores well the white vast­ness of its in­hos­pitable lo­ca­tions and un­der­stands the pow­er of si­lence to tell a sto­ry about com­pas­sion with­out the need of un­nec­es­sary words.


Argo (2012)

Ben Af­fleck proves again that he is a very tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor, nail­ing it with this grip­ping and gut-wrench­ing thriller that blends a lot of ten­sion and hu­mor with suc­cess — de­spite a pret­ty ob­vi­ous and ar­ti­fi­cial de­sire to es­ca­late the ten­sion to the point of al­most tor­ture.


The Aris­to­cats (1970)

In a nut­shell, this is Lady and the Tramp for cat lovers, only it is dull and dat­ed with re­gard to stereo­types and gen­der roles. Be­sides, its jazzy tunes are not mem­o­rable (you won’t re­mem­ber any of them) and the scenes with the dogs turn out to be (iron­i­cal­ly) the most amus­ing.


Ar­madil­lo (2010)

Dur­ing this fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary filmed as a fic­tion­al war film, I kept won­der­ing how the film­mak­ers man­aged to stay alive while do­ing this in the line of fire. Au­then­tic and mag­nif­i­cent­ly edit­ed, it grows even more com­pelling and in­trigu­ing when some eth­i­cal is­sues arise among the sol­diers dur­ing the fi­nal act.


Army of Dark­ness (1992)

It is sil­li­er com­pared to the pre­vi­ous Evil Dead movies and clear­ly made for a younger au­di­ence, but even if it los­es steam af­ter a while, it ben­e­fits from those mo­ments of hys­te­ria and ab­sur­di­ty that made the sec­ond movie so fun­ny, with Bruce Camp­bell scream­ing out of con­trol.


ARQ (2016)

The kind of smart premise that should have been made into a short movie (or an episode of Black Mir­ror) but in­stead gets stretched for so long and with so much new in­for­ma­tion thrown in at every mo­ment that plot holes pile up and be­come ob­vi­ous once you start to think about it.


Ar­ra­ial do Cabo (1960)

A smooth com­bi­na­tion of ob­ser­va­tion­al ethnog­ra­phy and po­et­ic doc­u­men­tary in the vein of Ital­ian ne­o­re­al­ism, though it kind of feels a bit over­cal­cu­lat­ed.


Ar­senic and Old Lace (1944)

While the first half hour is ex­cep­tion­al­ly hi­lar­i­ous (with Cary Grant dis­play­ing a per­fect com­ic tim­ing there), this mad­cap dark com­e­dy soon re­sorts to ir­ri­tat­ing, over-the-top mass hys­te­ria, with every­one yelling around with­out rest, killing what made it so fun­ny in the be­gin­ning.


The Artist (2011)

This love­ly and po­et­ic homage from our days to Cin­e­ma and to the Gold­en Age of Hol­ly­wood silent movies is proof that a silent black-and-white film with a 4:3 as­pect ra­tio can be so much bet­ter than many mod­ern talkies, with won­der­ful per­for­mances by Du­jardin, Bejo and Uggy the dog.


As Above, So Be­low (2014)

Dan Brown meets The Blair Witch Project in this har­row­ing and well-act­ed hor­ror movie that makes great use of a sub­jec­tive cam­era to cre­ate an in­tense feel of claus­tro­pho­bia, tak­ing a sim­ple premise and flesh­ing it out into a ter­ri­fy­ing, nerve-fray­ing de­scent to hell.


As We Were Dream­ing (2015)

Dresen brings out sol­id per­for­mances from his very tal­ent­ed young cast in this riv­et­ing, hon­est and re­mark­ably well-di­rect­ed por­trait of a post-GDR youth gen­er­a­tion grap­pling with their lives as they felt lost and adrift in a so­ci­ety that held only un­cer­tain­ty for them.


Asako I & II (2018)

With a sil­ly plot full of clichés, ridicu­lous co­in­ci­dences and one-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters that you could eas­i­ly find in a soap-opera, this is a pa­thet­ic lit­tle ro­mance that would­n’t find that much to say if it weren’t cen­tered on an aw­ful, self­ish pro­tag­o­nist who only thinks about her­self.


Ash Is Purest White (2018)

Much like Moun­tains May De­part, Jia Zhangke comes up with an­oth­er ram­bling, un­fo­cused film whose cheesi­ness can be found in the very ti­tle, and it is cen­tered on a dull love sto­ry that could­n’t pos­si­bly be in­ter­est­ing to any­one, de­spite a sol­id ef­fort by the main ac­tress.


Ash­es and Di­a­monds (1958)

A wicked in­tel­li­gent and even hi­lar­i­ous po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary with a sub­lime cin­e­matog­ra­phy and a mar­velous di­rec­tion — which is no­tice­able from the ap­plaud­able way that Wa­j­da nev­er los­es con­trol of his ma­te­r­i­al and the film’s fo­cus even with such a large gallery of char­ac­ters.


The As­phalt Jun­gle (1950)

What makes this clas­sic noir/heist film so en­gross­ing is the de­lib­er­ate and un­emo­tion­al way it takes us through the minu­ti­ae of a plan that in­volves a large group of char­ac­ters, and even more in­ter­est­ing is how it man­ages to keep these char­ac­ters as its pri­ma­ry fo­cus.


The As­sas­sin (2015)

A stun­ning film with gor­geous vi­su­als and a splen­did sound de­sign, but also way too mea­sured and cryp­tic in its nar­ra­tive, edit­ed in a way that makes it feel like a frus­trat­ing puz­zle that lacks im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion and does­n’t jus­ti­fy any ef­fort to try to un­der­stand it.


As­sault on the Pay Train (1962)

A Brazil­ian clas­sic clear­ly in­spired by the struc­ture, aes­thet­ics and themes of Ital­ian ne­o­re­al­ism (in­clud­ing a touch of melo­dra­ma in the end), tack­ling mat­ters like so­cial and racial in­equal­i­ty while mak­ing us re­late to a group of char­ac­ters who only want a chance in life.


As­tral City: A Spir­i­tu­al Jour­ney (2010)

An ap­peal­ing af­ter­life dra­ma with nice vi­su­als and el­e­gant scene tran­si­tions but un­for­tu­nate­ly marred by weak per­for­mances and moral­ist speech­es con­stant­ly de­claimed. Also, you can hard­ly see the rea­sons that com­pel the pro­tag­o­nist to change so much along the sto­ry.


At Eter­ni­ty’s Gate (2018)

Even as they do re­flect the char­ac­ter’s frag­ment­ed mind, the film’s vi­su­al and styl­is­tic ex­cess­es be­gin to feel like mere af­fec­ta­tion af­ter a while, but at least Willem Dafoe de­liv­ers a com­mit­ted per­for­mance as a tor­ment­ed artist who longs to un­der­stand his pur­pose in the world.


At Mid­night I’ll Take Your Soul (1964)

Marins is a great di­rec­tor and cre­ates some strik­ing im­ages here, hyp­no­tiz­ing us with his mag­net­ic pres­ence as the cru­el Cof­fin Joe while the film’s di­a­logue (de­spite the gen­er­al­ly weak act­ing) makes this a mem­o­rable Brazil­ian hor­ror movie that should be re­dis­cov­ered and re­mas­tered.


At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

A strong film that makes the best use of great per­for­mances, beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tions and a gor­geous score to tell a thought-pro­vok­ing sto­ry about cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences and the white man’s abu­sive con­de­scen­sion (es­pe­cial­ly re­li­gious) to­ward those he con­sid­ers in­fe­ri­or and prim­i­tive.


At War (2018)

Ad­mirable in its in­ten­tions and con­vey­ing well the com­plex­i­ty of a sit­u­a­tion that does­n’t of­fer sim­ple so­lu­tions, this film works as a sol­id fol­low-up to The Mea­sure of a Man and ben­e­fits from an­oth­er ex­cel­lent per­for­mance by Lin­don, de­spite re­ly­ing too much on repet­i­tive dis­cus­sions.


Atom­ic Blonde (2017)

De­spite be­ing de­li­cious­ly styl­ish, tech­ni­cal­ly im­pec­ca­ble and quite amus­ing in its hi­lar­i­ous ab­sur­di­ty, the movie is sad­ly bogged down by how hard it tries to be “clever” and twisty, be­com­ing con­vo­lut­ed in­stead and bor­der­ing too much on stu­pid­i­ty for us to care.


The At­tack (2012)

A trag­ic and sad film that ex­plores the com­plex­i­ty of a nev­er-end­ing con­flict through the im­pos­si­bil­i­ty of con­fronting some­one for an­swers when that per­son is dead — and even those un­nec­es­sary de­tails of­fered in the last fif­teen min­utes are not able to di­lute its in­ten­si­ty and ur­gency.


L’Auberge Es­pag­nole (2002)

A love­ly, fun­ny and touch­ing film about friend­ship and love that will please even more those who know what it is like to live abroad, and it por­trays with a charm­ing sin­cer­i­ty the in­se­cu­ri­ties and fears of youth through a group of char­ac­ters that we eas­i­ly re­late to and care about.


The Auc­tion (2013)

This de­cent Québé­cois dra­ma has fine per­for­mances and makes good use of its lo­ca­tions, de­serv­ing every bit of our at­ten­tion due to the del­i­cate and in­ti­mate way that it tells us its sto­ry — even though it nev­er takes off to be­come some­thing spe­cial or mem­o­rable.


Au­di­tion (1999)

The shifts in tone along the film are com­plete­ly baf­fling, as it be­gins as an un­set­tling dra­ma, then be­comes a ro­mance, and then fi­nal­ly makes it clear that all that was just a weird pre­lude to a shock­ing, out­ra­geous and con­fus­ing third act that does­n’t make much sense.


Au­drie & Daisy (2016)

It should be watched back to back as a com­pan­ion piece to The Hunt­ing Ground about this re­volt­ing type of crime that goes un­pun­ished be­cause there are peo­ple who blame rape vic­tims for what hap­pens to them — like that de­spi­ca­ble sher­iff who is proof of this ugly rape cul­ture.


Au­gust: Os­age Coun­ty (2013)

An emo­tion­al­ly ex­haust­ing film that de­fies us to put up with two de­testable women at the cen­ter of a hor­ri­bly dys­func­tion­al fam­i­ly (Streep and Roberts won­der­ful, along­side a fan­tas­tic Coop­er), and not even the mo­ments of hu­mor are able to re­lieve the dis­com­fort.


Au­gust Winds (2014)

Al­though it does have sup­port­ing ac­tors who look di­rect­ly into the cam­era in sev­er­al oc­ca­sions, this is an ex­treme­ly re­ward­ing dra­ma that in­vests plen­ti­ful­ly in sta­t­ic shots and sit­u­a­tions — thus de­mand­ing a bit of pa­tience — with a note­wor­thy for­mal rig­or and care in its struc­ture, edit­ing and di­rec­tion.


Au­gus­tine (2012)

This al­most-good dra­ma is a missed op­por­tu­ni­ty, con­sid­er­ing its in­trigu­ing premise and the tal­ent of the ac­tors in­volved. What could have been a fas­ci­nat­ing ex­plo­ration of a psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­ness gives place to too much clichéd doc­tor-pa­tient sex­u­al ten­sion.


The Aura (2005)

Loose, un­even and with too many el­e­ments and sym­bol­ism that don’t quite gel in the end, this Ar­gen­tin­ian heist thriller is more ef­fi­cient and in­trigu­ing when fo­cus­ing on its plot than on Darín’s char­ac­ter, who in the end re­mains a strange puz­zle with creepy mo­ti­va­tions.


The Au­top­sy of Jane Doe (2016)

A de­cent (yet ir­reg­u­lar) hor­ror movie that re­lies on a com­pelling mys­tery and knows how to slow­ly build ten­sion (de­spite a few an­noy­ing jump scares), but it is also a bit frus­trat­ing to see how it is weak­ened by clichés and by a sil­ly end­ing that does­n’t re­al­ly work.


Avatar (2009)

The tech­ni­cal as­pects are re­al­ly im­pres­sive, quite ex­cep­tion­al in­deed, and the plot may not be too orig­i­nal or clever but is most­ly en­gag­ing and thought-pro­vok­ing, with many wel­come de­tails about the fas­ci­nat­ing world of Pan­do­ra and its hu­manoid race Na’vi.


The Avengers (2012)

An en­ter­tain­ing as­sem­bly of Mar­vel su­per­heroes that ben­e­fits from Whe­do­n’s Buffy-hu­mor and from a well-writ­ten di­a­logue that ex­plores the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the char­ac­ters, their per­son­al­i­ties and dif­fer­ences — even though Ban­ner’s self-con­trol is­sue is re­al­ly in­con­sis­tent along the movie.


Avengers: Age of Ul­tron (2015)

Joss Whe­don is too tal­ent­ed to keep mak­ing these thin, un­re­mark­able Mar­vel movies, and this is a lazy se­quel that feels like more of the same com­pared to the first Avengers film, es­pe­cial­ly as it has all the prob­lems found in that one and a plot that is even more poor­ly de­vel­oped.


Avengers: In­fin­i­ty War (2018)

The main prob­lem with this Avengers movie is not that it is con­fus­ing, with its large amount of char­ac­ters and par­al­lel sub­plots, but rather lazy in the way it brings them to­geth­er, with some an­noy­ing plot holes and lack­ing in enough ur­gency to make a ma­jor tragedy that con­vinc­ing.


Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I will al­ways be sur­prised at how this fi­nal chap­ter of a gi­gan­tic fran­chise of 22 films man­ages to be so well wrapped-up, in­cred­i­bly ur­gent and even heart­break­ing, with the stakes raised to a max­i­mum and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a well-de­served clo­sure of­fered to some of its most icon­ic char­ac­ters.


L’Avven­tu­ra (1960)

I re­al­ly ad­mire what An­to­nioni is try­ing to do here, even though it seems like he does­n’t al­ways go for the right choic­es, mak­ing the ro­mance feel a bit too cold and the di­a­logue most­ly rep­e­ti­tious; still, this clas­sic film has so many scenes that were sim­ply born icon­ic.


The Awak­en­ing (2011)

De­spite a promis­ing be­gin­ning and a sol­id art di­rec­tion, this con­ven­tion­al ghost sto­ry nev­er goes be­yond its clear­ly de­riv­a­tive nar­ra­tive — which, among many de­fi­cien­cies, tries to be clever with a lame (and un­nec­es­sary) twist but is only con­vo­lut­ed and ob­vi­ous.


Awak­en­ing of the Beast (1970)

Marins shows again that he has a great eye for cre­at­ing un­set­tling com­po­si­tions, but while it is­n’t hard to see what he wants to do here, his cli­mac­tic psy­che­del­ic se­quence in col­or is more like laugh­able non­sense and the con­clu­sion it draws does­n’t car­ry the im­pact in­tend­ed.


Away We Go (2009)

With ter­rif­ic per­for­mances and a won­der­ful sound­track, this sweet, sen­si­tive and fun­ny road movie proves to be both heart­warm­ing and sharp as Mendes’ pre­vi­ous works — and the whole scene with Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal in Madi­son is just price­less.


The BFG (2016)

The vi­su­al ef­fects us­ing per­for­mance cap­ture are great, but there is no mag­ic, beau­ty or even gen­uine emo­tion in this life­less, poor­ly-struc­tured and te­dious movie that al­most put me to sleep and cer­tain­ly ranks now as one of the worst of Spiel­berg’s en­tire ca­reer.


B‑Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979–1989 (2015)

A vig­or­ous and well-edit­ed film that uses an im­pres­sive amount of most­ly un­seen archive footage of the ’80s to show the evo­lu­tion of the West-Berlin­er mu­sic scene against a back­ground of so­cial tur­moil and in­tense de­sire for change and rev­o­lu­tion that marked those times.


Baal (1970)

Though it is not hard to see the in­ten­tion when you know Brecht, it is cu­ri­ous that this adap­ta­tion is less straight­for­ward and more ram­bling than one would ex­pect from one of his sto­ries, be­ing more of a pseu­do-po­et­ic mind trip than a con­sis­tent so­cial com­men­tary.


Baarìa (2009)

Baarìa is an in­volv­ing au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal dra­ma with good per­for­mances, but I feel dis­ap­point­ed at En­nio Mor­ri­cone’s or­di­nary score and how un­nec­es­sar­i­ly over­long the film is. Be­sides, the last fif­teen min­utes al­most man­age to ruin every­thing that was built up un­til then.


The Babadook (2014)

It is al­ways a won­der­ful sur­prise to see an in­tel­li­gent hor­ror film with such pro­found psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tion­al scope, mak­ing use of a rich sym­bol­ism to tell the sto­ry of a woman who suc­cumbs to her own in­ner shad­ow and is forced to con­front it as it takes over her san­i­ty.


Ba­bet­te’s Feast (1987)

This sub­lime ode to art, gift, love and grace should be re­mem­bered for its won­der­ful di­rec­tion and a mag­nif­i­cent nar­ra­tive that nev­er ceas­es to sur­prise us with what it has to of­fer and the un­be­liev­able amount of depth that it holds in every de­tail of its ap­par­ent­ly sim­ple sto­ry.


Ba­bies (2010)

An ex­pe­ri­ence akin to star­ing at an aquar­i­um for 80 min­utes and ob­serv­ing the fish­es in their habi­tat — which can be some­thing in­ter­est­ing in the case of ba­bies from dif­fer­ent cul­tures, only not for so long. But still, ba­bies are so cute and adorable that they make it worth it.


Baby Dri­ver (2017)

With thrilling ac­tion scenes, in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters, a killer sound­track and ex­cep­tion­al edit­ing that fol­lows the beat of the mu­sic as if the mu­sic is a char­ac­ter it­self, Baby Dri­ver de­liv­ers a hell lot of style and sub­stance, be­ing al­ways smart in the way that it tells its sto­ry.


Baby­call (2011)

An ab­sorb­ing and well-paced psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller that nev­er los­es its grip, with an in­trigu­ing mys­tery that keeps us at the edge of our seats try­ing to fig­ure out what is re­al­ly go­ing on — and Noo­mi Ra­pace is fan­tas­tic as the cen­ter of this sad, dev­as­tat­ing sto­ry.


The Babysit­ter (2017)

A hi­lar­i­ous gory movie that makes us laugh out loud with its sur­re­al di­a­logue, bizarre sit­u­a­tions and ab­surd deaths, all that while com­bin­ing com­e­dy and hor­ror in a very ef­fi­cient way and ben­e­fit­ing from some good per­for­mances by Ju­dah Lewis and Sama­ra Weav­ing.


Bach­e­lorette (2012)

This is prob­a­bly what The Hang­over would have been like had it been made with fe­male char­ac­ters: a raunchy ver­sion of Brides­maids that is dirt­i­er, more po­lit­i­cal­ly in­cor­rect and fun­ny as hell — glad­ly lack­ing that typ­i­cal sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty found in most come­dies to­day.


Back to Bur­gundy (2017)

A pass­able lit­tle film that may be a bit too long, repet­i­tive and even pre­dictable, not of­fer­ing much that we haven’t seen be­fore in su­pe­ri­or fam­i­ly dra­mas, but is at least charm­ing with some fun­ny mo­ments and good per­for­mances that make it worth watch­ing.


Back to the Fu­ture (1985)

A won­der­ful ad­ven­ture that re­lies on a first-rate script full of nu­ances and de­tails (some of which you only no­tice af­ter watch­ing the film thir­ty times), great vi­su­al ef­fects, an un­for­get­table score and an ex­cep­tion­al cast — es­pe­cial­ly Crispin Glover, who de­served an Os­car.


Back­yard (2009)

Car­rera and screen­writer Sabi­na Berman ap­proach a very se­ri­ous so­cial mat­ter with in­cred­i­ble com­pe­tence as it ex­pos­es the open wound of Cd. Juárez, Mex­i­co, a land in tur­moil over an ap­palling se­ries of end­less sex­u­al­ly-re­lat­ed mur­ders of women.


Bad Hair (2013)

An ir­reg­u­lar film that suf­fers from the con­tra­dic­to­ry be­hav­ior of its two main char­ac­ters but has a poignant end­ing, even if the moth­er played by Castil­lo seems like a te­len­ov­ela vil­lain in ur­gent need of psy­chi­atric help — al­though I do know that the world is full of peo­ple like that.


The Bad Lieu­tenant: Port of Call — New Or­leans (2009)

Mas­ter di­rec­tor Wern­er Her­zog de­liv­ers here his most main­stream movie to date, a high­ly en­ter­tain­ing, hi­lar­i­ous and twist­ed crime dra­ma with an in­sane Nicholas Cage in one of the great­est per­for­mances of his ca­reer.


Bad Taste (1987)

Not hys­ter­i­cal and price­less as Brain­dead but still a very fun­ny low-bud­get trashy fun with nice gore and make­up ef­fects, even though it is also a bit hard to over­look the movie’s dis­joint­ed struc­ture (there was nev­er a script, and things seem to hap­pen most­ly ran­dom­ly).


Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Much like Quentin Taran­ti­no’s The Hate­ful Eight, this is a clever al­le­go­ry of Amer­i­ca cen­tered on a group of pe­cu­liar char­ac­ters who rep­re­sent each a facet of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety (not only of the 1960s but also to­day), wrapped up in a styl­ish and sexy film-noir pack­age with great per­for­mances.


Bag of Bones (2011)

In its in­sis­tence on fol­low­ing close­ly the struc­ture and pac­ing of King’s won­der­ful nov­el, this ridicu­lous and over­long adap­ta­tion drags and feels painful­ly rep­e­ti­tious, suf­fer­ing also from an ex­cess of ir­ri­tat­ing dream scenes and too much camp that di­lutes the grav­i­ty of the sto­ry.


Bag­dad Cafe (1987)

This en­joy­able fa­ble is ex­pert­ly edit­ed and knows how to use a sur­re­al cin­e­matog­ra­phy to en­hance the sense of odd­ness cre­at­ed by its rather un­usu­al sto­ry. But it also does­n’t know how to end and sim­ply drifts with­out any clear di­rec­tion in the last fif­teen min­utes.


Bal­i­bo (2009)

This tru­ly riv­et­ing and im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal thriller ex­pos­es with­out any con­ces­sions a hor­ren­dous episode in His­to­ry that has been kept in si­lence for a long time, and it is al­ways flu­id in the way it shows us what hap­pened to Roger East in par­al­lel with the trag­ic fate of the Bal­i­bo Five.


The Bal­lad of Buster Scrug­gs (2018)

The last two seg­ments would be worth the en­tire film alone, but in fact all six sto­ries pre­sent­ed here are uni­form­ly ex­cel­lent, which is some­thing quite rare in an­tholo­gies, and to­geth­er they cap­ture very con­sis­tent­ly the mean­ing­less­ness of life in a wild, law­less coun­try.


Bam­bi (1942)

A gor­geous­ly an­i­mat­ed film that may not please every­one due to its greater fo­cus on char­ac­ters and lack of a well-de­fined plot, but it is well-de­served­ly rec­og­nized as a clas­sic now with its con­tem­pla­tive por­tray­al of love, na­ture and the cru­el­ty of men against the for­est and its an­i­mals.


Ba­nanas (1971)

At one point, Woody Al­len’s char­ac­ter says to Louise Lasser’s: “I fail to see the hu­mor of this,” which is ex­act­ly how I felt watch­ing this ter­ri­bly un­fun­ny com­e­dy that is more like ran­dom scenes and sketch­es slop­pi­ly put to­geth­er — some of them so ir­ri­tat­ing they are near­ly un­bear­able.


The Ban­dit (1953)

A clas­sic Brazil­ian West­ern (or “Nordestern”) heav­i­ly in­spired, of course, by Hol­ly­wood West­erns and of­fer­ing every­thing you could pos­si­bly ex­pect (ac­tion, ro­mance and stun­ning land­scapes) while be­ing tech­ni­cal­ly im­pec­ca­ble, gor­geous and epic like the best films of the genre.


Bang Bang (1971)

I have no idea what a “Maoist de­tec­tive com­e­dy” is sup­posed to be (that is how An­drea Tonac­ci called this self-in­dul­gent ex­per­i­men­tal film), and while its en­er­gy and lack of struc­ture may be amus­ing at first, soon it be­comes in­fu­ri­at­ing with end­less chas­es and point­less scenes.


Bang Gang (A Mod­ern Love Sto­ry) (2015)

Even if this cyn­i­cal and moral­is­tic dra­ma is al­leged­ly based on real events, it is re­al­ly hard to be­lieve that 16-year-old teenagers would en­gage so open­ly in those sort of sex­u­al prac­tices, and the nar­ra­tive is also weak­ened by an ir­reg­u­lar struc­ture and ob­vi­ous lack of fo­cus.


The Bar (2017)

A hys­ter­i­cal and ir­ri­tat­ing movie that can­not even jus­ti­fy its own ex­is­tence, forc­ing us to sit through a brain­less plot (the ex­pla­na­tion for its mys­tery is pa­thet­ic and em­bar­rass­ing­ly stu­pid) and wit­ness a group of char­ac­ters yelling with­out end amid some dis­gust­ing scat­ol­ogy.


Bar Es­per­an­za (1983)

I’m not a fan of Brazil­ian bar hu­mor, and so even though this film be­gins very fun­ny and clever (the Nurem­berg joke is hi­lar­i­ous), soon it be­comes dull and com­plete­ly un­fun­ny, mak­ing it hard for us to over­look its ugly cin­e­matog­ra­phy or how ir­reg­u­lar its script is, so full of hits and miss­es.


Bar­bara (2012)

A sub­tle ro­mance with a his­tor­i­cal con­text and great per­for­mances, blend­ing love and pol­i­tics in an en­gag­ing sto­ry that also ex­plores the cu­ri­ous con­trast be­tween the vivid land­scape of East Ger­many’s coun­try­side and the sad uni­verse the pro­tag­o­nist is forced to live in.


Bar­bosa (1988)

Fa­tal­ist and de­ter­min­is­tic in the way it plays with the con­cept of tem­po­ral para­dox, Fur­ta­do’s short film is also a touch­ing look at mem­o­ry and guilt.


Bar­ren Lives (1963)

One of the most im­por­tant Brazil­ian films ever made is this clas­sic, un­re­strained sto­ry of pover­ty and hard­ship as faced by a fam­i­ly liv­ing in a hell­ish, bar­ren land and de­pict­ed with all the raw­ness that it needs — in­clud­ing a no­table ab­sence of sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty and even mu­sic.


Bar­ry Lyn­don (1975)

A fab­u­lous pi­caresque tale — satir­i­cal and trag­ic — in which we see Kubrick make every splen­did shot look like an au­then­tic 18th-cen­tu­ry paint­ing while us­ing a cyn­i­cal and es­sen­tial­ly cold ap­proach to re­count a long se­ries of bare­ly con­nect­ed episodes in our anti-hero’s ill-fat­ed life.


Bar­ton Fink (1991)

An al­ways smart and in­trigu­ing film that com­bines acid crit­i­cism (es­pe­cial­ly of Hol­ly­wood) and a sur­re­al feel of night­mare the way the Coen broth­ers do best, with a cyn­i­cal, so­phis­ti­cat­ed sense of hu­mor, price­less di­a­logue and a de­li­cious gallery of fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ters.


Bas­tards (2013)

With a con­fus­ing struc­ture and plot threads that go nowhere fast, this frag­ment­ed film noir also fails to keep us in­volved by nev­er go­ing deep into the char­ac­ters’ mo­ti­va­tions, and it leaves loose ends in an ar­ti­fi­cial res­o­lu­tion that makes it seem in­com­plete and point­less.


Bat­man For­ev­er (1995)

With un­be­liev­able di­a­logue, goofy ac­tion and ridicu­lous car­toon­ish char­ac­ters, this soft­ened Bat­man movie af­ter Bur­ton’s in­stall­ments is only em­bar­rass­ing and laugh­able, with a pa­thet­ic sto­ry full of plot holes. Not even Tom­my Lee Jones and Jim Car­rey can save this non­sense.


Bat­man & Robin (1997)

It is near­ly im­pos­si­ble not to feel ashamed for every­one in­volved in this mess (es­pe­cial­ly Joel Schu­mach­er), an over-the-top dis­as­trous movie whose ac­tors look like flam­boy­ant drag queens in a col­or­ful car­ni­val pa­rade ut­ter­ing some of the worst lines ever writ­ten.


Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice (2016)

The biggest prob­lem with this bloat­ed, ex­haust­ing movie is that it sinks try­ing so des­per­ate­ly to bite off (so much) more than it can chew, with a con­vo­lut­ed plot that is all over the place and too many char­ac­ters whose mo­ti­va­tions are most­ly con­trived and in­fu­ri­at­ing­ly in­con­sis­tent.


The Bat­tle of Chile: Part 1 (1975)

An es­sen­tial piece of his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment that should be shown in schools every­where in the world, about the rise of fas­cism in Chile and the pow­er of peo­ple’s re­sis­tance against the ef­forts of a re­ac­tionary bour­geoisie that used dis­hon­est means to over­throw a le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment.


The Bat­tle of Chile: Part 2 (1976)

The sec­ond part of this mag­nif­i­cent his­tor­i­cal pro­duc­tion is a dev­as­tat­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of the hor­ri­ble con­se­quences of those events that led to the era­sure of all democ­ra­cy in Chile de­spite every­thing that the peo­ple and sup­port­ers of the gov­ern­ment did to pre­vent a coup d’é­tat.


The Bat­tle of Chile: Part 3 (1979)

This third part seems more like a com­ple­ment to the oth­er two made of footage that did­n’t fit in the pre­vi­ous films, since it re­peats many things that were al­ready shown but in greater de­tails to cre­ate an overview of the growth of pop­u­lar pow­er dur­ing Al­len­de’s gov­ern­ment.


Bat­tle of the Sex­es (2017)

Emma Stone and Steve Carell are great in a sol­id biopic that may be rel­a­tive­ly con­ven­tion­al and ob­vi­ous­ly pre­dictable but man­ages to build ten­sion un­til the fi­nal match, even if it has its own share of ca­su­al sex­ism that is al­most out­ra­geous in a film that is sup­posed to be fem­i­nist.


Bat­tle­field Earth (2000)

Worse than its ridicu­lous overuse of Dutch an­gles, col­or fil­ters and cheap spe­cial ef­fects is how over­whelm­ing­ly il­log­i­cal this dread­ful piece of junk is, with such a colos­sal amount of plot holes and in­co­her­ences — how­ev­er cu­ri­ous and amus­ing it is to ob­serve the many ways it finds to get worse.


Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca (TV pi­lot minis­eries) (2003)

This breath­tak­ing minis­eries that start­ed the ex­cep­tion­al TV se­ries fea­tures a steady di­rec­tion, great di­a­logue and el­e­gant long takes, while also rais­es many moral is­sues with in­tel­li­gence and keeps the fo­cus al­ways on the char­ac­ters and on the hu­man as­pect of the bat­tle.


Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca: Ra­zor (2007)

Ra­zor does not work as a stand-alone movie, be­ing more of a back­drop for sea­son 4 — even if it takes place be­fore the set­tling in New Capri­ca. Among its ef­fi­cient el­e­ments, it gives new de­tails about the ori­gin of the hy­brid cy­lon, but some un­nec­es­sary scenes could have been left out.


Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca: The Plan (2009)

Even if show­ing more of the cy­lon at­tack on the 12 colonies, this frag­ment­ed and un­nec­es­sary BSG movie does­n’t add any­thing new or rel­e­vant to the com­plet­ed se­ries and also re­lies on many flash­backs of scenes that had al­ready been shown be­fore.


Bay­watch (2017)

It em­braces camp in a ridicu­lous way, with ob­nox­ious char­ac­ters, shit­ty ac­tors (even though Dwayne John­son is charis­mat­ic), aw­ful CGI (a clear in­di­ca­tor of a lazy di­rec­tor) and noth­ing of the kitsch charm that made the TV show so amus­ing and suc­cess­ful in the first place.


The Beach (2000)

The vi­su­als are jaw-drop­ping and the idea is promis­ing, but the film is ir­reg­u­lar and shoots in every di­rec­tion with­out man­ag­ing to ful­ly ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of its premise, re­main­ing a lost op­por­tu­ni­ty to show how par­adise is not re­al­ly about a place but the peo­ple liv­ing in it.


Beach Rats (2017)

Yet an­oth­er gay-themed dra­ma about a teen’s strug­gle with self-ac­cep­tance that be­longs 20 years ago, with a sil­ly, con­fused plot that doesn’t re­al­ly go any­where and the kind of out­dat­ed and prej­u­diced view of ho­mo­sex­u­al­i­ty that you find in hun­dreds of films alike.


The Beach­es of Ag­nès (2008)

Rarely have I seen an artist talk so can­did­ly and play­ful­ly about her his­to­ry, ca­reer and in­spi­ra­tions like Ag­nès Var­da does in this won­der­ful com­bi­na­tion of in­ti­mate mem­oir and self-analy­sis that cel­e­brates life and (her) mem­o­ries with a lot of hu­mor and nos­tal­gia.


The Beales of Grey Gar­dens (2006)

There are a lot of price­less scenes here that did­n’t make into Grey Gar­dens, so this ‘bonus ma­te­r­i­al’ is a true gift for the fans who would love to see more of those two women af­ter three decades, even if for oth­ers it may just feel like more of the same, though.


Beasts of No Na­tion (2015)

A bru­tal, har­row­ing and dev­as­tat­ing film that is beau­ti­ful­ly di­rect­ed, pho­tographed (es­pe­cial­ly in two in­cred­i­bly gut-wrench­ing scenes) and act­ed, with in­tense per­for­mances by At­tah and Elba, about a boy’s loss of in­no­cence and child­hood amid a hor­ri­ble war in a night­mar­ish place.


Beasts of the South­ern Wild (2012)

A spell­bind­ing film that uses a shaky hand­held cam­era (and grainy im­age) to­geth­er with a lot of vi­su­al po­et­ry to cre­ate a com­bi­na­tion of nat­u­ral­ism and fan­ta­sy, with a won­der­ful per­for­mance by the young Quven­zhane Wal­lis in a touch­ing sto­ry about love and courage.


The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)

Ro­main Duris is fan­tas­tic, do­ing an ex­cep­tion­al work in the com­po­si­tion of his char­ac­ter with a spe­cial care for small de­tails, in what turns out to be a com­pelling, fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter study about an dis­sat­is­fied man try­ing to have his life back and fol­low his dream.


The Bea­t­les: Eight Days a Week — The Tour­ing Years (2016)

It is a de­light to wit­ness now all that Beat­le­ma­nia hys­te­ria and the mem­bers’ cheeky sense of hu­mor in a lot of price­less archive footage com­bined with wel­come in­ter­views, but this nice doc is also a bit too un­pre­ten­tious and does­n’t of­fer much new in­sight about the band and their tour­ing years.


Le Beau Serge (1958)

If this was the first film of the French New Wave I can­not re­al­ly say, but it was the first of the Chabrol’s fas­ci­nat­ing ca­reer, with great per­for­mances and a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy, and pre­sent­ing us a bleak por­trait of hu­man deca­dence in a provin­cial town.


Beau Tra­vail (1999)

De­nis knows how to build an un­set­tling at­mos­phere of arid sen­su­al­i­ty that pulls us in, but the prob­lem is that, with­out the char­ac­ter’s nar­ra­tion, it would have been near­ly im­pos­si­ble to grasp what is go­ing on in his head from im­ages that feel most­ly rep­e­ti­tious and not ex­act­ly telling.


Beau­ti­ful Boy (2018)

The sto­ry’s im­pact is al­most di­lut­ed by the film’s edit­ing (with its jumps in time and flash­backs with­in flash­backs) and ques­tion­able choice of mu­sic, which makes it kind of emo­tion­al­ly stiff, even though that is com­pen­sat­ed by two amaz­ing per­for­mances by Tim­o­th­ée Cha­la­met and Steve Carell.


The Beau­ti­ful Per­son (2008)

Christophe Hon­oré is like a film stu­dent who does­n’t have any idea of what he wants to say (that is, if he does have any­thing to say at all) and so cre­ates an un­fo­cused, pre­ten­tious nar­ra­tive that has no sense of pur­pose and is full of poor­ly-de­vel­oped char­ac­ters and clichéd di­a­logue.


Beau­ty and the Beast (1946)

An en­chant­i­ng film that sur­pris­es us with its mag­i­cal at­mos­phere and daz­zling vi­su­al ef­fects, even if the plot can be a bit repet­i­tive and con­trived when fo­cus­ing on the de­vel­op­ment of the char­ac­ters’ re­la­tion­ship, lead­ing to an end that is not as sat­is­fy­ing as it should be.


Beau­ty and the Beast (1991)

The over­whelm­ing flood of songs makes a good part of it seem like filler, to be hon­est — as much as most of these songs are great and the an­i­ma­tion is al­ways im­pec­ca­ble -, but it will be hard for any­one not to be deeply moved by this beau­ti­ful sto­ry of de­ceiv­ing ap­pear­ances.


Beau­ty and the Beast (2017)

It is hard some­times to shake the feel­ing that this live-ac­tion Dis­ney adap­ta­tion is re­ly­ing too much on the 1991 an­i­ma­tion, to the point that it al­most feels like an ex­tend­ed ver­sion of that film; but even so, it of­fers a fresh and mod­ern look at the clas­sic sto­ry that makes it worth it.


The Beaver (2011)

Firm­ly di­rect­ed by Jodie Fos­ter and with a heart­felt per­for­mance by Gib­son, this is an in­ter­est­ing dra­ma about a de­pressed man suf­fer­ing from schiz­o­phre­nia and pro­ject­ing part of his per­son­al­i­ty into a pup­pet. Even so, the script is un­fo­cused and has an easy, sap­py con­clu­sion.


Bed­knobs and Broom­sticks (1971)

An un­even, over­long and some­times dull Dis­ney movie that tries to fol­low in the foot­steps of Mary Pop­pins, the main dif­fer­ence be­ing that none of the songs is re­mote­ly mem­o­rable (in fact, most of the mu­si­cal num­bers are an­noy­ing) and the last act is just ter­ri­ble.


Beetle­juice (1988)

En­ter­tain­ing and cre­ative with its hi­lar­i­ous idea of af­ter­life, Beetle­juice is an ear­ly Tim Bur­ton movie that finds a fine bal­ance be­tween hor­ror and com­e­dy, im­press­ing us with an amaz­ing set de­sign and mak­ing us laugh out loud with Michael Keaton’s loony per­for­mance.


Be­fore Mid­night (2013)

It is im­mense­ly re­fresh­ing to see again these two char­ac­ters who we once (twice) learned to love, now in a sto­ry that ex­am­ines with ut­most hon­est the nat­ur­al con­flicts of mar­ried life — which are also present for this cou­ple who seemed so suit­ed for a hap­py end­ing to­geth­er.


Be­fore the Rev­o­lu­tion (1964)

Bertoluc­ci was still de­vel­op­ing his tech­nique when he made this flawed, im­per­fect at­tempt at an Ital­ian Nou­velle Vague film that is in fact more about style than sub­stance, made by some­one full of ideas but who would still need time to ma­ture his vi­sion of things.


Be­gin Again (2013)

A re­fresh­ing and su­perbly-edit­ed dra­mat­ic com­e­dy from the di­rec­tor of Once, who de­picts once again a warm, pla­ton­ic re­la­tion­ship born from the mu­tu­al love shared by two peo­ple for mu­sic, and oh boy, aren’t the songs in this film just so love­ly and beau­ti­ful!


Be­gin­ners (2010)

This is cer­tain­ly not a com­e­dy (the sense of hu­mor does­n’t work that well), and I found it sad and de­press­ing, con­trary to those who thought it was sweet and op­ti­mistic. Be­sides, the char­ac­ters seem too shal­low in their ar­ti­fi­cial in­die quirk­i­ness and the di­a­logue is very an­noy­ing.


The Be­guiled (2017)

Sofia Cop­po­la cre­ates an un­set­tling and slow-burn­ing film that does­n’t im­press so much for its plot as it does for its evoca­tive at­mos­phere — an ef­fec­tive com­bi­na­tion of un­der­ly­ing ten­sion and burst­ing sen­su­al­i­ty that ben­e­fits from ex­cel­lent per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly Nicole Kid­man.


Be­have (2007)

The most in­ter­est­ing here is that the ne­ces­si­ty of re­plac­ing the ac­tu­al kids with oth­er ones from a sim­i­lar back­ground ends up pre­vent­ing the au­di­ence from (pre)judging them and al­lows us to have a much more ob­jec­tive look at their predica­ment as part of a larg­er so­cial con­text.


Be­hind the Can­de­labra (2013)

Soder­bergh of­fers a con­sis­tent blend of camp and sin­cer­i­ty in this en­ter­tain­ing biopic cen­tered on a com­plex Lib­er­ace amid his fab­u­lous pala­tial kitsch, with Dou­glas chew­ing the scenery in a mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance that sur­pris­es for its au­then­tic­i­ty and pathos.


Be­hind the Curve (2018)

It would be so easy to mock those peo­ple that I find it sur­pris­ing that the film em­pathizes with them, fo­cus­ing on how we should en­gage in con­struc­tive de­bate in­stead of os­tra­ciz­ing them — that, of course, un­til it plays the dev­il’s ad­vo­cate by re­mind­ing us of how dan­ger­ous they can be.


Be­hind the Sun (2001)

It is easy to fall in love with the film’s gor­geous vi­su­als, but let’s not over­look how the script is poor­ly de­vel­oped and clear­ly de­served a few rewrites to be more ef­fi­cient, be­ing in­stead an ob­vi­ous re­venge sto­ry that feels con­trived and lacks in nar­ra­tive co­he­sion.


Be­hind the Walls (2008)

A splen­did, heart­break­ing and re­al­is­tic French dra­ma that could be seen as a wor­thy fol­low-up to films like The 400 Blows, con­sid­er­ing the way it por­trays the sad lives of young boys in a prison-like or­phan­age, and I’m sure that it will move some to tears like it did me.


Be­ing Gin­ger (2013)

It is hard to be­lieve that so many peo­ple would hate some­thing so beau­ti­ful as red hair (yes, I’m a gin­ger lover), but it is in­suf­fer­able to see this guy Scott make it all about him­self in this emp­ty, time-wast­ing “doc­u­men­tary” and whine about his self-con­fi­dence for end­less 70 min­utes.


Bel Ami (2012)

A rushed and in­sipid soap opera with lame per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly by Robert Pat­tin­son, who is a ter­ri­ble ac­tor com­plete­ly mis­cast as an am­bi­tious se­duc­er, un­able to show what his char­ac­ter feels or what could pos­si­bly draw those re­fined women to him be­side his looks.


Belle (2013)

A hand­some pe­ri­od dra­ma about an ad­mirable young woman who man­ages to main­tain her dig­ni­ty in a so­ci­ety ruled by cer­tain laws that, as one char­ac­ter puts it, were in fact frame­works for crime — and the gra­cious script avoids clichés and proves to be sur­pris­ing­ly mov­ing.


Belle de Jour (1967)

Au­da­cious for the time it was made and still provoca­tive and en­tic­ing to­day, this film in an in­tel­li­gent and psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly nu­anced ex­plo­ration of sex­u­al­i­ty and de­sire as ex­pe­ri­enced by a re­pressed bour­geois woman who feels strong­ly com­pelled to act upon her fan­tasies.


Bel­lis­si­ma (1952)

Anna Mag­nani is a true Ital­ian de­light, so charis­mat­ic and fun­ny, and she makes it real dif­fi­cult for us not to sym­pa­thize with her char­ac­ter for try­ing so hard to en­roll her lit­tle daugh­ter in a film part com­pe­ti­tion, in this amus­ing and touch­ing sto­ry that has its heart in the right place.


Be­low (2002)

Twohy does a great job (main­ly in the first hour) in slow­ly build­ing an ab­sorb­ing mys­tery in this claus­tro­pho­bic mix of hor­ror and war movie (like Das Boot meets The Shin­ing), even if lat­er on it is weak­ened by stu­pid plot holes and a sil­ly at­tempt to sound pro­found in the end.


Ben (1972)

If there is some­thing more dis­com­fort­ing than Willard be­friend­ing rats is see­ing a sweet sick kid de­vel­op­ing a touch­ing re­la­tion­ship with his lit­tle friend Ben the dis­gust­ing in­tel­li­gent rat, which is what makes this trashy B movie creepi­er than the first movie, es­pe­cial­ly with that song.


Ben-Hur (1959)

Even though Charl­ton He­s­ton is a ter­ri­ble ac­tor, Ben-Hur will al­ways be re­mem­bered as a spec­tac­u­lar epic that boasts an as­ton­ish­ing pro­duc­tion de­sign, breath­tak­ing cin­e­matog­ra­phy and ex­hil­a­rat­ing ac­tion scenes. It is only a pity though that the fo­cus of the sto­ry is shift­ed from Juda to the Mes­si­ah in the last act, turn­ing into a preachy re­li­gious movie and los­ing some of its pow­er in a hal­lelu­jah end­ing.


Ben­ny’s Video (1992)

Like The Sev­enth Con­ti­nent, this is a dis­turb­ing film that wants to probe into the glacial ap­a­thy of mod­ern so­ci­ety (and also the so­ciopaths it cre­ates), even though Haneke seems a bit too cat­e­gor­i­cal in his crit­i­cism of mass me­dia as some­thing in­her­ent­ly alien­at­ing and dam­ag­ing.


Berber­ian Sound Stu­dio (2012)

An imag­i­na­tive and ex­pert­ly-edit­ed psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller/meta ex­er­cise that dis­solves the bar­ri­er be­tween re­al­i­ty and fic­tion us­ing a fan­tas­tic sound de­sign, beau­ti­ful scene tran­si­tions and a smart cin­e­matog­ra­phy that nice­ly ref­er­ences the style of the Ital­ian gi­al­los of the ’70s.


Berlin Alexan­der­platz (1980)

The pièce de ré­sis­tance of Fass­binder’s ca­reer, an ex­tra­or­di­nary 15–1/2 hour mag­num opus that rep­re­sents both the cin­e­mat­ic re­al­iza­tion of his sem­i­nal in­spi­ra­tion and the cul­mi­na­tion of his themes — and he prop­er­ly de­parts from his de­tached style to de­liv­er his most heart­felt and mov­ing char­ac­ter study up to then, with a phe­nom­e­nal cen­tral per­for­mance by Gün­ter Lam­precht and a mag­nif­i­cent score by Peer Raben.


Berlin, I Love You (2019)

I don’t un­der­stand why they keep mak­ing these ter­ri­ble post­card movies that amount to al­most noth­ing — and if it weren’t for the seg­ment with He­len Mir­ren and Keira Knight­ley, I would give zero stars to this crap that does­n’t cap­ture any­thing of what makes the city of Berlin so spe­cial.


Berlin: Sym­pho­ny of a Great City (1927)

Im­age and sound, rhythm and mu­sic, an en­tranc­ing au­dio­vi­su­al ex­per­i­ment in five parts show­ing a day in the life of a city that lives and breathes, with a fan­tas­tic use of So­vi­et in­tel­lec­tu­al mon­tage to cre­ate bril­liant vi­su­al rhymes on the many dif­fer­ent as­pects of ur­ban life.


Berlin Syn­drome (2017)

It can be tense and dis­turb­ing at times, even though it feels a bit too fa­mil­iar (like a mix of Fear and Mis­ery) and moves too slow for such a pre­dictable type of movie, not man­ag­ing that well to be en­ter­tain­ing as a thriller and be­ing rather dull and un­pleas­ant to watch.


The Best Ex­ot­ic Marigold Ho­tel (2011)

Even if mild­ly re­fresh­ing and cen­tered on a group of el­der­ly peo­ple, which is some­thing we don’t see very of­ten, this film is full of highs and lows, with a weak script that has too many clichés and ar­ti­fi­cial res­o­lu­tions but is still com­pen­sat­ed by a su­perb en­sem­ble cast.


Best in Show (2000)

The laughs are not as plen­ti­ful as in Wait­ing for Guff­man (al­though this is an also very fun­ny film for any­one who loves mock­u­men­taries and dead­pan hu­mor), and yet we have the same hi­lar­i­ous cast much more en pointe here with a lev­el of im­pro­vi­sa­tion that works even bet­ter.


Best of En­e­mies (2015)

An ex­cit­ing analy­sis of the be­gin­ning of a ma­jor change in po­lit­i­cal jour­nal­ism as it be­came a the­ater stage for egos, shown in this piv­otal de­bate be­tween two ar­ro­gant men who we can’t deny were bril­liant or­a­tors — even though I de­spise Buck­ley’s po­lit­i­cal views and Vi­dal’s ag­gres­sive ad hominem at­tacks.


The Best Of­fer (2013)

With an ap­palling lack of sub­tle­ty, aw­ful di­a­logue and bad­ly-con­struct­ed char­ac­ters (the pro­tag­o­nist’s ac­tions and mo­ti­va­tions are puz­zling from be­gin­ning to end), it seems like this corny lit­tle ro­mance full of clichés and pre­dictable twists is mak­ing a huge ef­fort to be bad.


The Best Things in the World (2010)

A won­der­ful and in­cred­i­bly hon­est film about the sev­er­al ups and downs of ado­les­cence as lived by a teenage boy in São Paulo, and it is a great plea­sure to see how it es­capes all those typ­i­cal clichés of teen movies, de­vel­op­ing its char­ac­ters in an al­ways sen­si­tive, re­al­is­tic way.


Best Worst Movie (2009)

A sur­pris­ing and bit­ter­sweet doc that will cer­tain­ly ap­peal more to those out there who share the same strange fas­ci­na­tion for this un­ex­pect­ed cult phe­nom­e­non (me in­clud­ed), even if it sim­pli­fies the rea­son for its shock­ing suc­cess into sim­ple mat­ters of be­ing en­ter­tain­ing.


The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

A deeply touch­ing and sig­nif­i­cant post-WWII clas­sic that de­picts the psy­cho­log­i­cal trau­ma and sev­er­al ob­sta­cles en­coun­tered by vet­er­an sol­diers of dif­fer­ent back­grounds re­turn­ing from war, and it does so with an ex­pert use of deep fo­cus and a won­der­ful mise-en-scène to cre­ate many mean­ing­ful vi­su­al com­po­si­tions.


Bethâ­nia Bem de Per­to — A Propósi­to de um Show (1966)

Bres­sane is a mas­ter who al­ways knows ex­act­ly what to do with a cam­era in his hands — a cam­era that be­comes al­most a char­ac­ter it­self, mov­ing close­ly and freely as he makes this an in­ti­mate por­trait of one of Brazil’s most tal­ent­ed singers at the be­gin­ning of her ca­reer.


The Bet­ter An­gels (2014)

Ed­wards does­n’t even try to hide the ob­vi­ous and un­o­rig­i­nal way that he em­u­lates Mal­ick­’s style, and he seems more con­cerned with cre­at­ing a pow­er­ful med­i­ta­tive ex­pe­ri­ence than of­fer­ing any real in­sight into what shaped Lin­coln in his child­hood to be­come the man he would be.


The Be­yond (1981)

It can be amus­ing for those who love gore and fun spe­cial ef­fects, but Ful­ci must have been com­plete­ly stoned when he made this ridicu­lous movie that does­n’t make any sense at all (who cares about plot, right?) and is only a baf­fling­ly stu­pid mess full of aw­ful per­for­mances.


Be­yond (2010)

A poignant, trag­ic dra­ma that ex­plores the psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences of a tur­bu­lent child­hood marked by al­co­holism — and it is in­cred­i­bly sad to see good peo­ple al­low­ing it to de­stroy the har­mo­ny in their fam­i­ly, caus­ing such a pro­found emo­tion­al dam­age to all their lives.


Be­yond a Rea­son­able Doubt (2009)

This mod­ern re­make of Fritz Lang’s last Amer­i­can thriller is un­de­ni­ably flawed — es­pe­cial­ly when you stop to think how pre­pos­ter­ous it all re­al­ly is -, but still it man­ages to be en­ter­tain­ing and tense some­times, with a wel­come twist in the end.


Be­yond the Hills (2012)

Mungiu de­liv­ers yet an­oth­er pow­er­ful and nerve-wrack­ing film that is bound to leave you to­tal­ly drained by the end of it. Though also a bit un­nec­es­sar­i­ly repet­i­tive af­ter a while, it is nev­er­the­less a chal­leng­ing, dev­as­tat­ing dra­ma about lib­er­ty, de­vo­tion, se­cu­ri­ty and ob­ses­sion.


Be­yond the Walls (2012)

A pro­found­ly mov­ing and heart­break­ing gay ro­mance about an over­whelm­ing pas­sion that grad­u­al­ly grows and breaks apart — and the two very tal­ent­ed leads give life to such com­plex char­ac­ters who we can strong­ly iden­ti­fy with in their feel­ings for each oth­er.


Bian­ca (1984)

I don’t re­al­ly buy the film’s end­ing, but it does make sense with­in Moret­ti’s pur­pose, es­pe­cial­ly as he clev­er­ly de­picts Bian­ca as a woman with no per­son­al­i­ty and makes fun of his own char­ac­ter for be­ing an old-fash­ioned ro­man­tic whose fears and ex­ces­sive neu­ro­sis bor­der on in­san­i­ty.


The Bi­cy­cle Thief (1948)

Hu­mor­ous, poignant and heart­break­ing, this won­der­ful gem of Ital­ian ne­o­re­al­ism de­serves every bit of its long-last­ing rep­u­ta­tion as a clas­sic and un­for­get­table so­cial state­ment, and it is al­ways beau­ti­ful to see how it es­chews any sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty and re­mains al­ways hon­est in its emo­tions.


Bi­cy­cling with Molière (2013)

A light and charm­ing com­e­dy that may be a bit ir­reg­u­lar and not very well fo­cused but has some nice di­a­logue and good mo­ments of hu­mor — and along the re­hearsal of Molière’s work by the leads we are giv­en a de­cent ex­plo­ration of the nu­ances in the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween them.


Il Bidone (1955)

This for­got­ten Felli­ni clas­sic — which was ini­tial­ly a flop in Italy and also in the USA — is a poignant and heart­break­ing char­ac­ter study that man­ages to make us feel pity and sym­pa­thy to­wards the worst kind of swindler, the one who de­ceives and takes mon­ey from the poor.


The Big Chill (1983)

A life­less and de­press­ing movie that seems more in­ter­est­ed in its songs than in cre­at­ing a re­lat­able plot (yet even if the sound­track is great the lyrics sim­ply don’t re­flect what we see on screen), forc­ing us to stay in the com­pa­ny of a group of un­lik­able nar­cis­sists.


The Big Coun­try (1958)

A clas­sic paci­fist West­ern that feels al­ways flu­id (even with a long run­ning time of al­most three hours) and is most cer­tain­ly an in­tel­li­gent al­le­go­ry of Cold War, boast­ing a mem­o­rable score and a great cast, es­pe­cial­ly Burl Ives in an Os­car-win­ning per­for­mance.


Big Deal on Madon­na Street (1958)

Al­though not so con­sis­tent­ly fun­ny through­out (in fact, there are quite a few mo­ments that fall short on the hu­mor scale), this charm­ing yet over­rat­ed Ital­ian com­e­dy com­pen­sates for that with an ex­cel­lent cast (es­pe­cial­ly Totò) and some ef­fec­tive scenes that are tru­ly hi­lar­i­ous.


Big Eyes (2014)

It is true that Art should el­e­vate, but this su­per­fi­cial, unim­pres­sive biopic does pan­der to the low­est com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor with a cliched di­rec­tion, un­even pac­ing and se­ri­ous tonal prob­lems in a ridicu­lous tri­al scene in the end that only feels sil­ly and ar­ti­fi­cial.


Big Fan (2009)

Big Fan is a hu­mor­ous look at the lone­ly life of a fa­nat­ic sports fan, and first-time di­rec­tor Siegel man­ages what seemed to be al­most im­pos­si­ble: to make a poignant por­tray­al of a los­er who only thinks of foot­ball, a task that is helped most­ly by Os­walt’s ter­rif­ic per­for­mance.


The Big Gun­down (1966)

Sol­li­ma’s West­ern is an ex­cit­ing man­hunt that fol­lows the struc­ture of a road-movie, with its two main char­ac­ters meet­ing over and over in many dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. A thrilling movie with a vi­brant per­for­mance by Tomás Mil­ian and an un­ex­pect­ed twist in the third act.


Big Hero 6 (2014)

A high­ly amus­ing and cap­ti­vat­ing movie with a won­der­ful an­i­ma­tion and ex­hil­a­rat­ing ac­tion scenes, even if the script suf­fers from some ex­po­si­tion and does­n’t come up with a very con­vinc­ing mo­ti­va­tion for its vil­lain — de­spite how every­thing is well wrapped up in the end.


Big Jet (2016)

In case it is still nec­es­sary, here is de­fin­i­tive proof of Matheus Nachter­gaele’s mon­strous tal­ent as an ac­tor, and he re­al­ly sur­pass­es him­self play­ing two di­a­met­ri­cal­ly op­posed char­ac­ters in this sen­si­tive com­ing-of-age sto­ry about a teenag­er dis­cov­er­ing his sex­u­al­i­ty, his pas­sions and his dreams.


The Big Lebows­ki (1998)

The “Dude,” an­oth­er spec­i­men in the Coen gallery of fas­ci­nat­ing, ec­cen­tric char­ac­ters, eas­i­ly wins our sym­pa­thy thanks es­pe­cial­ly to Jeff Bridges, who is won­der­ful and shines to­geth­er with John Good­man in a very fun­ny and en­gag­ing sto­ry.


The Big Short (2015)

McK­ay sim­pli­fies a high­ly com­pli­cat­ed sub­ject (econ­o­my) with all types of in­ge­nious (and hi­lar­i­ous) nar­ra­tive de­vices (even break­ing the fourth wall many times) to bring us an in­tel­li­gent sto­ry about those who de­cid­ed to bet against the Amer­i­can econ­o­my and the re­volt­ing dis­hon­esty of a lot of peo­ple in­volved in it.


The Big Sick (2017)

If there is some­thing that no one can blame this film from be­ing is pre­dictable, since it al­ways finds ways to sur­prise us with its ma­tu­ri­ty and sin­cer­i­ty, ben­e­fit­ing from sol­id per­for­mances and a very fine bal­ance be­tween heart and hu­mor to tell us this real-life sto­ry.


The Big Sleep (1946)

A smart de­tec­tive sto­ry full of the most ex­quis­ite di­a­logue and with an ex­treme­ly com­plex plot that prompts us to try to con­nect the pieces of the in­tri­cate puz­zle in our heads, even if it ac­tu­al­ly does not an­swer all of the ques­tions (the death of a cer­tain char­ac­ter is left un­solved).


A Big­ger Splash (2015)

A very fine ex­am­ple of re­make that dif­fers con­sid­er­ably from the orig­i­nal movie, not to be bet­ter but to come up with new turns and pos­si­bil­i­ties to an ex­ist­ing sto­ry, and so it ends up of­fer­ing a good deal of ad­di­tion­al lay­ers to a nar­ra­tive and char­ac­ters that al­ready had many.


Bil­ly El­liot (2000)

It comes as a tru­ly de­light­ful sur­prise how a sim­ple sto­ry like this can be made into such a won­der­ful, cap­ti­vat­ing film that makes us cry and laugh in equal mea­sure, and the best thing is that it nev­er re­sorts to easy clichés or shows things in black and white like many would.


Bio­haz­ard: De­gen­er­a­tion (2008)

A pre­lude to the game Res­i­dent Evil 5, thus made for the fans. It can also be tak­en as a fol­low-up to RE: Apoc­a­lypse de­vi­at­ing from the way the movie se­ries is go­ing. The purists will love it, but as a film it has enor­mous plot holes, stu­pid char­ac­ters, cheesy di­a­logue and the an­i­ma­tion is sub­par.


Bird Box (2018)

Rais­ing in­evitable com­par­isons to The Hap­pen­ing and A Qui­et Place, this movie may not be a great ex­am­ple of orig­i­nal­i­ty but of­fers a very sol­id and of­ten scary plot about parental pro­tec­tion (or over­pro­tec­tion) ver­sus tak­ing risks in a world of in­vis­i­ble, blind­ing dan­gers.


The Bird­cage (1996)

With a de­li­cious­ly flam­boy­ant Nathan Lane steal­ing the scene and Robin Williams in a great­ly nu­anced com­po­si­tion, this fun com­e­dy also boasts elab­o­rate cam­era move­ments and knows re­al­ly well how fun­ny it is, not even re­sort­ing to any sort of cute mu­sic to un­der­line its hu­mor.


Bir­d­em­ic (2010)

An em­bar­rass­ing dreck that is so bad it de­fies com­pre­hen­sion, with what seems to be the most in­com­pe­tent edit­ing and worst (un­mixed) sound ever. And what to say of those ridicu­lous CGI birds? Even Ed Wood would run away from some­thing like this.


Bird­man: Or (The Un­ex­pect­ed Virtue of Ig­no­rance) (2014)

A spec­tac­u­lar piece of vir­tu­oso cin­e­ma that im­press­es not only for its re­mark­able tech­ni­cal achieve­ment (Lubez­ki reached heav­ens with that jaw-drop­ping “forged” long-take), but also for be­ing an in­cred­i­bly well-con­struct­ed (and hi­lar­i­ous) char­ac­ter study with Michael Keaton in a mag­nif­i­cent ca­reer-defin­ing per­for­mance.


The Birth of a Na­tion (1915)

It was def­i­nite­ly in­no­v­a­tive in many ways when it came out and still de­liv­ers a time­less anti-war mes­sage, but it is near­ly im­pos­si­ble to read “the help­less white mi­nor­i­ty” and not feel out­raged by the film’s odi­ous racism as it vil­i­fies black peo­ple and glo­ri­fies the Ku Klux Klan.


The Birth of a Na­tion (2016)

There is great ma­te­r­i­al for a pow­er­ful dra­ma here, but di­rec­tor Nate Park­er tries too hard to soft­en it and avoid any con­tro­ver­sies re­gard­ing his hero’s ac­tions — which is a pity con­sid­er­ing that they are per­fect­ly un­der­stand­able in view of the hor­ri­ble suf­fer­ing he en­dures.


Bitch Slap (2009)

A trashy, over-the-top and de­li­cious­ly sly ex­ploita­tion flick that comes up as a bitch slap in­deed, with three sexy big-breast­ed chicks kick­ing ass­es and fir­ing huge guns in a styl­ish com­ic book uni­verse and a clever nar­ra­tive full of fun twists.


The Bit­ter Tears of Pe­tra von Kant (1972)

A very sharp, thought-pro­vok­ing and also su­perbly di­rect­ed sto­ry con­ceived with­in a per­fect 4‑act-and-an-epi­logue struc­ture and hav­ing only a room as stage to de­pict the de­grad­ing vices of re­la­tion­ships, like ma­nip­u­la­tion, self-hu­mil­i­a­tion and pow­er games.


A Bit­ter­sweet Life (2005)

A trag­ic tale of re­venge with very well-chore­o­graphed fight­ing and vi­o­lence — which can be shock­ing giv­en the lev­el of phys­i­cal abuse that the char­ac­ter is put through -, and it fea­tures a spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance by Byung-hun Lee and a sur­pris­ing­ly beau­ti­ful, touch­ing end­ing.


Biu­ti­ful (2010)

This sad and de­press­ing dra­ma wants to rely on an un­bear­able sense of tragedy that does­n’t al­ways feel gen­uine, but even so it ben­e­fits from a strong per­for­mance by Bar­dem, who is able to in­ject some com­plex­i­ty into his char­ac­ter de­spite the rather ar­ti­fi­cial plot.


Björk: Bio­phil­ia Live (2014)

Bio­phil­ia is not one of my fa­vorite Björk al­bums, far from it ac­tu­al­ly, but for the fans out there who love it more than I do this con­cert film will cer­tain­ly prove to be a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence, a psy­che­del­ic trip in which her mu­sic is in­ter­wo­ven so har­mon­i­cal­ly with beau­ti­ful im­ages.


Black Box BRD (2001)

An un­in­ter­est­ing and frus­trat­ing­ly dull doc­u­men­tary that makes us want to know more about what mo­ti­vat­ed Wolf­gang Grams but keeps forc­ing us to see and hear end­less peo­ple talk about his and Al­fred Her­rhausen’s lives like two very su­per­fi­cial bi­ogra­phies thrown to­geth­er.


The Black Caul­dron (1985)

It is too un­com­fort­ably dark for chil­dren (in a way that made me think of He-Man), while also too sil­ly, shal­low and un­mem­o­rable for an old­er au­di­ence — thus, not aimed at any au­di­ence in par­tic­u­lar and flawed enough to be re­mem­bered only for its tech­ni­cal ac­com­plish­ment.


Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014)

It is baf­fling to see that the Berlin In­ter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val gave the Gold­en Bear to this ster­ile movie that plods along through some very dull rev­e­la­tions and does­n’t work in any lev­el: not as a mystery/thriller/film noir, nor as a ro­mance, nor even as a char­ac­ter study.


Black Christ­mas (1974)

Even if un­even and with many un­nec­es­sary scenes that are there just to bloat the pa­per-thin plot, this is an ef­fec­tive hor­ror movie (and one of the pre­cur­sors of the slash­er sub­genre) that can be quite dis­turb­ing and tense when re­fus­ing to re­veal the killer’s iden­ti­ty.


Black Christ­mas (2006)

Just an­oth­er shit­ty re­make in a world so full of many: un­pleas­ant (but not in a good way), com­plete­ly de­void of scares and with an aw­ful, unimag­i­na­tive plot in which no one is smart enough to call the po­lice when things be­come se­ri­ous­ly weird.


Black Dy­na­mite (2009)

An amus­ing and some­times hi­lar­i­ous trib­ute to low-bud­get 1970s blax­ploita­tion films, with clum­sy zooms, sat­u­rat­ed col­ors and in­ten­tion­al film­ing er­rors to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of be­long­ing to that era — some­thing that Taran­ti­no could have done bet­ter in his Death Proof.


Black God, White Dev­il (1964)

An es­sen­tial mile­stone of Brazil­ian Cin­e­ma that boasts a strong so­ciopo­lit­i­cal con­science and throws us in­side a pow­er­ful amal­gam of hope­less re­al­i­ty and night­mar­ish mys­ti­cism in a cru­el sertão plagued by star­va­tion, drought, vi­o­lence and re­li­gious fa­nati­cism.


Black Ice (2007)

A tense psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller that grows grip­ping and suf­fo­cat­ing as we fol­low a cheat­ed woman car­ry­ing a twist­ed plan of re­venge till the last con­se­quences — and it is bril­liant­ly di­rect­ed, pay­ing great at­ten­tion to de­tails, and with two amaz­ing per­for­mances by the lead ac­tress­es.


Black Mass (2015)

The trail­er is in­cred­i­bly mis­lead­ing and makes the film seem like a Taran­ti­noesque com­e­dy when in fact it is dense and too se­ri­ous in tone, but at least it is­n’t that bad once you stop car­ing about John­ny Dep­p’s ridicu­lous make­up and every­one else’s an­noy­ing faux-Boston­ian ac­cent.


Black Mir­ror: Ban­der­snatch (2018)

If the in­ten­tion was to cre­ate some kind of anti-in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, then this is re­al­ly un­set­tling with its ideas about con­trol and free will, which could­n’t be more in ac­cor­dance with the way it ties our hands; and yet, I would have def­i­nite­ly liked to see a much bet­ter plot here.


Black Pan­ther (2018)

It was about time we saw a Mar­vel su­per­hero block­buster star­ring most­ly African-Amer­i­can ac­tors and achiev­ing the suc­cess and pop­u­lar­i­ty that it did — and even bet­ter is how great it is, with a thrilling cli­max and re­lat­able char­ac­ters that com­pen­sate for a cou­ple of flaws in the script.


Black Sab­bath (1963)

The vi­su­als may be im­pres­sive, but log­ic is def­i­nite­ly not Bava’s forte, and so the first two sto­ries we see here are laugh­ably ridicu­lous (with also some se­ri­ous misog­y­nis­tic and racist un­der­tones) while the last one (“The Drop of Wa­ter”) is the only ef­fec­tive­ly creepy.


Black Sun­day (1960)

Bava may have a good eye for shad­ows and com­po­si­tions, but his sil­ly plot (which clear­ly bor­rows from Drac­u­la) does­n’t make much sense once you stop to think about it, and so the re­sult, which is now ter­ri­bly dat­ed, ba­si­cal­ly ranges from pa­thet­ic to laugh­able, with aw­ful di­a­logue and act­ing.


Black Swan (2010)

Port­man is dragged into in­san­i­ty in what is for sure one of the most ex­tra­or­di­nary per­for­mances of her ca­reer, and this is a spec­tac­u­lar (and fan­tas­ti­cal­ly di­rect­ed) film that dives into the psy­che of a dis­turbed char­ac­ter with a lot of sym­bol­ism and an in­cred­i­ble in­ten­si­ty.


Black Venus (2010)

A dev­as­tat­ing and emo­tion­al­ly ex­haust­ing film that ex­pos­es with­out con­ces­sions (al­most like a doc­u­men­tary and with the use of ex­treme close-ups) the real-life suf­fer­ing of a poor woman bru­tal­ly ex­ploit­ed, hu­mil­i­at­ed and treat­ed like an an­i­mal for oth­er peo­ple’s plea­sure.


The Black­coat’s Daugh­ter (2015)

The film is quite ef­fec­tive in the way it builds a dark, un­set­tling at­mos­phere that makes us feel that some­thing is wrong even if we don’t know ex­act­ly what, but still it fails to de­vel­op its themes and char­ac­ters more con­sis­tent­ly and just makes it re­al­ly hard for us to care.


Black­fish (2013)

A re­volt­ing and well-edit­ed doc­u­men­tary that ex­pos­es the in­fu­ri­at­ing re­al­i­ty be­hind aquat­ic shows per­formed by poor or­cas that are kept in cap­tiv­i­ty and in ex­treme­ly cru­el con­di­tions — and let’s only hope it will make peo­ple re­con­sid­er go­ing to parks like Sea­World ever again.


BlacK­kKlans­man (2018)

With this well-de­served an­swer to The Birth of a Na­tion, Spike Lee tells us a cu­ri­ous sto­ry us­ing plen­ty of hu­mor, con­vic­tion and style while mak­ing a nec­es­sary par­al­lel be­tween those events from the 1970s and the hor­rif­ic resur­gence of racial ha­tred to­day in Trump’s Amer­i­ca.


Blade Run­ner (1982)

A daz­zling post-mod­ern sci-fi noir with an evoca­tive at­mos­phere and a fas­ci­nat­ing philo­soph­i­cal sto­ry about hu­man­i­ty, death and obliv­ion. The splen­did ul­ti­mate deluxe ver­sion, or Fi­nal Cut, is con­sid­er­ably su­pe­ri­or to the the­atri­cal one, with­out its cheap, con­coct­ed hap­py end­ing and ex­pos­i­to­ry nar­ra­tion.


Blair Witch (2016)

Even if the use of the cam­era is a lot more or­gan­ic and nat­ur­al than in the first movie (and in so many oth­er found footage films), this un­o­rig­i­nal re­hash feels un­nec­es­sary and is not only a waste of time thanks to its ef­fec­tive, an­guish­ing third act (ku­dos to the pro­duc­tion de­sign).


Blaz­ing Sad­dles (1974)

There are a few mo­ments here and there that made me laugh out loud, but on a whole this raunchy com­e­dy shoots in every di­rec­tion with a bunch of sil­ly, hit-or-miss gags whose punch lines we can see from miles away — and also, what the hell is so fun­ny about peo­ple fart­ing?


Blind (2014)

An ab­sorb­ing nar­ra­tive ex­er­cise that plays with our per­cep­tion of re­al­i­ty as it makes us see things from the per­spec­tive of its blind pro­tag­o­nist’s imag­i­na­tion, but it may also prove too un­emo­tion­al an ex­pe­ri­ence for some to care about un­re­al char­ac­ters and sit­u­a­tions.


The Blind Side (2009)

A pa­tron­iz­ing dra­ma that uses a ma­nip­u­la­tive nar­ra­tive struc­ture to make you buy its dis­gust­ing mes­sage that for a black young kid such as Big Mike to suc­ceed in life, he should fol­low close­ly what he is told by his “white Re­pub­li­can sav­iors,” for only they know what is best.


Blindspot­ting (2018)

It is hard to see an in­tel­li­gent film that tran­sits so smooth­ly from bud­dy com­e­dy to se­ri­ous dra­ma with­in a struc­ture that is es­sen­tial­ly Shake­speare­an, with char­ac­ters that nev­er seem less than real and a hard-hit­ting racial state­ment de­liv­ered with the nec­es­sary acu­ity and per­cep­tion.


The Bling Ring (2013)

Cop­po­la adopts an in­ter­est­ing neu­tral ap­proach to this iron­ic and wit­ty sto­ry of glam­our and celebri­ty cul­ture, nev­er point­ing fin­gers or try­ing to un­der­stand her char­ac­ters but just tak­ing a wry look at the emp­ty lives of a bunch of shal­low, self­ish and spoiled teenagers.


Bliss­ful­ly Yours (2002)

A lan­guid film that wants to cap­ture a mo­ment in time and cre­ate an evoca­tive at­mos­phere with an im­mer­sive sound de­sign, but di­rec­tor Apichat­pong Weerasethakul seems to think that idyl­lic and te­dious are the same, and so the film ends up hav­ing the ef­fect of a sleep­ing pill.


Blood Sim­ple. (1984)

The Co­ens’ first film was this ex­treme­ly well-writ­ten and well-di­rect­ed neo-noir that blends vi­o­lence and hu­mor and re­lies on an in­sane amount of mis­un­der­stand­ings and ab­sur­di­ties in­volv­ing its char­ac­ters — some­thing that would be­come their trade­mark nar­ra­tive style.


Blood Ties (2013)

It is a world of men, and so all fe­male char­ac­ters are one-di­men­sion­al and re­volve around them, while Bil­ly Crudup de­liv­ers the only nu­anced per­for­mance in a weak movie filled with too many char­ac­ters who are most­ly un­der­de­vel­oped and make it lose fo­cus like a soap opera.


Blow-Up (1966)

An­to­nioni shows a won­der­ful eye for col­ors, shapes and stun­ning com­po­si­tions, re­ly­ing most­ly on David Hem­mings’ im­pec­ca­ble per­for­mance and Car­lo di Pal­ma’s ex­cep­tion­al cin­e­matog­ra­phy to dis­solve the lim­its be­tween re­al­i­ty and our per­cep­tion of it.


The Blue An­gel (1930)

What is most mem­o­rable in this first-rate trag­ic clas­sic, apart from Jan­nings’ su­perb per­for­mance, is Mar­lene Di­et­rich’s in­cred­i­bly en­tic­ing, mag­net­ic pres­ence — which not by chance launched her into in­ter­na­tion­al star­dom -, but the film also looks and sounds a bit dat­ed to­day.


Blue Is the Warmest Col­or (2013)

Kechiche does a phe­nom­e­nal work to adapt a maudlin graph­ic nov­el into this pow­er­ful, deeply sin­cere and dev­as­tat­ing dra­ma that gets un­der our skin with an in­cred­i­bly real in­ten­si­ty and is lift­ed even more by a sen­sa­tion­al, Os­car-de­serv­ing per­for­mance by Exar­chopou­los.


Blue Jas­mine (2013)

At the head of a great cast, Cate Blanchett de­served all the awards that she got for her fan­tas­tic per­for­mance in this thought-pro­vok­ing char­ac­ter study, giv­en how she is able to in­spire our most pro­found sym­pa­thy as a piti­ful woman who we would hard­ly want to have around us in real life.


Blue Jay (2016)

What is most in­cred­i­ble in this pro­found­ly sen­si­tive, ma­ture dra­ma is that there is no script and the won­der­ful di­a­logue is en­tire­ly im­pro­vised, while Du­plass and Paul­son have such an amaz­ing chem­istry to­geth­er that every­thing their char­ac­ters tell each oth­er sounds so real and painful.


The Blue Light (1932)

One of Hitler’s fa­vorite films was this well-pho­tographed but harm­less fa­ble that does­n’t of­fer much to com­pen­sate for how dull and sil­ly it is — not to men­tion the ob­vi­ous prob­lem that aris­es from the fact that a blue light is the last thing that can be seen in a black-and-white movie.


The Blue Room (2014)

It is very hard to find some­thing ap­peal­ing in a ster­ile dra­ma that plods along with a sus­pense de­void of ten­sion, dull court­room scenes and a who­dunit plot that is nev­er en­gag­ing, all with­out mak­ing us re­late to its char­ac­ters in any lev­el, es­pe­cial­ly when they are all equal­ly dull.


Blue Ruin (2013)

A vis­cer­al re­venge sto­ry whose nerve-wrack­ing ten­sion is com­bined so well with a dark sense of hu­mor as it fol­lows the in­ept (and some­times hi­lar­i­ous) ef­forts of its am­a­teur pro­tag­o­nist, mov­ing in a de­lib­er­ate, slow-burn­ing pace to­wards a lac­er­at­ing con­clu­sion.


Blue Valen­tine (2010)

The care­ful pac­ing and three-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters are what makes this dra­ma so re­al­is­tic and in­volv­ing, a won­der­ful and sin­cere por­trait of a re­la­tion­ship in col­lapse and how the weight of real life can ir­re­me­di­a­bly dam­age the hap­py-end dream for a cou­ple liv­ing to­geth­er.


The Blues Broth­ers (1980)

Even if it is bloat­ed, over­long and not re­al­ly able to main­tain a reg­u­lar rhythm for a com­e­dy, thus drag­ging ex­ceed­ing­ly and mak­ing its jokes feel sparse some­times, this is still a charm­ing film that can be very fun­ny in its best mo­ments to com­pen­sate for those flaws.


Body (2015)

I nev­er like to think of what a movie could have been, but it is hard not to do so when you see an unin­spired film like this that, de­spite a few good cyn­i­cal mo­ments, is gen­er­al­ly su­per­fi­cial in its am­bi­tions and hard­ly man­ages to be tense, en­gag­ing or any­thing be­yond cliched.


Body Dou­ble (1984)

Bri­an De Pal­ma seems to be en­joy­ing quite a lot to poke fun at the ar­ti­fi­cial­i­ty of cin­e­ma with this de­li­cious pas­tiche that pays homage to Hitch­cock­’s films (main­ly Ver­ti­go and Rear Win­dow) and plays with the lim­its of nar­ra­tive and lan­guage as he in­jects his own style into it.


Body Elec­tric (2017)

By fo­cus­ing the ac­tion on a se­ries of seem­ing­ly un­event­ful sit­u­a­tions that may trick us into think­ing they are triv­ial, Cae­tano cre­ates a sub­tle film that takes place be­tween the lines of what is shown, when we are able to catch glimpses of what must be weigh­ing on the char­ac­ter’s soul.


Bo­hemi­an Rhap­sody (2018)

In the end, it does­n’t re­al­ly mat­ter that you have all those amaz­ing songs and some fan­tas­tic per­for­mances if the movie’s script is so lazy and mediocre at best, un­able to ex­plore who Fred­die Mer­cury was as a per­son and frus­trat­ing­ly su­per­fi­cial about the whole thing (in­clud­ing the songs).


Bone Tom­a­hawk (2015)

The third act is only bru­tal­ly shock­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing be­cause of Zahler’s wise de­ci­sion to take his time and fo­cus the first two acts on the char­ac­ters, thus calm­ly de­vel­op­ing their mo­ti­va­tions and per­son­al­i­ties in or­der to make us care about the hor­rors that be­fall them next.


The Book of Eli (2010)

The di­rec­tion is so ridicu­lous­ly over­styl­ish, with a showy cam­era fly­ing through win­dows and door holes so many times, that it al­most made me for­get how beau­ti­ful the sta­t­ic shots are. Even worse is the ter­ri­ble sto­ry, a huge mess with sev­er­al plot holes, im­pos­si­ble twists and con­spic­u­ous re­li­gious preach­ing every­where.


The Book Thief (2013)

Messy as this asep­tic dra­ma is from a nar­ra­tive point of view, with lan­guage in­con­sis­ten­cies and dozens of point­less el­e­ments, it is also a mys­tery what it wants to say af­ter all, lack­ing emo­tion­al weight and ten­sion while be­ing com­plete­ly de­tached from the real world.


Das Boot (1981)

A tense, claus­tro­pho­bic and in­tense film that makes us em­pathize with sol­diers from the wrong side of an in­glo­ri­ous war, and what a a ter­rif­ic cin­e­matog­ra­phy and out­stand­ing sound and sound de­sign, es­pe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing that the whole movie was shot silent and lat­er re-dubbed.


Bor­der (2018)

De­spite drag­ging a bit to­wards the end, this is an atyp­i­cal fan­tas­tic ro­mance that can be more bizarre and shock­ing than one would imag­ine — and Eva Me­lander and Eero Milonoff are phe­nom­e­nal un­der tons of in­cred­i­ble make­up that al­most made me be­lieve their char­ac­ters were real.


Born to Be Blue (2015)

A ma­ture romance/biopic that takes an an­guish­ing look at the life of a self-de­struc­tive artist strug­gling to have his old life back af­ter be­com­ing a hero­in ad­dict, with Ethan Hawke con­vey­ing an ex­cep­tion­al­ly nu­anced com­bi­na­tion of ar­ro­gance, vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty and de­ter­mi­na­tion.


Born Yes­ter­day (1950)

Judy Hol­l­i­day steals the show in this very fun­ny and sur­pris­ing­ly thought-pro­vok­ing ro­man­tic com­e­dy about the im­por­tance of think­ing and seek­ing knowl­edge in our so­ci­ety, where, still to­day, opin­ions are shaped by a rul­ing class that wants to con­serve its po­si­tion of pow­er.


The Boss Baby (2017)

There is ab­solute­ly no ex­cuse for this crap­py an­i­ma­tion to have been nom­i­nat­ed for the Acad­e­my Awards (or any­thing oth­er than the Razz­ies, which is what it de­served), since every­thing we see here is poor­ly thought out, the gags are pedes­tri­an and ter­ri­bly un­fun­ny, and the plot just lame.


Bot­tle Rock­et (1996)

De­spite los­ing fo­cus af­ter a while and over­stay­ing its wel­come, Wes An­der­son­’s fea­ture de­but was al­ready an ear­ly show­case of his im­pres­sive tal­ent and great eye for com­po­si­tions, of­fer­ing us enough un­pre­ten­tious amuse­ment for as long as it lasts and reach­ing a hi­lar­i­ous cli­max.


The Bourne Iden­ti­ty (2002)

A thrilling movie that com­bines old-school es­pi­onage and great ac­tion scenes with in­tel­li­gence and fine per­for­mances, and it is sur­pris­ing how it works so well con­sid­er­ing the many dif­fi­cul­ties be­tween Li­man and the stu­dio that led to a lot of rewrites and reshoots dur­ing pro­duc­tion.


The Bourne Su­prema­cy (2004)

Even su­pe­ri­or to the first movie, this ex­hil­a­rat­ing se­quel boasts a lot of ac­tion while it is al­ways ex­cit­ing to see Bourne use his brains and skills to stay one step ahead of the peo­ple who are af­ter him, cre­at­ing a clever in­ver­sion of roles in which the hunters be­come the prey.


The Bourne Ul­ti­ma­tum (2007)

This ex­cel­lent third chap­ter is the best of the tril­o­gy, with non-stop thrilling ac­tion, great per­for­mances and an in­tel­li­gent plot that plays with our own per­cep­tion of what we thought we knew (es­pe­cial­ly the last scene of the pre­vi­ous film) to come up with a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion.


The Bourne Lega­cy (2012)

A pa­thet­ic and use­less fol­low-up to an ex­cel­lent tril­o­gy, mak­ing us fol­low an­oth­er fugi­tive guy while Ja­son Bourne is only men­tioned but nev­er ap­pears. Be­sides, apart from a few ef­fi­cient scenes, it is most­ly con­fus­ing and te­dious, es­pe­cial­ly in its unin­spired chase scenes.


Bowl­ing for Columbine (2002)

You may not agree with Moore’s some­times ques­tion­able meth­ods, but there is no deny­ing that he presents some very strong ar­gu­ments in this im­por­tant, thought-pro­vok­ing ex­posé of what dri­ves and mo­ti­vates these oc­cur­rences in a coun­try where fear is in­stilled into peo­ple by a crip­pled sys­tem.


The Box (2009)

For­get the box, the only real mys­tery in this huge atroc­i­ty is how a tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor like Richard Kel­ly could have de­vised it from a sto­ry by Richard Math­e­son, with aw­ful di­a­logue, ter­ri­ble act­ing and a ridicu­lous plot that does­n’t make any sense and does­n’t know how to end.


The Box­trolls (2014)

A de­cent and vi­su­al­ly pleas­ing 3D CGI stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion that is en­joy­able but does­n’t do much out­side the box, as it touch­es upon some in­ter­est­ing themes but nev­er ex­plores them in an en­tire­ly sat­is­fy­ing way — even though it does have its share of good mo­ments.


The Boy (2015)

As in­nocu­ous as its ti­tle, it is aw­ful­ly di­rect­ed and edit­ed, poor­ly paced and huge­ly in­com­pe­tent in what­ev­er it is try­ing to do as it fails to por­tray the kid’s evo­lu­tion into a psy­chopath (he comes off as just an­noy­ing), and it is only not a com­plete dis­as­ter be­cause of its force­ful end­ing.


The Boy (2016)

The premise is creepy enough and could have been made into some­thing much bet­ter than this stu­pid hor­ror movie that is so ba­nal, poor­ly writ­ten (the char­ac­ter’s mo­ti­va­tions are laugh­able) and full of clichés (does any­one still get scared by those cheap dream scares?)


Boy A (2007)

Re­ly­ing on an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance by An­drew Garfield and at first a thought-pro­vok­ing film about guilt, atone­ment and the right to start over as a new per­son, af­ter two in­trigu­ing acts it all soon ends in a con­trived con­clu­sion that is dis­ap­point­ing and in­sub­stan­tial.


Boy and the World (2013)

With a sim­ple and love­ly an­i­ma­tion in pen­cil and cray­on full of blank spaces con­trast­ed with a kalei­do­scope of im­ages to show a world seen through the eyes of a child, this is an im­pres­sive sto­ry that grows to be­come a rel­e­vant com­men­tary, even if it is not re­al­ly sub­tle in do­ing so.


Boy Erased (2018)

An­oth­er film that suf­fers from a non-lin­ear struc­ture, as Edger­ton breaks the flow of his sto­ry with un­nec­es­sary flash­backs and cre­ates a some­times con­fus­ing, dis­ori­ent­ing feel­ing, and it is also a pity that there are only few mo­ments that make what we see here stand out.


Boy­hood (2014)

A fas­ci­nat­ing and ex­treme­ly cap­ti­vat­ing project shot over the course of twelve years to fol­low a boy from his child­hood to his late ado­les­cence, and what is most im­pres­sive is how flu­id it al­ways is even with a frag­ment­ed na­ture that does­n’t rely on a de­fined plot­line.


Boys (2014)

A stu­pid film that em­braces near­ly every cliché of the gay-themed dra­ma sub­genre with a com­plete dis­re­gard for struc­ture — as can be seen from the char­ac­ter’s er­rat­ic be­hav­ior that makes him look like a self­ish re­tard and a sub­plot in­volv­ing his broth­er that is sim­ply dis­card­ed.


The Boys Are Back (2009)

A touch­ing dra­ma with a great melan­choly sound­track by Sig­ur Rós and an out­stand­ing per­for­mance by Clive Owen as an adorable char­ac­ter whose ac­tions you may not agree with but still you em­pathize with his hon­est ef­forts to raise his sons the way he be­lieves to be the best.


The Boys from Brazil (1978)

It ben­e­fits from an in­trigu­ing mys­tery (though more lu­di­crous than dis­turb­ing), while Olivi­er and Peck have both their mo­ments of ex­cel­lence in a com­pelling thriller where they most­ly seem to be in a hi­lar­i­ous dis­pute to see who over­acts more and de­vours the whole scenery.


Boyz n the Hood (1991)

An un­pre­ten­tious por­trait of a neigh­bor­hood dom­i­nat­ed by vi­o­lence, po­lice abuse and even misog­y­ny, and, while it does have some fun­ny mo­ments, it is a se­ri­ous, re­al­is­tic look at a slice of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety at con­stant odds with lim­it­ed op­por­tu­ni­ties and pub­lic in­dif­fer­ence.


BPM (Beats per Minute) (2017)

The ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing this film can be near­ly un­bear­able, as it not only de­picts the stren­u­ous ef­forts of ACT UP in the ’80s but main­ly forces us to look and face the hor­ri­ble con­se­quences of an epi­dem­ic that ru­ined the lives of so many peo­ple while those in pow­er re­fused to see.


Brain­storm (2000)

Both a show­case of Ro­dri­go San­toro’s tal­ent and an ex­posé of the hor­ri­ble con­di­tions of men­tal in­sti­tu­tions in Brazil (based on a real life sto­ry), this is an trag­ic and un­set­tling dra­ma that looks quite re­al­is­tic with its use of hand­held cam­era and blueish cin­e­matog­ra­phy.


Bram Stok­er’s Drac­u­la (1992)

Cop­po­la tries so hard to make some­thing styl­ish above any­thing else that his film seems like a lu­di­crous com­e­dy, with so many laugh­able cam­era move­ments, ridicu­lous over­act­ing and cheesy ef­fects in a most­ly in­co­her­ent adap­ta­tion of what is sup­posed to be a ter­ri­fy­ing sto­ry.


Bran­ca­le­one at the Cru­sades (1970)

With an al­ways price­less Vit­to­rio Gassman and this time even in­clud­ing some fan­ta­sy in its plot, this in­tel­li­gent, hi­lar­i­ous and fab­u­lous se­quel is al­most on a par with the orig­i­nal Ital­ian mas­ter­piece, al­though I re­al­ly miss Gian Maria Volon­té and the end­ing is not so great.


The Brand New Tes­ta­ment (2015)

I hate Poelvo­orde and it is a tor­ture to en­dure him in this com­plete fail­ure that does­n’t work as a com­e­dy (it is sim­ply not fun­ny) nor as the clever, in­sight­ful para­ble that it (wrong­ly) be­lieves to be, be­ing in­stead dull, emp­ty and point­less, while suf­fer­ing from se­ri­ous tonal prob­lems.


Brasil­ia, Con­tra­dic­tions of a New City (1968)

While the mu­sic feels a bit ex­ces­sive some­times, this is a con­cise and in­for­ma­tive doc­u­men­tary that may be too short to cov­er more as­pects of the city but touch­es on some very in­ter­est­ing points as it takes a look at its de­press­ing con­tra­dic­tions.


Brave (2012)

Af­ter Cars 2, Pixar con­tin­ues in its down­ward spi­ral with an­oth­er sub­par an­i­ma­tion. On one hand, it is great to see an in­de­pen­dent princess who does­n’t need a prince to pro­tect her — but a pity though that the weak script re­lies on a quite ob­vi­ous, un­o­rig­i­nal mes­sage.


The Bread­win­ner (2017)

With beau­ti­ful vi­su­als and a sim­i­lar premise to the dev­as­tat­ing Osama, this is a poignant an­i­mat­ed film that does­n’t shy away from its har­row­ing sub­ject and yet is able to come up with a sur­pris­ing amount of light­ness in the fan­ta­sy sto­ries that its pro­tag­o­nist al­ways re­turns to.


Break­away (1966)

It be­comes un­set­tling to see and hear the film run­ning back­wards af­ter it is over, as Toni Basil seems to be fight­ing des­per­ate­ly to break free with her fre­net­ic dance moves from the cel­lu­loid chains that hold her still in each frame and locked with­in the screen.


Break­ing the Waves (1996)

It is cu­ri­ous to see how Lars von Tri­er uses a num­ber of plot el­e­ments and de­vices that could be sim­ply con­sid­ered too hard to buy and more ap­pro­pri­ate in a soap opera, and yet he man­ages to make every­thing so touch­ing and gen­uine­ly dev­as­tat­ing, with a pow­er­ful per­for­mance by Emi­ly Wat­son.


Break­fast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This adorable blend of ro­mance, com­e­dy and sweet­ness in­cludes sev­er­al new nar­ra­tive el­e­ments and sig­nif­i­cant al­ter­ations in the orig­i­nal sto­ry that only add to it mak­ing it even more de­light­ful — and even if mis­cast, Hep­burn sur­pris­es with a very spe­cial per­for­mance.


The Break­fast Club (1985)

An adorable clas­sic of the ’80s that still feels fresh, show­ing five teenage kids open­ing up about their per­son­al prob­lems with a great di­a­logue and in­spired ac­tions — and it is Judd Nel­son who is un­for­get­table as the rebel young­ster that acts as the cat­a­lyst of every­one’s emo­tions.


Break­ing In (2018)

There is noth­ing re­mote­ly orig­i­nal, clever, en­ter­tain­ing, tense or ex­cit­ing in this lousy break-in thriller that reuses the dullest clichés you could think of and is filled with dumb char­ac­ters who make the most stu­pid de­ci­sions all the time, even when try­ing to ap­pear smart.


Breath (2007)

With this ten­der and sen­si­tive film that ought to be felt and ex­pe­ri­enced, Kim Ki-Duk ex­plores again many of the nar­ra­tive el­e­ments that are also present in his pre­vi­ous films and which he is so fas­ci­nat­ed about, such as love, si­lence, lone­li­ness and the pas­sage of time.


The Breath (2009)

This Turk­ish piece of Na­tion­al­ist pro­pa­gan­da could have been a nice char­ac­ter study if it weren’t for its pa­thet­ic di­rect­ing choic­es (the dream scenes and delu­sions are ridicu­lous) and all that aw­ful, pseu­do-pro­found po­et­ry con­stant­ly de­claimed through­out the whole film.


Breath­ing (2011)

With an ex­cel­lent di­rec­tion by Karl Markovics (who also wrote the script and starred in The Coun­ter­feit­ers), this is a mov­ing dra­ma that fol­lows a nu­anced and well-con­struct­ed char­ac­ter played im­pres­sive­ly well by the so far un­known but very tal­ent­ed Thomas Schu­bert.


Bride of Franken­stein (1935)

Whale re­turns to his Franken­stein with this amus­ing se­quel that has an even campi­er, de­li­cious­ly wrier hu­mor and of­fers more depth to Karlof­f’s Mon­ster, while every­thing is also more com­plete here (de­spite gaps in log­ic), in­clud­ing a score that was miss­ing in the orig­i­nal movie.


Bride of Re-An­i­ma­tor (1989)

It is clear­ly meant to be a ref­er­ence to Bride of Franken­stein but the script is stu­pid and makes very lit­tle sense con­sid­er­ing what hap­pened in the first film. Still, Jef­frey Combs and David Gale steal the scene and the movie has some nice mo­ments of gory hu­mor.


Bride of the Mon­ster (1955)

If you are ac­quaint­ed with Ed Wood’s works, you know well what to ex­pect, but the prob­lem is that this is nev­er bad enough to be worth a laugh, only a hor­ri­ble schlock full of hideous per­for­mances and with a plot that de­fies all com­pre­hen­sion and good sense.


The Bride with White Hair (1993)

I can clear­ly see where the in­spi­ra­tion for my beloved Xena came from, but this cheesy Hong Kong mar­tial arts film is just pass­able en­ter­tain­ment that re­lies too much on the use of step-print­ed slow mo­tion and is filled with rep­e­ti­tion and ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue in­stead of enough fight­ing.


Bride­groom (2013)

Sure it could have been less drip­py and re­lied less on talk­ing heads, but this doc­u­men­tary at least makes up for that with the strength of what it tells: a heart­break­ing sto­ry about a stu­pid death, the pain that comes with it and the in­tol­er­ance of re­li­gious peo­ple.


Brideshead Re­vis­it­ed (2008)

This is an in­ter­est­ing yet cer­tain­ly not mem­o­rable dra­ma with fine per­for­mances and a strong sto­ry about fam­i­ly, re­li­gion and faith in the con­text of the deca­dence of British aris­toc­ra­cy pri­or to WWII, and it may leave you think­ing about it long af­ter the film is over.


Brides­maids (2011)

A hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy with a gross sense of hu­mor that el­e­vates its first act to in­cred­i­bly hi­lar­i­ous be­fore mov­ing con­fi­dent­ly to a more emo­tion­al tone, with Kris­ten Wiig in a great per­for­mance. I can only com­plain, though, that it is a bit over­long and has a rather too-easy con­clu­sion.


Bridge of Spies (2015)

Spiel­berg shows once again that, even with a strong ma­te­r­i­al in his hands, he can’t re­sist giv­ing in to the usu­al lack of sub­tle­ty that has plagued his most re­cent works, and so this is a de­cent but heavy-hand­ed film that is ob­vi­ous even in its score and cin­e­matog­ra­phy.


The Bridge on the Riv­er Kwai (1957)

An ex­cel­lent war movie fo­cused on char­ac­ters rather than on bat­tles, with an in­tense Os­car-win­ning per­for­mance by Alec Guin­ness. The cin­e­matog­ra­phy is not flaw­less, with some scenes vis­i­bly filmed dur­ing the day and dark­ened to ap­pear as night, but this is com­pen­sat­ed by a sus­pense­ful cli­max that is un­for­get­table.


Brid­get Jones’s Di­ary (2001)

Zell­weger is quite adorable in this heart­warm­ing ro­man­tic com­e­dy that com­pen­sates for its rel­a­tive pre­dictabil­i­ty with a lot of charm and heart, and it is also very nice to see how the great songs heard in the film punc­tu­ate what hap­pens on screen with a good deal of sen­si­bil­i­ty.


Brid­get Jones: The Edge of Rea­son (2004)

While in the first movie Brid­get Jones was an adorable char­ac­ter, here she is a neu­rot­ic, ir­ri­tat­ing and self­ish car­i­ca­ture that gets her­self in only stu­pid, ar­ti­fi­cial sit­u­a­tions, and even worse than the fact that this film seems like an un­fo­cused col­lage of sketch­es is that it is not fun­ny at all.


Brid­get Jones’s Baby (2016)

Brid­get Jones used to be adorable and charis­mat­ic in the first film, but now it can be ir­ri­tat­ing to see her be­have so much like a re­tard; be­sides, the movie has a lot of clichés and does­n’t man­age to be con­sis­tent­ly fun­ny, even if it does have its hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments and some charm.


Brief En­counter (1945)

A del­i­cate and tear­ful ro­mance that of­fers a sur­pris­ing­ly hon­est look into ex­tra­mar­i­tal love con­sid­er­ing when it was made, my sole ob­jec­tion be­ing in­tru­sive scenes in­volv­ing sec­ondary char­ac­ters which in­ter­fere some­times with the fo­cus and tone of the main plot­line.


A Brief His­to­ry of Time (1991)

As con­ven­tion­al as a rou­tine doc­u­men­tary made for tele­vi­sion, it feels not only su­per­fi­cial in the way it cov­ers Hawk­ing’s life and the­o­ries (some­times even lack­ing in clar­i­ty) but also ir­ri­tat­ing as it does­n’t let us know who the in­ter­vie­wees are (there are no cap­tions what­so­ev­er).


Bright (2017)

A lousy movie made by some­one who clear­ly doesn’t un­der­stand al­le­gories and who prob­a­bly loves RPGs but has no idea how to write a script — which in this case is full of aw­ful re­dun­dant di­a­logue, wast­ed vil­lains and Will Smith so ir­ri­tat­ing try­ing to be sassy all the time.


Bright Star (2009)

A most­ly gen­teel and re­strained love sto­ry be­tween poet John Keats and Fan­ny Brawne, with very sol­id per­for­mances by Ab­bie Cor­nish, Paul Schnei­der and Ben Whishaw — and there is one par­tic­u­lar­ly cathar­tic scene by the end of the film that did move me to tears.


Brigs­by Bear (2017)

There’s not a sin­gle note in this Spike Jonze wannabe Sun­dance in­die that rings true or plau­si­ble, as it plods along with se­ri­ous tonal is­sues un­til reach­ing a stu­pid end­ing in which the char­ac­ters be­have in ways that are com­plete­ly in­co­her­ent with what we just saw from them.


Bring­ing Up Baby (1938)

It is iron­ic that this en­joy­able film flopped when it was still orig­i­nal and now is high­ly re­gard­ed as a mas­ter­piece when it is ob­vi­ous­ly out­dat­ed and full of sil­ly gags for to­day’s stan­dards — and de­spite her great chem­istry with Grant, Hep­burn is more ir­ri­tat­ing than fun­ny.


Broad­cast News (1987)

It de­served all Os­car nom­i­na­tions it got (es­pe­cial­ly for its ex­cep­tion­al script) and should have re­ceived an­oth­er for best di­rec­tor too, con­sid­er­ing how well Brooks un­der­stands his char­ac­ters and draws im­pec­ca­ble per­for­mances from its three ac­tors, who have an amaz­ing chem­istry to­geth­er.


The Bro­ken Cir­cle Break­down (2012)

An emo­tion­al­ly in­tense, re­al­is­tic and ex­pert­ly edit­ed dra­ma about love, loss and sor­row, with two great heart­felt per­for­mances and a stir­ring blue­grass sound­track. It is just a shame, though, that in the third act it sim­ply choos­es to em­brace a dis­hon­est spir­i­tu­al con­clu­sion.


Bro­ken Em­braces (2009)

A pre­ten­tious and ridicu­lous­ly self-ag­gran­diz­ing melo­dra­ma that feels like an emp­ty ex­cuse to ex­plore the beau­ty of Almod­ó­var’s muse Pené­lope Cruz with his cam­era — and that un­wel­come self-ref­er­ence to one of his clas­sic films is not only un­fun­ny but a com­plete em­bar­rass­ment.


The Brood (1979)

From the mas­ter of body hor­ror David Cro­nen­berg comes this grue­some and thor­ough­ly amus­ing film that is bet­ter to be seen with­out you know­ing any­thing about (even if it is­n’t re­al­ly sur­pris­ing), and it has an un­for­get­table end­ing that could only be­come an in­stant clas­sic.


Brook­lyn (2015)

What makes this hand­some, sen­si­tive dra­ma so lik­able is not only Saoirse Ro­nan’s re­mark­able cen­tral per­for­mance (and her un­de­ni­able chem­istry with Emory Co­hen), but also how well it un­der­stands the pain of home­sick­ness and our long­ing to fig­ure out where home is.


Broth­er (2010)

An hon­est Venezue­lan dra­ma that ben­e­fits from the heart­felt way that it de­picts the in­tense re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two broth­ers and how much they care about each oth­er, and it reach­es a sol­id end­ing that re­flects a harsh re­al­i­ty where dreams get shat­tered by mis­ery and vi­o­lence.


The Broth­er­hood of Sa­tan (1971)

A dread­ful hor­ror movie that seems com­plete­ly in­ca­pable of be­ing any scary, which can be blamed on how aw­ful­ly edit­ed and di­rect­ed it is, with scenes that get stretched much be­yond what we can take — and it does not help that the lame plot is so non­sen­si­cal.


Broth­ers (2009)

A com­pelling dra­ma that ex­am­ines the emo­tion­al im­pact of war on the fam­i­ly of a sol­dier who is pre­sumed dead in Afghanistan. The in­tense per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly by a su­perb To­bey Maguire, and the hon­est di­a­logue pre­vent it from slip­ping into easy melo­dra­ma.


Broth­ers at War (2009)

An hon­est doc­u­men­tary about the lives of Amer­i­can sol­diers in Iraq, ini­tial­ly con­ceived by the film­mak­er as a way to por­tray the rou­tine and ex­pe­ri­ences of his two broth­ers serv­ing there but then grow­ing into some­thing quite re­veal­ing about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween them.


The Broth­ers Bloom (2008)

A de­light­ful, clever and whim­si­cal com­e­dy that boasts great per­for­mances by its en­tire cast and an amus­ing — if also for­get­table — nar­ra­tive with many scenes that bring to mind the hu­mor seen in the films of Wes An­der­son and the Coen broth­ers.


The Brown Bun­ny (2003)

Al­most silent and sur­pris­ing­ly ten­der, this is a sad and haunt­ing por­trait of a man with a bro­ken heart and full of sor­row, and it evokes a con­stant feel­ing of melan­choly and soli­tude, like with the songs that play along the film fol­low­ing the char­ac­ter’s frag­ment­ed state of mind.


Buc­ca­neer Soul (1993)

Vis­i­bly in­spired by the French New Wave in his ap­proach and in the way he fol­lows his in­tu­ition as an artist, Re­ichen­bach cre­ates a very per­son­al yet un­even film that seems to be strug­gling to find a fo­cus but makes up for that with a lot of soul, con­vic­tion and af­fec­tion.


A Buck­et of Blood (1959)

What is most amus­ing in this light, un­pre­ten­tious com­e­dy-hor­ror movie is see­ing how it makes fun of the beat­niks and re­lies on the pro­tag­o­nist’s hi­lar­i­ous mal­adroit­ness for iron­ic ends. Still, the low bud­get shows, es­pe­cial­ly in an unim­pres­sive cli­max that lacks the thrills to make us care.


Bue­na Vista So­cial Club (1999)

The mu­sic is def­i­nite­ly won­der­ful, and it is more than a plea­sure to lis­ten to these mu­si­cians talk about their lives; but it is hard to over­look Wen­ders’ weird di­rec­tion, with his an­noy­ing cam­era cir­cling around them all the time, and the ex­cess of at­ten­tion he pays to Ry Cood­er.


Buf­fa­lo ’66 (1999)

It does­n’t care at all if we are go­ing to hate his char­ac­ter, and de­spite be­ing a bit un­even, es­pe­cial­ly close to the end when its protagonist’s mo­ti­va­tions feel weird­ly out of char­ac­ter, this is an al­ways ab­sorb­ing film that man­ages to make us em­pathize with such a de­testable per­son.


Buffy the Vam­pire Slay­er (1992)

The best thing is that Joss Whe­do­n’s cult TV show is in­fi­nite­ly bet­ter than this cheesy and poor­ly-di­rect­ed (non-canon­i­cal) movie that leaves out near­ly all of the best parts of the script (which is not even that good) and has ba­si­cal­ly only Kristy Swan­son’s charis­ma to com­mend.


Bull­head (2011)

Not re­al­ly about the mafia of hor­mones as it is about a tor­ment­ed man in­se­cure about his mas­culin­i­ty — but the film’s mis­led at­tempt to fo­cus on both sub­jects makes it too com­pli­cat­ed, with so many un­nec­es­sary scenes. Still, Schoe­naerts is per­fect as the fas­ci­nat­ing pro­tag­o­nist.


Bul­ly (2011)

An im­por­tant doc fo­cus­ing on an en­rag­ing mat­ter that has al­ways been a very se­ri­ous prob­lem in schools. Still, it could have been bet­ter edit­ed to have those five sto­ries put to­geth­er — and af­ter a while it even starts to be­come a bit re­dun­dant and rep­e­ti­tious.


Bum­ble­bee (2018)

Michael Bay should take notes from Travis Knight on how to make a Trans­form­ers movie that lets you see and un­der­stand what is hap­pen­ing be­fore your eyes, and this is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing throw­back to the ’80s that looks and feels like some­thing Steven Spiel­berg would have made in that decade.


Buried (2010)

A ma­nip­u­la­tive thriller that wants to be a claus­tro­pho­bic ex­pe­ri­ence but has an ir­ri­tat­ing­ly in­tru­sive score and a heavy-hand­ed, un­nec­es­sar­i­ly over­styl­ish di­rec­tion. Be­sides, Reynolds is not very good and his char­ac­ter acts like an im­be­cile dur­ing most of the film.


Bur­lesque (2010)

I don’t know what is worse, the in­suf­fer­able songs or how this trashy mod­ern mu­si­cal fairy-tale is so pre­dictable, bor­ing and full of clichés from the first scene till the last. There is noth­ing orig­i­nal or re­mote­ly in­ter­est­ing in it and it is­n’t even bad enough to make us laugh.


Burn Af­ter Read­ing (2008)

An in­sane­ly hi­lar­i­ous melange of com­e­dy and thriller as one would imag­ine from the Coen Broth­ers, with a bizarre sto­ry full of char­ac­ters who are stu­pid be­yond com­pre­hen­sion and great per­for­mances by its whole cast, es­pe­cial­ly Brad Pitt steal­ing the scene.


The Burn­ing (1981)

A 1980s slash­er that man­ages to be ef­fi­cient de­spite look­ing so trashy (there are scenes we can’t even say if they are meant to take place dur­ing day or night), de­serv­ing more cred­it for its gore (es­pe­cial­ly in an in­fa­mous raft scene) than for be­ing less brain­less than Fri­day the 13th.


Burn­ing (2018)

Un­like Lee’s pre­vi­ous film Po­et­ry, which could­n’t bring to­geth­er so many plot el­e­ments into a co­he­sive and con­sis­tent whole, here the large num­ber of el­e­ments, de­tails and sub­text are more than cru­cial in the con­struc­tion of a com­plex nar­ra­tive so rich in lay­ers and mean­ing.


Bus 174 (2002)

An al­ways grip­ping, har­row­ing and thought-pro­vok­ing doc­u­men­tary that dives deep into an open sore of Brazil­ian so­ci­ety and ex­pos­es some of the most ter­ri­ble so­cial is­sues that have been dri­ving out of con­trol a city dom­i­nat­ed by vi­o­lence and in­dif­fer­ence.


But I’m a Cheer­leader (1999)

Even as an ex­ag­ger­a­tion, with its overuse of pink/green and show­ing the re­hab camp peo­ple as car­i­ca­tures, this smart satire is ac­tu­al­ly sad­der than fun­ny when you re­al­ize it is not so far from re­al­i­ty, es­pe­cial­ly when you see that id­iots like that re­al­ly ex­ist try­ing to cure gays.


Butch Cas­sidy and the Sun­dance Kid (1969)

A dis­ap­point­ing hip­pie West­ern that is too light for its own good and errs in tone by di­lut­ing the ur­gency of the sto­ry with a tongue-in-cheek hu­mor and end­less land­scape shots that make it painful­ly slow — not to men­tion how hard it is to care about its one-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters.


The But­ler (2013)

A sin­cere dra­ma with good in­ten­tions but which sim­pli­fies an im­por­tant mat­ter to the point of seem­ing rather con­trived and re­duc­tion­ist. De­spite that, it is For­est Whitak­er who makes up for its flaws and for the im­por­tant feel that is ev­i­dent in its cast full of stars.


But­ter on the Latch (2013)

Josephine Deck­er is a ter­ri­bly in­com­pe­tent film­mak­er who clear­ly has no un­der­stand­ing of the ba­sic func­tion of a cam­era or how it works, as she ex­hibits in this emp­ty and in­suf­fer­able waste of time an aw­ful sense of fram­ing and ap­par­ent­ly be­lieves that lack of fo­cus is “art­sy.”


But­ter­fly (2015)

The con­cept of al­ter­nate re­al­i­ties is al­ways in­trigu­ing and Berg­er’s ex­cel­lent edit­ing ex­pert­ly moves be­tween the two sto­ry­lines us­ing flu­id scene tran­si­tions, but the prob­lem is that the sil­ly, unim­pres­sive plot does­n’t have much else to of­fer be­yond a good idea.


By the Grace of God (2018)

I like how Ozon takes his time to fo­cus on each char­ac­ter be­fore mov­ing to the next, cre­at­ing a mo­sa­ic study of the per­son­al trau­ma faced by vic­tims of pe­dophil­ia in the Catholic Church and also of the sol­i­dar­i­ty and friend­ship that grew be­tween those peo­ple who shared a tragedy in com­mon.


Bye Bye Brazil (1980)

While it may seem that it lacks a stronger con­clu­sion, this de­cep­tive­ly sim­ple road movie ben­e­fits from some fine per­for­mances and uses a lot of hu­mor to ad­dress so­cial mat­ters and dis­cuss the alien­ation of a peo­ple strug­gling to find its own iden­ti­ty in deca­dent times.