Liza Minnelli is fabulous and deserved the Oscar she won for her role in this delightful musical that offers great performances from the rest of the cast and keeps us always conscious of an inevitable darkness that lurks in the shadows to stand in the way of the characters’ success.
Cabin Fever (2002)
There is no other way to put it, but Eli Roth is a dick — a nihilistic, misogynist, homophobic and racist dick — and this piece of crap is like a horror movie made by Adam Sandler full of odious characters who are stupid beyond belief, and I couldn’t wait to see that guy Bert get torn to pieces.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
In times of reality shows, this type of meta-film is such a brilliant idea, an incredibly smart and thought-provoking commentary that plays with the conventions of the genre using plenty of humor, sharp irony and intelligence — and the last half-hour is especially amazing.
A terrifying and highly influential milestone of German Expressionism, and also a radically anti-bourgeois work of art that intended back then to express with its chilling stylized visuals the deepest feelings of a post-war society in crisis and in search of artistic innovation.
Apart from a generally effective slapstick humor and a few hilarious scenes (especially all those with Rodney Dangerfield), mostly everything else feels old and dated in this overrated comedy that wastes the talent of its cast in awful lines of improvised dialogue and juvenile gags.
Caesar Must Die (2012)
An interesting docufiction that is both an intelligent meta-narrative feat and an important record of a real production — the staging of Shakespeare in a prison. But above all, it shows how Art can have a transforming impact on even the most unexpected of people.
Café de Flore (2011)
The two types of love that it presents are not comparable and the consequences of Jacqueline’s obsession are just ludicrous, but this is a mysteriously charming film about how things change in our lives — and that wonderful song Café de Flore will probably stick in your head.
Café Lumière (2003)
Hou’s moody tribute to Ozu is more revealing and significant from what is left unsaid as it shows a woman in transit (she spends a good part of the film on moving trains) and who never discusses her pregnancy with her traditional parents. Still, it left me a bit too cold to care.
Café Society (2016)
A weak and self-indulgent Woody Allen movie that lacks in focus, structure and wit, as it seems more concerned about referencing dozens of Golden Age Hollywood stars than having a purpose and looks a lot more cliched than charming, with a cheesy art direction and cinematography.
A true showcase for Aniston’s incredible — yet rarely seen — talent for dramatic roles, given how she brings so much weight to a safe drama that never takes risks and prefers the easy way with clichés, dreams and silly hallucinations that would befit more a movie made for TV.
The Call (2013)
A conventional thriller that doesn’t try anything new but is developed in a relatively satisfying way for most of its running time — until it collapses in a ridiculous, laughable third act that only insults the viewers’ intelligence and believes to be much smarter than it is.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Although it is not always subtle and can be a bit repetitious sometimes, this is a touching coming-of-age drama that benefits from an excellent performance by Timothée Chalamet (a revelation) and understands so well the insecurities and anguish that come with first love.
The Caller (2011)
Matthew Parkhill shows us once again that he is one of the worst directors in the history of Cinema with this ridiculous atrocity that doesn’t make any sense when you stop to think about it for two seconds and is equally full of clichés and devoid of actual thrills.
Although the very idea that a Catholic priest in Ireland would face such increasing rejection does not entirely convince me, this is a provocative and ironic drama centered on a goodhearted but undeniably hypocritical man who represents an institution that has always been a source of pain to so many people.
Cama de Gato (2002)
The choice of songs is terrible and Stockler’s adolescent direction is sometimes exaggerated to the point of hysterical, but I like the energy and freshness that he injects into it (an ironic answer to Dogma 95), even if he sounds like a teenager who just learned to use a camera.
Camille Rewinds (2012)
Needless to say, there is not much originality in this ordinary comedy that reuses the cliched plot of the character who goes back in time to have a second chance in life. Even so, the story proves to be more enjoyable than it leads us to imagine.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
The impression I have is that this is a film struggling to find something to say with the material it has, but the result, however dull at times, manages to be enjoyable and interesting thanks to McCarthy and Grant, who are both too good and have an excellent chemistry together.
The Canal (2014)
Kavanagh is an excellent director who cares about building a disturbing, eerie atmosphere with a superb cinematography and sound design, and the result is a terrifying movie that could have really become a classic if it weren’t for its last ten minutes with such a silly, clichéd twist.
As Canções (2011)
Even though it is simpler and less ambitious than Coutinho’s previous films, this is a surprising collection of conversations with people who subtly reveal a lot about themselves and how some of the songs they consider to be romantic are in fact disturbingly sexist and misogynistic.
An eerie, scary and surprisingly efficient horror film that invests in an atmospheric score and an intriguing mystery about a living rumor who can only be real through his spooky legend — and it firmly keeps its roots in the real world while the gore never feels unnecessary.
This lame sequel is incoherent with regard to the first movie and full of cheap scares followed by some stupid exploding sound. But even worst is to see that the brilliant idea of Candyman being a living rumor is replaced by a ghost-in-the-mirror curse.
The beautiful cinematography and production design illustrate perfectly the character’s meticulousness and tidiness, but it is a pity, though, that what could have been an intriguing character study gets undermined by an artificial and naive attempt at a bizarre love story.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
The real animal killing is revolting but still this controversial and trashy piece of B horror delivers well what it wants to say about the media and journalists who go way too far for the sake of insane sensationalism — even if Deodato seems to be doing the same in the process.
The Canyons (2013)
Apart from Lohan, almost everyone else in the cast is just lame (Deen should stay in porn) and has to deliver some ridiculous exposition amid an atmosphere of cheap soft-porn — and nothing can justify the combined talents of Schrader and Ellis leading to this pointless bore.
Cape Fear (1991)
A stylish neo-noir from Martin Scorsese, more mainstream than the rest of his work but still with his personal touch. It is a smart and anguishing thriller that takes a good time to build tension and boasts a terrifying performance by De Niro as the psychopath Max Cady.
Zain Al Rafeea is a terrific revelation in this powerful and profoundly devastating look at the miserable existence of a poor child who, like many others, deserved so much more from life — and I’m pretty sure his eyes of infinite sadness will haunt me for the rest of my life after this.
Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Michael Moore is more serious than ever before, offering us another very well-edited and thought-out documentary that manages to leave us outraged and indignant just as well over what people and a corrupt system are capable of doing for money.
Another forgettable prequel to The Avengers that doesn’t seem to be something of its own, with a plot that is mostly dull, action scenes that are unimpressive for a superhero movie, and a poorly developed villain with uninspired plans of destroying the world.
While its first half is extremely good, well paced and has electrifying action scenes, the movie soon becomes bloated with silly revelations and twists. Besides, the plot also includes quite a few absurdities that demand a lot of our suspension of disbelief.
Finally an Avengers movie I was waiting for this whole time: complex, intelligent and exhilarating as it divides our heroes into two rival groups at war against each other — each character with compelling motivations for their choices and actions, just as well as the smart villain.
Captain Fantastic (2016)
An irresistible and intelligent film that understands the fascinating complexity of its main character, his questionable actions and the way he believes to be the best to raise his children — which inspires our sympathy even more thanks to Mortensen’s splendid performance.
Captain Marvel (2019)
Everything is so perfunctory and lifeless in this movie that I almost fell asleep several times while watching it, and I can’t see any good reason why this story had to be told except for the obvious fact that it wants to introduce a character who is supposed to be important later.
Captain Phillips (2013)
Greengrass proves once again that he can build apprehension and sustain it like few can, even when we have a good idea of where the plot is heading, and Hanks’ incredible performance raises it from extremely urgent to a deeply moving, heartbreaking experience.
The Captive (2014)
A movie so silly and banal that it may take us a bit longer than usual to realize how actually stupid, implausible and empty it is once it is over, with an awful amount of expository dialogue, poorly-developed characters and a non-linear structure adopted for no purpose at all.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
While Andrew Jarecki is not really honest about the information he provides, especially as he doesn’t even interviews more victims, this is still a shocking and horridly tragic story that calls into serious question the veracity of accusations tainted by the media and public opinion.
A spectacular thriller, gripping, visceral and directed with an intense realism by Trapero, who uses a handheld camera and long takes to simulate a documentary style and keep the audience incredibly tense — and the last scene is fulminating, almost driving the viewers to a heart attack.
It may be interesting as a collection of chronicles about life in a Brazilian prison, but sadly this is a frustratingly superficial and simplistic film that doesn’t discuss the actual causes of the revolt that led to the Carandiru massacre, being also uneven and full of awful talking heads.
Ramirez is outstanding in this biopic that explores the ambiguous nature of a revolutionary terrorist fervently devoted to a cause but who was also a self-centered man wanting to hold power over those around him — and even more fascinating is how the character needs to adapt to the many changes that occur in the world along twenty years. Excellent, but make sure you watch the full 330-minute version, not the condensed one.
What is the point of telling the life story of a princess and not doing anything with it? Everything is so lifeless and didactic, the accents are ridiculous, the sense of humor is awful and it is hard to believe that this was the movie that caused the resumption of Brazilian cinema in the 1990s.
A very funny comedy of manners adapted from an acclaimed play and elegantly directed, even if a bit repetitive after some time — and it takes place entirely inside an apartment, sustained by a sharp dialogue and exquisite performances, with Winslet and Waltz stealing the show.
Carne is a visceral and shocking arthouse short story, a solid forty-minute prelude to Noé’s fantastic full-length film I Stand Alone, superbly edited and crafted like no other director would.
Carnival of Souls (1962)
I can see how this horror movie inspired many others that came after; in any case, despite a solid beginning, there isn’t much here to compensate for the fact that it is so unexciting, predictable, poorly acted, unscary and manages to be very boring with only 78 minutes.
The fact that this absorbing romance exists (and deserves) to be told is a tragic indication of an outrageous intolerance that hasn’t been left in the past but sadly persists even today, and it is a beautifully-directed film with two wonderful central performances and a gorgeous score.
De Palma surprises us with his splendid decision of making a very delicate and emotionally resonant drama from King’s novel (with a magnificent direction, even if not so well edited), leaving the horror only for the tragic climactic explosion of blood and fire in the end.
This passable remake is proof that you can redo a great film in a different way and still obtain an effective result, even if far from the same level of quality — and most of its faults can be attributed to stylistic excesses and obvious inconsistencies that appear in the end.
Carro de Bois (1974)
Though I’m particularly taken aback by this type of solemn mythification of an instrument of animal slavery, I can’t deny how well made, poetic and informative Mauro’s film is about a subject only few of us would probably care to know about.
Cars 2 (2011)
Entertaining but unnecessary, this irregular sequel is the weakest film made by Pixar so far. It wisely goes for something different from the first movie but still suffers from uninspired gags, a deplorable ecological message and a stupid twist in the end.
Cartel Land (2015)
What is most admirable in this excellent film is how Heineman risks his life in the middle of the crossfire with his camera so that he can show us this tragic, appalling and complex situation to which there seems to be no solution and where one step forward means two steps back.
Casa Grande (2014)
A brilliant drama that manages to be both depressing and hilarious in the biting, unapologetic way that it exposes nearly every malaise deep-rooted in Brazilian society, always hitting with remarkable sharpness where it shoots and not letting anyone escape the heavy blow.
This undeniable classic is always charming and irresistible, even if far from perfect — the characters, for instance, do not always act consistently with their personalities. But we’ll always have the love, the classic lines, the timeless scenes and that unforgettable tune.
Case of the Naves Brothers (1967)
It may seem clinical at times, but this is a compelling (and disturbing) film based on a revolting real story that became known as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Brazilian History and which publicly exposed the abuses committed in times of military dictatorship.
The best type of documentary is the one that doesn’t let us notice when a specific subject ends and the next begins, which is the case here: a comprehensive, fascinating and touching film edited into a uniform flow of information without ever seeming irregular or less than brilliant.
By not always allowing us to see where reality ends and fiction begins (which makes entire sense considering what its protagonist does for a living), Pretto’s enthralling piece of docufiction feels like cinéma vérité as he lets us simply observe and participate in this character’s life.
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Miyazaki is a versatile artist who can make just as many thought-provoking stories as lighter ones. This one ranks among the latter, a very delightful animation that has its share of sillier moments but makes up for them with a lot of fun and adventure.
The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
Miyazaki’s directorial debut is an entertaining film that makes for a lot of fun with a very charismatic character in its center, although the action-packed plot is nothing special and certainly not in the level of his better works that came after.
Cat People (1942)
I guess this must have been scary when it was released in 1942, but today it is definitely not scary at all and only seems terribly pretentious, trying to look more profound than it is and getting dull real fast with endless exposition and a lame protagonist played by an awful actress.
Cat Skin (1962)
Even more impressive than this short film’s fast-cut parallel editing is its touching and devastatingly sad ending that illustrates Brazil’s open wound of poverty and social inequality, all in the (equally impressive) concise running time of 12 minutes.
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
At first, it seems like John Waters wants to make an audacious hate letter to mainstream cinema with some nice moments of brilliance, but then you realize his “revolutionaries” are a bunch of freaking tards and the film gets too over-the-top and all over the place to have a point.
The Celebration (1998)
The first film of the Dogme 95 movement is this riveting — and remarkably well put together — amalgam of hilarious farce and devastating family drama, where the dirty laundry is washed in an extremely revealing criticism of a bourgeoisie trying to maintain its status quo.
Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)
An enjoyable rom-com that finds itself smarter and more insightful than it really is, but still it benefits from a great chemistry between the adorable leads — and Jones proves that she is quite talented enough to carry a film on her shoulders.
The Cell (2000)
It is certainly a gorgeous film to look at but the plot is weakened by the fact that Jennifer Lopez is seriously miscast and not at all convincing as a psychiatrist well suited for her job, especially given how the character’s motivations are so unprofessional and confusing in the last act.
Cemetery of Splendour (2015)
What could be more ironic than a film about soldiers falling asleep being such an insufferable drag to watch? — and Mr. Weerasethakul proves once again what a pretentious fraud he is, throwing just about any crap on the screen and knowing that his fans will love it no matter what.
Censored Voices (2015)
A profoundly revolting and eye-opening documentary that exposes the tragedy of Zionism through censored archive records in which Israeli soldiers recount the atrocities they committed in the Six-Day War and which aren’t so different from what was done to the Jews in the Holocaust.
Central Station (1998)
Warm and deeply moving, this is not your typical road movie but a wonderful drama that will make you laugh, cry and in the end feel like you got to know these characters and shared this unique experience with them — a merit also of its two magnificent central performances.
Certain Women (2016)
It is very uninteresting and dull to watch the banality of these women’s lives, and while the film does have a good cast, I can’t find any meaning in this poorly-put-together anthology of which only the last story seems to have something to say after all.
Certified Copy (2010)
A brilliant drama that begins with a realistic approach but then suddenly shifts to a more surrealistic tone after halfway through, becoming so emotionally involving and raising a fascinating discussion about our perception of the value of Art — original or not.
Whereas David Lynch is a master of creating great psychological stories full of symbolism, his daughter Jennifer always barely scratches the surface, here with another obvious film that is not really well conceived, be it literally or metaphorically (as a tale of parental “chains”), and the end is awful.
The Changeling (1980)
An engaging ghost story that deserves more credit for its twisty plot, uncomfortable atmosphere and Medak’s refined direction than for being actually scary (even though it does have its creepy moments), and it boasts a very fine performance by George C. Scott.
Eastwood’s firm direction and Angelina Jolie’s powerful performance help make this a gripping film that is as tough to watch as it is definitely rewarding, and it features a fabulous production design and cinematography as well.
Un Chant d’Amour (1950)
The only film made by the controversial playwright Jean Genet — an extremely sensual and provocative homoerotic tale that was certainly ahead of its time, with so much powerful imagery and intense desire overflowing from the screen.
A stupendous biopic centered on the life of the perfectionist genius obsessed with his work that was Charles Chaplin, and it boasts a spectacular production design, a marvelous script, a beautiful score and Robert Downey Jr. in one of his most amazing performances.
The first two acts are clumsy and overstuffed, with so many plot holes and inconsistencies that it feels like a self-parody, but still it gets saved from being a complete disaster by stunning special effects, an excellent score and a thrilling third act that offers amazing action scenes.
Despite the visible age difference, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn display a nice chemistry together in this charming blend of Hitchcockian thriller and screwball comedy — a classic spy film that benefits from a delicious sense of humor and a fantastic, suspenseful conclusion.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
It is certainly overrated and doesn’t justify the many Oscars it won/was nominated to, but still it is technically competent (especially Vangelis’ music and the film’s editing) even if it is also a bit too conventional and slows down in its second half almost to the speed of a turtle.
Chariots of the Gods (1970)
Some of the mysteries are intriguing, yes, but the fact that many of Däniken’s claims have been proved false calls into question the whole veracity of everything else; not that it changes much, though, since his ideas are a pile of speculative rubbish based on pseudo-scientific fallacies.
The Chaser (2008)
A surprising and intelligent Korean serial killer thriller that defies the viewer’s expectations at every turn and combines taut suspense with black humor to insert an unlikely (anti-)hero in a completely unpredictable plot and hold the audience by the throat.
Chasing Amy (1997)
Joey Lauren Adams got on my nerves with her grating voice, but even so it is hard not to fall in love with this adorable and funny movie (the dialogue is simply wonderful) as Kevin Smith translates in such a surprisingly heartfelt and sincere way the complications of being in love.
Chasing Ice (2012)
A terrifying film that offers both a stunning collection of images and an indisputable evidence of global climate change. It is only a pity, though, that it loses some of its focus wanting to praise Balog’s efforts and doesn’t propose any real scientific solution for the problem.
Chatô: The King of Brazil (2015)
After twenty years of waiting, it is so ironic to finally see that this Brazilian mix of Citizen Kane and Lola Montès is a splendid film that uses a hilarious sense of humor and a confusion of thrombotic hallucinations and memories to make us see it from the point of view of an unreliable narrator.
Che: Part One (2008)
Soderbergh’s political biography about Che Guevara and his involvement in the Cuban Revolution is expertly directed and even feels like a documentary, but is also frustrating as it shows him as a nearly flawless hero and avoids any of the controversies surrounding his character.
Che: Part Two (2008)
This well-made second chapter of Soderbergh’s two-part epic, centered now on Che in the Bolivian guerrilla, is more objective than the first one and does a better job portraying the character more as a man than a hero, which helps make it a slight improvement over Part 1.
This seems more like a project of pure egocentrism and self-indulgence from Jon Favreau, as he plays an idiot surrounded by gorgeous women like Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson in a feel-good story that will only feel good to himself — really, it doesn’t even have a real conflict.
Although not really involving nor exactly compelling, this romantic drama based on Colette is at least charming, with a wonderful production design and a nice chemistry between Pfeiffer and Friend.
Cherry Pop (2017)
It does have its funny inspired moments, but as a whole this is a stupid and poorly-directed comedy that suffers from more misses than hits, with an irritating narration, cheap lip-syncing, no sense of basic chronology and a message that is more insulting than anything else.
Chicken Run (2000)
An exhilarating stop-motion animation that is not only impressively well made and visually spectacular but above all else should be proud of its delicious story full of adorable characters, hilarious dialogue and amazing action scenes, making for so much fun.
Un Chien Andalou (1929)
A mind-blowing piece of work that represents a landmark in Cinema due to its fantastic boldness for the time it came out, making use of Freudian symbolism not only to take us in a dream-like surrealist experience but also to challenge the very conception of narrative.
Child 44 (2015)
It wouldn’t be hard to forgive this messy thriller for its expository dialogue and for being too long and confusing about its purpose, but it is impossible to overlook the way it insults our intelligence with a ridiculous, one-dimensional villain and laughable plot absurdities.
Child’s Pose (2013)
Gheorghiu is fabulous as the monstrous, over-controlling bourgeois mother in this sharp amalgam of social critique and family drama that even manages to make us feel pity towards her, conveying a world of complexities in its details, dialogue and characters’ behavior.
The Children Act (2017)
Emma Thompson is extraordinary as she can be, but in a film that is even more uninteresting and confused than McEwan’s novel, as this feels like two stories brought clumsily together and suffers from not even being able to visually translate so many described feelings onto the screen.
Children of a Lesser God (1986)
A sincere and touching drama with laudable performances by William Hurt and Marlee Matlin, whose wonderful chemistry together always convinces us of their characters’ feelings for each other and of the real, authentic difficulties they meet in their relationship.
Children of Heaven (1997)
It feels almost impossible not to love these two adorable young children who carry on their shoulders this beautiful tale of innocence, poverty and compassion — a film that pulls us with such power into the situation faced by its characters that we can’t be left unmoved.
The Children’s Hour (1961)
From a moral point of view, this is a terribly outdated drama (even if daring for then) that serves as a portrait of an ugly time when it would be considered a danger for children to be “exposed” to lesbian teachers — which the film sometimes also seems to agree as being “unnatural.”
The China Syndrome (1979)
An effectively tense thriller that must have been even more terrifying when it came out, when fear of nuclear power was greater, and it is very well directed (the car chase scene is nerve-wracking) and has three amazing performances from its leads, especially Jack Lemmon.
An extremely complex film noir full of mystery and intelligent twists that keep us always guessing and trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle, while its brilliant script is only matched by Polanski’s excellent direction and Jack Nicholson’s nuanced performance.
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
An odd, entertaining and very funny supernatural romance that blends horror and slapstick humor quite efficiently, with great special effects and a lot of style, even though the musical numbers are pretty embarrassing and the end is a bit frustrating.
Chinese Take-Away (2011)
A delightful film that is not only hilarious but also surprisingly touching, and it never succumbs to cheap melodrama, remaining believable all the time — even with such an odd premise. Also, Ricardo Darín is excellent as always, providing the story with some very funny moments.
Perhaps it should have been called Fatal Attraction 2, since despite his assured direction Egoyan doesn’t seem to realize how incredibly predictable his movie is, with a silly plot that also defies credibility especially regarding the actions of Julianne Moore’s character.
The Chorus (2004)
It is very easy to feel enchanted by the beautiful songs and the accessible, formulaic narrative, but the problem is that this film is in fact a silly fantasy that could hardly take place in real life, with a predictable plot and all those clichés found in movies about inspirational teachers.
A strangely cold drama that doesn’t leave us much room for emotional investment or for anything that we haven’t felt before in superior films about loss, and it is hard to get past the intrusive voice-over and the characters’ self-pity that sometimes borders on masochism.
Christiane F. (1981)
Despite having a dry structure and performances that can be a bit stiff sometimes, the film evokes an intense feeling of hopelessness (especially when we see the city of Berlin bathed in blue) and can be horrific in its graphic depiction of drug abuse by lost teenagers.
The few changes made in the original story only weakens this flawed adaptation and makes its premise seem even more ludicrous than it already is, but at least all this is compensated well enough by the movie’s style, expert editing and Carpenter’s firm direction.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
As an adaptation of a classic story that has been told so many times, this is an impressively well-made motion capture animation with a very fine performance by Jim Carrey. Even so, it would have been better if Zemeckis had left out some of its endless roller-coaster-ride moments.
Christmas Cottage (2008)
I hate these little Christmas family melodramas, and this is a very cheap one with nice performances but very little else worth noticing apart from the fact that Jared Padalecki is a strikingly handsome young actor, and that’s it.
It may be slow for some viewers and the conclusion rather disappointing, but those with patience will find a sensitive character study that benefits from a delicate performance by Tim Roth, reminding us of the power of subtlety and resonance of what is not said out loud.
The structure is a refreshing novelty for this kind of story but also the weak point here, with footage obtained from several different sources (which would be impracticable) and people filming even in illogical circumstances. Even so, the characters are well developed and the climax quite thrilling.
The first-rate special effects and nice adapted script contribute to create this fine, delightful — yet also notably harmless — adventure for the whole family despite the fact that most of the young actors lack in charisma and the plot is longer and more predictable than it seems.
What raises this entertaining sequel a tiny bit above the first movie is definitely its more pronounced urgency and sense of danger, while the action scenes are decent enough and the special effects still great, even though the acting continues to be mediocre.
This movie has such a great production design that it almost makes me forget how lame the story is. The characters are poorly developed, the plot confusing, drifting from one scene to the next without any cohesion, and the religious allegory is now even more obvious, resorting many times to an “Aslan ex machina” that is really frustrating.
Although it is very interesting to learn about how those people living in a heavily controlled Communist regime silently rebelled against the status quo by watching movies, the conclusion it draws in the end sounds more like a silly, unfounded jump than anything else.
La Ciénaga (2001)
There is something fascinating in the way this brilliant film is constructed, directed and edited, as Martel draws a dreary, uncomfortably humid (and even hilariously exaggerated) portrait of Northern Argentinian bourgeoisie, especially with regards to social oppression.
Besides sweet songs and adorable characters, what is so amazing about this fabulous Disney animation — which actually saved the company after the war and brought it back to shape after those forgettable anthologies — is how it creates anticipation even when we know the fairy tale inside out.
In times of subversive and revisionist takes on fairy tales, it is a pleasure to see Branagh be so faithful to the classic story with such a passionate, magical and dazzling approach that includes a gorgeous art direction and costume design, astonishing visual effects and a beautiful score.
More than just an amusing road movie, this wonderful film may seem pretty simple (and even pointless to some) at a first look, but is in fact a delicate story of friendship between two very different men with only broken dreams and uncertainty ahead of them (and João Miguel is fantastic).
Cinema Novo (2016)
Rocha seems to be trying to deliver the kind of poetic documentary or visual essay that perhaps his father Glauber would have made about the movement he helped create, in order to capture its artistic and political essence. But I only wish he had gone deeper into it, though.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
The theatrical version is definitely great, a wonderful homage to Cinema, but the extended director’s cut is a new and altogether different experience that gives a lot more space to the love story, resulting then in a much richer and complete narrative.
Cinema Verite (2011)
A decent film that portrays the controversial behind-the-scenes of the first reality show on American television, a risky format that would become what now is highly popular in the whole world. The highlights include the accurate ‘70s visuals and the solid performances.
The movie has interesting ideas and makes nice remarks about human nature but is marred by a clumsy, confusing beginning (it is ridiculous how the characters understand the rules of the game so fast like that), some heavy-handed dialogue and a final scene that leads nowhere.
The Circle (2017)
Watson’s character is so unlikable and poorly constructed, changing her mind so randomly, that any discussion about the limits of technology and what it could represent to privacy gets lost in a script that doesn’t know what to do with it, especially as it reaches an awful ending.
The Circus (1928)
A very amusing and delightful silent film that probably would have been better had it been made a bit shorter, since it begins extremely hilarious but after a while starts to become less funny — even though the climax on the tightrope is belly-achingly hysterical.
Cirkus Columbia (2010)
A remarkable film with three-dimensional characters who become always more complex as the story progresses, as they face the menace of an imminent war that would plunge their land into so much pain and suffering in the following years — and to know this makes the final scene so touching and bittersweet.
Citizen Boilesen (2009)
I like how this stimulating, dynamic film offers testimonials from both sides and lets us draw our own conclusions from the facts that are presented, becoming a fascinating (and scary) examination of a dark, sadistic character who could have been easily an ardent Nazi as well.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Watching Citizen Kane today is almost like an exercise in deciding what is more perfect: if Gregg Toland’s cinematography and gorgeous deep focus; Robert Wise’s exceptional editing; Welles’ magnificent direction and acting; or the film’s superlative script told in a non-linear structure.
Citizen Koch (2013)
A great doc that should be seen by every American (especially the average clueless Republican and those who don’t vote), about how an outrageous decision of the Supreme Court set a precedent for campaign advertisement that would change forever the outcome of US elections.
This alarming and terrifying exposé is both a tense real-life espionage thriller that came at the right moment when the events were still fresh in people’s minds and a fascinating character study about a brave man who put his life at risk to reveal what he knew to the world.
City Lights (1931)
Chaplin’s first sound film (but still with no voices, for he wanted it to be a universal tale) was this wonderful and funny movie of transition from the silents to the talkies, structured as a series of fantastic sketch-like scenes and with an incredibly moving, unforgettable last scene.
City of God (2002)
With an elaborate plot centered on a dozen characters (most of which are played by excellent amateur actors from the slums), Meirelles creates a stylized and superbly-edited modern classic that puts us in the middle of a war between rival factions of a dangerous Brazilian favela.
The City of Lost Children (1995)
This lumpy steampunk dark fable is a perfect example of too much style over substance, offering us astonishing visuals, a beautiful soundtrack and spectacular plot devices (like the chain of events originated by a teardrop) but not so able to use all that in a more meaningful narrative.
City of Men (2007)
A worthy follow-up and conclusion to the TV series, but unfairly shadowed by the greatness of City of God. The two long-time friends now deal with problems that are more compelling than before, and they even get caught up in a war between rival gangs that could cost them their friendship.
A City of Sadness (1989)
This strong and resonant historical drama moves with a deliberate pace and takes a good time to shape what it wants to say and find a focus, but the waiting is more than worth it and the result full of significance, even if it may be hard for the viewers to follow its intricate narrative.
The Clan (2015)
It creates a strong impact by forcing us to be accomplices in the family’s criminal activities, with the help of a great cinematography and camera movements/long takes (claro, Pablo Trapero), but it feels hard not to root against all characters — including the young protagonist.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
A noisy, dull and flat blockbuster that plays exactly like a video game, with no character development or energy, and fails so miserably due to an overly serious tone, a horrible script and a hero with no charisma — and the tense Medusa scene is the only thing that works.
The Class (2008)
As an authentic depiction of Western contemporary teaching in a multicultural school in Paris, this honest film wisely uses a documentary style and young non-actors to offer a realistic view into a culturally diverse city, beautifully escaping the Hollywood school clichés.
Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
Varda’s direction is impeccable, with a wonderful attention to the mise-en-scène, camera movements and use of mirrors to show an absorbing real-time hour-and-a-half (not two hours as the title indicates) in the life of a narcissistic singer forced to face the emptiness of her life.
Cleopatra Jones (1973)
With a leading actress who lacks any charisma and a harmless, forgettable plot whose too many characters make us only confused about the relationship between them or who is who, this is a passable blaxploitation movie to be seen when you have nothing better to do.
Kevin Smith deserved all the recognition that he got after presenting us with this hilarious slice-of-life cult movie, which was made with a very limited budget and yet is more authentic, refreshing and amusing than many comedies out there.
Ceylan crafts this enthralling story of a collapsing marriage with an enviable use of visuals and sound, but the film is also too thematically ambiguous, leaving us unsure if it wants perhaps to expose Turkish sexism or blame it on a presumed female weakness of attitude and character.
Gaspar Noé pulls us into another one of his maddening nightmares of hell, creating a technically ingenious and insanely uncomfortable experience with intense colors and a camera that seems almost like a character itself in the way it moves towards absolute hysteria as well.
An enchanting film with great special effects, yet I feel reluctant to regard the aliens as peaceful and awe-inspiring since they do abduct people, even children — and it is also hard to accept the protagonist’s selfish decision at the end without any concern for his family.
Close Enemies (2018)
The director of the haunting Far from Men brings us a film that may seem at first like the kind of crime thriller we have seen many times before, yet he makes it unbelievably tense and a lot more nuanced than you would imagine, with intense performances by Schoenaerts and Kateb.
Blending fiction and reality in ways that make it a unique experience, Kiarostami creates a fascinating piece of fiction-documentary hybrid that reveals always more and more about its characters and Iranian society (including social issues) than we could imagine to be possible.
Closely Watched Trains (1966)
A master class in direction, mise-en-scène, cinematography and editing (there is not a single shot out of place), and it makes the best use of a smart symbolism and hilarious sarcasm to jibe the Czech people and society as well as the soviet regime they were living under at the time.
Once in a lifetime a film/play like this comes up, one that works as a true mirror to our own faults, flaws and vices, embodied by four fascinating, multidimensional protagonists who hurt and manipulate one another, using their words as cruel weapons and revealing their innermost weaknesses in the process.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
This is what happens when you go crazy and try to make the most ambitious film ever, a pretentious and megalomaniac project that attempts to comprise all genres and be bigger than life but is only a complete and utter mess. It is overlong, tiring, cheesy, uneven and unbearably confusing.
Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
Fiction and reality (in this case, “reality”) merge in this fascinating meta-discussion that brings to mind Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and also works as a biting satire on celebrity culture, with excellent performances from its three actresses, especially a surprising Kristen Stewart.
The Clown (2011)
This delightful and sensitive road-fable is both moving and hilarious, and it takes a special time to introduce its adorable characters and make us genuinely care about them — even though it finds a rather too easy resolution for the main character’s emotional conflict.
It is much more irritating than scary with those irritating characters, but nothing can be more disturbing (or disgusting) than knowing that the character’s fear is actually real, since the young actor playing it was being molested by director Victor Salva during the making of the movie.
The Club (2015)
Larraín tackles a thorny subject like child molestation and other misdemeanors in the Catholic Church with great tact, and if at first the film’s ironic conclusion may feel a bit contrived, it ends up giving a well-deserved punch on the revolting hypocrisy of said religious institution.
A deliciously ingenious and funny adaptation that lives up to the fun of the famous board game on which it is based and exhibits an amazing attention to details, while Tim Curry stands out in the great cast and completely steals the scene in the film’s clever possible endings.
With a silly slapstick humor and pedestrian jokes that scream Disney much more than Pixar, Coco may look stunning but is a disappointment, resorting to too many clichés and predictable twists that you can see from miles away while never managing to even justify its title.
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
The plot is too conventional and feels somehow incomplete when it comes to showing what was exactly so special about the character that propelled her into recognition and fame, but this is a decent film with some strong performances and a gracious score.
A soulless romance that lacks intensity and passion, with an atypically awkward Mads Mikkelsen and an insipid Anna Mouglalis trying hard to appear sophisticated but forgetting to look human — her character even mourns the death of her lover but we cannot see or feel her pain.
An intelligent and post-structuralist narrative exercise that, shot in a series of single-take fragments, plays with the structural codes that form the basis of storytelling to reflect how people can’t understand each other in this society with their very own signs (languages, gestures, cultures, moral values).
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
Casual as a coffee break and with Jarmusch’s delicious offbeat humor, this unpretentious collection of vignettes in black and white is curiously entertaining and sometimes even hilarious, flowing by from one chat to another as its celebs savor their java and smoke.
A Coffee in Berlin (2012)
Visibly influenced by Woody Allen, not only in its black and white but also in the downbeat mood, the jazz score and mainly the deliciously wry humor, Gerster’s impressive debut as a filmmaker tells a very thoughtful story about a young man who feels like he doesn’t belong anymore.
The awful score is so off-putting and the film unapologetically ambiguous about its intentions (which are never made exactly clear), as though just to place Groff’s character from HBO TV series Looking — cocky, awkward and easily intimidated — in this sort of situation and not go anywhere from there.
An intelligent low-budget sci-fi that does a first-rate job in exploring the many possibilities of its intriguing premise, focusing mostly on a largely improvised dialogue and making use of an expert, minimalist approach that brings to mind the brilliant time travel sci-fi Primer.
Cold War (2018)
While this bittersweet romance is always absorbing and gorgeous to look at (like Ida, which had similar aesthetics), I find it easier to grasp it in a more rational way than actually “feel” it, since its melancholy love story comes off a bit cold and forced, especially in the end.
For a typically handsome period drama about a woman trying to be heard in ungrateful times, it is a pleasure to see how she evolves from reluctant to accept a resigned existence in the shadow of a man to later realizing that she can decide her own life and break free.
A grim and thought-provoking must-see documentary that should leave you terrified for the doomed future that Michael Ruppert foresees and saddened by the shattered life of a man who has tried his whole life to warn people of something he knows he is right about.
Despite the weak performances by the two young actresses, this is a delicate and tremendously bleak portrait of the desolation, despair and tenderness of people and entire families whose lives were profoundly affected by the economic crisis that hit Portugal in recent years.
Colombian Love (2004)
An amusing film that is more like an Israeli take on typical French romantic comedies — yet with more about marriage and family than meets the eye -, even though the first scene is completely disconnected from the narrative considering how the movie ends.
Though this competent thriller based on real events does manage to be really tense — almost to the point of suffocating -, the sort of manipulation to achieve that purpose is never subtle, in a way that makes it work purely as gripping entertainment (even if it is undeniably unrealistic).
The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)
This grandiose epic directed by Sergio Leone — his first film before he went on to perfect his craft with his well-known Spaghetti Westerns — relies mostly on its stunning visuals, complete with dazzling sets and costumes, and also features some nice action scenes.
Come and See (1985)
By forcing us to follow a series of unspeakable atrocities entirely from the point of view of a naive young boy, making us see what he sees and hear what he hears, this film becomes a horrific nightmare of filtered realism that shocks us even more due to the young actor’s deranged performance.
Come Undone (2000)
The actors seem very natural together, depicting well the intensity and wonders of first love, but the movie has a big problem in its fragmented narrative, which jumps randomly between two moments in time and so the story becomes less fluid and not very easy to relate to.
The Comedy (2012)
This mumblecore piece of avant-garde comedic drama is certainly not for everyone’s taste but I found strangely compelling to observe (yes, that’s the word) the life of this revolting character who is composed by Heidecker (always fantastic) mostly through improvisation.
Coming Home (2012)
Videau’s film wisely avoids being shocking or maudlin, given the disturbing subject; instead, it explores the emotional effect of long endured isolation and the strange relationship between the two main characters, raising interesting questions about identity and freedom.
Coming Home (2014)
Li Gong shines in a nuanced performance that conveys many emotions such as sadness, confusion and a desperate longing for her husband; it is just a pity, though, that the film feels a bit repetitive and there is even an unnecessary revelation about an incident in the character’s past.
Coming Out (1989)
The only gay-themed film ever made in East Germany, first shown during the opening of the border between East and West, and a triumph of casting and mood, even if it seems that the director just gets tired of telling his story after a while and decides to end it with no conclusion.
The Commuter (2018)
Collet-Serra is back with another run-of-the-mill Liam Neeson action movie (the fourth), but this time there is very little to entertain here besides his usual show-off gimmicks, being basically a sillier and less creative version of Non-Stop but on a train instead of an airplane.
The Company Men (2010)
A demanding film that wins us over little by little, tackling a downbeat topic with a slow, careful approach and asking us to be patient because the result will certainly be rewarding, and its main strength lies in three exceptional performances by Jones, Affleck and Cooper.
It is hard to believe that such a revolting and absurd story could really happen, but believe it or not, it is based on real events — and this well-directed film grows effectively disturbing as we are forced to see how stupid people can be in the hands of skilled psychopaths.
Pete Doherty may be great as a musician and songwriter, but as an actor he proves to be just as abysmal as this unendurable film — a sterile drama that is not only as dull as watching paint dry but also corny, artificial and painfully repetitive.
With a great performance by Deborah Secco, despite her character not being really well delineated, this solid film works very well until halfway through, when from then on it suddenly decides to be an overcoming story that sounds artificial and terribly moralizing.
The Congress (2013)
It may feel disjointed to some viewers as it did to me when I first saw it, but I was wrong; in fact, this is a beautiful film that has Robin Wright in a fantastic performance and offers a fascinating discussion about reality and the thin line that separates the escapism of Hollywood films from alienation.
Conjugal Warfare (1974)
An irregular, witless and pointless exercise in self-indulgence that makes it clear that Andrade is trying to be the next Fassbinder — only what he is making is a stupid parody, a male fantasy in which all female characters are shown as weak, flighty or submissive to disgusting men.
The Conjuring (2013)
Since Insidious a horror film hasn’t scared the crap out of me like this, and Wan follows that great movie with this genuinely terrifying story that knows how to maintain a steady level of pure terror by relying on an extremely creepy atmosphere and cinematography.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
James Wan tends to exaggerate when showing off with his camera, but even so he continues to prove that he knows how to find the most interesting ways to creep us out, avoiding the cheap scares and investing instead in its characters and a constantly oppressive atmosphere.
The Conspirators (1972)
It feels like a theater play filmed by someone trying to be a Brazilian Shakespeare, and so it isn’t aesthetically appealing or cinematic (even the mise-en-scène is artificial), while the actors don’t speak but declaim their lines in an affected manner; still, it would make an engaging play.
The Constant Gardener (2005)
Meirelles directs this taut political thriller with a remarkable control over the material in his hands and fantastic performances from his cast, and the result is a gripping, suspenseful mystery, an engaging love story and an intelligent statement on an important subject.
A viral epidemic on a worldwide scale is not an original concept but it is nice to see how the film focuses on the search for a cure and the politics involved — until it turns into a basic apocalyptic scenario full of clichés and with a conclusion that is not entirely satisfying.
A powerful and devastating story that depicts with painful honesty the gradual dismantling of a marriage triggered by an ambiguous lack of trust, and it is a big-budget Godard gem that blends sentiment and intellectual musings in a very unique way.
The Conversation (1974)
A sophisticated and taut narrative in which Coppola does with sound what Antonioni had done with image in his Blow-up, following a paranoid man unable to open up to anybody and trying desperately to put the pieces together of something that he cannot understand.
The film doesn’t seem to care enough about how fragile the whole case against Bundy in Florida was, but it does an excellent job bringing together all pieces of the story into a well-structured and well-edited examination of his twisted mind and crimes, according also to himself.
A gorgeous and stylized gem that will prove to be of hard digestion (yes, pun intended) for many viewers, but those with an open mind will find a lot more to it than “just” a magnificent score, cinematography, art direction and costume design (the game of colors is fantastic).
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
What elevates this engaging drama to a remarkable ode to nonconformity is definitely Paul Newman’s intense performance and its taut, compelling script, which both compensate for the story’s exceedingly slow-moving pace and Rosenberg’s inept direction.
Le Corbeau: The Raven (1943)
An absorbing thriller that surprises us with the way its mystery becomes always more gripping and with its pessimistic view of mankind and the rottenness hidden inside all of us — and it came out in a perfect time for that sort of discussion during the German occupation of France.
Corn Island (2014)
This beautiful and nearly silent minimalist film feels like a true definition of the Art of visual poetry, as it tells a simple yet deeply resonant story that doesn’t need words to express what it wants, relying on a gorgeous cinematography and Ilyas Salman in a fantastic performance.
Cosmic Ray (1962)
It is so impressive to see the meanings one can evoke by putting together a woman dancing free and naked to the sound of Ray Charles with images of Mickey Mouse and war scenes that symbolize male power, in a rhythmic montage that can be seen as a precursor to music videos.
A provocative journey into the lustful fever of post-modern cyber-capitalism, with a magnetic performance by Pattinson, whose character remains intriguing from one casual talk to another while keeping our interest in his bizarre universe — even if sometimes the talking is just cliché.
The Counselor (2013)
It is shocking that so much talent could lead to this terrible mess, a clumsy and bloated movie with no structure and full of dreadful dialogue and pointless scenes, even though after eighty minutes of tedium it finally shows that it has something to say after all.
The Counterfeiters (2007)
This dark film based on a true story works as an absorbing moral exercise about the terrible choices that some were forced to make in order to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, and it deserves even more credit for making us sympathize with a not-very-likable anti-hero.
The Countess (2009)
Despite its first-rate costume design and Erzsébet Báthory being such a fascinating subject, this flawed historical drama seems more like a soap opera that tries too hard to soften her image as someone broken-hearted by love but ends too ambiguous for us to care.
A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
Chaplin’s last film and the only one in color, a funny, delicious screwball comedy with very fine performances by a great cast — except Tippi Hedren, who is not really in tune with the others. And the chemistry between Brando and Loren is phenomenal.
The Courier (2012)
A dull and painful mess that seems like a clumsy mix of The Transporter, Angel Heart and Kill Bill, forcing us to put up with an unbelievably stupid protagonist amidst embarrassing clichés, a lot of godawful dialogue, absurd plot holes and a ridiculous ending.
Les Cousins (1959)
Chabrol creates a darkly ironic film that impresses with its stunning cinematography and mise-en-scène, excellent performances (especially Jean-Claude Brialy) and a depressing story about how it doesn’t matter to be a good guy in a decadent society when good guys always lose.
The Cove (2009)
Both thrilling and devastating, this daring documentary exposes the revolting covert massacre of dolphins in Japan, urging us to act against the horrible things that men do to animals all over the world. Some may even feel that the filmmakers’ arguments are not very consistent but no one can deny the importance of what is discussed here.
An awful documentary that screams of amateurism and incompetence with a lot of vague speculation about a supposed “cowspiracy,” and it is so irritating that Andersen digresses all the time and puts himself (and his “quest”) at the center of it instead of what he wants to discuss.
Karine Teles is excellent — and the only reason to watch this movie, since it is awfully directed (switching aspect ratio in ways that feel completely arbitrary), the cinematography is hideous and the plot, while well written to a certain degree, doesn’t seem to go anywhere in the end.
A perversely disturbing and highly uncomfortable film that bursts with overwhelming sexual intensity as the characters engage in a compulsive fetishistic psychopathology that is strangely telling, even if it will probably leave most viewers repelled and make them never want to see it again.
The Crazies (2010)
A tedious, formulaic movie full of clichés, deus ex machinas, irritating loud bumps and characters who behave in the most incomprehensible way — which is a pity considering its good performances (especially Joe Anderson) -, and it has a terrible, ridiculous conclusion.
Crazy Heart (2009)
Even though somehow similar to it, The Wrestler came out as a hard punch while this one feels more like a soft country song that benefits a lot from Jeff Bridges’ outstanding performance and turns out to be a satisfying yet unoriginal drama.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
An average romantic comedy that boasts a terrific cast, especially Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, who is clearly one of the most versatile actors of his generation. Despite some silly moments that threaten to bog down the story, it is touching enough to be worth it.
A solid and mostly restrained biopic about all the sadness and personal conflict that Charles Darwin went through while writing a book that would forever change History, and fortunately it avoids any sign of melodrama and has a strong performance by Paul Bettany.
The creature’s makeup and design are stunning and look very realistic for the time the movie came out, while the underwater scenes are really awesome and creepy, making for a classic monster movie that aged well enough and can still be fun for modern audiences.
Ryan Coogler does an amazing job telling a story that may be too familiar in terms of structure but echoes beautifully Rocky Balboa’s life, benefiting from the relationship that grows between him and Apollo Creed’s son and with Stallone in another wonderful, sensitive performance.
Creed II (2018)
As unnecessary a sequel as Rocky IV, it relies on pointless, avoidable fights and Adonis basically needing to prove to the world that his dick is bigger than Ivan Drago’s son’s; even so, despite how familiar and underdeveloped the script is, the last half hour compensates for all of that.
This movie is so inane in every way possible that it becomes really hard to take it seriously as something that is supposed to be scary, as it suffers from a nonsensical plot, characters who behave like idiots the whole time and a ridiculous villain that has no discernible motivation.
I always find it really funny that the main characters of these found footage films never stop filming even in situations of great danger, and this thriller is pretty efficient to extract tension from moments that can be simultaneously creepy, hilarious and uncomfortable.
Creepshow 2 (1987)
Despite the cheap production values and the subpar animation that serves as the comics-come-to-life wrap-around thread, this is a very amusing collection of three competent stories, with the first one being only average and the following two more interesting and entertaining.
Cria Cuervos (1976)
A devastating drama of profound political symbolism in which even the most deceptively trivial scenes have a meaning, and it is wonderful to see how it is shown from the point of view of Ana’s seemingly confused memories as they jump between different moments of her bleak childhood.
An enjoyable — yet perfunctory — dark comedy that does have an interesting protagonist (with murderous desires that tell a lot about the nature of his misogyny) but makes me think that Buñuel probably only made it because he didn’t have anything better to do at the time.
Crimson Peak (2015)
What is most splendid in this Gothic tale is its sumptuous production design, costumes and Technicolor-like cinematography — all of which should be awarded a thousand-fold — at the service of an atmospheric horror story comparable to the finest works of Shelley and Poe.
Crisis in Six Scenes (2016)
I can’t possibly fathom what was going on inside Woody Allen’s head when he conceived this huge stupidity, and I mean that also literally, since there is no sense of purpose here, everything is so tremendously empty, unfunny and heavy on exposition, and Miley Cyrus is just terrible.
Del Toro’s feature debut may not be exactly a classic but is a smart horror film that can be quite disturbing and unpredictable in the way it uses a lot of style and gore to create a curious parallel between a man’s obsession with being young and drug addiction.
The Croods (2013)
A visually stunning and very entertaining postmodern crossing of The Flintstones and The Simpsons that will prove exciting for the whole family, offering a touching and quite appealing message about discovery and fear of change.
The good thing about this urban-legend-hunters documentary is that it is creepy and unsettling as hell, and it proves to be a fascinating blend of doc and horror film; the bad thing, however, is that the lack of answers is really frustrating and everything is left too inconclusive.
Words are not enough for me to express how much I adore this film — a deeply poetic, romantic and compelling experience that has a fantastic cast, a wonderful dialogue, one hell of a great direction and some of the most amazing martial arts scenes I have ever seen in a movie.
The solid script doesn’t try to be a mere copy of Ang Lee’s masterpiece (despite a few similar moments here and there), while the visuals are dazzling and the fighting scenes spectacular, although the excess of CGI kills some of the fun and the film ends in a lame last scene.
The Crucible (1996)
Be it an allegory of the American anti-communist witch hunt of the 1950s or a gripping story about the horrors of religious fanaticism, collective hysteria and paranoia, this is a riveting, stomach-turning drama with intense performances by an excellent ensemble cast.
In John Waters’ movies, everyone is a walking caricature and everything looks like a witless self-parody, and this is an irritating musical that sounds silly and superficial when trying to be a clever commentary, as well as a horribly unfunny comedy filled with awful dialogue.
A Cure for Wellness (2016)
The visuals are stunning, but the movie is too long and messy in terms of ideas or whatever it wants to say, to the point that it doesn’t make any sense and seems more like an amalgam of a lot of things that worked infinitely better in other movies (like Shutter Island).
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Moving quite far from the original story in so many ways, this is a perfect example of a very loose Frankenstein adaptation that manages to be excellent on its own merits, with strong performances and an intelligent ending whose morality is subtly disturbing when you think about it.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
There is no good reason for this turd to be considered part of The Conjuring Universe, since it only makes an insignificant reference that doesn’t even matter. Besides, all you find here are cheap jump scares and a derivative plot that becomes quickly annoying in its tiresome repetition.
I don’t like that the daughter’s unnecessary subplot doesn’t go anywhere, but Denis Ménochet is fantastic here, embodying threat and despair in an anguishing drama that should remind everyone that there is no way to judge a situation fairly when you know only half the story.
Cutie and the Boxer (2013)
What first seems like a simple documentary turns out to be a complex and deeply sad portrait of an old couple of artists whose creative force derives from their many differences and conflicts together, with their art revealing a lot about their resentment and unhappiness.
The Cyclist (1987)
It is not without its flaws, like a certain character who has a motorcycle accident and is never mentioned again, but this powerful drama benefits from superb editing and an exceptional score to deliver an honest social message and keep us anguished until the very last frame.
It is no surprise that this cheeky, daring and visually stylized film (which has no defined plot) was banned in Czechoslovakia upon its release, since it is centered on two anarchic, unruly teenage girls who do whatever comes to their mind, not what any man (or society) wants.
The impeccable direction, dynamic editing and magnetic performance by the stunning Sveva Alviti compensate for a script that deserved a bit more polishing, even though it is efficient in the way it uses Dalida’s songs to organically comment on episodes of the character’s tragic life.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
McConaughey delivers another fantastic performance in a career already full of them, shining as a despicable man who slowly turns into a caring, likable person. It is just a pity that this poignant story becomes a bit repetitive in a third act that could have done with some polishing.
If Tarkovsky had made Wings of Desire, I guess it would look a lot like this, a bleak, formally rigorous film in which every single gorgeous shot is meticulously calculated, only it is too oppressive and detached as it observes a filthy loner who tests our patience with endless existential aphorisms.
The Damned (1969)
The first half is fascinating, showing the depravity of the rising Nazism reflected on the decay of the Essenbeck family. After that, however, it feels like Visconti doesn’t want to conclude his story, and so he goes on indefinitely in an endless soap opera of backstabbing and murder plots.
Dan in Real Life (2007)
It is not only an endurance test to stay in the company of such a detestable character and his detestable family, but the movie is also a sentimental pile of clichés from the first scene to the last — including that unnecessary, ridiculously corny last scene during the end credits.
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Björk is magnificent in a very demanding performance, acting and singing in this grim and devastating musical tragedy that can be really difficult for some people to watch, but no one can deny that it is incredibly thought-provoking and emotionally compelling.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
It is a pity to see this compelling subject told in such a simplistic and bureaucratic way, and so the three characters and their motivations are not really well developed, even if the actors do their best. Besides, the constant skips in time contribute to make the story less fluid.
Dangerous Minds (1995)
It may seem like just another of those countless inspirational movies about a teacher who “saves the lives” of a group of rebellious students (and it is indeed condescending sometimes, especially with those candy bars), but it is also honest enough to be definitely worth it.
Daniel’s World (2014)
An informative account that probes into a delicate issue with gentleness and surprises us with its protagonist’s bravery to come out in the open and talk about it, although the director’s approach comes off as a bit prosaic and superficial considering the novelty of the topic.
The Danish Girl (2015)
Hooper is a desperate award hunter who never takes risks even with this kind of material in his hands, trying so hard to make it all wholesome and palatable for a mainstream audience that he even includes a martyr wife who stays beside her husband till the end no matter what.
Dans Paris (2006)
Watching this is comparable to having a long sharp needle slowly going through your forehead for ninety minutes, but at least Louis Garrel is a breath of fresh air in this pretentious shot at a French New Wave film whose main character is insufferable (Honoré is no Godard).
This interesting historical drama looks absolutely stunning (almost like a Delacroix painting) but is also overlong and feels too didactic (almost like a filmed History book, to be honest) despite two very intense performances by Gérard Depardieu and Wojciech Pszoniak.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
It is painful to see the self-indulgent work that Wes Anderson made here, so pretentious and concerned about style over substance. The visuals are outstanding but the empty story is pointless and tedious, drifting nowhere with unfunny humor and weird seriousness.
Dark Blood (1993/2012)
Apparently the only reason anyone can find for watching this is the fact that it is River Phoenix’ final film, since it’s not only incomplete but mainly sterile and forgettable, unable to be tense or sexy as a provocative thriller and with some serious racist and sexist undertones.
Dark Blue Girl (2017)
A delicate drama that finds a nice balance between humorous and serious, relying on two great performances by Zengel and Mielke even though the many plot elements we see here don’t really come together as they should and the conclusion is not that satisfying.
The Dark Crystal (1982)
There is nothing that can justify the amount of effort put into creating something so visually stunning (the production design is spectacular) but none into such a tedious narrative that has no imagination, no energy, no sense of pacing and is full of annoying characters.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Although not achieving the same level of quality of the exceptional previous movie, this explosive, urgent and dark chapter is still an extremely satisfying conclusion to the franchise — even if investing too much in the action and with some blatant narrative flaws (not to mention Bane’s ridiculous voice).
Dark Shadows (2012)
Even with spectacular visuals and an enjoyable performance by Depp, it is frustrating to see a promising first half give place to a meandering second half that is so unfunny and disjointed, with many unnecessary elements thrown in for no reason and a horrible ending.
Dark Skies (2013)
An average horror movie that manages to build an effective mystery and tension better than anyone would expect, even if it doesn’t offer anything original about abduction phenomenon that we haven’t seen before in better works — say, The X-Files. Still, I find the ending satisfying.
The Dark Valley (2014)
A well-written and incredibly tense Austrian Western that takes its time to build an engrossing atmosphere and benefits all the more from a strong cast, a gripping revenge story and a spectacular cinematography that explores the locations to their greatest extent.
Date and Switch (2014)
A silly and completely forgettable teen comedy that is rarely funny and only offers us cliché after cliché after cliché, with a lot of artificial conflicts and uninspired dialogue (despite a few good moments here and there); but at least it is a good thing that it has a heart.
David Lynch: The Art Life (2016)
Listening to those life anecdotes is not really interesting or revealing, to be honest, even though some of what Lynch says can be pretty funny and amusing, and it is hard to overlook the fact that the film ends right when it is starting to become more interesting.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
In this excellent sequel, Romero replaces the ghastly, oppressive black and white of the original film with some very entertaining and gruesome gore in color full of humor and clever social satire. A classic zombie horror film that stands out as an intelligent allegory.
In times of intense blood bath in the Middle East, this excellent sequel seems like tailor-made to reflect the present conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, with a wonderful CGI that makes the apes look so human and turning out to be one of the most politically relevant movies of the year.
The Day After (2017)
Even though there is not that much else to it, this is a simple yet elegantly directed film that can be enjoyable enough, especially as we observe its characters drinking a lot of soju while having casual philosophical discussions about love or whatever it is they yearn in life.
Day of the Dead (1985)
Leaving aside the brilliant satirical humor of Dawn of the Dead, Romero makes an attempt at a zombie drama but fails with a poorly executed plot, while the one-dimensional characters are so awfully developed and unlikable that we never care about them, and so everything falls flat.
Day of the Dead (2008)
Here is what happens when a third-rate director remakes a George Romero zombie film: he subtracts any social-political subtext and throws in cheap scares, stupid dialogue, cute but lame actors and, worse, a vegetarian zombie in love.
Despite being repetitious, poorly edited and too brief for the complexity of the subject it wants to tackle (although I can see the focus is supposed to be on the day mentioned in the title), this is a decent documentary that benefits from a nice amount of research material.
An intelligent and challenging science-fiction classic that makes elegant allusions to Jesus Christ’s life (even in the character’s alias, Carpenter) and speaks directly to the audience in the end defending the importance of non-aggression in a time dominated by fear.
In spite of its intriguing idea and a good cinematography, this is a safe movie that never goes deep enough into the possibilities of its premise, relying on many coincidences and contrivances, and with an attempt at a “message” in the end that disappoints.
Days of Grace (2011)
There are some amazing long takes here, yes, and the brutality depicted is really appropriate; however, it seems more than evident that Gout is only aiming for style, putting together three stories using absurd twists that render the whole meaningless.
Days of Thunder (1990)
Like Top Gun with racing stock cars, it may not be really original and is quite predictable actually, but it has a very good soundtrack and Tom Cruise injecting a lot of energy into a two-dimensional character who lacks sufficient depth and motivation for us to care.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
With a lack of a well-defined structure that works perfectly, it is funny and has a deliciously nostalgic feel that captures the spirit of those high school times in the ‘70s, and it does so with an excellent ensemble cast and a flawless soundtrack that makes it absolutely irresistible.
Dead End (2003)
The characters can be quite unpleasant but the actors make everything really fun to watch, as the movie flirts with absurdity to the point of hilarious (especially when family secrets come up in the most bizarre situations) and offers us enough tension to compensate for its silliness.
The Dead Girl’s Feast (2008)
This unhurried drama about mysticism and the nature of faith offers a remarkable performance by Daniel de Oliveira and shapes its intriguing narrative little by little, letting us put together the pieces of that strange reality in our heads as it gradually unveils what it is about.
Dead Leaves (2004)
With very little of an actual plot and yet a series of countless things and events that seem to happen so quickly one after another in such a short running time, this insanely frenetic anime full of shapes and colors proves to be a lot of fun to be at least worth the curiosity.
Dead Man Walking (1995)
A daring, objective and thought-provoking drama that inspires us to reflect on such medieval practice and discuss it for hours straight, even if it also respects those who are in favor, and it has two magnificent and greatly nuanced performances by Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.
Dead of Night (1945)
It is a beautiful thing to see how this British anthology of horror stories is so eclectic and relies mostly on an intelligent dialogue, having completely influenced the genre ever since and offering us five tales ranging from spooky to funny to chilling to creepy as hell.
Dead Ringers (1988)
The film is always compelling and Jeremy Irons does a great job playing two identical characters who are just a tiny bit slightly different, but it becomes hard to care when we see how contrived everything is in a script that wants them to go nuts for some artificial, lame reason.
Dead Silence (2007)
A creepy horror movie that builds an ominous atmosphere with an ambitious production design and great eerie cinematography (of course, James Wan), and even if the efficient story is nothing really special or original, it offers a nice twist in the end.
Dead Snow (2009)
A Norwegian blood-drenched horror movie that really wants to be gross, and gross it is. Nazi zombies, probably the only original thing in a film so full of clichés and devoid of tension, which wouldn’t be that bad if the comedy weren’t taken so absolutely seriously by the characters.
The Dead Zone (1983)
With a strong performance by Christopher Walken and an intriguing story that unfolds without hurry, Cronenberg’s film is an entertaining Stephen King adaptation that knows how to hold our attention by offering us always more and more surprises and new twists at the right moments.
An iconoclastic, profane and hilarious superhero movie filled with pop-culture references and centered on a sassy, foul-mouthed anti-hero who makes fun of everything — even the fact that he is in a movie that plays with the clichés of the genre and doesn’t take itself at all seriously.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
Lampshading your insolent, vulgar and filthy ass out and going full I-know-this-is-a-fucking-movie meta can be Deadpool funny, even when you reuse clichés that were already old back in the Bourne trilogy — and as an impudent salad of pop-references it only gets better and better.
Dear White People (2014)
There will be haters, for sure, and the haters will be outraged whites complaining about “reverse racism” and other imaginary things like how “there is no racism in America anymore” — which is a pity, really, since this excellent satire should be dedicated to you, dear white racist.
As a love letter to a friend, father, son and victim of someone‘s psychopathy and lunacy (as well as a testimony to the resilience of two incredibly stoic grandparents amid a horrible tragedy), this is a beautiful, touching and absolutely devastating documentary like few others.
Interweaving a few different (but related) threads in a very cohesive and well-edited way, David France exposes the important legacy of the true frontliners of the LGBT movement, who were pushed aside but without whom there would have been no gay liberation movement.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
A suffocating and emotionally stressful drama/social commentary that, made with a gripping naturalistic approach, impressed me most with the way it shows how people can be cruel and indifferent to human suffering only to display in the next moment a surprising amount of compassion.
The Death of Stalin (2017)
It is hard to make improvisation work in comedy, and while In the Loop was quite hilarious, this film begins funny but slowly becomes awfully grim, adopting a strange, solemn tone (even in the music) that feels completely incompatible with the goofy humor that it is aiming at.
Death Proof (2007)
A delightful homage to exploitation films of the ‘70s, and it is especially amusing thanks to the way it mixes the visual elements of those movies with modern ones, but Tarantino gives in once again to his narcissistic self-indulgences in endless, tiresome exchanges of dialogue.
The Debt (2010)
What to think of a film whose characters are so inept to carry out an important mission that you end up cheering against them? — a problem that undermines an engaging story full of dramatic potential, before it goes out of control in a frustrating last act.
The Deceased (1965)
A typical melodramatic tragedy full of irony that one would expect to see in a movie based on Nelson Rodrigues, and even if the director usually makes the right choices to tell this story, the problem is that the plot is too unrealistic and doesn’t really know how to end.
A Decent Man (2015)
A solid character study that benefits from Finkiel’s strong direction (especially the elegant way he uses shallow focus and the color blue) and a fantastic performance by Duvauchelle, even if it makes it almost too hard for us to sympathize with such an aggressive character.
Declaration of War (2011)
A ridiculous and irritating film full of clichés about an annoyingly optimistic couple out of a fairy tale facing a hard situation. Not only the narration is expository and unnecessary but everything else is also trivial and unsubtle, made by an inexpert director who never seems sure of what she wants to say.
Deep Impact (1998)
When a movie like this wants to be a drama about characters instead of “just” brainless catastrophe (catastrophe that takes place only in the end anyway), the least they could do is to come up with characters that matter and a plot that isn’t so offensively stupid and incoherent.
Deepwater Horizon (2016)
With a great direction by Peter Berg and a large aspect ratio that explores quite well the setting and full extension of the rig, this is an anguishing and gripping movie that stays true to the memory of those who died in a shocking disaster that could have been prevented.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Cimino is a great director who takes his time in a long, careful first act before throwing his characters inside a terrifically tense, gut-wrenching second act that makes us deeply consider the tragic effects of war on veterans, with Walken and De Niro in spectacular performances.
Tautou is obviously not as gorgeous as the movie painfully insists and her character’s motivations are always unclear, while Damiens plays an idiot that anyone would hardly fall for, in a terribly written and poorly directed little romance that is confusing and goes nowhere.
Delicate Crime (2005)
Using many static long takes and keeping us at a certain distance from its characters, Brant creates a difficult but immensely fascinating attack on the very nature of criticism, discussing ambiguity, desire and how the way we read and perceive Art is limited by our own perspective.
Deliver Us from Evil (2014)
Although resorting a bit too much to cheap scares created by thunderous chords, this is a very efficient and creepy-as-hell horror movie (inspired by allegedly real events) that uses a great sound design and an exemplary, nasty production design to take us inside an extremely eerie atmosphere.
Dementia 13 (1963)
This low-budget horror film produced by Roger Corman and directed by Coppola before he went on the become a famous filmmaker has evident shades of Psycho but is not even frightening, with a lame, uneven plot in which nothing much really happens.
Nobody can say that Bava doesn’t have complete control of his camera, but when it comes to everything else — performances, dialogue, mise-en-scène and even his sense of geography in the scenes -, it’s all ridiculous and hilarious in the same measure, especially those amazing gory moments.
The Demons (2015)
With impressive long takes, a refined mise-en-scène and an interesting, almost fly-on-the-wall approach, this is a delicate look at a boy’s life and fears as he learns about the world, but sadly the film gets lost with a tangential subplot that focuses on another character.
The Den (2013)
The webcam found-footage is well done and the concept is quite disturbing considering the horrors that must be really found inside the deep web; the only problem is that the clichés are sometimes infuriating, like no one believing the main character and thinking she is crazy.
Denying Brazil (2000)
The problem is that this documentary is sadly superficial, bureaucratic and unengaging, with the director never going deep enough into what he is stating and making claims that he doesn’t care to substantiate or better elaborate on (like the existence of certain racial stereotypes).
A beautiful, sensitive and profoundly moving ode to the beauty of life and death, with a surprising sense of humor and a gorgeous score — the kind of film that touches deep inside our feelings like few others, making us appreciate and celebrate the wonder of being alive.
The Descendants (2011)
A predictable pseudo-indie drama lazily written by someone who seems to have no clue about real people’s lives, built around artificial conflicts and embarrassing moments of humor, and centered on a group of pathetic characters who are really hard for us to care about.
The Descent: Part 2 (2009)
I was ready to accept the fact that this sequel picks up where the US edited version of the first film left off, instead of the amazing uncut one. But nothing can make me forgive the heavy-handed direction or the lack of inspiration in this silly horror movie.
Design for Living (1933)
The three main actors have a great chemistry together, which helps hold our attention for some nice time, but truth is, the script is pretty unfunny for a comedy and there is not enough here to engage us or make us care about anything that happens to the characters.
As Fassbinder’s first film in English, this psychedelic drama may have an intriguing story but the direction is heavy-handed and lacks that conviction found in his earlier works. Especially the tone he adopts seems incompatible with the kind of story he wants to tell.
It is only strange that anyone is supposed to give a hoot about a witless movie that feels like made by people who couldn’t care less about it, as it moves without any sense of direction, humor or anything besides lame clichés that make it look like an apathetic dead body.
Despicable Me (2010)
Am I the only one or is there anyone else who didn’t laugh at all watching this? I felt like slitting my wrists with so many awful physical gags and ridiculous jokes, and it is unbearable to see all that excessive fluffiness and sentimentality. Please, Universal, don’t try to be Pixar.
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
No surprise to see that this sequel is just as detestable as the crappy first movie, obviously made by retards for retards who can find any of those ridiculous gags funny (fart jokes, really?), so watching another sequel or any Minions movie is absolutely out of question.
Using a nervous handheld camera and intercutting what we see with real archive footage to create the same documentary-like feel of her previous films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow exposes with gripping realism a revolting chapter in American History.
With such an intriguing premise, this Twilight Zone-esque movie could have been scarier and much more claustrophobic, but it only manages to be a satisfying supernatural Agatha Christie-like story whose merits are due more to its solid direction than to its weak script.
The Devil Probably (1977)
Bresson’s style is all there and it is clear that he wants to make a direct statement in what turns out to be a very political film, but sadly his usual austerity feels a bit off with the kind of story he wants to tell, and so the result seems more pretentious than it is compelling.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Despite its clichéd and moralizing message about “the price you pay when you choose profession over personal life,” this is an entertaining comedy that takes a caustic look at New York’s fashion scene and has an unforgettable performance by Meryl Streep.
The Devil’s Double (2011)
A lazy and terribly-directed movie that depicts Uday Hussein as a ridiculous caricature in what is a redundant story devoid of any subtlety. Besides, Dominic Cooper is such a mediocre actor, unable to lend any sort of complexity to the two identical main characters.
The Devils (1971)
For a while, the impression one gets is that Russell is not interested in discussing insanity (or its nature) but just to show it — bare naked — in a purely exploitative, surrealistic way; which is true, until everything moves so confidently towards an apotheotic display of mad depravity.
The three main actors are fantastic (in their first roles), conveying with great naturalness the hardships faced by refugees who flee from their countries to Europe, but the film sadly starts to gradually lose its power as it becomes more and more artificial towards an awful last scene.
Di Cavalcanti (1977)
Frenetic, poorly made and an ugly confusion of images, narration and music, this short is less an homage than an excuse for Glauber Rocha to show that there is a director behind it.
Even if not very well made from a technical point of view, this is a witty criticism of “orders being orders” with a bitterly ironic conclusion.
A great thriller built on an intriguing mystery and with a very unexpected ending, but I imagine how much more tense and engaging it would have been in Hitchcock’s hands, as it feels a tad dry with its lack of score and doesn’t create the sort of impact that it naturally should.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
John Williams and Grace Kelly are surely great, but Ray Milland is fantastic in this sophisticated and intellectually stimulating thriller that fascinates with its witty, impeccably-written dialogue and the intelligent minutiae of everything that can go wrong in a perfect murder.
Naomi Watts does a good job as Diana, even in the way she walks and looks, but there is not much that she can do to save a soapy script (full of horribly corny lines) that has no real insight into her character and only shows her as immature, caricatural and not very bright.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
This movie is so bright, amusing and sweet that it feels like only half an hour. It made me laugh real hard and I was surprised to see that it doesn’t give in to easy stereotypes nor to cheap moral lessons, remaining mostly human, honest and pretty funny.
A nice sequel that is quite funny and amusing almost in the same level of the adorable first movie, with its own share of good moments even though it did not make me laugh as hard as that one.
Diary of the Dead (2007)
Romero seems virtually incapable of following the language of modern horror films using the fake documentary style. The subjective camera is too steady and aseptic for an amateurish recording, the dialogue is unbelievable and everything else is just a pathetic embarrassment.
The Dictator (2012)
Instead of sticking to the clever mockumentary format of Borat and Brüno, Larry Charles and Cohen have sadly decided to go for a typical comedy, creating this uneven movie that has many hilarious moments but also too much unfunny toilet humor.
Die Hard (1988)
An exhilarating all-time classic action movie that is not only impressively well directed and tense when it needs to be but also always surprises us with its well-written script and realistic characterization of its witty, flesh-and-bone hero, John McClane.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
An infuriating and brainless sequel that takes an endless long time for something to finally happen and needs every single character to act as a complete idiot so that the stupid plot can move on — like Dennis Franz as an unbearable moron who is always in the way.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
An entertaining movie full of action and humor, no doubt better than the atrocious second installment even if not in the same level of the original film. And despite a flawed last half, it has Samuel L. Jackson stealing the scene and Jeremy Irons as a great villain.
It is a bit disappointing to see an important subject matter like this become a rather heavy-handed drama in the hands of a not very talented director, with problems of editing, many unnecessary scenes and lack of emotional weight (unable even to create suspense).
Dilili in Paris (2018)
Ocelot wants to tackle themes that are a lot more ambitious than what he is used to, like racism, misogyny and feminism, but the result feels mostly harmless and didactic, especially as he delights in showing dozens of animated versions of famous names from the Belle Époque.
The Dinner (2017)
The performances are very good, even though Steve Coogan plays one of the most insufferable protagonists I have ever seen, but the film itself is actually full of insufferable characters that test our patience and make this an awfully unpleasant experience to go through.
The Dinner Game (1998)
With the action almost entirely confined to an apartment and centered on unstoppable dialogue from beginning to end, this is a very funny comedy of errors (adapted from Veber’s own play) that doesn’t try to hide its obvious theatrical origins and yet feels always fresh and dynamic.
Dior and I (2014)
It offers us an interesting look into the fashion house Christian Dior by showing the backstage of the stressful creation of Belgian designer Raf Simons’ first haute-couture collection, yet I guess it will please more those who work in the business and fashion buffs in general.
Dirty Wars (2013)
Scahill sets out to unravel the hidden truth behind a disturbing mystery in this always gripping documentary. Still, it is hard to shake the feeling that as a result of his investigation it also seems a bit premature and inconclusive, lacking enough corroboration to make it credible.
A sensitive drama with strong performances but unfortunately a bit longer than it should be, with a lot of unnecessary dialogue (like the final tête-à-tête between father and daughter) and not really able to resist giving in to clichés and becoming a melodrama close to the end.
The Disaster Artist (2017)
James Franco embodies Tommy Wiseau with an incredible, shocking resemblance (even when he laughs), creating an excellent dramatic comedy that is not only hilarious as it explores the character’s idiosyncrasies but is also surprisingly touching in the way it makes us feel for him.
A surrealist comedy of discreet humor that will probably not make you laugh as much as you will feel embarrassed for all of its petty bourgeois characters, and once again Buñuel smartly plays with his film’s structure, this time to cast a slyly provocative and cynical view on society.
What is so fantastic about this powerful, thought-provoking drama is not only the remarkably intelligent way that it raises many questions about good, evil, morality and amorality, but also that it can be incredibly tense, gripping and unpredictable.
An entertaining documentary that offers some curious information about our natural inclination for lying and the reasons that lead us to lie, even though the testimonials presented in between seem a bit arbitrary sometimes and don’t always seem related to what is being said.
District 9 (2009)
Besides the clichés, plot holes and incoherent use of the camera, any allusion to Apartheid seems dishonest, since it is hard to believe that anyone could be tolerant if an alien spacecraft arrived on Earth carrying over a million of those repellent giant lobsters uninvited.
It is a sad, tragic and powerful social commentary, yet it is also humorous and deeply touching thanks to the wonderful performances by Oulaya Amamra and Déborah Lukumuena, who make us love their charismatic characters and wish to see their dreams come true.
An amazing B-movie Spaghetti Western that has prompted countless imitations and unofficial sequels (one official only), boasting an iconic sullen anti-hero who would greatly influence the Italian sub-genre. A muddy, violent classic that should not be missed.
Django Unchained (2012)
Tarantino empowers a black slave named Django to get his well-deserved revenge against his white oppressors, creating an exhilarating, revisionist Western full of panache as he injects Sergio Corbucci’s directing style in a top-notch vengeance-driven blaxploitation plot.
Following a moment in Django Reinhardt’s life during World War II, this engaging drama offers us a nuanced portrait of a brilliant musician who gets caught in a very tense situation and begins to slowly realize that he must flee from the dangerous grip of a menacing regime.
Do I Kill Them? (1982)
With a welcome rhetorical cynicism in the shape of multiple choice questions, this is an intelligent denunciation of those who profit from the exploitation of the Indigenous people in Brazil, including institutions that only exist to protect them and even the director himself.
Do Not Disturb (2012)
Most of this pointless film is a long, boring and unfunny build-up to something really frustrating — and things become repetitious very fast, with endless scenes and conversations stretched for much longer than our patience can take.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
A remarkable film that offers a very funny slice of life in a black neighborhood of Brooklyn before reaching an explosive ending that forces us to consider the implications of racism and violence in American society (even if the conclusion is too ambiguous for its own good).
Doce Amianto (2013)
If David Lynch and Monty Python had a child who decided to make a trashy Cinderella pastiche in Brazil, I imagine this would be the result, a curious exercise of style and mood that is hilarious in its over-the-top nonsense but which however suffers from some lack of cohesion.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Typically expository (and tiring because of that) like most films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose main objective is to introduce a new superhero, the movie is at least impressive with its psychedelic visual effects and Benedict Cumberbatch in an intense performance.
An intelligent satire which only Kubrick could have made, with an acid, hilarious dialogue and magnificent performances by Scott and Sellers — who basically improvises as three different characters and makes you wish he had also played the cowboy major as he was supposed to.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The first three hours are spellbinding, with fascinating characters like the ones played by Courtenay and Steiger, but then the film collapses in the last half hour, when most characters go through incomprehensible changes in personality and the plot reaches an awful conclusion.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Al Pacino is beyond priceless in this hilarious film about a hugely inept bank robbery, and Lumet balances humor and action with perfection, creating many memorable scenes in what is both a quirky character study and a sharp commentary on the power of the media.
A Dog’s Life (1918)
Chaplin delivers a very well-inspired and hilarious 3-reel silent that has one classic scene after another — and the one in which he tries to get his money back in the ballroom is the funniest.
A Dog’s Will (2000)
The film is contaminated by the aesthetics of television and its theatrical origins are quite evident (especially in its excess of dialogue), but this is all more than compensated by how delicious it is and the intelligent way that it tackles social matters and class inequalities in Brazil.
On a purely rational level, I can see what Garrone is trying to do here; in practice, though, his character’s motivations are too puzzling, as his actions seem extremely unconvincing (no matter how brilliant Marcello Fonte is) and he only comes off as a passive idiot full of stupid ideas.
Thematically, it may not be so original (The Village comes to mind), but there is something really fascinating in this extreme case of parental overprotection gone bizarre, as it raises inevitable questions about human nature, innocence and what makes us different from animals.
Lars von Trier is a genius who wrote in only 12 days (and on a drug binge, according to him) the screenplay for this modern classic masterpiece — a glorious Christian allegory of human nature and power stripped down to a most basic — almost universal — form of storytelling.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Told in a brilliant episodic structure, this fascinating character study is the truest definition of Felliniesque: an exceptional film that is magical in its fanciful depiction of glamour in Roman aristocracy and depressing in the way it shows the decadence of a society and of man himself.
Don Jon (2013)
A refreshing debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a filmmaker, who delivers a solid script that holds a lot more to it than you might think and directs it with a very firm grip reflected in the strong performances that he and the rest of his fine cast put in.
Don Juan DeMarco (1994)
Marlon Brando seems miscast in this film but this is compensated by a passionate Johnny Depp, who shines as an incurable, eternal romantic. A refreshing story about love and romance, and the main song will be stuck in your head for quite a while after the movie is over.
Even with a farcical charm of its own, this is a terribly unfunny comedy that suffers from a complete lack of wit and pacing, taking too long to establish its premise by spending a lot of time on an unnecessary flashback in its first hour that doesn’t have much to offer.
Don’t Breathe (2016)
Fede Alvarez is a talented director, and the decent work he does bringing this story to the screen compensates for a thin, banal script that lacks enough original twists, interesting characters and even a plot that makes sense when you stop to think about it for a second.
Don’t Call Me Son (2016)
By trying to bring together two poorly-developed ideas without the cohesion necessary for each to work, this inconsistent drama feels only unfocused and frustratingly unclear about what it wants to say, as it even wastes time with a pointless subplot centered on the character’s brother.
Don’t Look Now (1973)
With a melancholy score and fabulous editing, this notably ominous and labyrinthine story about grief and acceptance uses symbols, omens and a constant sense of danger to make us share the intense confusion and disorientation experienced by its characters.
Don’t Worry, I’m Fine (2006)
A solid drama that begins with a simple premise but then grows increasingly engaging as it refuses to offer easy answers and always surprises us with Lioret’s firm direction — a film that will probably leave you pondering for some time about the questions it raises.
Dossiê Jango (2013)
A tremendously important documentary that may not elucidate what really happened but raises serious doubt about the suspicious circumstances involving the death of deposed president João Goulart — and makes a reinvestigation absolutely necessary in a country that never even punished its dictators.
The Double (2013)
This atmospheric and visually stylized psychological thriller based on Dostoevsky brings to mind Kafka, Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, Orson Welles and even David Lynch in the way it makes us share the unsettling existence of a shy man who is forced to confront his loneliness.
Double Indemnity (1944)
One of the most indisputable definers of noir and a classic film with a fantastic direction and cinematography, a deliciously sharp dialogue and wonderful performances in a plot that is breathtakingly tense, suspenseful and even diabolical.
Even with such a promising idea and a talented cast (Hong Chau is amazing), it is a pity that Payne doesn’t really manage to find a center for his story, creating an uneven film that always tries to come up with new things to say and to discuss but without knowing how to do so.
It knows how to create a very creepy atmosphere and benefits from a magnetic performance by Bela Lugosi, even though the movie didn’t age so well (a deleted epilogue makes the last scene seem too abrupt today) and everything about it is more theatrical than realistic.
It is a curious thing that the handsome Joe Odagiri speaks Japanese throughout the whole film while all the other characters speak Korean and yet everyone understands each other in this mystical Jungian reflection on the Buddhist Yin/Yang attraction.
Dream House (2011)
This mess of a film has a few interesting elements but the stupid plot wants so badly to be convoluted that it forgets to be coherent or even plausible. And beware, the trailer gives away the entire movie, including the twists, which only proves that the people in charge of the marketing are complete imbeciles.
The Dresser (1983)
The exquisite dialogue and the Oscar-nominated performances by Finney and Courtenay, who are no less than splendid together, are what makes this drama so engaging, centered on such a fascinating and complex relationship between the two characters.
This arthouse action-noir is especially successful in what is so hard to see in movies today: style plus substance, with a fantastic Ryan Gosling as a sullen, calculating and self-controlled Man With No Name in a plot that perfectly blends a melancholy atmosphere and brutal violence.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Why this movie won so many Oscars is something that escapes me, given its annoying and poorly-paced narrative that forces us to endure an unbearable old lady and feels tremendously episodic trying to span 25 years with skips in time that are never fluid.
The Drop (2014)
Even if the characters are interesting (with the exception of a useless policeman that shouldn’t even be there) and the slow-burning plot is engaging, the clunky ending makes it feel like it doesn’t know exactly what it wants to say, with its last two scenes being redundant and inconsistent.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
Matt Dillon delivers an excellent performance (one of his best) in a film that can be equally sad and funny (even funnier than one would imagine), surprising us with the depth it achieves yet reaching an ending that feels too easy compared to the audacity that preceded it.
The Duchess (2008)
A handsomely-mounted period drama that impresses more for its dazzling art direction and costume design than for anything plot-related, telling a half-baked “feminist” story that wants to look like it has some sort of happy ending when in fact there is nothing really satisfying about it.
Duck Soup (1933)
The Marx brothers raise hell and guns and laughter in this classic, with big musical numbers and a hysterical slapstick humor full of puns and physical gags and memorable scenes that helped define the comedy genre and were an inspiration to many great comedians who came after.
Duck, You Sucker (1971)
A minor classic that sadly pales in comparison with those other superior films made by Leone, but still this is a great Western about friendship in a political revolution, with some mesmerizing performances and an enchanting melancholy score by Ennio Morricone.
Due Date (2010)
Due Date has a good deal of funny moments and works thanks to the talent of its two stars, especially Galifianakis, who is really obnoxious at first but soon gains our sympathy.
The DUFF (2015)
What seems at first like just another ordinary teen movie turns out to be a lot better in a funnier second half that gets especially elevated by the great chemistry between Whitman and Amell, who are very charismatic and couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for their roles.
The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
This stimulating, stylish and sensual story of domination and co-dependency is not only technically irreproachable (with those gorgeous visuals, a wonderful score and an outstanding sound design) but is also intelligent and rings truer than most films about love and relationships.
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
An unpretentious comedy that never loses its fun and is non-stop laughs from beginning to end even after many viewings, relying on the hysterical raunchy humor that the Farrellys can get away with so well and on two amazing performances by Carrey and Daniels at their best.
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
A very solid sequel that retains the goofy charm of the great original movie even if it may feel like just more of the same, and once again the Farrellys know that, like in that film, it is the characters (and their hilarious stupidity), not an actual plot, that it should be about.
The box office failure of Fantasia prompted Disney to make this much simpler animation that relies more on characters and feelings, and it has a very beautiful story (despite some ethnic stereotypes) about rejection and how one’s “defect” ends up being what makes one so special.
Even while trying to make something bigger and different from the original movie, Burton ironically ends up with another useless Disney live-action remake: predictable, lifeless with its annoyingly dark cinematography and myopic whenever convenient towards animal captivity in circuses.
Fruit Chan crafts a queasy, unsettling film about vanity and obsession using an exemplary sound design to evoke tension from a really unusual premise. Still, it has problems in the editing, while the parts don’t seem to add up to an exactly satisfying whole.
However interesting it may be, the non-linearity of the plot is quite distracting and disorienting (and not in a good way), and it is much easier to admire this movie for being technically efficient (despite Hans Zimmer’s clichéd score and how loud everything is) than anything it tells.
It is Eileen Essell who makes it a real pleasure to watch this mildly entertaining comedy that, despite its share of funny moments here and there and a good twist in the end, has not much else to offer in terms of narrative and gets less and less funny after halfway through.
Great performances and a delightful chemistry between Roberts and Owen help lift this intelligent, funny and well-constructed espionage film above many other similar ones, and it benefits even more from a witty dialogue and clever plot twists.
Dzi Croquettes (2009)
I have issues with the film’s editing, since the information is presented in a rather clumsy, haphazard manner (not to mention the heavy-handed way the director puts herself in it), but still this is such an engaging and enlightening doc about those groundbreaking artists.
The film’s greatest achievement is how E.T. looks so pure and human, with big eyes full of innocence and beauty (although ‘human’ is probably not the best word to describe him, considering how humans are after all), which elevates this to one of Spielberg’s most magical creations.
The Eagle (2011)
A morally repellent movie that clearly supports imperialism (the emblem being an eagle and the Romans performed by American actors) and considers those who resist it as ruthless savages, which makes it unbelievable that Jamie Bell’s character would help the invaders regain their “honor.”
The East (2013)
The kind of stupid thriller that tries to pass as nuanced but only insults our intelligence with too much exposition and gaps in logic that make any suspension of disbelief impossible. And Brit Marling makes it worse playing a character who can’t convince as an undercover agent.
East of Eden (1955)
A timeless and profoundly touching retelling of the Biblical story of Cain and Abel using the early 20th century California as backdrop. While the visuals and music are wonderful, it is James Dean’s performance the most spectacular here, especially in the poignant final scene.
Easy A (2010)
It is curious how, apart from being strangely implausible, this passable comedy wants to pose as open-minded about female sexuality but cannot hide its moralistic undertones (it was made by a man, what a surprise), while reminding us all the time of better teen movies.
Easy Street (1917)
A light and funny silent short in which Chaplin the tramp gets a job as a policeman and must put order in the London slums.
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Even if Julia Roberts is adorable and the stunning scenery will probably make you want to go backpacking around the world, this weak movie feels a bit bloated and too long for a romantic drama, and it doesn’t have what it takes to keep our interest for all that running time.
Oliveira, who was over a hundred years old when he made this film, crafts an interesting sixty-minute adaptation of a short story written by the 19th-century Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós, with an intriguing narrative that brings to mind the surreal style of Luis Buñuel.
The boldest film of Antonioni’s informal trilogy in terms of language, as he makes choices that would normally and objectively be considered wrong but couldn’t feel more right here, and he even uses some powerful symbolism to make us share the characters’ dissatisfaction.
Ed Wood (1994)
Burton treats his idiosyncratic character with great affection and respect, in a delightful (and very funny) biography that emulates with perfection the visuals of classic horror movies — making us even want to check out Ed Wood’s turkeys. Besides, Depp and Landau are magnificent.
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
The kind of inspirational story in which we know everything that is going to happen but still we happily embrace the clichés that make it seem like a delicious throwback to the ‘80s (the music is great), and Egerton has so much charisma that we can’t help but fall in love with his character.
Hansen-Løve’s intimate, low-key approach may come off as a bit too stiff for the film’s own sake — mainly, the dialogue sounds markedly stiff and the delivery of the lines by the actors also -, but there is a sensitive quality to her story that makes it curiously affecting.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
It may not be exactly original, but this effective and expertly-edited sci-fi movie does a great job combining aliens and a Groundhog Day plot with top-notch visual effects and a fantastic sound design, while Tom Cruise sells his character’s evolution with a typical magnetic performance.
An Education (2009)
A charming, provocative and, above all, mature coming-of-age drama with a simple yet morally complex story that never gives in to easy solutions — and, while the cast is wonderful, it is Carey Mulligan who definitely shines in a remarkable performance.
Effi Briest (1974)
Fassbinder directs this period piece with an impressive technical sophistication, something evident in the exquisite mise-en-scène and cinematography. And he finds in Fontane’s criticism of society a perfect material to be adapted by him, although the result is a bit too long.
The Eichmann Show (2015)
Uninspired and banal like a TV movie, it doesn’t live up to the complexity of the moral questions that it inevitably raises regarding Eichmann’s trial and ends up feeling as manipulative and self-important as the spectacle it tells us about.
Fellini takes his existential musings from La Dolce Vita to a radical level with this fascinatingly intimate and gorgeous exercise in self-reflection (the title couldn’t be more perfect), shaping it as a stylish anti-comedy and building it upon a surprising anti-structural narrative skeleton.
Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (1972)
Eight hours of this delicious family miniseries made by Fassbinder is more than anyone could ask for, delighting us with great performances and a lot of hilarious situations that prove to be just as entertaining as they are clever as a commentary on society, family and class.
8 Mile (2002)
Eminem shows he has a natural talent for acting, delivering a strong performance in this solid underdog story that could have been the first of many for him, and this is a well-written drama despite the linear structure that doesn’t really allow for many surprises.
Eighth Grade (2018)
It is great to see a film about adolescence that feels like the real thing for a change and not just some silly, romanticized idea of it, which is even more remarkable when you consider that Bo Burnham is a grown-up man who clearly hasn’t forgotten what it is like to be a teenager.
It may not be easy for some to tolerate Greenaway’s stylistic excesses and kitschy depiction of Eisenstein, but once you get used to all that, you will find an eccentric biopic that could have only come from him and is lifted by a committed central performance by Elmer Bäck.
The Einstein of Sex (1999)
The film’s didacticism and lack of aesthetic refinement may push some viewers away, but Rosa von Praunheim doesn’t care about that and is mainly interested in telling us the story of the man that was Magnus Hirschfeld and his importance for the LGBT rights movement, which he does.
Gloria’s passivity and determination to believe a man she barely knows becomes all the more exasperating as the narrative unfolds, but Buñuel creates a gripping portrait of male dominance, abuse and paranoia with a cynical last scene that couldn’t be more meaningful.
El Dorado (1966)
Hawks re-teams with John Wayne in this obvious remake of Rio Bravo (although he always denied that), which despite lacking in originality and being too familiar for its own good, boasts a stunning cinematography, elegant dialogue and Robert Mitchum virtually stealing the scene.
An amusing satirical film that may take us more than one viewing to grasp its subtle, dark humor and the sharp irony of what it wants to say involving ethics and morality — and it benefits immensely from some very nuanced characters played by the actors in excellent performances.
An intriguing drama of fascinating moral complexity and ambiguity, with an elegant direction that makes use of several long takes to show us the everyday life of its main character and the drastic choices that she decides to make in view of some hard circumstances.
Petra Costa searches for her older sister as a way to find herself — both the person and the artist she has become over the years following a tragedy that changed her forever and somehow shaped her personal expression into something perceptive, mature and tremendous like what we see here.
With a flawless direction and elegant long takes, this hypnotizing film moves in a careful pace to follow its characters prior to an impending tragedy. I only wish I felt more involved with them, while the amateur actors could have conveyed a more authentic sense of terror.
Elite Squad (2007)
To dismiss this uncomfortable film as “fascist” like many did (and still do) is in itself an unfair and dangerous simplification, given the complex picture that Padilha draws of Brazilian society — a tragedy, actually — where violence seems to be the only way to combat crime and violence.
Even better than the exceptional first movie, it presents an intelligent story in which drug trafficking in Rio de Janeiro is beaten but then a new enemy rises — a potential scenario that exposes a complex social cancer that goes all the way up to the politicians, including the corrupt Military Police and the shady interests of the media.
A handsome period drama that looks stunning but feels more like reading a History book, with a plain screenplay that doesn’t offer many surprises and a cold, didactic direction by Shekhar Kapur that doesn’t leave us engaged in the way that it actually should.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Overly dramatic and cheesy like a soap opera, this stupid costume drama made to dazzle us with its sumptuous production design seems like two stories in one and cannot decide if it wants to be a romance for women or a backstabbing period drama, and so it simply fails as both.
Verhoeven creates a highly effective and absorbing combination of thriller and character study, being particularly successful as the former and benefiting from a careful, nuanced performance by Isabelle Huppert, who offers a whole lot of depth to a difficult character.
Elvis & Nixon (2016)
Even if it doesn’t have that much to offer apart from being an amusing curiosity about an iconic moment immortalized in a photograph, the film is super funny and fun to watch, with great dialogue and two priceless performances by Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey.
Aside from Jodie Foster’s over-the-top performance and an irritating shaky camera that makes it hard sometimes to follow what is happening in the action scenes, Blomkamp really hits the mark with this efficient sci-fi that is entertaining and even thought-provoking.
Embodiment of Evil (2008)
It is fun to see how it updates the trashy quality of Coffin Joe’s previous films to modern times, but Marins is a terrible actor (what happened to the guy who used to dub him?) and the movie is a ridiculous mess that also exaggerates in its mindless scenes of violence against women.
Like some tired rehash of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, this is a frustrating imbecility that seems made to only annoy the viewers with its dumb characters, inept direction, anticlimactic plot and a lame villain whose motivations for torturing children are just incomprehensible.
End of Watch (2012)
It takes a very incompetent director to be this incapable of using the (clichéd) subjective camera in a minimally coherent way — and Ayer also sinks his decent plot with inconsistencies and a pathetic ending that even includes a useless epilogue.
The Endless (2017)
Much like its sister-film Resolution, this is a mostly uneventful low-budget science fiction that takes forever for things to start to happen — and when they finally do, the result doesn’t live up to its promising ideas, becoming only confusing and disappointing in its execution.
Endless Love (1981)
I guess I must be one of the very few who managed to feel the despair of the character’s obsessive love (to the sound of that heartbreaking Lionel Richie song), but sadly after one hour the movie becomes a sappy, overplotted soap opera and doesn’t even care to offer us a conclusion.
Endless Love (2014)
Bearing no resemblance at all to the original story, this endlessly awful teenage melodrama basically tries to create conflict by turning the girl’s father into a monster but only manages to be nonsensical — really, it doesn’t even have any idea of what a recommendation letter is.
Endless Night (2015)
With an impressive cinematography that widely explores the isolation and vast whiteness of the Arctic, this is an engaging story centered on a cultural clash experienced by two very different characters who are forced to endure a terrifying glacial nightmare together.
A challenging and disorienting puzzle that moves at a slow-burning pace and builds an extremely tense atmosphere to promote discussions and interpretations regarding its mind-twisting plot — which may be simpler than it seems, with a key to it on one of its posters.
The English Patient (1996)
The kind of overlong and self-important epic-scale drama that seems tailor-made to win every award for its outstanding visuals, performances, make-up and editing, but which suffers from an excess of characters and subplots while lacking in focus and meaning.
Enough Said (2013)
A sweet and mature romantic comedy that, behind its apparent simplicity, is more nuanced than one would imagine, offering an honest insight into love between middle-aged people and with great performances by Dreyfus and Gandolfini (who will be missed).
Enter the Void (2009)
With this uncomfortable drug-like experience of strong colors and strobe lights, Gaspar Noé proves again that he is such an imaginative director, taking us with his subjective camera in a depressing psychedelic trip presented entirely from the point of view of its main character.
The Entity (1982)
Although it is a bit overlong and not exactly scary, this is a decent supernatural film that benefits from a good dialogue and characters that act like normal people in view of the disturbing circumstances they find themselves in, with Barbara Hershey in a strong performance.
I have never seen the HBO series (and don’t intend to), but this silly (and rarely funny) movie was obviously conceived for fans only, with lots of celebrity cameos and characters who look terribly shallow — Ari being the exception, even overshadowing the protagonist, Vince, who is barely there.
Entranced Earth (1967)
This Brechtian allegory of huge cinematic and historical importance never feels obsolete considering that a lot remains unchanged when it comes to politicians and their twisted ethics, and it is a delirious and audacious film of spellbinding imagery with no diverting subtlety.
Entre Nós (2013)
A delicate and profoundly complex character study that finds a most perfect balance between melancholy and humor, with multidimensional characters (played by some excellent actors), an elegant, fluid direction and a spontaneous dialogue that feels as though it were all ad-libbed.
Tanovic tells this revolting real story using a welcome verité style and non-professional actors who play themselves, all in a way that invites comparisons with the Iranian New Wave, but his plain, fly-on-the-wall approach may feel distant and prevent us from a greater emotional response to it.
Unfairly underrated, Equilibrium clearly borrows from The Matrix and classic sci-fi films such as Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 but stands out on its own mostly thanks to the main character’s personal emotional conflict and its intense, well-choreographed fighting scenes.
Ernest & Celestine (2012)
Made from simple artisanal drawings of pastel tones and with a great sound design, this joyful tale of friendship offers a smart commentary on prejudice and acceptance of people’s differences — a very important message for children today.
John Rhys-Davies must be desperate to be in just about any project, for nothing else justifies him being in this preachy Christian garbage about God and faith that looks like a cheap TV movie with lousy acting and not even a decent cinematography to explore the beauty of its locations.
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
An efficient prison break movie that manages to be tense and gripping, even though there is nothing really memorable about the plot and it doesn’t even make any attempt to conceal its artificial and clearly manipulative efforts to create suspense in many key scenes.
Escape Room (2019)
Anyone who has ever seen Cube or Saw will quickly notice how unoriginal, derivative and plain dumb this movie is — only adapted to the modern “escape games” fever but barely managing to be fun with a series of lame traps and silly revelations that don’t really matter.
The Escapist (2008)
For those who have seen more than two or three prison break movies in their lives, this mediocre film won’t offer anything new even if it believes to be doing something pretty smart and profound with an annoying flashback structure and a silly Ambrose Bierce twist in the end.
Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014)
So what that Escobar is not the protagonist, when Del Toro’s magnetic presence looms over the whole film like a terrifying menace and we are offered a second half that is so nerve-wracking? — despite the first half being too conventional and the supporting characters frustratingly one-dimensional.
Essential Killing (2010)
Even if not original and proving to be a wearing experience, this visceral film deserves credit for being almost without dialogue — and Gallo does a good job as a desperate man struggling for survival in an inhospitable place, while the locations highlight well his isolation.
Esta Não É a Sua Vida (1991)
As an exercise in documentary-making that questions the limit(ation)s of the medium, the way it intervenes in anonymity and also its inability to determine who we are, this is more interesting than the actual result, and I guess because not every life is that interesting.
Marcos Prado finds in poor Estamira a rightful spokesperson for (or should I say, a prophet of) the outcast and miserable — those who can only lose their minds with so much suffering while living incredibly sad, ungrateful lives that shouldn’t even be relegated to animals.
With top-notch editing, score and performances (especially João Miguel, of course, who proves again what an amazing actor he is), Estomago is an intelligent and darkly hilarious film that cynically correlates food, sex and power and moves towards a deliciously bizarre conclusion.
A harmless but mildly pleasant Brazilian indie romance that has some good moments here and there but is irregular as a whole and without much focus or rhythm, with a script that roams around without knowing where to go and silly philosophical musings that are a real bore.
Europa ’51 (1952)
Despite its noble intentions, this preachy film was clearly made as a vehicle for Rossellini’s marxist discourse — and not only it relies on a contrived premise that is hard to buy but also has a very heavy-handed execution, with a clumsy dialogue and a terrible lack of subtlety.
A pretty funny teen sex comedy full of dirty jokes and bathroom humor. It is nothing special and definitely not supposed to be taken seriously, so just let yourself go with it and you may laugh real hard at its hilarious nonsense and inspired moments.
Even the Rain (2010)
An intriguing Spanish drama that raises many complex questions about morality with well-constructed characters who have solid motivations for their actions, and the plot makes some curious parallels between the early colonization of America and modern-day imperialism.
Event Horizon (1997)
A lousy and unimaginative mix of Solaris, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, The Shining, Hellraiser and more — and if being a ragbag like this doesn’t give you an idea of the disaster that could only come from it, the cheap, loud scares and Anderson’s awful direction are definite proof.
A nerve-wrecking and moving film that recounts the real story of an adventure that turned into a nightmare at the top of the world, and it is great to see how it depicts the whole incident as a realistic consequence of a risky journey instead of making it about mere visual entertainment.
Every Thing Will Be Fine (2015)
I can’t stop thinking how unnecessary — even if very well made — the 3D is in this uneven film, and, although James Franco is great as always, the film’s confused attempt at becoming a thriller at a certain point doesn’t work and it all falls flat with an unconvincing resolution.
Everything’s Alright (1978)
Irregular and sometimes a bit irritating with its hysterical hubbub of people yelling pointless monologues, at least it compensates for all that with excellent performances and many hilarious moments when making fun of the ridiculousness and hypocrisy of Brazilian middle class.
The Evil Dead (1981)
A fun splatter movie with tons of gore that make it so gruesome and funny. It is cheesy, silly and poorly made, with awful acting and many filming and continuity errors, but compensated by an amazing make-up and bizarre sense of humor.
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
Not really a sequel but more a different remake of the first one with superior special effects and camera work, and it is definitely a lot funnier, with a more bizarre physical humor that includes a squealing possessed hand and a hysterical Bruce Campbell stealing the scene.
Evil Dead (2013)
It seems like Alvarez didn’t really get what made the original Evil Dead movies so successful, and so he basically eliminates the bizarre humor that made them so much fun and now goes for a bloodbath of pure gore that is entirely derivative and relies on ridiculous cheap scares.
Even though the protagonist is a flawed, intriguing demagogue, this visually stunning but tiresome (and oversung) musical makes it hard for us to care, given how insufferable most of the songs are (except for two or three), like nearly everything made by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Ex Machina (2015)
The direction is a bit predictable and the film goes on for a few minutes past what should be its conclusion (even though I like the last shot), but this is an intelligent sci-fi that offers an amazing production design, impressive visual effects and great food for thought.
Although it begins quite well, Exam is too unoriginal and only draws inevitable comparisons to The Apprentice and films like Cube and The Method. However, the real problem is how pointless the story really is, including a frustrating ending.
Built on a gripping atmosphere of mystery, this is an intriguing sci-fi thriller that pulls us deeper and deeper into a highly strange universe that leaves us always curious to know more about — even if after a while it doesn’t take us much to see where it is going.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
A fascinating documentary about an eccentric guy who decided to film the work of street artists — which could immortalize their ephemeral art -, and it is not only the record of a movement but an amusing character study that also makes us question the nature and value of Art itself.
A wonderful epic that boasts one of the most beautiful scores in the history of Cinema, a gorgeous cinematography that makes the best use of its locations, fantastic performances (Sal Mineo is the highlight) and an incredibly well-written script that still feels relevant today in its message in favor of peace.
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Another major Biblical epic with dazzling visuals released in 2014, and like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah it also understands that the God depicted in the Old Testament is, well, a cruel and sadistic murderer, only this time Moses follows the opposite path, from reluctant to believe to religious fanatic.
The Exorcist (1973)
Exquisitely directed and with great acting, this is a true classic that drives its characters into a genuine state of pure terror in the presence of unspeakable Evil and scared the hell out of audiences when it was released — something that will be more difficult to happen today.
The Expendables (2010)
The idea of having these stars together is of course appealing, updating the ‘80s to modern times, but the formulaic action scenes are never entertaining enough to justify this. Besides, the dialogue is so painful and none of the stupid jokes ever works.
The Expendables 2 (2012)
You get what you expect: a brainless action flick with lousy dialogue, unfunny jokes, boring character interaction that makes you long for the explosions and an epileptic camera that makes it almost impossible to follow the fighting scenes. Yet also funny and with Chuck Norris!
The Experiment (2010)
A stupid movie about a psychological experiment that makes no sense. The men in the role of prisoners are a bunch of imbeciles in every way imaginable and the ones playing guards are sick sociopaths, so what is the point here? Even worse is the terrible ending.
The stylized direction is sometimes unnecessarily distracting (even though the breaking of the fourth wall does work) and in some occasions the narrative seems to digress, but still this is a compelling account of a fascinating experiment that says a lot about human nature.
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
Buñuel clearly refuses to be subtle in this sharp allegorical satire (and because of that I only wish he had gone even further and embraced insanity and chaos all the way), using an absurd and quite ingenious idea to give a well-deserved slap on bourgeois values and hypocrisy.
This overly sentimental drama could have been genuinely moving but gets ruined by terrible narrative choices, remaining not only infuriatingly manipulative, given its exploitative matter, but also with an extremely obnoxious protagonist that pushes our patience to the limit.
It is better to just watch four hours of the Netflix Ted Bundy tapes documentary than this awfully mediocre fictionalization that is so rushed it feels like a long recap of some sort, full of soap opera clichés and never caring to dive deep into anything pertaining to the case.
Eyes Wide Open (2009)
A simple, powerful and intense Israeli drama about desire versus religious faith in Jerusalem, presenting an extremely engaging forbidden love story between two orthodox Jewish men whose profound feelings for each other grow incredibly real.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
A slow-burning Kubrickian exploration of extramarital sexual desire and jealousy full of symbolism, and it throws us together with the characters in a nightmarish odyssey highlighted by a terrific game of colors using blue and red to suggest menace and unconscious sex impulses.
Eyes Without a Face (1960)
With a haunting score and a disturbing plot, this film can be quite anguishing sometimes, especially in an infamous heterografting operation scene, working pretty well despite its flaws (like the police coming up with a stupid plan that makes no sense once you think about it).