M-O

Ma Mère (2004)

De­spite how flat it seems at first, this French film is so provoca­tive and per­verse that I’m afraid a lot of peo­ple won’t get its point, and I love how it ex­plores the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of Garrel’s char­ac­ter through his con­stant nu­di­ty and over­flow­ing sex­u­al de­sire.


Ma’ Rosa (2016)

It looks poor­ly made and am­a­teur­ish, un­able to of­fer any ac­tu­al in­sight into its pro­tag­o­nist and drag­ging with many long takes of peo­ple walk­ing from one place to an­oth­er in­stead of cut­ting straight to what mat­ters, and it is more ob­vi­ous and pre­dictable than it thinks it is.


Mac­beth (2015)

Beau­ti­ful­ly di­rect­ed and edit­ed, with a stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy, a haunt­ing score and two mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mances by Fass­ben­der and Cotil­lard, this un­de­ni­ably cin­e­mat­ic ex­pe­ri­ence is a mes­mer­iz­ing adap­ta­tion of Shakespeare’s clas­sic tale of am­bi­tion, fear, guilt and mad­ness.


Ma­chete (2010)

An emp­ty and sil­ly ex­er­cise in cheap ex­ploita­tion with un­fun­ny at­tempts at hu­mor and a stu­pid plot that is pre­pos­ter­ous even for a film that is not sup­posed to be tak­en se­ri­ous­ly — which makes me think that some­times a fake trail­er should just re­main that.


Ma­chines (2016)

In Cin­e­ma, a pic­ture is re­al­ly worth a thou­sand words, and this is a vi­su­al­ly ar­rest­ing and pierc­ing look into the dai­ly work of la­bor­ers at a gi­gan­tic tex­tile fac­to­ry in In­dia, ex­pos­ing in a most­ly silent way the ugly ex­ploita­tion and un­grate­ful con­di­tions to which they are sub­mit­ted.


The Ma­chin­ist (2004)

Re­ly­ing on a bluish palette of de­sat­u­rat­ed col­ors, An­der­son cre­ates a tense at­mos­phere of night­mare, but it is Chris­t­ian Bale who de­serves es­pe­cial mer­it for his un­be­liev­able ded­i­ca­tion (most­ly phys­i­cal) in this in­trigu­ing thriller about the un­bear­able weight of guilt.


Ma­cu­naí­ma (1969)

A Brazil­ian sur­re­al­ist movie based on a mod­ernist nov­el, full of vi­brant col­ors and bizarre char­ac­ters in what is clear­ly sup­posed to be a po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary; it is only a pity that it is not re­al­ly fun­ny and starts to lose fo­cus af­ter a promis­ing, fas­ci­nat­ing be­gin­ning.


Mad Doc­tor of Blood Is­land (1968)

This aw­ful low-bud­get B-movie is not even bad enough to be fun­ny and en­ter­tain­ing, it is just plain bad, with ter­ri­ble ac­tors, a pa­thet­ic plot that makes very lit­tle sense and a vom­it-in­duc­ing use of zoom (in and out, again and again) to cre­ate ten­sion where there is none.


Mad Max (1979)

A de­cent cult ac­tion movie full of great stunts and car crash­es that make the best of a very low bud­get, even though the sto­ry takes a bit too long to speed up, mak­ing the en­tire be­gin­ning a lit­tle dragged and reach­ing its nar­ra­tive core with only fif­teen min­utes left to end.


Mad Max 2: The Road War­rior (1981)

It may frus­trate view­ers look­ing for a well-de­fined plot, but for those who love fast cars and roar­ing en­gines, thrilling ac­tion and ex­cit­ing stunts, it is as great as it can be, with ex­cep­tion­al post-apoc­a­lyp­tic sets and cos­tumes that make every­thing look so over-the-top and unique.


Mad Max Be­yond Thun­der­dome (1985)

It ful­ly em­braces the ex­trav­a­gant “pox-eclip­tic” over-the-top­ness that had al­ready been in­ject­ed into Mad Max 2 and made that film so vi­su­al­ly unique, thus be­ing more en­ter­tain­ing than the pre­vi­ous movies even if more cere­bral and less ac­tion-ori­ent­ed (or per­haps be­cause of that).


Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Ap­par­ent­ly, it takes an old vet­er­an like George Miller to show this new gen­er­a­tion of young film­mak­ers how ac­tion can be ex­hil­a­rat­ing, and so he gives us this high-oc­tane, adren­a­line-fu­eled roller coast­er of a movie that is tech­ni­cal­ly flaw­less, vi­su­al­ly as­ton­ish­ing and looks amaz­ing in 3D.


Mada­gas­car (2005)

A mediocre CGI an­i­ma­tion that was clear­ly con­ceived to please chil­dren and chil­dren only yet no one cared to make it re­mote­ly in­ter­est­ing for adults as well, of­fer­ing a sub-par plot full of pedes­tri­an jokes, an­noy­ing char­ac­ters and sil­ly pop ref­er­ences that get tired real fast.


Mada­gas­car: Es­cape 2 Africa (2008)

With fun­nier jokes, bet­ter an­i­ma­tion and more in­spired ref­er­ences, this en­ter­tain­ing se­quel is con­sid­er­ably su­pe­ri­or to the first movie, boast­ing also a sweet mes­sage about love tran­scend­ing all dif­fer­ences and char­ac­ters much more charis­mat­ic now than ever be­fore.


Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Want­ed (2012)

This use­less se­quel has a very great be­gin­ning but all the rest sim­ply doesn’t work. It fails to en­gage, fails to be amus­ing, fails in every lousy at­tempt at hu­mor, and af­ter a while you are left with some­thing that is so much more ir­ri­tat­ing than en­joy­able.


Madame Satã (2002)

Lázaro Ramos de­liv­ers a fe­ro­cious per­for­mance in this ab­sorb­ing char­ac­ter study that dives into the world of an out­cast to ex­plore mat­ters like pover­ty, race, gen­der and sex, even though it feels a bit in­com­plete and su­per­fi­cial as it doesn’t go deep enough into its char­ac­ter as it should.


Madeline’s Made­line (2018)

Decker’s usu­al di­rect­ing style and art­sy-fart­sy man­ner­isms be­come or­gan­ic for a sto­ry about men­tal ill­ness, mak­ing us share the character’s dis­so­ci­a­tion, but the film is sad­ly un­even, with al­most as many bril­liant mo­ments as ob­vi­ous ones and not re­al­ly go­ing any­where in the end.


Mae­stro (2014)

A de­li­cious French com­e­dy based on a real sto­ry in­volv­ing Eric Rohmer and Jo­ce­lyn Quiv­rin, and cen­tered on an im­ma­ture yet charis­mat­ic char­ac­ter at the hi­lar­i­ous back­stage and shoot­ing of a film with its bloop­ers, bud­get prob­lems and be­hind-scenes ro­mance.


Mag­ic in the Moon­light (2014)

The di­a­logue is painful­ly ex­pos­i­to­ry and it is hard to ac­cept that such a self-cen­tered ra­tio­nal­ist would be this eas­i­ly con­vinced with­out ask­ing the most fun­da­men­tal ques­tions about what he is wit­ness­ing. Be­sides, the plot is too pre­dictable for any­one ac­quaint­ed with Allen’s works.


Mag­ic Mike (2012)

The steady di­rec­tion and great per­for­mances con­tribute to make this an en­gag­ing dra­ma about two male strip­pers whose lives move in op­po­site di­rec­tions of the same path. It be­gins amus­ing but then grad­u­al­ly grows more and more se­ri­ous as the sto­ry starts to ques­tion their lifestyle.


Mag­ic Mike XXL (2015)

Mag­ic Mike hits the road with his guys in a fun Priscil­la Queen of the Desert kind of trip and the re­sult is this sexy and sol­id se­quel that has its share of amus­ing mo­ments and — of course — gives a spe­cial at­ten­tion to those hot toned male bod­ies that should be ex­pect­ed.


Mag­gie (2015)

The premise is a tad too fa­mil­iar and noth­ing that hasn’t been shown be­fore in The Walk­ing Dead or George Romero’s movies, but Hob­son makes up for it by sus­tain­ing an op­pres­sive, re­lent­less at­mos­phere of melan­choly de­spite the film lack­ing in plot (and char­ac­ter) de­vel­op­ment.


Maggie’s Plan (2015)

It is true that it lacks enough co­he­sion and be­comes a bit repet­i­tive af­ter halfway through, but still this is a sweet Woody-Allen-es­que movie that works most­ly be­cause of its great cast and be­cause Gre­ta Ger­wig is al­ways so adorable that she makes it worth it.


Mag­i­cal Girl (2014)

Ver­mut proves al­ready in his sec­ond film that he has a very in­ter­est­ing voice, giv­ing us this sto­ry that re­mains al­ways grip­ping as it shows how the lives of three dif­fer­ent peo­ple get iron­i­cal­ly in­ter­twined by some un­hap­py cir­cum­stances — most of which pro­voked by them­selves.


The Mag­nif­i­cent Sev­en (1960)

An en­ter­tain­ing West­ern re­make of Kurosawa’s samu­rai clas­sic and, like that film, more con­cerned with de­vel­op­ing its char­ac­ters and let­ting them grown on us in­stead of just fo­cus­ing on the bat­tle, while the great cast and Bernstein’s score make it epic and un­for­get­table.


The Mag­nif­i­cent Sev­en (2016)

If there is an is­sue I have with this re­make is that these mer­ce­nar­ies be­come he­roes fight­ing for jus­tice too fast, but all that is com­pen­sat­ed by how thrilling and in­tense it is, with amaz­ing vi­su­als and a pro­duc­tion de­sign that makes it look like a true throw­back to clas­sic West­erns.


Ma­hogany (1975)

I love that song, and the film’s first hour is sol­id enough de­spite the oc­ca­sion­al­ly ris­i­ble lines, but then it starts to seem more and more like a cheap soap opera, with many con­trived sit­u­a­tions and a lame, aw­ful­ly sex­ist con­clu­sion that should make any fem­i­nist cringe with dis­gust.


Maio­r­ia Ab­so­lu­ta (1964)

By pre­sent­ing num­bers and of­fer­ing the il­lit­er­ate poor a chance to speak for them­selves, Hirsz­man brings their dis­tant re­al­i­ty to an in­dif­fer­ent mid­dle class that seems com­plete­ly obliv­i­ous to a hor­ri­ble so­cial dis­ease, and it is trag­ic to see that things haven’t changed much ever since.


Make Mine Mu­sic (1946)

This un­even post-war an­i­mat­ed an­thol­o­gy — the third of Disney’s six pack­age films re­leased in the 1940s — feels more like a pop­u­lar ver­sion of Fan­ta­sia, with pop mu­sic in lieu of the Clas­sics, yet none of the seg­ments is mem­o­rable, not even as shorts, much less put to­geth­er.


Mak­ing a Mur­der­er (2015)

The kind of true crime doc­u­men­tary that is just too un­be­liev­able and hor­ren­dous to be true, and while emo­tion­al­ly ex­haust­ing and also one-sided (to be hon­est, I wouldn’t be sur­prised if Steven Av­ery and Bren­dan Dassey did in fact kill Tere­sa Hal­bach), it of­fers very strong ar­gu­ments and ev­i­dence to sup­port that they are both in­no­cent and vic­tims of an aw­ful jus­tice sys­tem.


Mala Mala (2014)

The fact that this film talks about trans­sex­u­als and drag queens as if they all be­longed in the same group is not only coun­ter­pro­duc­tive in terms of in­for­ma­tion but ex­pos­es its lack of fo­cus, which is also ev­i­dent in the un­nec­es­sar­i­ly large amount of char­ac­ters that are pre­sent­ed.


Malef­i­cent (2014)

An­geli­na Jolie is ra­di­ant and de­liv­ers a nu­anced per­for­mance in this de­cent retelling of the fairy tale that fea­tures daz­zling vi­su­als, a great score and a wel­come mod­ern mes­sage, even if the di­rec­tor tones it down to a light Dis­ney lev­el in­stead of mak­ing it more ur­gent and epic.


Mal­ice (2016)

A movie that seems com­plete­ly lost about what it wants to ac­com­plish or say with a bunch of ideas that nev­er come to­geth­er in any con­sis­tent way, mov­ing in the end to­wards some­thing that could nev­er be sat­is­fy­ing enough and man­ag­ing to be­come sil­li­er at each turn and rev­e­la­tion.


Mall­rats (1995)

Not only poor­ly di­rect­ed and with an aw­ful score, but most of the gags are painful­ly un­fun­ny and most of the char­ac­ters are painful­ly an­noy­ing in a stu­pid sto­ry that can’t find any com­pelling rea­son to ex­ist and is only a mis­fire that plods along with no sense of struc­ture.


The Mal­tese Fal­con (1941)

Bog­a­rt is per­fect as an ar­ro­gant de­tec­tive who tries (along with us) to make heads and tails of an ex­treme­ly in­tri­cate and dizzy af­fair, and the best thing is that it has an in­cred­i­bly well-con­struct­ed plot in which all of the pieces fit in the end leav­ing no loose ends.


Mama (2013)

It is frus­trat­ing to see an ef­fi­cient (and very scary) short movie adapt­ed into such a weak fea­ture film that, de­spite some creepy mo­ments and good vi­su­al ef­fects, is sad­ly bogged down by a pile of cheap scares, clichés and in­con­sis­ten­cies.


Mam­ma Mia! (2008)

I don’t wan­na talk about the things I’ve gone through, watch­ing this trashy, cheesy and poor­ly di­rect­ed ABBA mu­si­cal in which al­most no one can sing de­cent­ly — es­pe­cial­ly Pierce Bros­nan, who sounds like a dog bark­ing — and it only makes me won­der what this is all for.


Mam­ma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

De­spite the nice scene tran­si­tions, the two par­al­lel sto­ry­lines are not al­ways put to­geth­er in an or­gan­ic way, but while Ol Parker’s di­rec­tion is not so en pointe ei­ther, this up­lift­ing se­quel is no­tably su­pe­ri­or to the aw­ful first movie in about every­thing: singing, act­ing and heart.


A Man Called Ove (2015)

It is im­pres­sive how it has so many clichés but man­ages to be so hon­est and have a heart — an enor­mous heart ac­tu­al­ly, just like its pro­tag­o­nist, who wins us over de­spite his ex­ces­sive grumpi­ness (or be­cause of it) and thanks to Rolf Lassgård’s touch­ing per­for­mance.


A Man Es­caped (1956)

Bres­son is not in­ter­est­ed in big emo­tions or cathar­sis (he doesn’t even mind telling us the end of the film in the ti­tle) but rather drawn to de­tails and method, and so he crafts a metic­u­lous and tremen­dous­ly ab­sorb­ing clas­sic that de­picts each step tak­en by the pro­tag­o­nist to reach his ob­jec­tive.


The Man from Earth (2007)

It is al­ways in­ter­est­ing to see a sci­ence fic­tion film cen­tered on con­stant di­a­logue, even if it nev­er reach­es the full po­ten­tial of its fas­ci­nat­ing idea and re­mains some­what ob­vi­ous, with also un­lik­able char­ac­ters. Be­sides, the act­ing is not very good ei­ther.


The Man from Lon­don (2007)

For a film­mak­er who is so ob­sessed with aes­thet­ic rig­or, it is strange that Tárr doesn’t seem to mind about all that hor­ri­ble, fake-look­ing dub­bing, yet still this is an evoca­tive film (al­beit repet­i­tive and not so well fin­ished) that makes beau­ti­ful use of strong black and white con­trasts.


The Man from the Fu­ture (2011)

It is quite clum­sy in the be­gin­ning, with a clichéd cin­e­matog­ra­phy and lame di­a­logue, but soon it sur­pris­es us by be­com­ing a fun­ny, touch­ing and well-con­struct­ed film with smart twists, great per­for­mances and an ex­cel­lent sound­track in a sto­ry full of heart.


The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

In a year full of post-mod­ern spy movies, it is so re­fresh­ing to see a de­li­cious and styl­ish old-fash­ioned es­pi­onage film, not only tech­ni­cal­ly sen­sa­tion­al (main­ly the cin­e­matog­ra­phy, art di­rec­tion and edit­ing) but also ex­treme­ly ef­fec­tive as an ex­cit­ing mix of ac­tion and com­e­dy.


A Man of In­tegri­ty (2017)

Ra­soulof makes a dar­ing film that ex­pos­es the en­dem­ic cor­rup­tion, hell­ish bu­reau­cra­cy and out­ra­geous op­pres­sion em­bed­ded in Iran­ian so­ci­ety as we wit­ness a de­cent man sink­ing deep into a night­mare and forced by some ap­palling cir­cum­stances to be­tray every­thing he stands for.


Man of Steel (2013)

For some­one who has nev­er been a fan of Su­per­man as a char­ac­ter, this movie is not re­al­ly im­pres­sive, as it rel­e­gates to flash­backs every dra­mat­ic scene that would help build him as a re­lat­able per­son — and it does so in or­der to jump fast into brain­less, in­con­se­quen­tial ac­tion.


Man of Tai Chi (2013)

If you watch this bilin­gual mar­tial arts movie for its fight­ing scenes, you will have plen­ty to en­joy, for they are re­al­ly great, but apart from that it is quite for­get­table and has noth­ing else to of­fer, with Keanu Reeves di­rect­ing it with no pas­sion and play­ing a car­toon­ish vil­lain.


The Man of the Crowd (2013)

Shot in a col­or-fad­ed, Po­laroid-like square im­age that un­der­scores the melan­choly of the sto­ry through some beau­ti­ful evoca­tive shots, this telling study of soli­tude is silent­ly mov­ing, ex­plor­ing the character’s iso­la­tion and sad in­abil­i­ty to be­long in the crowd.


The Man Who Knew Too Lit­tle (1997)

A one-joke com­e­dy that wants to car­ry the ab­sur­di­ty of its premise through­out the en­tire plot. At first it is a fun­ny idea but it wears out faster than ex­pect­ed, with not many smart twists to keep the sto­ry fresh, but at least Bill Mur­ray makes it an amus­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.


The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Hitch­cock was still learn­ing his craft and im­prov­ing his di­rect­ing skills when he made this unim­pres­sive and the­mat­i­cal­ly flawed film that even he dis­liked — and the hu­mor elim­i­nates most of the ten­sion while the weak script has vil­lains whose mo­ti­va­tions are nev­er re­al­ly clear.


The Man Who Laughs (2012)

Though not ex­act­ly bad, this is a soul­less adap­ta­tion that lacks enough emo­tion to make us care. It be­gins as an en­gag­ing sto­ry with an ef­fi­cient fa­ble-like at­mos­phere but soon turns into a melo­dra­ma and gives place to a sec­ond half that is most­ly cheap, cheesy and ar­ti­fi­cial.


Man with a Movie Cam­era (1929)

Not only Vertov’s Kino-Eye and his rev­o­lu­tion­ary cin­e­mat­ic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion were far ahead of their time in terms of for­mal in­no­va­tion (in­tro­duc­ing all sorts of tech­niques such as mul­ti­ple ex­po­sure, jump cuts and stop mo­tion) but also made his­to­ry as a re­flex­ive, avant-garde so­ci­etal record.


Man­dela: Long Walk to Free­dom (2013)

Idris Elba does an im­pres­sive job in this re­spect­ful and nice­ly craft­ed biopic that is un­for­tu­nate­ly not so en­gag­ing from an emo­tion­al point of view nor as mem­o­rable as the man who in­spired it, and the jumps in time only con­tribute to di­lute our in­volve­ment.


Mandy (2018)

It is in­cred­i­bly re­fresh­ing to see some­thing that looks so fa­mil­iar and yet so unique, draw­ing from a num­ber of in­spi­ra­tions from the 1980s with its as­tound­ing score and styl­ish retro vi­su­als full of lens flares and psy­che­del­ic col­ors, like some mix of Mad Max and Hell­rais­er on LSD.


Man­go Yel­low (2002)

It is the yel­low of the dis­eases, the pu­ru­lent wounds, the rot­ten teeth — a near­ly grotesque (and for most maybe even too hard to stom­ach or di­gest) view of Re­cife, Brazil and the peo­ple there liv­ing as seen through the dar­ing and cyn­i­cal lens of en­fant ter­ri­ble Clau­dio As­sis.


Man­hunter (1986)

Work­ing bet­ter as an in­ter­est­ing pro­ce­dur­al in the way it leads us through a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, this film is how­ev­er less ef­fi­cient as a char­ac­ter study about a psy­chopath (or psy­chopaths if you in­clude Leck­tor), as it doesn’t of­fer that much in­sight into their per­verse minds.


Ma­ni­ac (2012)

This bril­liant film is cer­tain­ly not for everyone’s stom­ach, since it is a bru­tal, tense and in­tense­ly dis­turb­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that forces us to adopt the per­spec­tive of a ma­ni­ac psy­cho killer, us­ing an in­ge­nious sub­jec­tive cam­era to put us right there in­side his de­ranged state of mind.


Man­i­festo (2015)

De­spite the strik­ing vi­su­als and Cate Blanchett’s im­pres­sive sur­ren­der play­ing 13 dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, what we see here must work a lot bet­ter as sep­a­rat­ed gallery pieces in­stead of put to­geth­er, since the re­sult is chaot­ic, con­fus­ing, self-in­dul­gent and gets tir­ing real fast.


Manon of the Spring (1986)

It is frus­trat­ing that Manon is such a weak and poor­ly-writ­ten char­ac­ter, which makes her “re­venge” feel much less de­served, even though the film un­folds like a true Greek tragedy and is able to move us with a touch­ing end­ing and the strength of Yves Montand’s per­for­mance.


The Many Ad­ven­tures of Win­nie the Pooh (1977)

An adorable an­i­ma­tion that doesn’t re­al­ly have a well-de­fined nar­ra­tive as it is in fact a col­lec­tion of three pre­vi­ous­ly re­leased fea­turettes (a fourth one, short­er and beau­ti­ful, was added to the end), and it has great songs and looks sim­ple yet vi­brant in a very sweet way.


Maps to the Stars (2014)

Ju­lianne Moore steals the scene as what seems like an old­er ver­sion of Lind­say Lo­han with a Mom­mie Dear­est com­plex (think of Christi­na, not Joan) in a cyn­i­cal sto­ry full of hor­ri­ble char­ac­ters who are forced to face their ghosts in ways that would leave Freud aroused.


Mar de Rosas (1978)

Whether or not Ana Car­oli­na con­ceived this as a sym­bol­ic por­trait of max­i­mum dis­sat­is­fac­tion in Brazil at the time, see­ing how the film can be­come more and more sur­re­al and cyn­i­cal at every turn is fas­ci­nat­ing as it de­con­structs the most ba­sic con­cept of struc­ture and lan­guage.


Maran­hão 66 (1966)

The biggest irony lies in the fact that, when you look back at Rocha’s film decades af­ter José Sar­ney asked him to make it, you see that it has grown from be­ing a mere con­trast be­tween promise and re­al­i­ty to be­com­ing con­crete proof of Sarney’s de­ceit­ful dem­a­goguery.


Marathon Man (1976)

What be­gins as a taut, in­trigu­ing thriller soon be­comes too com­pli­cat­ed and des­per­ate to defy our sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief (as with a ridicu­lous shootout at a coun­try house), and it is only worth it for Olivier’s wicked vil­lain and a fan­tas­tic scene in the New York di­a­mond dis­trict.


Mar­garet (2011)

It took so many years and two law­suits to have this film edit­ed and re­leased, but the fi­nal re­sult is this bloat­ed and self-im­por­tant mess of ideas that Lon­er­gan was in­ca­pable of putting to­geth­er co­he­sive­ly, and it is even worse that the pro­tag­o­nist is so de­testable.


The Mar­gin (1967)

I re­al­ly like the film’s cin­e­matog­ra­phy with its dar­ing cam­era move­ments and POV shots, but this feels more like an anti-film — or a film in search of a film — try­ing to make some­thing out of ram­bling im­ages and di­gress­ing aim­less­ly for much longer than our pa­tience can take.


Mar­gin Call (2011)

Chan­dor cre­ates a grip­ping and in­tel­li­gent dra­ma that re­lies on a care­ful pace, a very sharp en­sem­ble cast and con­stant first-rate di­a­logue to de­pict with a fas­ci­nat­ing and acute re­al­ism the 24 hours pri­or to the fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2008 at an in­vest­ment firm.


Mar­got at the Wed­ding (2007)

In its first half, it is amus­ing to laugh at the ex­pense of how far these peo­ple can go in be­ing ob­nox­ious, but lat­er on it ap­pears that what Baum­bach re­al­ly wants is to defy us to en­dure a gallery of de­spi­ca­ble char­ac­ters till in the end it has be­come near­ly in­suf­fer­able to watch.


Mar­guerite & Julien (2015)

Donzel­li doesn’t seem to have any idea what to do with this in­ces­tu­ous Romeo & Juli­et sto­ry and cre­ates the worst kind of melo­dra­mat­ic soap opera, ap­par­ent­ly think­ing that it is su­per cool to make use of gra­tu­itous anachro­nisms, pre­ten­tious tableaux vi­vants and corny “mean­ing­ful” glances.


Ma­ri­na Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (2012)

A fas­ci­nat­ing and sur­pris­ing­ly mov­ing doc­u­men­tary that not only of­fers us an in­sight into the work of an artist of great charis­ma and mag­net­ic pres­ence but also shows a lot about the trans­form­ing pow­er of Art and a chal­leng­ing art form that is not ap­pre­ci­at­ed as it should be.


Mar­riage Ital­ian Style (1964)

An Ital­ian de­light that finds an en­vi­able bal­ance be­tween com­e­dy and dra­ma and nev­er drops the ball, with Sophia Loren in a sur­pris­ing per­for­mance lend­ing a lot of com­plex­i­ty to a char­ac­ter that could have been eas­i­ly made into a car­i­ca­ture — com­e­dy- or melo­dra­ma-wise.


The Mar­riage of Maria Braun (1979)

Han­na Schygul­la shines as a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter who grows from a des­per­ate, de­vot­ed wife into a cyn­i­cal, re­lent­less beau­ty — a re­flec­tion of the deca­dence of post­war Ger­many in this al­ways com­pelling char­ac­ter study, the first film of Fassbinder’s so-called BRD Tril­o­gy.


Mars At­tacks! (1996)

Bur­ton in­tend­ed this as an homage to a bad thing that wasn’t tak­en se­ri­ous­ly by any­one in the first place — and this dread­ful movie only shows that he took the idea too lit­er­al­ly. As a par­o­dy it is even worse, not bad enough to be good and with an id­i­ot­ic hu­mor that hard­ly works.


Marsh­land (2014)

Strong­ly in­spired by Mem­o­ries of Mur­der and shar­ing many el­e­ments in com­mon with that mas­ter­piece, this is an ex­cep­tion­al crime thriller about how evil sur­vives in a bro­ken post-fas­cist so­ci­ety even if peo­ple want to con­vince them­selves that past sins can be sim­ply for­got­ten.


Martha Mar­cy May Mar­lene (2011)

An in­tense­ly dis­turb­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller about how you can lose your iden­ti­ty by get­ting bru­tal­ly brain­washed by an abu­sive sect. The edit­ing is spec­tac­u­lar and the whole cast is ter­rif­ic, es­pe­cial­ly Hawkes as the ter­ri­fy­ing leader of the group and Olsen as the para­noid, men­tal­ly frac­tured pro­tag­o­nist.


The Mar­t­ian (2015)

With a great 3D that ex­plores very well the red land­scapes us­ing most­ly a large depth of field, this smart sci­ence fic­tion also knows how to use ex­po­si­tion and works so well due to its de­light­ful sense of hu­mor and ef­fi­cient mo­ments of ten­sion when it needs to be tense.


Mar­tin (1978)

Whether a “vam­pire” or a mod­ern Frankenstein’s crea­ture, the pro­tag­o­nist of Mar­tin is in fact a man-made prover­bial mon­ster, cre­at­ed by an an­guished, fright­ened so­ci­ety in a deeply trou­bled era, re­pressed by con­ser­v­a­tive re­li­gious val­ues and alien­at­ed for be­ing what he is.


Mar­tyrs (2008)

This ex­treme­ly dis­turb­ing and al­most un­watch­able ex­er­cise in ex­treme sadism is al­ways grip­ping, giv­en how it fol­lows un­pre­dictable di­rec­tions at every mo­ment un­til it reach­es a sur­pris­ing fi­nal act that de­mands too much from the au­di­ence for be­ing so ni­hilis­tic and pro­found­ly sick­en­ing.


A Mar­va­da Carne (1985)

As a com­e­dy, I don’t find this movie very fun­ny, al­though the fan­ta­sy gives it a spe­cial charm and Fer­nan­da Tor­res is hi­lar­i­ous (she has a great com­ic tim­ing); still, what el­e­vates it is the great end­ing that makes us look back at what pre­ced­ed it in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent way.


Mary and Max (2009)

A beau­ti­ful and heart­break­ing clay­ma­tion about de­pres­sion, lone­li­ness and friend­ship, craft­ed with a gor­geous pro­duc­tion de­sign, a won­der­ful di­rec­tion and a bit­ter­sweet sto­ry that is so pro­found­ly touch­ing it is hard to imag­ine any­one who wouldn’t be moved by it.


Mary Mag­da­lene (2018)

For a film about Mary Mag­da­lene, there is sad­ly too much here about Je­sus Christ and “God’s de­sign” and not enough about her­self, as she be­comes lit­tle more than a pas­sive spec­ta­tor in a sto­ry that poor­ly tries to de­pict life as a woman in such a strong­ly pa­tri­ar­chal so­ci­ety.


Mary Meets Mo­ham­mad (2013)

Kirk­patrick can’t cir­cum­vent the un­for­tu­nate fact that no shoot­ing was al­lowed in the de­ten­tion cen­ter, which makes the bond be­tween Mary and Mo­hammed seem out of the blue when we fi­nal­ly see it; still, this eye-open­ing doc should def­i­nite­ly be seen for its im­por­tant sub­ject.


Mary Pop­pins (1964)

A mag­i­cal Dis­ney film that mar­vels us with fan­tas­tic spe­cial ef­fects, a splen­did com­bi­na­tion of live ac­tion and an­i­ma­tion, an un­for­get­table per­for­mance by Julie An­drews and a great amount of mem­o­rable mu­si­cal num­bers that stay in our heads and make us hum them for hours af­ter the movie is over.


Mary Pop­pins Re­turns (2018)

The mag­ic of the orig­i­nal film gives place to most­ly life­less Broad­way-es­que spec­ta­cle — un­fo­cused, rep­e­ti­tious and with songs that pret­ty much sound all alike. Be­sides, Emi­ly Blunt doesn’t have the pres­ence and charis­ma that the char­ac­ter re­quires, and her Mary Pop­pins can be re­al­ly an­noy­ing.


Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

While more ef­fec­tive when fo­cus­ing on the roy­al in­trigue than when try­ing to cre­ate a forced par­al­lel be­tween the two queens (in fact, the whole sub­plot in­volv­ing Queen Eliz­a­beth could be eas­i­ly re­moved), this is a de­cent pe­ri­od dra­ma that comes to­geth­er quite well in the end.


Mary Shelley’s Franken­stein (1994)

With a so­phis­ti­cat­ed di­rec­tion, awe­some make-up and a beau­ti­ful score, this un­der­rat­ed adap­ta­tion does an ex­cel­lent job ex­pand­ing and en­rich­ing Shelley’s sto­ry, es­pe­cial­ly by mak­ing the crea­ture less a mon­ster and elab­o­rat­ing more on why Vic­tor cre­ates him in the first place.


Mas­cots (2016)

While this is a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment since the fi­as­co of For Your Con­sid­er­a­tion (even if I miss Cather­ine O’Hara and Chris O’Dowd is com­plete­ly wast­ed), Guest’s re­turn to the mock­u­men­tary style has more miss­es than hits, be­ing only re­al­ly fun dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion in the end.


Mas­culin Féminin (1966)

You can al­most feel Godard’s sex­ist dis­dain to­wards fe­male ig­no­rance in a so­ci­ety that he clear­ly crit­i­cizes as com­plete­ly plunged in con­sumerism, pop cul­ture and alien­ation, but at the same time he cu­ri­ous­ly shows us how he is aware of his in­tel­lec­tu­al ar­ro­gance as well.


M*A*S*H (1970)

Altman’s anti-war clas­sic is a de­li­cious satire — ir­rev­er­ent, sub­ver­sive and down­right hi­lar­i­ous -, with a per­fect episod­ic struc­ture for the sort of anti-es­tab­lish­ment vibe it aims for and mak­ing the most of its com­po­si­tions (the Last Sup­per gag is hys­ter­i­cal) and over­lap­ping im­pro­vised di­a­logue.


The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Price is at his most di­a­bol­i­cal here, while the stun­ning sets, cos­tumes and cin­e­matog­ra­phy help cre­ate an en­tranc­ing Goth­ic at­mos­phere in this which is most cer­tain­ly the best adap­ta­tion made by Roger Cor­man of a Poe sto­ry.


The Mas­ter (2012)

A very strange yet ex­treme­ly fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter study with a deeply un­set­tling at­mos­phere sur­round­ing its char­ac­ters — and most of its pow­er comes from the strong cast, es­pe­cial­ly Joaquin Phoenix, who de­liv­ers one of the most in­tense per­for­mances of his ca­reer.


The Mas­ter of Apipu­cos (1959)

While amus­ing as an al­most in­vi­ta­tion to check out Apipu­cos, this also ends up be­com­ing an un­in­ten­tion­al por­trait of “casa-grande” her­itage.


The Ma­trix (1999)

A mind-blow­ing mod­ern clas­sic that feeds the mind with thought-pro­vok­ing philo­soph­i­cal ideas about what re­al­i­ty is, and it will al­ways be re­mem­bered as a ma­jor break­through in Cin­e­ma with its com­bi­na­tion of in­no­v­a­tive vi­su­al ef­fects, thrilling ac­tion and icon­ic re­li­gious ref­er­ences.


The Ma­trix Re­loaded (2003)

A sol­id se­quel that ex­pands the scope of the re­sis­tance and the rules of its uni­verse in a way much greater than be­fore, al­though the re­sult is too ac­tion-dri­ven (with end­less, te­dious fight scenes full of CGI that go on for­ev­er) and even the re­li­gious ref­er­ences are a lot more ob­vi­ous.


The Ma­trix Rev­o­lu­tions (2003)

A frus­trat­ing con­clu­sion that got way too con­vo­lut­ed by this point and is un­able to bring the in­tel­li­gent ideas pro­posed in the first two movies into some­thing con­sis­tent, leav­ing too much unan­swered and be­com­ing only messier and more con­fus­ing with every new in­for­ma­tion.


A Mat­ter of Size (2009)

This is in fact more a dra­ma about self-ac­cep­tance than the com­e­dy it is be­ing la­beled as, and it is much more ef­fi­cient in its de­cent first half than af­ter, when we are left with a pile of clichés and ar­ti­fi­cial con­flicts that re­al­ly make this a pret­ty for­get­table movie.


Maudie (2016)

A sim­ple and af­fect­ing biopic that could have been eas­i­ly made for­get­table but in­stead ben­e­fits im­mense­ly from Sal­ly Hawkins and Ethan Hawke’s fan­tas­tic per­for­mances — es­pe­cial­ly the for­mer, who of­fers us a char­ac­ter that brings us to tears with her sen­si­bil­i­ty and sweet­ness.


Mau­vais Sang (1986)

What is most mem­o­rable in this lyri­cal film about un­re­quit­ed young love is Carax’s styl­ish di­rec­tion to­geth­er with a sub­lime cin­e­matog­ra­phy and pro­duc­tion de­sign, even though he over­does it some­times and would only be en pointe with his ap­proach in his fol­low­ing oeu­vre.


The Maze Run­ner (2014)

De­spite the in­ter­est gen­er­at­ed by its in­trigu­ing mys­tery (in ways rem­i­nis­cent of films like Cube), this re­cent ad­di­tion to the young-adult wave that has plagued cin­e­mas in the past few years has a sil­ly end­ing that makes every­thing pre­ced­ing it seem like a waste of time.


Maze Run­ner: The Scorch Tri­als (2015)

This chap­ter is in many ways su­pe­ri­or to the mediocre first movie, and even if it is com­plete­ly de­riv­a­tive (think of The Hunger Games meets I Am Leg­end and Mad Max and you will have an idea), it does a nice job gen­er­at­ing ex­cite­ment and ten­sion in the ac­tion-packed scenes.


Mc­Queen (2018)

Al­though it is only a pity that it doesn’t delve fur­ther into McQueen’s dark­ness and what ex­act­ly tor­ment­ed his trou­bled soul, this is an in­ti­mate and al­ways com­pelling look at the life and work of a bril­liant fash­ion de­sign­er who used his in­ner demons to cre­ate stun­ning art.


Me and Earl and the Dy­ing Girl (2015)

Gomez-Re­jon is a great di­rec­tor who clear­ly loves films and has a deep knowl­edge of the lan­guage of Cin­e­ma — his vi­su­al com­po­si­tions are just won­der­ful, de­spite a few ex­cess­es -, and this is a de­li­cious­ly cap­ti­vat­ing sto­ry that un­der­stands the val­ue of hon­est Art as op­posed to sap­py life lessons.


Me and You (2012)

Bertoluc­ci seems aware of the fas­ci­na­tion that he cre­ates with his young pro­tag­o­nist, us­ing the light and close-ups to ex­plore how he cu­ri­ous­ly ap­pears both awk­ward and beau­ti­ful. But the am­bigu­ous end­ing feels like an easy re­fusal to deal with the ques­tions raised be­fore.


Me, My­self and Mum (2013)

Gal­li­enne is down­right amaz­ing play­ing two roles in this del­i­cate au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal com­e­dy — an ex­pert­ly-edit­ed film that finds a per­fect tonal bal­ance as it moves ef­fort­less­ly from hi­lar­i­ous to touch­ing mo­ments with­out ever be­com­ing heavy-hand­ed.


Mean Streets (1973)

A ground­break­ing movie that al­ready show­cased Scorsese’s deep un­der­stand­ing of film lan­guage with a unique voice that would in­spire oth­er di­rec­tors like Quentin Taran­ti­no, and it boasts a killer sound­track and two amaz­ing per­for­mances by Har­vey Kei­t­el and Robert De Niro.


The Mea­sure of a Man (2015)

Vin­cent Lin­don de­liv­ers one of the best per­for­mances of his ca­reer (tru­ly spec­tac­u­lar, and his body lan­guage is par­tic­u­lar­ly re­veal­ing) in a re­al­is­tic dra­ma that brings to mind the nat­u­ral­is­tic, al­most-doc­u­men­tary style of the Dar­d­enne broth­ers’ films and the Ro­man­ian New Wave.


Mediter­ranea (2015)

Carpignano’s de­but is sen­si­tive to tack­le this del­i­cate sub­ject mat­ter with the ob­jec­tiv­i­ty that it de­serves, of­fer­ing a re­al­is­tic look at the dif­fi­cult life of African mi­grants in Eu­rope and achiev­ing an hon­est note of sad­ness in the end with­out any need of sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty to move us.


The Meg (2018)

A very ba­sic mon­ster movie that be­gins fun enough but then quick­ly over­stays its wel­come, be­com­ing big and clum­sy like a Mega­lodon while lack­ing in ten­sion, thrills or any­thing to hold our at­ten­tion for more than an hour as things start to get rep­e­ti­tious, lame and pure­ly bor­ing.


Mega­mind (2010)

An en­ter­tain­ing, smart and fun­ny an­i­ma­tion that doesn’t have a very orig­i­nal or imag­i­na­tive sto­ry but is at least de­li­cious­ly amus­ing, with some great twists that I nev­er saw com­ing. It is in­fi­nite­ly bet­ter than De­spi­ca­ble Me, with which com­par­isons seem in­evitable.


Mekong Ho­tel (2012)

Let’s be hon­est, this is not a film, it is more like a thing, an ob­ject — it just stays there, in­ert. It doesn’t say any­thing, it doesn’t be­come any­thing, it only ex­ists, and with only a bit less than an hour of run­ning time it over­stays its wel­come and you can pay at­ten­tion to it or not.


Melan­cho­lia (2011)

Lars von Tri­er con­tin­ues to move through the realm of des­o­la­tion af­ter An­tichrist with this pro­found­ly sad film that shows how dif­fer­ent peo­ple re­act in the face of de­pres­sion and the im­pend­ing doom. The cast is fan­tas­tic, es­pe­cial­ly Dun­st and Gains­bourg, who are both ex­cep­tion­al.


Melody Time (1948)

A slight im­prove­ment over Make Mine Mu­sic as an­oth­er Dis­ney pack­age film com­bin­ing mu­sic and nar­ra­tive, now with sev­en sto­ries that may not ex­act­ly be mem­o­rable but still man­age to en­ter­tain, even af­ter this run-of-the-mill an­thol­o­gy for­mat has clear­ly be­come tired.


Me­men­to (2000)

An in­tel­lec­tu­al­ly stim­u­lat­ing and ex­pert­ly-edit­ed ex­er­cise in sto­ry­telling built upon two al­ter­nat­ing threads that move in op­po­site di­rec­tions (the main one back­wards and a black-and-white sub­plot for­ward) un­til they con­verge in the end, mak­ing us un­der­go the same dis­ori­en­ta­tion of its char­ac­ter.


Mem­oirs of a Geisha (2005)

The vi­su­als and tech­ni­cal as­pects are in­deed spec­tac­u­lar, but the film’s flawed nar­ra­tive, while en­joy­able to fol­low for most of the time, is like a cheap soap-opera that even comes up with a ridicu­lous rev­e­la­tion in its pa­thet­ic, melo­dra­mat­ic last half hour.


Mem­oirs of Prison (1984)

Based on Brazil­ian writer Gra­cil­iamo Ramos’ own ex­pe­ri­ences in prison, this is a pow­er­ful and ex­treme­ly well di­rect­ed film that makes us feel the character’s grow­ing emo­tion­al stress and de­clin­ing health as he tries to sur­vive po­lit­i­cal re­pres­sion in times of dic­ta­tor­ship.


Memória do Can­gaço (1965)

A de­ceit­ful­ly sim­ple doc­u­men­tary that ex­am­ines the ori­gins of can­gaço and what it ac­tu­al­ly was be­yond the pop­u­lar myth, us­ing the only im­ages ever cap­tured in film of the fa­mous band of Lampião and in­ter­views with those who were there and par­tic­i­pat­ed in the fight.


Mem­o­ries of Mur­der (2003)

Bong Joon-ho uses a real Ko­re­an se­r­i­al killer sto­ry as the ba­sis for this al­ways ab­sorb­ing, ter­ri­bly iron­ic and trag­i­cal­ly hi­lar­i­ous crime dra­ma that is both an in­tel­li­gent so­cial satire and a sharp po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary, and he nev­er ceas­es to sur­prise us un­til the very last shot.


Men & Chick­en (2015)

Mads Mikkelsen is price­less — and near­ly un­rec­og­niz­able with a cleft lip, fake teeth and an ec­cen­tric com­po­si­tion — in this hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy that feels like a dark­ly hu­mored mix of The Is­land of Dr. More­au and The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre, but the end­ing feels a bit off.


Men and Women (1964)

It los­es some of its pac­ing af­ter a while, slow­ing down al­most to a halt, and the film’s sil­ly mor­al­iz­ing makes it feel a bit dat­ed to­day, but still this is an ab­sorb­ing dra­ma cen­tered on four lone­ly char­ac­ters as they spend an emp­ty night to­geth­er in a lone­ly big city.


Men in Black 3 (2012)

An en­joy­able but for­get­table se­quel that doesn’t bring any­thing new to the se­ries. This time we don’t have so much of that on­screen chem­istry be­tween Smith and Jones (who is ab­sent dur­ing most of the film), but Brolin steals the show as a younger ver­sion of Jones.


The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

A mild­ly fun­ny satire that seems to bor­row from the Coen broth­ers’ hu­mor and has some very fine and vig­or­ous per­for­mances, but af­ter halfway through it starts to lose its comedic charm and ends with a dis­ap­point­ing, quick and easy wrap-up.


Men, Women & Chil­dren (2014)

Re­it­man seems to have many ideas but can’t find a cen­tral point for them, and so he shoots in every di­rec­tion with this loose, su­per­fi­cial dra­ma that falls flat with a sil­ly, ar­ti­fi­cial ex­e­cu­tion and frus­trat­ing­ly hol­low ques­tions about tech­nol­o­gy, in­ter­net, soli­tude, lack of di­a­logue, etc.


O Mer­ca­do de Notí­cias (2014)

Jorge Fur­ta­do uses his trade­mark sar­cas­tic ap­proach to make a vi­tal analy­sis of the cur­rent state of jour­nal­ism in Brazil and the world, es­pe­cial­ly by show­ing how the craft has verged into the realm of sen­sa­tion­al­ism and lost cred­i­bil­i­ty with its dis­re­gard for cross-check­ing by some pro­fes­sion­als.


The Mer­chant of Four Sea­sons (1971)

A turn­ing point in Fassbinder’s ca­reer with the con­sol­i­da­tion of his style as a sto­ry­teller; a film in which he ex­plores emo­tion­al tragedy us­ing a the­atri­cal frame (the act­ing, mise-en-scène, the dis­tinct palette of col­ors) to make a strik­ing com­men­tary on the pe­tit bour­geois men­tal­i­ty.


The Mes­sage (1976)

Akkad dodges with cre­ativ­i­ty the lim­i­ta­tions im­posed by the very Is­lam that he wants to de­pict (to cel­e­brate blind faith, iron­i­cal­ly) and cre­ates an epic that should be in­ter­est­ing to those who don’t know much about the re­li­gion al­though it con­tra­dicts the Quran many times to make it look tol­er­ant.


The Mes­sen­ger (2009)

A de­cent char­ac­ter study whose main strength lies in two great per­for­mances by Fos­ter and Har­rel­son, who shine in a sad sto­ry that deals with the psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences of a ter­ri­ble job, but the film also suf­fers from some tire­some pac­ing and un­nec­es­sary scenes.


Me­te­o­ran­go Kid (1969)

An­oth­er Brazil­ian film from the 1960s that be­lieves that be­ing sub­ver­sive and struc­tural­ly slack in or­der to re­flect the chaos of a so­ci­ety un­der dic­ta­tor­ship is enough to make it worth it, but Me­te­o­ran­go Kid is only self-in­dul­gent and mis­takes ju­ve­nile en­er­gy for in­tel­li­gence.


Metropia (2009)

The vi­su­als are def­i­nite­ly stun­ning and the plot, though not in­ven­tive, presents an in­ter­est­ing idea of a dystopi­an fu­ture in which so­ci­ety lives un­der cor­po­rate sur­veil­lance and mind con­trol, but still the re­sult feels a tad too clin­i­cal (and soul­less) for most view­ers to en­joy it.


Meu Nome É Ton­ho (1969)

If this is sup­posed to be a ni­hilis­tic anti-West­ern for the sake of be­ing so (or a “mar­gin­al West­ern” if the term ap­plies), the weak ac­tors and Can­deias’ dis­dain for struc­ture (the first act takes rough­ly two thirds of the film) be­come a prob­lem, even if the film looks stun­ning.


The Meyerowitz Sto­ries (New and Se­lect­ed) (2017)

I’m hon­est­ly sur­prised with the im­pres­sive job that Adam San­dler does here, play­ing a char­ac­ter who earns our sym­pa­thy even if the film it­self is ba­si­cal­ly the same shtick that Baum­bach comes up with over and over again, not re­al­ly fun­ny or even close to dra­mat­ic as it wants to be.


Mia Madre (2015)

A very touch­ing char­ac­ter study that per­fect­ly blends a se­ri­ous and suf­fo­cat­ing dra­ma with hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments of hu­mor that are nev­er in­tru­sive but in­stead helps shape the whole meta-nar­ra­tive pur­pose of what Moret­ti wants to say, in­clud­ing his feel­ings about his own work.


Michael (2011)

A deeply dis­turb­ing char­ac­ter study that takes on the hard task of hu­man­iz­ing a mon­strous psy­chopath, fo­cus­ing on a three-di­men­sion­al hu­man preda­tor who is able to blend into so­ci­ety like many oth­ers — but wise­ly nev­er of­fer­ing easy rea­sons for his de­spi­ca­ble ac­tions.


The Mid­night Af­ter (2014)

Fruit Chan crafts a grip­ping mys­tery with a lot of hu­mor but goes too far with a rape scene and a hor­rid col­lec­tive mur­der in­com­pat­i­ble with the tone of the sto­ry, los­ing fo­cus af­ter then and not of­fer­ing any ex­pla­na­tion for the end­less el­e­ments thrown in the clum­sy plot.


Mid­night Ex­press (1978)

The con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing the way the Turks are de­pict­ed is not with­out rea­son, but the film is quite en­gag­ing (with a won­der­ful score) as a dis­turb­ing por­tray­al of hell as a Turk­ish prison, show­ing the ugly con­di­tions faced by a very un­for­tu­nate man in a hor­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion.


Mid­night in Paris (2011)

With this charm­ing tale about a dis­sat­is­fied young man who would rather live in the gold­en days of a long past époque than in the present, Woody Allen comes up with an­oth­er adorable film and seems like hav­ing a lot of fun putting those de­light­ful wit­ty lines in the mouth of his idols.


Mid­night Spe­cial (2016)

Jeff Nichols seems to be try­ing to re­vive that mag­ic found in Spielberg’s movies of the ‘80s, but de­spite its ab­sorb­ing mys­tery, his film cre­ates the feel­ing that it is bet­ter than it ac­tu­al­ly is, with poor­ly ex­plained el­e­ments and a de­vel­op­ment that doesn’t lead to some­thing so in­ter­est­ing in the end.


Mid90s (2018)

Jon­ah Hill is not just a tal­ent­ed ac­tor but also an in­tel­li­gent sto­ry­teller who un­der­stands that life doesn’t of­fer easy so­lu­tions for prob­lems that run much deep­er be­neath the sur­face — and he is also sen­si­tive to re­al­ize how try­ing to get away can bring peo­ple to­geth­er in so many ways.


The Mighty Spir­it (1999)

I find it cu­ri­ous to see how Brazil is such a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent be­liefs and faiths as we lis­ten to Coutinho’s in­ter­vie­wees talk about their spir­i­tu­al ex­pe­ri­ences, even if some of the sto­ries are less in­ter­est­ing than oth­ers and the film be­gins to di­gress to­wards the end.


A Mighty Wind (2003)

The im­pres­sion we have here is that Guest is less in­ter­est­ed in mak­ing fun of peo­ple and their fun­ny idio­syn­crasies with his usu­al satir­i­cal bite, mak­ing a film that is sweet­er and more heart­felt than Wait­ing for Guff­man and Best in Show but also a bit less fun­ny, too.


Mil­dred Pierce (1945)

In an Os­car-win­ning per­for­mance, Craw­ford el­e­vates this melo­dra­ma-noir that de­serves cred­it for its splen­did cin­e­matog­ra­phy, mise-en-scène and struc­ture, but the film hasn’t aged very well with its pa­tri­ar­chal view that a mar­ried woman who leaves home will in­evitably meet dis­as­ter.


Mile 22 (2018)

There is some­thing dy­nam­ic and ur­gent about the plot at first, but soon this gener­ic pro­pa­gan­dist movie de­scends into mind­less chaos (with an aw­ful­ly shaky cam­era and chop­py edit­ing that don’t even al­low us to lo­cate our­selves ge­o­graph­i­cal­ly) and to­ward a pre­pos­ter­ous end­ing.


The Milk of Sor­row (2009)

A poignant al­le­gor­i­cal dra­ma cen­tered on the be­lief that the trau­ma ex­pe­ri­enced by the many women raped dur­ing the years of ter­ror­ism in Peru has been passed on to the fol­low­ing gen­er­a­tions, and it re­lies on a beau­ti­ful per­for­mance by Ma­g­a­ly Soli­er.


The Mill and the Cross (2011)

What a tru­ly re­mark­able ac­com­plish­ment in terms of jaw-drop­ping vi­su­als, but the prob­lem is that Cin­e­ma is not Paint­ing, and so Ma­jew­s­ki is un­able to trans­pose the sym­bol­ism of Bruegel’s work to the screen with­out re­ly­ing on an ex­pos­i­to­ry ex­pla­na­tion of his in­ten­tions.


Mil­len­ni­um Mam­bo (2001)

Though not with­out its flaws and with a nar­ra­tion that feels at times (not al­ways) re­dun­dant, this heart­break­ing, melan­choly film has an evoca­tive cin­e­matog­ra­phy (the first scene is mem­o­rable) and of­fers an hon­est por­trait of a gen­er­a­tion of youths try­ing to find their way in life.


Mil­lion Dol­lar Arm (2014)

A typ­i­cal feel-good movie that be­lieves that be­ing charm­ing is enough to keep us in­ter­est­ed, but it is clichéd, ex­ces­sive­ly pre­dictable to the point of be­ing an­noy­ing and tries to sell us an in­cred­i­bly corny (and laugh­able) mes­sage that “base­ball shouldn’t be about busi­ness but about fun.”


A Mil­lion Ways to Die in the West (2014)

With a kind of clever (and re­al­ly fun­ny) hu­mor that may not ap­peal to everyone’s tastes, Mac­Far­lane finds the per­fect bal­ance be­tween slap­stick non­sense and raunchy scat­ol­ogy (he knows how to make ex­cre­ment jokes hi­lar­i­ous), while ex­plor­ing the gor­geous sight of the land­scapes.


Mind­ing the Gap (2018)

Apart from a forced at­tempt at sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty in the end and the fact that the edit­ing feels most­ly ran­dom with not much sense of struc­ture, I ap­pre­ci­ate how close to Liu’s heart his film is and how it shows that skate­board­ing can be a means for some peo­ple to get away from do­mes­tic abuse.


Min­nie and Moskowitz (1971)

Nev­er shy­ing away from the fact that its two main char­ac­ters could be eas­i­ly seen as re­pel­lent or tox­ic in their psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­ders, this au­da­cious dra­ma is able to make us em­pathize with them while of­fer­ing a sharp crit­i­cism of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety at the same time.


Mi­nus­cule: Val­ley of the Lost Ants (2013)

An imag­i­na­tive, fun­ny and very cute French-Bel­gian an­i­mat­ed movie that proves to be a lot of de­light­ful fun for all ages — es­pe­cial­ly chil­dren, of course, who should love it -, with a good sound de­sign, a great score and a sweet an­i­ma­tion in a di­a­logue-free sto­ry.


The Mir­a­cle Work­er (1962)

Even with a slight ten­den­cy to­wards melo­dra­ma, this is a won­der­ful film that im­press­es with a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy, beau­ti­ful di­rec­tion (the mise-en-scène is ex­cep­tion­al), two su­perb Os­car-win­ning per­for­mances and an in­cred­i­ble 8-minute fight to “house­break” a fer­al child.


Mi­rai (2018)

What an aw­ful voice they chose for Kun in the Japan­ese ver­sion (the voice of an 18-year-old girl), and yet more an­noy­ing for me is how con­de­scend­ing this film is to­wards chil­dren in­stead of speak­ing to them, with the re­sult feel­ing more un­fo­cused and ba­nal than it should.


Mir­ror Mir­ror (2012)

Ju­lia Roberts seems to be hav­ing a lot of fun in this amus­ing satire that plays with fairy tale clichés — a fem­i­nist take on the clas­sic sto­ry full of wit­ty di­a­logue and with a sol­id script much more in­spired than Snow White and the Hunts­man, even if not re­mark­able ei­ther.


Les Mis­érables (2012)

It is im­pos­si­ble to care about a heavy-hand­ed melo­dra­ma full of flat char­ac­ters end­less­ly singing and cry­ing their mis­ery for near­ly three hours non-stop. Be­sides, Hooper’s di­rec­tion is ex­treme­ly am­a­teur­ish and in­ept, with the cam­era ap­pear­ing to be held by an epilep­tic.


The Mis­placed World (2015)

This hon­est dra­ma ben­e­fits from strong per­for­mances but dis­ap­points for re­ly­ing on too many fam­i­ly rev­e­la­tions and sit­u­a­tions wor­thy of a TV soap opera, such as the char­ac­ters go­ing back and forth from Ger­many to New York as if they were sim­ply cross­ing the street.


Miss Julie (2014)

The three ac­tors, es­pe­cial­ly Chas­tain and Far­rell, are splen­did in this talky and bleak adap­ta­tion whose the­atri­cal ori­gins are quite trans­par­ent, but which un­for­tu­nate­ly starts to re­sem­ble more and more a melo­dra­ma as the (over­long) sto­ry ad­vances and fi­nal­ly falls flat in the end.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Pe­cu­liar Chil­dren (2016)

Bur­ton shows us again his tal­ent for com­bin­ing imag­i­na­tive fan­ta­sy with the macabre to cre­ate an ex­cit­ing dark ad­ven­ture like he hasn’t made in quite a while (al­most a decade), and not even the rather for­mu­la­ic ac­tion scenes elim­i­nate the plea­sure of watch­ing this de­light­ful movie.


Miss Rep­re­sen­ta­tion (2011)

There are some in­ter­est­ing things here, but they are sad­ly lost in this clum­si­ly-edit­ed hud­dle of talk­ing heads and ran­doms opin­ions in­stead of be­ing sup­port­ed by sol­id ar­gu­ments from peo­ple with qual­i­fi­ca­tion who could dis­cuss these is­sues in depth and with a lot more con­sis­ten­cy.


Miss Sloane (2016)

It is cer­tain­ly more in­ter­est­ing than one would ex­pect from a movie about lob­by­ing, but it also feels forced and sil­ly at times, with an end­ing that is proud of its own stu­pid­i­ty and a pro­tag­o­nist who is more a car­i­ca­ture of the worka­holic “ma­chine woman” than an ac­tu­al per­son.


Miss Vi­o­lence (2013)

This aw­ful­ly dis­turb­ing film is care­ful to in­tro­duce us with­out haste to its char­ac­ters and their dy­nam­ics to­geth­er be­fore start­ing to dig up what lies be­neath their tight fam­i­ly dis­ci­pline — which is re­in­forced by Avranas’ rig­or­ous di­rec­tion and even a beau­ti­ful ten-minute long take.


The Miss­ing Pic­ture (2013)

Rithy Panh uses archive footage, clay­ma­tion, dio­ra­mas and a sub­lime sound de­sign to make a dev­as­tat­ing ac­count of the night­mare that was his life as a pris­on­er of the Khmer Rouge regime, in or­der to recre­ate and ex­pose that trag­ic miss­ing piece in the his­to­ry of his coun­try.


The Mis­sion (1986)

A re­mark­able and pro­found­ly mov­ing dra­ma about re­demp­tion and the trans­form­ing pow­er of love, not only vi­su­al­ly stun­ning and boast­ing a won­der­ful En­nio Mor­ri­cone score but also with Robert De Niro and Je­re­my Irons car­ry­ing the film in two out­stand­ing per­for­mances.


Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble — Ghost Pro­to­col (2011)

An ex­hil­a­rat­ing, ac­tion-dri­ven in­stall­ment in which the script is clear­ly the least im­por­tant, since this is more than any­thing else a pret­ty awe­some ex­cuse for a lot of badass chase scenes, in­sane car crash­es, elab­o­rate set pieces and more fas­ci­nat­ing ul­tra-high-tech equip­ment.


Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble — Rogue Na­tion (2015)

This breath­tak­ing movie is pos­si­bly the finest and most well-con­struct­ed in­stall­ment in this fran­chise so far, with an in­tel­li­gent es­pi­onage plot, fan­tas­tic edit­ing (I could even swear that Bri­an De Pal­ma di­rect­ed that splen­did opera scene) and ex­hil­a­rat­ing ac­tion scenes.


Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble — Fall­out (2018)

With each new film, the Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble fran­chise keeps find­ing ways to ex­hil­a­rate us more and more with in­sane­ly amaz­ing ac­tion scenes, and in this sixth chap­ter we are of­fered a large num­ber of mind-blow­ing, ex­plo­sive mo­ments that should be re­mem­bered for their au­dac­i­ty.


Mis­sion to Mars (2000)

What a ridicu­lous pseu­do-philo­soph­i­cal sci-fi that makes no sense. Morricone’s score is beau­ti­ful as al­ways, but the hor­rid script is ut­ter­ly im­plau­si­ble and il­log­i­cal, with a bla­tant dis­re­gard for de­tails and co­her­ence.


Mis­tak­en for Strangers (2013)

A cap­ti­vat­ing rock-doc that be­gins rather clum­sy but lat­er grows to be­come a sur­pris­ing­ly re­veal­ing por­trait of a man who has al­ways felt di­min­ished com­pared to his suc­cess­ful broth­er — who hap­pens to be the lead singer of a fan­tas­tic in­die rock band of world­wide rep­u­ta­tion.


Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

This is what hap­pens when you try to com­bine ac­tion and ro­man­tic com­e­dy with­out any idea how. The hu­mor is ir­ri­tat­ing and the sto­ry has no ac­tu­al con­clu­sion, fin­ish­ing on a com­plete­ly un­sat­is­fy­ing note. Still, the chem­istry be­tween Pitt and Jolie saves it from be­ing a dis­as­ter.


Mr. Holmes (2015)

Lift­ed by an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance from Sir Ian McK­ellen, this is an in­sight­ful look at a de-ro­man­ti­cized, “real” Sher­lock Holmes try­ing to hold on to his ag­ing mind and volatile mem­o­ries this side of life’s wall while fi­nal­ly get­ting to re­al­ize the nu­ances of hu­man com­plex­i­ty.


Mr. Long (2017)

A sur­pris­ing film that finds an en­vi­able bal­ance be­tween whim­si­cal com­e­dy and heart­break­ing tragedy, mak­ing us laugh and cry in near­ly equal dos­es while grad­u­al­ly pulling us in with its wide emo­tion­al scope and a mag­net­ic cen­tral per­for­mance by Chen Chang.


Mr. No­body (2009)

Dormael’s am­bi­tion, though ap­peal­ing, moves dan­ger­ous­ly to­wards pre­ten­tious­ness as he at­tempts to con­coct this in­tri­cate, con­vo­lut­ed plot — which bears many un­nec­es­sary el­e­ments that end up bloat­ing it into a flawed, over­long struc­ture with­out clear fo­cus.


Mr. Skeff­in­g­ton (1944)

Davis is ab­solute­ly out­stand­ing in her Os­car-nom­i­nat­ed per­for­mance — as well as Rains, who was also nom­i­nat­ed -, and the most re­mark­able in this ex­cel­lent film is Sherman’s amaz­ing di­rec­tion as he flu­id­ly con­ducts us through more than twen­ty years of his char­ac­ters’ lives.


Mr. Smith Goes to Wash­ing­ton (1939)

James Stew­art and Jean Arthur are both amaz­ing in this mag­nif­i­cent po­lit­i­cal dra­ma — a film still rel­e­vant when it comes to cor­rup­tion and our pow­er­less in­dig­na­tion re­flect­ed in an ide­al­is­tic young Sen­a­tor who bold­ly de­mands hon­or from the ones be­tray­ing their vows in Wash­ing­ton.


Mr. Turn­er (2014)

An ex­cru­ci­at­ing slog that seems made only to mock those who see art in some­thing made by a mon­key throw­ing fe­ces at a blank can­vas, since J. M. W. Turn­er is por­trayed as a re­pul­sive, vul­gar and con­temptible hog and played by Spall as a ridicu­lous growl­ing car­i­ca­ture.


Mis­tress Amer­i­ca (2015)

It is great to see a Noah Baum­bach movie that doesn’t try my pa­tience for a change with his in­suf­fer­able char­ac­ters, as he crafts a de­light­ful sto­ry that works re­al­ly well pre­cise­ly be­cause it un­der­stands that their flaws don’t make them at all lov­able or cute in their pa­thet­ic quirk­i­ness.


Moana (2016)

It trips a bit in the end (post-cli­max) and how the char­ac­ters seem to change their minds all the time, but even so this is a great an­i­ma­tion that looks gor­geous in every way imag­in­able and has beau­ti­ful songs and a mod­ern Dis­ney Princess who is strong, in­de­pen­dent and de­ter­mined.


Mod­ern Times (1936)

The first twen­ty min­utes are the work of ge­nius, but then the film los­es some of its fo­cus and be­comes a usu­al col­lec­tion of sketch­es — though most of them hi­lar­i­ous and mem­o­rable. And Chaplin’s idea of us­ing spo­ken voic­es only from me­chan­i­cal de­vices is bril­liant.


Moe­bius (2013)

What ac­tu­al­ly both­ers me in this dis­turb­ing — and per­verse­ly hi­lar­i­ous — Ko­re­an Oedi­pal-Bud­dhist para­ble is not those hard-to-stom­ach scenes of gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion, rape and in­cest but how tech­ni­cal­ly aw­ful it all is — the light­ing, con­ti­nu­ity, clum­sy zooms and ugly cam­era move­ments.


Moka (2016)

An un­con­vinc­ing re­venge sto­ry that doesn’t man­age to make us feel sor­ry for its main char­ac­ter as it should, be­ing just an­oth­er for­get­table film among so many oth­ers and with many prob­lems that are hard to over­look, like Olivi­er Chantreau’s com­plete lack of pur­pose in the nar­ra­tive.


Molly’s Game (2017)

De­spite a Freudi­an tête-à-tête be­tween fa­ther and daugh­ter close to the end that threat­ens to ruin the whole thing, Jes­si­ca Chas­tain is won­der­ful and makes this film en­ter­tain­ing enough no mat­ter how ex­haust­ing it may feel to keep up with Sorkin’s in­ces­sant, rapid-fire di­a­logue.


A Mo­ment of In­no­cence (1996)

Makhmal­baf sees a gold­en op­por­tu­ni­ty to make amends with his own past as he cre­ates this ground­break­ing meta-cin­e­mat­ic ex­per­i­ment that blends re­al­i­ty and fic­tion in so many dif­fer­ent, un­pre­dictable lev­els, while man­ag­ing to sur­prise us at the most un­ex­pect­ed mo­ments.


Mom­mie Dear­est (1981)

A dis­joint­ed and episod­ic adap­ta­tion that will ap­peal more to those who are cu­ri­ous to know about Joan Crawford’s abu­sive re­la­tion­ship with her daugh­ter, since it makes no ef­fort in char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment and is only worth it for Faye Dun­away in a histri­on­ic, over-the-top per­for­mance.


Mom­my (2014)

A de­cent but un­even ef­fort that feels too long for the kind of sto­ry it wants to tell and not re­al­ly well pol­ished as a whole, and its un­usu­al 1:1 as­pect ra­tio may be clever, es­pe­cial­ly as a ba­sis for the most beau­ti­ful scene of the film, but also starts to be tir­ing af­ter some time.


Mom­my Dead and Dear­est (2017)

Delv­ing into a hor­ren­dous case of Mun­chausen syn­drome by proxy, this is a shock­ing and dis­turb­ing doc­u­men­tary that un­folds like some vi­cious ver­sion of Twi­light, mak­ing a strong ar­gu­ment about our need for free­dom be­fore smack­ing us hard on the face with an even more sin­is­ter turn.


Mon­ey­ball (2011)

Brad Pitt is great in this smart dra­ma that makes the most of the fact that it is a real sto­ry, with no need to turn to Hol­ly­wood con­trivances or moral lessons — and it has its best mo­ments when show­ing the off­stage of base­ball and dis­cussing sta­tis­ti­cal strate­gies.


Mon­key Busi­ness (1931)

A con­sis­tent­ly fun­ny com­e­dy (with some amaz­ing mo­ments) but only un­til the char­ac­ters leave the ship; af­ter that, how­ev­er, the film be­comes more ir­reg­u­lar, with jokes that don’t work so well de­spite how ad­dic­tive the Marx broth­ers are in near­ly every scene they ap­pear.


Mon­key Busi­ness (1952)

It is Cary Grant’s and Gin­ger Rogers’ tal­ent what rais­es this amus­ing screw­ball com­e­dy above av­er­age and keeps the balls rolling, as they make us laugh out loud es­pe­cial­ly in those hys­ter­i­cal mo­ments when they be­have like reck­less, naughty young­sters.


Mon­sieur Lazhar (2011)

Even if the per­for­mances are not that strong, this is a del­i­cate dra­ma that could have been eas­i­ly made into a maudlin melo­dra­ma in the wrong hands but in­stead goes for a re­al­is­tic ap­proach that ren­ders it much more in­volv­ing, touch­ing and sin­cere than most films of the kind.


Mon­sieur Ver­doux (1947)

Ex­cept for one touch­ing mo­ment and a hi­lar­i­ous poi­son­ing scene, this un­even “com­e­dy of mur­ders” is of ex­treme bad taste and has a se­ri­ous prob­lem in struc­ture and tone — plac­ing a pu­trid char­ac­ter in such a slop­py at­tempt at a com­men­tary.


Mon­sters (2010)

Those ex­pect­ing a typ­i­cal hor­ror movie with aliens may be dis­ap­point­ed, for this is in fact a more dra­mat­ic and deeply ab­sorb­ing low-bud­get film about love and the empti­ness of life with­out it, while the mon­sters serve as a trig­ger for the con­nec­tion be­tween the two char­ac­ters.


Mon­sters, Inc. (2001)

Af­ter toys and bugs, Pixar came up with this adorable an­i­ma­tion that, even if not ex­act­ly an in­stant clas­sic as the company’s bet­ter works, is a whole lot of fun and a vi­su­al treat for all ages — in­clud­ing adults, who will find it equal­ly fun­ny and ir­re­sistible.


Mon­sters Uni­ver­si­ty (2013)

A re­al­ly thrilling pre­quel, al­ways fun­ny and ex­cit­ing, that takes the clichéd premise of over­com­ing our own lim­its and turns it into end­less fun — and it will leave you sure that Pixar is fi­nal­ly back on track af­ter its two pre­vi­ous weak, for­get­table en­tries.


The Mon­u­ments Men (2014)

George Clooney is ob­vi­ous­ly no Robert Alt­man, which is made pret­ty clear in this ex­cru­ci­at­ing­ly dull fan­fare that has no sense of struc­ture, fo­cus or pac­ing, while also of­fer­ing emp­ty char­ac­ters and fail­ing im­mense­ly in be­ing fun­ny as a com­e­dy or hon­est as a dra­ma.


Mood In­di­go (2013)

Gondry dis­plays his usu­al vi­su­al cre­ativ­i­ty to bring us this sur­re­al uni­verse where ab­stract is made lit­er­al, but his over­stuffed nar­ra­tive has ab­solute­ly no struc­ture and it is im­pos­si­ble not to feel ex­haust­ed with such a dis­tract­ing amount of non­sen­si­cal el­e­ments thrown in at every sec­ond.


Moon­rise King­dom (2012)

Wes An­der­son was prob­a­bly bored with his toys when he de­cid­ed to make this movie, out of a lack of any­thing bet­ter to do. He clear­ly has noth­ing to say here and throws every­thing he can think of (in­clud­ing a great cast) in this point­less, un­fun­ny mess that leads nowhere.


Moon­struck (1987)

Nicholas Cage is com­plete­ly mis­cast as Ron­ny and his chem­istry with Cher is nonex­is­tent, while the movie’s script doesn’t have that much sub­stance to match its charm and gen­er­al­ly ef­fec­tive sense of hu­mor; even so, this ro­man­tic com­e­dy makes for an amus­ing pas­time.


Most Like­ly to Die (2015)

De­riv­a­tive, ob­vi­ous and full of the most te­dious ex­po­si­tion, this is a pa­thet­ic slash­er that be­lieves to be one step ahead of its view­ers when in fact all about it is com­plete­ly pre­dictable (in­clud­ing the iden­ti­ty of the killer) and it can’t find any­thing orig­i­nal to say out­side of its for­mu­la.


A Most Vi­o­lent Year (2014)

Chan­dor con­tin­ues to prove that he is an in­cred­i­bly tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor with this in­tel­li­gent, qui­et­ly tense and ex­quis­ite­ly pho­tographed dra­mat­ic thriller that plunges the char­ac­ters in shad­ows as it fol­lows a man fight­ing hard to keep his hands clean in a world of de­cay and cor­rup­tion.


A Most Want­ed Man (2014)

Hoff­man de­liv­ers a fan­tas­tic and un­der­act­ed­ly vis­cer­al per­for­mance in his last com­plet­ed movie, a sus­pense­ful es­pi­onage thriller that grabs us and keeps us al­ways guess­ing all the way un­til it reach­es a suf­fo­cat­ing­ly tense cli­max and sur­pris­es us with a spec­tac­u­lar end­ing.


Moth­er (2009)

Bong com­bines in­tense tragedy and dry hu­mor to cre­ate a wit­ty, un­ex­pect­ed sense of bizarreness in this iron­ic nar­ra­tive that sur­pris­es us with its clever plot twists, el­e­gant cin­e­matog­ra­phy and an ab­solute­ly mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance by Kim Hye-ja.


Moth­er and Child (2009)

Gar­cía made a re­al­ly pow­er­ful dra­ma here with a high­ly emo­tion­al and sin­cere sto­ry about re­grets and how some choic­es that we make in our lives de­fine our paths and fu­ture, and it has a fan­tas­tic cast, es­pe­cial­ly An­nette Ben­ing and Nao­mi Watts, who de­serve to be praised.


The Moth­er and the Whore (1973)

Even if Eustache’s ro­man­tic side takes the lead in the end and re­duces a bit its pow­er, this is a vi­brant film that puls­es with a youth­ful verve and feels so alive even in its im­per­fec­tions, and it feels near­ly im­pos­si­ble not to fall in love with Léaud’s adorably an­noy­ing character/persona.


Mother’s In­stinct (2018)

It is ob­vi­ous that this is sup­posed to be a throw­back to Hitchcock’s films (it even takes place in the 1950s for ap­par­ent­ly this sole rea­son), but the re­sult is a cheesy, melo­dra­mat­ic thriller that takes it­self too se­ri­ous­ly and is a lot more Des­per­ate House­wives than any­thing like Ver­ti­go.


Moun­tains May De­part (2015)

A dis­joint­ed, cheesy and poor­ly-act­ed film that con­stant­ly shifts fo­cus be­tween char­ac­ters (even aban­don­ing them for no rea­son), with ar­bi­trary leaps in time that make every­thing seem too su­per­fi­cial and unim­por­tant to work as a look at the lives of com­mon peo­ple.


The Mourn­ing For­est (2007)

Kawase is clear­ly try­ing to make a sen­so­r­i­al film in which lit­tle is said and we are sup­posed to feel in our hearts the pain that trou­bles the char­ac­ters, but she ends up with some­thing in­suf­fer­ably dull, emp­ty and pre­ten­tious that wants to ap­pear a lot more pro­found than it is.


A Movie (1958)

Bruce Con­ner sees ‘a movie’ be­gin where oth­ers end, and this is an sem­i­nal clas­sic that only few peo­ple seem to know about, cre­at­ed from film scraps that were re­assem­bled to form some­thing new (with new mean­ings) and be­com­ing an im­por­tant ex­am­ple of the pow­er of edit­ing.


The Movie of My Life (2017)

Sel­ton Mel­lo cre­ates a del­i­cate and emo­tion­al­ly ma­ture (not to men­tion gor­geous­ly shot) film that moves slow­ly yet steered by the steady hand of a di­rec­tor who knows what he wants to do, as he of­fers us a beau­ti­ful sto­ry full of sym­bol­ism about time, mem­o­ries and grow­ing up.


Movie 43 (2013)

It’s hard to be­lieve that so many first-rate stars could be in­volved in such a dis­taste­ful com­pi­la­tion of bad taste sto­ries, which are so ex­ceed­ing­ly gross and of­fen­sive that only a very few are ac­tu­al­ly orig­i­nal and fun­ny. (There are two ver­sions avail­able, both equal­ly ter­ri­ble).


The Mov­ing Crea­tures (2013)

The mu­sic is a bit re­dun­dant and Gotardo’s di­rec­tion awk­ward some­times (es­pe­cial­ly the mise-en-scène, more suit­able for children’s the­ater), but this slice-of-life dra­ma can be dev­as­tat­ing as it shows us three sit­u­a­tions about people’s lives torn apart by star­tling tragedies.


Mud (2012)

What im­press­es most in this grip­ping com­ing-of-age dra­ma is how it avoids easy an­swers, with com­plex char­ac­ters and no need of clichés to work. Be­sides, the care­ful pac­ing proves to be one of its finest qual­i­ties, while Tye Sheri­dan shines in a strong per­for­mance.


Mud­bound (2017)

De­spite lack­ing in enough in­ten­si­ty and the fact that all fe­male char­ac­ters only seem to be spec­ta­tors of what hap­pens around them, this is a haunt­ing film that ex­pos­es a de­press­ing mo­ment in Amer­i­can his­to­ry when slav­ery was in many ways per­pet­u­at­ed long af­ter it was over.


Mu­lan (1998)

A vi­su­al­ly won­der­ful an­i­ma­tion made with gor­geous col­ors and a sim­ple de­sign in wa­ter­col­or like the style of Chi­nese paint­ing, and in ad­di­tion to a great score it finds a most del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween re­fresh­ing hu­mor and themes like war, hon­or and the brav­ery of women.


The Mule (2018)

For all pur­pos­es, this is Gran Tori­no 2 — or how Clint East­wood plays an­oth­er car­toon­ish old geezer who has the depth of a saucer (and be­fud­dling mo­ti­va­tions) and is sup­posed to be fun­ny by talk­ing shit to strangers — so, let’s just for­get this and go for Break­ing Bad in­stead.


Mul­hol­land Dr. (2001)

One of the most com­plex, se­duc­tive and bril­liant jour­neys into the ob­scure un­der­world of the un­con­scious mind to ever be ex­pe­ri­enced, brought to us by the in­cred­i­ble mind of a film­mak­er who pulls us into an elab­o­rate dream­scape that holds the key to an ex­treme­ly sad re­al­i­ty.


The Mum­my (1932)

With a mar­velous make-up and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, Fre­und dis­plays a firm grasp for his first movie (also in the flaw­less use of mu­sic and si­lence), but the plot suf­fers from in­con­sis­ten­cies, like the mum­my leav­ing the scroll in the mu­se­um af­ter killing the guard even if he would need it lat­er.


Mur­der by Death (1976)

With the ob­vi­ous ex­cep­tion of Tru­man Capote (who is ter­ri­ble as an ac­tor), this is a hi­lar­i­ous spoof of de­tec­tive sto­ries that re­lies on an as­ton­ish­ing col­lec­tion of high-class thes­pi­ans and has an im­pres­sive amount of great jokes, even if some of them do miss the mark here and there.


Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press (2017)

De­spite the amaz­ing cast, al­most every­one is wast­ed (and Ken­neth Branagh looks pa­thet­ic as a car­toon­ish Her­cule Poirot) in this wa­tered down adap­ta­tion made to look like a ma­jor Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion: full of spe­cial ef­fects but wit­less and ridicu­lous­ly solemn at times.


The Mu­sic Ac­cord­ing to An­to­nio Car­los Jo­bim (2012)

A beau­ti­ful trib­ute to the lega­cy of one of the most (or should I say the most) in­flu­en­tial and in­ter­na­tion­al of Brazil­ian mu­si­cians, who crossed bor­ders with his mu­sic and even af­ter dead proves us once and for all that you don’t need spo­ken words when mu­sic lan­guage is enough.


The Mu­sic Box (1932)

You can see the huge in­flu­ence that this clas­sic short com­e­dy and oth­er sim­i­lar ones by Lau­rel and Hardy had on an in­fini­tude of movies, car­toons and co­me­di­ans that came out af­ter, and it is re­al­ly fun­ny to see those two wrestling with a pi­ano up and down­stairs over and over.


The Mu­sic of Strangers (2015)

It lacks enough mu­sic and a clear fo­cus, as it tries to talk about too many things at the same time and only be­comes scat­tered, but at least the mu­si­cians’ per­son­al sto­ries make it worth it and the movie is al­ways lift­ed when it fo­cus­es on them and their re­la­tion­ship with mu­sic.


The Mu­sic Room (1958)

Ray ex­hibits a com­plete and en­vi­able con­trol of his cam­era be­hind this sump­tu­ous dra­ma that de­serves cred­it even more for its el­e­gant, clas­sic di­rec­tion and note­wor­thy for­mal rig­or than for an im­pec­ca­ble nar­ra­tive about a proud, stub­born man who re­fus­es to be­come ob­so­lete.


Mus­tang (2015)

At first, it seems like a Turk­ish Vir­gin Sui­cides with a so­cial com­men­tary on the cul­tur­al op­pres­sion of women in that coun­try, but soon it starts to be­come less and less sub­tle as the sto­ry pro­gress­es to the point of even in­clud­ing an un­nec­es­sary el­e­ment of sex­u­al abuse.


Mu­tum (2007)

De­spite the good sound de­sign and mix­ing, the child ac­tors have se­ri­ous trou­ble with enun­ci­a­tion, and most of the time it is hard to un­der­stand what they are say­ing. Still, this is a sin­cere dra­ma that moves in a care­ful pace and is touch­ing till the end.


My Bloody Valen­tine (1981)

The kind of crap­py slash­er that doesn’t even man­age to be fun, with pedes­tri­an di­a­logue and a rep­e­ti­tious plot that ba­si­cal­ly says that men are jerks and women are weak and whiny, forc­ing us to put up with two ridicu­lous ma­chos at each other’s throats the whole time.


My Cousin Rachel (2017)

The film’s ap­proach is so heavy-hand­ed that it is al­most im­pos­si­ble not to think of its pro­tag­o­nist as an id­iot and the whole at­tempt at am­bi­gu­i­ty com­plete­ly lost, try­ing so hard to con­vince us of some­thing only to sur­prise us with an end­ing that in­sults our in­tel­li­gence.


My Dar­ling Clemen­tine (1946)

It is a wel­come sur­prise to see a light­heart­ed West­ern that places its im­por­tance more on the char­ac­ters than on the fa­mous real gun­fight de­pict­ed — and the deep-fo­cus shots are beau­ti­ful -, but still the film has trou­ble with main­tain­ing the fo­cus and pac­ing in the sec­ond act.


My Fair Lady (1964)

Pyg­malion is a great film but not as charm­ing as this My Fair Lady, an adorable mu­si­cal ver­sion of the same play with de­light­ful songs and a splen­did cast — but even so, Doolittle’s change doesn’t seem as grad­ual here, and the film ends with a rather vex­ing, sex­ist con­clu­sion.


My Friend Dah­mer (2017)

A very in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter study that does a fine job build­ing a nu­anced por­trait of a high school out­cast pri­or to be­com­ing a fa­mous se­r­i­al killer, and it ben­e­fits from some good per­for­mances and a nice amount of sub­tle­ty that is es­sen­tial for a film like this to work.


My Hin­du Friend (2015)

Dafoe’s char­ac­ter (that is, Babenco’s ob­vi­ous al­ter-ego) is a self­ish, odi­ous bas­tard who is not worth our time, in an equal­ly de­testable film that be­lieves to be wit­ty, touch­ing and pro­found with so much cheap sym­bol­ism but is only a self-in­dul­gent ex­er­cise in pure nar­cis­sism.


My King (2015)

Bercot and Cas­sel give their best and shine with a fan­tas­tic chem­istry in this su­perbly-di­rect­ed film about the hard­ships of be­ing so deeply in love and emo­tion­al­ly at­tached to some­one who is ir­re­sistible yet so im­ma­ture that he caus­es more pain and suf­fer­ing than any­thing else.


My Life as a Zuc­chi­ni (2016)

Though it isn’t re­al­ly spe­cial, a lot of peo­ple will find it hard to re­sist this sweet and ten­der sto­ry full of heart about aban­don­ment and friend­ship, giv­en the re­al­is­tic way it talks about its themes and its ex­pres­sive char­ac­ters made in a very love­ly stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion.


My Man God­frey (1936)

A wit­ty po­lit­i­cal satire that will prob­a­bly leave you smil­ing more than laugh­ing out loud, es­pe­cial­ly when show­ing the hi­lar­i­ous ec­cen­tric­i­ties of its crazy fam­i­ly, and it boasts some won­der­ful, Os­car-nom­i­nat­ed per­for­mances by Pow­ell, Lom­bard and Brady.


My Mom Is a Char­ac­ter (2013)

If it weren’t for Paulo Gustavo’s tal­ent, com­ic tim­ing and quick tongue de­liv­er­ing hi­lar­i­ous one-lin­ers, there would be very lit­tle left worth see­ing in this mis­struc­tured mess so poor­ly di­rect­ed like a cheap TV show and flood­ed with some near­ly un­bear­able mo­ments of melo­dra­ma.


My Neigh­bor To­toro (1988)

An en­chant­i­ng movie for chil­dren, so beau­ti­ful in its won­der­ful sim­plic­i­ty, in­no­cence and sweet­ness that it feels like al­most im­pos­si­ble not to be touched by such an adorable sto­ry de­void of clichés and with no need to rely on vil­lains or con­trived con­flicts.


My Sweet Lit­tle Vil­lage (1985)

An end­less­ly de­li­cious and hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy with a won­der­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and a large gallery of adorable char­ac­ters liv­ing in a lit­tle Czech vil­lage (each with their own adorable pe­cu­liar­i­ty), re­ly­ing also on a tru­ly mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance by János Bán.


My Sweet Or­ange Tree (2012)

It is not be­cause it is based on a children’s book (and ev­i­dent­ly made for that same au­di­ence) that it can be this shame­less, ridicu­lous melo­dra­ma with an aw­ful di­rec­tion full of clichés, ter­ri­ble act­ing from every­one (es­pe­cial­ly Ávi­la) and such a bla­tant dis­re­gard for qual­i­ty.


My Week with Mar­i­lyn (2011)

A de­cent yet un­mem­o­rable biopic that has Michelle Williams do­ing a good job even though she doesn’t re­sem­ble the real Mar­i­lyn at all (she can’t even im­i­tate her voice) — not to men­tion, of course, that this is a role that should be played by an ac­tress with a much greater sex ap­peal.


My Won­der­ful West Berlin (2017)

It doesn’t cov­er much new ground and could have been more in­sight­ful, but still it of­fers an in­ter­est­ing overview of a sub­cul­ture, ex­am­in­ing how it evolved and met with many chal­lenges in the pe­ri­od from the end of WWII and the fall of the Berlin Wall.


The Naked Gun: From the Files of Po­lice Squad! (1988)

Leslie Niel­son is hi­lar­i­ous with his dead­pan face and play­ing the clum­si­est cop since In­spec­tor Clouse­au in a very fun­ny par­o­dy of film noirs and James Bond movies that is a con­sid­er­able step above Air­plane! and Top Se­cret! in terms of more well-in­spired jokes and gags.


The Naked Kiss (1964)

Noth­ing rings re­mote­ly true in this out­dat­ed pulp neo-noir — not the gor­geous and ridicu­lous­ly cul­ti­vat­ed pros­ti­tute with a gold­en heart, not the em­bar­rass­ing plot full of mor­al­iz­ing and cer­tain­ly not the ab­surd end­ing that wants to make us feel good about the mur­der of a pe­dophile.


Nalu on the Bor­der (2016)

It is not hard to see what the film is try­ing to do with this sim­ple but in­ter­est­ing sto­ry, but the prob­lem is that its dry struc­ture and gen­er­al­ly weak per­for­mances stand in the way and di­lute the re­sult, thus fail­ing to cre­ate the last­ing im­pact that it def­i­nite­ly should.


The Names of Love (2010)

Fun­ny and thought-pro­vok­ing, this de­li­cious ro­man­tic com­e­dy of­fers an in­tel­li­gent com­men­tary on pol­i­tics and so­ci­ety but stands out more for its orig­i­nal­i­ty and for be­ing as atyp­i­cal as its ec­cen­tric char­ac­ters, who we eas­i­ly learn to care about.


Nanayo (2008)

The tran­quil­i­ty and sounds of the for­est have a calm­ing ef­fect, like lis­ten­ing to the rain or hav­ing a mas­sage, and I like how the char­ac­ters de­vel­op a bond that goes be­yond the lan­guage bar­ri­er, but the film re­mains on the sur­face of sen­sa­tions and feels only in­con­clu­sive.


Naqoyqat­si (2002)

Reggio’s psy­che­del­ic use of vi­su­al ef­fects is quite bold con­sid­er­ing how dat­ed they may cer­tain­ly look for many to­day (al­though I see them more as vin­tage ef­fects), and we find more co­he­sion here than in Powaqqat­si, even if the re­sult be­comes equal­ly loose and rep­e­ti­tious af­ter a while.


Nas: Time Is Ill­mat­ic (2014)

An in­for­ma­tive and re­veal­ing doc­u­men­tary that takes a thrilling look at an artist’s life and the many fac­tors that mo­ti­vat­ed him to cre­ate such an ex­treme­ly in­flu­en­tial al­bum re­gard­ed ever since its birth as a sem­i­nal piece of artis­tic cry against so­cial op­pres­sion.


Na­tion­al Bird (2016)

It is more in­ter­est­ing due to what it wants to say than how it does it, since it feels a bit repet­i­tive af­ter a while and re­lies most­ly on talk­ing heads to ad­dress a lim­it­ing sub­ject in which there is too much that is con­fi­den­tial and not pos­si­ble to be pub­licly dis­closed.


Nat­ur­al Born Killers (1994)

This movie may be au­da­cious, yes, but there is no way it could be more ob­vi­ous, prov­ing to be a self-in­dul­gent par­o­dy that is more ir­ri­tat­ing than clever, bom­bard­ing us with an ex­ces­sive amount of vi­su­al hys­te­ria and ba­si­cal­ly call­ing sub­tle­ty an over­rat­ed bitch.


Nau­si­caä of the Val­ley of the Wind (1984)

A grim and pow­er­ful epic that boasts an in­ven­tive, vi­su­al­ly rich uni­verse and an eco­log­i­cal mes­sage that only gets more and more rel­e­vant in our times — and it’s won­der­ful to see a brave princess who fights to save her world with the fear­less­ness of a war­rior.


Ne­bras­ka (2013)

De­spite the cin­e­matog­ra­phy in an un­nec­es­sary (but ef­fec­tive) black and white, this melan­choly dra­ma has quite a sur­pris­ing sense of hu­mor and char­ac­ters who prove to be a lot more com­plex than we would give them cred­it for, with Dern and Squibb in fan­tas­tic per­for­mances.


Neigh­bor­ing Sounds (2012)

A bril­liant and ex­treme­ly thought-pro­vok­ing Brazil­ian film that uses a street in Re­cife as a mi­cro­cosm for the so­cial is­sues of mid­dle class, ex­pos­ing its la­tent bour­geois fears while draw­ing a clever par­al­lel be­tween a guilty past and the promise of a vi­o­lent fu­ture.


Neigh­bors (2014)

A harm­less Ap­a­towian com­e­dy that works well in its first half yet fails pre­cise­ly when it tries to of­fer a deep­er, ar­ti­fi­cial mean­ing to its sto­ry — which is re­flect­ed in how Dave Fran­co sud­den­ly turns into a smart frat boy as soon as he is re­quired by the plot to be the voice of rea­son.


Nel­son Cavaquin­ho (1969)

Hirsz­man seems guid­ed by pure in­stinct and feel­ing with this one, cap­tur­ing a hand­ful of pre­cious mo­ments and frag­ments of the composer’s life that are just as melan­choly as the best sam­bas he ever wrote, even if the re­sult feels just as ephemer­al as well.


Neru­da (2016)

In­tel­li­gent, hu­mor­ous and in­ven­tive, Larraín’s film is es­pe­cial­ly im­pres­sive due to the way it uses a cat-and-mouse game as the ba­sis for a met­alin­guis­tic ex­er­cise in­stead of be­ing a con­ven­tion­al bi­og­ra­phy about the poet, and it has some very fine per­for­mances by the whole cast.


Net­work (1976)

An in­tel­li­gent and hi­lar­i­ous satire whose main strength lies es­pe­cial­ly in a su­perb en­sem­ble cast and a fan­tas­tic script that de­lights us with many price­less ex­changes of di­a­logue as it of­fers us a rel­e­vant, thought-pro­vok­ing so­cial com­men­tary on the tele­vi­sion in­dus­try.


Nev­er Let Me Go (2010)

This melan­choly and de­press­ing film adapt­ed from Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopi­an sci-fi nov­el tells an aching­ly sad sto­ry that es­chews any easy preach­ing and of­fers a del­i­cate med­i­ta­tion on time and the tran­sience of life, with very in­tense per­for­mances by its main trio.


Nev­er Look Away (2018)

What von Don­ners­mar­ck does here is em­brace a num­ber of nar­ra­tive el­e­ments that are so com­mon in melo­dra­mas and then sim­ply refuse to bring out the kind of con­flict that one would ex­pect to see from them — which ends up be­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly frus­trat­ing, dar­ing and more mean­ing­ful.


The New Girl­friend (2014)

Duris de­liv­ers a pro­found­ly sen­si­tive per­for­mance with­out a hint of stereo­type in this sur­pris­ing dra­ma that un­der­stands the com­plex­i­ty of sex­u­al­i­ty, de­spite a few nar­ra­tive mis­steps es­pe­cial­ly in the sec­ond half (the scene with Duris and Per­son­naz in the show­er is non­sen­si­cal).


The New Kid (2015)

It is de­light to see how com­ing-of-age sto­ries can be so re­fresh­ing and fun­ny to watch, and this is a faith­ful por­tray­al of ado­les­cence and all that comes with it, made in a sim­ple, sen­si­tive way and with some de­li­cious­ly spon­ta­neous per­for­mances by its young cast.


A New Leaf (1971)

The end­ing is a bit hard to buy (which is a flaw that should be at­trib­uted to the pro­duc­er who re-cut the film against Elaine May’s wish­es), but still this is a re­fresh­ing and ex­treme­ly fun­ny com­e­dy that ben­e­fits from an ex­cel­lent script and Matthau’s hi­lar­i­ous per­for­mance.


New World (2013)

A de­riv­a­tive crime movie that wants to be a mix of The God­fa­ther and In­fer­nal Af­fairs but is so in­cred­i­bly ob­vi­ous, over­done and des­per­ate to come up with twist af­ter twist af­ter twist that it drags for much longer past the mo­ment when it should end and be­comes ut­ter­ly ridicu­lous.


News from a Per­son­al War (1999)

With a con­cise du­ra­tion of 56 min­utes, this is a nec­es­sary doc­u­men­tary that should be watched by every­one who sees things in black and white when it comes to vi­o­lence in Brazil, as it an­a­lyzes in a very straight­for­ward way this en­dem­ic so­cial dis­ease that ap­pears to be in­solv­able.


The Next Three Days (2010)

This re­make of Any­thing for Her is even more im­plau­si­ble than that film, and Hag­gis in­cludes de­tails that don’t work re­al­ly well, but he also in­jects more ten­sion and stretch­es some scenes to the point of nerve-wrack­ing while Rus­sell Crowe puts in a strong per­for­mance.


The Nice Guys (2016)

It is a great plea­sure to see how this movie com­bines so per­fect­ly film noir (in­clud­ing a twisty plot full of char­ac­ters and turns), a lot of ex­cit­ing ac­tion and bud­dy com­e­dy in the best style of the ‘70s — all com­plete with a hi­lar­i­ous di­a­logue and a killing chem­istry be­tween Crowe and Gosling.


Nico, 1988 (2017)

Trine Dyrholm of­fers us a jaw-drop­ping per­for­mance — in­tense, com­mit­ted and un­for­get­table — as an aged star strug­gling with de­pres­sion and drug ad­dic­tion, while this hon­est char­ac­ter study paints a three-di­men­sion­al por­trait of who Christa Päf­f­gen was in her last years be­fore her death.


Night and Fog (1955)

Resnais made this dis­turb­ing 32-minute doc­u­men­tary only 10 years af­ter the lib­er­a­tion of the Nazi camps, ex­pos­ing in dev­as­tat­ing de­tails a hor­rif­ic mon­stros­i­ty that must nev­er be for­got­ten and turn­ing it into a uni­ver­sal mes­sage to re­mind us that it could hap­pen any­where.


A Night at the Opera (1931)

It is true that this film is more un­even when com­pared to Duck Soup, stop­ping many times for mu­si­cal num­bers that hin­der the com­e­dy a bit (al­though I do love see­ing Chico and Har­po at the pi­ano), but even so there are a lot of hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments here that make it pret­ty de­li­cious as well.


A Night at the Rox­bury (1998)

If you find this kind of hu­mor fun­ny (which I do for a short time of 82 min­utes), then this one-joke, near­ly plot­less movie should be amus­ing enough for you, but if you can’t stand SNL (or the show’s sketch for that mat­ter), then it will prob­a­bly be a pain to sit through. Be warned.


The Night Fli­er (1997)

It has the feel and aes­thet­ics of a movie from the ‘90s (like an episode of The X-Files), and it builds a nice at­mos­phere with an in­trigu­ing mys­tery, but still this bare­ly sat­is­fac­to­ry Stephen King adap­ta­tion leaves some strange loose ends in a sto­ry that could have avoid­ed them.


A Night in 67 (2010)

Even if it gloss­es over some ba­sic im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about the for­mat and con­text of the fes­ti­val (or even, for in­stance, why peo­ple would boo cer­tain songs), this is an al­ways in­ter­est­ing doc­u­men­tary, es­pe­cial­ly as it looks into the cul­tur­al-po­lit­i­cal seeds of Trop­i­cal­ism.


night Moth­er (1986)

Anne Ban­croft and Sis­sy Spacek not re­ceiv­ing an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for their per­for­mances is with­out a doubt one of the biggest in­jus­tices in the His­to­ry of Cin­e­ma, since they give their very best in this har­row­ing, emo­tion­al­ly dev­as­tat­ing adap­ta­tion of the Pulitzer-win­ning play.


Night Moves (2013)

It does a great job let­ting us slow­ly find out what it is about in­stead of re­sort­ing to ex­po­si­tion, but what could have been a thought-pro­vok­ing sto­ry about ecoter­ror­ism and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism turns out to be a ster­ile thriller with a frus­trat­ing, ut­ter­ly pre­dictable sec­ond half.


Night of the De­mon (1957)

The sad fact that this clas­sic hor­ror movie shows the mon­ster right away in the be­gin­ning (against the director’s wish­es) doesn’t elim­i­nate its un­de­ni­able qual­i­ties, such as an el­e­gant di­a­logue and an in­tel­li­gent plot with char­ac­ters who be­have like in­tel­li­gent peo­ple would.


The Night of the Hunter (1955)

This tense and bleak film noir, aes­thet­i­cal­ly mes­mer­iz­ing and bor­row­ing heav­i­ly from Ger­man Ex­pres­sion­ism, is all the more sur­pris­ing when you know that Laughton hat­ed chil­dren — and while Mitchum is great as the ex­pres­sion­ist vil­lain, he seems though too one-di­men­sion­al to be tru­ly men­ac­ing.


Night of the Liv­ing Dead (1968)

Romero’s first film — and his first zom­bie movie — is creepy, gory and re­al­is­tic, with an ex­treme­ly dis­turb­ing at­mos­phere, an in­cred­i­bly sharp so­ciopo­lit­i­cal com­men­tary and a ter­ri­fy­ing end­ing, even though the act­ing is not that good and the plot feels a bit repet­i­tive.


Night Train to Lis­bon (2013)

A ridicu­lous dra­ma that feels like a cheesy soap opera, com­plete­ly un­aware of the mean­ing of sub­tle­ty and with every­thing so ab­solute­ly ob­vi­ous and ar­ti­fi­cial: ris­i­ble metaphors, a clichéd cin­e­matog­ra­phy, self-help plat­i­tudes and an aw­ful­ly em­bar­rass­ing di­a­logue.


Night Will Fall (2014)

A pow­er­ful film that should be seen to­geth­er with the un­miss­able re­stored doc­u­men­tary whose un­told sto­ry is chron­i­cled here. Need­less to say, it brought out many tears and heart­break­ing tes­ti­monies from peo­ple in the the­ater where I was at the 64th Berlin In­ter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val.


Night­crawler (2014)

Jake Gyl­len­haal de­liv­ers one of the very best per­for­mances of his im­pres­sive ca­reer (and should have re­ceived an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for it) in this fas­ci­nat­ing, well-con­struct­ed and ex­treme­ly tense thriller/character study about the lengths that one can go for sen­sa­tion­al­ism at the ex­pense of hu­man life.


The Night­mare (2015)

As a hor­ror film, it is ab­solute­ly ter­ri­fy­ing and al­most made me think that I would nev­er sleep again, but as a doc­u­men­tary, it is a joke that doesn’t care to of­fer any sci­en­tif­ic point of view or in­sight into its sub­ject, re­ly­ing in­stead only on a bunch of un­re­li­able peo­ple and ex­pe­ri­ences.


The Night­mare Be­fore Christ­mas (1993)

With an im­pec­ca­ble pro­duc­tion de­sign, a de­li­cious­ly ghoul­ish, Ger­man Ex­pres­sion­ist feel to its sto­ry and an ex­cel­lent sound­track re­plete with in­spired songs, this de­light­ful movie is even more sur­pris­ing thanks to the per­fect way that it com­bines an­i­ma­tion and stop mo­tion.


Night­mares in Red, White and Blue: The Evo­lu­tion of the Amer­i­can Hor­ror Film (2009)

A rel­a­tive­ly in­for­ma­tive doc that dis­cuss­es the birth and evo­lu­tion of Amer­i­can hor­ror movies in a gen­er­al­ly en­ter­tain­ing way, but the prob­lem is that a lot of it is tack­led only su­per­fi­cial­ly and the movie gets mud­dled when it en­ters the 1990s and talks about mod­ern films and re­makes.


Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Giuli­et­ta Masi­na should be for­ev­er re­mem­bered for her flaw­less per­for­mance in this pro­found­ly touch­ing and dev­as­tat­ing tragi­com­ic mas­ter­piece, mak­ing us root for her char­ac­ter and her hap­pi­ness in such a way that it is hard to be left un­moved by what un­folds be­fore us.


Nine (2009)

Glam­our, beau­ty and half a dozen Os­car win­ners star­ring in a Broad­way mu­si­cal based on Felli­ni, what could go wrong? Well, the movie is a to­tal bore, pure style over no sub­stance. Most of the songs are an­noy­ing, every­thing is so cold and dis­tant, and I couldn’t wait to see it end.


1922 (2017)

A de­cent Stephen King adap­ta­tion that takes per­haps a bit too long to kick in, yet when it does it can be quite at­mos­pher­ic and somber in the way it shows the grad­ual deca­dence of a tor­ment­ed man who starts to suc­cumb to the weight of guilt in rur­al Ne­bras­ka, 1922.


Ninotch­ka (1939)

Some­how I’m tak­en aback by how quick­ly Garbo’s char­ac­ter changes from one scene to the next (which is in fact co­her­ent with the film’s ob­vi­ous anti-So­vi­etism and ca­su­al sex­ism), but her mag­net­ic pres­ence and the ex­cel­lent di­a­logue make every­thing an enor­mous plea­sure to watch.


The Ninth Gate (1999)

An en­gag­ing, slow-burn­ing sa­tan­ic thriller in the first hour, but soon the mys­ter­ies start to pile up in a plot that leaves too much unan­swered (the rea­son be­hind the first death, Corso’s be­hav­ior in the end, etc.), and it falls flat with a very an­ti­cli­mac­tic con­clu­sion.


No (2012)

With a mag­net­ic per­for­mance by Bernal and ap­pro­pri­ate­ly filmed in video­tape to recre­ate the looks of back then, this is an in­tense­ly en­gag­ing and thrilling ac­count of an im­por­tant episode of Chilean his­to­ry and how dic­ta­tor­ship was de­feat­ed by a lot of courage and strug­gle.


No Re­gret (2006)

An in­tense and trag­ic ro­mance be­tween an or­phan who be­comes a male pros­ti­tute and a rich young busi­ness­man who be­comes ob­sessed with him, and both ac­tors are great, es­pe­cial­ly Lee Young-hoon, who is not only in­cred­i­bly hand­some but also no­tably tal­ent­ed.


Noah (2014)

A mul­ti­lay­ered para­ble that de­fies us to con­sid­er the im­pli­ca­tions of serv­ing the de­mands of a cru­el, ma­nip­u­la­tive, pet­ty and sadis­tic Cre­ator (en­ti­ty and faith) in­stead of fac­ing Him to fol­low our hearts — which is some­thing that un­for­tu­nate­ly hap­pens even to­day with many re­li­gious peo­ple.


No Way, Spi­der (1970)

As cryp­tic and puz­zling as its ti­tle, this Brazil­ian ex­per­i­men­tal film lacks a clear nar­ra­tive and is more like a se­ries of dis­con­nect­ed, hand­held-shot long takes that want to ex­pose the ugly in­san­i­ty of what it is like to live in a coun­try un­der mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship.


Noc­tur­nal An­i­mals (2016)

The di­a­logue is a lit­tle bit heavy-hand­ed some­times, but still Tom Ford brings us a so­phis­ti­cat­ed and well-act­ed thriller about mar­i­tal dis­il­lu­sion and re­sent­ment, blend­ing re­al­i­ty with “fic­tion” us­ing stun­ning scene tran­si­tions, su­perb edit­ing and a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy.


No­mad: The War­rior (2005)

The gor­geous lo­ca­tions and epic fight scenes can’t com­pen­sate for all of the bad act­ing, laugh­able di­a­logue and an aw­ful plot full of clichés.


Non-Stop (2014)

A high­ly en­ter­tain­ing ac­tion movie that over­comes its flaws (main­ly an al­most un­be­liev­able last act) with a sus­pense­ful who­dunit, an awe­some, badass Liam Nee­son and an im­pres­sive­ly dy­nam­ic di­rec­tion that helps main­tain a con­stant ten­sion and claus­tro­pho­bia.


The Nor­mal Heart (2014)

With won­der­ful per­for­mances from an ex­cel­lent cast, this ex­treme­ly im­por­tant, heart­break­ing and in­fu­ri­at­ing dra­ma ex­pos­es the re­volt­ing in­dif­fer­ence and in­tol­er­ance of Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties in the ear­ly years of the AIDS epi­demics — some­thing that cost the lives of a lot of gays.


Norte, the End of His­to­ry (2013)

Diaz uses most­ly long shots to make a clin­i­cal study of guilt and the na­ture of evil, but af­ter a sol­id build-up in its first hour, the film is slowed down by long pas­sages where noth­ing much hap­pens, and its po­et­ic at­tempt at an end is frus­trat­ing in its re­fusal to bring the sto­ry to an ac­tu­al con­clu­sion.


North Sea Texas (2011)

A frus­trat­ing dra­ma that uses a teenage boy’s sex­u­al awak­en­ing to shape a nar­ra­tive that drags so un­for­giv­ably and seems con­struct­ed sole­ly around end­less si­lences, “mean­ing­ful glances” and con­trived sit­u­a­tions, and it doesn’t help a bit that the act­ing is ter­ri­ble.


Nos­fer­atu the Vampyre (1979)

With a cold and solemn ap­proach, Her­zog makes an en­tranc­ing re­make of Murnau’s clas­sic that is al­ways beau­ti­ful to look at — much like a paint­ing in mo­tion — even though it is not scary, in­tense or even haunt­ing, and the im­pres­sion is that it was all about how to make it, not why.


Nos­sa Es­co­la de Sam­ba (1965)

It is nice to have a glimpse of the car­ni­val and the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1965, with its streets, cul­ture, fash­ion, sam­ba, hills and the peo­ple who lived up there prepar­ing for the an­nu­al car­ni­val pa­rade; but still, in the end, the film is just that: a glimpse.


Nos­tal­ghia (1983)

Away from his home­land Rus­sia, Tarkovsky de­liv­ered this phe­nom­e­nal mas­ter­piece, a won­der­ful­ly di­rect­ed film that boasts a most gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and takes us in a beau­ti­ful jour­ney through nos­tal­gia, faith, frus­tra­tion and a man’s long­ing to find his own path.


Nos­tal­gia for the Light (2010)

A beau­ti­ful, con­tem­pla­tive and deeply po­et­ic ex­plo­ration of the past in which Guzmán draws an in­tel­li­gent par­al­lel be­tween our search for the ori­gins of the uni­verse through sci­ence and our gen­er­al ten­den­cy to ig­nore our re­cent his­to­ry, es­pe­cial­ly a chap­ter that should nev­er be for­got­ten.


Noth­ing in Re­turn (2015)

De­spite how fa­mil­iar every­thing is and the fact that some of its nar­ra­tive el­e­ments are so un­der­de­vel­oped (es­pe­cial­ly Darío’s re­la­tion­ship with An­to­nia, which seems to go nowhere), this is a sat­is­fac­to­ry com­ing-of-age dra­ma with a very good per­for­mance by Miguel Her­rán.


No­to­ri­ous (1946)

De­spite a forced ro­mance that comes out of nowhere and how the protagonist’s mo­ti­va­tions are not re­al­ly con­vinc­ing (es­pe­cial­ly with all that misog­y­ny to­wards her), it has a won­der­ful di­rec­tion and be­comes ex­treme­ly sus­pense­ful af­ter a while, with its two leads in great per­for­mances.


La Notte (1961)

An­to­nioni makes all the right choic­es here and with a re­mark­able so­phis­ti­ca­tion, us­ing many silent pas­sages to slow­ly pull us into the char­ac­ters’ en­nui while telling an ab­sorb­ing sto­ry about how peo­ple are un­able to com­mu­ni­cate or un­der­stand one an­oth­er.


Now You See Me (2013)

A stu­pid ca­per movie that be­lieves to be so much smarter than it re­al­ly is when in fact it is a cheap Hol­ly­wood sleight of hand con­ceal­ing a huge pile of im­plau­si­bil­i­ties and the non­sen­si­cal na­ture of its twists/tricks — and the sil­ly di­a­logue and id­i­ot­ic end­ing only make it worse.


Nowhere Boy (2009)

An au­then­tic and mov­ing dra­ma that takes a look at the life of a pre-Bea­t­les 15-year-old John Lennon and main­ly ben­e­fits from its sen­si­tive nar­ra­tive ap­proach and re­mark­able per­for­mance by Aaron John­son, who im­press­es us even if he looks noth­ing like the real John.


The Nun (2018)

Lazy and un­able to come up with any­thing oth­er than cliché af­ter cliché from the first scene till the last (in­clud­ing a bunch of loud cheap scares), this is a near­ly in­suf­fer­able pre­quel that of­fers ab­solute­ly noth­ing orig­i­nal to the se­ries and — which is worse — is nev­er ever scary.


The Nut Job (2014)

This is what you get when an an­i­ma­tion di­rec­tor de­cides to di­rect an an­i­ma­tion of his own: a movie that is vi­su­al­ly ap­peal­ing but is also un­fun­ny, cliched and to­tal­ly for­get­table, aimed at easy fun for un­de­mand­ing small kids and noth­ing else.


The Nut­ty Pro­fes­sor (1963)

De­spite its sex­ist ten­den­cies that make it seem out­dat­ed for today’s stan­dards, this un­even com­e­dy has many fun­ny mo­ments and can be quite im­pres­sive with Jer­ry Lewis play­ing two very dif­fer­ent (and mag­net­ic) char­ac­ters — that is, if we don’t take its im­plau­si­ble end­ing so se­ri­ous­ly.


The Nut­ty Pro­fes­sor (1996)

The make­up is awe­some and it is fun to see Ed­die Mur­phy hav­ing fun play­ing so many dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, but the movie is pret­ty ju­ve­nile, re­ly­ing on a lot of fart jokes that get tired real fast, and has an end­ing even more im­plau­si­ble than that of Jer­ry Lewis’ ver­sion.


Nymph()maniac: Vol. I (2013)

A com­plex and fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter study with an al­ways ab­sorb­ing struc­ture that con­nects many episodes of the character’s life in a flu­id nar­ra­tive, rais­ing in the process bril­liant in­tel­lec­tu­al dis­cus­sions about the na­ture of her in­trigu­ing sex­u­al ob­ses­sion and de­sire.


Nymph()maniac: Vol. II (2013)

Though no­tably less in­ter­est­ing than the first part, at least pro­pos­es some more in­tel­li­gent dis­cus­sions and wraps up its sto­ry as a pow­er­ful fem­i­nist state­ment about every woman’s right to have plea­sure from their own sex­u­al im­puls­es and de­sire.


O Broth­er, Where Art Thou? (2000)

George Clooney is com­plete­ly mis­cast in this in­suf­fer­able and un­ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture com­e­dy that fails in every lousy at­tempt at hu­mor (es­pe­cial­ly in its nods to Homer’s Odyssey) and feels just point­less — one of the worst films in the Coen broth­ers’ ex­cel­lent ca­reer.


Obliv­ion (2013)

Rep­e­ti­tious, con­fus­ing and main­ly un­fo­cused, Obliv­ion is a mis­con­ceived hodge­podge of clichés and con­trivances from the first scene to the last, and it is hard to imag­ine how the re­sult could have been stodgi­er or more pre­dictable than what we see here.


Ob­serve and Re­port (2009)

A clever yet un­even com­e­dy that may be too down­beat for everyone’s tastes as it rais­es sharp ques­tions about our so­ci­ety with a lot of po­lit­i­cal in­cor­rect­ness, but it is a pity that it re­mains only one step back from be­ing tru­ly hi­lar­i­ous, even though it does have its in­spired mo­ments.


Ob­sessed (2009)

Just take the ba­sics of movies like Fa­tal At­trac­tion, Swim­fan, Notes on a Scan­dal, even The Ca­ble Guy, mix them all up to­geth­er, then spice it up with Be­y­on­cé giv­ing a ma­jor badass at­ti­tude and you will end up with some­thing like this mediocre lit­tle thriller.


Ocean’s Eight (2018)

De­riv­a­tive, pre­dictable and most­ly un­fun­ny (the di­a­logue is aw­ful), this mediocre spin-off seems like writ­ten by some­one who has nev­er seen a heist movie in their life, un­able to come up with any de­cent twist to make it worth it and be­ing saved only by the amus­ing heist it­self, which is fun.


Ocu­lus (2013)

An in­tel­li­gent hor­ror film that in­vests in a con­stant ten­sion in­stead of re­sort­ing to scares and de­serves cred­it for the amaz­ing way that it fus­es (and con­fus­es) the present with the past through won­der­ful tran­si­tions, re­main­ing al­ways flu­id as it jumps back and forth in time.


Ode to My Fa­ther (2014)

I deeply ad­mire what Youn Jk wants to say with this mov­ing, com­pelling sto­ry, I only find it a pity that he tries too hard to draw a strong emo­tion­al re­sponse from the view­er and cares too much about the aes­thet­ics of his film as though he’s ea­ger to show that there is a di­rec­tor be­hind it.


Of Fa­thers and Sons (2017)

Der­ki makes such an ef­fort to be a fly on the wall that it be­comes ob­vi­ous how over­ly la­bored and edit­ed to­geth­er the re­sult is (just pay at­ten­tion to where the cam­era is), but at least he cap­tures a dis­turb­ing re­al­i­ty in which child­hood in­no­cence dies with fa­nati­cism and ha­tred.


Of Gods and Men (2010)

A won­der­ful and heart­break­ing film that moved me to tears with a sto­ry (based on real events) that takes the nec­es­sary time with a de­lib­er­ate pace to in­tro­duce us to each of the char­ac­ters and their lives to­geth­er, and make us tru­ly care about them and their tense sit­u­a­tion.


Of Mice and Men (1939)

No won­der why Lon Chaney Jr. was pro­pelled to star­dom af­ter shin­ing as Lennie in this sol­id adap­ta­tion of Steinbeck’s good sto­ry, as he finds the per­fect tone for a men­tal­ly dis­abled char­ac­ter who could have be­come re­al­ly ir­ri­tat­ing if played by a less­er ac­tor.


Of Mice and Men (1992)

A de­cent adap­ta­tion that flunks due to a mis­cast John Malkovich in an over-the-top, car­toon­ish per­for­mance, look­ing too smart and cyn­i­cal for the role and mak­ing Lennie seem ir­ri­tat­ing and se­ri­ous­ly re­tard­ed, so much more than in the orig­i­nal sto­ry.


Of­fice Space (1999)

Any­one who knows and ap­pre­ci­ates the satir­i­cal of­fice hu­mor of the Dil­bert com­ic strips will prob­a­bly find this so­phis­ti­cat­ed com­e­dy very fun­ny — and those who hate their jobs will find it hard not to re­late to it — with a clever di­a­logue that makes us laugh most of the time.


An Of­fi­cer and a Gen­tle­man (1982)

A won­der­ful­ly hon­est film that grows so much on us for two hours that we end up em­brac­ing its clichés with­out the slight­est reser­va­tion, and it has splen­did per­for­mances from the en­tire cast, es­pe­cial­ly Louis Gos­sett Jr., who is fan­tas­tic and de­served the Os­car he won.


The Of­fi­cial Sto­ry (1985)

Even though the changes un­der­gone by the pro­tag­o­nist seem rushed (not even her hair seems to fol­low an en­tire­ly con­sis­tent evo­lu­tion), this is a deeply dis­turb­ing and painful dra­ma that pos­es hard ques­tions and ex­am­ines the ter­ri­fy­ing truth about a hor­rif­ic mo­ment in His­to­ry.


Ogres (2015)

Af­ter a re­al­ly nice and promis­ing first hour, it seems like this over­long and ir­ri­tat­ing movie sim­ply de­cides to try our pa­tience with in­suf­fer­able char­ac­ters who yell and fight near­ly all the time: the women be­ing most­ly weak and hys­ter­i­cal while the men are de­spi­ca­ble and odi­ous.


Oh My God! (2007)

An amus­ing lit­tle com­e­dy that draws a live­ly, col­or­ful pic­ture of the cul­tur­al life in Pelour­in­ho in Sal­vador, Brazil but un­for­tu­nate­ly drags with mu­si­cal scenes that adds noth­ing to the whole and has a bleak, maudlin end­ing that doesn’t fit at all with the tone of the movie.


Okja (2017)

De­spite the over­act­ing and lack of sub­tle­ty, this is a touch­ing film that ben­e­fits from as­ton­ish­ing vi­su­al ef­fects and of­fers a wel­come eco­log­i­cal mes­sage about the ex­ploita­tion of sci­ence and atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted against an­i­mals for prof­it to the detri­ment of people’s health.


The Old Dark House (1932)

The hu­mor is ir­reg­u­lar, the ten­sion al­most nonex­is­tent and the char­ac­ters flat as they can be (some even falling in love af­ter hav­ing just met!), and so this is amus­ing enough but didn’t age very well, wor­thy only for those de­light­ful per­for­mances by Ernest The­siger and Eva Moore.


Old­boy (2013)

Per­haps those are prob­lems cre­at­ed by the heavy edit­ing of Lee’s cut, but this un­nec­es­sary and wa­tered-down re­make not only doesn’t add any­thing new to the ex­cep­tion­al Ko­re­an film but is also full of plot holes and makes its jaw-drop­ping twist in the end seem only lu­di­crous.


Olive Kit­teridge (2014)

Frances Mc­Dor­mand and Richard Jenk­ins give their best as usu­al, but it can’t be a good sign that the most (only) fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter in this un­even, con­fused minis­eries (played by Cory Michael Smith) sim­ply dis­ap­pears with­out any ex­pla­na­tion af­ter serv­ing no well-de­fined pur­pose.


The Olive Tree (2016)

It is not al­ways sub­tle when it comes to its dra­ma and has an easy end­ing that makes it feel like it lacks some­thing as a char­ac­ter study, but it com­pen­sates for that with a lot of heart, hon­esty and an in­tense per­for­mance by Anna Castil­lo to make it def­i­nite­ly worth it.


Oliv­er & Com­pa­ny (1988)

A harm­less mod­ern retelling of Dick­ens’ sto­ry with the set­ting shift­ed to late 1980s New York City and not a glimpse of the so­cial com­men­tary found in the nov­el, and it re­lies too much on its street smart charm and is toned down to be no more than just a fleet­ing pas­time.


Olmo & the Seag­ull (2015)

An im­mense­ly fas­ci­nat­ing docu­fic­tion that pulls us into the sad­ness ex­pe­ri­enced by a preg­nant ac­tress who is suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion, blur­ring the bar­ri­er be­tween re­al­i­ty and en­act­ment to ques­tion why any such dis­tinc­tion should mat­ter when the feel­ings they both pro­voke are real.


Los Olvi­da­dos (1950)

The fact that this dar­ing clas­sic en­raged its au­di­ences in Mex­i­co when it came out is com­plete­ly un­der­stand­able, con­sid­er­ing all im­plies with­out ac­tu­al­ly show­ing and the un­ro­man­ti­cized way that it ex­pos­es the mis­ery faced by poor chil­dren and teenagers amid all the in­dif­fer­ence.


Omar (2013)

Like with Par­adise Now, Abu-As­sad finds a per­fect bal­ance be­tween del­i­cate dra­ma and taut thriller in this well-con­struct­ed Pales­tin­ian film that de­picts with in­tense re­al­ism life un­der Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion, while pos­ing dif­fi­cult ques­tions to which there are no easy an­swers.


The Omen (1976)

A rare type of hor­ror film that is more about its mys­tery and build­ing an omi­nous feel of dan­ger than try­ing to scare us, and it works quite well when it’s not too sil­ly — as for in­stance with the ridicu­lous priest who bab­bles Catholic prophe­cies and could nev­er be tak­en se­ri­ous­ly.


On Body and Soul (2017)

With an ex­quis­ite di­rec­tion, im­pec­ca­ble per­for­mances and an ab­solute­ly won­der­ful screen­play, this pro­found­ly sen­si­tive and un­con­ven­tion­al love sto­ry uses a lot of hu­mor to de­pict in a most ir­re­sistible way the dis­cov­ery of love by two lone­ly, in­tro­spec­tive peo­ple.


On Chesil Beach (2017)

Al­though it is easy to be­come frus­trat­ed by the char­ac­ters’ im­ma­tu­ri­ty, es­pe­cial­ly as we get deep­er into the na­ture of their de­ci­sions, there is no deny­ing how the re­mark­able com­plex­i­ty of their feel­ings dri­ves every­thing we see here into a first-rate por­trait of sex­u­al frigid­i­ty.


On My Way (2013)

Bercot’s firm di­rec­tion and some amus­ing mo­ments aren’t enough to re­deem a cliché-rid­den script that has no struc­ture and is full of poor­ly de­vel­oped char­ac­ters, and it seeks to pro­vide some feel­ing of ap­par­ent res­o­lu­tion that can­not hide the loose ends and lack of real con­clu­sion.


On the Ba­sis of Sex (2018)

While this film may be well in­ten­tioned, it is for­mu­la­ic and sim­pli­fied to a fault, with a sense of self-im­por­tance that makes it sound clichéd even when telling some­thing that is true, so you may as well just skip it and go for the much su­pe­ri­or RBG doc­u­men­tary in­stead.


On the Ice (2011)

An Alaskan thriller that ben­e­fits from its lo­ca­tions and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, ef­fi­cient­ly ex­plor­ing the white vast­ness of the snow and the at­mos­phere of iso­la­tion. How­ev­er, the am­a­teur­ish ac­tors put in weak, ir­reg­u­lar per­for­mances, while the un­o­rig­i­nal script does not of­fer any sur­pris­es.


On the Road (2012)

Salles fol­lows close­ly the heart­beat and struc­ture of the icon­ic nov­el to cap­ture the wild spir­it of the Beat Gen­er­a­tion, to which he is more than faith­ful, and so this is an ex­cit­ing col­lec­tion of road anec­dotes re­volv­ing around the friend­ship be­tween Jack Ker­ouac and Neal Cas­sady.


On the Wa­ter­front (1954)

Kazan’s self-de­fense for nam­ing names to the House Com­mit­tee on Un-Amer­i­can Ac­tiv­i­ties (HUAC) in 1952 (and his apolo­gia for de­nun­ci­a­tion) is a grit­ty com­bo of re­al­is­tic crime dra­ma, ro­mance and char­ac­ter study with a stel­lar cen­tral per­for­mance by Mar­lon Bran­do.


On Tour (2010)

Amal­ric proves that he is not only a great ac­tor but also an ex­treme­ly tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor, dis­play­ing a lot of con­fi­dence and ma­tu­ri­ty with this huge­ly in­volv­ing film that doesn’t need any ef­fort to make us em­pathize with its char­ac­ters and want to know more about them.


Once in a Life­time (2014)

Too bad that af­ter a promis­ing start that seems like it wants to pro­pose rel­e­vant dis­cus­sions about cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences in the sub­urbs of Paris, this mis­guid­ed dra­ma be­comes an ex­treme­ly di­dac­tic nar­ra­tive about a sub­ject that bears no di­rect re­la­tion with the re­al­i­ty of those stu­dents.


Once Upon a Time in Amer­i­ca (1984)

Avail­able now in its four-hour director’s cut, Leone’s supreme mas­ter­piece is a mag­nif­i­cent epic — su­perbly di­rect­ed, full of fan­tas­tic per­for­mances and with a beau­ti­ful sto­ry of friend­ship and be­tray­al that cul­mi­nates in a pro­found­ly mov­ing, aching­ly sad end­ing.


Once Upon a Time in Ana­to­lia (2011)

An ab­sorb­ing dra­ma that re­lies on an en­gag­ing di­a­logue and a pe­cu­liar sense of hu­mor, fol­low­ing a group of char­ac­ters in a crime in­ves­ti­ga­tion as they talk about triv­ial things and re­veal a lot about them­selves in the process — and it boasts an im­pres­sive sound de­sign and as­ton­ish­ing cin­e­matog­ra­phy.


Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Ser­gio Leone’s ul­ti­mate West­ern is this glo­ri­ous op­er­at­ic el­e­gy for the dy­ing genre — a true mas­ter­class in cin­e­ma filled with un­for­get­table scenes from be­gin­ning to end, end­less­ly quotable lines, an evoca­tive use of si­lence, icon­ic per­for­mances and a sub­lime score.


Once Upon a Time Veron­i­ca (2012)

An­chored by Her­mi­la Guedes’s com­mit­ted per­for­mance, this is an in­ter­est­ing and nu­anced por­trait of dis­con­tent, an­he­do­nia and the un­bear­able weight of ap­a­thy in a deca­dent Brazil­ian city, even if it be­comes rep­e­ti­tious af­ter a while and doesn’t re­al­ly seem to go any­where in the end.


On­dine (2009)

Though flawed in a few as­pects, this de­cent lit­tle film is well bal­anced be­tween melan­choly and po­et­ic, and it tells more about the view­er than the char­ac­ters, since there will be di­verse feel­ings about the end­ing de­pend­ing if you are more of a re­al­ist or a ro­man­tic.


One Day (2011)

A touch­ing sto­ry with a beau­ti­ful score, im­pec­ca­ble make­up and cap­ti­vat­ing char­ac­ters that re­al­ly grow on us as we catch up with them once in a year for such a long pe­ri­od of time — al­though it is just a pity that in the end it reuses a typ­i­cal melo­dra­mat­ic cliché of ro­mances.


One Dead­ly Sum­mer (1983)

An in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter study that ben­e­fits from a strong per­for­mance by Ad­jani as a beau­ti­ful young woman bent on re­venge. Even so, the sto­ry is not only greater due to a pre­dictable end­ing that you can see com­ing halfway through the film.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Jack Nichol­son is su­per charis­mat­ic as a free-spir­it­ed char­ac­ter who re­fus­es to abide by the rules at a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion, in a great dra­ma that has its best mo­ments when show­ing his ob­sti­nate at­tempts to get through to peo­ple who have giv­en in to con­formism.


One from the Heart (1981)

An overdi­rect­ed and over­pro­duced ex­er­cise of style that can be tremen­dous­ly an­noy­ing with its in­sane ex­cess of col­ors, sounds and neon signs in a fake Las Ve­gas that looks dat­ed even as a satir­i­cal con­cept — all as an end in it­self and with­out any­thing in­ter­est­ing or sub­stan­tial to say.


One Hun­dred and One Dal­ma­tians (1961)

With a gor­geous an­i­ma­tion job us­ing xe­rog­ra­phy that ranks among the best the stu­dio has ever done — though Walt Dis­ney strong­ly dis­liked it — this is a very en­ter­tain­ing film that also of­fers a mem­o­rable vil­lain and knows well how to cre­ate sus­pense in scenes of dan­ger.


101 Dal­ma­tians (1996)

The fact is, there is one rea­son only to watch this com­plete­ly for­get­table movie that can’t seem to de­cide if it wants to be a mere­ly amus­ing pas­time or a sil­ly non­sense, and that rea­son is Glenn Close, who de­vours the scenery with a de­li­cious­ly over-the-top per­for­mance.


127 Hours (2010)

Boyle seems to care only about his own di­rec­tion, as he in­vests in a heavy-hand­ed, tu­mul­tuous ap­proach, us­ing every­thing from point­less sub­jec­tive cam­eras to split screens, but leaves the sto­ry with­out a clear pur­pose. What saves the film, though, is Franco’s strong per­for­mance.


One Night (2012)

An hon­est and vig­or­ous por­trait of a trou­bled city, cen­tered on three young­sters (played by ex­cel­lent non-pro­fes­sion­al ac­tors) who strug­gle to find a way out of their un­grate­ful lives while dis­cov­er­ing their own sex­u­al­i­ty — and the last act is tense and has a strong end­ing.


One of Us (2017)

Al­though it los­es mo­men­tum and be­comes rep­e­ti­tious in its sec­ond half, this is a sol­id and very in­ter­est­ing doc­u­men­tary that works as a nice com­pan­ion piece to Je­sus Camp, as it also of­fers us a dis­turb­ing — and even ter­ri­fy­ing — look at the harm­ful side of re­li­gion.


Ong-Bak: Muay Thai War­rior (2003)

Like so many mar­tial arts movies out there, it lacks in struc­ture and is clear­ly more an ex­cuse to show great fight­ing scenes — and great they def­i­nite­ly are, with Tony Jaa per­form­ing all his spec­tac­u­lar Muay Thai stunts with­out the use of wires or spe­cial ef­fects.


Ong Bak 2: The Be­gin­ning (2008)

Though bet­ter made than the first movie (even avoid­ing those an­noy­ing play­backs), what is ob­vi­ous is its pure­ly com­mer­cial in­ter­est, from the ti­tle (this is not a se­quel or a pre­quel) to the use of flash­backs so that the movie can jump straight to the ac­tion — and the end­ing is ter­ri­ble.


Only God For­gives (2013)

Refn’s Lynchi­an night­mare nev­er makes you think that he is not in ab­solute con­trol of this grip­ping ar­t­house film, as he crafts a hyp­no­tiz­ing at­mos­phere of strange­ness that feels like a hard punch in the guts with so much vis­cer­al pow­er and crush­ing in­ten­si­ty.


Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Jar­musch knows quite well the kind of en­gross­ing at­mos­phere that he wants to in­voke with this sto­ry of old-fash­ioned, cul­ti­vat­ed vam­pires who feel deeply dis­ap­point­ed in people’s dis­dain for Sci­ence and Art and are doomed to suc­cumb in the medi­oc­rity that dom­i­nates the world.


An Open Heart (2012)

It is re­al­ly hard to care about a de­testable cou­ple formed by an im­ma­ture, al­co­holic jack­ass and his weak, ac­cept­ing wife as they deal with their ar­ti­fi­cial mar­i­tal con­flicts — and it gets even worse when it all ends in a ridicu­lous dream se­quence that is cringe-in­duc­ing­ly clichéd.


Open Win­dows (2014)

The plot is smart and Vigalondo’s di­rec­tion fol­low­ing mul­ti­ple open win­dows on a com­put­er is imag­i­na­tive and well con­ceived, but he also seems too des­per­ate to make it in­ge­nious, and so the film starts to de­volve into a con­vo­lut­ed mess of twists close to the end.


Open Your Eyes (1997)

Amenábar fol­lows his in­tel­li­gent de­but The­sis with this equal­ly smart, well-writ­ten and nice­ly-act­ed psy­chothriller that takes a sim­ple premise and shapes it into some­thing so puz­zling that we can’t see where re­al­i­ty ends and il­lu­sion be­gins — and the strong end­ing is more than earned.


Op­er­ações Es­pe­ci­ais (2015)

I don’t re­al­ly un­der­stand why this film is so un­der­rat­ed, since it is a sol­id char­ac­ter study that re­lies on a com­pelling arc for Cleo Pires’ char­ac­ter while of­fer­ing a great com­men­tary on how hard it is to fight cor­rup­tion in a coun­try that fa­vors the in­ter­ests of the pow­er­ful ones.


The Op­po­site of Sex (1998)

It has the kind of cyn­i­cal and dark­ly po­lit­i­cal­ly in­cor­rect hu­mor that is among my fa­vorite (it made me laugh out loud the whole time) and an ex­cel­lent script (which I wish I had writ­ten) that makes fun of how ridicu­lous the char­ac­ters are as they ex­pose the worst in them­selves.


Orca (1977)

A de­cent mix of Jaws and Moby Dick with a beau­ti­ful score and un­set­tling scenes of an­i­mal cru­el­ty, about a mis­er­able, ig­no­rant whaler dri­ven to mad­ness and forced to un­der­stand the full agony of an un­stop­pable beast con­sumed with a fu­ri­ous de­sire for re­venge.


Or­ches­tra Re­hearsal (1978)

It is de­li­cious­ly odd that Felli­ni would have a doc­u­men­tary crew in this un­pre­ten­tious sto­ry han­dling an om­nipresent cam­era that seems to be every­where even in im­pos­si­ble (and in­vis­i­ble) mo­ments, which gives the film a sur­re­al vibe that goes well to­geth­er with what he wants to tell.


Or­phan (2009)

I hope I don’t de­vel­op any brain dam­age af­ter watch­ing this aw­ful piece of crap that goes for every sin­gle ridicu­lous cliché of hor­ror movies: from stu­pid scares even when there is noth­ing to be afraid of to the most ir­ri­tat­ing id­io­cy of no­body ever be­liev­ing the main char­ac­ter.


Osama (2003)

The first Afghan film since the fall of the Tal­iban, Osama is a deeply har­row­ing and touch­ing movie of great his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance set dur­ing a mon­strous regime that seems to have ex­ist­ed cen­turies ago, only it hasn’t been that long that it came to an end.


Oslo, Au­gust 31st (2011)

A poignant char­ac­ter study, melan­choly and sad, about a man fac­ing a des­o­late mo­ment in his life when all hope seems lost, every­thing left is de­spair and he sees no rea­son to keep on try­ing, and it re­lies on a com­pelling per­for­mance by An­ders Danielsen Lie.


OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006)

A clever, wit­ty spoof of spy movies that smart­ly plays with the con­ven­tions of the genre and recre­ates with per­fec­tion the looks of movies in the late ‘50s, es­pe­cial­ly the spe­cial ef­fects — and Du­jardin is hi­lar­i­ous as the stu­pid, con­de­scend­ing French spy of the ti­tle.


OSS 117: Lost in Rio (2009)

The best thing about this French com­e­dy is its de­li­cious ‘60s vi­su­als with all the clum­sy zooms and split-screens, and while the laughs are not so plen­ti­ful, the sto­ry has many in­spired non­sen­si­cal mo­ments in this fun spoof on the 007 se­ries and spy movies in gen­er­al.


The Oth­er Bo­leyn Girl (2008)

Na­tal­ie Port­man is great, and in fact the only one who stands out from the cast, but even though mild­ly in­trigu­ing, it is too bad that this pe­ri­od dra­ma feels like a slow-paced soap opera more con­cerned about melo­dra­ma than his­tor­i­cal ac­cu­ra­cy.


The Oth­er End (2016)

The build-up is stronger than the pay­off, and yet the ac­tors (es­pe­cial­ly Tom Karabachi­an) are so com­fort­able in their roles that some­times I felt that they were im­pro­vis­ing (I have no idea if they were, though), which some­how en­rich­es this sim­ple sto­ry about lone­li­ness.


The Oth­er Side of Hope (2017)

It has every­thing that any­one can ex­pect from an Aki Kau­ris­mä­ki film, in­clud­ing his hi­lar­i­ous dead­pan hu­mor and usu­al style with a the­atri­cal mise-en-scène and palette of sat­u­rat­ed col­ors — all of which he uses to make a caus­tic com­men­tary on the racism of Finnish so­ci­ety.


The Oth­er Side of the Door (2016)

It has an in­trigu­ing premise that could have led to a more orig­i­nal movie, but the re­sult is just ter­ri­bly pre­dictable and full of clichés from be­gin­ning to end, es­pe­cial­ly in an aw­ful third act that seems like a com­pi­la­tion of every hor­ror movie cliché you can think of.


The Oth­er Son (2012)

A com­pelling dra­ma that re­lies on the charis­ma of its two main char­ac­ters and the way they deal with a del­i­cate sit­u­a­tion, but it leaves some loose ends and tries too ob­vi­ous­ly to make a state­ment, end­ing on a rather frus­trat­ing, op­ti­mistic note.


The Oth­er Woman (2009)

It would have been easy to make a melo­dra­ma with this sub­ject and the sort of un­ex­pect­ed rev­e­la­tion that comes up in the third act, but Roos avoids that and de­liv­ers this emo­tion­al­ly com­plex film de­void of vil­lains and lift­ed by two ex­cel­lent per­for­mances by Na­tal­ie Port­man and Lisa Kudrow.


Oui­ja (2014)

There are a few good mo­ments here and there but most­ly this is a pre­dictable stu­pid­i­ty full of clichés and ap­par­ent­ly writ­ten by re­tards who don’t care a bit if it doesn’t make any sense — which can be seen from how the spirit’s mo­tives are just non­sen­si­cal and ridicu­lous.


Oui­ja: Ori­gin of Evil (2016)

In­fi­nite­ly bet­ter than the first Oui­ja movie, this in­tel­li­gent pre­quel un­der­stands quite well how si­lence can be much more ter­ri­fy­ing than loud nois­es, giv­ing us also time to care about the char­ac­ters and clev­er­ly sub­vert­ing the most stu­pid clichés of the genre.


Our Chil­dren (2012)

Even though the first scene elim­i­nates some of the im­pact that the end should cre­ate, we can’t deny how pow­er­ful and mov­ing this film is — and Ém­i­lie De­quenne is fan­tas­tic, con­vey­ing with such an­guish­ing in­ten­si­ty the whole suf­fer­ing of an emo­tion­al­ly de­pressed woman.


Our Hos­pi­tal­i­ty (1923)

There are many amus­ing mo­ments here (the bumpy train, the dan­ger­ous riv­er ride, Keaton afraid of leav­ing his foes’ house and be killed) and a good eye for props and el­e­ments (the dandy horse, the tun­nel shaped like a train) that make this a fun­ny, en­joy­able com­e­dy.


Our Last Tan­go (2015)

Fans and ad­mir­ers of tan­go may find this doc­u­men­tary sat­is­fy­ing — and it of­fers some beau­ti­ful dance shots for their plea­sure -, but it dis­ap­points with a ma­nip­u­la­tive di­rec­tion that feels so ar­ti­fi­cial in the way the film is shot (and edit­ed) to pro­voke spe­cif­ic emo­tions in the view­ers.


Our Lit­tle Sis­ter (2015)

De­spite the charis­ma and tal­ent of its ac­tress­es, Koreeda’s film is so un­event­ful and with­out a clear fo­cus that it feels dull and un­in­ter­est­ing, fail­ing to of­fer a rea­son com­pelling enough to make us fol­low a fam­i­ly of sis­ters who just live to­geth­er.


Our Strug­gles (2018)

I love how Senez makes every­thing look so nat­ur­al by hav­ing the ac­tors im­pro­vise their lines (which is pret­ty vis­i­ble), but I also feel that this is a very sim­ple dra­ma that doesn’t ful­ly ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of its premise and ends up seem­ing more de­tached than it should.


Out in the Dark (2012)

From a the­mat­ic stand­point this is an al­ways in­ter­est­ing film, but as a nar­ra­tive it is heavy-hand­ed and rid­den with clichés and tacky di­a­logue — and its ro­mance nev­er feels nat­ur­al or in­volv­ing but only con­trived and me­chan­i­cal, with a ter­ri­ble per­for­mance by Nicholas Ja­cob.


Out of Africa (1985)

A sump­tu­ous ro­man­tic dra­ma that not only daz­zles us with its gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and art di­rec­tion but sweeps us with the com­plex­i­ty of the char­ac­ters’ emo­tions and feel­ings (what unites and sep­a­rates them), with Meryl Streep and Robert Red­ford in splen­did per­for­mances.


Out of the Fur­nace (2013)

No great cast could save this from be­com­ing an ex­cru­ci­at­ing­ly dull and pre­dictable ex­pe­ri­ence — a point­less film with an un­even struc­ture where the first act takes more than an hour just to shape its sim­ple premise and whose de­vel­op­ment is noth­ing that we haven’t seen be­fore.


Over­lord (2018)

The movie can be quite tense and thrilling, and it is fun­ny that, while not very bright, the main char­ac­ter is lucky enough to stum­ble on in­for­ma­tion af­ter in­for­ma­tion by pure chance and not get killed af­ter thir­ty min­utes — which makes every­thing even more fun to watch.


Oz the Great and Pow­er­ful (2013)

An ex­cit­ing roller coast­er of a pre­quel with end­less wel­come ref­er­ences to the orig­i­nal movie and tons of more ad­ven­ture and ex­u­ber­ant vi­su­als that look quite nice in 3D — and it also aims for a broad­er pub­lic, be­ing just as pleas­ant to adults as it is to chil­dren and munchkins alike.