I don’t know how autobiographical this film is, only that Tsai makes it as some sort of self-reflexive experiment (which doesn’t actually suit him) that probes into his mind and creative process at the expense of any clear structure but has some moments of poetic beauty.
The Face of an Angel (2014)
I see where Winterbottom and screenwriter Paul Viragh want to go with this film — I get the point and I admire them for pushing the envelope like this -, but it is hard to shake the feeling that their many unripe ideas result in a sort of mixed bag that is not entirely satisfying.
Face to Face (1967)
Sollima’s following film after his outstanding The Big Gundown is this gripping Western that features Milian and Volonté as two very different men who start to become like each other — even though Volonté’s character seems to change too fast and not in a very convincing way.
Faces Places (2017)
It is wonderful to see a living legend like Agnès Varda still so full of energy and open to creative expression alongside another artist whose work and style are so different from hers, and it is from this refreshing combination that such a revealing and touching documentary comes to life.
Fading Gigolo (2013)
Despite its good moments — and there really are a handful of them, largely thanks to the presence of Woody Allen in it -, this comedy is so harmless in many ways that its sweet message about loneliness and connection gets even diluted by how perfunctory the plot is.
Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
Transposed to the screen by Truffaut and with an evocative score by Bernard Herrmann, Ray Bradbury’s terrifying idea of a future is a brilliant allegory that remains intelligent and pertinent even today, when books may not be destroyed but are scorned by people.
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
At the risk of making his film sound too preachy, Michael Moore examines with a lot of sardonic humor the causes behind one of the most shameful chapters in recent American history, creating an insightful and well-edited documentary that should be seen by everyone.
Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)
You may say that Moore digresses trying to talk about a good too many things, but the result is like a last chapter in a trilogy that began with Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, wrapping up its thesis in a devastating (and understandably desperate) wake-up cry to a country that is being burnt alive.
Fair Game (2010)
A compelling and well-written political drama based on an outraging, shocking real story, and the most interesting is to see how the whole situation deeply affects the relationship between the characters, who are played so superbly well by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
FairyTale: A True Story (1997)
All that this pathetic and incredibly silly movie wants is to be cute, and so it shies away from the truth with a ridiculous justification that more important than reality is “magic” — even if coming from a deceiving fraud that supposedly brings comfort to people. Truth is, it is not.
The Fall (2006)
Aesthetically stunning, with a wonderful cinematography and production design, this is a highly imaginative and ambitious (yet also certainly self-indulgent) film about love, and it is impossible not to love little Catinca Untaru, who couldn’t be any better or cuter, she is fantastic.
A Fall from Grace (2020)
This movie should have been named A Fall from Intelligence, as it looks like Tyler Perry can’t come up with anything remotely original or clever to say here, relying on stupid characters, corny dialogue, laughable situations and silly twists you usually find in soap operas.
A delightful and compelling drama with a wonderful soundtrack and a gallery of characters that we really learn to care about, and the best is to see that it is told so fluidly in loosely organized fragments and never loses its pacing thanks to the great editing.
An underrated remake of a great film with new characters dealing with personal conflicts and following their dream to become a famous star, and while the first hour is engaging, I am glad that the film doesn’t get ruined by that lame Broadway-like ending.
Family Nest (1979)
In his feature debut, Béla Tarr offers an uncomfortable look into communist Hungary using the Budapest school style of cinema verité and a camera that glides almost invisible among the non-professional actors, but it becomes a bit repetitious in the last half hour with a few redundant monologues.
Fando & Lis (1968)
It is interesting to see how Jodorowsky wanted to push the cinematic envelope with this provocative surrealist film of striking visuals — a film which, however noticeably amateurish and flawed, already showed he was an artist full of ideas and promising talent.
O Fantasma (2000)
Darkly sensual and raw, O Fantasma is most daring when refusing to follow a well-defined structure, becoming a series of nihilistic moments that explore the depressing emptiness of an animalistic life yet frustratingly losing any sense of direction towards its end.
It is always a pleasure to return to this universe full of wonders and fantastic beings conceived by J. K. Rowling, who dazzles us once again with her usual astonishing imagination and a delightful adventure that also works as another intelligent allegory about prejudice and acceptance.
Even though the plot is less cohesive than in the first movie (and Yates’s direction more chaotic than it had the right to be), this sequel has urgency and couldn’t be more relevant in times when seductive authoritarians incite violence while shifting the blame to the oppressed.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
A visually stunning animation that dazzles us at every second especially as we see the amazing attention that it pays to its smallest details, and the result is a delightful fun for all ages with a clever, witty plot, great voicing and Wes Anderson’s trademark sense of humor.
Fantastic Planet (1973)
A silly and sterile animation that believes to be much smarter than it is (even the wordplays Oms and Terr are obvious), not to mention that it is visually and audibly dated (the music is awful) and constantly loses focus with too much unnecessary detailing about the wild life in Ygam.
A Fantastic Woman (2017)
Sebastián Lelio is becoming now one of my favorite directors, and Daniela Vega delivers a magnificent performance in this complex and enraging drama that makes us share all the suffering and humiliation that the character is put through by so many people around her.
Far from Heaven (2002)
Emulating with perfection the style of Douglas Sirk’s melodramas from the 1950s and with a gorgeous cinematography, Todd Haynes relies on two splendid performances by Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid to make a powerful and still relevant statement on intolerance.
Far from Men (2014)
A careful and slow-burning drama that knows how to wonderfully explore the desolate landscapes of the Algerian desert and has an intense Viggo Mortensen at the center of a narrative that surprises us as we realize in the end how involved we have become with its characters.
Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)
A very faithful adaptation that may not be a memorable classic but translates well the essence of Hardy’s novel into a concise narrative that benefits from a uniformly perfect cast and takes its time to tell what it needs without rush, despite the rather hasty ending.
Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
Vinterberg tones down the melodrama of Hardy’s pastoral novel to make a more sober adaptation but misses the intensity of the protagonist’s misery — which is not only a fault of his off-putting direction but also because Carey Mulligan is clearly miscast in the role.
It is easy to misread this story as a male fantasy about a very old, fragile man banging a hot young brunette, but the film is in fact a delicate portrayal of how sad it can be to remain fully lucid while your body falls apart, and it is elevated by a beautiful performance from Nelson Xavier.
Farewell, My Queen (2012)
With many inelegant zooms and clumsy camera movements, this irregular drama also fails to develop Sidonie’s devotion to the Queen, and so their trust relationship feels forced and rushed. Still, the story creates some good tension following a fictional character of uncertain fate.
Farewell to the Night (2019)
Even though it looks technically cheap and doesn’t go deep enough into Alex and Lila’s motivations as it perhaps should, this is a balanced drama that does a solid job trying to examine the origins of religious extremism without relying on simplistic answers or easy resolutions.
It is repetitious sometimes and feels a bit lost after a while without knowing exactly where to go (and its unnecessarily fragmented structure is more distracting than anything else), but still this is an interesting film about jealousy and has good performances.
Though some may find strange that Hannah Schygulla is only briefly mentioned, this is a very interesting documentary made with love about one of the most important and prolific directors of all time, and it focuses mostly on his fantastic body of work, themes and approach.
The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
A bittersweet and occasionally honest little romance that falters trying too hard to be cute (Hazel and Augustus, seriously?) and is ridden with too much sappiness. Still, it’s the extremely adorable (and surprisingly talented) leads who compensate for the movie’s clichés.
A difficult, uncomfortable and predictable thriller that forces us to be in the company of human garbage (which is what the protagonist is), but it is hard to figure out what the film is trying to do — are we supposed to have any sort of sympathy (or pity) for this woman or just fear?
Intelligent and gripping, the kind of well-constructed character study that keeps us always intrigued trying to figure out who is really in control of the situation, and it has two excellent performances to hold it all together as it shows the imprisoning influence of beliefs on a weak mind.
The Favourite (2018)
A stinky mud of baroque malice, royal indecency and twisted intrigue makes this a deliciously diabolical period dramedy that may be more grounded in reality than Lanthimos’s previous films and yet feels like a bizarre version of All About Eve, had it been penned by a perverse Jane Austen.
The Fear of 13 (2015)
A moving, surprising and compelling film in so many ways, and Nick Yarris has an incredible literary eloquence that makes everything he says sound fascinating (or fake even, to be honest), while the film is smart to just let him talk throughout without any sort of interference.
Félix & Meira (2014)
It must be a sign that a film is not working when you wish to know more about a two-dimensional supporting character (Meira’s husband) than about the two main ones, who are as dull as the artificial dialogue and the tedious dynamics between them — and the film only goes into high gear with thirty minutes left to end.
Fellini — Satyricon (1969)
After Juliet of the Spirits, Fellini decided to push the colorful envelope even further with this dazzling, surrealistic version of Ancient Rome filled with greed, depravity and hedonism, but the big problem is that this disjointed, plotless film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to say.
Fellini’s Casanova (1976)
Never had a Fellini film looked so incredibly stunning as this gorgeous period drama/character study that, even though a bit overlong, has the kind of episodic structure typical of Fellini but all the more suitable here for a story about a pitiful man who goes from one bed adventure to the next in his sterile life.
Fellini’s Roma (1972)
Fellini continues to experiment with the limits of structure and language after his previous films, this time to take a sharp, episodic and humorous look at the Rome of his youth, the Rome of then and his ambivalent feelings for this city (or his idea of it) that he seems to love and hate.
Female Trouble (1974)
While this revolting film is daring, funny and provocative for quite some time, soon it becomes insufferable with a bunch of people shrieking around without end and yelling at each other for much longer than our patience can take (hell, of course, this is John Waters).
Another formulaic animation by Carlos Saldanha, who tries too hard to make something fun for the whole family but doesn’t seem to realize how forgettable this is, with silly German horses, endless chases and pedestrian jokes that rely mostly on Ferdinand being big and clumsy.
A Few Hours of Spring (2012)
Except for one cathartic scene at the end, this bleak and sleep-inducing film feels like an empty exercise in silent resentment, as it tries the very opposite of any other family drama and is centered on two miserable human beings who never talk through their issues.
Field of Dreams (1989)
The truest definition of a magical film, with great performances, one of the most beautiful scores I can remember and a touching narrative that is not about baseball as it is about going the distance and making amends with the past — and the ending is simply wonderful.
The 15:17 to Paris (2018)
An ineptly-written movie that doesn’t know how to build momentum and cannot find a good reason to justify us watching the lives of these three people ever since they were kids, becoming only dull as we follow them in every single step of their trip until they finally get to the train.
The Fifth Element (1997)
There is something amusing about the way it embraces camp but Besson crosses the line into goofy, ridiculous flamboyance with an insufferable Chris Tucker, an over-the-top Gary Oldman overacting insanely and a really preposterous plot that makes impossible any suspension of disbelief.
The Fifth Estate (2013)
An absolutely contemptible, preachy and misguided film in every way possible, clearly made to crucify Assange as a selfish bastard instead of creating a complex character study — and it only gets worse when it tries to make us believe that it’s letting us decide who is right.
It is hard to believe that they managed to make a movie about glamour and music (with a great soundtrack) into something so uninteresting and vapid — to the point that ask ourselves why we should care or why these poorly-developed characters would even consider each other friends. (Theatrical version)
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
An infinitely more sexist version of Twilight, only with BDSM (or the ridiculous, twisted idea that E. L. James has of it) in lieu of vampirism but, of course, with another low-self-esteem “heroine” and a gorgeous, domineering and overcontrolling stalker as her phallic object of desire.
Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club represents the desperate cry of the consumerist modern man for something to end his anxiety and conformism — which takes shape as a brutal anarchy of religious echoes -, and this is a dangerous movie whose brilliant, powerful statement may not be fully grasped by a mainstream audience.
The Fighter (2010)
It is always a pleasure to see a sincere drama that doesn’t give in to cheap clichés or easy melodrama but is instead a compelling film that simply relies on the power of a true story and the strength of an altogether perfect ensemble cast.
Filme Demência (1986)
Transposing the myth of Faust to post-dictatorship Brazil, this is a fascinating journey of self-discovery made by a director in total control of his language and what he wants to say — and I only wish the film were longer and didn’t end right when I was beginning to like it even more.
James McAvoy’s outstanding performance is what lifts this always intriguing dark comedy above its minor flaws — mainly the discrepancy in tone that starts to become more and more evident as the character sinks further into a too serious state of psychosis.
A declaration of love to Cinema made by a true aficionado — and a must-see for all cinephiles in the world. Pálfi takes the most trivial and cliched story of all and retells it using excerpts from 450 films to create something superbly edited and extraordinary.
Final Destination (2000)
Glen Morgan and James Wong, two of the best X‑Files writers, did a fantastic job in this excellent, clever and original teen horror movie that has an intriguing premise and knows how to build genuine tension, especially in the nerve-wracking sequence that opens it.
Final Destination 2 (2003)
This sequel deserves credit for its spectacular first sequence, which is really tense and well made. What follows, though, is more tongue-in-cheek, making fun of Death’s ingenious traps and with an intriguing idea about how the plot is influenced by the events of the first film.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
Morgan and Wong are back for this third film, only with no originality. Everything here is a rehash of the first installment, predictable and gory, with a roller coaster accident instead of an airplane. The tone aims for seriousness but with poor dialogue and an end that is dull and stupid.
The Final Destination (2009)
More of the same for the umptieth time. The characters are uninteresting in a plot that follows a formula, but the worst is that we are always ahead of them. It gets boring to see them learning of Death’s design when we all know the rules, only not the laughable ways they are each going to die.
Finding Dory (2016)
This average sequel came only thirteen years too late, and it does lack a bit in terms of originality (especially since we are talking about Pixar), but at least it is entertaining and visually fantastic like what we have come to expect from the studio in terms of first-rate animation.
Finding Vivian Maier (2013)
An absorbing and well edited documentary that unveils the life of this secretive and incredibly talented woman in an attempt to find out who she was, raising in the process inevitable questions about someone’s right (or lack thereof) to expose the work of someone who died.
Fire in the Sky (1993)
Only two years before Tracy Tormé created my beloved TV show Sliders, he wrote the script for this intriguing movie (based on an alleged real-life story) that may be rather conventional in terms of structure but has one key scene in its third act that can be pretty scary.
The Firemen’s Ball (1967)
Banned from Czechoslovakia for being understood as a satire that openly mocked the heroes of the Communist regime (the people), Milos Forman’s first film in color is this hilarious story made by a talented filmmaker who did know his way with an unpretentious dark comedy.
I obviously don’t belong to the target audience of this moralizing, pro-marriage piece of Christian propaganda, but nothing can excuse it for being so awfully schmaltzy, predictable, sexist and poorly made, preaching to the converted and making everyone else cringe in pain.
Despite the nice special effects and musical score, this is more a mere excuse for pyrotechnics instead of a story made to offer us anything close to real drama or character development, and it doesn’t even understand the character’s power enough to make it consistent.
First Man (2018)
Relying on a beautiful score, an amazing technology and an intelligent direction that emphasizes the character’s lack of anything to anchor him in his life, this is a poignant character study about a man who wants to isolate himself not only from his family but from the rest of the world.
First Reformed (2017)
With a formal rigor that reflects the protagonist’s internal struggle and the austere life he chose to lead, Schrader’s film reminded me of Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light, in which a Christian priest also had his faith shaken by despair — a despair so intense we can feel it across the screen.
Fish Tank (2009)
Even though not really original or insightful, the winner of the Cannes Jury Prize in 2009 is a realistic and deeply sad British coming-of-age drama that relies on two terrific performances by Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender.
Fitzcarraldo becomes an alter ego for Herzog, whose megalomaniacal ambition is just as maddening in a perfect example of life imitating art (or vice versa), and this is both a haunting story of man vs nature and a magnificent display of filmmaking accomplishment in every sense imaginable.
The kind of immersive contemplation (and homage) more akin to video art than an actual sort of narrative, but I really like how it produces a calming, soothing effect (like a fireplace) and would provide great ambience in the background of any living room.
5 Broken Cameras (2011)
A Palestinian peasant teamed up with an Israeli director to deliver this remarkable and moving work of historical importance that exposes the outrageous situation of abusive oppression by invading Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Bil’in.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Despite its clever idea, this unfunny romantic comedy full of clichés is centered on an annoying, uninteresting couple who never convinces us of what they feel — and it is almost impossible to understand how anyone would fall in love with Zooey Deschanel’s detestable character.
A Five Star Life (2013)
On a superficial level, it is easy to like a film that has such an enjoyable sense of humor and a solid performance by Margherita Buy, but soon it becomes clear that the plot is flat as a self-help book, with a simplistic ending that lacks any of the depth it thinks it has.
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
Like Stoller’s previous movies, this perceptive romantic comedy is less about the laughs (they are there, only timidly) than actually offering a keen and complex look into modern relationships, and it could have been even better if not for a long middle act, uneven in tone and pacing.
Beals has talent and charisma but she cannot save a paper-thin plot (full of unnecessary scenes and secondary characters) that is only an excuse for a long series of music video scenes, and the upbeat last dance scene is only there to leave us with a satisfied heart.
The Flat (2011)
What makes this documentary so revealing and intriguing is not so much the mystery that Goldfinger tries to uncover or its shocking implications but all the collective propensity of second-generation Jews and Germans to close their eyes and leave the past and secrets behind.
A lazy, uninspired and downright stupid remake that overlooks nearly everything that made the original film clever and effective, trying too hard to be more like a horror movie (but failing ridiculously) and not bringing anything remotely clever or new to the pot.
Denzel Washington offers a strong performance in this unsurprising character study that goes downhill in clichés after a thrilling beginning. Besides, it suffers from being overlong and uneven in tone, with an artificial and unconvincing redemptive ending.
Flight of the Red Balloon (2007)
Hou’s first film outside of Asia and his tribute to Lamorisse’s Oscar-winning short is always engaging and pleasant to watch, even when at times we have the impression that it is drifting like the red balloon and its conflicts don’t become as compelling as they could.
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
Stephen Frears has become an expert in making forgettable biopics in recent years, and so he gives us another silly and harmless light drama with comedic touches and a great performance by Meryl Streep, who steals the show like she always does when starring in unimpressive films.
The Florida Project (2017)
Funny, touching, heartbreaking and simply beautiful, Sean Baker’s follow-up to his great Tangerine is even better than that film and boasts the adorable Brooklynn Prince in a wonderful performance that should have definitely earned her an Oscar (or at least a nomination).
Flowers of Shanghai (1998)
A gorgeous-looking film with a beautiful art direction and a camera that appears to glide through the sumptuous spaces and rooms of those four brothels in 38 stunning long takes, making it feel almost like a travel in time to the atmospheric Shanghai of the end of the 19th century.
The Flowers of War (2011)
With astonishing visuals and an impeccable sound design, this compelling war film constitutes, however, an oxymoron of gorgeous ugliness, centered on a most hideous massacre of History whose re-creation needed no stylistic ornaments or artificial revelations.
Frantic like a Michael Bay movie, it quickly becomes annoying with its fast-chopped editing that barely lets us see what is happening before our eyes and a bunch of people running around without end in the middle of a mess. Not to mention the cheesy melodrama and political myopia.
The Fly (1986)
Fans of body horror and David Cronenberg will have so much to love in this gruesome, tense and yet tremendously heartbreaking film that not only impresses with its magnificent Oscar-winning makeup but also understands that this should be about the characters above everything else.
The Fog (1980)
A simple but effective horror movie with an atmospheric score and some good scares even if the script is sometimes illogical and full of plot holes. Besides, it proves that showing dead people knocking on doors before entering can be really scary (apart from hilarious).
Food, Inc. (2008)
We are what we eat, and this is an informative documentary that exposes some disturbing — yet not exactly unknown — truths about the food industry in the USA and shows how vital it is for people to start consuming natural/organic products in order to live healthy lives.
Foolish Heart (1998)
Babenco made this autobiographical film only for himself, since it has nothing that could make anyone else relate to such a detestable story that doesn’t manage to develop any of its plot points and is all about a guy who is strangely in love with an insufferable insane woman.
Sure it doesn’t make much sense that the teenagers of this small town that has outlawed dancing for five years could all dance so well, yet this is an enjoyable film with a great soundtrack and John Lithgow as a character who is more complex than your typical zealot antagonist.
A Fond Kiss… (2004)
A modern Romeo and Juliet story directed by Ken Loach. It may be a little soapy sometimes but it is always honest, told with simplicity and raising some solid questions about religious and cultural intolerance.
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
This second film of Leone’s Dollar Trilogy is a significant step up compared to the previous one, as he starts to polish his stylish direction and is helped by a great cast to create some of the most unforgettable scenes in the Spaghetti Western subgenre.
For Love and Gold (1966)
I never get tired of watching this Italian comedy classic that is so funny and delicious in every way possible, with great performances — especially a priceless Vittorio Gassman in the main role — and hilarious road movie situations filled with dry humor and subtle irony.
For Sama (2019)
I find the jumps in time a bit distracting, and I would have preferred to see everything here told more linearly, but anyway this is a hard-hitting documentary that deserves a lot of praise for exposing to the world the atrocities committed by Assad and Russia against helpless civilians in Aleppo.
For Your Consideration (2006)
Even with a running time of around 80 minutes, this largely improvised comedy feels like a whole eternity: not just utterly unfunny and all over the place with a plot that has no idea what it is doing, but also insufferably annoying with ridiculous jokes that are mostly embarrassing.
The Forbidden Room (2015)
It works as a strange object of curiosity more than anything else — an empty exercise of style that could have been at least amusing as a short movie but remains only overdone, impenetrable and interminable as it is, and an insufferable waste of time that doesn’t have anything to say.
Force Majeure (2014)
An uncomfortable and darkly-humored examination of masculinity centered on a family man who becomes a pathetic coward due to some hilarious circumstances while his wife hesitates to deal with it — but the film doesn’t know how to end and lingers on for two or three scenes longer than it should.
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
The racing scenes are pretty exciting — a merit especially of the film’s editing, sound and also score — but I wish I had liked this more than I did, which I see as a fault of the formulaic plot that even has trouble when trying to be moving (the last ten minutes of the film almost made me cringe).
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Amusing enough, with a great cinematography and memorable set pieces, this is a passable film even with those irritating flaws that have become now the worst types of clichés, like a forced romance and how no one believes the main character and thinks he is crazy for no reason.
Foreign Land (1995)
A decent film that holds our attention and keeps us always interested even if its attempt at being a combination of drama, thriller and (forced) romance is not that successful — not to mention how the characters’ motivations are fuzzy especially in its third act.
Even if it deals with something that is quite disturbing in itself, the film is mostly dull, with characters that are more detestable that anything else and a protagonist whose motivations come off as inconsistent and artificial regarding what she believes and wants for herself.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
The perfect example of a clever comedy that made me laugh more in a silent way (on the inside, if that is possible) than out loud, while pulling me gradually into its story by how touching it actually is, with a deeply honest narrative and a homogeneously great cast.
Forrest Gump (1994)
With a fine performance by Tom Hanks, this is a refreshing feel-good movie that is always fun and charming, even if sometimes sentimental and a bit vague about its purpose — and if you are able to overlook its flaws, you will find a captivating story of innocence and optimism.
45 Years (2015)
A nuanced and mature story about mature people, enriched by two outstanding performances from the main leads; still, it feels like the strength of the narrative is diluted somehow by Haigh’s restrained, schematic direction, especially in its silent moments of introspection.
42nd Street (1933)
With jokes that are dated for today’s standards and a silly, unconvincing plot that basically invented the backstage clichés, this musical is worth it only for Busby Berkeley’s spectacular choreography and astonishing production numbers that could never take place on a theater stage.
The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Steve Carell proves to be a really talented and funny actor in his first main role on the big screen, and this is a solid comedy that, even if a bit too long and structured more as a series of isolated sketches, offers a lot of fun with its largely improvised lines and amusing performances.
Found Memories (2011)
A contemplative work of intense narrative and visual poetry, using a simple yet strongly resonant story to raise delicate musings about the transience of life and the emotional power of our memories — how we perceive them and their importance as time passes and we age.
Four Days in September (1997)
It shows revolutionaries fighting a dictatorship as a bunch of confused amateurs (I wonder how they don’t get killed after halfway through), while also trying to humanize torturers in a muddled plot that doesn’t really know what to do with this sort of material in its hands.
This could have been a smart psychological horror but instead feels sterile and pointless, missing the chance to explore the possibilities of its premise and the character’s issues. Besides, it becomes repetitive after some time, even though John Cusack compensates with a strong performance.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
It is impossible to take this any seriously, a stupid fictional film that insults the audience trying so hard to make you believe that everything it tells is real — but the hoax is unconvincing, the screen splitting gimmick is ridiculous and Mila Jovovich a terrible actress.
The Fourth Man (1983)
The symbolism is made a bit too obvious (especially in a rather expository third act), but still it is hard to resist this stylish, sensual and technically splendid thriller that makes some very nice use of colors and is always intriguing in the way it blends reality and imagination.
Fox and His Friends (1975)
Another successful allegory in which Fassbinder illustrates again his main recurrent theme of the exploitability of feelings through a sharp and painfully sad story about how love can be used as a most efficient instrument of manipulation, humiliation and repression.
The Fox and the Hound (1981)
The animation job is exceptional, but the songs are not that great and the simple story, while solid, suffers a bit from the same problems found in most of the movies made by the studio in the 1970s, especially how it feels rather perfunctory and watered down for children.
The true strength of this engrossing drama lies in its three central performances, and Steve Carell delivers a magnificent one — probably his best to date — in a complex, engaging and well-directed character study centered on three clashing, multilayered personalities.
An intriguing thriller that holds our attention as it relies on the combined talents of Hopkins and Gosling, who are both amazing in their roles, and it is great to see them dueling in this smart mind confrontation, an above-average cat-and-mouse crime film.
Frances Ha (2012)
An example of a promising Woody Allen-esque story that has as its main character a woman so absolutely infantile that it becomes very difficult not to find her irritating (even if Greta Gerwig is definitely adorable). Besides, the film is not half as funny as it believes to be.
Fassbender should be praised for the intelligent way that he composes a whole fascinating character whose face we can’t see, in an insightful film that is so well balanced between comedy and drama, with eccentric characters and an astute understanding of our need to be loved.
A timeless classic, perhaps the most notable and influential of the Universal monsters, and even if more amusing than terrifying for today’s standards, it remains a striking experience, with stunning visuals that owe their inspiration to German Expressionism.
Tim Burton is certainly not in a fruitful moment of his career, making one derivative movie after another such as this one, a stop motion animation that is supposed to be a comedy but is only silly and unfunny, with an uninspired premise and a very uninteresting development.
A waste of a great cast and more like a lame excuse for a travelogue that forces us to be in the company of a bunch of insipid characters. In short, this is an empty film with nothing, unless you enjoy stiff acting and lifeless conversations without end about mostly trivial stuff.
McMorrow takes a bold shot in his directing debut, making an ambitious film that has a very original idea, but the problem is that the plot begins so complex and hard to understand that, by the time it reaches one hour, it is already too confusing for us to care.
Free Birds (2013)
A mediocre, run-of-the-mill animation destined to be rapidly forgotten by everyone, not only for being mostly unfunny and full of clichés but also because it holds few to no surprises, making sure that every joke is explained and leaving almost nothing to our imagination.
Free Fall (2013)
Even if the actors don’t always manage to do their best and sometimes the plot goes for the needless clichés of gay-themed movies, this drama outweighs its problems with a surprising chemistry between the leads and a satisfying conclusion.
Free Solo (2018)
The most intriguing aspect of this documentary for me is that there is something almost akin to an ‘observer effect’ in what we see here, as the presence of the film crew does threaten to affect the event they are recording and it becomes obvious for us too how all this can only end.
A very interesting and remarkably intelligent film of ambitious ideas that is mostly impressive due to its well-constructed plot and clever use of colors to associate the characters’ personalities with their frequency levels — red being the lowest frequency in the visible spectrum and purple the highest.
Ice Cube has no talent as a writer (nor much as an actor) but did find who would want to direct this crappy stoner comedy that feels like the worst and most unfunny sitcom ever, plagued with awful actors (Chris Tucker is unbearable), painful gags and stereotypes instead of characters.
Friday the 13th (1980)
When you think that this is the first movie of the infamous long series, it is hard to believe that the one that started it all is so awful and sluggish, and yet it did help shape the conventions of the slasher subgenre and at least has a good cinematography and great makeup effects.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
After a long recap of the first movie and impressive long takes in a tense opening scene, this equally brainless sequel just follows the formula of its predecessor — only with more fun gore -, helping define the now well-known clichés of the genre including an indestructible villain.
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Jason gets his trademark hockey mask, the deaths are gorier (despite the cuts to avoid an X rating), the music is even worse than before and there are cheap scares all over this stupid, overwhelmingly brainless piece of junk that even copies the end of the first movie.
It is funny to see how many times you can kill a (dead) man and yet he always comes back, but this movie is way too laughably stupid (at one point a guy even goes down into a basement for no other reason than to get killed), filled with paper-thin characters and atrocious dialogue.
Of course they wouldn’t just kill the golden goose, so they naturally had to came up with a sorry excuse for a “new beginning,” but it is not even fun to watch when everything (and everyone) is so extremely irritating, the script is pure garbage and the dialogue is awful beyond belief.
It took five crappy movies before someone finally realized that the only way to extract any fun from this worn-out formula would be to make it explicitly campy, and so this is the best chapter of the series, with a hilarious metahumor, witty dialogue and even good performances.
Despite an interesting premise involving a telekinetic woman, everything here seems to be on automatic pilot, with this being just another lazy, brainless and colossally awful sequel that has nothing of the cleverness and wit found in the series’ previous installment.
After over one hour, Jason finally arrives in Manhattan but doesn’t take shit, only making this another dull and miserably awful sequel that feels like an eternity, with uninspired deaths, a bizarrely schizophrenic protagonist and a ludicrous plot even worse than the last.
Friday the 13th (2009)
Obviously, one goes into this movie expecting a lot of gruesome deaths, huge breasts and a lot to laugh about, just like when watching any other chapter of this trashy, brainless series. But this remake is never scary, tense or anything besides a predictable imbecility.
Friends with Kids (2011)
It is frustrating to see this intriguing idea and a smart first half lead to a predictable and moralizing message about love and the “importance of family” when it comes to having kids — something so clichéd that it bogs down the whole potential of its premise.
Fright Night (1985)
Funnier and more amusingly disgusting than actually scary, this decent little vampire horror movie combines fright and humor in a really efficient way, making for a very enjoyable time despite — or maybe also because of — its outdated makeup and looks from the 1980s.
From Beginning to End (2009)
One of the few qualities of this film is the lyricism of the silent shots (well photographed by Ueli Steiger, who turned down Emmerich’s 2012 to be in this project), but it is impossible to overlook the corny dialogue, weak performances and lack of conflict in this poorly-written story.
From Beyond (1986)
It grows tense and mysterious with excellent special effects and make-up while always holding our interest, but in the last half-hour it goes completely astray and over the top, losing its direction and becoming a hilarious mess with an insane climax.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
The camera loves Montgomery Clift and his perfect face, and he is exceptional as always along with Lancaster and Sinatra, but while during its first hour it feels like a film that you can watch forever, it soon starts to drag and make all too evident its lack of a well-defined structure.
From the Land of the Moon (2016)
Marion Cotillard composes her character with enough sensitivity to prevent her from becoming insufferable in her selfishness, managing to make us feel sympathy for a pitiful woman who is in desperate need to surrender to her sexual urges and a love that will consume her.
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
A sweet and harmless animation that is surprisingly grounded in reality without the fantasy seen in the works of Hayao Miyazaki (who wrote the story), and it benefits from a lighthearted humor and tender nostalgia, even with a rather silly conflict that ends in a not-very-inspired way.
The Front Page (1974)
Even if lacking the screwball charm of His Girl Friday, this is a funny ‘fruitcake’ comedy that works best when making fun of the lengths journalists are capable of going for a scoop (which couldn’t be more up-to-date in 1974), with two exceptional performances by Matthau and Lemmon.
I find it hilariously pathetic that Xavier Gens wants to convince us that this is a “serious” movie that aims at some sort of political message, when in fact it is all a lame excuse for the kind of brainless, derivative gore that we have seen before in thousands of similar films.
The fact that this film is tense and terrifying as hell and has three great performances is what compensates for a generally thin dialogue and the characters’ lack of intelligence, bringing to mind other great minimalist horror movies like Open Water but with wolves instead of sharks.
A visually stunning Disney animation with wonderful songs and a story that boldly subverts the conventions of fairy tales by having no women in need of princes to rescue them — even though it could have done without a shocking, cliched revelation about a certain character in the last act.
Frozen II (2019)
It is not just that the songs are more forgettable and have the general tendency to sound redundant in their context; what makes this sequel really pale in comparison with the wonderful first movie is how much it feels like a trivial afterthought that doesn’t care to take chances.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
A tragic story of intolerance and injustice that sustains an ubiquitous tension right from the first scene (when we are told how it all ends) and eschews any hint of melodrama, showing Oscar as a three-dimensional person with qualities and flaws in order to remind us of the value of human life.
Full Circle (1977)
I’m all for slow-burning horror films that take their time to build an eerie atmosphere, but this is just not the case, and what we have here is an inconsistent, underwhelming movie (full of loose ends) that seems to be struggling to find anything to say from a bunch of disjointed ideas.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
A powerful and cynical film that portrays with dark humor and acid criticism the dehumanizing side of war, with R. Lee Ermey and D’Onofrio stealing the show in the most memorable scenes. Still, the second part never achieves the level of excellence of the first half, turning into just another war movie.
Fun & Fancy Free (1947)
An uplifting and sweet animated package film that combines music and narrative in ways superior to Make Mine Music, Disney’s previous effort, and has two very nice stories — too long for shorts and too short for features — that are worth our time.
Another of those quirky little indie movies that try so hard to please Sundance, and while I really like it in its first hour (especially because of its performances), it almost sinks in its third act when it starts to give in to unnecessary clichés and some cheap sentimentality.
The Funhouse (1981)
Here is a lousy horror movie that doesn’t manage to be tense, scary or even creepy, being just slow, dull and mostly uneventful — and the most ironic (or pathetic, actually) is that it gets even worse and dumber when things finally start to happen, with only thirty minutes left.
Funny Games (1997)
A brilliant narrative exercise that cleverly plays with the conventions of mainstream Cinema to create a cruel and merciless experience for the viewers, who are forced to face their own taste for (and obsession with) violence and is refused any sort of catharsis or relief.
Funny Games (2007)
A shot-for-shot remake in English of the brilliant Austrian thriller that Haneke himself made ten years before — which makes me wonder what the point is, since it is the exact same plot. At least it is worth checking out for Naomi Watts’ spectacular performance.
Funny People (2009)
An uneven Apatow dramedy in which the first half is great but the second not really. The problem is that the story stretches for too long with many scenes that should have been left out in the edition room, leading to a serious lack of pace that bogs down the final result.
An intense and suspenseful war movie with strong performances and a welcome unsentimental approach to show the dehumanizing side of war in its raw, unflinching details and that which makes us humans, like the bravery and mercy found in people in the worst of circumstances.
“Real life is a shock after that,” one character says about a dreadful (and completely pointless) dream scene that summarizes everything this stupid sequel does so badly, especially with regard to its ridiculous lack of structure and of ideas worthy of being developed and explored.
Futuro Beach (2014)
A hypnotizing visual experience with an indelible score but whose abstract way to approach its story makes it difficult for us to connect to the characters in an emotional level, being a romance that lacks passion and subtlety to deal with its themes even though they are there.
Making me literally hold my breath in expectation for every next bit of information with a story that is too bizarre and hilariously insane to be fiction, this is a superbly edited documentary about what happens when you put too much power in the hands of a pathetic playboy.
It is an absorbing film, much like a surreal visual poem that couldn’t be more cinematic in the way it is told, sustained exclusively on its editing (and the endless possibilities that it offers to a story like this, including beautiful match cuts) and a dazzling use of colors.
Gabriel and the Mountain (2017)
By using the same locations that the real-life Gabriel visited in his travels as well as people who met him along his way playing themselves, Felipe Barbosa creates a profoundly moving character study that blurs the line between reality and fiction to near perfection.
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)
This charming biopic about Serge Gainsbourg is definitely not special, and I really don’t know what is so heroic about him, but it is a delight to see how he wrote some of his songs and met the women of his life, in a surreal and stylish depiction of part of his existence.
Game Night (2018)
I can’t decide what is most fun in this superbly refreshing comedy: if the awesome dialogue, the outstanding camerawork and direction, or the hilarious situations the characters get into, despite how the film tries maybe a bit too hard to be surprising without really needing to.
The excessive focus on the snow guy and some other random people we meet here becomes annoying after a while, but at least it is nice to see the effort and dedication of those involved in the production of the last season of one of the most iconic TV shows ever made.
This average time-travel science-fiction fantasy is Laloux’s most efficient feature-length animation of the three he made, with a great score and a plot that is more interesting than Fantastic Planet and more focused than Time Masters.
A sincere biopic about a most admirable man and enriched by Ben Kingsley’s exceptional performance — even if the story is in fact more didactic than really compelling and with Gandhi not as fascinating as a character as the strength of his convictions and accomplishments.
The international title is disgusting, but it translates quite accurately the self-deprecating way most Brazilians see themselves, while the film encapsulates the innocence of a time when soccer was not yet a weapon of propaganda and appeasement by those who would take over the country one year later.
Bergman won an Oscar for her role but it was Boyer who should have won many for his meticulous performance as the mysterious husband (he was nominated, though) in this taut thriller whose tension is increased by an exemplary art direction and mise-en-scène.
The Gatekeepers (2012)
Essential viewing that offers some depressing (and at times terrifying) firsthand accounts of the activities of the Shin Bet and the motivations behind the group’s moves since the Six-Day War, surprising us with an impressive combination of interviews, archival footage and CGI.
Gates of Heaven (1978)
A simple film that proves you can make a documentary about just about anything, and even if Morris doesn’t seem that eager to tell us any of this, he finds a strange beauty in the mundane, especially as he shows us how someone’s dream curiously became someone else’s family business.
The General (1926)
A true classic in every sense of the word, hysterically funny like few others and featuring some of the most exciting locomotive chases ever filmed, as well as an epic-scale production, a beautiful score and a cinematography in sepia that feels like a travel in time.
A Gentle Creature (2017)
It can be hard sometimes to witness all levels of degradation, humiliation and misogyny that the meek protagonist of this unsettling film is put through, and that is why this becomes a hard-hitting look at an ugly society in which solutions or answers remain wishful thinking.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
A very funny and entertaining musical in gorgeous Technicolor, with excellent dialogue, an animal magnetism exuded by Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, and nice musical numbers like “Bye, Bye Baby” and Monroe’s glamorous rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
A supremely important and very disturbing historical document available today after a remarkable reconstruction to its originally intended form, and whose highlight is the fantastic camerawork handled by the men who were there and could capture these essential images.
Germany Year Zero (1948)
Even if it tends to diverge a bit from neorealism into melodrama, especially in its last moments, this is a gut-wrenching tale set against the wreckage of a post-war Berlin about a tragic boy who embodies the pain of a collapsed society struggling to survive.
The premise is interesting and could have been made into something really fascinating by a better filmmaker, but Bruce La Bruce directs it like a cheap student film: poorly made, predictable, plagued with bad acting and depressingly superficial in the way it tackles its subject.
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
A decent spin-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, not as delightful and touching as that comedy but still very funny and surprisingly sweet, with great performances by Jonah Hill and Russell Brand. And remember, “when the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.”
Get on Up (2014)
Boseman is closer to a caricature of James Brown than of the real man in this infuriatingly disjointed mess full of jumps in time that follow no cohesion or logic, and it doesn’t offer any insight whatsoever into who the man was or what made him a “genius” besides being a complete douche bag.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele knows how to combine humor and psychological horror to make us feel constantly uncomfortable and apprehensive, and it is really amazing the way he tackles the nuances of daily-life racism — even though the villains’ motivations don’t really make any sense.
An infuriating look into a misogynist, patriarchal society/legal system dominated by outrageous religious values that force women to be in a position of submission and humiliation before their husbands — which is something that seems inevitable in a theocratic state like Israel.
The kind of movie that succeeds very well trying to be a lot of things at once: hilarious, heartbreaking, mysterious and even with some horror in it — and it is Whoopi Goldberg who steals the scene in a priceless, unforgettable performance from the moment she shows up.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
A cerebral, thought-provoking and bleak Japanese animation that pulls us into a cold roboticized world in a not-so-far future and would be an inspiration for many modern philosophical science-fiction works reflecting the fear of technology, such as The Matrix.
Ghost World (2001)
The film may stumble a bit towards the end but is still a very funny dark comedy that understands its characters and should be regarded as a remarkable example of balance between deadpan humor and cynical drama as it even makes us laugh out loud in the most unexpected, absurd moments.
The Ghost Writer (2010)
An engaging and tense thriller with an intriguing mystery and a stylish direction that bring to mind Polanski’s finest works, and some scenes here are spectacular, especially the final sequence, while Ewan McGregor puts in a very strong performance.
I think I will never really grasp what made this mildly entertaining movie so adored when it was released; it is funny and has great performances (especially Bill Murray, ad-libbing insanely), but it drags a bit and the special effects look awfully cheesy and dated today.
Don’t even listen to what the sexist detractors are pouting so much about, this excellent, hilarious reboot is even better than the original movie, with great actresses playing intelligent women who can kick more ass than a lot of men — and the special effects are sensational.
Argento’s latest giallo in English is frustratingly conventional and pointless, with actors who are oddly inexpressive and a plot that cannot even justify its existence, while he never displays the directing skills that made him such a respected cult filmmaker in the first place.
The Gift (2015)
It would have been so easy to make Edgerton’s character into a Max Cady-like psychopath, but Edgerton (now the writer/director) is intelligent to dissolve the line between heroes and villains, creating a smart psychological thriller with a great eye for revealing details.
It is not one of the worst movies ever made like many people say, but it is interminable, structurally messy and the dialogue can be hideous sometimes, with the biggest problem being Lopez’s complete lack of charisma and nonexistent chemistry with Affleck.
It is easy to just enjoy the gorgeous sight of Rita Hayworth exhaling beauty and sensuality, but let’s not overlook how stupid, implausible and misogynist this film really is, painting Gilda as a mischievous femme fatale when in fact she is a victim in the hands of two hideous men.
Gimme Danger (2016)
Jarmusch makes a documentary that looks surprisingly cheap, amateurish and poorly made (even the ridiculous font used seems like from PowerPoint), being also superficial and irritatingly conventional like a TV special and not offering anything relevant in terms of context.
Ginger & Fred (1986)
What seems at first like a harmless condemnation of television as an insane, ridiculous circus (and as such it comes off as a silly, dated and mostly unfunny film) soon turns out to be a truly melancholy and touching experience, with Masina and Mastroianni shining together.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
What begins as a clever satire that uses lycanthropy as a witty metaphor for puberty soon gets sadly derailed in a disappointing development in which it seems to go awry and lose its way (mainly its thematic focus) into mere gore and violence (though I do like how it ends).
Despite its questionable casting (although we can understand the difficulty of finding a transgender actress for the role) and an ending that feels like a cop-out, Lukas Dhont creates a sensitive film that makes us share the character’s anguish as she struggles with self-acceptance.
The kind of failed artsy horror pulp Western in which even the stunning moments help make it feel all the more pretentious, silly and empty, and there is nothing more ridiculous than an Iranian feminist vampire wearing a chador — is that supposed to be ironic or just stupid?
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
An intriguing drama centered on the strong sexual tension between Johannes Vermeer and a woman who would supposedly become the subject of his most famous painting — but even if visually stunning, the result could have been a bit more involving.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
If you want an example of Idiot Plot, there you are, a derivative zombie movie in which basically all characters must act like complete imbeciles otherwise there would be no movie; besides, it is full of the worst kind of exposition and ends like an almost glorification of “idiocracy.”
The highest-grossing European production in 2009, this intense Swedish thriller is both an interesting investigation drama and a terrifying sexual abuse story — and Naoomi Rapace’s magnetic performance makes it certainly worth seeing.
An underwhelming, overly convoluted and completely forgettable mess of a sequel full of inconsistencies and nonsensical situations, and it depends on too many coincidences and plot holes to keep its implausible narrative moving on.
This final chapter is not as infuriatingly incoherent as the previous one but is even less interesting, with very little tension and few surprises. Besides, it also lacks that chemistry between the two leads, who are once again barely seen together.
This American adaptation of Larsson’s best-seller is just as intriguing as the Swedish version but Fincher manages to create much more tension and maintain a more fluid pace — and it has a magnificent performance by Rooney Mara, who is definitely the star here.
Though the film’s subject may not appeal to everyone, it is fascinating how Soderbergh uses a low-budget, experimental approach to take an honest look at the private life of an escort played by porn actress Sasha Grey as she deals with her clients, her work and her boyfriend.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
A stupid teen flick that may be mildly amusing at times but is mostly really silly and forgettable, with awful dialogue and clichés everywhere, being only worth it for its nice ’80s songs and not much else.
Girls of the Sun (2018)
Benefiting from two intense central performances (especially Farahani, who plays a very generous woman and brave warrior), this is a hard-hitting account of a tragic real-life story, but it loses part of its impact with a structure that relies on intrusive (and unecessary) flashbacks.
Girls Trip (2017)
I can’t count how many times Tiffany Haddish made me laugh real loud with this, and it is great to see the way she turns a caricature into an actual flesh-and-blood person (same goes for the other actresses) as the movie finds a refreshing balance between raunchy and honest.
Give Up Tomorrow (2011)
An unbelievable and revolting real story about an absurdly horrendous injustice suffered by a young man who has been trying to win a fight for over fifteen years now against powerful people who wanted to see him executed despite every indisputable evidence of his innocence.
James McAvoy is just as amazing as in Split, but even if there is a lot to commend here in terms of narrative, you don’t need that much to realize that this apparently smooth surface has cracks, holes and a bunch of Shyamalan twists that pile up in a desperate attempt to surprise us.
The Glass Menagerie (1973)
Kudos to Hepburn for her outstanding performance in this fabulous adaptation for TV of Williams’ play, as she finds the perfect tone for her character at just one step back from being annoying, while Miles and Moriarty shine in their wonderful long scene together.
If it weren’t for João Ubaldo’s funny anecdotes, this would be just an ordinary, superficial and poorly-made documentary based on interviews which generally tend toward hagiography (there is no narration) and overlong scenes of Rocha’s wake that become really tiresome after a while.
The Gleaners and I (2002)
Agnès Varda is a filmmaker who is always fascinated by the tiniest things she encounters, and it is just as fascinating for us to see what a comprehensive documentary this is, full of details about the gleaners and also herself, and yet perfectly-edited together into a beautiful whole.
A welcome appendix to the first film that revisits some of those people we met and meets others who were inspired by it as well, not only continuing but also deepening its fascinating discussions on human misery, food waste and the places where you can discover and create art.
Glen or Glenda (1953)
With awful performances and ludicrous dialogue, this atrocious movie has a lot of heart but sadly no brains, and so it is repetitious, full of nonsensical stock footage and unintentionally surrealistic without making much sense as a narrative whatsoever.
The true backbone of this honest, involving film is Paulina García, who shines immensely with so much talent and charisma, giving shape to a complex, sympathetic character in a story that is more nuanced than it appears to be.
Gloria Bell (2018)
It feels like Sebastián Lelio is on autopilot after accepting a job he doesn’t really care that much about, as he (unnecessarily) remakes an otherwise excellent character study without putting any soul into what he is doing despite benefiting from a solid performance by Julianne Moore.
Go West (1925)
It is so much fun to see Keaton throw the West upside down as he befriends a jolly cow in a ranch, struggles to arrive in time for lunch and sets a herd of cattle free in the city while trying to make his way as a cowboy, even if hilariously clueless about what he is doing.
God Told Me To (1976)
A very strange and always intriguing combination of detective crime drama and supernatural horror that must have inspired David Cronenberg with his films and would later be the stuff of films like Angel Heart, with an ending so bizarre that it should be remembered for its audacity.
God’s Own Country (2017)
What impressed me most in Frances Lee’s haunting debut is how it is so full of affection and tells so much even when the characters say very little in their scenes together, moving us with the intensity of their growing feelings for each other in a mostly silent, restrained way.
Godard Mon Amour (2017)
Garrel and Martin are both pretty impressive here, while Hazanavicius plays with language (and metalanguage) to paint a surprisingly unsympathetic portrait of an insecure (and sometimes quite mean and cruel) artist who despises the old and is afraid of what the youth thinks of him.
Despite the talented director and cast, this is an incredibly dull and poorly directed movie with serious pacing issues, empty characters and blatant incoherences, while its original raison d’être as an allegory is simply discarded in favor of a forgettable, pointless reimagining.
This debased Americanized version of the original Japanese film, re-edited to include Raymond Burr as a reporter, is relatively well made but full of inconsistencies, bad re-dubbing and terrible exposition, with him annoyingly narrating all the time what we can easily see.
An appalling and terrifying documentary that exposes the horrific truth behind this abusive cult created by a ridiculously delusional man who discovered the most ingenious way to brainwash so many incredibly stupid people into becoming willing prisoners of his lucrative sham.
The original Japanese classic before it was re-edited for the American audience is this fun catastrophe movie that offers a smart commentary on nuclear tests in a postwar era, showing a Tokyo devastated by a monster born as a consequence of the destructive actions of man.
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
A politically engaged (and very funny) musical that reflects the historical context to which it belongs and, clearly in favor of Roosevelt’s New Deal, uses the magical transformation of the limited theater stage into a gigantic cinematic space to show that everything is possible.
The Gold Rush (1925)
A heartbreaking silent comedy re-released with a narration by Chaplin himself that only adds to it instead of standing in the way, and it is a classic that features numerous memorable scenes in one single film, some of them quite moving while others extremely funny.
The Golden Dream (2013)
What Quemada-Diez did here was make a most realistic and definitive cinematic depiction of the journey undertaken by all those migrants who set out full of hope after the American Dream but find themselves caught in a devastating nightmare that should teach us something about solidarity.
The Golden Glove (2019)
We can almost smell the filth from our side of the screen, and while Akin finds a curious balance between brutal violence and unexpected moments of bizarre humor, it is hard to tell what he wants with any of this, as his film works neither as a character study nor as horror.
Golden Years (1991)
Stephen King wants to make his own Twin Peaks and seems much more interested in a number of eccentric secondary characters than Harlan and his wife, who are so poorly developed and turn out to be just a MacGuffin to carry the plot forward through inconsistencies and towards no conclusion.
Dhalia’s first Hollywood film is this efficient thriller that relies on a constant tension and on the uncertainty surrounding a kidnapping that may only be a product of the protagonist’s fear and paranoia. A solid movie but almost ruined by an implausible end.
Gone Girl (2014)
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike deserve many awards for their exceptional performances in this brilliant thriller that keeps us always guessing at the very edge of our seats with its deliciously elaborate plot and never ceases to surprise us with every incredible twist it throws on our laps.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
This immortal classic — the definition of Hollywood period epic — remains even today a splendorous spectacle that stands above most modern blockbusters with its astonishing production values and holds our full attention for almost four hours as we follow its two unforgettable characters.
Gonzaga: De Pai pra Filho (2012)
A solid biopic that gains from focusing on the tempestuous relationship between father and son, and making that the true core of this absorbing story instead of Gonzaga’s early life and rise to fame; but the result is also a bit more schematic than emotionally investing.
Despite its admirable intentions, this is a frustrating drama that lacks enough dramatic intensity and strength to deliver its intended message about evil and conformity — and it doesn’t help at all that Mortensen cannot do much in an unconvincing performance.
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
It is dazzling to look at (if you don’t mind about all those rubber-looking characters), but Pixar aims too low with this derivative animation made for very small children — a silly, predictable and forgettable movie about facing your fears, the importance of family and whatever, who cares.
Good Manners (2017)
Even if this atypical film is quite surprising and almost perfect in the way it combines several different genres (including musical) into something akin to a naturalistic fairy tale, it is only a pity, though, that it is not really clear what the directors want to say with all this.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Robin Williams is excellent, making the most of his improvisation skills and ad-libbing every one of those funny broadcasts (though his frenetic sense of humor may not be for everyone), and it is a great thing that the movie has a lot of heart and understands the complexity of that conflict.
Leone reaches the level of absolute perfection in this third film of his Dollar Trilogy, a magnificent Spaghetti Western — arguably the best of them all — that features fantastic performances, an unforgettable score and a sublime, breathtaking cinematography.
The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)
This Sergio Leone-inspired Korean Western is well directed, funny and thoroughly entertaining especially for fans of Spaghetti Westerns, pretty much like Tarantino’s well-known pastiches, but it is also overlong and doesn’t seem to know how to end.
Good Time (2017)
Robert Pattinson keeps proving that he can be an amazing actor when not playing a ridiculous vampire, delivering a magnetic performance in this frenetic, stylish and super tense movie bathed in neon lights but which only falters a bit in the end by wanting to have a “message.”
Good Will Hunting (1997)
A heartfelt and deeply honest drama with great performances and an excellent script written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck that doesn’t even let us notice how attached to the characters we become — and I guess we can all forgive it for that sentimental “it’s not your fault” scene.
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003)
A haunting, gorgeous and nearly-silent tribute to the experience of cinema-going that perfectly combines melancholy and deadpan humor, with deliberate pacing that may prove too slow to casual moviegoers as it puts sometimes a good deal of emphasis on still moments.
Goodbye First Love (2011)
Hansen-Løve is a very talented director who knows how to tell a simple yet poignant story in a way that always rings true and real, and it relies on a beautiful cinematography and a surprising pair of actors who even make their perfectly affected romantic lines sound natural.
Goodbye to Language (2014)
It is interesting to see Godard break further away from the rules of cinematic language and make us take part in the brainstorming process inside his head, but after a while the experience becomes more and more excruciating, like the work of a pretentious philosopher.
This modern classic is a fascinating tale about the rise and fall of an ambitious gangster, perfectly directed (and edited) and told in a most brutal way by Martin Scorsese, with many memorable moments and a remarkable performance by Joe Pesci, who steals the show.
Pasolini seems to assume that everyone knows the story by heart and therefore glosses over some passages making it feel too eventful; even so, there is an astonishing baroque intensity in what we witness here, as though he traveled in time with a camera to register those epic moments.
Even if it does manage to be efficient sometimes, this overly twisted horror movie is unfortunately mostly unscary, which is not a problem per se, but it tries too hard to be much more graphic and sickening than genuinely unsettling.
Grace of Monaco (2014)
This fictionalized portrayal of Grace Kelly’s life is a relatively absorbing character study until it finally decides to glamorize her with sacred music and a godlike back light behind her in a heavy-handed, hagiographic third act that feels terribly embarrassing.
Mungiu uses his usual naturalistic style (with many long takes and even no score) to create a gripping criticism on Romanian society, showing a series of exasperating incidents that compel an honest and methodical man to do things he would never do in normal circumstances.
Gran Torino (2008)
Eastwood is funny but cartoonish, snarling and scowling all the time, but the problem with this film is that it clearly doesn’t know if it is supposed to be taken serious or not — and what makes it all worse is certainly the awful acting from the entire cast and the lame ending.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Anderson’s grandest film to date is a thrilling ride and a visually dazzling pastiche that is deliciously preposterous, entertaining and hilarious in the same measure, with a fantastic soundtrack and a phenomenal production design like nothing he has ever made before.
Grand Central (2013)
Rahim and Seydoux display a great chemistry together in this delicate drama that Zlotowski conducts with a candid approach while knowing well how to inject tension in the scenes at the nuclear plant, even though it also builds to a not-very-satisfying conclusion.
Grand Hotel (1932)
The kind of wholesome production made in those days but with a fabulous constellation of stars to make it an unforgettable Hollywood classic — especially Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore, who are so great that they even manage to outshine the rest of the cast.
The Grand Moment (1958)
Inspired by Italian neorealism, especially Bicycle Thieves, this is a solid drama that wins us little by little (and with a lot of heart) as it follows a series of misfortunes in the life of a young man who desperately needs money to pay for his expensive wedding.
Grand Piano (2013)
Tense enough and with some good moments here and there, this thriller manages to entertain despite (or because of) its heavy-handed direction and a ludicrous plot whose greatest problems include a villain whose motives are ridiculous and a lame third act where little makes sense.
Le Grand Soir (2012)
A precise proof that worse than a pointless movie is a movie that is pointless and dull, and it seems like the work of a mental retard with a foolish idea of “rebellion against the system,” throwing two insufferable characters in an endless succession of scenes with no cohesion or direction.
La Grande Illusion (1937)
An apparently simple yet notably complex film that uses a subtle approach to explore a gamut of humanistic themes, and Renoir avoids any sort of sentimentality, which can also be seen in the elegant way that his camera seems to float, unaffected, among the characters.
The Grandmaster (2013)
Wong Kar-Wai seems only concerned about his irritating aesthetics in this hugely unfocused mess that even includes a useless narration and inexplicably irrelevant characters like The Razor — not to mention the use of a theme from Once Upon a Time in America for no clear reason.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Ford and Johnson were able to transpose Steinbeck’s masterpiece into a splendid film that preserves the book’s essence (even with a different, upbeat ending) without infringing the infamous rules of the Hays Code, yet it also feels a bit rushed and lacking in sufficient information (e.g., Noah vanishing without explanation).
Grave Encounters (2011)
The movie’s desperate attempt to look amateurish is risible and the actors are mostly terrible, but the good thing is that it manages to create a disturbing atmosphere and even finds a good justification for the characters to carry around their cameras in the most terrifying moments.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
A devastating animation that never holds back in its haunting depiction of the horrors of war and the people whose lives are destroyed by it, and the result simply ranks among one of the most powerful anti-war films to be ever experienced — animated or not.
Cuarón does not seem to grasp the 3D technology that well nor is he always able to stick to the basic rules that he established for his own universe, but he overcomes these few flaws with astounding visuals, wonderful long takes and claustrophobic scenes to put us on the very edge of our seats.
The Great Beauty (2013)
Bringing to mind Fellini’s visual and narrative style, along with Malick’s contemplative poetry, this deeply sensitive character study works as a razor-sharp criticism of high society — a true love letter to Rome and that great beauty underneath so much mediocrity and disappointment.
The Great Dictator (1940)
Chaplin’s first all-talking picture is this wonderful, hilarious classic that makes a poignant statement against dictatorial regimes with countless memorable moments, from the dictator’s speech in incomprehensible German to an unforgettable conclusion.
The Great Escape (1963)
By investing good part of its narrative in the many particulars of the great escape planning, this outstanding prison break movie increases our connection with a large gallery of memorable characters, making us deeply care about its consequences in a tense, breathtaking final act.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
A very faithful adaptation that, with all its glamorous costume and production design, overstylized visuals and anachronistic music that only add to it, proves to be a surprisingly riveting experience and lives up to the good novel that inspired it.
The Great Madcap (1949)
It is hard to believe that one of Buñuel’s first films was this silly and inconsistent little comedy that, despite a great performance by Fernando Soler and some funny moments, feels pretty dated with its naiveté and lack of nuance — not to mention a terrible, cringe-inducing ending.
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Ranks among the barely passable Disney animated movies of the ’70s and ’80s (most), as nothing in it feels really sufficient — not the amount of Vincent Price (whose character appears very little), nor the amount of songs (though the few ones are nice), nor the level of fun.
The Greatest (2009)
The plot is pretty sad and depressing but it is hard to feel anything at all and not be left cold watching this movie — which is certainly a fault of all those melodramatic performances from most of the cast, the film’s endless clichés and how predictable everything really is.
Green Book (2018)
The feel-good movie of the year is this simplistic bromance that doesn’t understand its own characters and couldn’t ring less true even if it tried — no matter how committed the actors are, playing these walking caricatures so that a white audience can go home feeling tolerant.
The Green Hornet (2011)
A pointless action-packed movie that lacks the retro style and doesn’t even resemble the TV series, with sleep-inducing action scenes, an irritating dialogue stretched forever and a messy script (co-written by Seth Rogen) that never decides between annoying and tedious.
The Green Inferno (2013)
Eli Roth displays a surprising maturity (at least most of the time) with this nasty, tense and well-directed horror movie that, awful acting apart, pays a welcome homage to the Italian cannibal genre and Ruggero Deodato — most especially his cult classic Cannibal Holocaust.
Green Lantern (2011)
I’m surprised to see that so many people hated this movie, since it is not bad but rather an entertaining superhero movie (despite an irregular CGI) with good dialogue and decent acting, especially from Peter Sarsgaard, who seems to be having a lot of fun as the bad guy.
The Green Prince (2014)
A fascinating and suspenseful documentary that tells an almost unbelievable story of a man who betrayed his own culture for what he believed in and two people from different backgrounds who became unexpected friends as they got caught in the eye of an everlasting storm.
Green Room (2015)
After showing great talent with Blue Ruin, Saulnier comes up with another genre exercise that can be quite tense, brutal (lovers of gore and violence will have a lot of fun, for sure) and also claustrophobic as it confines the characters in a room surrounded by neo-Nazis.
With a ridiculous script that makes a lot of ludicrous decisions and relies on a number of baffling red herrings, this is a dumb thriller full of clichés and completely devoid of surprises or tension, becoming only inadvertently amusing when making us laugh at its most idiotic moments.
Gretchen Road Movie (2010)
Despite losing energy towards the end (when the directors step in front of the cameras but don’t really do much with that), this documentary manages to be funny, surprising and heartbreaking in equal measure, relying mostly on Gretchen’s huge charisma and eloquence.
The Grey (2011)
A thrilling movie that really knows how to extract tension from extreme situations — even though some moments seem a bit illogical, like the jolly barbecue in the woods -, with an intense story about man facing nature and fear, a stunning cinematography and strong performances.
Grey Gardens (1975)
This precursor of modern reality television is cinéma vérité at its best, not just observing or “invading” its subjects’ privacy but actually baring naked the insane relationship between these two hilariously eccentric women living together in a decrepit mansion falling apart.
Grey Gardens (2009)
There is nothing really new here for those who have already seen the documentary (and the happy ending feels just off); even so, this is a solid dramatization elevated by two remarkable performances (especially Lange, who seems to be actually channeling Big Edie’s ghost).
Il Grido (1957)
An insufferably dull, outdated and pointless film that forces us to be in the company of a hateful macho (who we couldn’t feel any sympathy for) as his life is surrounded by several weak women who have no personality. Besides, the ending is simply ridiculous.
The Grifters (1990)
A first-rate neo-noir that benefits from superb performances (especially Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening); an excellent, dark script; a fantastic score by master Elmer Bernstein; and Stephen Frears’ exquisite direction at the helm of one of the most gripping films of his career.
Groundhog Day (1993)
It is so easy to fall in love with such a sweet, delightful and hilarious comedy that has so many classic moments, but what is most fascinating about it is how the incredibly creative plot always finds a way to reinvent itself while exploring the many possibilities of its premise.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The type of irreverent Marvel superhero movie that we were all waiting for but haven’t admitted yet, and it is a wonder to see how organically it combines a zany, quirky sense of humor with thrilling action and good unsentimental drama (like the awesome opening scene).
An entertaining sequel that offers a delightful combo of action and humor like the first movie, with a spectacular production design, an impeccable makeup and top-notch visual effects, even though it may feel a bit bloated and has a few structural bumps along the way.
A remarkable drama considering its important subject for the time it came out, and it works very well despite a few discrepancies in tone, like a silly ice cream scene that plays for cheap laughs. But it is Hepburn and Tracy who bring it to a higher level with wonderful performances.
The Guest (2014)
Thrilling, well constructed and well paced, this excellent blend of 1980s thriller, horror and action film has Dan Stevens at his most enticing and delivers everything it sets out to, with an amazing direction, an awesome retro soundtrack and a stylish climax that made me laugh in joy.
The Guilty (2018)
Trusting our ability to get invested in its plot without resorting to a showy direction or a restless camera (unlike films such as Buried and Locke), this tense, exhausting thriller keeps us always on the edge of our seats even during a spectacularly long static shot in its climax.
A disjointed, pointless and depressing exercise in nihilism, with Korine just throwing together random scenes to show the filth of the white trash. But all that he manages to do is make us feel sick at following the loathsome lives of a bunch of repulsive characters.
The Guns (1964)
Made in the exact same year when Brazil was taken over by the military, this is an important film sustained by its political complexity and intense conviction, exposing the abuse of authorities and their indifference towards poverty, starvation and the death of human beings.
Here is what happens when you try to combine many different ideas but fail to extract truth from the whole, ending up with an uneven collection of scenes that work better separately but together only lead to a frustrating conclusion that feels weirdly thin, ambiguous and incomplete.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
A sharp, intelligent film that boasts a great cast (Ehrenreich is a revelation) and uses the very form of visual spectacle to poke fun at the grandiose cinema of the Hollywood golden age which served the main purpose of alienating the public in order to maintain society’s status quo.
Hail Satan? (2019)
Anyone who doesn’t know a thing about modern satanism and just assumes it is something evil should definitely watch this informative documentary and see what is truly behind this wonderful movement and its members (no matter how juvenile in their actions they may seem).
La Haine (1995)
Focusing on a day in the life of three social outcasts of Paris and impressively well filmed in black and white with extremely elegant long takes, this powerful drama comes as a profoundly relevant commentary on the continuous cycle of hate that only generates more hate.
The movie is uneven and seems like it was made about ten years too late (while today it feels dated), but it is made worth it by its songs, its irreverence in the way it wants to capture the free spirit of those rebellious times and its timeless message in favor of peace.
This stressful musical of loud, hysterical songs feels much longer than it should be as it clearly believes that every character must have their own moment to sing and shine to the detriment of the movie’s own focus, and its pedestrian sense of humor makes it even more irritating.
The kind of ethnographic record that proves that direct observation can sometimes be more revealing than any sort of lecturing, but the only problem is that it is hard to feel invested in what someone wants to show you when not even he really seems that interested in his subjects.
Hall Pass (2011)
Better than just being funny and making good use of that bawdy humor that the Farrelly brothers are well known for, this is a delicious comedy that works because of its characters, who earn our sympathy without any effort in a story that can be touching and is full of heart.
It is admirable that Vidor wanted to show “the Southern Negro as he is” in this historically important, all-black musical film intended for a general audience as an authentic representation of black culture in the 1920s, but it is also unfortunately very condescending and artificial.
The Hallow (2015)
It has some clichés here and there that could have been avoided and the characters sometimes don’t seem to be the brightest people in this sort of situation, but still this atmospheric horror movie works quite well, especially in a second half that can be really unnerving.
Like the magnificent Texas Chain Saw Massacre that came out only four years before it, this ruthless and terrifying classic of the 1970s has been of major influence on the modern horror genre, carefully building up its tension and constant sense of menace to a nerve-wracking degree.
Halloween II (1981)
A terrible, useless sequel that invests in mindless gore instead of creating any real tension, and it is ridiculous (and disappointing) how it turns Michael Myers into an indestructible monster and leaves the rest of the cast to be mere bodies for slaughter.
A mediocre movie that feels more like an episode of an anthology series stretched for 98 minutes (with shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and even James Bond), and it takes too long to gain momentum and move into high gear to make us care about its stupid plot.
The movie’s hilarious disregard for logic makes it definitely more entertaining than its two terrible predecessors, as it fully embraces the absurd (and is not even ashamed of doing so) and turns Michael Meyers into an indestructible devil (or “evil on two legs”).
Halloween 5 (1989)
Donald Pleasence devouring the scenery is basically the only thing that makes this awful sequel less painful to watch, since everything else is a blatant display of incompetence from everyone involved in making this happen — especially the amount of people who wrote it.
While not as completely abysmal as Halloween 5, the plot is nonsensical and the movie basically relies on cheap bumps and deafening chords to let us know when to jump. Besides, what can be cheesier than lightnings and thunder used just for effect when there is never even rain?
Besides a stupid title that has nothing to do with water and some bland characters who are just there to die, at least this seventh Halloween movie has some original moments and fun deaths, even if the build-up is much better than the payoff (which is rather dumb, I would say).
The only good thing in this terrible remake (so rock ’n’ roll that it could have only been made by Rob Zombie) is the music, since the setup is long to the point of tedious and the movie simply degenerates into brainless gore with no imagination or real tension.
There is a big difference between paying tribute and recycling, and so it shocks me that, after 40 years of crappy sequels and more slashers, people still don’t get what made the original film so good, with this being just another unoriginal bundle of clichés full of dumb characters.
Hand in Hand (2012)
After her ridiculous Declaration of War, Donzelli comes up with another hateful hipster little film — a pretentious mess that proves again that she doesn’t have any understanding of narrative structure, and so it is only confusing about what it wants to be (and say).
The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)
We can see the male vision behind this adaptation from how mechanical it feels, as though it is only concerned about routinely telling the story of a dystopian society but without caring to explore what makes it so relevant as a feminist tale — which is also a fault of its lack of narration.
The Handmaiden (2016)
Park Chan-Wook explores the power of narrative (the way you tell a story and its ramifications), creating another astounding visual spectacle full of dark humor, sexual desire, betrayal and revenge, with intense performances and a wonderful production design, editing and score.
The Hangover (2009)
What makes this hilarious comedy stand out is how it works as a great combo of well-developed characters, non-stop laughs from beginning to end and absurd, unpredictable plot that should certainly make this movie be regarded in the years to come as a classic cult comedy.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
A pathetic excuse for a sequel, actually more of a lazy rehash than anything else. Everything is so boring and predictable, the jokes are disgusting and not at all funny, and Zach Galifianakis is absolutely unbearable. But at least it has Ed Helms.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
A lazy attempt at something different from the previous films, departing so much from them in every way possible that it can’t even justify being part of the same franchise — and it is odious, unoriginal and unforgivably unfunny, with each awful joke worse than the one before.
This average thriller with tones of fairy tale features stylish editing and an electrifying score, and it is particularly efficient in the exciting fighting and action scenes but not so interesting when showing the character’s adaptation in a world she only knew via an encyclopedia.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
What makes this film so special and unforgettable — right there with its flawless structure, impeccable direction, three-dimensional characters and phenomenal dialogue — is how Woody Allen is won over by such a surprising amount of optimism, and the result is just perfection.
Hannah Arendt (2012)
While the dialogue is at times repetitive and even expository, the rather elliptic plot suffers from the fact that the protagonist remains a nearly inscrutable puzzle during most of the time — but by the end when her motivations are finally made clear, it all fits perfectly into place.
It is a pity that the psychological complexity of the previous film gives place to a bloated and not so engaging cat-and-mouse game that lacks the chemistry between the two characters and has a rather frustrating ending, being only worth it because of Lecter.
Hannibal Rising (2007)
Not only an unnecessary prequel but also terribly written: overlong, filled with clichés and ridiculous dialogue, and failing to depict the character’s evolution to become a monster in a believable way — and Gaspard Ulliel is absolutely awful.
A delightful film that finds a perfect balance between funny and sad as it depicts the strain of family relationships from the point of view of a teenage girl under pressure, making even fun of consumerism and the difficulties of shooting a film/commercial in the process.
This romantic comedy is no example of originality — and it knows that, since it makes welcome references to classic works mirrored in this love fable — but it is a delightful story that benefits from a good chemistry between the leads with a lot of charm and a hilarious physical humor.
Happy as Lazzaro (2018)
A man is a wolf to another man in this charming little fable — a film that may be too simple in its symbolic purpose (and at times even dull) but manages to be a solid social commentary as it follows a passive protagonist who is too kind not to be crushed by the world around him.
Happy Death Day (2017)
Of course the idea is not the most original, but at least this is an effective combination of slasher film and Groundhog Day that can be quite funny and entertaining, with nice twists, inspired deaths and a killing performance by Jessica Rothe that makes it worth the watch.
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
The thrills are over, the humor is practically non-existent, the rules have become ridiculously messy and so has the plot trying to seem smart and complex at every turn, which only proves that this kind of premise requires someone with real imagination to make any sense of it.
Happy End (2017)
Although I like to see Haneke exploring modern technology, he seems more interested in crafting a compilation of some of his best moments from previous films, which makes this cynical family drama feel like more of the same and less hard-hitting or cynical as it should be.
A refreshing film that will leave you smiling, with a cheerful character that may at first be mistaken for simple-minded in her constant optimism but later on proves to be much more complex in the way she sees things — which Sally Hawkins does a wonderful job in showing.
The Happy Prince (2018)
Everett directs his debut feature with such a heavy hand, using a lot of expository dialogue and coming up with artificial scenes that make it seem like a lame soap opera. Besides, his Oscar Wilde is almost a caricature, and his intentions get completely lost in their transition to the screen.
Hard Labor (2011)
What this curious film does best is use a compelling mystery to elicit a constant feeling of unease and discomfort without us knowing why (or without us knowing if there is any threat at all), mixing genres when we are least expecting it and becoming a surprisingly sharp social commentary.
Hardcore Henry (2015)
See the wonders that can be made with GoPro, like this fast-paced, heart-pounding and even hilarious “video game movie” that puts us in the shoes of its protagonist in the middle of a cat-and-mouse hunt and never ceases to surprise us with spectacular stunts that are worthy of every award imaginable.
Harold and Maude (1971)
A lovable film that continues to resonate for long after it is over and makes you wish it would never end — and the best about it is how the relationship between the characters evolves in such an honest way, with a lot of humor and melancholy to the sound of Cat Stevens’ sweet songs.
Rushing through any sort of plot or character development, this tame biography unfolds like a shorter version of a bigger film, to the point we can’t even feel Harriet’s evolution as something gradual. Besides, nothing can forgive it from being so ridiculously preachy and soapy.
A decent adaptation that is almost identical to the book, relying on remarkable technical aspects and on Rowling’s impressive imagination (yet with not much added by Columbus), and it should definitely please the fans and entertain everyone else.
This second movie is slightly superior to the first one in some aspects, as the story flows in a better pace and the mystery is more gradually developed. Again, the technical aspects are outstanding and this adaptation should please those who enjoyed the original one.
Cuarón is definitely a better director for this adaptation than Columbus, since this is a darker, more character-centered story compared to the previous two, and the result is more condensed and not so faithful, which works for the best as it leaves out some of the book’s few problems.
Newell does a great job condensing an enormous book so full of details, even if the film feels inevitably rushed, while the fantastic performances and first-rate technical aspects contribute for a story that is darker and more urgent than before as the characters reach adolescence.
The sweetness of the first stories seems now entirely gone, with this one adopting a much more serious tone, and Yates manages to condense the longest (and weakest) book into a decent film even if it feels more like a transition chapter between the fourth and sixth chapters.
The most mature book to date is adapted into a beautifully paced film with a greater focus on the characters’ personal drama, and it may feel like not much is happening when in fact many conflicts arise. I only miss the glorious end of the novel, which becomes here a more intimate confrontation.
This first part of the last chapter is definitely the best of the series, more concerned about the drama than the action, with a perfect pace and an intelligent script that wisely focuses more on the emotional weariness of its characters, which unfortunately may not please everybody.
A solid, satisfying conclusion to the series even if a bit underwhelming, investing more in a desolate, melancholy tone than something more devastating and dramatic, and it has excellent performances, mainly Alan Rickman as one of the most complex characters of the series.
This sweet movie is adorable like James Stewart’s character, who charms us distributing business cards and being nice to everyone that he meets, while Josephine Hull deserved the Oscar she won for her hilarious, on-the-edge-of-hysteria performance.
A plotless (and interminable) travelogue that seems more like a cheap excuse for Hawks to spend vacation in Africa, and it is hard to empathize with hunters working to catch animals for zoos (I was rooting for the rhinos) but at least the characters are charismatic (despite the casual sexism).
The Hateful Eight (2015)
It is curious that Tarantino chose to make a chamber film using the extremely wide Ultra Panavision 70 and yet creates a claustrophobic experience that also works as a sharp allegory of America, even if it has some pacing problems (especially with the intrusive chapter five).
Even though it lacks enough scares for a horror film and is a bit more predictable than it has any right to be, this is an efficient new spin on the haunted house movie with a mystery that can be quite compelling when you have no idea what it actually is about.
The Haunting (1963)
A sophisticated Gothic tale that doesn’t show us anything that would actually frighten us to death but still manages to create an eerie sense of dread as it probes into the psychological and emotional unbalance faced by its protagonist and blurs the line between reality and illusion.
Though it does have its moments and a nice, creepy atmosphere, it seems more like a movie made for TV, with cheap production values, a lot of annoying clichés and a derivative plot that brings to mind a thousand better horror films that you could be watching instead.
Haute Cuisine (2012)
Though enjoyable to watch, this film seems pointless and trivial, as it merely follows a woman in charge of preparing the meals for the President of France — and it never offers any real conflict to justify its existence.
Le Havre (2011)
Even if not special or memorable, this is an enjoyable film that invests well in a theatrical tone to tell a simple story. A comedic drama that makes curious use of a fable-like illumination and affected performances to turn a potentially dense drama into a light, funny experience.
If you’ve ever wondered what Mission Impossible or Kill Bill would have been like if made by Soderbergh, now you have the answer. The fight scenes are pretty efficient but the formulaic plot holds no surprises, with irregular pacing and apathetic action scenes.
The Headless Woman (2008)
With an exemplary cinematography, Martel shapes a simple hit-and-run premise into an intelligent (and unpredictable) social commentary — on race, class and gender issues — as well as a deliberate character study that forces us to share the character’s psychological disorientation.
Benoît Magimel is a good actor and the film knows how to explore its bleak, grey locations, but this is nothing but a dull and silly man’s flick that lacks focus and doesn’t seem to know what kind of story it actually wants to tell.
Heart of America (2002)
While Elephant, on one hand, focused on the time and space factors that converge unrelated people to those tragic incidents, Uwe Boll is more concerned about the characters — and this is a sympathetic and surprisingly moving drama that relies on decent performances.
A spectacular film that left me astonished, since Xavier Dolan is so young but so incredibly talented and full of ideas, which he proves once again, starring, directing and producing this fascinating work about passion, obsession and the idealized nature of unrequited love.
An intense and very complex character study with Pacino and De Niro delivering two explosive performances as men so alike but on opposite sides of the same battle. Still, the film has too many characters and scenes that make it feel much longer than it should be.
A cynical and intelligent satire that deserves credit for its deliciously witty dialogue, great performances and a clever game of colors that contrasts blue and red, even if the film is a bit tonally dissonant when it becomes too serious and dark in its third act.
Heaven Knows What (2014)
It is like Christiane F. written by Harmony Korine — which is certainly not a compliment -, a film that comes as another realization that realistic (which it definitely is) doesn’t necessarily mean good, as it follows the empty lives of a bunch of hateful people who are not worthy of our time.
It really looks like a film made in the 1940s or 50s with Walter Carvalho’s splendid black-and-white cinematography, and Rodrigo Santoro impresses as an arrogant man who could have easily alienated us, but it is a pity that the result feels rather dry and jumpy with its flashbacks.
A gory, trashy cult classic of the genre with an interesting (and very disturbing) idea, fascinating villains and a great makeup that stands out above all else, yet on the other hand the poor special effects and cheesy moments make it feel like a second-rate horror movie.
Hellraiser: Deader (2005)
It is like two completely different — but equally awful — ideas/stories that got stitched together into an incomprehensible movie that makes no sense, and to top all that the dialogue is just as awful, as well as the amateurish direction, cinematography and editing.
The Help (2011)
Although Viola Davis offers a fantastic performance here, this disgusting melodrama is much more concerned about making you cry than saying anything meaningful, while most of the characters are one-dimensional and several unnecessary details are constantly added to the story with the sole purpose of cheap sentimentality.
Helter Skelter (1976)
Despite being too clinical sometimes but with a fantastic performance by Steve Railsback as Charles Manson, this is an absorbing and disturbing account of the investigation and prosecution of Manson and his “family” following their horrific mass murders in the 1960s.
Apart from the solid performances, there’s little else to praise in this mediocre film that mistakenly believes that resorting to shocking, purposeless violence is enough to draw what it assumes to be the “portrait of a serial killer,” instead of developing his motivations.
For those of us who are or have ever been in love, this achingly beautiful romance hits the right notes of delicacy and sensibility about the human need to share our lives with someone who is actually a projection of our own expectations — which does not make these feelings any less real.
It is irritating enough that they alter most of the original legend just for the sake of doing so, but the real problem here is that the jokes and pop references to modern times and American culture are far from smart and get tired fast, with the third act being a silly, unexciting mess.
Hércules 56 (2006)
The strength of this slowly absorbing documentary lies in the power of the first-hand testimonies that we hear, as they can be quite fascinating sometimes and compensate for a decided excess of talking that may be a bit wearisome and not very cinematic for some viewers.
Here We Are Waiting for You (1999)
An intelligent and dynamic film essay made in the vein of Koyaanisqatsi (which is also a poetic collage of images using minimalist music) and inspired by Dziga Vertov and Eisenstein’s intellectual montage, and yet truly unique and thought-provoking on its own with its true-to-life political ambitions.
Clint still seems obsessed with the mortality issue, but it is clear that he doesn’t know what he is doing with this esoteric babble that lacks focus and purpose, presenting three poorly-written stories combined without any fluidness and leading to a corny ending that is simply lamentable.
The last twenty minutes are so terrible they almost ruin an excellent first hour that knows how to develop a gripping mystery and keep us terrified — which only proves that sometimes simpler is better as opposed to too much information leading to plot holes and inconsistencies.
The Hidden Face (2011)
What seems to begin as a ghost story full of the most basic, worn-out clichés soon turns out to be an ironic, claustrophobic and original idea that cleverly plays with the conventions of the genre, even if it ends though on an unsatisfying note.
A Hidden Life (2019)
Malick is back to narratives with a more well-defined plot after a series of more impressionistic endeavors, employing his usual contemplative approach to explore the inner conflicts and fears faced by an admirable man who would not betray his principles and embrace a grotesque ideology.
High Life (2018)
I find it frustrating and underwhelming that Denis purposely leaves so much to the imagination when it comes to what she means with this film, although she knows how to build an unsettling atmosphere and benefits even more from letting us slowly discover by ourselves what the plot is about.
High Noon (1952)
At first the character’s irrational insistence to stay in the city may be a puzzle for the viewer (and an infuriating contrivance), but soon it reveals a fascinating complexity about him in this superbly edited Western that relies on a visceral performance by Cooper (and his bleeding ulcer).
Hill of Pleasures (2013)
In the third film of her “justice trilogy,” Maria Ramos puts a much greater effort in trying to reproduce the aesthetics of fictional cinema, which seems more like mere artifice; still, she is able to lay bare the complexity of a delicate conflict that appears to have no solution.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
A cheap rip-off of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with villains who are disgusting perverts that you want to see dead and main characters who act really stupid most of the time. By the end, it has no room for any moral questions, for a matter of life and death justifies anything.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
I can’t see any good reason to remake a bad movie changing the nature of the depraved villains but keeping all of those lame faults found in the original movie — especially characters who are irritatingly stupid and the only smart one being the dog.
The Hills of Disorder (2006)
Despite the amateurish editing (with an awful amount of dissolves), uneven cinematography and a messy beginning, this hugely absorbing combination of documentary and fiction observes more than it says and is elevated by the strength of what it shows and the reflection it provokes.
A hard watch and devastating examination of a horrible disaster and the revolting campaign carried out by those responsible to discredit the victims, and it shows in details the pain caused to the survivors and families of the victims as well as their efforts to seek justice.
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1955)
Making use of real footage of the horrors in Hiroshima, unparalleled editing with long dissolves and flashbacks to suggest obtrusive memories, two magnificent central performances and a lyrical dialogue by Marguerite Duras, Alain Resnais creates a sublime, unforgettable classic.
His Girl Friday (1940)
I guess the term “screwball” couldn’t be more well illustrated than by this laugh-out-loud comedy whose characters shoot their overlapping lines in an insanely frenetic rhythm, with Grant and Russell simply hilarious and displaying an enormous chemistry together.
The History of Eternity (2014)
With an outstanding cinematography and mise-en-scène, this gorgeous film has at least two scenes that are unforgettable in their sublime beauty, while narrative-wise it offers a delicate and deeply poetic story about people imprisoned in their own existences.
It is sad to see a talented actor like Will Smith wasted in such an idiotic romantic comedy — a movie that is silly and implausible, full of clichés, ridiculous situations, unfunny gags, painful dialogue and with an extremely corny and embarrassing ending.
Bearing no resemblance to the real Hitchcock, Hopkins seems like a caricature in a biopic that is only intriguing when it shows the production of Psycho but never when it focuses on his personal life — where marital conflicts and an imaginary Ed Gein are sadly contrived.
What could have been a more perceptive discussion about Truffaut’s seminal book turns out to be frustratingly superficial instead, moving quickly from one topic to the next without much sense of focus and not managing to offer much insight beyond the most reverential obvious.
The commercial purpose is obvious when such a short and light book is split into three films in a clear attempt to recreate the epic greatness of The Lord of the Rings. So, the tone seems a bit irregular (with nothing really urgent) but the story manages to be fluid and entertaining.
Jackson continues to stretch this paper-thin story to a very massive length that never really justifies such measure, and its splitting into parallel plots dilutes some of its focus while the excessive use of dei ex machinis reduces the urgency it so desperately aims for.
It is all payoff (a very long one by the way) and no setup, and even if it is nice to look at and gets moderately exciting towards the end, it is cold and forgettable just like the previous films and shows (again) that it all should have been made into one (or two) film(s) only.
Hold Back (2012)
With a naturalistic approach that makes use of grainy visuals and an appropriate handheld camera, this urban drama makes a statement against intolerance and hypocrisy even though it resorts to some cheap narrative tricks and is not really sure how to end.
Holding the Man (2015)
The jumps in time can be a bit distracting (even though I understand the point and it makes sense for the film to be structured like that), but this is a very sad, tragic story told in a very honest way and with excellent performances by Ryan Corr, Craig Stott and Anthony LaPaglia.
The Hole (1998)
The musical numbers don’t always fit organically within the story, but Tsai’s bleak idea of a post-apocalyptic Taiwan under constant rain and in maximum literal isolation is a powerful one as he pictures modern disconnected people turning into cockroaches in the middle of garbage.
Ahead of its time, this romantic comedy suggests that happiness may be found in freedom, away from the pernicious wealth of high society — but it is also a bit naive, reducing the complexity of its themes to matters of right and wrong while ending with an easy, predictable resolution.
The Holiday (2006)
Cameron Diaz and Jack Black are completely miscast in this interminable movie that only proves (again) what an awful writer and director Nancy Meyers is, incapable of defining the tone of her story and coming up with only lame characters, crappy lines and ludicrous situations.
The Holy Girl (2004)
Whereas in La Ciénaga Martel was always able to maintain a tight structure and focus even with a huge gallery of characters, in this case her notably flawed narrative — despite her usual social commentary and a promising premise — lacks cohesion and seems to go nowhere.
Holy Hell (2016)
A well-made and unbelievable story that is too bizarre to be true, about the horrors of spiritual cults and how a narcissist prima donna was able to deceive and control for over twenty years the lives of a bunch of pathetically naive people and make them serve him with absolute devotion.
Holy Motors (2012)
An incredibly absorbing and thought-provoking film that takes us in a mind-boggling journey with a character that drifts from one role to the next in many puzzling rendezvous and identities — a narrative experiment that proves to be fascinating and surprisingly moving.
The Holy Mountain (1973)
This psychedelic, LSD-induced masterpiece is not only visually ambitious, with an impeccable cinematography and editing, but also incredibly imaginative as it makes use of archetypes and symbolism in a brilliant social commentary, and it is wonderful to see how the score helps create the perfect atmosphere in each scene.
Home Alone (1990)
An entertaining (but overrated) Christmas family movie that may be thin and silly (especially in its third act) but is also refreshingly funny and tender, with a great Oscar-nominated score by John Williams and hilarious performances by Culkin, Pesci and O’Hara.
Home Care (2015)
It may lack subtlety sometimes when dealing with its subject matter, but even so this is a delicate drama that understands how the fear of death can make people embrace irrational beliefs or anything that might give them comfort against their own best judgment.
Homem Comum (2015)
It is not surprising that Nader spent 20 years struggling to find a center and a purpose for his documentary, as we can see how he tries to force a parallel between a common man’s life and Dreyer’s film and yet it becomes too facile to expect us viewers to visualize a link there.
O Homem Que Virou Suco (1980)
An honest and realistic portrait of poverty, class exploitation and the struggles faced by those who move from the Northeast of Brazil to the big cities in the Southeast looking for a better life, even if the film’s third act feels a bit beside the point compared to what came before.
The Homesman (2014)
It is sad to see a film begin so well, relying on stunning visuals and an impressive performance by Swank, and then go downhill in a second half that suffers from some serious problems of tone and does itself a great disservice by abruptly shifting the lead role from her to Jones.
A solid psychological horror that takes its time to make us like its characters and care about them before investing in a creepy, intriguing mystery. It is just a pity, though, that it doesn’t offer a more consistent payoff and seems to wrap up too all of a sudden.
Two jingles provide a starting point for this intriguing fiction-documentary hybrid film that sets out to examine the abyss separating the illusion sold by the powerful people who launched the CEI and the grim reality faced by the poor who were expelled of Brasilia in the early 1970s.
An insufferably disjointed and overlong film that has serious trouble defining the rules of its universe and suffers from a messy structure, expository narration, intrusive flashbacks, predictable revelations (when not ridiculously sentimental) and a heap of clichés.
Horrible Bosses (2011)
Irritating to the point of almost unwatchable, with nothing remotely funny about following these unbearable retards amid stupid gags and so many homophobic/racist/sexist remarks — and Charlie Day is an awful actor who thinks that yelling in a high pitch makes him funny (it doesn’t).
Christian Bale is absolutely tremendous, delivering a quietly intense performance in this brutal revisionist Western that carefully (yet incisively) examines the consequences of a merciless cycle of hatred that only dehumanizes people and turns them into beasts and monsters.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
With a fantastic direction and Oscar-worthy editing, it boasts a brilliant script that combines hilarious comedy, exhilarating action and clever thriller while paying an incredible attention to the smallest details — though too restrained with violence in its climax.
Hot Girls Wanted (2015)
Despite its tendency towards moralizing, this is a revealing documentary that says a lot about those who enjoy feeding their sexual fantasies with everything that is so misogynist and degrading to women, from videos of teenager manipulation all the way to abuse simulations.
Hotel Mumbai (2018)
I will not be surprised to see some people accuse this film of exploiting a real tragedy for the sake of entertainment, because this is exactly what it feels like: a nerve-racking action thriller made by someone who is clearly more interested in turning the case into a genre exercise.
I really wanted to like this film, but truth is, it didn’t resist very well the action of time and looks pretty dated now, both structurally and aesthetically (and can only be found now in horrible quality), despite offering some good performances and a nice ending.
Hour of the Star (1985)
Centered on a most singular heroine and sustained on impeccable performances, this is an excellent character study that understands our innate need for affection and can be incredibly funny in the sharp, intelligent way that it exposes how pathetic people can be.
One of Paul Walker’s last films is this suspenseful thriller that can be quite tense in a minimalist way when not contrived or melodramatic, yet it could have been set in any city hit by a fictional hurricane without the need of using a real tragedy as a plot device.
A delicious combination of horror and goofy comedy that is amusing and funny (the rogue hand and the raccoon scene are particularly hilarious), and it works quite well even if its attempt to show the traumatizing effects of the Vietnam War on veterans falls flat.
A generic, derivative and stupid Psycho rip-off that doesn’t mind insulting the viewer’s intelligence all the way through, with a ridiculous twist that makes no sense and only makes it more than evident that no one involved gave a crap about it.
The House at the End of Time (2013)
An uneven film that, despite too many clichés, has an ingenious structure and a good share of inspired moments — only it is a pity that these moments are in service of a story that is so silly and sometimes so over the top that it even resembles a comedy, or a self-parody.
The House Bunny (2008)
It doesn’t really matter that Anna Faris is such a great and hilarious actress when she has to deliver unfunny lines in an unfunny comedy that usually goes for the most pedestrian jokes that you can think of and is entirely formulaic and predictable from beginning to end.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
An unpleasant experience akin to being raped, or, in other words, a stupid, unscary and repellent gore fest that begins very well but then tries too hard to be “rock ’n’ roll” and full of style with an irritating large amount of references and awful cutaway scenes inserted everywhere.
The House of the Devil (2009)
Ti West obviously knows the genre inside out, as he emulates the style and feel of those horror movies of the ’80s with admirable skill (including the zooms) and spends a good time in the anticipation (maybe too long) to let apprehension and tension slowly settle in.
House of Tolerance (2011)
A sad film about a group of prostitutes in a Parisian brothel at the end of the 19th century, with a very fluid narrative and a beautiful production design (and cinematography) that explores quite efficiently the gloomy romantic view of being a woman submissive to men and their pleasure.
House of Voices (2004)
The production design and cinematography are stunning and help create an eerie atmosphere along with the melancholy score, but the problem is that the script never makes the character’s growing insanity and obsession any clear and turns out to be completely empty in the end.
House of Wax (2005)
An infuriating movie full of clichés and stupid characters who are there only to be slaughtered in some juicy, gruesome deaths — which happen to be the only effective thing in this idiotic mess, I must add. But we have to go through a lot of nothing to get to the good part.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
So silly and campy that it is likely to provoke more unintentional laughter than chills, given its complete disdain for realism, coherence and plausibility — like nobody able to hear a woman screaming that loud in the house or the ludicrous details involving the twist in the end.
The House That Jack Built (2018)
Lars von Trier reaches the very apex of his career with this iconic (yes, that’s the word), hysterically provocative and bafflingly rich piece of self-reflection that drags us to the bottom of (his) hell and tears not only into himself as an artist/person but also the world we live in.
Kids will be traumatized and have nightmares for the rest of their lives after watching this horror movie for children, while older viewers are likely to find this an amusing (if harmless) dark fable that benefits from a nice production design and some good performances.
A highly diverting blend of gory horror and hilarious dark comedy that works delightfully well on both ends, and it is great to see how it easily moves from one genre to another and from one twist to the next while remaining always fresh, surprising and unpredictable.
How Nice to See You Alive (1989)
By presenting testimony of several women who were tortured during the military dictatorship while speaking about her own personal experience through an alter ego (Irene Ravache, superb), director Lúcia Murat confronts the viewer with the inescapable truth and our duty to never look away.
It draws more attention for the cheesy makeup and how everyone appears fully naked onscreen considering the time it was made (during Brazilian dictatorship with its filthy censorship), but apart from that the film is more a curious history lesson made in a welcome naturalistic style.
How to Change the World (2015)
Using a great amount of precious 16 mm reels, this is a remarkable account of the efforts undertaken by the Greenpeace organization in the ’70s and ’80s as an extraordinary movement that set out to stop ecological crimes and had to deal with a lot of tension inside their own group.s inside their own group.
How to Die in Oregon (2011)
Sometimes witnessing can be much more powerful and transforming than simple words, and I believe that those who position themselves against assisted suicide should definitely watch this humane (and devastating) documentary that raises some necessary discussions about choice and dignity.
Monroe and Bacall are charming and charismatic as ever, but in an only occasionally amusing (yet outdated and rarely really funny) story about three women trying to catch a rich man to marry — a plot that, let’s be honest, may not be everyone’s idea of a good, fun comedy.
How to Survive a Plague (2012)
An extremely enlightening overview of that which was the most devastating plague that hit the world in the past century, and an essential historical document that shows how activism played the most important role during the acme of the epidemic.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
An entertaining animation that benefits from an honest story and great visuals, and it approaches its moral lesson with the level of respect it deserves and without relying on being cute or preachy — even though the ending is too easy and makes it lose some of its power.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
While it chooses the easy way in some aspects (like Hiccup and his father not feeling any resentment towards the woman who abandoned them) it also makes up for that with moments of more complex development (like Drago not changing his mind with mere words), proving to be a worthy sequel to a nice movie.
No matter how great it still looks, there isn’t really anything in this ordinary third movie that justifies its being made in the first place (basically it’s all more of the same), and I have the strong feeling it won’t take long for me to forget its plot completely.
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
While the plot may seem a bit derivative (as well as the score and the characterizations) when compared to Miyazaki’s greater works, this captivating animation is nevertheless an entertaining adventure of enchanting visuals and an always delicious sense of humor.
The Howling (1981)
The makeup and visual effects are awesome, especially in a major shape-shifting transformation scene close to the end, while the climax is effectively tense to make the film worth it, but even so the script is rather weak, uneven and can be quite silly and laughable sometimes.
Let’s be honest, it is disappointing to see a movie that wants to praise the magic of Cinema but whose 3D doesn’t always work so well, and it feels like two different stories clumsily combined, with unnecessary subplots and a mediocre leading performance by Asa Butterfield.
Human Capital (2013)
A sharp and intelligent social commentary with strong performances and a multilayered narrative that examines the value of human life in our world and interweaves the perspectives of three characters to show the irremediable impact that people have on each other’s lives.
The mere idea is grotesque but the execution is not as repulsive as the hype will lead you to think, and even if Dieter Laser is truly menacing as the mad doctor, the other actors are mostly terrible and the movie offers a lot more involuntary humor than actual horror.
Tom Six manages to create a disturbing atmosphere using a black and white cinematography and wide-angle shots, but this awful sequel drags forever with not enough material to fill 90 minutes and most of it is so vile and sickening that it just overwhelms whatever merits it has.
Tom Six has no idea what structure, pacing or taste is, and he clearly wanted to make the vilest piece of garbage ever — which it is safe to say he accomplished -, although it would have been cheaper and more effective for him to look for therapy instead.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The heavy changes in the original story, like its inevitable softening to be more palatable for children, may displease some, but still it tackles serious themes with a lot of wonderful songs and spectacular visuals, among the best that Disney has ever put on screen.
I wonder if this is supposed to be an absurdist, Swedish version of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (without the crass humor), with great visuals (the cinematography is gorgeous) and impressive makeup but awfully unfunny and with a ridiculous plot that has no structure or focus.
A Hungarian Passport (2001)
Although the film could have been more technically well made (sometimes the sound is not very good, for instance), it is compelling to follow Kogut as she goes in search of her roots and finds so many obstacles in her way — which I guess would be a nightmare for anyone who hates bureaucracy.
McQueen’s debut is gripping and intense, with some amazing long takes and a disturbing story that depicts the horrendous impact of a hunger strike on the human body, even though I don’t like how the plot is suddenly deviated from Davey Gillen to Bobby Sands.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The dystopic universe could have been better explored, while the shaky camera in the action scenes makes it a bit hard to follow what is actually happening on screen, but still this is an exhilarating movie that benefits a lot from great performances and charismatic characters.
The restless camera in the action scenes still makes it a tad difficult to see what is going on like in the first movie, but what is great about this bleak, intense sequel is that it focuses less on the fighting and more on the political issues, the desolation, the characters.
Leaving aside the action that was so present in the previous films to invest more in the characters, this third chapter is a grim, intelligent and riveting character study that finds space to discuss relevant matters like media manipulation and proves to be the strongest installment of the series so far.
Despite some structural problems and narrative stupidities (it is a mystery that Katniss and the rebels are not killed right away, given how incompetent they seem), and most importantly a silly, artificial and sexist last scene, this is still an efficient conclusion that works thanks to the adult way that it shows the outcome of a revolution.
Hungry Hearts (2014)
An anguishing and extremely unsettling story that becomes more and more like a horror movie (with some nice use of ultra wide-angle lenses) as we witness a desperate man trying to prevent a newborn child from getting hurt by a foolish woman who is completely out of her mind.
The Hunt (2012)
An extremely nerve-wracking thriller with a fantastic Mads Mikkelsen as a man going through a terrifying ordeal. However, it is impossible for me to overlook some major implausibilities, especially the character staying in that town against all good sense and the naive ending.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
With an excellent direction by Taika Waititi (who always finds ways to surprise me) and great performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison, this is a funny and refreshing sweet road movie (or in this case “bush movie”) that makes us laugh out loud with its offbeat humor.
The Hunting Ground (2015)
Despite some reported issues regarding its credibility, this is a great companion piece to The Invisible War in what concerns institutionalized misogyny and brutality against women (and in this case also men) that go shockingly ignored when the interests of powerful people are involved.
The Hunting Party (2007)
The actors seem to be having a lot of fun and the dialogue is mostly very funny, but it is really hard to buy into most of this ludicrous “based in real events” plot that has a major revenge cliché as motivation for the main character and is a tonal mess in its stupid third act.
Hurricane Bianca (2016)
It is terrible in terms of character development and has a nonsensical plot full of caricatures and clichés, but the biggest sin of this low-budget, crowd-funded effort is how unfunny it is — which is unacceptable when the star here is one of the funniest drag queens in the planet.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Kathryn Bigelow’s intense, powerful war film is unbearably suspenseful as it holds the tension from one sequence to the next while dramatically focusing on its characters — and Jeremy Renner is outstanding as the bomb disarmer who is addicted to his dangerous job.
Flanagan continues to prove after his excellent Oculus that he is one of the most interesting names in recent years when it comes to genuine horror, with another smart, well-directed and tense movie that does have a few clichés here and there but works quite well all the same.
The Hustler (1961)
With an exceptional cast — most especially Paul Newman and Piper Laurie in outstanding performances -, this is a profoundly compelling and richly complex character study about an arrogant, self-destructive anti-hero in search of his own “character” and finding it in a most painful way.
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
The kind of outdated love story that shouldn’t have space in modern times, and it has the wrong lead character, since her relationship with FDR is the weakest element of the plot and her intrusive narration is always useless and expository.
This delightful British comedy about the invention of the first vibrator in the medical treatment of female hysteria in the Victorian Era is a very funny film that benefits from an elegant dialogue, a sharp cast and a perfect chemistry between Dancy and Gyllenhaal.
Probing into the makings of an almost forgotten but rediscovered masterpiece is certainly a fascinating experience, and this is a great example of historical recovery that allows us to understand the impact of Soy Cuba even if the result doesn’t quite reach the depth of its subject.
I Am Divine (2013)
This is an efficient and enjoyable documentary about the life and career of John Waters’ muse of filth, even though it feels excessively reverential and has a structure that is a bit too conventional — which seems pretty ironic, considering the unconventional subject in question.
I Am Love (2009)
Exquisitely directed and acted, with an amazing Tilda Swinton perfectly conveying the discovery of love, this is a beautiful and sumptuous Italian drama that brings to mind the aesthetic and narrative style of Luchino Visconti, growing in a crescendo towards a glorious, explosive end.
I Am Michael (2015)
A remarkably sympathetic and nuanced character study about an idealist LGBT activist who slowly becomes a pathetic shadow of himself due to fear and religion, and it is beautiful to see how the film never vilifies him, which would have been actually quite easy.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
The fact that this unmissable documentary has been somehow met with strong opposition from a segment of the public is symptomatic evidence of its importance as an objective examination that should make us seriously reflect on the very roots of racism in America.
Similarly to what he did in his previous film, Perkins invests well in an eerie atmosphere that leaves us uneasy even if we don’t know what to fear, but still the experience becomes frustrating for not going anywhere beyond the most obvious, no matter how deeply poetic everything sounds.
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Centered on a proud protagonist struggling with the revolting indifference of a state that doesn’t care about those in need, this bleak and depressing film is also quite touching when showing the generosity of people even under horrible circumstances of poverty and despair.
The film is not only one tiny step away from being laugh-out-loud funny but also wastes too much unnecessary time focusing on the robbers, but even so it works quite well as it grows from being a quirky indie little comedy into something unexpectedly explosive in the end.
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (2006)
A poignant film of stunning, Tarkovskian beauty, but Tsai seems a bit too interested in playing with the structure of his works now, given how after a strong first hour it seems to drift away without direction only to finally make up for its flaws with a heartfelt, beautiful ending.
I Heart Huckabees (2004)
The general opinion about this movie seems curiously divided between finding it either smart or pretentious, but for me it is neither, rather a quirky, mildly funny story that makes a welcome use of existentialist issues and a great cast. Good, though nothing special.
I Killed My Mother (2009)
Xavier Dolan is a really talented, promising young director, and his filmmaking debut is this sensitive and engaging approach to a semi-autobiographical subject, a story that balances subtle humor and compelling drama in a more than satisfying way.
Kevin Williamson, the same guy who wrote the witty screenplay of Scream making fun of the clichés of horror movies and slashers, also wrote this one here but embracing all those dumb clichés instead; still, at least Gillespie is able to make it suspenseful and relatively fun.
I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
This film’s humor is not for everybody (you see, I was the only one laughing out loud in a cinema full of people), and it has a story that could have been made into a depressing tragedy but is presented here as a light and delightful romantic comedy with great performances.
I Only Want You to Love Me (1976)
This Fassbinder film made in a hurry for television is always interesting, even if its non-linear structure is a bit distracting and it also lacks that sympathy that we usually see in his films towards the good-hearted, foolish protagonist who is doomed from the beginning.
I Origins (2014)
What a wonderful surprise to see Mike Cahill confront science and spirituality with so much competence in this extremely challenging, thought-provoking blend of romance, drama and science fiction sustained by an always gripping mystery and clever dialogue.
I can’t see anything appealing or satisfying in this revenge exploitation movie, and it looks cheap and ugly in basically every aspect: the subpar acting, poor direction (even the framing is awful), amateurish pacing and ridiculous deaths that don’t justify all the violence that precedes them.
I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but this flawed movie spends way too much time showing the protagonist’s horrendous suffering and humiliation in an overlong (and graphic) setup before finally moving on to the entertaining part where we get to see her actions against her aggressors.
I Stand Alone (1998)
The deranged horse butcher from Carne is now struggling to regain any control of his life after spending many years in jail, in a heart-wrenching and incredibly disturbing film that has an amazing performance by Philippe Nahon and an absolutely brilliant final act.
I, Tonya (2017)
Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are excellent in this atypical biography that reaches moments of such absurdity (with characters who are stupid beyond belief) that it becomes surreal and hilarious sometimes, benefiting from the way it plays with the contradictions seen in the interviews.
A simple yet unique project that resembles a documentary using mostly landscape footage and the voiceover of a protagonist whose face we never see, and becoming profoundly moving as it shows a man gradually sinking into depression as he finds himself alone and away from the woman he loves.
I Want Your Love (2012)
By expanding to full length his impressive (and deeply involving) short movie, Matthews displays once more his remarkable talent for showing graphic intimacy with so much passion and honesty; the only problem, however, is that the film is also too diffuse and fragmented.
I Wish (2011)
A delicate film that relies on the talent and charisma of its young actors and makes us easily relate to their dreams and wishes with a simple but honest story, while Koreeda proves again that he knows quite well how to draw natural performances from children.
Another thought-provoking story by one of the most fascinating Brazilian directors of his time, following his current obsession with how an artist’s creative process can be hindered by intense passion and reasoning — a theme Brant has been exploring since his brilliant Delicate Crime.
I’m All Yours (2015)
It has an irregular structure with a lot of underdeveloped elements and doesn’t even manage to explain how Donnadieu became such a stupid religious fanatic, but still this is a lively and modern comedy that can be quite funny and has a nice performance by Vimala Pons.
I’m So Excited! (2013)
This is Almodóvar’s pit stop back to his light comedies, but, even if mildly amusing, the film lacks in structure and ends up looking ironically like the airplane where the story takes place, drifting aimlessly around and around without knowing where to go.
This mind-blowing, tense and extremely well-made documentary exposes an uncomfortable truth that should call into question the whole purpose of watching the games anymore, when this awful disregard for ethics can find such an easy way in and become endemic to the whole thing.
Ichi the Killer (2001)
Definitely shocking in its excess of gore and brutal violence, this bizarre (and inadvertently hilarious) manga story is filled with a surprising dose of dark humor and features a cute but odd anti-hero and an always fascinating sadomasochistic villain.
This unnecessary fourquel was obviously conceived to make (more) money only, with an uninspired story that is dull, unfunny and full of the lamest clichés about the “value of family” — and Scrat is the only thing that still works, even if in homeopathic doses.
Ice Poison (2014)
It takes a very insightful director to tackle different social matters in this subtle way, never preaching or offering solutions, with a story that unfolds in a careful pace and gives us time to connect with the characters as we closely observe their lives and actions.
What a completely wasted opportunity for a thought-provoking discussion about human nature, aiming instead at the most obvious with a dull development and a ridiculous third act that made me imagine what a talented director like Werner Herzog could have done with this material.
With a 1.37:1 aspect ratio and a gorgeous, oppressive cinematography in black and white, this gripping drama does a flawless job exploring the silence and empty spaces within the frames to underline the elusive void that is present in the lives of two women.
An intriguing, tense and solidly structured thriller centered on a mystery that is pretty well developed — even if it cannot escape the clichés of the genre -, but what makes it stand out is how it turns out to be much more intelligent than it seems despite its flaws and absurdities.
The Ides of March (2011)
Clooney proves again that he knows how to direct intelligent films that rely on a great dialogue, and this intriguing character study is gripping from the first scene to the last, centered on a brilliant political battle and with an intense performance by the always fantastic Ryan Gosling.
Proving only that dumber are those who try to argue with dumb people, this is a cheap one-joke comedy that should have been made as an SNL sketch instead of a movie, as it is too silly not to realize that there couldn’t possibly be airplanes or stocks in a society like that.
The Idle Class (1921)
Chaplin is back to the Mutual-style two-reelers with this light comedy, playing two roles in a funny story of mistaken identities. Enjoyable, though not really special.
If I Stay (2014)
A shameless melodrama that follows The Lovely Bones as another schmaltzy teenage life-and-death joke, painfully interminable, full of unbearable exposition and corny lines, and downright manipulative, trying to make us cry at all costs with every cliché imaginable.
Pistereanu carries this drama with a surprising talent and intensity, but after two careful first acts with long scenes that show the character’s life inside the prison using a realistic, almost documentary-like approach, the film reaches a disappointing conflict that is hard to buy.
A special, bittersweet and sometimes surprisingly funny celebration of the act of living, beautifully directed and with a wonderful performance by Takashi Shimura as an awkward old protagonist who should inspire us all to reconsider the way we have been living our lives.
Ilo Ilo (2013)
A not so interesting effort that seems confused about what it wants to say and has a flawed plot that suffers from many unresolved elements, like the mother’s contrived jealousy, a lack of decent explanation for the boy’s bad behavior and his abrupt bonding with the maid.
The Image Book (2018)
There will be those defending this as an example of cinematic dadaism or stream of consciousness or whatever, but in fact all we have here are the disconnected musings of a senile old man who only finds the most obvious things to say and seems to have just learned how to mess around with sound.
However long and didactic like a Brazilian History lesson, this is a comprehensive documentary that relies exclusively on archive footage from the Vargas period to paint a full picture of the political conditions that allowed a populist dictator to remain in power for nearly two decades.
Imagens do Inconsciente (1987)
I guess this stimulating trilogy of documentary films will appeal more to psychology students, teachers and therapists, due to its clinical, pedagogic approach to examining the relations between artistic manifestations of the individual unconscious mind and archetypes of the collective unconscious.
The visual effects are a true delight but it is hard to follow such a confusing mess of a narrative that stretches for so long and doesn’t seem to know where to go, which seems to result from the many unfortunate plot alterations that had to be made after Ledger’s death.
Imaginary Heroes (2004)
This family drama should have focused more on the emotional impact of the tragedy on the characters, but instead it goes for artificial conflicts and pathetic clichés, suffering also from an excess of information with many unnecessary details added at every moment to create new useless twists.
Imagining Argentina (2003)
It is, yes, well-intentioned but that doesn’t compensate for its silly, heavy-handed execution full of artificiality, shallow dialogue and cartoonish villains — and Banderas’ character acts so irrationally that I find it unbelievable that he is not killed before halfway through the story.
The Imitation Game (2014)
A mediocre biopic that caters to the lowest common denominator (it doesn’t even bother to explain how Turing’s machine actually works), full of cheap clichés and artificial situations that one would expect from an ordinary movie made for TV, not a multiple Oscar nominee.
Imitation of Life (1959)
A lavish, touching melodrama that remains always focused and held together even when trying to flesh out the personal conflicts of so many characters — which it does in a way that is quite realistic and sincere despite how in the end Sirk tries way too hard to force us into tears.
The Immigrant (1917)
One of the most entertaining of Chaplin’s short silents, very funny and delightful, and the scene in the restaurant is non-stop laughs.
The Immigrant (2013)
An interesting story with a lot of potential but undermined by its inability to make us relate to it in almost any level, tending towards melodrama and becoming like a soap opera after some time. In the end, it remains cold, with characters who could have been more well explored.
The Impossible (2012)
A terrifying and harrowingly realistic disaster movie with a superb cast (Tom Holland is a revelation) and an exceptional production design. Few movies this year were this powerful, holding a strong emotional punch and able to move me beyond words.
The Imposter (2012)
It is hard to believe that this shocking, unbelievable true story actually happened, since what begins as an apparently simple case of imposture turns out to be something much more horrific once you look deeper into it — something that must be seen to be believed.
In a Better World (2010)
A challenging meditation on how hurt-induced revenge and the intention of getting rid of a menace can overlap when someone looks for a motive to get even. It could have been much better, though, had it not moved its focus to a minor subject (in comparison) in the third act.
In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)
Fassbinder uses a personal loss as starting point for another depressing story about exploitation that doesn’t dare offer any easy answers, even though the result this time feels also arbitrary, with his usual cold, detached approach leaving little room for empathy.
In Search of the Ultra-Sex (2015)
This is basically What’s Up, Tiger Lilly? with trashy vintage porn, a puerile and retarded movie that believes to be much wittier than it is but is only unfunny with its childish, pedestrian humor and irritating re-dubbing, and it feels a lot longer than its relatively short duration.
In the Absence (2018)
I only wish this had been made as a feature-length documentary, which for me is both a good sign (as it made me want to know more about the incident) and a not-so-good one, as I would have loved to see it cover the tragedy in greater details.
In the Fade (2017)
Diane Kruger delivers a powerful performance that conveys with full intensity the pain of losing the people we love to hate and intolerance, in a compelling drama that exposes with sensitivity and intelligence a tragic cycle of violence that brings only more violence.
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
I hate when someone recounts a story in which he was not always present, but even if there is nothing like witnessing the sweet revenge of a beast (monster or victim?), this intense film of evocative visuals grows even more compelling when showing the lengths that people can go to survive a horrible ordeal.
In the House (2012)
A smart and fascinating drama that ingeniously dissolves the barrier that separates fiction from reality as we witness a talented teenager using a curious ploy to draw his intrigued teacher into a witty meta-discussion on the production of a narrative work.
In the Intense Now (2017)
An intuitive and perceptive reflection that constructs an unexpected narrative from the unexpected, putting together amateur footage and archive material from the same period in an attempt to examine how we can capture special moments in time without even realizing it.
It is admirable the dedication of Angeline Jolie to something she believes in so ardently, but even though her movie is well directed and holds a strong impact in its intended message, the characters are poorly developed and remain a puzzle until the very end.
In the Land of the Amazons (1922)
Filtered by a pair of commissioned Portuguese eyes wanting to exalt the resources, biodiversity and economic activities of the Amazon region, the result is an interesting travel journal that feels only a bit too long with its runtime of 129 minutes (not 72 like most sources indicate).
In the Loop (2009)
A hilarious political satire with a witty dialogue and a deliciously British sense of humor that I imagine is not for everyone — and Peter Capaldi is priceless and steals the show every time he appears, swearing insanely and shouting the f‑word to everyone.
In the Name of… (2013)
It takes long to shape a premise and focus on its intentions, with the character’s sexual and moral conflict not so naturally explored and made clear only too late, and it is hard not to feel uneasy with a film that wants us to understand a pedophile, which is what he is after all.
In the Shadow of Women (2015)
The best about this charming and deceptively simple film is how it gives new contours and nuances to its characters (made all the more real by the excellent performances) as the story progresses, but it is just a pity that it ends with such an easy and rather frustrating resolution.
In Time (2011)
It has an intriguing idea but the plot lacks so much information regarding the backstory and mechanics of its universe that it becomes incoherent, implausible and utterly stupid, with plot holes, pretentious dialogue and muddled motivations — especially from Murphy’s character.
Inbetween Worlds (2014)
A gripping and extremely tense film that depicts with surprising realism (and outstanding sound design) the daily life of soldiers in Afghanistan as they are confronted with difficult choices, calling into question weather some people are simply not fit for this kind of job.
An intense, gripping and absolutely wonderful drama that tells a devastating story about love, hate, secrets and amends, and it does so in a completely unpredictable way, with a powerful performance by Lubna Azabal and an unbelievable, jaw-dropping ending.
Adopting a naturalistic approach to depict the difficult reality of that place, this solid drama is complex enough to be worth checking out, centered on a woman who gets voluntarily caught up in a war that is not hers and driven by tragic circumstances to a drastic decision.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
An enlightening and terrifying documentary that should be mandatory viewing for those who still doubt the harmful impact of our actions in the planet, as it offers indisputable data to prove that there are a lot of unprecedented changes happening in the world now.
The Incredibles (2004)
This is one of those exceptional animated films that will be forever remembered as one os Pixar’s finest achievements, with a delicious family twist on the typical superhero story, spectacular action scenes and three-dimensional characters both in physical shape and personality.
Incredibles 2 (2008)
It is a pity that the identity of the villain is so obvious, and I also find it funny that no one even considers using Voyd’s power as a solution in the movie’s climax, but never mind, this is a great sequel that manages to be thrilling, hilarious and more visually stunning than ever.
Some consider it too dark and weaker than the other chapters, but this informal prequel is also another first-rate adventure, offering unstoppable action and plenty of fun as the character goes in a dangerous journey into the mystic to retrieve a powerful magic stone.
A hugely entertaining adventure that offers everything that made Raiders so successful and more: exhilarating action scenes, hilarious dialogue with a perfect comic timing and, of course, the pleasure of seeing Harrison Ford and Sean Connery together.
A disappointing chapter that suffers from a lame interaction between the characters, an inconsistent plot that makes no sense and action scenes that are never memorable, relying too much on CGI and never managing to create any sense of real danger, with a terrible ending.
Toby Jones is truly great here, even though overshadowed by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s fantastic performance in the far superior Capote (the comparison is inevitable), but this film suffers from many terrible documentary-like statements that explain what we can easily see.
Infernal Affairs (2002)
A very smart and taut thriller that prefers to focus on its characters and the relationship between them instead of jumping into action, shootings and twists as is usually expected from this kind of crime movie.
A movie so fast paced and rushed that it almost doesn’t give us time to realize how ludicrous the plot is and how little sense it makes, with so many holes and inconsistencies, a lot of empty exposition and even Langdon constantly suffering from laughable “flashback crisis.”
After an awfully convoluted beginning heavy on ugly, clumsy exposition, it proves to be just a cheap rehash of Alien with a modern feel (notice the amount of lens flares) and an atmospheric narrative that collapses almost ridiculously in a nonsensical, incoherent conclusion.
The Informant! (2009)
Matt Damon is so confident and charismatic as a compulsive liar who becomes an unusual corporate whistleblower for the FBI, and even if the narrative is not as compelling as it could be, this is a nice film that manages to be interesting in all its oddness.
The Informers (2008)
Great performances in a desolate story by Bret Easton Ellis about moral decay amidst society glamour in the Los Angeles of 1983, showing rich people living of sex, drugs, power, wealth and fame, and the misery of their lives.
Inherent Vice (2014)
The plot is overlong, extremely intricate — convoluted would be the exact word — and has way too many characters, but still this trippy private eye crime-comedy compensates for its flaws with a delicious, groovy ’70s vibe, a great soundtrack and a hilarious dopehead humor.
Inherit the Wind (1960)
This wonderfully-written film was daring for the time it came out and remains relevant in our times, as it exposes religion and bigotry as a hindrance to human thinking and impresses us with Fredric March’s three-dimensional character, even though it ends with a terrible last scene.
The Innkeepers (2011)
Another display of talent from Ti West, who better than many understands that more efficient than the scares is the tension that comes from the waiting and from what we don’t see; he’s just not so skillful though in providing a payoff worthy of all the buildup.
Bland and centered on an enamored couple who couldn’t look more awkward together, this is a corny period romance that wants to reach the proportion of a great tragedy but gets especially lost in its last half hour, when it can’t even justify why it included a certain German character in it.
A distasteful (and inexplicably overrated) French slasher that begins intriguing but soon gets excessively vicious, outrageous and disgusting, trying to be polemic at all costs and throwing us into a brainless flood of gushing blood and gratuitous gore.
Inside Deep Throat (2005)
This is a very well-edited and amusing documentary that investigates the cultural influence of one of the most polemic films ever made, as well as its impact on politics, the sexual revolution and the porn industry. An enlightening account that is fascinating and surprising.
Inside Job (2010)
An angry, compelling and must-see documentary that dissects the causes and consequences of the global economic meltdown of 2008, probing deep into the truth behind it and exposing a corrupted political system that favors the wealthy to the detriment of the poor.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
A wonderfully melancholy character study that paints the character’s state of spirit with half shadows, gorgeous folk music and a grayish cinematography, to tell an insightful story full of heart that avoids with great gusto being a conventional underdog crowd pleaser.
Inside Out (2015)
Pixar always hits the mark when combining entertainment, intelligence, inventiveness and a lot of heart, and it is an endless pleasure to see them create a whole fascinating universe with a stunning production design for this exciting journey into the corners of someone’s mind.
Very well directed and certainly one of the scariest movies I have seen in the past few years, this smart horror movie knows how to avoid the clichés and maintain a constant tension instead of going for the cheap scares — and it really knows how to scare the hell out of the viewers.
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
A solid and entertaining sequel that not only maintains the high level of scares found in the terrifying original movie, especially in its first half, but also has an ingenious plot structure that makes up for its poor attempts at humor (which are always misplaced).
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
Is Insidious the new Saw? This passable movie bears no connection with the end of the second installment and seems like it could have been the backdoor pilot of a TV series preceding the events of the first two films, and it isn’t very original or scary at all.
Insidious: The Last Key (2018)
Everything that made the first Insidious so effective and scary is gone now, and so there is basically nothing worth watching in this pointless, lazy and stupid movie that underestimates the viewer’s intelligence all the time with endless plot holes and cheap scares.
The Insult (2017)
A slowly absorbing courtroom drama that could have been a bit more well polished, especially considering the way it tries to force our sympathy towards the two characters, but I do love how it shows that a personal conflict can reveal so much about something more complex than it seems.
One of the many pleasures of watching this revealing, fly-on-the-wall documentary that follows Brazilian Presidential candidate Luís Inácio Lula da Silva’s campaign in 2002 is seeing how he gradually loosens up with time and begins to show so much about himself between the lines.
An inspiring, enraging and extremely sad documentary about this admirable young man whose only crime in this anti-democratic society was to seek knowledge and try to make it accessible to everyone — and his stupid death shows that a lot must be changed/fought for in this corrupted world.
The Internship (2013)
Even if definitely predictable and formulaic, this is a decent movie that delivers a fair amount of laughs and makes for a good time — and it has its heart in the right place and does not insult our intelligence like most comedies today.
The Interpreter (2005)
A disastrous film that wants to be more complex than it should be, coming up with more and more unnecessary details at the expense of simple concision, and so the obvious, predictable narrative gets lost amid contrivances, implausible scenes and plot holes the size of Africa.
Even with enormously ambitious ideas and a nice grandiose score, this gorgeous but flawed science fiction movie suffers from heavy-handed, expository dialogue, plot holes and inconsistencies, mainly in the end, which is contrived and we can’t make any heads or tails of it.
The Interview (2014)
What a bold move to poke the tiger and expect some sense of humor from a dictator — and, let’s just face it, there was no way it wouldn’t be controversial, even if it’s just a funny comedy with an adorable bromantic chemistry between Rogen and Franco like in Pineapple Express.
A gloomy, romantic vampire story with an elegant dialogue and a sensual Gothic atmosphere that makes us want to know more and more about those dark creatures. Still, the film suffers from some serious miscasting — except for Dunst, who is pretty good.
Into the Abyss (2011)
A compelling look at capital punishment, even if Herzog clearly wants to convince us that it is wrong. Still, he also shows other people’s opinions, allowing us to draw our own conclusions about the subject while raising an interesting discussion on the value of life.
Into the Forest (2015)
Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood are great, and up to a certain point this seems like a very mature film about sisterhood (despite a few silly elements such as a book that contains all of the world’s knowledge) — until it is almost ruined by an incredibly stupid ending.
The first episode (Aliens) is frustrating and relies mostly on speculation, while the second (Time Travel) at least has better CGI; but it is in the third (and longer) chapter (The Story of Everything) that Hawking gives a very interesting introductory class on cosmology.
Into the Woods (2014)
A nearly unbearable musical that believes that a bloated, unfocused mishmash of several fairy tales is enough to be interesting, but it only manages to be a torture for the ears with irritating songs and voices besides poor character development, plot holes and no sense of pacing.
The Intouchables (2011)
A conventional and predictable French comedy that offers few surprises, even if there are some funny moments and the actors are great. The only problem is that it feels a bit unrealistic in the way it develops the unusual friendship between its two characters.
It is hard not to think that when it came out this creepy pre-Twilight Zone sci-fi did a great disservice to a country already stirred by the collective paranoia of McCarthyism, but now it is no less than an essential classic that reflects very well the political turbulence of those days.
Even though it relies on a gripping feel of intense paranoia, this is an overlong sci-fi/horror movie that suffers from certain problems in logic and kills its tension with long passages that make the pacing irregular, not even being smart enough as an allegory like the original film.
The Invention of Lying (2009)
The kind of great idea with a rather dumb execution — much like an SNL sketch stretched for two hours and full of hits and misses — and it could have been so much better had they only come up with a more convincing reality and taken the satire all the way to mock our cultural values.
Freeman brings Nelson Mandela to life in an exceptional performance indeed but this barely ordinary drama — inspiring as it may be — fails to match the greatness of its real-life character due to Eastwood’s poor directing choices and blatant political naiveté.
The Invisible Guest (2016)
The type of cheesy, implausible and mediocre thriller that believes to be so clever with endless unbelievable twists which are in fact worthy of a Mexican soap opera — overrated while it lasts and destined to be forgotten in the dark pits of late night reruns on cable TV.
The Invisible War (2012)
A disturbing and essential documentary that exposes the outrageous and horrifying rape and cover-up inside the US military, leading to numerous lives ruined by psychological damage — which hopefully will make women rethink before joining the armed forces.
The Invisible Woman (2013)
The costume design and art direction are outstanding, though the usually reduced depth of field stands a bit in the way, and in its first half the story develops well the characters’ mutual affinity but later sinks with Nelly’s contrived, unconvincing feelings of being left aside by Dickens.
The Invitation (2015)
Kusama’s direction is excellent, especially in the way she explores the mise-en-scène and the geography of the house where the narrative takes place, and she knows very well how to create an uncomfortable feeling of unrest as we follow it from the point of view of its main character.
Ip Man (2008)
The unfortunate lack of structure and focus of the irregular script is compensated by an outstanding cinematography and production design, a wonderful score and — above all else — spectacular fight scenes of the most exhilarating and well choreographed ever filmed.
Ip Man 2 (2010)
A bloated, overlong sequel that is more concerned about following the formula of the Rocky movies than having an identity of its own, with all of it making it look like a conventional and very predictable Hollywood product, including a ridiculously caricatural villain.
I cannot even imagine how the directors thought that this daring and extremely realistic film could ever be approved by the Brazilian censorship when it was made, since it exposes a harsh truth like a television news story, with mostly improvised dialogue and non-professional actors.
Irma la Douce (1963)
Wilder, Lemmon and MacLaine team up again after their collaboration in The Apartment to offer us a funny and audacious farce that works well enough despite being a bit overlong and clumsy in parts, especially as it becomes more and more contrived towards the end.
The Iron Lady (2011)
Apart from Streep’s performance, nothing else works in this terrible, disjointed mess of a biopic that is so badly written and directed, full of illogical narrative elements (the schizophrenia thing is unbelievable) and trying hard to soften the image of the character in an entirely artificial way.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Although enjoyable, this sequel adopts a more serious tone and grants the main character a tragic nuance, which unfortunately turns the movie into a less gratifying experience, since what made the first so great was its sarcastic human hero who never seemed to care about others.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
The fact that it manages to be entertaining, especially in its first half, compensates for a flawed script that even comes up with a pathetic post-traumatic panic attack for our hero and never raises the stakes to make us believe that there is something to fear.
It looks like it was made by anyone, since Babenco directs it without any passion or conviction and wastes Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in a tiring narrative that becomes so unnecessarily long with a lot of scenes that could have been cut without any damage to the story.
Irrational Man (2015)
Allen recycles familiar Dostoyevsky themes already seen in three of his other films — most especially Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors -, and despite his heavy-handed direction and an irritating narration, it is curious to see how he tells this darker story with a warm cynicism.
Pennywise has never been this grotesque and terrifying, which definitely helps make this a really effective adaptation that has a lot of great scares, focusing exclusively on the teenage versions of its characters as they fight an entity that embodies their innermost fears.
It Chapter Two (2019)
Worse than bloated as hell, this overlong second chapter is criminally devoid of scares and suffers from a lot of cheesy CGI and a clumsy sense of humor that feels completely out of place here, although at least it cares to replace the original story’s notably awful ending with a better one.
It Comes at Night (2017)
For anyone who has ever seen The Walking Dead, this film won’t be very original in terms of how it depicts paranoia and distrust between strangers in a post-apocalyptic scenario, but it compensates with a tense and unsettling mystery that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
It Follows (2014)
It is a pleasure to see a terrifying horror movie that invests in a nightmarish atmosphere of tension with moments of suspenseful anticipation, an excellent electronic score and an efficient camerawork that makes the best use of zooms and pan shots.
It Happened One Night (1934)
This charming classic may be the very first screwball comedy of Cinema, a funny, amusing and optimistic movie with a deliciously sharp dialogue and wonderful performances from Gable and Colbert, who have a great onscreen chemistry together.
It is impressive to see that most of what Praunheim was saying in this 1971 film about the gay culture remains the same over forty years later, and despite its excessively preachy character it is still for sure a must-see today as it was when it was made.
It Might Get Loud (2008)
It is fascinating to see those three rock legends interacting and talking about the electric guitar, their personal stories and what inspires them — and even if it could have benefited from a more linear structure, this insightful documentary never ceases to be interesting.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Capra finds the most perfect balance between bittersweet and optimistic in this timeless holiday tale, to remind us that life is always worth it, even in the worst of circumstances. A wonderful story that resonates for a very long time after it is over.
It’s All True (1993)
Orson Welles’s rediscovered reels are shown to completely disprove the rumors of his riotous filming in Brazil, since what we witness here is high-quality cinema that also exposes the odious priorities of those film studio executives who couldn’t care less about the work of a genius.
It’s Not All True (1986)
It’s all true that it took Sganzerla’s chaotic, atypical filmmaking to capture the chaos that became Orson Welles’ tumultuous attempt to shoot a film in Brazil, and while this is an intriguing type of documentary that blends reality with fictionalization, it is also easier to appreciate than to enjoy.
Dolan extracts some intense performances from his talented cast and makes an extremely exhausting drama that never feels like a filmed play but rather a depressing and claustrophobic experience (full of close-ups) that forces us to stay in the company of a horrible family.
The Italian Job (2003)
This exhilarating action-packed movie is quite satisfying for what it intends to be: an exciting, fast-paced fun ride that benefits from a great dose of humor, a fine cast and the beauty of its locations, especially Venice.
Ivan’s Childhood (1962)
Tarkovsky’s first major film is this wonderful drama about the loss of innocence and the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of a Russian orphan boy, and each shot is beautifully crafted, leading to a most poignant, devastating ending.