Home S‑U


Sab­o­tage (1936)

Hitch­cock knows how to com­bine an es­pi­onage plot with hu­mor, and this film can also be very tense (es­pe­cial­ly in a key scene of a boy car­ry­ing a pack­age through­out the city and on a bus), even if it is not al­ways so ef­fec­tive and suf­fers a bit from some weak nar­ra­tive choic­es.

Sabo­teur (1942)

An­oth­er de­cent piece of Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­da made by Hitch­cock dur­ing WWII fol­low­ing his For­eign Cor­re­spon­dent – and cer­tain­ly a more con­sis­tent film than that one -, de­spite some trou­ble with pac­ing and the fact that for about every two or three hits, there is a miss.

Sab­ri­na (1954)

An amus­ing ro­man­tic com­e­dy with great di­a­logue and a sweet Cin­derel­la feel to it, but still the plot is not so orig­i­nal and there is a glar­ing lack of chem­istry be­tween Hep­burn and Bog­a­rt, who is also clear­ly mis­cast and seems too old for the role.

The Sacra­ment (2013)

Ti West is usu­al­ly a com­pe­tent di­rec­tor but he shows in this slop­py and hor­ri­bly-edit­ed movie that he doesn’t seem to un­der­stand at all how the found footage de­vice should be used, as he even forces the char­ac­ters to car­ry a cam­era up and down in the most lu­di­crous of sit­u­a­tions.

Sacro GRA (2013)

The fact that these dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­u­als have only an enor­mous ring road in com­mon seems like an ar­bi­trary link be­tween them to cre­ate a broad por­trait (yet in very broad strokes) of Ital­ian so­ci­ety, and it feels de­tached as it ob­serves but doesn’t bring us close to these peo­ple.

Safe­ty Last! (1923)

While it is Harold Lloy­d’s every­man per­sona what makes us iden­ti­fy so much (even to this day) with the hi­lar­i­ous sit­u­a­tions his char­ac­ter gets him­self in, his in­sane stunts and phys­i­cal gags are what make every­thing in­cred­i­bly fun to watch, es­pe­cial­ly for those (like me) who are afraid of heights.

Safe­ty Not Guar­an­teed (2012)

An adorable in­die movie with charm­ing char­ac­ters (Plaza and Du­plass have a great chem­istry to­geth­er), but it al­most gets ru­ined by how Jeff’s sub­plot is dis­card­ed with­out much thought into it and by a dis­ap­point­ing end that comes off as mean­ing­less and in­con­sis­tent.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

It plays like a re­ject­ed back­door pi­lot for a com­ing-of-age prime time TV dra­ma se­ries, with not very in­ter­est­ing sto­ry­lines de­spite the good act­ing – and it does not help a bit that the char­ac­ters and their per­son­al con­flicts don’t get enough in­di­vid­ual screen time to ful­ly grow on us.

Saint Lau­rent (2014)

The aw­ful edit­ing jumps al­most ran­dom­ly be­tween dif­fer­ent mo­ments in time and turns the film into a com­plete mess in its last 30 min­utes, but at least I ad­mire Bonel­lo’s nerve to make a biopic about a hor­ri­bly self­ish, spoiled crea­ture with­out car­ing at all to make him any sym­pa­thet­ic.

St. Vin­cent (2014)

A re­cy­cled sto­ry full of clichés, like Bill Mur­ray in cliched act­ing mode not even able to make a stroke sound con­vinc­ing and an in­evitable cliched fi­nal speech to make us for­get the sev­er­al loose ends – the loan shark, the bank mon­ey, the le­gal bat­tle with the kid’s fa­ther, etc.

Salaam Cin­e­ma (1995)

Fas­ci­nat­ing in its con­cep­tion and very well edit­ed, this Iran­ian docu­d­ra­ma in­ter­weaves re­al­i­ty and fic­tion and of­fers us a look at the des­per­ate de­sire that some peo­ple have to be­come artists at all costs – which can be touch­ing, fun­ny and some­times even ridicu­lous.

Salem’s Lot (1979)

I wish Mr. Bar­low weren’t such a one-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ter, but al­though its three hours may feel a bit too long for the kind of sto­ry it wants to tell, this is a de­cent TV movie that re­lies on an en­gag­ing mys­tery and takes a care­ful time to de­vel­op it in a sat­is­fy­ing way.

Sales­man (1969)

A sub­tly re­veal­ing fly-on-the-wall doc­u­men­tary that fol­lows the frus­tra­tions and hard­ships of four sales­men who try to per­suade poor peo­ple to buy what they don’t need, and it makes us both feel un­com­fort­able and de­pressed to see them push ex­pen­sive bibles down so many throats for a liv­ing.

The Sales­man (2016)

Those ac­quaint­ed with Farhadi’s works can eas­i­ly see what he is try­ing to say about the com­plex­i­ty of sit­u­a­tions and peo­ple’s ac­tions, al­though he is not that suc­cess­ful this time, with the film be­ing too heavy-hand­ed in the way it wants us to sym­pa­thize with an ag­gres­sor.

Salmon Fish­ing in the Yemen (2011)

A sil­ly hodge­podge of com­e­dy and ro­mance that tries hard to be charm­ing and pro­found but ends up be­ing just a corny melo­dra­ma, miss­ing the promise of a po­lit­i­cal satire to of­fer in­stead a lot of preach­i­ness and lu­di­crous com­par­isons be­tween fish­ing and faith.

Salt (2010)

The ac­tion-dri­ven plot is def­i­nite­ly pre­dictable and pre­pos­ter­ous, but at least it de­liv­ers some un­pre­ten­tious fun with a good deal of fast-paced scenes and a grip­ping per­for­mance by the al­ways charis­mat­ic and beau­ti­ful An­geli­na Jolie.

The Salt of the Earth (2014)

A pro­found­ly re­veal­ing doc about this great artist wor­thy of our high­est ad­mi­ra­tion for his un­par­al­leled, eye-open­ing work of tremen­dous so­cial con­scious­ness, and it is so in­spir­ing to see that he has start­ed to re­gain hope in the world af­ter so much dis­ap­point­ment.

Salu­dos Ami­gos (1942)

An en­ter­tain­ing an­i­mat­ed trav­el­ogue with four short sto­ries: the first one quite fun­ny and amus­ing, the fol­low­ing two not so in­ter­est­ing and ac­tu­al­ly a bit dull, but fi­nal­ly the last one be­ing the most gor­geous to look at, in­tro­duc­ing the charm­ing char­ac­ter of José Car­i­o­ca.

The Sal­va­tion (2014)

A tense and well-con­struct­ed old-school West­ern that ben­e­fits a lot from a stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy and pro­duc­tion de­sign (with its amaz­ing sets built from the ground in South Africa), as well as some ex­cel­lent per­for­mances put in by a very sharp cast.

Le Samouraï (1967)

What is so ab­sorb­ing in this high­ly in­flu­en­tial crime dra­ma is how the me­thod­i­cal ac­tions of its char­ac­ters (most es­pe­cial­ly Delon’s mag­net­ic pro­tag­o­nist) re­flect the sur­gi­cal pre­ci­sion of the film it­self, some­thing also no­tice­able in its blue-gray­ish cin­e­matog­ra­phy and styl­ish di­rec­tion.

Sam­son and Delilah (1949)

Vic­tor Ma­ture is ter­ri­ble in this ridicu­lous testos­terone fest that feels com­plete­ly dat­ed now, with a pro­tag­o­nist so misog­y­nis­tic and women por­trayed in the worst way pos­si­ble, which makes me won­der why we are sup­posed to ad­mire such a brute (cho­sen by the “Lord,” no less) in the first place.

Sam­son & Delilah (2009)

A beau­ti­ful and del­i­cate por­trait of a bru­tal re­al­i­ty that is so lit­tle known to non-Aus­tralians, reach­ing us through an Abo­rig­i­nal love sto­ry that re­lies on two amaz­ing per­for­mances and smooth­ly mov­ing from ten­der to heart­break­ing mo­ments.

San An­dreas (2015)

It is usu­al­ly a lot of fun to watch big cities break apart and crum­ble down in cool spe­cial ef­fects, but this movie adopts a solemn, self-im­por­tant tone that is, well, coun­ter­pro­duc­tive, while the fam­i­ly dra­ma at its core is full of clichés, con­trived and, well, com­plete­ly pre­dictable.

Sand Dol­lars (2014)

Geral­dine Chap­lin de­liv­ers such a pow­er­ful and touch­ing per­for­mance, not ashamed of show­ing her age and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty, but the film, though ap­pro­pri­ate­ly raw and re­al­is­tic, lacks in depth and doesn’t ex­plore so well its themes and what it wants to say to be­come mem­o­rable.

Sand Storm (2016)

If be­ing made by an Is­raeli woman would per­haps in­di­cate bias against Bedouin cul­tures liv­ing in the coun­try (and that is ma­te­r­i­al for an ar­ti­cle), at least Zex­er does a sol­id job in her first full-length fea­ture with a sad sto­ry that re­lies on some very fine per­for­mances.

San­ti­a­go (2007)

A true les­son in doc­u­men­tary-mak­ing that re­veals as much about its fas­ci­nat­ing pro­tag­o­nist as it does about its di­rec­tor, who turns his ini­tial ef­fort into a work of im­pres­sive self-re­flec­tion and cre­ates a time­less mas­ter­piece about mem­o­ry — both in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive.

São Bernar­do (1972)

An in­tel­li­gent and deeply com­pelling char­ac­ter study craft­ed with an im­pec­ca­ble for­mal rig­or (es­pe­cial­ly in its mise-en-scène and long sta­t­ic shots) and lift­ed by a mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance by Oth­on Bas­tos, who even makes his ex­ten­sive nar­ra­tion sound so nat­ur­al and per­fect.

São Paulo, So­ciedade Anôn­i­ma (1965)

A very in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter study cen­tered on a self­ish man try­ing to live a peace­ful life but fac­ing an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis in the con­crete jun­gle of São Paulo dur­ing the boom of the Brazil­ian in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion process in the late 1950s, with Wal­mor Cha­gas in a strong per­for­mance.

The Sap­phires (2012)

Even those who are not eas­i­ly moved by a fair­ly con­ven­tion­al and pre­dictable movie like this one will have plen­ty to en­joy in such a poignant feel-good sto­ry full of great per­for­mances and beau­ti­ful singing voic­es about a group of Abo­rig­i­nal women and their mu­si­cal tal­ent.

Sar­gen­to Getúlio (1983)

Lima Duarte is ex­cep­tion­al in this clever dra­ma full of irony and nu­ances, play­ing the kind of right­eous so­ciopath who be­lieves to be above the law with his own idea of jus­tice, us­ing a uni­form to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of the pow­er­ful ones and main­tain the sta­tus quo.

Sa­tan­ta­n­go (1994)

Though the hy­per­bol­ic run­ning time will cer­tain­ly be a bar­ri­er for many view­ers, those with pa­tience to spare may find this a vi­su­al­ly stun­ning, spell­bind­ing and dark­ly wry film that re­veals so much about hu­man na­ture as it fol­lows a group of sta­t­ic, mis­er­able lives caught in the re­lent­less grip of Tarr’s hope­less­ness and ni­hilism.

Sausage Par­ty (2016)

A de­li­cious­ly of­fen­sive an­i­ma­tion for adults that mocks with sur­pris­ing in­tel­li­gence the stu­pid­i­ty of prud­ish­ness and un­found­ed be­liefs – and it looks great for a movie that is so in­ex­pen­sive and ben­e­fits from some su­perb voic­ing (like Ed­ward Nor­ton im­i­tat­ing Woody Allen).

Sav­ages (2012)

Stone man­ages to keep the sto­ry grip­ping for a while be­fore it starts to get ru­ined by many unim­por­tant scenes that stretch the plot for way too long – and he clear­ly has no idea how to fin­ish it, throw­ing two slop­py con­clu­sions to­geth­er in a ridicu­lous and frus­trat­ing end­ing.

Sav­ing Mr. Banks (2013)

Com­pelling when it comes to the mak­ing of Mary Pop­pins but quite sap­py in vir­tu­al­ly all the rest, it is pa­thet­ic that, just like Walt Dis­ney did dis­tort­ing her sto­ry to ful­fill his needs, the movie does the same with an an­noy­ing char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Mrs. Tra­vers for its feel-good pur­pos­es.

Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan (1998)

Tech­ni­cal­ly ex­cep­tion­al and sur­pris­ing­ly un­sen­ti­men­tal for Spiel­berg, this is a pow­er­ful and in­tense de­pic­tion of the bru­tal­i­ty and hor­rors of war – a mar­velous film that makes us deeply care about its char­ac­ters and shows us that in war there is no hon­or, only death.

Saw (2004)

A grue­some, per­verse and un­com­fort­ably macabre movie that is also re­al­ly in­ge­nious and grip­ping when it comes to the twist­ed mo­ti­va­tions be­hind the killer’s deeds, and the film ends with one of the most sur­pris­ing and un­pre­dictable scenes I can re­mem­ber.

Saw II (2005)

Just as fas­ci­nat­ing as the first Saw movie, this se­quel works as an in­ge­nious labyrinth of hor­rors, full of more grue­some and dense­ly macabre scenes – and once again we are giv­en an­oth­er high­ly un­ex­pect­ed, jaw-drop­ping end­ing.

Saw III (2006)

This third chap­ter goes even be­yond the high lev­el of gore seen in the first two, pleas­ing the fans of the se­ries (and gore-fest in gen­er­al) but prov­ing to be near­ly un­bear­able for every­one else. Not as orig­i­nal, though, but it still of­fers a sur­pris­ing con­clu­sion.

Saw IV (2007)

Saw IV is not for every­one, of course, since each new movie of the se­ries is only for those who have been watch­ing from the be­gin­ning, and the plot is now more in­tri­cate then ever and much less orig­i­nal, even if it also has an­oth­er shock­ing end­ing.

Saw V (2008)

The se­ries has def­i­nite­ly run out of gas, prov­ing that killing Jig­saw in the third film was a big mis­take. Most of what we see here is noth­ing more than a ridicu­lous re­hash of the pre­vi­ous films and the end­ing doesn’t come close to the bril­liance of the first two.

Saw VI (2009)

Slight­ly su­pe­ri­or to the pre­vi­ous chap­ter of this tire­some long-run­ning se­ries, this sixth Saw film is, of course, im­mense­ly grue­some and bru­tal but sur­pris­ing­ly in­trigu­ing some­times – and it is also in­ad­ver­tent­ly hi­lar­i­ous; try not to laugh dur­ing the fi­nal scene.

Saw 3D (2010)

The se­ries hits rock bot­tom with a ridicu­lous and com­plete­ly un­nec­es­sary 3D, painful act­ing, an il­log­i­cal mess of a plot and some of the most re­pel­lent scenes they could come up with – and it is a re­lief to think that this is the fi­nal chap­ter, or so we hope.

Scare­crow (1973)

Hack­man and Pa­ci­no are ter­rif­ic in this un­der­rat­ed road movie, an hon­est and re­fresh­ing char­ac­ter study about two dif­fer­ent men who de­vel­op an un­like­ly bond – and the ef­fect it caus­es on each of them. A great dra­ma that can be fun­ny and also sur­pris­ing­ly touch­ing.

Scary Movie (2000)

Scream was al­ready a smart par­o­dy that made fun of hor­ror movie con­ven­tions and clichés, so this sil­ly (yet some­times fun­ny) spoof feels pret­ty point­less and shoots in every di­rec­tion to see if it hits (even The Ma­trix gets thrown in the mix), but it has more miss­es than hits.

Scary Movie 2 (2001)

What is most aw­ful about this crass, dis­gust­ing and vul­gar atroc­i­ty of a se­quel – writ­ten by a thou­sand in­com­pe­tent writ­ers – is not that it thinks that a bad hor­ror movie like The Haunt­ing should be spoofed, but that it doesn’t man­age the most im­por­tant: to be fun­ny.

Scenes from a Mall (1991)

I may have had some fun watch­ing it (I did laugh a few times), but not even a day lat­er I re­al­ized I was in­ca­pable of re­mem­ber­ing most of what I had seen (in­clud­ing the end­ing), which is a clear in­di­ca­tion of how for­get­table, lack­lus­ter and harm­less this lit­tle com­e­dy is.

The Scent of Green Pa­paya (1993)

A gor­geous, po­et­ic and del­i­cate film that knows that lit­tle can be said and yet all can be con­veyed with beau­ti­ful im­ages and a won­der­ful­ly sub­tle ap­proach to a character’s life, and it is al­most im­pos­si­ble not to feel enor­mous­ly en­chant­ed by the beau­ty and seren­i­ty of what we wit­ness.

Scher­zo Di­a­bol­i­co (2015)

It comes off un­til about halfway through as a rather un­re­al­is­tic sto­ry that feels hard to buy, but soon it be­comes so un­abashed­ly over-the-top and nasty (with a lot of style, in fact) that it sur­pris­ing­ly works – and even those trem­bling aer­i­al shots end up be­ing high­ly un­set­tling.

Schindler’s List (1993)

Spielberg’s di­rec­tion is won­der­ful as he recre­ates the ab­ject hor­rors of the Holo­caust in this pro­found­ly sad and dis­turb­ing dra­ma made with so much love and ded­i­ca­tion by every­one in­volved, with a nar­ra­tive that is so fas­ci­nat­ing due to the com­plex­i­ty of Schindler’s char­ac­ter.

The Sci­ence of Sleep (2006)

Gondry has a thing for vi­su­al in­ven­tive­ness but his self-in­dul­gent, drift­less nar­ra­tive has dream se­quences that don’t feel dream­like at all and only grows ir­ri­tat­ing as Bernal’s char­ac­ter starts to re­sem­ble a wimpy Wal­ter Mit­ty ex­chang­ing that hor­ri­ble di­a­logue with Gains­bourg.

Score: A Film Mu­sic Doc­u­men­tary (2016)

What a shame to see such a sim­plis­tic and for­get­table dis­cus­sion about the sub­ject, con­sid­er­ing all the his­to­ry and evo­lu­tion of mu­sic in films, while the movie also fo­cus­es way too much on Amer­i­can Cin­e­ma, spend­ing even half an hour of pure ha­giog­ra­phy on John Williams.

Scott Pil­grim vs. the World (2010)

An au­da­cious­ly mad, ex­hil­a­rat­ing and ul­tra dy­nam­ic film with a de­li­cious tongue-in-cheek hu­mor and ec­cen­tric char­ac­ters who seem to be aware that they be­long in a fan­tas­tic video game uni­verse, and the out­stand­ing vi­su­als are in­sane­ly styl­ish and avant-garde.

Scream (1996)

What made this meta hor­ror movie satire so fan­tas­tic when it came out was the clever and of­ten hi­lar­i­ous way that it played with the con­ven­tions and clichés of the genre and sub­vert­ed them with the help of skill­ful edit­ing and wit­ty ref­er­en­tial di­a­logue.

Scream 2 (1997)

Though mild­ly en­ter­tain­ing and with some in­spired mo­ments here and there, the sad truth is that this rou­tine se­quel is not clever or wit­ty enough to sub­vert this “rule” that se­quels are al­ways in­fe­ri­or to the orig­i­nal film es­pe­cial­ly when it comes to hor­ror movies.

Scream 3 (2000)

The con­clu­sion of the “tril­o­gy” is this unimag­i­na­tive in­stall­ment that re­lies too much on cheap scares fol­lowed by a deaf­en­ing chord and is too wit­less to know how to play with the clichés of the genre as the first movie – and it comes up with a ridicu­lous, il­log­i­cal rev­e­la­tion in the end.

Scream 4 (2011)

There was a great op­por­tu­ni­ty for the meta el­e­ment here, con­sid­er­ing the changes in hor­ror movies along the past ten years, but this use­less re­boot is nev­er orig­i­nal and ba­si­cal­ly re­does the same slash­er of fif­teen years ago. Be­sides, the only ac­tor who is ac­tu­al­ly good is Hay­den Panet­tiere.

The Sea of Trees (2015)

A pre­ten­tious, va­pid and de­press­ing­ly stu­pid dra­ma that be­lieves to be a lot more beau­ti­ful than it is, with cheesy, pre­dictable twists and a baf­fling lack of in­sight into any­thing it sets out to dis­cuss, de­spite Mc­Conaugh­ey putting a lot of ded­i­ca­tion into it with a good per­for­mance.

The Search (1948)

It holds a strong im­pact due to its dev­as­tat­ing sub­ject mat­ter, with also a beau­ti­ful score and Mont­gomery Clift in a won­der­ful Os­car-nom­i­nat­ed per­for­mance, but it starts to be­come more like a melo­dra­ma af­ter its ex­cel­lent first hour and the di­a­logue more and more ar­ti­fi­cial.

The Search (2014)

I blame the edit­ing for how rep­e­ti­tious this feels, with scenes that are stretched out for too long, and there is a cer­tain lack of co­he­sion and sub­tle­ty here — es­pe­cial­ly in the film’s last 40 min­utes — that makes it all look more like a lec­ture de­spite the no­ble in­ten­tions and ef­fort from its cast.

The Search for Gen­er­al Tso (2014)

Al­though it does come off as brief and su­per­fi­cial like a TV spe­cial (or Net­flix spe­cial?), this doc­u­men­tary is en­joy­able food porn and is a lot more in­ter­est­ing when telling us about the his­to­ry of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can food than try­ing to find out who this elu­sive Gen­er­al Tso was.

The Searchers (1956)

A pow­er­ful epic-scale West­ern with a rich sto­ry full of nu­ances, fol­low­ing a com­plex char­ac­ter of du­bi­ous mo­ti­va­tions in a search that stretch­es for many years – an an­guish­ing jour­ney set against the im­pos­ing vast­ness of the Mon­u­ment Val­ley desert with stun­ning panoram­ic shots.

Search­ing (2018)

The clever plot gives great at­ten­tion to de­tails with a mys­tery that is al­ways com­pelling, and the computer/phone/TV screen for­mat, while not new or orig­i­nal, is con­sis­tent with the cyn­i­cal way the film looks at our dig­i­tal era, even if the end­ing goes a bit over the top.

Search­ing for Sug­ar Man (2012)

A sur­pris­ing and ex­treme­ly mov­ing doc­u­men­tary that be­gins as a fas­ci­nat­ing mys­tery and then grows to be­come a re­veal­ing true sto­ry about a star who nev­er was but who iron­i­cal­ly be­came a ma­jor idol in South Africa – in­flu­enc­ing a whole gen­er­a­tion with­out even know­ing about it.

Seashore (2015)

De­spite the am­a­teur­ish di­rec­tion and weak per­for­mances, this ir­reg­u­lar film may seem ini­tial­ly in­con­sis­tent but comes to­geth­er quite nice­ly lat­er, even if it does­n’t of­fer any in­di­ca­tion about what holds Mar­tin back and his ac­tion in the end feels more abrupt than it should.

Se­bas­tiane (1976)

A bold film for the time it came out, but it seems like a pa­thet­ic ex­cuse to ex­plore the beau­ty of sweaty mas­cu­line forms as some cheap soft-core gay porn, with ter­ri­ble act­ing from every­one (de­liv­er­ing their lines in a stiff Latin) and am­a­teur­ish­ly pho­tographed es­pe­cial­ly in the night scenes.

The Sec­ond Moth­er (2015)

Regi­na Casé is won­der­ful at the cen­ter of a mar­velous char­ac­ter study that is equal­ly hi­lar­i­ous and thought-pro­vok­ing as it com­ments – al­ways in an in­tel­li­gent and hon­est way – on mat­ters like class dif­fer­ences in a coun­try that has been un­der­go­ing sur­pris­ing so­cial changes.

Il Sec­on­do Tragi­co Fan­tozzi (1976)

Find­ing him­self in sit­u­a­tions that can be even more ab­surd and hi­lar­i­ous than in the first film, Fan­tozzi is back with an­oth­er se­ries of episodes in his un­lucky life, the high­light be­ing the one in which he is forced by a Pro­fes­sor to watch “Bat­tle­ship Ko­tiomkin” over and over again.

The Se­cret (2006)

I don’t know what is worse, the fact that this atro­cious, un­sci­en­tif­ic non­sense es­poused by a bunch of quacks is com­plete­ly un­found­ed (and even dan­ger­ous), or that its ap­palling “mes­sage” is re­peat­ed over and over again as a hor­ri­ble in­fomer­cial for end­less nine­ty min­utes.

The Se­cret in Their Eyes (2009)

An­oth­er spec­tac­u­lar must-see by Ar­gen­tin­ian mas­ter Juan José Cam­panel­la, with great per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly by Ri­car­do Darín, in an ex­cep­tion­al crime thriller about ob­ses­sion and pas­sion with those fine dos­es of hu­mor and ro­mance that Cam­panel­la loves so much.

The Se­cret Life of Bees (2008)

Paul Bet­tany is mis­cast in his role but Dako­ta Fan­ning proves again that she is very tal­ent­ed, only it is frus­trat­ing to see a rel­e­vant theme such as racism in the South Car­oli­na of 1964 used as a means for a white girl to re­solve her per­son­al is­sues in a sap­py, re­duc­tive way.

The Se­cret Life of Pets (2016)

It al­ways amazes me how Uni­ver­sal nev­er cares to cre­ate any­thing re­mote­ly clever when it comes to their an­i­ma­tions, and so once again they come up with a harm­less lit­tle sto­ry that wants to be cute and fun­ny (which it is some­times) but is only bound to be quick­ly for­got­ten.

The Se­cret Life of Wal­ter Mit­ty (2013)

A very pleas­ant movie that finds a nice bal­ance be­tween sin­cere dra­ma and un­ex­pect­ed hu­mor, even though it seems to have “for the mass­es” writ­ten all over it, with sub­tle mo­ments co­ex­ist­ing in the same sto­ry with more ob­vi­ous ones, which ends up di­lut­ing a bit the re­sult.

Se­crets & Lies (1996)

Mike Leigh’s steady di­rec­tion is re­al­ly im­pres­sive, and he cre­ates a large­ly im­pro­vised fam­i­ly dra­ma that sur­pris­es us with many nu­ances and for be­ing so en­gag­ing, re­ly­ing es­pe­cial­ly on two out­stand­ing Os­car-nom­i­nat­ed per­for­mances by Bren­da Blethyn and Mar­i­anne Jean-Bap­tiste.

Sec­re­tary (2002)

What makes this film stand out as a tru­ly adorable ro­mance is the sur­pris­ing way that it tack­les the spicy kink­i­ness of its sub­ject as a means for two peo­ple to find hap­pi­ness, while it boasts a great score/soundtrack and Mag­gie Gyl­len­haal shines in a love­ly per­for­mance.

Seek­ing a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

This movie should not be sold as a com­e­dy, for it is ac­tu­al­ly the most de­press­ing movie of the year, and the prob­lem lies in fact in its abrupt shifts in tone and a dis­as­trous at­tempt at be­ing both a cute road movie and a pro­found love sto­ry, lead­ing to an aw­ful end­ing.

The Self­ish Gi­ant (2013)

Barnard dis­plays an in­cred­i­bly firm hand in the di­rec­tion of this pow­er­ful piece of British so­cial re­al­ism that brings to mind the works of Ken Loach and is above all a rich char­ac­ter study with a great on­screen chem­istry be­tween the ex­cel­lent Con­ner Chap­man and Shaun Thomas.

Sel­ma (2014)

A riv­et­ing and hard-hit­ting ac­count of brave re­sis­tance and vic­to­ry in a his­tor­i­cal fight of uni­ver­sal sig­nif­i­cance, and it re­lies on a splen­did per­for­mance by David Oyelowo and pow­er­ful di­a­logue to bring us this in­spir­ing true sto­ry that still feels alive and im­por­tant to­day.

Sen­na (2010)

An en­thralling and heart­break­ing doc­u­men­tary us­ing only archive ma­te­r­i­al and old in­ter­views with the pi­lot and those who knew him, and it is fas­ci­nat­ing to see the hu­man side of an ad­mirable man who was the great­est idol of a na­tion fac­ing a ma­jor eco­nom­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal cri­sis back then.

Sense and Sen­si­bil­i­ty (1995)

A faith­ful adap­ta­tion, es­pe­cial­ly in tone, of Austen’s en­joy­able nov­el. Even though not a re­mark­able sto­ry, it ben­e­fits most­ly from great per­for­mances by Thomp­son and Winslet, in a vi­su­al­ly en­chant­i­ng pe­ri­od dra­ma that com­bines well ro­mance and hu­mor.

Sense­less (1998)

Wayans is not as fun­ny as he thinks he is, and this is a flat out stu­pid, aw­ful­ly sex­ist male fan­ta­sy made by peo­ple who ob­vi­ous­ly don’t have a very good idea how sens­es work (and ap­par­ent­ly even mis­take them for re­flex­es) – and it hits ab­solute rock bot­tom in the last 10 min­utes.

A Sep­a­ra­tion (2011)

A com­pelling dra­ma full of nu­ances and with many un­ex­pect­ed twists in a sto­ry in which all of the char­ac­ters have sol­id rea­sons for their ac­tions, which makes it near­ly im­pos­si­ble to judge them for what they do – and it should cer­tain­ly grow on you af­ter more view­ings.

The Sep­tem­ber Is­sue (2009)

It is strange­ly fas­ci­nat­ing to have a close look at the cre­ative process be­hind the biggest is­sue of the most in­flu­en­tial fash­ion mag­a­zine in the plan­et and see how one wom­an’s per­son­al opin­ion can have such an in­cred­i­ble weight and im­pact on the fash­ion in­dus­try in gen­er­al.

A Ser­bian Film (2010)

It is un­be­liev­able that Spa­so­je­vic had the guts to say that there is a po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary in this grotesque and re­pel­lent piece of tor­ture porn that seems to have no oth­er pur­pose than to shock and be polemic, rap­ing the view­er with a sick­en­ing amount of heinous vi­o­lence.

Ser­e­na (2014)

The plot is pre­dictable and doesn’t re­al­ly come to­geth­er as a whole, but the film has a hand­some pro­duc­tion de­sign, a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy that ex­plores to its best ex­tent the beau­ty of its lo­ca­tions and two very in­tense per­for­mances by Lawrence and Coop­er to make it worth it.

Seren­i­ty (2005)

This Fire­fly movie is an ex­cel­lent fol­low-up to the short-lived se­ries, of­fer­ing a lot of awe­some ac­tion, wit­ty ex­changes of di­a­logue filled with dry hu­mor and char­ac­ters that we care about – a won­der­ful gift for the fans and a very en­ter­tain­ing sci-fi West­ern for every­one else.

Se­r­i­al (Bad) Wed­dings (2014)

A ridicu­lous “com­e­dy” that open­ly cel­e­brates stereo­types (and finds it­self very smart for that) and will cer­tain­ly please those who en­joy the sort of pedes­tri­an hu­mor of the likes of The Big Bang The­o­ry, with a lame, re­tard­ed plot full of clichés and car­i­ca­tures in­stead of char­ac­ters.

A Se­ri­ous Man (2009)

The Coen broth­ers chose the most per­fect ac­tors for this hi­lar­i­ous farce, their most per­son­al work to date which splen­did­ly com­bines dark hu­mor and Jew­ish ex­is­ten­tial ques­tions, and I can eas­i­ly imag­ine them say­ing that if not even God gives us all the an­swers why the hell should they?

Ses­sion 9 (2001)

An omi­nous psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror that re­lies on an ef­fec­tive­ly creepy at­mos­phere, but it is a shame that the sus­pense­ful plot lacks co­her­ence and pur­pose, with many un­nec­es­sary strange mo­ments only to cre­ate ten­sion and an odd con­clu­sion that is more a let­down than a nice pay­off.

The Ses­sions (2012)

De­spite its un­nec­es­sary end­ing with a com­plete­ly out-of-place nar­ra­tion, this is a touch­ing dra­ma cen­tered on three-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters and two won­der­ful per­for­mances by Hawkes and Hunt, who de­serve both a mil­lion awards for their pro­found­ly sen­si­tive com­po­si­tions.

Sev­en Chances (1925)

An ab­solute­ly hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy with great edit­ing, score, fram­ing and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, even if the ini­tial scenes in ear­ly Tech­ni­col­or have not sur­vived in such a good state – and it is re­al­ly im­pres­sive to see so much ac­tion, thrill and en­er­gy in a movie made at that time.

7 Days (2010)

A gut-wrench­ing and ex­treme­ly un­com­fort­able dra­ma that fol­lows a man yearn­ing for re­venge and do­ing things he could have nev­er imag­ined him­self ca­pa­ble of do­ing, and while it is sur­pris­ing­ly mov­ing, it nev­er­the­less goes a bit too far in its poor, shal­low sym­bol­ism.

7 Days in Ha­vana (2012)

An ir­reg­u­lar and het­ero­ge­neous com­bi­na­tion of sev­en dif­fer­ent sto­ries that lacks a co­he­sive uni­ty and is nev­er in­ter­est­ing enough to be worth our time – and not even ex­cel­lent di­rec­tors like Pablo Trap­ero and Gas­par Noé are able to save this project from be­ing dull and tir­ing.

The Sev­en Kit­tens (1980)

Those who think that Nel­son Ro­drigues had no idea what nu­ance is (and was an id­iot for say­ing all men were garbage) will find a per­fect ex­am­ple here, since this is a trashy adap­ta­tion in which every­one changes their minds so quick­ly and con­stant­ly that it be­comes a dumb, point­less par­o­dy.

Sev­en Psy­chopaths (2012)

A fun­ny dark com­e­dy that has some very in­spired mo­ments, but Mc­Don­agh doesn’t know ex­act­ly what to do with the ma­te­r­i­al in his hands, and so he keeps pulling easy tricks out of his sleeves at the ex­pense of a more elab­o­rate struc­ture.

The Sev­en Year Itch (1955)

An in­suf­fer­able com­e­dy whose sense of hu­mor is tremen­dous­ly un­fun­ny and ob­vi­ous while Ewell is un­bear­able with his ex­pos­i­to­ry bab­bling and his character’s stu­pid imag­i­na­tion – and the movie would have nev­er be­come a clas­sic if it weren’t for that one fa­mous scene only.

The Sev­enth Con­ti­nent (1989)

Haneke ba­si­cal­ly tor­tures the view­er to the point of al­most un­bear­able, first fo­cus­ing his film (based on real life events) on the dull, bu­reau­crat­ic and ap­a­thet­ic rou­tine of a mod­ern fam­i­ly and then mov­ing to the ex­cru­ci­at­ing­ly de­tailed, step-by-step prepa­ra­tion of a hor­rif­ic in­ci­dent.

7th Floor (2013)

An ef­fi­cient thriller that is able to cre­ate ten­sion and sus­pense es­pe­cial­ly from the protagonist’s grow­ing state of de­spair (with Darín in an in­tense per­for­mance, as usu­al), but it all col­laps­es in a pre­pos­ter­ous and down­right stu­pid third act that al­most ru­ins the whole thing.

’71 (2014)

With a vi­su­al ap­proach that makes it re­sem­ble a doc­u­men­tary, this re­al­is­tic thriller is high­ly grip­ping as a se­ries of tense sit­u­a­tions faced by a man caught in a po­lit­i­cal bat­tle, but it is only a pity, though, that the film makes some odd nar­ra­tive choic­es in the end.

Sex and the City (2008)

In its tran­si­tion to the big screen, the long-run­ning HBO se­ries gives birth to an end­less and un­even movie, and while the TV sto­ries of these four women liv­ing for sex and fash­ion in the Big Ap­ple could be ap­peal­ing, here the char­ac­ters seem only shal­low, stu­pid and vul­gar.

Sex and the City 2 (2010)

Just like the first film, this se­quel is stu­pid and stretch­es for­ev­er, fol­low­ing those four self­ish, shal­low mid­dle-aged women whose pa­thet­ic per­son­al con­flicts nev­er jus­ti­fy 146 min­utes. And what kind of woman wears a vin­tage cream Valenti­no skirt while mak­ing muffins?

Shad­ow Dancer (2012)

An un­in­ter­est­ing dra­ma that lacks any sur­pris­es and whose bland ap­proach makes it emo­tion­al­ly dis­tant and bor­ing, with a plot that drags, char­ac­ters who are hard to care about and scenes that should be sus­pense­ful but only feel te­dious.

Shad­ow of a Doubt (1943)

The title’s doubt grows in us much be­fore it is plant­ed in­side the character’s mind halfway through this su­perbly-writ­ten sto­ry, which is a tes­ta­ment to how this tense, sus­pense­ful mys­tery is slow­ly and care­ful­ly built in what is one of Hitchcock’s most steadi­ly-paced thrillers.

Shad­ow of the Vam­pire (2000)

The idea is re­al­ly orig­i­nal and Dafoe de­liv­ers a spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance un­der that fan­tas­tic make­up (the scene of the Count de­vour­ing the bat is hys­ter­i­cal); it is just a pity, though, that the weak script has such a re­dun­dant di­a­logue and Merhige’s di­rec­tion has some mis­fires.

Shame (2011)

An un­pre­ten­tious, dev­as­tat­ing char­ac­ter study that takes a dis­turb­ing look at sex­u­al ad­dic­tion with mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mances by Fass­ben­der and Mul­li­gan, and is di­rect­ed with ab­solute con­trol by Steve Mc­Queen, who leaves no room for easy res­o­lu­tions or hap­py end­ings.

Shane (1953)

The daz­zling cin­e­matog­ra­phy that ex­plores the bu­col­ic and idyl­lic land­scapes, to­geth­er with the strong en­sem­ble cast, con­tributes to make this an un­for­get­table West­ern tale about a com­plex, di­vid­ed hero and the re­la­tion­ship that he de­vel­ops with a peace­ful fam­i­ly.

Shaolin Soc­cer (2001)

A hi­lar­i­ous goofy com­e­dy that makes me laugh to tears from be­gin­ning to end, and it is so amaz­ing the way it em­braces kung fu ac­tion, West­ern movies tropes, car­toon­ish vi­su­al ef­fects and a lot of de­li­cious non­sense to cre­ate a unique mar­tial arts movie.

Shara (2003)

Kawase con­tin­ues to tack­le fam­i­ly is­sues that re­flect her own (is­sues she has al­ready ap­proached in pre­vi­ous films) but the re­sult is too un­even, un­re­solved, emo­tion­al­ly de­tached — bland, even — and feels like more of the same for those who are fa­mil­iar with her work.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Pegg and Frost are so fun­ny to­geth­er in this atyp­i­cal zom­bie movie that nice­ly blends British hu­mor and a lot of gore while mak­ing a smart so­cial com­men­tary, and it ben­e­fits from an in­cred­i­bly wit­ty di­a­logue and some hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments to make you laugh hard.

Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

An ir­re­sistible, fun­ny and de­li­cious­ly sweet ad­ven­ture made in a stun­ning stop mo­tion that prob­a­bly ranks among the best I have ever seen, and even if it is clear­ly aimed at younger chil­dren, I re­al­ly doubt that it won’t be a com­plete and ut­ter de­light to adults as well.

The Shaw­shank Re­demp­tion (1994)

It may de­serve to be gen­er­al­ly re­gard­ed as (one of) the most over­rat­ed film(s) ever made, but it is above all a won­der­ful, up­lift­ing and deeply touch­ing tale of hope and per­se­ver­ance that cer­tain­ly de­serves to be re­mem­bered as one of the best adap­ta­tions of a Stephen King sto­ry.

Shaz­am! (2019)

The main prob­lem with this ir­reg­u­lar su­per­hero movie is that Bil­ly and Shaz­am are like two com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent peo­ple, which makes it al­most im­pos­si­ble for us to con­nect with the char­ac­ter, and it does­n’t help that the goofy hu­mor does­n’t al­ways work, de­spite some in­spired mo­ments.

She Comes Back on Thurs­day (2015)

The way Oliveira blends fic­tion and doc­u­men­tary by hav­ing his fam­i­ly and friends per­form fic­tion­al ver­sions of them­selves is al­ways in­trigu­ing, and the film does have its mo­ments, but his ap­proach is so cold and de­tached that it los­es any dra­mat­ic pow­er that it could have.

She’s the One (1996)

Though the di­a­logue is usu­al­ly sharp and fun­ny (when not be­ing bla­tant­ly re­dun­dant), the biggest prob­lem of this com­e­dy, be­sides the fact that it takes it­self much more se­ri­ous­ly than it should, is that all char­ac­ters ex­cept the one played by Jen­nifer Anis­ton are so self­ish and hate­ful.

Shel­ley (2016)

Like Rose­mary’s Baby if made by David Cro­nen­berg, this is an un­set­tling film that un­folds at a de­lib­er­ate pace, mak­ing us se­ri­ous­ly cringe as it forces us to con­tem­plate the creepy idea of a preg­nant woman get­ting slow­ly wrecked by a liv­ing crea­ture grow­ing in­side her.

Shel­ter (2007)

A sim­ple film that re­lies on the chem­istry be­tween Wright and Rowe, telling a sweet com­ing-of-age sto­ry about a young gay man try­ing to fig­ure out what he wants in life. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, it is also too con­ven­tion­al and pre­dictable, with a lot of stereo­typed con­flicts.

Sher­lock Holmes (2009)

What makes this film so re­fresh­ing and en­ter­tain­ing is Guy Ritchie’s trade­mark styl­ish di­rec­tion as he up­dates the leg­endary de­tec­tive to a mod­ern pop gen­er­a­tion, and it has great di­a­logue, de­li­cious per­for­mances and a won­der­ful pro­duc­tion de­sign.

Sher­lock Holmes: A Game of Shad­ows (2011)

A sil­ly yet en­joy­able movie that con­tin­ues to por­tray Holmes as a mod­ern ac­tion hero, not try­ing any­thing new com­pared to the pre­vi­ous chap­ter and just go­ing for a safe plot that is nev­er dar­ing. Still, it is a lot of fun, with an ex­cit­ing mind bat­tle as cli­max.

Sher­lock Jr. (1924)

A great movie all the more re­mark­able due to the tech­nique em­ployed and how Keaton could pull off a num­ber of risky stunts with­out get­ting killed – and his huge care is ev­i­dent in a hi­lar­i­ous bil­liard scene and a fab­u­lous mo­ment in which he dodges many dan­gers on a mo­tor­cy­cle.

The Ship Sails On (1983)

With a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and pro­duc­tion de­sign, this is prob­a­bly the most stun­ning Felli­ni film while also a work that of­fers a smart so­cial com­men­tary – un­til it goes in­sane in the last fif­teen min­utes, los­ing any di­rec­tion and ev­i­denc­ing the ar­ti­fi­cial­i­ty of the sto­ry as a film.

Shiv­ers (1975)

It is hard to see what Cro­nen­berg had in mind when he con­coct­ed this re­pel­lent film full of sex­ism and misog­y­ny about fear of sex­u­al­i­ty, as it only seems to sug­gest that un­con­trolled sex­u­al de­sires lead to peo­ple be­com­ing ir­ra­tional rapists prone to pe­dophil­ia and in­cest.

Shoplifters (2018)

Re­flect­ing on what fam­i­ly is and the ties that can grow be­tween un­re­lat­ed peo­ple, Ko­ree­da grad­u­al­ly brings us close to his char­ac­ters in this beau­ti­ful, bit­ter­sweet dra­ma be­fore hit­ting us with some­thing quite un­ex­pect­ed (and bril­liant) that only adds new lay­ers of mean­ing to it.

Short Term 12 (2013)

A del­i­cate and com­plex char­ac­ter study that nev­er ro­man­ti­cizes what it wants so say, be­ing in­stead very down to earth in its ap­proach to show us how an un­der­priv­i­leged child­hood can cre­ate emo­tion­al­ly frac­tured adults whose un­cured is­sues won’t sim­ply go away with time.

Show­girls (1995)

If Verhoeven’s in­ten­tion was to make a satire of Las Ve­gas as a place of ex­ploita­tion and hypocrisy then his film is bril­liant, but it does feel like he is try­ing to make some­thing se­ri­ous, which makes its hi­lar­i­ous campy vibe come off as trashy and com­plete­ly un­in­ten­tion­al.

Shrek (2001)

A won­der­ful satir­i­cal fa­ble that clev­er­ly sub­verts those well-known fairy tales, of­fer­ing end­less fun for kids and pure de­light for adults with some as­ton­ish­ing vi­su­als and acid hu­mor while be­ing ex­treme­ly fun­ny, en­chant­i­ng and sur­pris­ing­ly sweet.

Shrek 2 (2004)

Al­though not as orig­i­nal and smart as the first film, Shrek 2 is equal­ly fun­ny and ir­rev­er­ent, in­tro­duc­ing new adorable sec­ondary char­ac­ters in an ex­cel­lent an­i­ma­tion that nev­er ceas­es to be a lot of fun for both adults and kids.

Shrek the Third (2007)

What used to be fresh and wit­ty in the first two films gives place to a stu­pid slap­stick hu­mor full of fart and poop jokes, lack­ing most of the clev­er­ness of the pre­vi­ous sto­ries. Even so, the vi­su­als nev­er cease to be out­stand­ing and im­pres­sive.

Shrek For­ev­er Af­ter (2010)

Shrek stuck in an al­ter­nate re­al­i­ty is an in­ter­est­ing premise that pro­vokes some laughs, and even if the plot is not orig­i­nal or mem­o­rable at all, this pass­able an­i­ma­tion is an im­prove­ment over the mediocre last movie and an amus­ing con­clu­sion to the fran­chise.

Shrew’s Nest (2014)

Macare­na Gómez is ab­solute­ly sen­sa­tion­al, de­liv­er­ing a com­plex and in­tense per­for­mance as a trag­ic fig­ure that in­spires both fear and pity in equal mea­sure, and this an­guish­ing (and al­ways grip­ping) film does an ad­mirable job com­bin­ing fam­i­ly dra­ma, char­ac­ter study and hor­ror.

Shun Li and the Poet (2011)

What be­gins as an hon­est sto­ry soon be­comes a frus­trat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, un­able to gen­er­ate enough in­ter­est due to the lack of chem­istry be­tween the two main char­ac­ters. Be­sides, it in­sists on try­ing to cre­ate some vi­su­al and nar­ra­tive po­et­ry where there is none.

Shut­ter Is­land (2010)

Scorsese’s mas­ter­piece in psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror is an in­trigu­ing and im­mense­ly un­set­tling film whose es­ca­lat­ing claus­tro­pho­bic ten­sion is built from an in­tel­li­gent, sus­pense­ful mys­tery that bears many wel­come re­sem­blances to the great­est works of Kubrick, Polan­s­ki and Lynch.

Siber­ian Ed­u­ca­tion (2013)

It man­ages to in­ter­twine three mo­ments of the character’s life with­out be­com­ing con­fus­ing, but Sal­va­tores does every­thing in his pow­er to make it palat­able to a main­stream au­di­ence, fill­ing it up with a pile of dread­ful clichés and not mind­ing about the hor­ri­ble per­for­mances.

Sibyl (2019)

The most in­trigu­ing as­pect of this clin­i­cal psy­cho­log­i­cal dra­ma is how every char­ac­ter uses and ma­nip­u­lates one an­oth­er to ob­tain what they want, and yet the film strug­gles a bit to bring its pieces to­geth­er, be­com­ing even clum­si­er in the end when try­ing to come up with a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion.

Sicario (2015)

Much like Soderbergh’s Traf­fic, Vil­leneuve of­fers us this riv­et­ing and thought-pro­vok­ing por­trait of an en­dem­ic so­cial mal­a­dy against which every ef­fort seems fu­tile, and he in­vests in a con­stant sense of ur­gency and a near­ly un­bear­able ten­sion to place us in­side that grit­ty re­al­i­ty.

Sicario: Day of the Sol­da­do (2018)

An ir­reg­u­lar se­quel that pales in com­par­i­son to the ex­cel­lent first film, es­pe­cial­ly as it be­trays the mo­ti­va­tions of the char­ac­ters (which make lit­tle sense here) and be­comes too im­plau­si­ble in the end, even if its ni­hilism still works thanks to the strong per­for­mances from the two leads.

Side Ef­fects (2013)

If this is re­al­ly Soderbergh’s last film, at least he de­parts on a good note with this smart movie that moves so ex­pert­ly from one genre to an­oth­er – switch­ing pro­tag­o­nists and grow­ing from an in­ti­mate dra­ma about de­pres­sion to a phar­ma­co-thriller with clever twists.

Side­walls (2011)

Its play­ful take on ur­ban iso­la­tion and how in­ter­net and tech­nol­o­gy draw peo­ple apart is spot-on, with a bit­ter­sweet sense of hu­mor that made me smile at its log­i­cal de­duc­tions, but it is only a shame that, in its in­sis­tence on be­ing cute, the plot can be pret­ty clichéd and ob­vi­ous.

Sier­aneva­da (2016)

Find­ing a per­fect bal­ance be­tween touch­ing and hu­mor­ous, this re­veal­ing fam­i­ly dra­ma is a fan­tas­tic bal­let of cam­era and mise-en-scène (with many beau­ti­ful long takes), and I love the way it lets us or­ga­nize in our heads the re­la­tion­ships be­tween all char­ac­ters in the fam­i­ly.

7 Años (2016)

An­oth­er Net­flix orig­i­nal film that proves you don’t need a great bud­get to pro­duce some­thing of qual­i­ty, and this is a dy­nam­ic cham­ber movie that holds our at­ten­tion with an en­gag­ing plot cen­tered ex­clu­sive­ly on a clever di­a­logue and some very fine per­for­mances.

Sight­seers (2012)

A de­testable film that forces us to fol­low for eighty-eight min­utes a cou­ple of hate­ful psy­chopaths with a sick sto­ry that wants to be a very dark com­e­dy and make fun of their grue­some atroc­i­ties – but every­thing is just too much bad taste to be re­mote­ly fun­ny.

The Sig­nal (2014)

How­ev­er ini­tial­ly in­trigu­ing the mys­tery is, the only thing worse than a stu­pid movie that be­lieves to be smart is a stu­pid movie that be­lieves to be smart and in­sults its au­di­ence, and so it is just aw­ful­ly con­fus­ing with a lot of stu­pid plot twists that don’t make much sense.

O Sig­no do Caos (2005)

Sganz­er­la’s films have this an­noy­ing ten­den­cy to be­come te­dious­ly rep­e­ti­tious af­ter a while, and so even though this one be­gins pret­ty amus­ing with its cheeky sense of hu­mor, it’s hard not to find it pre­ten­tious when im­ages and sounds start to pile up most­ly ar­bi­trar­i­ly.

Signs (2002)

While nev­er los­ing track of what he wants to say, Shya­malan knows how to build sus­pense with scenes that can be ter­ri­fy­ing, al­though the film’s flaws start to be­come more and more ap­par­ent the mo­ment we stop to think about the de­tails (like the rea­sons be­hind the vil­lains’ mo­ti­va­tions).

The Si­lence (1998)

Makhmal­baf con­tin­ues to ex­plore the in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties of cin­e­ma and film lan­guage (as usu­al), cre­at­ing an­oth­er po­et­ic film that im­press­es not only with its clever edit­ing but also with its use of many au­r­al match cuts that fit per­fect­ly with­in the sto­ry it wants to tell.

The Si­lence (2010)

Not de­void of flaws but still rich in com­plex­i­ty and with an ex­quis­ite cin­e­matog­ra­phy, this is an en­gag­ing crime thriller cen­tered on a gallery of char­ac­ters whose lives are thrown up­side down when a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion brings up la­tent is­sues of a sor­did long-gone past.

Si­lence (2016)

It be­gins heavy-hand­ed and moves only grad­u­al­ly to­wards great­ness, rais­ing in­tel­li­gent ques­tions about the mer­its and virtue of faith when one fol­lows a silent de­ity that prompts men into ar­ro­gance and blind de­vo­tion de­spite all the suf­fer­ing that this may cause to oth­ers.

The Si­lence of the Lambs (1991)

This breath­tak­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller and ter­rif­ic char­ac­ter study should al­ways be re­mem­bered for its icon­ic de­pic­tion of one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing mon­sters ever cre­at­ed, Dr. Han­ni­bal Lecter, and it de­served every award it won, al­though Ted Levine should have also been re­mem­bered for his fan­tas­tic per­for­mance.

The Si­lence of the Sky (2016)

In ways that re­mind­ed me of Kubrick­’s Eyes Wide Shut, this is an in­tel­li­gent dra­ma that un­der­stands how to use the lan­guage of cin­e­ma to its best ef­fect, con­vey­ing so much mean­ing through its vi­su­als (es­pe­cial­ly the col­ors and com­po­si­tion) as it builds a com­plex char­ac­ter study full of lay­ers.

Silent Hill (2006)

Gans de­serves praise for in­vest­ing in the movie’s at­mos­phere with an evoca­tive cin­e­matog­ra­phy and sev­er­al stun­ning sets that look in­cred­i­bly dis­turb­ing and creepy as hell – but even so, some of the scenes are way too un­com­fort­ably graph­ic and the CGI crea­tures look atro­cious.

Silent Hill: Rev­e­la­tion (2012)

If “rev­e­la­tion” means end­less ex­po­si­tion that doesn’t re­veal ab­solute­ly any­thing about what we al­ready know from the first movie, then it would have been prefer­able to see some­thing clos­er to an ac­tu­al plot or at least more ap­peal­ing sets, if Bes­sett had any imag­i­na­tion for that.

The Silent House (2010)

Very well made as a sin­gle long take, it im­press­es for the el­e­gance and tech­nique em­ployed, but the script is just aw­ful, with stu­pid char­ac­ters, over-cal­cu­lat­ed chills (al­ways fore­warned by an in­tru­sive score) and a ridicu­lous, il­log­i­cal end­ing.

The Silent Rev­o­lu­tion (2018)

An un­even but still ef­fec­tive his­tor­i­cal dra­ma that might have car­ried a much stronger im­pact had it not been for its strange choice to come up with un­nec­es­sary rev­e­la­tions about the char­ac­ters that feel more like dis­trac­tion and don’t re­al­ly add any­thing rel­e­vant to the re­sult.

Silent Run­ning (1972)

A thought-pro­vok­ing sci­ence fic­tion that may feel dat­ed to­day even with its good vi­su­als but rais­es in­ter­est­ing philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions about soli­tude, the val­ue of life and what it is like to risk every­thing for a con­vic­tion — which out­weighs the eco­log­i­cal mes­sage in­tend­ed.

Silent Youth (2012)

A sim­ple film whose finest qual­i­ty is the care­ful way it moves with­out rush­ing to a res­o­lu­tion, mak­ing great use of a de­lib­er­ate pace to ex­plore the mo­ments of si­lence and in­ti­ma­cy while slow­ly grow­ing on us to make us care about its char­ac­ters.

The Sil­ver Cliff (2011)

With a pa­per-thin plot (in­spired by a song) that seems stretched to fit the run­ning time of a long-length film, this flawed dra­ma ends up feel­ing too slow and doesn’t work so well as a study of de­pres­sion as in­tend­ed – and per­haps it could have been bet­ter as a short movie.

Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book (2012)

The feel-good movie of the year, so re­fresh­ing, cap­ti­vat­ing and open­ly anti-pes­simistic, and it is not only well writ­ten and di­rect­ed but works even bet­ter thanks to its great en­sem­ble cast – es­pe­cial­ly Coop­er and Lawrence, who have an amaz­ing chem­istry to­geth­er.

Si­mon­al: Ninguém Sabe o Duro que Dei (2009)

A near­ly ha­gio­graph­ic and po­lit­i­cal­ly miopic film that wants to cel­e­brate Si­mon­al and con­demn the harsh treat­ment he re­ceived by the press and the pub­lic, but us­ing weak ar­gu­ments that sim­ply don’t take into ac­count the grav­i­ty of his ac­tions (in­clud­ing his own writ­ten ad­mis­sion at the time).

A Sim­ple Fa­vor (2018)

Paul Feig has shown us be­fore what an en­vi­able tal­ent he has for blend­ing dif­fer­ent gen­res, but here he tru­ly out­does him­self, mak­ing a clever, twisty and al­ways grip­ping film that makes us hold our breath as it moves so ef­fort­less­ly from dark com­e­dy to crime noir to even hor­ror.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

I can’t re­al­ly de­cide which of the sub­plots is the dullest and most for­get­table, or if Nancy’s re­venge sto­ry could have pos­si­bly been any less point­less or dragged any less had it been cut by half – every­thing so flat that it doesn’t even make me want to write about it.

Sin Nom­bre (2009)

De­spite re­ly­ing on a lot of con­ve­nient cir­cum­stances that could have di­lut­ed the bru­tal re­al­ism in­tend­ed by the di­rec­tor, this film re­mains a riv­et­ing por­tray­al of the hard­ships faced by those who set out to cross the Mex­i­can bor­der into the Unit­ed States in search of a bet­ter life.

Sin­fo­nia da Necró­pole (2014)

A sweet but un­even film that im­pressed me so much in its first half hour as a de­light­ful blend of hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy and in­spired mu­si­cal (with great songs and lyrics), only to lose its charm and grip lat­er as the sto­ry pro­gress­es and be­comes too se­ri­ous for its own good.

Sing Street (2016)

It is true that it cov­ers fa­mil­iar ground and feels a bit harm­less with its op­ti­mistic, feel-good vibe, but it makes up for it with a lot of con­vic­tion and a great sound­track – both the songs played by the char­ac­ters’ band and those from the ’80s that in­clude Du­ran Du­ran and The Cure.

Sin­gin’ in the Rain (1952)

The clas­sic of clas­sics when it comes to mu­si­cals, a won­der­ful movie that is light, en­ter­tain­ing and fun­ny with price­less di­a­logue and amaz­ing chore­og­ra­phy – and where even an out-of-place Broad­way num­ber is de­light­ful enough to make us for­give it for be­ing there.

A Sin­gle Man (2009)

A deeply touch­ing film with a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and art di­rec­tion, a won­der­ful score and a re­mark­able di­rec­tion by fash­ion de­sign­er Tom Ford. Still, what stands out more than any­thing else is Col­in Firth’s fan­tas­tic lead­ing per­for­mance.

Sin­gle White Fe­male (1992)

Though noth­ing spe­cial, this is an ef­fi­cient thriller with the kind of sub­ject that could have ac­tu­al­ly been made into a bet­ter movie had it played as a psy­cho­log­i­cal dra­ma. Still, It is nice to see that Schroed­er man­ages to make it seem real enough de­spite its most lu­di­crous mo­ments.

Sin­is­ter (2012)

De­spite the pro­tag­o­nist be­ing a com­plete mo­ron who stays in a creepy house when all good sense would make him leave, this is a dis­turb­ing movie that man­ages to cause un­ease with an omi­nous at­mos­phere – but this ef­fi­cient ef­fort is ru­ined by cheap scares and a ter­ri­ble end­ing.

Sir­ius (2013)

Some of the mys­ter­ies may be in­trigu­ing but there is no way any­one with a brain could pos­si­bly take this ridicu­lous New Age crap and Dr. Greer’s non­sen­si­cal claims se­ri­ous­ly (CE‑5? Please, what a joke), and the movie is so bad­ly edit­ed and messy that it be­comes ir­ri­tat­ing.

Sis­ter (2012)

Meier shows that she can man­age a sad sub­ject with sen­si­tiv­i­ty while Klein shines as the adorable and charis­mat­ic young pro­tag­o­nist, but the film doesn’t seem to know how to end and the two only Eng­lish-speak­ing char­ac­ters added to the sto­ry are su­per­flu­ous.

Sis­ters (2015)

I’m not a fan of Amy Poehler but I love Tina Fey, and she to­tal­ly steals the show in this en­joy­able com­e­dy that feels sat­is­fy­ing enough even if it is a bit over­long (like an ex­tend­ed sit­com episode) and the jokes are not as fun­ny or fre­quent as they should be – hell, some of them fall real flat.

The Sis­ters Broth­ers (2018)

The film takes a while to find a fo­cus and tell us what it wants to do with its seem­ing­ly flat char­ac­ters, but then be­comes a more in­ter­est­ing sto­ry about civ­i­liza­tion ver­sus bar­bar­i­ty in a world filled with dirt, dis­eases and death, even though the end­ing is some­how un­der­whelm­ing.

678 (2010)

Al­though Diab seems to have good in­ten­tions with an im­por­tant sub­ject, his lack of sub­tle­ty and heavy-hand­ed di­rec­tion sad­ly stand in his way, and so the re­sult is a ridicu­lous and ar­ti­fi­cial melo­dra­ma that has no fo­cus and is full of cheap con­trivances and soap-opera di­a­logue.

The Skin I Live In (2011)

Almodóvar’s in­cur­sion into psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror is this fas­ci­nat­ing, ex­treme­ly dis­turb­ing and even ter­ri­fy­ing sto­ry about in­san­i­ty, de­sire and ob­ses­sion that grabbed me from the first scene to the last – and the best way to see it is with­out know­ing any­thing about it.

The Sky Above (2011)

Un­fold­ing like a day in the lives of three very com­mon but unique in­di­vid­u­als, this is the kind of hy­brid film that blurs so in­vis­i­bly the fron­tier be­tween doc­u­men­tary and fic­tion that I’m only sad it runs for just 68 min­utes, for I would glad­ly watch two or more hours of this any time.

Sky, Wind, Fire, Wa­ter, Earth (2001)

Kawase looks in­side her­self for what trou­bles her and makes her feel lost in the world, and in do­ing so she com­ple­ments and gives more sub­stance to her very per­son­al shorts Em­brac­ing and Katat­sumori – both of which I didn’t like but now seem bet­ter in ret­ro­spect.

Sky­fall (2012)

An en­ter­tain­ing Bond movie with a thrilling teas­er – which is one of its best fea­tures but nev­er builds to what it promis­es, be­ing soon for­got­ten when re­quired by the script. Be­sides, the sto­ry is sol­id but even­tu­al­ly starts to feel long in its end­less suc­ces­sion of ac­tion scenes.

Slack Bay (2016)

The phys­i­cal hu­mor and the way the char­ac­ters are shown as over-the-top car­i­ca­tures is ini­tial­ly amus­ing, but that gets tired fast and the film be­comes sil­ly, un­fun­ny and rep­e­ti­tious — and I was rolling my eyes af­ter the umpteenth time that some­one would fall down on the ground.

Slaugh­ter­house-Five (1972)

An in­ter­est­ing sci-fi that sad­ly fails by only hint­ing at its philo­soph­i­cal ideas and not go­ing deep­er into them. The nar­ra­tive is al­ways flu­id, with el­e­gant scene tran­si­tions and vi­su­al rhymes, but also vague about whether it wants to be a satir­i­cal piece or not.

Sleep Tight (2011)

Re­mind­ing me some­times of Robert Bres­son’s clin­i­cal ap­proach, this is a dar­ing enough thriller that puts us in the shoes of a sadis­tic mon­ster while fo­cus­ing most on his metic­u­lous ac­tions (even though the guy does make some very stu­pid de­ci­sions), and it can be huge­ly tense and dis­turb­ing.

Sleep­ing Beau­ty (1959)

The most ex­pen­sive and am­bi­tious Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion for the time it was con­ceived may be re­gard­ed by many as a clas­sic with a unique art style, yet I still fail to see much past its im­pres­sive tech­ni­cal achieve­ments and be so thrilled about it with re­gard to its con­ven­tion­al nar­ra­tive.

Sleep­ing Beau­ty (2011)

An emp­ty and pre­ten­tious film that fails by not pro­vid­ing any depth into its char­ac­ter, thus leav­ing her ac­tions and mo­ti­va­tions as a com­plete mys­tery from be­gin­ning to end and mak­ing this a cold and de­tached ex­pe­ri­ence even as a re­sult of the large amount of loose shots.

Slow West (2015)

A more than im­pres­sive de­but for John Maclean, who re­vis­its the West­ern genre in an in­tense sto­ry about a long-gone time of vi­o­lence and death, show­ing the West in its raw bru­tal­i­ty but with a lot of dark hu­mor, and backed by a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and great sound de­sign.

Snow White and the Hunts­man (2012)

The dark­er tone is con­sis­tent with the Ger­man orig­i­nal tale but it is hard to over­look the prob­lems in this adap­ta­tion: the dwarfs to­tal­ly wast­ed, a pa­thet­ic love tri­an­gle that ri­vals that of Twi­light, Bel­la Swan rapid­ly turn­ing into a war­rior as soon as re­quired by the script, and so on.

Snow White and the Sev­en Dwarfs (1937)

Walt Disney’s first an­i­ma­tion is an en­chant­i­ng and de­light­ful adap­ta­tion of Grimms’ fairy tale. Care­ful­ly drawn, with a great at­ten­tion to de­tails, it not only opened the door for this art in cin­e­ma but every mod­ern an­i­ma­tion owes a lot to this im­por­tant mas­ter­piece.

Snow­den (2016)

De­spite some clichés and not be­ing provoca­tive enough for an Oliv­er Stone movie, this is a sol­id com­pan­ion piece to Cit­i­zen­four with a great cin­e­matog­ra­phy and edit­ing — and Gor­don-Levitt does an im­pres­sive job mim­ic­k­ing the real Snowden’s body lan­guage and even voice.

Snowflake (2017)

The sense of hu­mor is killer in the its first half but then the movie sad­ly starts to lose mo­men­tum and fo­cus; even so, this is a fun blend of gen­res that bor­rows heav­i­ly from Quentin Taran­ti­no and spaghet­ti west­erns (es­pe­cial­ly the mu­sic) with a wel­come meta spin to it.

Snow­piercer (2013)

An enor­mous­ly thought-pro­vok­ing al­le­go­ry that sug­gests a ter­ri­fy­ing price nec­es­sary to keep the cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem ma­chine func­tion­ing at full speed in a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic so­ci­ety con­fined in a mov­ing train – and it is al­ways a plea­sure to see a thrilling sto­ry that makes us think.

Snow­town (2011)

Dark and dis­turb­ing in equal mea­sure, this is an in­tel­li­gent and well-act­ed char­ac­ter study about the roots of fas­cism with­in some­one who wants an ex­cuse to act on his psy­chopa­thy, as well as with­in those who ac­cept to be led like cat­tle by the ones who are in pow­er.

So Hard to For­get (2010)

I’m not a big fan of nar­ra­tions, but Aró­sio’s voice-over here is fun­da­men­tal to pre­vent us from dis­lik­ing her blunt char­ac­ter. Any­way, the film fails as a study of de­pres­sion by giv­ing in to ar­ti­fi­cial di­a­logue and sim­plis­tic sit­u­a­tions that nev­er reach be­yond the most ob­vi­ous.

Soaked in Bleach (2015)

An en­gross­ing doc­u­men­tary that may seem like old-news con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry but presents too many strong points to be over­looked (es­pe­cial­ly re­gard­ing the ab­surd neg­li­gence in the death in­ves­ti­ga­tion) and makes a com­pelling case for why this sus­pi­cious case should be re-opened.

The So­cial Net­work (2010)

An im­pec­ca­bly-di­rect­ed char­ac­ter study with ex­cel­lent per­for­mances and a top-notch script main­ly sus­tained on a great di­a­logue, of­fer­ing us an in­sight­ful look at the cre­ation of the most suc­cess­ful so­cial net­work by a mis­an­throp­ic young man who was un­able to keep his only friend.

So­ci­ety (1989)

With a pro­tag­o­nist that is most of the time ir­ri­tat­ing­ly dumb and a rep­e­ti­tious plot that can­not come up with any­thing more in­ter­est­ing than a sil­ly (and very ob­vi­ous) at­tack on high so­ci­ety, this is a lame hor­ror movie that turns into a com­plete mess in its gory third act.

So­cor­ro No­bre (1996)

It may feel at first that this film lacks a bet­ter sense of fo­cus or uni­ty, as though it is strug­gling to con­nect two very dif­fer­ent life sto­ries, but ac­tu­al­ly it does a sol­id job find­ing what these two very dif­fer­ent peo­ple have in com­mon.

Socrates (1971)

How­ev­er talky and over­ly di­dac­tic, this is an in­ter­est­ing bi­og­ra­phy made for TV that wants to be as close as re­al­i­ty as pos­si­ble, even if the Socrates we see here does sound more like a pedan­tic sophist than the in­flu­en­tial thinker who be­came known for so many beau­ti­ful speech­es.

So­lace (2015)

The only so­lace I had was when this crap­py de­riv­a­tive of Se7en end­ed, be­cause there is noth­ing worse or more em­bar­rass­ing than wit­ness­ing an am­a­teur di­rec­tor try­ing to be clever and styl­ish us­ing every aw­ful trick up his sleeve to make a ridicu­lous script seem much smarter than it is.

So­laris (2002)

Soder­bergh de­vi­ates from the fas­ci­nat­ing philo­soph­i­cal ideas pro­posed by Tarkovsky in his fan­tas­tic adap­ta­tion and fo­cus­es on the re­la­tion­ship dilem­ma, but the re­sult is less in­volv­ing and suf­fers from an ob­vi­ous lack of chem­istry be­tween Clooney and McEl­hone.

Solo: A Star Wars Sto­ry (2018)

Light, en­joy­able and, of course, full of ref­er­ences for the fans (though the movie’s in­sis­tence on show­ing so many of Han’s “first times” bor­ders on fan­dom friv­o­li­ty), this nice Star Wars foot­note will def­i­nite­ly not be­come a clas­sic any time soon but is at least en­ter­tain­ing enough.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

If this is the fun­ni­est film ever made I re­al­ly can­not say, but it is cer­tain­ly a hi­lar­i­ous and ex­treme­ly de­light­ful com­e­dy. The flaw­less script is filled with price­less lines and wit­ty di­a­logue, with the three main ac­tors ab­solute­ly fan­tas­tic in their roles.

Some­thing in the Air (2012)

A re­fresh­ing and well-paced semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal dra­ma that fo­cus­es on the un­cer­tain­ties of a young man di­vid­ed be­tween his ide­olo­gies and artis­tic de­sires – but the very weak per­for­mances from al­most every­one make it emo­tion­al­ly dis­tant and a tad re­strained for its own good.

Some­where (2010)

Sofia Cop­po­la is such a sen­si­tive and tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor, and she seems to know well what she is talk­ing about here, tak­ing an in­ter­est­ing look at the mean­ing­less life of an ac­tor among emp­ty pas­times and ephemer­al plea­sures. A del­i­cate film that ob­serves and shows a lot more than it says.

Somm (2012)

An ex­pert­ly-edit­ed, com­pelling and even tense doc­u­men­tary that gets us deeply in­vest­ed as we fol­low the ob­ses­sive ded­i­ca­tion of four ad­mirable can­di­dates who have each a per­son­al­i­ty of his own and whom we root for as they bust a gut to pass a mon­strous, near­ly-im­pos­si­ble exam.

SOMM: Into the Bot­tle (2015)

The edit­ing that cross-cuts sev­er­al in­ter­views with wine spe­cial­ists makes it pret­ty dy­nam­ic as it tries to of­fer some sort of glob­al opin­ion from wine­mak­ers and som­me­liers, but the prob­lem is that the film re­lies much more on a lot of vague im­pres­sions than facts and in­for­ma­tion.

Song of the Sea (2014)

The film’s gor­geous vi­su­als are the only thing that jus­ti­fies the Os­car nom­i­na­tion it got, since plot-wise this is a rather weak (and bland) an­i­ma­tion that can’t es­cape the fact that too much is poor­ly elab­o­rat­ed and ex­plained, like the girl un­able to speak and her sud­den ill­ness.

Song to Song (2017)

The first half of the film is an in­ter­est­ing, mul­ti­lay­ered study of dif­fer­ent types of re­la­tion­ships that cross-re­late, but then it all be­comes frus­trat­ing­ly un­even, rep­e­ti­tious and ob­vi­ous, es­pe­cial­ly as the char­ac­ters be­gin to drift with no clear di­rec­tion in a se­ries of duller mo­ments.

Son­nenallee (1999)

A light­heart­ed Ger­man com­e­dy that tries so hard to be in­of­fen­sive (an ex­tend­ed cut for TV has sev­er­al new scenes ab­sent from the the­atri­cal ver­sion, some of them cer­tain­ly more dra­mat­ic than any­thing we see here) that it will prob­a­bly be more ap­peal­ing to those who lived in that time.

Sons of the Desert (1933)

Lau­rel and Hardy are so ad­dic­tive and com­pul­sive­ly watch­able, and this film is first-rate slap­stick that of­fers non-stop laughs with one hi­lar­i­ous scene af­ter an­oth­er, mak­ing us some­times even wish it weren’t so short with its run­ning time of only a lit­tle bit more than one hour.

Sor­ry An­gel (2018)

Em­ploy­ing his usu­al bluish aes­thet­ic and dry hu­mor that pierces through its bleak­ness, Hon­oré uses the AIDS epi­dem­ic in the 1980s and ’90s as the back­ground for a ma­ture (if also a bit over­long) look at soli­tude and the fear of open­ing up to some­one new when you can­not see any fu­ture ahead.

Sor­ry to Both­er You (2018)

Al­though the sharp sense of hu­mor is only one step away from be­ing laugh-out-loud hi­lar­i­ous, this is a smart ab­sur­dist satire on con­formism and mod­ern alien­ation that could­n’t feel more re­al­is­tic even as it con­fi­dent­ly moves to­wards sur­re­al­ism in ways that are quite un­ex­pect­ed.

Sor­ry We Missed You (2019)

Ken Loach turns his com­pas­sion­ate eye again to the least fa­vored class­es in his own coun­try and those who strug­gle to sur­vive in a bru­tal cap­i­tal­ist world, ex­am­in­ing this time how the ex­ploita­tion of la­bor can be the source of painful dis­cord and un­hap­pi­ness for a lov­ing fam­i­ly.

The Soul of the Bone (2004)

In his ef­forts to evoke what it is like to be a soli­tary crea­ture liv­ing in the mid­dle of nowhere, Guimarães uses im­ages and sounds that aim to cap­ture the spir­it of soli­tude, but he also seems too des­per­ate to find po­et­ry in the mun­dane, which makes his film look sad­ly pre­ten­tious some­times.

Source Code (2011)

Dun­can Jones is now just an­oth­er film­mak­er con­cerned about ex­hibit­ing his di­rect­ing skills, and here he gives us ex­plo­sions in slow mo­tion, flies back­wards through an air duct with his cam­era and so on. Even worse is the script, with a con­cept that makes no sense and a stu­pid char­ac­ter who is in­ca­pable of stick­ing to a mis­sion that will save mil­lions of lives.

South Park: Big­ger, Longer & Un­cut (1999)

The best thing about this bril­liant South Park movie is not that it is “longer,” rather the fact that it is “big­ger” and so am­bi­tious: both as an in­cred­i­bly hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy and as a mu­si­cal full of awe­some songs, while also up­ping the vul­gar­i­ty seen on the TV show to a f***ing eleven.

South­land Tales (2006)

It feels like a bizarre mix of Blade Run­ner and Twin Peaks writ­ten by Bret Eas­t­on El­lis and adapt­ed by Uwe Boll — ridicu­lous, pre­ten­tious, in­com­pre­hen­si­ble and full of tir­ing ex­po­si­tion from be­gin­ning to end about a uni­verse that could­n’t be more un­in­ter­est­ing.

South­paw (2015)

Gyl­len­haal con­tin­ues to show that he is one of the most in­ter­est­ing and tal­ent­ed ac­tors of his gen­er­a­tion, el­e­vat­ing this con­ven­tion­al box­ing sto­ry that, de­spite an ex­cel­lent start, em­braces every cliché of the genre and be­comes so frus­trat­ing­ly sen­ti­men­tal in its sec­ond half.

South­side with You (2016)

The two leads cap­ti­vate us with strong per­for­mances in this sim­ple walk-and-talk film, play­ing in­tel­li­gent char­ac­ters who spend a day to­geth­er on a date through black cul­ture in Amer­i­ca, but the movie is also a bit too re­spect­ful and bor­ders oc­ca­sion­al­ly on ha­giog­ra­phy.

The Sou­venir (2019)

It would be easy to feel en­raged at the char­ac­ter’s de­ci­sions, had­n’t we all made many of the same ones in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, but even though the film looks gor­geous (as if tru­ly shot in the ear­ly 1980s), Hog­g’s dry ap­proach puts us at a frus­trat­ing dis­tance from what we see here.

Soy­lent Green (1973)

The green­ish cin­e­matog­ra­phy and ’70s vi­su­als for a fu­tur­ist dystopia look ter­ri­bly dat­ed to­day, and even if the film has an in­ter­est­ing idea and a beau­ti­ful death scene, Fleischer’s di­rec­tion (more fo­cused on the pro­ce­dur­al and the ac­tion) makes it look sil­ly and unimag­i­na­tive.

Spar­ta­cus (1960)

The only film that Kubrick didn’t have con­trol of, this sump­tu­ous and for­ev­er in­flu­en­tial sword-and-san­dal epic bal­ances quite well its campy mo­ments with scenes of dra­mat­ic in­ten­si­ty but also has a messy script full of mor­al­iz­ing and con­fus­ing be­hav­ior from most of its char­ac­ters.

The Spec­tac­u­lar Now (2013)

Teller and Wood­ley are ex­cel­lent and have an im­pres­sive chem­istry to­geth­er in this sin­cere com­ing-of-age dra­ma that feels more real and ma­ture than most films alike, and it even ven­tures into a sur­pris­ing­ly bleak ter­ri­to­ry with­out the need to go for clichés and con­trivances.

Spec­tral (2016)

The premise is in­ter­est­ing and the vi­su­al ef­fects are very good, but the plot is ab­surd and full of holes (the se­ries of ex­pos­i­to­ry ex­pla­na­tions in the end makes very lit­tle sense when you stop to think about it), feel­ing more like video game ac­tion than smart sci­ence fic­tion.

Spec­tre (2015)

It de­serves cred­it for its tech­ni­cal vir­tu­os­i­ty, great vi­su­als and thrilling ac­tion scenes, but in its at­tempt to wrap up Craig’s films as all part of a ma­jor sto­ry­line, it is made too self-im­por­tant and com­pli­cat­ed for a 007 movie – the villain’s back­sto­ry in­volv­ing Bond, for in­stance, is pa­thet­ic.

Spell­bound (1945)

A poor­ly-writ­ten film that de­serves more cred­it for a sur­re­al dream se­quence de­signed by Sal­vador Dalí than a dat­ed plot full of holes and ca­su­al sex­ism – es­pe­cial­ly how, for some­one who is sup­posed to be so ra­tio­nal, Bergman’s char­ac­ter is more stu­pid than our pa­tience can take.

Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing (2017)

With a re­fresh­ing ado­les­cent vibe and great per­for­mances by Tom Hol­land and Michael Keaton (who plays a sur­pris­ing­ly nu­anced vil­lain who has un­der­stand­able mo­ti­va­tions), this is a very en­ter­tain­ing su­per­hero movie that is also smart to skip the char­ac­ter’s over-told ori­gins.

Spi­der-Man: Far from Home (2019)

I guess it would be too much to hope that a Mar­vel movie does­n’t end in a tire­some CGI fest that makes us feel like watch­ing some­one else play­ing video game, but for the most part, this is a fresh chap­ter that can be quite fun­ny and even more en­ter­tain­ing when hav­ing fun with il­lu­sions.

Spi­der-Man: Into the Spi­der-Verse (2018)

While the con­cept of al­ter­nate re­al­i­ties has al­ready in­spired a num­ber of sto­ries that pushed the en­ve­lope way far­ther than what we see here, this is still a very en­ter­tain­ing, dy­nam­ic and vi­su­al­ly amaz­ing movie that looks per­fect as a three-di­men­sion­al ver­sion of off­set-print­ed comics.

The Spir­it of the Bee­hive (1973)

A bril­liant and spell­bind­ing so­ciopo­lit­i­cal com­men­tary told in a most sym­bol­ic way (and with a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy) as a fab­u­lous tale of loss of in­no­cence cen­tered on a sweet 7‑year-old girl who dis­cov­ers evil at the heart of her bee­hive-like world in Fran­coist Spain.

Spir­it­ed Away (2001)

A re­mark­ably in­no­v­a­tive and ex­treme­ly bizarre ver­sion of Al­ice in Won­der­land that may even be too somber for small­er chil­dren while more fas­ci­nat­ing to adults, and it is not only per­fect due to its episod­ic struc­ture that also los­es mo­men­tum and de­cel­er­ates in the third act.

Splice (2009)

It is frus­trat­ing to see such a fan­tas­tic idea and amaz­ing de­vel­op­ment lead to a dis­ap­point­ing end­ing. The whole film builds as an in­tel­li­gent and com­pelling sci-fi dra­ma un­til Vin­cen­zo Na­tali fi­nal­ly de­cides in the last fif­teen min­utes that it should be in fact a stu­pid hor­ror sto­ry.

Split (2016)

Not even James McAvoy’s stel­lar per­for­mance can save this pre­dictable, poor­ly-di­rect­ed and stu­pid thriller plagued with heavy-hand­ed di­a­logue and with such an ab­surd dis­re­gard for log­ic or co­her­ence — even more so when we learn about a cer­tain name in a ridicu­lous third act.

Spot­light (2015)

An ex­cel­lent en­sem­ble cast film whose main strength lies in its su­perb per­for­mances and a fas­ci­nat­ing, well-writ­ten nar­ra­tive that re­counts the ef­forts of a group of com­mit­ted jour­nal­ists to get to the bot­tom and ex­pose a re­volt­ing truth – some­thing that is sad­ly be­com­ing so rare nowa­days.

Spring Break­ers (2012)

Af­ter see­ing it a sec­ond time, it is eas­i­er to see where Ko­rine wants to get at with this over­styl­ish mock­ery of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety, even though his hand is too heavy some­times, but he does have con­vic­tion and the cin­e­matog­ra­phy is stun­ning and filled with tox­ic sex­i­ness.

Spy (2015)

An en­ter­tain­ing, imag­i­na­tive and ab­solute­ly hi­lar­i­ous James Bond spoof the kind that only Paul Feig could have come up with – re­al­ly, I can’t re­mem­ber laugh­ing this hard in a long time -, and it of­fers thrilling ac­tion scenes and ben­e­fits most­ly from McCarthy’s end­less charis­ma and tal­ent.

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

This movie is a lit­tle (too) much, but the most ir­ri­tat­ing is that it was made by a woman — a woman who does­n’t seem to re­al­ize how ir­ri­tat­ing it is to fol­low two stereo­typ­i­cal­ly dumb Amer­i­can women who are very lucky not to get killed af­ter five min­utes (though we wish they did).

The Square (2013)

The di­rec­tion is not flaw­less, with the cam­era con­stant­ly go­ing out of fo­cus, but this es­sen­tial film re­mains an in­spir­ing tes­ta­ment to the pow­er of protests and the voice of the peo­ple, es­pe­cial­ly in times when re­bel­lions ought to come up every­where against abu­sive regimes.

The Square (2017)

Just like with Force Ma­jeure, Östlund cre­ates an­oth­er in­tel­li­gent, fun­ny and al­ways grip­ping satire cen­tered on char­ac­ters who are forced to go through em­bar­rass­ing sit­u­a­tions, ques­tion­ing also what Art re­al­ly means while ex­pos­ing the hyp­o­crit­i­cal an­i­mals that we are.

Stage­coach (1939)

How riv­et­ing it is to be im­mersed in this clas­sic in­flu­en­tial West­ern that is not only en­ter­tain­ing and ex­cit­ing but is above all a sin­cere sto­ry that al­ways rings true with its un­for­get­table gallery of three-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters who grow on us and make us care so much about them.

Sta­lag 17 (1953)

A spec­tac­u­lar prison camp dra­ma that re­lies on an in­trigu­ing, com­pelling mys­tery while also be­ing quite fun­ny and touch­ing when show­ing the ca­ma­raderie be­tween the pris­on­ers of Bar­rack 4, with nu­mer­ous mem­o­rable scenes that make it an un­miss­able clas­sic.

Stalk­er (1979)

It may be a tough sit-through to some as it is not as emo­tion­al­ly en­gag­ing as Tarkovsky’s mag­nif­i­cent So­laris, but it is hard not to be mes­mer­ized by this stun­ning­ly meta­phys­i­cal and philo­soph­i­cal al­le­go­ry of hu­man de­sire and our search for hap­pi­ness.

Stan & Ol­lie (2018)

The two ac­tors (es­pe­cial­ly Coogan) are fan­tas­tic, em­body­ing their char­ac­ters so faith­ful­ly that it seems like they have been play­ing them to­geth­er for­ev­er, and it is great to see how this film pays homage to those com­e­dy leg­ends with a bal­anced com­bi­na­tion of slap­stick and melan­choly.

The Stand (1994)

Even with a run­time of 6 hours that could have been used to de­vel­op so many ideas brought up by its epic premise, this minis­eries made for TV clear­ly lacks depth and feels more like a long se­ries of moves and ac­tions to reach an apoc­a­lyp­tic con­clu­sion that is only dis­ap­point­ing af­ter all.

A Star Is Born (1937)

For a film about act­ing, it is frus­trat­ing that we nev­er see how Es­ther’s evolves or Nor­man’s gets worse; be­sides, this feels com­plete­ly dat­ed now, shift­ing fo­cus halfway through from its weak fe­male pro­tag­o­nist to a self­ish male and com­ing off as aw­ful­ly sex­ist with its tra­di­tion­al val­ues.

A Star Is Born (1954)

For­get the 1937 ver­sion, this is a much su­pe­ri­or re­make that does right every­thing (ex­cept for that aw­ful last line) that the orig­i­nal film did wrong (at least for lat­er stan­dards), with Gar­land in a stel­lar per­for­mance es­pe­cial­ly dur­ing her “Some­one at Last” num­ber in the liv­ing room.

A Star Is Born (1976)

Bar­bra Streisand is bizarrely mis­cast and has no chem­istry what­so­ev­er with Kris Kristof­fer­son, which makes it baf­fling to see a movie so com­plete­ly lost about what it is do­ing, as it can’t even re­al­ize that its two singing char­ac­ters would nev­er have the same pub­lic in real life.

A Star Is Born (2018)

Each A Star Is Born is a prod­uct of its time, and this one is no dif­fer­ent: made in a dig­i­tal era of vi­ral videos and pop stars that can be born overnight, this is an in­fi­nite­ly more re­al­is­tic and sin­cere ver­sion (both in plot and struc­ture) com­pared to all oth­ers be­fore.

Star Trek: The Mo­tion Pic­ture (1979)

The main prob­lem with this first Star Trek film is that it is not orig­i­nal at all and looks more like a stretched TV episode that tries too hard to be 2001: A Space Odyssey, drag­ging end­less­ly in long, con­tem­pla­tive scenes that seem to ex­ist only to show the high­er bud­get.

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

An ex­cep­tion­al movie that of­fers every­thing that a Star Trek fan could ask and more: won­der­ful per­for­mances, en­gag­ing dra­ma, ten­sion, mem­o­rable di­a­logue, a fas­ci­nat­ing vil­lain bent on re­venge and an in­cred­i­bly well-con­struct­ed plot with an un­for­get­table end­ing.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

This third Star Trek film works as a bridge be­tween the sec­ond and the fourth cin­e­mat­ic chap­ters, with de­cent dra­ma and good per­for­mances by our well-known cast, even if the plot is su­per con­ve­nient and lacks the same im­pact of The Wrath of Khan.

Star Trek IV: The Voy­age Home (1986)

The voy­age home is the re­turn to the sta­tus quo now that Spock is back to the crew where he be­longs, and this is the light­est of the Star Trek movies, a de­light­ful yet not-that-orig­i­nal in­cur­sion into com­e­dy with a hi­lar­i­ous di­a­logue and a very wel­come eco­log­i­cal sto­ry.

Star Trek V: The Fi­nal Fron­tier (1989)

While con­sid­ered by many as the worst of the Star Trek films – and it cer­tain­ly does have prob­lems -, The Fi­nal Fron­tier is rather en­joy­able and has some mem­o­rable mo­ments that only fail to raise it to a high­er lev­el due to a clear lack of bet­ter pol­ish­ing.

Star Trek VI: The Undis­cov­ered Coun­try (1991)

The last chap­ter of TOS films is an ex­cel­lent farewell for Cap­tain Kirk and his crew, con­clud­ing their long jour­ney with a smart po­lit­i­cal mys­tery that clev­er­ly par­al­lels the end of the Cold War and em­braces a fu­ture that bears new ad­ven­tures for the Next Gen­er­a­tion En­ter­prise.

Star Trek: Gen­er­a­tions (1994)

The first Next Gen­er­a­tion film is un­for­tu­nate­ly a big mess that uses a con­fus­ing plot de­vice to bid a ridicu­lous adieu to Cap­tain Kirk in or­der to give space to Cap­tain Picard’s crew in the Star Trek movies – and sad­ly not even its un­nec­es­sary sub­plot makes it worth see­ing.

Star Trek: First Con­tact (1996)

The eighth Star Trek film (and sec­ond of The Next Gen­er­a­tion) boasts in­cred­i­ble spe­cial ef­fects and make­up, as well as an ur­gent plot and a most sin­is­ter, ter­ri­fy­ing vil­lain – and the sub­plot in­volv­ing Data cap­tured by the Borg is cer­tain­ly the best thing in it.

Star Trek: In­sur­rec­tion (1998)

The best of the odd-num­bered Star Trek films, In­sur­rec­tion doesn’t boast nasty vil­lains or ter­ri­ble dan­gers but plays like a great ex­tend­ed TV episode, with a com­pelling plot that works as a smart po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary on West­ern im­pe­ri­al­ism.

Star Trek: Neme­sis (2002)

Even though it has an in­ter­est­ing premise, this is an aw­ful con­clu­sion for TNG and seems like a shame­less re­hash of The Wrath of Khan, only the vil­lain is com­plete­ly lame, with very stu­pid mo­ti­va­tions, and the con­clu­sion a pa­thet­ic cop-out for the en­tire se­ries.

Star Trek Into Dark­ness (2013)

A sol­id al­ter­nate sto­ry that ought to leave most trekkies and afi­ciona­dos with ma­jor goose­bumps thanks to its many awe­some and well-in­spired ref­er­ences – which com­pen­sate for how for­mu­la­ic and in­tense­ly ac­tion-ori­ent­ed it aims to be above every­thing else.

Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awak­ens (2015)

It may not be an ex­am­ple of orig­i­nal­i­ty (let’s face it, this episode is ba­si­cal­ly a re­hash of A New Hope, fol­low­ing to the let­ter the struc­ture of that movie), but even so it is a won­der­ful, nos­tal­gic re­turn to the orig­i­nal films while in­cred­i­bly fresh and thrilling as a fol­low-up as well.

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017)

Do­ing a fan­tas­tic job in flesh­ing out its char­ac­ters and their mo­ti­va­tions even more amid ex­cit­ing bat­tle scenes and in­tel­li­gent twists, The Last Jedi proves to be one of the most ma­ture, epic and con­sis­tent films of the fran­chise to date in the way it ex­plores its main themes.

Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Sky­walk­er (2019)

This is the de­f­i­n­i­tion of fan ser­vice, when a bunch of peo­ple want so des­per­ate­ly to please the an­gry fans that they res­ur­rect dead char­ac­ters and strug­gle to course-cor­rect every­thing that made the pre­vi­ous movie so in­ter­est­ing in or­der to make a harm­less com­mer­cial prod­uct de­void of imag­i­na­tion.

Star­buck (2011)

I find it sur­pris­ing that no one has ever come up with this in­cred­i­bly orig­i­nal and ter­rif­ic idea be­fore, and even bet­ter is how it is de­vel­oped with so much hu­mor and ten­der­ness into a de­light­ful feel-good movie that will prob­a­bly leave you think­ing how lucky Star­buck is.

Starred Up (2013)

Writ­ten by an ac­tu­al ther­a­pist fol­low­ing his own ex­pe­ri­ences, this grip­ping dra­ma of­fers an ex­treme­ly re­al­is­tic view of prison that makes us feel like watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary, and it is bru­tal and touch­ing when it needs to be, an­chored by su­perb per­for­mances (O’Connell is a rev­e­la­tion).

Star­ry Eyes (2014)

A sol­id movie that may be too vi­o­lent and dis­turb­ing for a lot of view­ers as it shows a nasty, grotesque view of Hol­ly­wood and am­bi­tion, and it makes the best use of a fan­tas­tic syn­the­siz­er score as well as an out­stand­ing make­up and sound de­sign that will make you writhe in an­guish.

Sta­tions of the Cross (2014)

A thought-pro­vok­ing and pro­found­ly dis­turb­ing film that ex­pos­es the harm­ful side of re­li­gion and faith, di­rect­ed with a note­wor­thy for­mal rig­or in most­ly sta­t­ic long takes and with a skill­ful mise-en-scène that un­der­lines the over­whelm­ing pres­sure that the pro­tag­o­nist is liv­ing un­der.

Stay­ing Ver­ti­cal (2016)

I like Guiraudie’s usu­al de­tached style and odd­ball ap­proach, but while I find this film gen­er­al­ly in­ter­est­ing and en­joy­able, it is hard to shake the feel­ing that it does­n’t have that much to say or even fo­cus when telling this pass­able char­ac­ter study about a con­fused writer.

The Steam Ex­per­i­ment (2009)

A de­ment­ed pro­fes­sor wants to prove the ef­fects of glob­al warm­ing by lock­ing six peo­ple in a Turk­ish steam room, which only proves that he is one of the most stu­pid vil­lains ever. But the only thing more baf­fling than this ridicu­lous premise is the movie’s aw­ful de­vel­op­ment.

Steam­boat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Keaton was an in­com­pa­ra­ble ge­nius and this is made pret­ty ev­i­dent in the film’s ex­cep­tion­al­ly well-di­rect­ed third act, when he tries every­thing to es­cape a storm and sur­pris­es us with his in­cred­i­ble au­dac­i­ty and end­less dis­po­si­tion to put him­self in life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions.

Steel Mag­no­lias (1989)

This bit­ter­sweet dra­ma has a very nice cast and de­serves cred­it for mak­ing us laugh and cry at the same time even in its most melo­dra­mat­ic scenes, but the film’s last sev­en min­utes are sim­ply aw­ful and should have been ex­cised from it with­out any mer­cy.

Step Broth­ers (2008)

With so much that is quite re­tard­ed here, this is ac­tu­al­ly a hi­lar­i­ous Ap­a­towian com­e­dy that works so well es­pe­cial­ly thanks to Will Fer­rell and John C. Reil­ly, who can be very charis­mat­ic play­ing two clue­less id­iots and have a great on­screen chem­istry to­geth­er.

Stereo (1969)

Cronenberg’s first film should only please fans of his work, since it bor­ders on pre­ten­tious (it is even hard to know weath­er it is meant to be tak­en se­ri­ous or not) with poor­ly-edit­ed, seem­ing­ly ran­dom im­ages ac­com­pa­nied by a voice-over that is pure te­dious psy­chob­a­b­ble.

Steve Jobs (2015)

An in­tel­li­gent and well-act­ed char­ac­ter study that avoids be­ing an­oth­er full-life biopic about Steve Jobs and does in­stead a re­mark­able job in flesh­ing out his per­son­al­i­ty through three pub­lic events in his life and a few flash­backs — which, in turn, suf­fer a bit from some clum­sy edit­ing.

Still Al­ice (2014)

Moore is ter­rif­ic in this heart­break­ing dra­ma, con­vey­ing with full aban­don every painful stage of a dread­ful dis­ease as her char­ac­ter strug­gles to hold on to her mem­o­ries, while the nice use of long-fo­cus lens­es is key to show her dis­ori­en­ta­tion and dis­con­nec­tion from the world around her.

Still Life (2013)

Nu­anced even in its small­est de­tails, and with an im­pres­sive per­for­mance by Ed­die Marsan and a pre­cious art di­rec­tion that tells a lot about his char­ac­ter, this sub­tle film is also a del­i­cate study on death and lone­li­ness, al­though it ends with an abrupt, an­ti­cli­mac­tic con­clu­sion.

Still Orang­utans (2007)

It does­n’t mat­ter whether this film was en­tire­ly shot in one long take as was claimed, since the re­sult is pret­ty im­pres­sive any­way, es­pe­cial­ly as it finds ways to blend dreams with re­al­i­ty and ma­nip­u­late time with­out a sin­gle vis­i­ble cut to ruin such an al­most sur­re­al ex­pe­ri­ence.

Still the Wa­ter (2014)

How­ev­er de­scribed by Kawase as her mas­ter­piece, this is in fact just an­oth­er of her typ­i­cal­ly pre­ten­tious and slug­gish films that want to be po­et­ic and see beau­ty in the small things of life, death and love, but the con­flicts here feel forced and there is not enough con­sis­ten­cy.

The Sting (1973)

Paul New­man and Robert Red­ford shine to­geth­er in this bril­liant and huge­ly amus­ing ca­per film that of­fers us, among many no­table qual­i­ties, a mar­velous pro­duc­tion de­sign and an in­ge­nious (and un­pre­dictable) plot that plays like a re­fined sleight-of-hand trick.

Stok­er (2013)

Wasikowska’s creepy and hard­ly bear­able char­ac­ter is only one the prob­lems of this mis-struc­tured thriller that also tries to ex­tract ten­sion from a mys­tery that we don’t even know is there – and when it is fi­nal­ly re­vealed, every­thing that fol­lows is made en­tire­ly pre­dictable.

Stonewall (2015)

I can’t shake the feel­ing that this cheap fan­ta­sy is Emmerich’s Show­girls, with cheap act­ing, di­a­logue and struc­ture (what’s with those in­tru­sive flash­backs?), and it re­duces the Stonewall ri­ots to a mi­nor scuf­fle in the life of a white-bread, Dorothy-like jock in Christo­pher Street the Land of Oz.

Sto­ries We Tell (2012)

Pol­ley sur­pris­es us with the brave and un­re­served way that she ex­pos­es her family’s se­crets while try­ing to ex­tract a mean­ing from her quest, even if she doesn’t seem to know ex­act­ly how to end it, go­ing a bit longer past what should have been its con­clu­sion.

The Sto­ry of Adele H. (1975)

Is­abelle Ad­jani is out­stand­ing as an emo­tion­al­ly and psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly un­sta­ble young woman dri­ven to mad­ness by un­re­quit­ed love and ob­ses­sion, in a gor­geous pe­ri­od dra­ma that also im­press­es for its stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy and pro­duc­tion de­sign.

The Sto­ry of Film: An Odyssey (2011)

Mark Cousins knows a lot about Cin­e­ma and did an im­pres­sive re­search, but un­for­tu­nate­ly his voice in­flec­tion makes it a tor­ture to lis­ten to him for 15 hours, while his love for hy­per­boles weak­ens the ma­te­r­i­al and his in­fer­ences are usu­al­ly ar­bi­trary and ab­surd.

The Sto­ry of Me (2009)

This Brazil­ian lit­tle dra­ma may be well-in­ten­tioned but is poor­ly ex­e­cut­ed, with an ex­ces­sive (and ob­vi­ous) nar­ra­tion and some aw­ful scenes in slow mo­tion that al­most ruin it, but still the movie gets a bit bet­ter in its sec­ond half thanks to the strength of the sto­ry it­self.

La Stra­da (1954)

Giuli­et­ta Masi­na lends a cap­ti­vat­ing in­no­cence – al­most im­pos­si­ble not to love – to a Chap­lin-like waif while Felli­ni breaks away from ne­o­re­al­ism with this mag­i­cal and whim­si­cal cir­cus fable/road movie that has a beau­ti­ful score by Nino Rota and an un­for­get­table end­ing.

Straight Out­ta Comp­ton (2015)

A very well-di­rect­ed, provoca­tive and com­pre­hen­sive – al­beit a bit over­long – biopic that shines with ex­quis­ite cam­era move­ments and amaz­ing per­for­mances to tell this com­pelling sto­ry of the three men who pop­u­lar­ized the gangs­ta rap move­ment that came up in the 1980s.

The Straight Sto­ry (1999)

An un­usu­al­ly straight­for­ward and del­i­cate film by David Lynch that calls for a bit of pa­tience from the view­er but proves to be ex­treme­ly mov­ing and more than re­ward­ing – and Richard Farnsworth is just won­der­ful, a world of emo­tions con­veyed in every de­tail of his face and ex­pres­sion.

The Strange Case of An­gel­i­ca (2010)

Oliveira is at his most self-in­dul­gent, throw­ing gor­geous vi­su­al com­po­si­tions in a strange film that nev­er de­cides if it is sup­posed to be a tech­ni­cal­ly re­fined dra­ma or a sur­re­al­is­tic com­e­dy, while the ac­tors over­act, the di­a­logue is ter­ri­ble and the non­sen­si­cal plot leads nowhere.

The Strange Col­or of Your Body’s Tears (2013)

A night­mar­ish, LSD-in­duced ex­er­cise of style clear­ly in­spired by the Ital­ian gi­al­lo, tech­ni­cal­ly im­pec­ca­ble and gor­geous, al­though it of­fers lit­tle in terms of nar­ra­tive (or any­thing else to keep us in­ter­est­ed for too long) and is sex­ist to sug­gest that women cor­rupt men, dri­ving them mad with de­sire and fa­tal ob­ses­sion.

The Stranger (1967)

The fact that this is an ex­treme­ly faith­ful, line-by-line adap­ta­tion is iron­i­cal­ly the prob­lem with this film, es­pe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing Mastroiani’s off-the-mark, far-from-nu­anced com­po­si­tion. Be­sides, Visconti’s cheap di­rec­tion doesn’t help with all the hor­ri­ble zooms and in­ept light­ing.

Stranger by the Lake (2013)

Guiraudie de­serves praise for the un­re­strained way he shows male nu­di­ty and ex­plic­it sex, ap­proach­ing all with the lev­el of open­ness that one ex­pects from this kind of provoca­tive, erot­ic thriller, while build­ing it slow­ly in a de­lib­er­ate pace to reach mo­ments of great sus­pense.

Stranger­land (2015)

The cast is ter­rif­ic and this sol­id char­ac­ter study is al­ways en­gag­ing as it ex­am­ines the lack of emo­tion­al sta­bil­i­ty in a dys­func­tion­al fam­i­ly, but it is frus­trat­ing that it ends on an am­bigu­ous note that makes the whole film feel al­most like a good ef­fort for noth­ing.

The Strangers (2008)

An in­con­ceiv­ably hor­rid dis­play of sadism with an amount of stu­pid­i­ty that I can’t re­mem­ber see­ing be­fore (and I re­al­ly want­ed to punch Berti­no in the face for rap­ing my brains like that), re­ly­ing on two char­ac­ters who seem to be com­pet­ing for most shock­ing­ly stu­pid of all time.

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

Skip that atro­cious first movie with Liv Tyler and go for this in­stead, a sur­pris­ing se­quel that may suf­fer from poor char­ac­ter­i­za­tions and char­ac­ters mak­ing dumb de­ci­sions (of course!) but does a nice job keep­ing us tense and in­vest­ed while mak­ing wel­come ref­er­ences to the hor­ror genre.

Strangers on a Train (1951)

An over­rat­ed thriller that does have a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and an in­trigu­ing premise but whose de­vel­op­ment has its share of un­nec­es­sary nar­ra­tive flaws and drags un­for­giv­ably, feel­ing bloat­ed (and even tire­some) with scenes that are elon­gat­ed for too long.

Stray Dogs (2013)

It seems like Tsai is try­ing way too hard to be Tarkovsky (his pre­vi­ous film also gave strong in­di­ca­tions of that) with ex­treme­ly elon­gat­ed sta­t­ic shots that can be re­al­ly tir­ing for most view­ers and di­lutes into near ba­nal­i­ty the strength of the sad sto­ry that he wants to tell.

Stream­ers (1983)

An in­tense and well writ­ten dra­ma that deals with mat­ters like racism, ho­mo­pho­bia, self-ac­cep­tance and the de­hu­man­iz­ing side of war, re­ly­ing on a re­veal­ing di­a­logue and with strong per­for­mances by its en­tire en­sem­ble cast, es­pe­cial­ly Michael Wright and George Dzundza.

A Street­car Named De­sire (1951)

Apart from the won­der­ful di­a­logue and fab­u­lous score, the most fas­ci­nat­ing in this out­stand­ing clas­sic is how it con­trasts the nat­u­ral­is­tic com­po­si­tion of Bran­do with the af­fect­ed man­ner­isms of Leigh, who breaks our hearts as a ter­ri­bly mis­er­able and emo­tion­al­ly frac­tured woman.

Streets of Fire (1984)

It was con­ceived as a “movie about vi­su­als” but nev­er mind, the mu­sic is the only great thing in it – es­pe­cial­ly in the ex­cit­ing open­ing and clos­ing scenes -, since the script is a colos­sal piece of crap with no struc­ture, the di­a­logue is sim­ply aw­ful and the per­for­mances are pa­thet­ic.

The Stroller Strat­e­gy (2012)

It is hard not to fall in love with Raphaël Per­son­naz and Char­lotte Le Bon, who are so charis­mat­ic and have such a great chem­istry to­geth­er in this de­cent French com­e­dy that may be pre­dictable and full of clichés but has its mo­ments and is fun­ny enough to make it worth it.

Strom­boli (1950)

Rosselli­ni scan­dal­ized the Unit­ed States with this ex­cel­lent and dar­ing dra­ma about an un­for­tu­nate woman stuck with small-mind­ed peo­ple on a vol­canic rock, and it hits us with pow­er­ful scenes that are hard to be for­got­ten, like the hor­rif­ic tuna fish­ing and the vol­cano ex­plo­sion.

Strong Is­land (2017)

By struc­tur­ing this film as an in­ti­mate ex­plo­ration of the pain and per­son­al suf­fer­ing that a fam­i­ly was forced to go through fol­low­ing a hor­rif­ic tragedy, Ford cre­ates a poignant and heart­break­ing doc­u­men­tary that ex­pos­es the in­jus­tices of a racist so­ci­ety and jus­tice sys­tem.

Stuck in Love (2012)

De­spite the great sound­track, here is a frus­trat­ing movie that shows every sign that it could have been great, with a lot to say about mov­ing on and open­ing our hearts up to some­thing new, but the pay­off is con­trived and doesn’t ring half as true as what came be­fore it.

The Stu­dent and Mis­ter Hen­ri (2015)

The mu­sic is cliched and Mr. Henri’s feel­ings for Con­stance grow in a way that seems a bit rushed when you stop to think about it (it made me wish I could know more about his mo­ti­va­tions), but the movie has a heart and is ma­ture enough to be worth our time.

The Stuff (1985)

It is so ap­palling­ly aw­ful that it doesn’t even work as a com­men­tary about the kind of crap peo­ple in­gest with­out know­ing what it is, and so it is only trashy, non­sen­si­cal, with a ridicu­lous sense of hu­mor and ter­ri­bly di­rect­ed by some­one who clear­ly has no idea what mise-en-scène is.

Sub­mer­gence (2017)

It is hard to care about any­thing here: the cheap love sto­ry, the half-baked mo­ti­va­tions or the nu­mer­ous times some­one looks at a cell phone and doesn’t send a mes­sage — and it only works when dis­cussing (yet su­per­fi­cial­ly) the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted in the worst cor­ners of this plan­et.

Sub­ter­râ­neos do Fute­bol (1965)

This looks more like an ap­pen­dix of Gar­rin­cha, Ale­gria do Povo, es­pe­cial­ly due to their sim­i­lar aes­thet­ics (which in­cludes filmed scenes in­ter­cut with still pho­tographs), but the film is as in­ter­est­ing as it is rep­e­ti­tious, with its nar­ra­tor say­ing many times the same thing.

Suck­er Punch (2011)

The hy­per­styl­ized vi­su­als are spec­tac­u­lar and a to­tal de­light, but they are not enough to make up for an emp­ty plot that is al­most un­en­gag­ing, and the idea of mix­ing wux­ia, war movies, Nazi zom­bies and ro­bots is in­deed cu­ri­ous but not suf­fi­cient to be worth our at­ten­tion.

Sue­ly in the Sky (2006)

A de­cep­tive­ly sim­ple dra­ma that works not only as a nu­anced char­ac­ter study about a sin­gle moth­er strug­gling to raise her child but also as a touch­ing so­cial com­men­tary on the mis­er­able con­di­tions faced by those who leave the coun­try­side of Brazil look­ing for a bet­ter chance in life.

Suf­fragette (2015)

I re­al­ly want­ed to like this film for the im­por­tance of what it wants to say, but while it isn’t bad, it is too con­ven­tion­al and marred by some clichés and sil­ly plot de­vices to cre­ate sus­pense – like some­one con­ve­nient­ly find­ing a news­pa­per with an in­for­ma­tion that he needs.

The Sui­cide Shop (2012)

Lecon­te seems un­sure about the tone of the sto­ry, mix­ing play­ful mu­si­cal num­bers with a mor­bid, gloomy sub­ject that is def­i­nite­ly not for chil­dren. At the end, what we are left with is a dis­ap­point­ing an­i­ma­tion that is too dark for kids and too sil­ly and op­ti­mistic for adults.

Sul­ly (2016)

Tom Han­ks and the movie’s last half hour save this lousy ha­giog­ra­phy from be­ing a com­plete dis­as­ter, but that af­ter a lot of hideous, ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue and use­less flash­backs that don’t of­fer any in­sight into any­thing – all just to con­vince us with few ar­gu­ments that he is a hero.

Sum­mer Show­ers (1978)

It is a bit hard to care about most of what we see in this for­get­table dra­ma, since it feels like its dif­fer­ent plot el­e­ments are rather loose and don’t re­al­ly come to­geth­er as a whole, even though the scene be­tween Jof­fre Soares and Míri­am Pires in the end is quite touch­ing.

Sum­mer­time (2015)

An en­gag­ing love sto­ry that feels so rel­e­vant in our times con­sid­er­ing that same-sex mar­riage was a much dis­cussed top­ic in France only two years be­fore it came out, and it is also a ma­ture film about how we must live with the choic­es that we make in life but can­not un­make.

Sun­rise: A Song of Two Hu­mans (1927)

The ul­ti­mate silent film, re­leased right af­ter the talkies had al­ready be­come a re­al­i­ty. Fea­tur­ing some splen­did su­per­im­po­si­tions and im­pos­si­ble cam­era move­ments, this won­der­ful movie is both an im­pres­sive tech­ni­cal achieve­ment and a beau­ti­ful sto­ry about love.

Sun­set (2018)

Em­ploy­ing his trade­mark sto­ry­telling style to fol­low a pro­tag­o­nist in con­stant move­ment through an un­set­tling night­mare of sounds and co­in­ci­dences, Nemes makes a film that looks like a cross be­tween Son of Saul and Win­ter’s Bone, and yet it can be rep­e­ti­tious and ex­cru­ci­at­ing some­times.

Sun­set Blvd. (1950)

The de­f­i­n­i­tion of time­less clas­sic, su­perbly writ­ten and di­rect­ed, blend­ing dark hu­mor and trag­ic film noir – and it of­fers splen­did per­for­mances by William Hold­en and Glo­ria Swan­son, who play a sar­cas­tic writer and a histri­on­ic diva of yore, re­spec­tive­ly.

Su­per (2010)

Work­ing pret­ty well as a sym­pa­thet­ic char­ac­ter study cen­tered on a right­eous man who be­lieves he is on a di­vine mis­sion from God, this in­spired movie is like a sassy broth­er of Kick-Ass: odd­ly fun­ny, amus­ing and mak­ing no con­ces­sions re­gard­ing its amount of vi­o­lence.

Su­per 8 (2011)

This in­trigu­ing ad­ven­ture is a nos­tal­gic re­turn to the late ’70s and ear­ly ’80s of Spielberg’s movies. But even if it of­fers ex­hil­a­rat­ing vi­su­al ef­fects and sol­id per­for­mances, the poor script gets ru­ined by a lame end­ing that comes with a cheesy res­o­lu­tion for all the con­flicts.

Su­per­Outro (1989)

Bertrand Duarte de­liv­ers an in­tense per­for­mance in this cu­ri­ous sal­ad of in­flu­ences that is brief enough not to over­stay its wel­come, pre­sent­ing us the world as fil­tered by the eyes of a sub­ver­sive schiz­o­phrenic bump and ex­pos­ing how pa­thet­ic Brazil­ian so­ci­ety is.

Sup­port the Girls (2018)

The sense of hu­mor does­n’t al­ways work in this wit­ty com­e­dy, but Regi­na Hall has a lot of charis­ma and is able to make the whole ex­pe­ri­ence more en­joy­able than we might imag­ine, even if the movie los­es en­er­gy and doesn’t seem to know where to go af­ter a cer­tain while.

Su­prema­cy (2014)

Joe An­der­son is a tal­ent­ed, hand­some ac­tor but he can’t save this mud­dled thriller de­void of in­sight and plagued with ridicu­lous di­a­logue, and even the use of flash­backs along the movie is am­a­teur­ish in the way that it tries – and fails – to grad­u­al­ly shape the character’s mo­ti­va­tions.

Su­sana (1951)

This ear­ly Buñuel is in­deed com­pelling, but if he in­tend­ed it as a satire, it sim­ply does­n’t trans­late (the end­ing is em­bar­rass­ing), be­ing in­stead a misog­y­nis­tic melo­dra­ma in which every male is tempt­ed into be­com­ing ob­ses­sive lu­natics by a se­duc­tive, con­niv­ing vix­en.

Sus­pi­cion (1941)

The ro­mance be­tween the two char­ac­ters is de­vel­oped in a clum­sy way in the be­gin­ning, but soon the film grows to be­come a nice, taut thriller di­rect­ed with a firm grip by Hitch­cock, who builds a grip­ping sus­pense that only dis­ap­points in the end with a sil­ly, frus­trat­ing pay­off.

Sus­piria (1977)

Dario Ar­gen­to is not re­al­ly in­ter­est­ed in plot or con­sis­ten­cy here, but rather in cre­at­ing a slow­ly ab­sorb­ing — and un­re­lent­ing — at­mos­phere of ap­pre­hen­sion, with an un­set­tling score, a jaw-drop­ping pro­duc­tion de­sign and a trip­py cin­e­matog­ra­phy of in­tense, sat­u­rat­ed col­ors.

Sus­piria (2018)

While I ad­mire that Guadagni­no’s re­make is so rad­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent from the orig­i­nal clas­sic in terms of aes­thet­ics, nar­ra­tive ap­proach and the themes it touch­es on, it pains me that it takes it­self so se­ri­ous­ly try­ing to be about too many things at once but in a rather in­con­sis­tent way.

Suza­ku (1997)

A del­i­cate dra­ma that ef­fort­less­ly cap­tures the idyl­lic at­mos­phere of its lo­ca­tions be­fore hit­ting us with the heavy weight of a tragedy. It is only a pity, though, that the film’s non-pro­fes­sion­al ac­tors are not al­ways that good and that soon it starts to drift and be­come a bit rep­e­ti­tious.

Swades: We, the Peo­ple (2004)

What seems to be at first a pre­dictable and clichéd Bol­ly­wood ro­mance turns out to be a sur­pris­ing­ly sin­cere sto­ry full of heart and con­vic­tion that ar­gues in fa­vor of the im­por­tance and ne­ces­si­ty of so­cial changes (es­pe­cial­ly in In­dia), of­fer­ing a mod­ern view on tra­di­tion and progress.

The Swim­ming Pool (1969)

What this sen­su­ous, provoca­tive and el­e­gant French film does so re­mark­ably well is sus­tain a con­stant ten­sion in the air be­tween its char­ac­ters, be it of a sex­u­al na­ture or un­spo­ken thoughts that are con­veyed most­ly through mean­ing­ful looks and glances.

Swim­ming Pool (2003)

An ab­sorb­ing and high­ly stim­u­lat­ing film that in­trigu­ing­ly dis­solves the bar­ri­er that sep­a­rates re­al­i­ty and fic­tion to tell a strange sto­ry about that point of an artist’s cre­ative process when she has to search in­side her­self to reach that sparkle of in­spi­ra­tion that eludes her.

Swiss Army Man (2016)

It is one of those movies that seem like tai­lor-made for Sun­dance, so in­sane­ly quirky and try­ing so hard to be ex­tra­or­di­nary that the quirk­i­ness feels like an end in it­self; even so, the ac­tors are good enough to raise it above its lim­i­ta­tions and it works bet­ter than we would imag­ine.

Switch­blade Ro­mance (2003)

A trashy and ex­treme­ly gory slash­er that does have its tense mo­ments here and there but sinks like a rock with an in­cred­i­bly stu­pid pro­tag­o­nist and a twist so aw­ful, re­tard­ed, of­fen­sive and ab­solute­ly non­sen­si­cal in the end that it should leave most peo­ple ut­ter­ly in­fu­ri­at­ed.

The Sword in the Stone (1963)

Even if it doesn’t have much fo­cus and be­comes pre­dictable to­wards the end, this is an amus­ing Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion with a nice mes­sage for chil­dren about the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion – and the whole squir­rel se­quence is es­pe­cial­ly hi­lar­i­ous and fun.

Sym­pa­thy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

The first film of Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Tril­o­gy is this in­tense, trag­ic and high­ly styl­ish thriller/bloodbath that plunges its mis­er­able char­ac­ters into a bleak and in­escapable cir­cle of mis­for­tunes and re­venge.

Syn­chronic­i­ty (2015)

It wants to be a smart low-bud­get sci­ence fic­tion like Primer com­bined with ro­mance, film noir and a twisty plot like Time­crimes (which gen­er­al­ly works), but it is also full of clichés (what’s with all those ridicu­lous lens flares?) and feels like a com­plete­ly missed op­por­tu­ni­ty.

Syn­dromes and a Cen­tu­ry (2006)

The em­per­or has no clothes, and I can’t see any point in try­ing to look for a pur­pose in this in­fu­ri­at­ing and self-in­dul­gent ex­per­i­ment that finds it­self much more orig­i­nal and in­ven­tive than it is but has the same ef­fect of ran­dom im­ages of just about any­thing on a blank screen.

Syn­onyms (2019)

For a while, the im­pres­sion we have is that this film does­n’t have that much struc­ture, as things just seem to hap­pen ran­dom­ly to the pro­tag­o­nist (played by an ex­cel­lent Tom Merci­er), but in fact this ap­par­ent non-lin­ear­i­ty works as a clever re­flec­tion of his un­bal­anced psy­cho­log­i­cal state.

THX 1138 (1971)

An ex­ces­sive­ly cold sci-fi that doesn’t de­serve cred­it for its plot (Lu­cas doesn’t seem to care enough about ex­plor­ing his ideas to come up with a con­sis­tent so­cial com­men­tary) as it does for its tech­ni­cal mer­its, with a great use of vi­su­al ef­fects and nice sound de­sign.

Tabloid (2010)

While the film bor­ders some­times on the sen­sa­tion­al­ism that it crit­i­cizes (even vis­i­bly de­light­ing in how bizarre this whole sto­ry is), Mor­ris finds a per­fect an­chor for it in the lu­di­crous way the tabloid me­dia ex­ploit any­thing that is crazy enough to at­tract read­ers.

Tabu (2012)

With a gor­geous black-and-white cin­e­matog­ra­phy and an im­pres­sive the­mat­ic rig­or, this is a wel­come sur­prise of tremen­dous po­et­ry, a film that con­fronts frus­tra­tion and mem­o­ry as a lyri­cal homage to silent movies ac­com­pa­nied by a haunt­ing nar­ra­tion.

The Tai­lor of Pana­ma (2001)

Some­times messy and a bit too im­plau­si­ble to be tak­en se­ri­ous, this is not one of the best John le Car­ré adap­ta­tions, but still it has some good per­for­mances (Rush, Bros­nan and Cur­tis) in an av­er­age spy sto­ry that most of the time man­ages to be pret­ty en­ter­tain­ing.

Take Shel­ter (2011)

A com­pelling, gloomy and un­set­tling al­le­go­ry that moves in a care­ful slow pace to­wards a glo­ri­ous con­clu­sion and is cen­tered on a mod­ern Noah, para­noid and on the verge of a men­tal break­down, played with such an ex­tra­or­di­nary in­ten­si­ty by Michael Shan­non.

Take the Mon­ey and Run (1969)

It doesn’t mat­ter how I look at it, the hu­mor of this ear­ly Wood Allen semi-mock­u­men­tary doesn’t work for me at all with those gags that may look great on pa­per but are a fail­ure on screen, and it is just ir­ri­tat­ing to see one fun­ny joke for every three or four ter­ri­ble ones.

Take This Waltz (2011)

De­spite its mi­nor flaws, which in­cludes a clum­sy be­gin­ning that re­lies on many co­in­ci­dences, this bit­ter­sweet dra­ma sur­pris­ing­ly grows to be­come quite ma­ture and re­veal­ing, mak­ing nat­ur­al even the seem­ing­ly con­trived re­la­tion­ship be­tween the char­ac­ter and her hus­band.

Take Your Pills (2018)

Per­haps this film also suf­fers from ADHD, be­cause it shoots in a lot of di­rec­tions with­out de­vel­op­ing sev­er­al points (like mi­cro­dos­ing, for ex­am­ple). And I’m not even sure where it stands with re­gard to the con­sump­tion of those pills, even if it un­der­stands the com­plex­i­ty of the sub­ject.

Tak­en 2 (2012)

This cheap se­quel is ba­si­cal­ly a re­hash of the first movie, only with a few changes to make it look orig­i­nal – some­thing that not even that pre­vi­ous chap­ter was. And it is less ex­cit­ing and even more im­plau­si­ble.

Tak­en 3 (2014)

Besson and Mega­ton have ap­par­ent­ly de­cid­ed that they could come up with any crap to jus­ti­fy an­oth­er se­quel, and so they don’t mind in­sult­ing our in­tel­li­gence with a stu­pid plot full of ridicu­lous con­trivances and aw­ful, chopped-up edit­ing that doesn’t let us see any­thing.

The Tak­ing of Deb­o­rah Lo­gan (2014)

It is ab­solute­ly ridicu­lous that a woman in such ad­vanced state of Alzheimer’s wouldn’t be com­mit­ted im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter prov­ing to be a se­ri­ous dan­ger to her­self and to oth­ers, but this is just one of the many prob­lems in a sil­ly, un­scary plot that re­cy­cles every cliché pos­si­ble.

Tak­ing Wood­stock (2009)

Lee’s film man­ages to cap­ture the groovy vibe of the fa­mous fes­ti­val, al­though it doesn’t quite de­vel­op the pro­tag­o­nist very well and isn’t that re­veal­ing about the mag­ic of Wood­stock it­self. The re­sult is en­joy­able yet def­i­nite­ly un­der­whelm­ing.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

That the ti­tle of the orig­i­nal folk­tale places its im­por­tance on the bam­boo cut­ter is symp­to­matic of those un­grate­ful times for women like our trag­ic hero­ine, and this is a gor­geous-look­ing, sad sto­ry whose only flaw is a frus­trat­ing sug­ges­tion that its most beau­ti­ful scene could be a dream.

Tale of Tales (2015)

The cos­tume de­sign and art di­rec­tion stand out in this messy film that lacks co­he­sion and suf­fers from se­ri­ous tonal prob­lems as it moves from amus­ing dark farce into some­thing un­com­fort­ably grotesque — and it is frus­trat­ing that it does­n’t seem to go any­where.

A Tale of Two Sis­ters (2003)

Some­times it is bet­ter for a film to be more straight­for­ward in or­der to work, and this sin­is­ter Asian hor­ror movie is iron­i­cal­ly too un­pre­dictable for its own good and fails to be as scary as it be­lieves to be (and that is be­cause it is so strange­ly con­fus­ing un­til the end).

Tales of Ter­ror (1962)

An un­even an­thol­o­gy of Poe sto­ries in which the finest one is un­for­tu­nate­ly the one that goes for the laughs, but at least Price and Lorre are re­al­ly fun­ny to­geth­er, es­pe­cial­ly in a hi­lar­i­ous wine tast­ing scene that is def­i­nite­ly the best mo­ment in the film.

Talk to Her (2002)

It is easy to read this as an in­sen­si­tive melo­dra­ma that uses the suf­fer­ing of two women to tell a sto­ry about the friend­ship that grows be­tween two men, but the film is ac­tu­al­ly so much more than that, full of nu­ances and tak­ing us in many un­pre­dictable di­rec­tions.

The Tall Man (2012)

An out­ra­geous and painful­ly de­spi­ca­ble piece of garbage that has no un­der­stand­ing of pac­ing and of­fers one of the most moral­ly dis­gust­ing pseu­do-so­ci­o­log­i­cal mes­sages ever com­mit­ted to cel­lu­loid — which leads me to think that Laugi­er is just as re­pul­sive as his work.

Tama­ra Drewe (2010)

A messy dram­e­dy that does­n’t un­der­stand its own char­ac­ters, their mo­ti­va­tions or why they do what they do, and so near­ly every­thing looks fake and im­plau­si­ble here, with a bunch of peo­ple chang­ing their minds at every sec­ond in the kind of flat plot that you find in soap op­eras.

Tam­my (2014)

De­spite be­ing as messy as its pro­tag­o­nist, tonal­ly awk­ward and suf­fer­ing from Tam­my’s poor char­ac­ter­i­za­tion (whose grat­ing per­son­al­i­ty seems to os­cil­late every oth­er time), this movie can be amus­ing and fun­ny enough thanks to Mc­Carthy, who is able to make its raunchy hu­mor work.

Tan­cre­do: A Trav­es­sia (2010)

As the third film of Tendler’s “in­ter­rupt­ed dreams” tril­o­gy, this is an in­sight­ful and trag­ic doc­u­men­tary about an ad­mirable man — a tact­ful con­cil­ia­tor who would have prob­a­bly been a great pres­i­dent had his life not been cut short to­geth­er with the dreams of those who sought change.

Tan­ger­ine (2015)

A re­fresh­ing proof that you can make a fun­ny and in­sight­ful film with a sim­ple plot, nat­u­ral­is­tic per­for­mances and an iPhone 5s – which adds to it and makes it look even more au­then­tic, like a re­al­is­tic fairy tale in the streets of L.A. (the character’s name is even Sin-Dee Rel­la).

Tan­ger­ines (2013)

With one of the most beau­ti­ful scores of the year, this is a pow­er­ful and deeply melan­choly anti-war sto­ry that uses a long-un­re­solved con­flict to show us how two good, three-di­men­sion­al men could have been friends in dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances had­n’t they been caught on op­po­site sides of a war.

Tan­gled (2010)

A very pleas­ant and de­light­ful Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion with as­ton­ish­ing vi­su­als, great songs and many en­ter­tain­ing mo­ments. It is def­i­nite­ly not one of the best films of the stu­dio nor an in­stant clas­sic but it is a more-than-wel­come re­turn to its tra­di­tion­al fairy-tale sto­ries.

Tan­na (2015)

It is like Romeo and Juli­et (though based on ac­tu­al events) set against the vol­canic land­scapes of a South Pa­cif­ic is­land, of­fer­ing us a peek into a pa­tri­ar­chal so­ci­ety based on arranged mar­riages that forced women to abide by the de­ci­sions that were made for them.

Taran­tu­la (2015)

For a short film that tries so hard (and well) to un­set­tle us with creepy im­ages and com­po­si­tions, it is just ir­ri­tat­ing that there is noth­ing else be­yond that.

Tarzan (1999)

A huge­ly en­ter­tain­ing roller coast­er of a movie that per­fect­ly com­bines 2D an­i­ma­tion with 3D back­ground, daz­zling us with ex­hil­a­rat­ing scenes of Tarzan surf­ing through the jun­gle trees and a clas­sic sto­ry that of­fers a very nice mes­sage about ac­cep­tance and self-iden­ti­ty.

Taste of Cher­ry (1997)

The frus­trat­ing last scene feels like a copout in­clud­ed by Kiarosta­mi only to draw some puz­zling in­tel­lec­tu­al re­ac­tion from his au­di­ence; but still, this is a deeply hu­man film that moves us in its sim­plic­i­ty while nev­er of­fer­ing a rea­son for a man want­i­ng to end his life.

Tat­u­agem (2013)

An ex­cep­tion­al and dar­ing film that show­cas­es the enor­mous tal­ent of a whole en­sem­ble cast and of­fers us a chal­leng­ing sto­ry that bursts with huge sub­ver­sive pow­er and over­whelm­ing sex­u­al in­ten­si­ty as it re­lies most­ly on the fan­tas­tic chem­istry be­tween its two leads.

Taxi (2015)

Panahi dodges his 20-year ban in se­cre­cy with this re­veal­ing and high­ly provoca­tive piece of cin­e­ma ver­ité that says a lot about Iran­ian so­ci­ety in gen­er­al and even finds the most per­fect mo­ment to com­ment on the ab­surd cen­sor­ship rules im­posed on artis­tic free­dom in Iran.

Taxi­der­mia (2006)

An in­ter­est­ing film that may be too re­pul­sive but still we nev­er look away. With a mem­o­rable di­rec­tion and cam­era work, it tells a cyn­i­cal (and of­ten hi­lar­i­ous) sto­ry about three gen­er­a­tions of de­viant men who are a re­flec­tion of Hungary’s His­to­ry since WWII.

Team Amer­i­ca: World Po­lice (2004)

There is al­most noth­ing here of what makes South Park so hi­lar­i­ous, as this is pret­ty much like watch­ing two very dumb sev­en-year-old (Amer­i­can) kids play­ing with their toys for near­ly two hours (and try­ing to be of­fen­sive to­wards every­one) but bare­ly man­ag­ing to be fun­ny.

Ted (2012)

A very fun­ny com­e­dy with a very ob­scene hu­mor, which cu­ri­ous­ly doesn’t come out of­fen­sive from a ted­dy bear’s mouth, but it is also sur­pris­ing­ly warm and sin­cere, show­ing Ted as a com­plex char­ac­ter and mak­ing him to­tal­ly be­liev­able with a flaw­less an­i­ma­tion job.

Ted 2 (2015)

A sol­id se­quel that the­mat­i­cal­ly couldn’t be more rel­e­vant in our times, and if you can take the whole raunch­i­ness of it all, it will also prove to be a very amus­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, even if it is pret­ty pre­dictable to­wards the end – I mean, does any­one re­al­ly not see that com­ing?

Teeth (2007)

As hi­lar­i­ous and au­da­cious as it is shock­ing­ly un­der­rat­ed, this fem­i­nist mas­ter­piece should be the wet dream of any psy­cho­an­a­lyst worth their salt, since it uses a bizarre (but ex­ist­ing) folk tale to bril­liant­ly ex­pose the way our sex­ist cul­ture has for­ev­er de­mo­nized fe­male sex­u­al plea­sure.

Tehilim (2007)

An un­fo­cused dra­ma that, de­spite a promis­ing premise, nev­er delves into the themes that it only touch­es upon, end­ing on a pret­ty vague note – and it doesn’t help at all that the pro­tag­o­nist is such an un­lik­able teenag­er that doesn’t re­al­ly in­spire our sym­pa­thy.

10 (1979)

It is sur­pris­ing that this ex­cel­lent film is so un­der­rat­ed and has nev­er been ap­pre­ci­at­ed as it should be. Dud­ley Moore is a great ac­tor and a great co­me­di­an, and this is a hi­lar­i­ous sto­ry that takes a very hon­est look at the mid­dle age cri­sis and in­choate yearn­ings.

Ten (2002)

For an ex­per­i­men­tal film made in such a sim­ple and min­i­mal­ist way (most­ly im­pro­vised by non-pro­fes­sion­al ac­tors), it is al­ways fas­ci­nat­ing to ob­serve how it com­ments al­most ca­su­al­ly on many as­pects of Iran­ian so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing the role of women from dif­fer­ent points of view.

10 Clover­field Lane (2016)

Sur­pris­ing for not be­ing shot in found-footage form like the first film, this sec­ond Clover­field movie has great per­for­mances and is smart to in­vest in an­oth­er type of sus­pense­ful plot, one that is tense and claus­tro­pho­bic as we fol­low events that take place al­most en­tire­ly in­side a bunker.

The Ter­mi­na­tor (1984)

The ex­hil­a­rat­ing cy­ber­punk clas­sic that start­ed the suc­cess­ful fran­chise, an in­tel­li­gent, well-writ­ten sci­ence-fic­tion that is al­ways ex­treme­ly tense and well paced, of­fer­ing us a ter­ri­fy­ing, in­de­struc­tible vil­lain and the scary view of a bleak post-apoc­a­lyp­tic fu­ture.

Ter­mi­na­tor 2: Judg­ment Day (1991)

Even if it may feel a bit over­long, this fan­tas­tic se­quel is per­haps even more thrilling than the first film, this time in­vest­ing more in the ac­tion and first-rate spe­cial ef­fects with a big­ger bud­get to cre­ate some­thing epic – and it is al­ways awe­some to see Schwarzeneg­ger as the big hero.

Ter­mi­na­tor 3: Rise of the Ma­chines (2003)

An un­nec­es­sary third movie that only re­peats the for­mu­la of the one be­fore, with un­stop­pable (and even tire­some) ac­tion for those who en­joy see­ing cy­borgs de­stroy­ing an en­tire city – and it is easy to no­tice how it de­stroys the con­ti­nu­ity of the se­ries.

Ter­mi­na­tor Sal­va­tion (2009)

This point­less sci-fi ac­tion war film does­n’t add any­thing new to the uni­verse of the se­ries but is nei­ther an em­bar­rass­ment. In fact, the only thing that makes up for its sheer in­con­sis­ten­cies and lack of emo­tion­al res­o­nance is Sam Wor­thing­ton’s com­plex char­ac­ter.

Ter­mi­na­tor Genisys (2015)

This dread­ful se­quel has an am­bi­tious premise but tries so hard to be in­tri­cate and sur­pris­ing that it only grows more and more stu­pid with a hor­ri­ble di­a­logue full of ex­po­si­tion, laugh­able plot in­co­heren­cies, aw­ful at­tempts at hu­mor and brain­less ac­tion scenes that nev­er seem to end.

Terms of En­dear­ment (1983)

A won­der­ful dra­ma that finds a per­fect bal­ance be­tween sweet, hu­mor­ous and sad with sub­lime per­for­mances by the whole cast (main­ly MacLaine and Nichol­son), while the su­perb edit­ing keeps the nar­ra­tive al­ways flu­id as it spans sev­er­al years in the lives of its char­ac­ters.

Ter­ra Deu, Ter­ra Come (2010)

There is not so much that can be fas­ci­nat­ing about a few sim­ple lives dwelling in a tiny lit­tle place for­got­ten by time, but lis­ten­ing to Pe­dro de Alex­i­na’s su­per­sti­tious sto­ries can be quite amus­ing and a nice treat for some time, if only for his charis­ma and in­no­cence when telling them.

La Ter­ra Trema (1948)

A sad­ly mis­guid­ed film that de­serves more cred­it for what it wants to say than for how it does it, since it is marred by stiff, un­nat­ur­al per­for­mances by non-ac­tors (like watch­ing a school play), heavy-hand­ed di­a­logue, a re­dun­dant nar­ra­tion and a for­mal rig­or not so in tune with the kind of ne­o­re­al­ist docu­fic­tion that Vis­con­ti wants to make.

Ter­rafer­ma (2011)

An in­volv­ing sto­ry cen­tered on the con­trast be­tween the tra­di­tions and the needs of a new gen­er­a­tion on an is­land, which is re­flect­ed in the way the young pro­tag­o­nist has to deal with his prob­lems — and the won­der­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy ex­plores re­al­ly well the beau­ti­ful land­scapes.

Tess (1979)

A res­o­nant and vi­su­al­ly stun­ning pe­ri­od piece about a beau­ti­ful but un­for­tu­nate young woman born in an un­grate­ful time and di­vid­ed be­tween two men who are bound to abuse her – and even if the film may feel too long, the cin­e­matog­ra­phy and art di­rec­tion are a mar­vel to be­hold.

The Tes­ta­ment of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

De­spite pac­ing is­sues, a con­fus­ing end­ing and how we are usu­al­ly too many steps ahead of the char­ac­ters, it isn’t hard to un­der­stand why the Third Re­ich, which was a na­tion­al­ist regime that strong­ly de­fend­ed or­der, banned this thought-pro­vok­ing crime film when it came out.

Tetro (2009)

How in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing it is to see a movie so com­pelling, won­der­ful­ly di­rect­ed, tech­ni­cal­ly ex­em­plary and with a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy go into self-de­struc­tion mode in the last thir­ty min­utes, when it gives in to pre­dictable rev­e­la­tions and sil­ly sit­u­a­tions wor­thy of a lame soap opera.

The Texas Chain Saw Mas­sacre (1974)

An un­for­get­table hor­ror clas­sic that proved low bud­get can be ter­ri­fy­ing when done right, tak­ing a care­ful time to build up its ten­sion to an al­most un­bear­able de­gree be­fore fray­ing our nerves to pieces with its hor­ren­dous sadism, hys­ter­i­cal edit­ing and doc­u­men­tary-style cam­er­a­work.

The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre 2 (1986)

A ridicu­lous se­quel that makes you en­dure a bunch of ob­nox­ious hill­bil­lies in a lame and un­scary gorefest, try­ing to be the most grue­some and grotesque it can be but sink­ing deep in its ter­ri­ble at­tempts at a dark com­e­dy.

The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre (2003)

This de­cent re­make is not half as ter­ri­fy­ing and shock­ing as the orig­i­nal mas­ter­piece (how could it be?), while Jes­si­ca Biel pales in (an un­fair) com­par­i­son with Mar­i­lyn Burns, whose ab­solute ter­ror was ev­i­dent there, but the movie does have its good mo­ments.

Thank You for Smok­ing (2005)

With a sol­id per­for­mance from Aaron Eck­hart and of­fer­ing us a de­li­cious­ly clever com­men­tary on rhetoric, Re­it­man’s de­but is an en­joy­able satire — even though it must have looked real nice on pa­per but does­n’t re­al­ly work that well on the screen (es­pe­cial­ly its sense of hu­mor).

That Cold Day in the Park (1969)

An ir­reg­u­lar psy­cho­log­i­cal dra­ma that is well made in some as­pects (es­pe­cial­ly the cin­e­matog­ra­phy and edit­ing) but not so suc­cess­ful in its di­rec­tion, as it fails to en­gage and cre­ate the im­pact that one would ex­pect from this sto­ry of de­ranged lone­li­ness and ma­nip­u­la­tion.

That Man from Rio (1964)

It must think that it is so ex­cit­ing to make Jean-Paul Bel­mon­do run up and down the en­tire movie, but in fact it is only rep­e­ti­tious, pre­dictable and inane, with a sense of hu­mor that usu­al­ly falls flat (de­spite a few good mo­ments) and a loose struc­ture that makes it feel over­long.

That’s It (2008)

I am a suck­er for this kind of film: low-bud­get, ex­per­i­men­tal, about the end of a re­la­tion­ship – the first case of a Brazil­ian in­die pro­duc­tion to make it to na­tion­al dis­tri­b­u­tion. Fun­ny and de­light­ful, it ben­e­fits most­ly from the spon­ta­neous per­for­mances by its main leads, who dis­play a great chem­istry to­geth­er.

Theeb (2014)

A tense and pow­er­ful de­but fea­ture set against the breath­tak­ing vast­ness of the Jor­dan­ian desert and with a de­lib­er­ate pace, an evoca­tive score and as­sured per­for­mances by its non-pro­fes­sion­al Bedouins that are proof of Naji Abu Nowar’s tal­ent in di­rect­ing ac­tors.

Thel­ma (2017)

Though it may seem at first like an un­o­rig­i­nal com­bi­na­tion of Car­rie and Blue Is the Warmest Col­or, Thel­ma is a haunt­ing and some­times pret­ty tense film cen­tered on a young teenage girl from a strong­ly re­li­gious fam­i­ly strug­gling with her sex­u­al im­puls­es and de­sires.

Thel­ma & Louise (1991)

Won­der­ful­ly well act­ed and with a stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy, this de­li­cious road movie finds an aw­ful snow­ball of trou­ble for two un­for­tu­nate women in this sex­ist so­ci­ety – and the set­ting of such sto­ry in the south of the U.S. makes its fem­i­nist state­ment even more sig­nif­i­cant.

Theodori­co, o Im­per­ador do Sertão (1978)

I take care of me and God takes care of the oth­ers,” we hear Theodori­co de­clare in this re­veal­ing doc­u­men­tary made for tele­vi­sion in which he open­ly ex­pos­es his prej­u­dices, self­ish­ness and will to rule over oth­ers in a clear per­pet­u­a­tion of an op­pres­sive sys­tem (see Coro­nelism in Brazil).

The The­o­ry of Every­thing (2014)

Every­thing about its tech­ni­cal as­pects is ob­vi­ous and clichéd – the cin­e­matog­ra­phy, the di­rec­tion, the score – but what lifts this con­ven­tion­al biopic above av­er­age and ba­nal is the strength of its two lead­ing per­for­mances and the im­por­tance of the man who in­spired it.

The­sis (1996)

Amenábar’s low-bud­get de­but stands out as the first dis­play of his tal­ent as both a writer and di­rec­tor, a suf­fo­cat­ing thriller that is not only ex­treme­ly tense and sus­pense­ful but also re­spects the view­er’s in­tel­li­gence and keeps us al­ways en­gaged.

The­sis on a Homi­cide (2013)

Darín is fan­tas­tic as al­ways in this in­tel­li­gent thriller that uses a care­ful ap­proach to re­veal with­out hur­ry the many de­tails of its well-con­struct­ed plot, and it also im­press­es with a great di­rec­tion and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, es­pe­cial­ly in a won­der­ful pan­ning shot close to the end.

They Don’t Wear Black Tie (1981)

Car­los Al­ber­to Ric­cel­li is not a very good ac­tor, and I find it cu­ri­ous how the film seems to judge his char­ac­ter’s (com­plete­ly un­der­stand­able) ac­tions so harsh­ly; but still it it hits the mark with quite a com­plex dis­cus­sion about the fight against la­bor ex­ploita­tion dur­ing hard times.

They Killed My Broth­er (2013)

With an un­ob­tru­sive, low-key ap­proach that does­n’t want to dis­tract us from what he wants to say, Burlan re­turns to a dev­as­tat­ing mo­ment in his fam­i­ly’s past in a touch­ing ef­fort to piece to­geth­er the frag­ments left by a tragedy and ex­am­ine the feel­ings of those who are still alive.

They Live (1988)

For a movie with such an in­trigu­ing idea, it is a real pity to see how su­per­fi­cial and sil­ly this whole ex­e­cu­tion is, marred by lame act­ing, cheesy di­a­logue, too much ac­tion and even in­con­sis­tent ide­ol­o­gy (like with Rod­dy Piper’s char­ac­ter judg­ing the aliens by their ap­pear­ance).

They Look Like Peo­ple (2015)

Mas­culin­i­ty is such a frag­ile lit­tle thing, and this is a creepy low-bud­get psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller that of­fers a cu­ri­ous take on the male fear of los­ing pow­er and con­trol of his life/world, but it is just a pity that the movie is a bit pre­dictable and has a rather im­plau­si­ble end­ing.

The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Er­rol Mor­ris has brought true crime doc­u­men­taries to a high-qual­i­ty lev­el with this in­flu­en­tial, mind-chang­ing and at times quite scary film that of­fers some com­pelling ev­i­dence of how flawed the Amer­i­can jus­tice sys­tem is and how easy it is to con­vict an in­no­cent man of mur­der.

The Thing (1982)

Helped by an evoca­tive score and by as­tound­ing make-up and spe­cial ef­fects, this grue­some sci-fi thriller is sus­pense­ful and cre­ates a high­ly claus­tro­pho­bic at­mos­phere of nerve-wrack­ing para­noia and ten­sion, where no one knows who to trust and any­one can be The Thing.

Things to Come (2016)

There is a cer­tain in­tu­itive feel to Mia Hansen-Løve’s films, as though she prefers to al­ways fol­low her heart in or­der to find a di­rec­tion for her char­ac­ters and nar­ra­tive – which, in turn, ends up be­ing a bit ir­reg­u­lar and repet­i­tive, even if lift­ed by Huppert’s ex­cel­lent per­for­mance.

The Third Man (1949)

De­spite its dis­tract­ing overuse of Dutch an­gle shots, this is a clas­sic film noir craft­ed beau­ti­ful­ly by Reed and Gra­ham Greene (who worked on it by writ­ing his ex­cel­lent novel­la), with a fas­ci­nat­ing vil­lain, a fab­u­lous post-war Vi­en­na as its lo­ca­tion and a per­fect choice for a score.

Third Per­son (2013)

I ad­mire the type of nar­ra­tive ex­er­cise that Hag­gis is aim­ing at here, but the re­sult is pro­lix, con­vo­lut­ed and dis­joint­ed, try­ing to bite off more than it can chew with too many sil­ly rev­e­la­tions and mov­ing from one twist to the next like a messy soap opera.

Thirst (2009)

Al­though some­what ir­reg­u­lar and over­long, this is a won­der­ful­ly styl­ish, well-di­rect­ed and bloody vam­pire Ko­re­an film whose pitch-black hu­mor con­tributes to set a hys­ter­i­cal, huge­ly bizarre tone in Park’s sur­re­al gore fest, with Kim Ok-bin in a price­less per­for­mance.

13 As­sas­sins (2010)

I wish the film had tak­en some time to ex­plore more the 13 as­sas­sins, at least to make us able to bet­ter dis­tin­guish them in the ex­hil­a­rat­ing fi­nal bat­tle, but still Mi­ike crafts a gor­geous and ex­treme­ly in­tense samu­rai epic in the best tra­di­tion of the genre.

13 Min­utes, or Elser (2015)

The kind of run-of-the-mill biopic that seems like a tele­fim, with a con­ven­tion­al script that lays every de­tail out in the open (in case you have any cog­ni­tive prob­lem) and a se­ries of ir­rel­e­vant flash­backs that don’t re­al­ly help us un­der­stand the char­ac­ter as well as they should.

13th (2016)

A pierc­ing, ur­gent and im­pec­ca­bly edit­ed doc­u­men­tary that dis­sects the hor­rif­ic vil­i­fi­ca­tion of African Amer­i­cans and their al­most re­turn to slav­ery in the USA, as well as the flaws and abus­es of the US jus­tice sys­tem, all of which to ben­e­fit cor­po­ra­tions that prof­it from people’s mis­ery.

30 for 30: I Hate Chris­t­ian Laet­tner (2015)

An ex­cel­lent doc­u­men­tary that sets out to ex­am­ine this cu­ri­ous phe­nom­e­non of col­lec­tive ha­tred to­wards a fa­mous per­son and works also as a com­pelling char­ac­ter study about a cocky, hand­some and tal­ent­ed bas­ket­ball play­er who did­n’t mind be­ing hat­ed by every­one.

The 39 Steps (1935)

There are few things like a good thriller with a nice sense of hu­mor, even though the hu­mor doesn’t al­ways work here; and while it is well di­rect­ed and has some clever twists, it re­lies on too many co­in­ci­dences and gets weak­ened by a sil­ly semi-ro­mance that feels al­ways forced.

36 (2012)

I ad­mire the way Tham­ron­grat­ta­narit wants to tell his sto­ry in 36 sim­ple sta­t­ic shots, but the re­sult is not so ef­fec­tive as he takes for grant­ed our en­gage­ment and his scenes feel more like im­pres­sions that, when put to­geth­er, don’t lead to some­thing as telling as it could be.

33 (2002)

I would have loved to see a movie cen­tered ex­clu­sive­ly on that hi­lar­i­ous de­tec­tive Car­los Lac­er­da who talks like a real-life film noir char­ac­ter, but in­stead what we have is a not-so-im­pres­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion that does have nice mo­ments de­spite an ir­ri­tat­ing score and a loose con­clu­sion.

The 33 (2015)

De­spite the good act­ing, this is an unim­pres­sive and bare­ly pass­able movie that fails to be tense and takes for grant­ed our en­gage­ment with poor­ly-con­struct­ed char­ac­ters who are no more than ran­dom faces in a group of peo­ple, and it doesn’t help that the di­a­logue is so heavy-hand­ed.

This Film Is Not Yet Rat­ed (2006)

An ex­cel­lent doc­u­men­tary that ex­pos­es this veiled type of cen­sor­ship and a group of hyp­o­crit­i­cal moral­ists who find them­selves in the po­si­tion to de­cide what we can and can­not watch, us­ing a ques­tion­able sys­tem that ben­e­fits most­ly the in­ter­ests of movie stu­dios and cor­po­ra­tions.

This Is It (2009)

A very well-edit­ed be­hind-the-scenes clear­ly made for fans, show­ing nice re­hearsals and back­stage footage of Michael Jackson’s con­cert that nev­er was, but let’s only hope this is not the ul­ti­mate film to be made about him.

This Is Sodom (2010)

A failed spoof that leans more to­wards, say, Astérix & Obélix than Mon­ty Python, as in be­ing a spe­cif­ic one-laugh joke in­tend­ed for a cer­tain pub­lic and ex­pand­ed into a movie — and it os­cil­lates too much be­tween wit­ty (some of the jokes do work well) and stu­pid (most don’t).

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

A tru­ly price­less mock­u­men­tary filled with nu­mer­ous hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments that should make you laugh out loud un­til your bel­ly hurts, re­ly­ing on a de­li­cious­ly iron­ic sense of hu­mor that pokes fun at the rock-and-roll uni­verse (the stars and also the fans) in an al­ways in­tel­li­gent way.

This Is the End (2013)

A sil­ly but amus­ing com­e­dy that works sur­pris­ing­ly well be­cause of the vul­gar and self-dep­re­cat­ing way the ac­tors play them­selves. Some of the jokes do fall short but most of the plot is very fun­ny and en­ter­tain­ing with its high­ly ad-libbed ob­scene hu­mor.

This Must Be the Place (2011)

A messy movie that throws many nar­ra­tive el­e­ments to­geth­er with­out any co­he­sion, drift­ing from odd char­ac­ter study to hunt-the-Nazi road-movie, and it is so ram­bling and dis­joint­ed in its struc­ture that it feels point­less, with Sean Penn in an ex­treme­ly an­noy­ing per­for­mance.

This Night I’ll Pos­sess Your Corpse (1967)

I love when Cof­fin Joe blas­phemes at the top of his lungs, but this se­quel is full of prob­lems, like two women falling mad­ly in love with Joe right af­ter meet­ing him, a trashy se­quence in col­or more laugh­able than scary and a heavy-hand­ed end­ing of preachy re­li­gious over­tones.

This Sum­mer Feel­ing (2015)

A nice and del­i­cate dra­ma that fol­lows two char­ac­ters try­ing to move on and re­con­struct their lives af­ter a trag­ic event, and I like how it fo­cus­es most­ly on every­day mo­ments as they talk with friends and hope things will get bet­ter, even if most­ly keep­ing a cer­tain dis­tance from us.

Thor (2011)

De­spite the tal­ent of the strong lead, who is also in­cred­i­bly hand­some and charis­mat­ic, this su­per­hero block­buster is very unim­pres­sive and nev­er takes risks, try­ing more to be a pre­quel to The Avengers than any­thing else. Be­sides, the char­ac­ter goes through sud­den changes in his per­son­al­i­ty that are re­al­ly hard to buy.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

No­tably su­pe­ri­or to the first movie and a de­cent fol­low-up to The Avengers, this en­ter­tain­ing film has a con­sis­tent plot, plen­ty of hu­mor, an al­ways charis­mat­ic Chris Hemsworth and also Tom Hid­dle­ston steal­ing every scene he ap­pears in as the de­ceit­ful god Loki.

Thor: Rag­narok (2017)

A rel­a­tive­ly amus­ing but for­get­table movie that lacks in struc­ture and fo­cus; re­lies too much on a harm­less, ar­ti­fi­cial-look­ing CGI; and suf­fers from in­con­sis­ten­cies and one-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters — es­pe­cial­ly Cate Blanchett as an in­cred­i­bly bor­ing vil­lain.

Thor­ough­breds (2017)

While not ex­act­ly fun­ny, wit­ty, sus­pense­ful or en­gag­ing enough, this mediocre com­e­dy-thriller is at least proof of first-time di­rec­tor Cory Fin­ley’s tal­ent be­hind cam­eras, as he man­ages to make a very cin­e­mat­ic film from a di­a­logue-heavy script that was orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten for the stage.

Thou Wast Mild and Love­ly (2014)

It suf­fers from all the di­rect­ing prob­lems of Decker’s pre­vi­ous film (the same hor­ri­ble fram­ing and the im­age con­stant­ly go­ing in and out of fo­cus for no rea­son), but at least this time there is a script and no hideous­ly im­pro­vised di­a­logue – even if most of it is hideous as well.

A Thou­sand Times Good Night (2013)

De­spite its gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and good per­for­mances, it is frus­trat­ing that, af­ter a hard-hit­ting first hour, this dis­joint­ed dra­ma los­es fo­cus with un­nec­es­sary de­tails (the guilt is­sue, the plu­to­ni­um re­marks) and alien­ates us by turn­ing the pro­tag­o­nist into a hideous­ly self­ish per­son.

Three (2010)

Tyk­w­er seems to be more in­ter­est­ed in pre­ten­tious art­sy shots than cre­at­ing a res­o­nant sto­ry, and the fact that the fe­male char­ac­ter is un­bear­able and the plot un­be­liev­able and bor­ing to death only helps make this film an or­deal to sit through.

Three Ages (1923)

This Keaton ear­ly com­e­dy is fair­ly amus­ing but there is not much else into it, with an hour seem­ing al­most like an eter­ni­ty, but still it is nice to see it re­mas­tered af­ter re­dis­cov­ered in very bad con­di­tion, even if some dam­age in the im­age qual­i­ty is still quite vis­i­ble.

The Three Ca­balleros (1944)

A sol­id fol­low-up to Salu­dos Ami­gos that com­bines an­i­ma­tion and live ac­tion with sheer per­fec­tion, even if it is a bit ir­reg­u­lar and only re­al­ly amus­ing un­til the last ten min­utes, when it goes in Fan­ta­sia mode Latin style and freaks out in a mad and te­dious psy­che­delia of col­ors and mu­sic.

Three Col­ors: Blue (1993)

Kies­lows­ki takes us in a painful in­cur­sion into grief and heavy suf­fer­ing as he cre­ates an in­trigu­ing as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween sor­row and emo­tion­al lib­er­ty (a ter­ri­bly iron­ic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the col­or blue in the French flag), and Binoche is won­der­ful as a woman torn by lost.

Three Col­ors: White (1994)

The light­est in­stall­ment in Krzysztof Kies­lowski’s Three Col­ors Tril­o­gy is this sharp film that works quite well as a strange type of com­e­dy (or anti-com­e­dy) that of­fers an iron­ic look at even­ness and equal­i­ty (ideals sym­bol­ized by the col­or white in the French flag).

Three Col­ors: Red (1994)

The last and most re­mark­able film in Kies­lowski’s Three Col­ors tril­o­gy is this warm and beau­ti­ful de­pic­tion of sol­i­dar­i­ty and fra­ter­ni­ty (sym­bol­ized by the col­or red in the French flag), with ex­cel­lent per­for­mances and bring­ing the tril­o­gy to a won­der­ful, haunt­ing con­clu­sion.

3 Faces (2018)

Still un­der his 20-year film­mak­ing ban in his home coun­try Iran, Panahi makes a very sim­ple film (struc­tural­ly, not for­mal­ly) that moves away from the mys­tery it ini­tial­ly pro­pos­es to turn its at­ten­tion to the misog­y­ny and ab­surd cen­sor­ship im­posed by a theo­crat­ic so­ci­ety.

300: Rise of an Em­pire (2014)

A cheap ex­cuse for an ob­vi­ous re­hash that, de­spite gor­geous vi­su­als, has no vi­tal­i­ty, in­ten­si­ty or a per­son­al­i­ty of its own — and its lame hero is even ob­fus­cat­ed by the sexy vil­lain played by Eva Green, who we end up root­ing for to slaugh­ter every sin­gle Greek in that place.

360 (2011)

An unim­pres­sive dra­ma about peo­ple, de­ci­sions, sit­u­a­tions – vague as it sounds and us­ing a high-class cast to state the ob­vi­ous. The sto­ries are nev­er res­o­nant, while the char­ac­ters are nev­er giv­en enough time to de­vel­op into flesh-and-blood fig­ures.

303 (2018)

Wein­gart­ner doesn’t have what it takes to han­dle the kind of philo­soph­i­cal dis­cus­sions that he is aim­ing at, cre­at­ing a corny (and over­long) Be­fore Sun­rise-like ro­mance that ba­si­cal­ly con­sists of a typ­i­cal­ly cyn­i­cal guy mansplain­ing with­out end to a naive, op­ti­mistic girl.

Three Iden­ti­cal Strangers (2018)

I hon­est­ly don’t know why any­one would find this sto­ry so amaz­ing and in­cred­i­ble — a sto­ry that is ac­tu­al­ly filled with vague spec­u­la­tion and mor­al­iz­ing about the sep­a­ra­tion of twin ba­bies — but what I find re­al­ly un­be­liev­able is how these boys be­came fa­mous just be­cause of that.

3 Id­iots (2009)

De­spite Aamir Khan’s charis­mat­ic per­for­mance, this ini­tial­ly amus­ing com­e­dy gets sad­ly lost in a melo­dra­mat­ic sec­ond half full of lu­di­crous sit­u­a­tions and un­nec­es­sary rev­e­la­tions, with a pa­thet­ic con­clu­sion that be­lieves that hugs and laughs are enough to solve every­thing.

Three Mon­keys (2008)

Cey­lan only seems to con­firm the reser­va­tions I had about his pre­vi­ous film, as he goes even fur­ther than be­fore in terms of aes­thet­ics with a splen­did cin­e­matog­ra­phy but em­ploys his pre­ten­tious, self-in­dul­gent di­rec­tion in be­half of an emp­ty sto­ry that has noth­ing to say.

Three Times (2005)

It is al­ways in­ter­est­ing to see Hou put to­geth­er in the same film three sto­ries that feel like a cul­mi­na­tion of the main themes found in his work along so many years, even though the third leaves a lot to be de­sired and I find too dis­tract­ing the fact that the sec­ond one is silent.

Through the Olive Trees (1994)

Kiarosta­mi con­tin­ues to prove us that he is a ge­nius in the way he in­ter­weaves re­al­i­ty and fic­tion, and even if this third Kok­er film may feel a bit re­dun­dant when placed side-by-side with the oth­er two, there is some­thing ab­solute­ly unique about what he is try­ing to do here.

Through the Shad­ow (2015)

This sto­ry has al­ready been made into a Goth­ic clas­sic, Jack Clay­ton’s The In­no­cents (a must-see mas­ter­piece), but this Brazil­ian adap­ta­tion does­n’t pale in com­par­i­son and proves to be an ab­sorb­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal dra­ma, even if it los­es some of the orig­i­nal sto­ry’s am­bi­gu­i­ty.

Tick­ets (2005)

A com­pelling look at the lives of nor­mal peo­ple on a mov­ing train: while the first sto­ry is the weak link and the sec­ond lacks a more sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion, the movie hits the mark with the last one and proves to be a de­light­ful om­nibus film made by three great di­rec­tors.

The Tiger and the Snow (2005)

Rober­to Be­nig­ni re­peats the same for­mu­la of his bit­ter­sweet mas­ter­piece Life Is Beau­ti­ful to an ex­as­per­at­ing de­gree, which makes this film ap­pear quite un­o­rig­i­nal and un­nec­es­sary, but even so it is fun­ny, touch­ing and has a beau­ti­ful end­ing.

Tiger Girl (2017)

A thrilling movie that feels like a shot of adren­a­line right in the vein, full of im­pro­vi­sa­tion, puls­ing with a lot of en­er­gy and show­ing al­most in the styl­ized ways of com­ic books how an­ar­chy can be a pret­ty ex­cit­ing drug for those who don’t have any lim­its or a moral com­pass.

O Ti­gre e a Gazela (1976)

Rauli­no’s cam­era is like an ob­serv­ing eye that forces us to look at the beg­gars and the dis­ad­van­taged poor in the streets, in­vok­ing im­ages, mu­sic and lit­er­a­ture to make us grasp the per­verse log­ic of colo­nial­ism with­out the need of preach­ing.

Tim­buk­tu (2014)

A dev­as­tat­ing por­trait of re­li­gious hell as a place un­der the rule of ji­hadists who em­ploy abuse, in­tim­i­da­tion and hor­ren­dous pun­ish­ments on those who dis­obey their abom­inable laws – proof that, as Steven Wein­berg said it, “for good peo­ple to do evil things, that takes re­li­gion.”

Time (2006)

This won­der­ful dra­ma is one of Kim’s sad­dest and most pow­er­ful films about the way time af­fects our lives and re­la­tion­ships, and how it is hard for love to re­sist ob­ses­sions, in­se­cu­ri­ties and our in­abil­i­ty to cope with our own pet­ti­ness be­fore the un­re­lent­ing ac­tion of time.

The Time Ma­chine (2002)

A sim­plis­tic yet en­ter­tain­ing adap­ta­tion that elim­i­nates the smart so­cial com­men­tary found in H. G. Wells’ sto­ry and fo­cus­es on a lot of ac­tion with very lit­tle imag­i­na­tion, but while it has some prob­lems, it will be enough fun for time trav­el fans.

Time Mas­ters (1982)

An un­even sci-fi an­i­ma­tion that has a great elec­tron­ic score but ends up los­ing some of its fo­cus as it tries to ex­plore its uni­verse in dif­fer­ent plot lines like a road movie — and the con­clu­sion also feels a bit in­con­sis­tent and frus­trat­ing, even though it is sur­pris­ing.

Time to Leave (2005)

A per­func­to­ry, soul­less dra­ma about a self­ish man who finds out that he is ter­mi­nal­ly ill and be­comes com­plete­ly dis­taste­ful, im­pos­si­ble to re­late to in any lev­el. Even worse, most of the ac­tors are bad and the end only shows that the di­rec­tor didn’t re­al­ly have any­thing to say.

Time­crimes (2007)

A de­cent time-trav­el film that seems like an ex­tend­ed Twi­light Zone episode lack­ing a strong main char­ac­ter, and while it is re­al­ly mys­te­ri­ous and in­trigu­ing in its first half hour, it soon be­comes quite pre­dictable, de­spite a clever twist in the last act of its cir­cu­lar plot.

Tin­ker Tai­lor Sol­dier Spy (2011)

A com­plex es­pi­onage thriller that makes im­pec­ca­ble use of a care­ful pace to stretch the ten­sion to its max­i­mum and an ap­pro­pri­ate­ly dark cin­e­matog­ra­phy to recre­ate the para­noia of the ’70s and the Cold War ma­neu­vers, while Gary Old­man un­der­acts in a per­fect per­for­mance.

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

It takes a bril­liant film­mak­er to find the per­fect tone for some­thing as in­sane as a slap­stick satire in­volv­ing Nazis at the height of World War II, and Lu­bitsch not only hits the mark with a fab­u­lous cast (Jack Ben­ny is price­less) but cre­ates a film that is tru­ly hi­lar­i­ous.

To Die Like a Man (2009)

Vis­i­bly in­spired by Fass­binder and Almod­ó­var, Ro­drigues tells a sto­ry that is made more in­trigu­ing by the atyp­i­cal way he does so rather than by what he ac­tu­al­ly has to say, but his nar­ra­tive is not so con­sis­tent and his di­rec­tion can be pret­ty self-in­dul­gent and pre­ten­tious, too.

To Each His Own Cin­e­ma (2007)

It is sur­pris­ing that nei­ther Quentin Taran­ti­no nor any award­ed ex­po­nent of the Span­ish Cin­e­ma like Pe­dro Almod­ó­var par­tic­i­pat­ed in this project, and even if some of the shorts are bland, most of­fer a pleas­ant look into each film­mak­er’s style and vi­sion (my fa­vorite be­ing Iñár­ritu’s “Anna”).

To Have and Have Not (1944)

Ba­call ex­udes a lot of mag­net­ism and sen­su­al­i­ty in her de­but on the screen, a de­cent sort-of-rip-off of Casablan­ca – based on Hem­ing­way and co-writ­ten by William Faulkn­er no less – that re­lies on a strong chem­istry be­tween her and Bog­a­rt in their first of four films to­geth­er.

To Kill a Man (2014)

The film is tech­ni­cal­ly com­pe­tent and well di­rect­ed, which can be seen from a tense night scene shot in a long take with a hand­held cam­era, but the prob­lem is that it fails to let us in on the main character’s per­son­al con­flict and de­ci­sions, which most­ly seem con­trived.

To Kill a Mock­ing­bird (1962)

A won­der­ful yet in­evitably con­densed adap­ta­tion of Harp­er Lee’s sub­lime nov­el that, de­spite harmed a bit by some of the changes, is heart­felt, mov­ing and al­ways true to the soul of her sto­ry, with Gre­go­ry Peck in a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance even if a bit stiff in the tri­al scene.

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

An ex­plo­sive thriller very well di­rect­ed by William Fried­kin, with great per­for­mances, many awe­some ac­tion scenes – es­pe­cial­ly an ex­hil­a­rat­ing car chase – and a moral­ly thought-pro­vok­ing sto­ry that cul­mi­nates in a fan­tas­tic, shock­ing end­ing.

To My Beloved (2015)

With a premise that could be tak­en in so many di­rec­tions (like a con­fronta­tion­al dra­ma or a re­venge thriller), Mu­riti­ba prefers to fo­cus on the char­ac­ters, nev­er al­low­ing them to be eas­i­ly de­fined by their mo­ti­va­tions while in­tel­li­gent­ly ex­plor­ing where ran­cor and grief can lead us.

To Rome with Love (2012)

A mi­nor Woody Allen that is ba­si­cal­ly a col­lec­tion of sit­com jokes stretched to the point of rep­e­ti­tious. Be­sides, even with some good mo­ments, the film dis­ap­points for nev­er us­ing Rome as an or­gan­ic set­ting, since these sto­ries could take place any­where.

To the Left of the Fa­ther (2001)

The film’s as­ton­ish­ing for­mal rig­or re­flects the very emo­tion­al and moral im­pris­on­ment in which the pro­tag­o­nist is forced to dwell, while its gor­geous po­et­ry (both vi­su­al and in words) con­veys the sen­si­bil­i­ty and sex­u­al im­puls­es that make him so dif­fer­ent from his cas­trat­ing home.

To the Won­der (2012)

Love ac­cord­ing to Mal­ick, and not re­al­ly a char­ac­ter study but in fact a “di­rec­tor study” that feels like a di­rect fol­low-up to The Tree of Life, or a lyri­cal and ex­treme­ly re­veal­ing self-por­trait of a deeply sen­si­tive man who is able to dive into sheer beau­ty but nev­er into real pas­sion.

Tom at the Farm (2013)

A much more re­strained Xavier Dolan af­ter his pre­ten­tious pre­vi­ous film, and he dis­plays an as­sured di­rec­tion and firm con­trol of this sus­pense­ful thriller, even though the nar­ra­tive seems to move too fast as the char­ac­ters start to act in ways that are not al­ways con­vinc­ing.

Tomboy (2011)

A very hon­est dra­ma that rais­es some in­ter­est­ing ques­tions about sex­u­al iden­ti­ty or why gen­ders should mat­ter, and Sci­amma di­rects her film with sim­plic­i­ty, ob­serv­ing her char­ac­ters and us­ing a wel­come nat­u­ral­is­tic di­rec­tion to ap­proach this del­i­cate sub­ject.

To­mor­row­land (2015)

It is pret­ty heavy-hand­ed at times – I guess it thinks that sub­tle­ty is over­rat­ed when it comes to a younger au­di­ence -, but it com­pen­sates for its flaws with a wel­come mes­sage (if over­sim­pli­fied to the point of silli­ness) about the im­por­tance of, well, sav­ing the world.

Tongues Un­tied (1989)

I can­not but urge every­one to re­dis­cov­er this au­da­cious, provoca­tive and es­sen­tial mas­ter­piece that spoke and still speaks for the black/gay fight against op­pres­sion – a won­der­ful­ly po­et­ic call to ac­tion that re­mains im­por­tant as long as si­lence con­tin­ues to echo with com­plic­i­ty.

Tony Manero (2008)

A com­pelling crime dra­ma cen­tered on a mis­er­able so­ciopath ob­sessed with a movie char­ac­ter to the point of mur­der – which makes him also a sur­pris­ing­ly trag­ic fig­ure -, re­ly­ing on a grip­ping per­for­mance by Al­fre­do Cas­tro and also mak­ing a sub­tle po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary.

Toot­sie (1982)

Toot­sie is sim­ply the worst type of Amer­i­can hu­mor: one that has a clever idea in its hands but takes it in a com­plete­ly wrong di­rec­tion, let­ting it die in a pre­dictable plot that looks like a cheap soap opera and bears a stu­pid sit­com sense of hu­mor.

Top Se­cret! (1984)

With less jokes per sec­ond than Air­plane! (which was the kind of com­e­dy that shot in every di­rec­tion to see what could hit), this de­cent spoof of spy movies is more Mel Brooks than the Marx broth­ers and less ir­reg­u­lar than that movie, even though not near­ly as mem­o­rable.

El Topo (1970)

De­spite be­ing al­ways in­trigu­ing and boast­ing stun­ning vi­su­als and an evoca­tive at­mos­phere, this es­o­teric West­ern of re­li­gious ref­er­ences is still an un­ripe Jodor­owsky, clear­ly lack­ing in nar­ra­tive struc­ture be­fore he be­gan de­vel­op­ing bet­ter his ideas in lat­er works.

To­tal Re­call (2012)

An un­nec­es­sary and gloomy re­make de­void of the charm­ing non­sense that made the orig­i­nal movie so in­trigu­ing. Be­sides, it has a ridicu­lous ex­cess of lens flares every­where and end­less ac­tion scenes that make the movie be­come quite repet­i­tive af­ter a while.

Touch of Evil (1958)

It is great to be able to see this film now as Welles first in­tend­ed it to be, a very com­plex char­ac­ter study (and also vi­su­al­ly daz­zling, open­ing with a gor­geous long track­ing shot) about a cor­rupt­ed man strong­ly con­vinced that any means are jus­ti­fi­able to achieve his idea of jus­tice.

A Touch of Sin (2013)

A sol­id film that in­ter­twines four com­pelling sto­ries loosed based on real events about the sense­less­ness of vi­o­lence, ag­gres­sion and bru­tal­i­ty, as well as people’s ob­ses­sion with it – which, as the film sug­gests, makes us not so dif­fer­ent from an­i­mals, only per­haps worse.

Tour de Force (2014)

With an un­o­rig­i­nal sto­ry that feels like some­thing we have all seen mil­lions of times be­fore, this pa­thet­ic and ter­ri­bly in­sipid lit­tle dra­ma full of clichés is in­ca­pable of the most im­por­tant: to make us con­nect with its char­ac­ters in any lev­el or care about their per­son­al con­flicts.

The Tourist (2010)

To say the plot is pre­pos­ter­ous is to say the least, and this piece of garbage un­be­liev­ably con­ceived by three Os­car-win­ning screen­writ­ers is an in­sult to any­one’s in­tel­li­gence, with a ridicu­lous, de­ceit­ful end­ing that turns every­thing that hap­pened be­fore into sheer non­sense.

The Town (2010)

A grip­ping, su­perbly act­ed and high­ly tense thriller that could have been even bet­ter had the di­rec­tor Ben Af­fleck in­vest­ed more in the char­ac­ters and their con­flicts. The re­sult is a very ef­fec­tive but typ­i­cal crime film that doesn’t es­cape the clichés, es­pe­cial­ly in the end.

Toy Sto­ry (1995)

This clas­sic land­mark of huge ad­vance and in­no­va­tion in an­i­ma­tion is an amaz­ing roller coast­er that blends so well a lot of en­ter­tain­ing ad­ven­ture and de­light­ful hu­mor, while its main strength def­i­nite­ly lies in the end­less charis­ma of its un­for­get­table char­ac­ters.

Toy Sto­ry 2 (1999)

Even bet­ter than the first film, this se­quel ben­e­fits from the fact that we al­ready know and care about the char­ac­ters, which is used in fa­vor of a sto­ry that is much rich­er and more pro­found than the pre­vi­ous one, be­com­ing an­oth­er in­stant clas­sic just as well.

Toy Sto­ry 3 (2010)

A true mas­ter­piece that ex­ceeds the lev­el of qual­i­ty of the pre­vi­ous films and re­flects Pixar’s own growth in sto­ry­telling, be­ing not just an amaz­ing en­ter­tain­ment as the oth­er two but above all a ma­ture and emo­tion­al­ly dev­as­tat­ing movie that moved me to tears with its un­for­get­table fi­nal act.

Toy Sto­ry 4 (2019)

Al­though the re­sult could have felt less like an af­ter­thought, I’m re­al­ly glad that the writ­ers found a com­pelling rea­son to bring those char­ac­ters back for a fourth movie, as they dig deep­er this time into Woody’s de­pen­den­cy in or­der to dis­cuss our fears of be­ing re­ject­ed and mov­ing on.

Tracks (2013)

What a bore to fol­low in end­less land­scape shots this de­testable pro­tag­o­nist who has the nerve to treat her pho­tog­ra­ph­er like garbage when she is be­ing fi­nanced by his mag­a­zine to go on a fan­ci­ful jour­ney that seems ex­cit­ing only to her­self and no one else.

Trad­ing Places (1983)

The Book of Job meets Pyg­malion in this in­tel­li­gent com­e­dy that ben­e­fits from great per­for­mances (es­pe­cial­ly by Ed­die Mur­phy), and, no mat­ter how ut­ter­ly im­plau­si­ble every­thing we see here is, at least it sells us the whole thing with enough con­vic­tion to make it a blast.

Traf­fic (2000)

An al­ways en­gag­ing and ex­pert­ly-edit­ed mul­ti-char­ac­ter dra­ma that of­fers a grim por­trait of the war on drugs and un­der­stands that there are no easy so­lu­tions for this com­plex prob­lem. But Soder­bergh also ex­ag­ger­ates in his bla­tant­ly un­sub­tle cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

Train to Bu­san (2016)

It is amaz­ing to see what can still be done in films about the liv­ing dead tak­ing over the world, and this is not only a tense and ex­hil­a­rat­ing movie like Snow­piercer with zom­bies but also — and most im­por­tant­ly — an in­tel­li­gent so­cial com­men­tary in the best tra­di­tion of the kind.

Train­wreck (2015)

Com­e­dy is a very per­son­al genre, and in this case some jokes fell com­plete­ly flat for me (the Rad­cliffe movie, for in­stance, is a to­tal miss) while oth­ers worked pret­ty well (the pineap­ple safe word scene is hi­lar­i­ous), and the re­sult is a sweet yet rather un­even rom-com.

The Trai­tor (2019)

It is not that easy a task to hu­man­ize a mafia crim­i­nal and make us sym­pa­thize with him, and yet Bel­loc­chio not only pulls that off but also man­ages to keep us con­stant­ly tense with an al­ways grip­ping nar­ra­tive that ben­e­fits from a strong per­for­mance by Pier­francesco Favi­no.

Transsi­ber­ian (2008)

A very ef­fec­tive Hitch­cock­ian thriller that starts off as a mod­est dra­ma, tak­ing a good time to de­vel­op its char­ac­ters in a care­ful way, and then starts un­ex­pect­ed­ly to be­come suf­fo­cat­ing­ly tense as the char­ac­ters find them­selves trapped more and more in an un­bear­able sit­u­a­tion.

Trash (2014)

Now and then it does of­fer some in­sight into the country’s so­cial in­equal­i­ty and po­lice bru­tal­i­ty, but as a whole this is a cheap fan­ta­sy filled with non­sense (like a vil­lain that seems more like a psy­chic) and naive op­ti­mism to make poor peo­ple be­lieve that it is easy to have a hap­py end­ing.

Trash Humpers (2009)

Ko­rine be­lieves to be mak­ing some­thing provoca­tive and art­sy by re­fus­ing any­thing sim­i­lar to a plot and shoot­ing end­less un­re­lat­ed scenes of ab­hor­rent scum in VHS, but all he does is bore us to death with an in­ter­minable, painful­ly un­watch­able load of crap.

The Trea­sure of the Sier­ra Madre (1948)

Wal­ter Hus­ton steals the scene and de­served the Os­car he won, but Bog­a­rt was un­fair­ly not even nom­i­nat­ed for his phe­nom­e­nal per­for­mance in this clas­sic that is all at once a light ad­ven­ture, a riv­et­ing char­ac­ter study and a pow­er­ful moral­i­ty tale about greed and para­noia.

The Tree of Life (2011)

With breath­tak­ing vi­su­als and an emo­tion­al­ly com­pelling sto­ry, this is a mag­nif­i­cent spec­ta­cle that con­fronts the small­ness of mankind with the majesty of the uni­verse – and a mes­mer­iz­ing, tran­scen­den­tal bal­let of im­ages that at­tempt to evoke the true essence of the Di­vine.

Trees Lounge (1996)

A melan­choly yet hu­mor­ous look into al­co­holism that should be re­mem­bered for its great di­a­logue that nev­er sounds ex­pos­i­to­ry, yet the plot feels a bit dis­persed around many sit­u­a­tions, which some­how cu­ri­ous­ly re­flects how Buscemi’s char­ac­ter lives his un­fo­cused life.

Tremors (1990)

Now this is what a mon­ster movie should be like: tense, en­ter­tain­ing as hell, fun­ny and su­per well made – and I don’t mean only those gooey crea­tures that look re­al­ly nice on screen, but it is re­al­ly cool how they make all those hous­es shake on their foun­da­tions like that.

The Tres­pass­er (2002)

This ab­sorb­ing Brazil­ian thriller di­rect­ed by the al­ways ver­sa­tile film­mak­er Beto Brant may be a bit ir­reg­u­lar some­times but has some good per­for­mances and nev­er stops be­ing in­ter­est­ing.

The Tri­al (1962)

This fas­ci­nat­ing ex­is­ten­tial night­mare is less Kafkaesque and more Welle­sian, ex­pand­ing phys­i­cal spaces to am­pli­fy the char­ac­ter’s feel­ing of small­ness and im­po­tence be­fore a crush­ing ju­di­cial sys­tem and not fo­cus­ing so much on the cyn­i­cal gibe found in Kafka’s nov­el.

Tri­an­gle (2009)

While it is more con­vo­lut­ed than it need­ed to be, this film re­mains in­trigu­ing as it com­pels us to try to un­der­stand what is go­ing on, cre­at­ing a con­tin­u­al sense of con­fu­sion that makes it feel like a night­mare and of­fer­ing a con­clu­sion that is more bit­ter­ly iron­ic than we would imag­ine.

The Tribe (2014)

Made in 34 fab­u­lous long takes, this unique and re­lent­less­ly bru­tal film is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary il­lus­tra­tion of the “show, don’t tell” cin­e­mat­ic rule, more so as it re­fus­es to of­fer any trans­la­tion of the lan­guage that we see on the screen and yet re­mains al­ways com­pre­hen­si­ble to us view­ers.

Tricked: The Doc­u­men­tary (2013)

An in­ter­est­ing doc­u­men­tary that sets out to dis­cuss a hor­ri­ble en­dem­ic so­cial can­cer (to which there seems to be no so­lu­tion), pre­sent­ing the caus­es of hu­man traf­fick­ing and mod­ern-day slav­ery even though it may feel a bit su­per­fi­cial and not as in-depth as it could have been.

The Trip (2010)

A fun­ny and charm­ing two-men mock­u­men­tary (of which most is im­pro­vised), edit­ed from the BBC TV se­ries and re­ly­ing on a great chem­istry be­tween Coogan and Bry­don – and it is al­most im­pos­si­ble not to laugh hard at their hi­lar­i­ous im­per­son­ations and re­marks on the food.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

A won­der­ful di­a­logue-free an­i­ma­tion — fun­ny, odd and quite en­chant­i­ng — that re­lies on a su­perb art­work and fab­u­lous sound de­sign, pay­ing an enor­mous at­ten­tion to its ec­cen­tric de­tails, sur­re­al touch­es, in­ven­tive scene tran­si­tions and ex­treme­ly imag­i­na­tive char­ac­ter traits.

Tr­ish­na (2011)

It takes a while to fig­ure out what Win­ter­bot­tom wants to say with what ap­pears to be a con­ven­tion­al love sto­ry set in In­dia, but soon the film proves to be more iron­ic, in­tense and emo­tion­al­ly drain­ing than it seemed at first – with a very sur­pris­ing third act.

Tris­tana (1970)

The dub­bing of Deneuve’s voice into Span­ish seems to di­min­ish the im­pact of her per­for­mance, but sill this a fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry of pow­er, hypocrisy, re­sent­ment and bit­ter­ness as seen through the eyes of two com­plex char­ac­ters in a so­ci­ety dom­i­nat­ed by re­li­gious and pa­tri­ar­chal val­ues.

Tri­umph of the Will (1935)

To make it clear: pro­pa­gan­da is not doc­u­men­tary; that said, how­ev­er dull it may be, this film is a re­mark­able piece of mon­strous pro­pa­gan­da that should be re­gard­ed to­day as a his­to­ry les­son and as an in­sight­ful doc­u­men­tary about the pow­er of pro­pa­gan­da on the weak-mind­ed.

Troll 2 (1990)

As a per­fect ex­am­ple of “so bad it’s good,” this is an in­ad­ver­tent­ly hi­lar­i­ous trash gem that earned its rep­u­ta­tion as the best worst movie ever made, with a ter­ri­ble script full of plot holes the size of a gob­lin, ridicu­lous­ly over-the-top per­for­mances and shock­ing con­ti­nu­ity er­rors that should make you choke with laugh­ter.

TRON (1982)

The daz­zling vi­su­als may have been a unique ex­pe­ri­ence when this film came out, boast­ing high­ly ad­vanced com­put­er­ized ef­fects for the 1980s, but noth­ing saves the script from be­ing a ridicu­lous, tire­some mess with an un­in­ter­est­ing shred of sto­ry that is painful to sit through.

TRON: Lega­cy (2010)

While the orig­i­nal Tron was a tire­some mess, this se­quel is in fact a huge evo­lu­tion in about every as­pect, fea­tur­ing a bet­ter nar­ra­tive, more en­ter­tain­ment and, of course, su­pe­ri­or tech­nol­o­gy and vi­su­als. The re­sult is daz­zling fun with an awe­some sound­track by Daft Punk.

Tro­phy Kids (2013)

An ap­palling dis­play of mon­strous par­ent­ing that is not easy to watch, and even though a bit ma­nip­u­la­tive of our feel­ings, it is un­de­ni­able proof that cer­tain peo­ple should not have chil­dren, giv­en how they abuse theirs with such un­be­liev­able pres­sure and psy­cho­log­i­cal dom­i­na­tion.

Trop­ic Thun­der (2008)

Apart from the hi­lar­i­ous first scene and a few oth­ers that work very well, there is lit­tle else in this film oth­er than stu­pid, of­fen­sive jokes mixed with a lot of tire­some big ac­tion scenes — which seem to be there only to en­ter­tain those un­able to un­der­stand the ob­vi­ous satire.

Trop­i­cal Mal­a­dy (2004)

Even with an ab­sorb­ing at­mos­phere and a pow­er­ful sound de­sign, this strange film is like two dif­fer­ent un­re­lat­ed sto­ries slop­pi­ly com­bined and loose­ly bound to­geth­er, al­low­ing of sev­er­al dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions and com­ing off as frus­trat­ing­ly vague and emp­ty in its essence.

Trou­ba­dours (2011)

It is frus­trat­ing to re­al­ize how lit­tle we learn from this su­per­fi­cial (and sad­ly con­ven­tion­al) doc­u­men­tary, as it drifts un­fo­cuss­ed­ly from top­ic to top­ic with­out delv­ing far enough into any of them and can­not even ex­plain why the mu­sic crit­ics dis­liked those singers so much.

Trou­ble Every Day (2001)

It’s all about cre­at­ing a haunt­ing, un­set­tling mood (and this is clear­ly re­flect­ed in the vague ti­tle), but the prob­lem here is that this ar­t­house can­ni­bal film starts from nowhere and goes nowhere, fail­ing to en­gage us in its weird plot and not amount­ing to any­thing in the end.

Trou­ble in Par­adise (1932)

The first two thirds of the film are im­pec­ca­ble, re­ly­ing on ex­cep­tion­al per­for­mances (es­pe­cial­ly Her­bert Mar­shall) and a de­light­ful­ly so­phis­ti­cat­ed di­a­logue, so it is re­al­ly a pity that the plot starts to be­come a bit im­plau­si­ble and con­trived af­ter that, to­wards the end.

True Grit (2010)

A mes­mer­iz­ing epopee that evokes the true grandeur of clas­sic West­erns, with a beau­ti­ful melan­choly score, well-de­vel­oped char­ac­ters, a mag­nif­i­cent cin­e­matog­ra­phy, end­less mem­o­rable lines and top-notch per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly from Bridges and Ste­in­feld.

True Sto­ry (2015)

Jon­ah Hill puts in a sol­id per­for­mance and James Fran­co is al­ways mag­net­ic in this fas­ci­nat­ing moral­i­ty study about the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty of jour­nal­ism to the truth and the of­ten blur­ry line that sep­a­rates facts and lies, even though the fi­nal scene is un­nec­es­sary and ob­vi­ous.

Trum­bo (2015)

It doesn’t mat­ter how cin­e­mat­ic or wor­thy of be­ing told a real sto­ry is (which is the case) when it is made into an or­di­nary, unin­spired biopic full of clichés and one-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters – and it is even worse that it looks like a cheap TV movie made by an ob­vi­ous­ly mediocre di­rec­tor.

Trust (2010)

Schwim­mer re­al­ly makes us em­pathize with his char­ac­ters and di­rects this dis­qui­et­ing dra­ma with a re­mark­able con­fi­dence, nev­er let­ting the plot be­come ex­ploita­tive or triv­ial, but the third act gives in to some un­nec­es­sary con­flicts and the res­o­lu­tion is a bit clichéd.

Truth (2015)

Like oth­er sim­i­lar films such as Fair Game and Spot­light, this is an in­tel­li­gent po­lit­i­cal dra­ma full of re­veal­ing nu­ances and cen­tered on an ex­quis­ite­ly-writ­ten di­a­logue, and it ben­e­fits from an ex­cel­lent en­sem­ble cast, es­pe­cial­ly Cate Blanchett in an out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

Truth of Dare (2012)

It doesn’t for­go its share of laugh­able con­trivances, but at least it is al­ways en­ter­tain­ing to see this amus­ing hor­ror movie defy com­mon ex­pec­ta­tions by play­ing with typ­i­cal genre clichés and com­ing up with a de­li­cious twist in the end and Jen­nie Jacques as the bitchy bad girl.

Tschick (2016)

A sym­pa­this­che road movie with adorable char­ac­ters (played by two very charis­mat­ic young ac­tors), ex­cel­lent di­a­logue and a plot that is usu­al­ly hi­lar­i­ous de­spite the fact that it los­es steam af­ter a while and some­times its at­tempts at hu­mor don’t work as well as they should.

Tuck­er and Dale vs Evil (2010)

It is su­per nice to see how in­stead of be­ing a one-joke movie stretched for two hours it man­ages to find new ways to sur­prise us and make fun of slash­ers clichés with­out seem­ing stu­pid or miss­ing what makes it so fun­ny – and it is very fun­ny, with the bonus of also hav­ing a heart.

Tudo É Brasil (1997)

Sganzerla’s tire­less ob­ses­sion with Or­son Welles has led to yet an­oth­er schiz­o­phrenic film es­say about the Amer­i­can film­mak­er, one that is all over the place with­out that much co­he­sion (even though it is not as messy and chaot­ic as It’s Not All True) and dul­ly rep­e­ti­tious af­ter a while.

Tues­day, Af­ter Christ­mas (2010)

An en­gag­ing dra­ma that gives us the im­pres­sion that the ex­cel­lent ac­tors are im­pro­vis­ing in the many long takes, so nat­ur­al and un­af­fect­ed they seem in their roles. But this Ro­man­ian film could have opt­ed for close-ups in its key scenes to en­hance the dra­mat­ic in­ten­si­ty.

Tulip Fever (2017)

Twisty to the point of com­plete stu­pid­i­ty, this sump­tu­ous pe­ri­od dra­ma may be rel­a­tive­ly im­pres­sive with its pro­duc­tion de­sign and cos­tumes but in the end is noth­ing more than a cheap soap opera that can’t even en­ter­tain us with its corny dis­play of ar­dent sex­u­al de­sire.

Tul­ly (2018)

Here is a de­cent film that seems to be in des­per­ate search of a con­flict (any con­flict, at each and every turn) to jus­ti­fy its ex­is­tence, so much that it sim­ply comes up with an im­plic­it twist in the end to sound pro­found — a twist that ac­tu­al­ly does work de­spite, well, be­ing a cliché.

Tul­pan (2008)

Dvort­sevoy blurs the line be­tween fic­tion and re­al­i­ty with this mes­mer­iz­ing peek at an al­most alien uni­verse, dis­play­ing a re­mark­able con­trol of his shaky hand­held cam­era and cap­tur­ing some in­cred­i­bly for­tu­itous shots against the bar­ren and ruth­less sights of the Kaza­kh steppe.

Tur­bo (2013)

The sort of en­joy­able eye can­dy whose in­ter­est­ing premise gets sab­o­taged by a very pre­dictable de­vel­op­ment full of played-out clichés about be­ing who you are and over­com­ing your own lim­its. Still, it is en­ter­tain­ing enough and of­fers a great voice work.

Tur­bo Kid (2015)

As a throw­back to a retro 1980s style, it is a pity that it looks so cheap and goofy as if made by some­one who had just left film school with­out a dime in his pock­et, but de­spite its flaws, it is an en­ter­tain­ing pas­tiche full of en­er­gy, with Leboeuf and Iron­side steal­ing the show and ob­vi­ous­ly hav­ing a lot of fun.

The Turin Horse (2011)

Di­a­logues (and mono­logues) have nev­er been Tárr’s forte, so it is won­der­ful to see him make a most­ly silent and sim­ple por­tray­al of the bur­den of ex­is­tence in thir­ty hyp­no­tiz­ing long takes – the most vi­su­al­ly and nar­ra­tive­ly well pol­ished film of his ca­reer, yet iron­i­cal­ly his last one.

Tur­is­tas (2006)

It be­comes hi­lar­i­ous to see the lev­el of ig­no­rance and xeno­pho­bia that a per­son can reach when trash­ing a coun­try with their dumb view of things, but more em­bar­rass­ing is how aw­ful this movie is, go­ing from just in­sult­ing to be­ing a show­case of com­plete in­com­pe­tence by a ter­ri­ble di­rec­tor.

Turk­ish De­light (1973)

The film is a bit ir­reg­u­lar but Ver­ho­even makes up for that with a lot of con­vic­tion, en­er­gy and pathos (helped by the dy­nam­ic edit­ing), cre­at­ing an adorable cou­ple of char­ac­ters who grow on us as we wit­ness their odd­ball re­la­tion­ship de­vel­op and break.

The Turn­ing Point (1977)

An in­suf­fer­able and melo­dra­mat­ic soap opera that did­n’t de­serve any of the eleven Os­car nom­i­na­tions it got, es­pe­cial­ly for a mediocre script that has no struc­ture or clear fo­cus, as well as for Browne and Barysh­nikov, whose nom­i­na­tions are an in­sult to any real ac­tor.

12 An­gry Men (1957)

An im­pres­sive achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing it was Lumet’s first film, ex­treme­ly well-writ­ten and su­perbly di­rect­ed, with many el­e­gant shots, flu­id cam­era move­ments and a grip­ping plot that takes place en­tire­ly in­side a room and is sus­tained only by a tense, smart di­a­logue.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

It is not very clear what Mc­Queen wants with this un­flinch­ing but de­tached sto­ry of sur­vival, as he throws to­geth­er scenes of bru­tal re­al­ism with the­atri­cal di­a­logue, car­toon­ish vil­lains and a plot that seems more in­ter­est­ed in the tor­ture than of­fer­ing any new in­sight into the sub­ject.

20th Cen­tu­ry Women (2016)

It be­gins dull and un­in­ter­est­ing but lat­er be­comes an adorable and com­plex film drenched in nos­tal­gia, with a great sound­track, an Os­car-de­serv­ing award by An­nette Ben­ing and an im­pres­sive cin­e­matog­ra­phy that makes it look like it was re­al­ly made in the late 1970s.

20 Feet from Star­dom (2013)

An in­ter­est­ing and oc­ca­sion­al­ly poignant in­sight into the work of these tal­ent­ed artists un­fair­ly ne­glect­ed in the back­ground of fame, even if the rather clum­sy edit­ing also makes it a bit hard for us to keep our in­ter­est for too long, as it scat­ters their sto­ries to­geth­er.

25th Hour (2002)

With an over­ly de­press­ing col­or palette, aw­ful­ly jumpy edit­ing, sub­plots that go nowhere and an ubiq­ui­tous melan­choly mu­sic that nev­er stops for a sec­ond, Spike Lee over­loads his film and seems des­per­ate to drag us into a bot­tom­less abyss of sad­ness at near­ly all costs.

20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

This fun­ny, re­veal­ing and well-edit­ed film is a must-see for fans of Nick Cave and also for those who would like to take an in­ti­mate look into an artist’s cre­ative process and mo­ti­va­tion, even if the charm wears off fast and the doc is also stuffed with a tad too many con­cert scenes.

22 July (2018)

The film does a fine job re­count­ing Breivik’s at­tacks and their af­ter­math in its first half, but then it gets lost try­ing to ap­peal to our emo­tions with snow­mo­bile clichés and easy sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty as it fo­cus­es its cli­max on a wit­ness that doesn’t prove any­thing about Breivik’s san­i­ty.

Twen­ty Years Lat­er (1985)

Re­vis­it­ing af­ter 17 years the doc­u­men­tary he tried to make right be­fore the 1964 mil­i­tary coup in Brazil, Coutin­ho at­tempts to piece to­geth­er the lost years of those in­volved in the film­ing and cre­ates in the process a heart­break­ing piece of enor­mous his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance.

Twi­light Por­trait (2011)

An un­com­fort­able, dis­turb­ing dra­ma that grabs our at­ten­tion but is also too am­bigu­ous in its pur­pose, as it draws a twi­light por­trait of a so­ci­ety formed by de­spi­ca­ble peo­ple and makes us fol­low a sub­mis­sive char­ac­ter who hard­ly in­spires our sym­pa­thy.

Twi­light (2008)

It is shock­ing that some peo­ple could pos­si­bly think that such a sex­ist sto­ry is ro­man­tic, but maybe it could have been a bit bet­ter if it weren’t for its corny di­a­logue and weak per­for­mances that help make this a schmaltzy teen flick to please only the hard­core fans and no one else.

The Twi­light Saga: New Moon (2009)

A slight im­prove­ment (al­beit al­most in­signif­i­cant) over the first movie, with a few things that do work, but the lame, un­in­ter­est­ing main cou­ple (along with Pattinson’s in­ex­pres­sive per­for­mance) and the cheesy di­a­logue get very tire­some af­ter a while.

The Twi­light Saga: Eclipse (2010)

With aw­ful di­a­logue, ridicu­lous plot con­trivances and painful act­ing by every­one, this movie could be eas­i­ly sub­tract­ed from the se­ries with­out any loss — and it is ac­tu­al­ly a mys­tery how a poor nar­ra­tive like this can be called a “saga” when noth­ing ever re­al­ly hap­pens.

The Twi­light Saga: Break­ing Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

Not as ter­ri­ble as the pre­vi­ous chap­ter, since at least things start to fi­nal­ly hap­pen and the tech­ni­cal as­pects are de­cent enough to make it watch­able, but the ac­tors achieve the low­est bot­tom in aw­ful act­ing and the whole misog­y­ny of the plot is shock­ing and abysmal.

The Twi­light Saga: Break­ing Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

I’m sur­prised that this fi­nal chap­ter does have some­thing to say af­ter many movies about noth­ing, but while things do hap­pen for a change and the cli­max is ur­gent and ex­cit­ing, we are hit by a ridicu­lous twist that makes it col­lapse en­tire­ly to the ground. At least it is fi­nal­ly over.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

Put blunt­ly, this is not for the unini­ti­at­ed; but for those who saw the se­ries, this messy pre­quel is much eas­i­er to un­der­stand than it seems, invit­ing us into the dark world of Lau­ra Palmer (Sh­eryl Lee is fan­tas­tic) yet fail­ing to present any rea­son as to why it had to be made at all.

Twixt (2011)

It is painful to see Cop­po­la in­dulge him­self with this per­son­al non­sense, an in­co­her­ent mess that doesn’t know if it wants to be an un­scary Goth­ic hor­ror sto­ry, an over­styl­ized night­mare or an un­fun­ny com­e­dy. It is only bland, point­less and, even worse, sleep-in­duc­ing.

2 Days in New York (2012)

In this pa­thet­ic fol­low-up to the en­joy­able first film, Delpy seems to have run out of in­spi­ra­tion, aim­ing at sil­ly, pre­dictable jokes that get tired re­al­ly fast – maybe they work bet­ter on pa­per than on screen. Be­sides, the sto­ry is just a lot of clichés.

2 Days in Paris (2007)

This de­light­ful and fun­ny look into an ec­cen­tric cou­ple’s re­la­tion­ship proves that Delpy can be as good a film­mak­er as she is an ac­tress, and my only com­plaint is an un­nec­es­sary nar­ra­tion in the end in­stead of a di­a­logue that is un­for­tu­nate­ly not shown to us.

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Mar­i­on Cotil­lard de­liv­ers a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance in this del­i­cate char­ac­ter study (di­rect­ed by the Dar­d­enne broth­ers in their nat­u­ral­is­tic style full of long takes) about the bur­den of de­pres­sion and a woman’s need to find her strength back through an an­guish­ing sit­u­a­tion.

Two Drifters (2005)

Like a point­less Pe­dro Almod­ó­var melo­dra­ma that lacks depth or even a sense of pur­pose, Ro­drigues’s frus­trat­ing film suf­fers main­ly from the fact that his char­ac­ters are bare­ly sketch­es de­fined sole­ly by their con­stant­ly er­rat­ic be­hav­ior that feels com­plete­ly ar­bi­trary.

The Two Es­co­bars (2010)

A sad and shock­ing doc­u­men­tary that looks back at the mon­strous im­pact of nar­co­traf­fic on pol­i­tics and sports in Colom­bia in the 1990s, as well as how the fate of drug lord Pablo Es­co­bar was trag­i­cal­ly in­ter­wo­ven with that of soc­cer star An­drés Es­co­bar.

The Two Faces of Jan­u­ary (2014)

Even if not ex­act­ly im­pres­sive or as tense and grip­ping as it could have cer­tain­ly been, this is still a pret­ty ef­fi­cient di­rec­to­r­i­al de­but for Ami­ni, with a sol­id sto­ry about bad choic­es and dis­ap­point­ment, an ex­quis­ite cam­era work and great per­for­mances from the main trio.

200 Cig­a­rettes (1999)

A stu­pid and mis­guid­ed com­e­dy that has many fun­ny mo­ments but whose char­ac­ters are emp­ty and only fol­low the needs of a lame script – which also has no or­gan­ic rea­son to be set in 1981 oth­er than to be packed with 200 songs from back then.

Two Lives (2012)

A nu­anced dra­ma that grad­u­al­ly un­folds as it delves into the com­plex dilem­ma faced by a pro­tag­o­nist who can­not es­cape her trag­ic web of lies, but the con­trived last act has a com­plete­ly un­nec­es­sary flash­back that al­most un­der­mines the pow­er of her fi­nal de­ci­sion.

Two Lovers (2008)

A pro­found­ly in­volv­ing ro­man­tic dra­ma that ben­e­fits from a so­phis­ti­cat­ed di­rec­tion and great per­for­mances from its cast – main­ly Joaquin Phoenix, who is ab­solute­ly per­fect and brings this melan­choly tale of de­pres­sion and im­pul­sive pas­sion to an­oth­er lev­el.

Two Mules for Sis­ter Sara (1970)

A mild­ly en­ter­tain­ing West­ern with fun­ny mo­ments, but the movie’s prob­lem lies in a frus­trat­ing, il­log­i­cal rev­e­la­tion that takes place dur­ing the third act, some­thing that doesn’t make much sense and un­for­tu­nate­ly ru­ins the en­tire co­her­ence of the sto­ry.

Two Rab­bits (2012)

It is fun­ny to see how Po­yart’s fran­tic, MTV-es­que di­rect­ing style helps make this twisty movie so dy­nam­ic, fresh and fun in­stead of stand­ing in the way — which could have been very easy, since self-dis­ci­pline is a term that could nev­er be as­so­ci­at­ed with any­thing we see here.

Two Streams (1999)

It de­served a bit more pol­ish­ing, though it is al­ways nice to wit­ness the work of an ex­pe­ri­enced di­rec­tor who has a con­sid­er­able knowl­edge of film lan­guage (which can be seen from his use of dol­ly zooms and diegetic mu­sic) and re­lies on a great di­a­logue and fine per­for­mances.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

With an ex­tra­or­di­nary pro­duc­tion de­sign and cin­e­matog­ra­phy – which in­cludes mind-blow­ing pho­to­graph­ic ef­fects – this im­pres­sive work of po­et­ic con­tem­pla­tion de­picts Nietzsche’s philo­soph­i­cal con­cept of the Über­men­sch in a tru­ly ma­jes­tic cin­e­mat­ic ex­pe­ri­ence.

2030 (2014)

This in­trigu­ing com­bi­na­tion of mys­tery, ro­mance and sci-fi in a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic sce­nario knows well how to ex­plore the strik­ing vi­su­als of its wa­ter­logged lo­ca­tions, but the plot does not cre­ate enough ten­sion nor of­fers a sub­stan­tial pay­off, float­ing adrift in a vague, in­con­clu­sive end­ing.

Tyran­nosaur (2011)

The two main char­ac­ters are down­right un­bear­able and it is ir­ri­tat­ing to see how they are so pa­thet­ic and self-de­struc­tive deal­ing with their con­flicts. Be­sides, the film wants to shock the au­di­ence to cre­ate pathos, when clear­ly it has no di­rec­tion and ap­par­ent­ly noth­ing to say.

Um­ber­to D. (1952)

This ne­o­re­al­ist mas­ter­piece by mas­ter Vit­to­rio de Sica is a deeply heart­felt and un­for­get­table por­trait of a pover­ty-strick­en life in post­war Italy, avoid­ing any sort of easy sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty and need­ing no ef­fort to make us love and care about its strug­gling char­ac­ter.

The Um­brel­las of Cher­bourg (1964)

The edit­ing is great and the art di­rec­tion is gor­geous us­ing strong sat­u­rat­ed col­ors, but for me this is an aw­ful­ly frus­trat­ing film and the mu­sic very much like fin­ger­nails on a black­board, ab­solute­ly in­suf­fer­able as every­thing is sung through like a hor­ri­ble ar­ioso piece.

Un­ac­knowl­edged (2017)

The truth may still be out there, and I do find it cu­ri­ous that this film makes a rather per­sua­sive case about an al­leged alien cov­er-up con­spir­a­cy, but there is also a lot of vague spec­u­la­tion here, es­pe­cial­ly from un­trust­wor­thy peo­ple spout­ing non­sense about stuff like free en­er­gy.

The Unau­tho­rized Bev­er­ly Hills, 90210 Sto­ry (2015)

The show had ten sea­sons, so it is pa­thet­ic that this su­per­fi­cial, poor­ly-made and fan-made-look­ing tabloid flick fo­cus­es only on the first four, even if it can be amus­ing and the ac­tress­es who play Shan­nen and Jen­nie bear an in­cred­i­ble re­sem­blance to their real-life coun­ter­parts.

The Unau­tho­rized Mel­rose Place Sto­ry (2015)

I can­not imag­ine any­one who would en­joy watch­ing emp­ty, am­a­teur­ish crap like this — ex­cept, of course, those who love tabloids, tele­vi­sion gos­sip and use­less triv­ia about celebri­ties, back­stage love af­fairs and so on. Be­sides, the show ran for sev­en sea­sons, not just three.

The Un­be­liev­ers (2013)

These guys are bril­liant and I could watch their con­ver­sa­tions for hours straight, but the movie also starts to sad­ly re­sem­ble a pam­phlet for the “cause” in­stead of pro­mot­ing more mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions that could re­al­ly speak to peo­ple. Even so, I would rec­om­mend it to every­one.

Un­break­able (2000)

Shya­malan dis­plays an ab­solute con­trol of his film and the type of sto­ry he wants to tell, mak­ing use of many elab­o­rate long takes and el­e­gant cam­era move­ments to en­hance the ten­sion of his in­trigu­ing plot while keep­ing us al­ways in­volved even when the pac­ing seems to slow down.

Un­bro­ken (2014)

It is easy to see the ap­peal cre­at­ed by a true sto­ry about the re­silience of the hu­man spir­it, but the flawed nar­ra­tive is just too safe and poor­ly struc­tured, suf­fer­ing main­ly from ran­dom flash­backs that come out of nowhere and a frus­trat­ed at­tempt to im­part depth to its vil­lain.

Un­cer­tain­ty (2008)

A met­alin­guis­tic ex­er­cise in which it is the char­ac­ters who have to de­cide, by flip­ping a coin, if they want to be­long in a sen­si­tive fam­i­ly dra­ma or an ac­tion thriller, and so the re­sult is an in­ter­est­ing in­die ex­per­i­ment about un­cer­tain paths, though some­times a bit bland.

Un­cle Boon­mee Who Can Re­call His Past Lives (2010)

I ar­rived puz­zled at the end of this film won­der­ing if Un­cle Boon­mee could re­al­ly re­call his past lives, and al­though the di­rec­tion is tight and care­ful, the nar­ra­tive is loose and ster­ile, al­low­ing of in­fi­nite sym­bol­ic in­ter­pre­ta­tions but for what seems to be a life­less, emp­ty fa­ble.

Un­der the Hawthorn Tree (2010)

A beau­ti­ful and heart­break­ing film that fea­tures an ex­quis­ite cin­e­matog­ra­phy and is tremen­dous­ly sen­si­tive with­out be­ing sen­ti­men­tal — main­ly be­cause its two leads have a fan­tas­tic chem­istry to­geth­er and make us deeply care about their char­ac­ters and want to see their hap­pi­ness.

Un­der the Shad­ow (2016)

An in­tel­li­gent and scary hor­ror film that makes a more than wel­come com­men­tary on the hor­rors of war and gen­der op­pres­sion in Iran, us­ing a lot of sym­bol­ism and keep­ing us in an in­creas­ing state of anx­i­ety as it moves in a de­lib­er­ate, slow-burn­ing pace to­wards a ter­ri­fy­ing cli­max.

Un­der the Sil­ver Lake (2018)

As an ex­er­cise of style, this in­die neo-noir has its mo­ments and holds our at­ten­tion with an in­trigu­ing mys­tery, but the prob­lem is that it ends up feel­ing like a bunch of un­ripe ideas that were thrown to­geth­er by some­one who didn’t have a very good idea what to do with them.

Un­der the Skin (2013)

A har­row­ing and strong­ly at­mos­pher­ic sci­ence fic­tion with se­duc­tive vi­su­als, pow­er­ful dis­so­nant mu­sic and thought-pro­vok­ing ideas and mean­ings about what lies un­der­neath ap­pear­ances and that which makes us hu­mans — in­clud­ing fear, melan­choly and empti­ness.

Un­der the Tus­can Sun (2003)

Di­ane Lane rais­es this heart-warm­ing film above av­er­age in a very adorable per­for­mance that con­veys with a lot of sen­si­tiv­i­ty the pangs of de­pres­sion and yearn­ing to start over, help­ing make this the kind of feel-good sto­ry that is even more en­chant­i­ng thanks to the beau­ty of its lo­ca­tions.

Un­der­dogs (2013)

The worst thing to no­tice in this sub­par an­i­ma­tion is that, un­til the en­ter­tain­ing cli­max and de­spite be­ing tech­ni­cal­ly well made, it is a sil­ly, un­fo­cused ad­ven­ture with an­noy­ing char­ac­ters and a bad­ly-writ­ten script that seems to have no real clue of what it wants to tell.

Un­for­giv­en (1992)

East­wood de­con­structs the West­ern myths with this dark and re­al­is­tic film de­void of any of that ro­man­ti­cism of the Wild West, and so it is a glo­ri­ous farewell for the genre with a melan­choly score, an epic cin­e­matog­ra­phy and a lot of ten­sion that builds to­wards a bru­tal, fan­tas­tic end­ing.

Un­friend­ed (2014)

More ef­fi­cient than oth­er re­cent “com­put­er win­dows” hor­ror flicks like The Den and Open Win­dows, it knows how to build ten­sion and is clever to show what the pro­tag­o­nist is think­ing through the way she writes (and some­times eras­es be­fore send­ing) mes­sages on her com­put­er screen.

Un­friend­ed: Dark Web (2018)

For quite some time, this is a sol­id se­quel that grows care­ful­ly and steadi­ly scary (with even some ter­ri­fy­ing mo­ments) be­fore de­cid­ing to ven­ture into faux-su­per­nat­ur­al ter­ri­to­ry and com­ing up with a big twist in the end that is too pre­pos­ter­ous to make much sense.

Un­hung Hero (2013)

The wis­est thing that Moote’s girl­friend did was refuse to mar­ry him, since he is a com­plete id­iot who tries every sort of un­re­li­able and un­sci­en­tif­ic pro­ce­dure to en­large his pe­nis, and I can’t be­lieve that he would be so in­cred­i­bly stu­pid to ac­tu­al­ly want to see a sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tion.

The Un­in­vit­ed (2009)

A rare case of Amer­i­can re­make that I find bet­ter than the orig­i­nal film, since the ten­sion is car­ried out much more care­ful­ly here and with a more con­cise plot that wise­ly avoids the many twists in Kim Ji-Woon’s sto­ry and presents a more com­pelling rea­son to leave us scared.

Unit­ed in Anger: A His­to­ry of ACT UP (2012)

There is no doubt that ACT UP played a ma­jor role in the fight against the AIDS pan­dem­ic, but this doc­u­men­tary lacks a clear struc­ture and is quite rep­e­ti­tious, show­ing too many in­ter­views of peo­ple say­ing the same thing over and over — which be­comes tir­ing re­al­ly fast.

The Un­known (1927)

Around 14 min­utes of the orig­i­nal film are deemed lost and yet noth­ing seems to be miss­ing, since this only sur­viv­ing ver­sion is so straight to the point and ben­e­fits from a spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance by Lon Chaney, who keeps our eyes glued to the screen with each twitch of his ex­pres­sive face.

Un­known (2011)

Liam Nee­son plays an­oth­er mid­dle-aged su­per­man in this fre­net­ic movie full of over­styl­ish ac­tion, but even if the mediocre plot be­gins rel­a­tive­ly in­ter­est­ing, it soon comes up with a lot of con­ve­nient holes and ends with a lu­di­crous ex­pla­na­tion that is more laugh­able than sur­pris­ing.

The Un­known Girl (2016)

The Dar­d­ennes of­fer us an­oth­er en­gag­ing sto­ry shot in their usu­al nat­u­ral­is­tic style to show us things that hap­pen in the lives of com­mon peo­ple, even though this time what hap­pens seems a bit twisti­er than nec­es­sary and holds a less­er im­pact than their best works.

Un­re­mem­ber (2018)

In times when a coun­try seems to have for­got­ten its past or ac­tive­ly wants to erase it, this is the kind of im­por­tant film that ex­am­ines with a lot of sen­si­bil­i­ty and tact the emo­tion­al scars left by a mur­der­ous regime and the gen­er­a­tional gap that makes re­mem­ber­ing so hard for so many peo­ple.

Un­sane (2018)

Soder­bergh is a film­mak­er who is al­ways in­ter­est­ed in ex­plor­ing new pos­si­bil­i­ties and tech­nolo­gies, and here he uses an iPhone 7 Plus cam­era to make a bare­ly de­cent genre ex­er­cise that has too many clichés but at least man­ages to be fun when re­ly­ing on Claire Foy be­ing a tough bitch.

The Un­scrupu­lous Ones (1962)

Ruy Guer­ra bor­rows from An­to­nioni and the French New Wave to cre­ate this au­da­cious and hyp­no­tiz­ing film that im­press­es with its amount of ex­plic­it nu­di­ty for the time it was made, as well as many strik­ing shots and one of the most icon­ic scenes in Brazil­ian Cin­e­ma.

Up in the Air (2009)

George Clooney finds the per­fect tone for his charis­mat­ic char­ac­ter in this de­li­cious film that has a very wit­ty di­a­logue, great edit­ing, won­der­ful per­for­mances and a clever bal­ance be­tween hu­mor and emo­tions — the kind of sto­ry that makes me wish it nev­er ends.

Up Se­ries: Sev­en Up! (1964)

Even if it em­braces a too de­ter­min­is­tic view of so­ci­ety by pre­sum­ing it can pre­dict a child’s fu­ture just from their so­cial class, this is a fas­ci­nat­ing film (and ex­per­i­ment) that re­veals so much about the mul­ti­ple con­trast­ing ways those sev­en-year-old kids per­ceive the world around them.

Up Se­ries: 7 Plus Sev­en (1970)

The fact that this se­ries of films is so firm­ly in­tent on prov­ing the in­escapa­bil­i­ty of class im­mo­bil­i­ty does­n’t af­fect how im­pres­sive it is to see the changes in those chil­dren from when they are 7 to sev­en years lat­er, and how their life views are so strong­ly mold­ed by their en­vi­ron­ment.

Up Se­ries: 21 Up (1977)

One won­ders what an amaz­ing piece of so­ci­o­log­i­cal study this would have been in the hands of a more skill­ful film­mak­er, but even if Apt­ed’s ap­proach con­tin­ues to be a tad too me­chan­i­cal, the an­swers we get from the par­tic­i­pants (and the shock of see­ing how their lives changed) com­pen­sate im­mense­ly.

Up Se­ries: 28 Up (1984)

Apted’s ques­tions are much more in­tel­li­gent and less judg­men­tal now than in the pre­vi­ous films, mak­ing this the best in­stall­ment so far as it shows us how fas­ci­nat­ing those peo­ple and their lives have be­come with time, even if he leaves the most in­ter­est­ing sto­ries for the be­gin­ning.

Up Se­ries: 35 Up (1991)

At first, the im­pres­sion is that this is more of the same fol­low­ing what we saw in 28 Up, with very ba­sic ques­tions about work, mar­riage and fam­i­ly, but then the film grows much more in­ter­est­ing as it be­gins to take a deep­er look into the com­plex­i­ties and nu­ances of those people’s lives.

Up Se­ries: 42 Up (1998)

A sur­pris­ing in­stall­ment in the Up se­ries for those who don’t be­lieve you can change your life (some­times quite rad­i­cal­ly, I would say) af­ter you’re 35 — and right when you think you have seen it all, things get even more in­ter­est­ing and im­pres­sive as we ap­proach the end of the film.

Up Se­ries: 49 Up (2005)

Made dur­ing the boom of re­al­i­ty tele­vi­sion, this is cu­ri­ous­ly the first chap­ter in which some of the par­tic­i­pants snap back at Michael Apt­ed for his ques­tions, giv­ing us a won­der­ful in­sight into what they feel about be­ing part of the se­ries and also how it has af­fect­ed their lives.

Up Se­ries: 56 Up (2012)

This chap­ter makes for an al­ways en­gag­ing look at mid­dle age, even though there is not so much nov­el­ty here since 49 Up, es­pe­cial­ly as it feels that Apt­ed is not that in­ter­est­ed in ex­plor­ing some is­sues more deeply (like when he bare­ly ques­tions Tony about his un­con­scious racism).

Up Se­ries: 63 Up (2019)

Apt­ed is still not the best per­son to car­ry out this type of so­ci­o­log­i­cal ex­per­i­ment, but still, catch­ing up with these now 63-year-old par­tic­i­pants can be re­al­ly touch­ing and re­veal­ing as they look back at the choic­es they have made in their lives and also talk about the peo­ple they have lost.

Up­side Down (2012)

It has daz­zling vi­su­als (de­spite the di­rec­tor’s ob­ses­sion with lens flares and a CGI that looks a bit ar­ti­fi­cial) and an idea that is pret­ty orig­i­nal and in­trigu­ing, but it suf­fers from some glar­ing lack of in­ter­nal plau­si­bil­i­ty and a naive end­ing that is too sil­ly in its ro­man­tic op­ti­mism.

Up­stream Col­or (2013)

A high­ly in­ter­est­ing psy­cho-thriller that chal­lenges us to in­ter­pret its com­plex nar­ra­tive and cryp­tic sym­bol­ism, even if the re­sult is not ex­act­ly in­volv­ing — and Car­ruth de­serves a lot of cred­it for how he makes use of out­stand­ing vi­su­al and au­di­to­ry match cuts.

Us (2019)

If there is some­thing more ter­ri­fy­ing than alien body snatch­ers, it is our own dark sides crawl­ing out of our depths to take our places in so­ci­ety, and Peele cre­ates an in­tel­li­gent al­le­go­ry re­plete with sym­bol­ism of how to­day’s ‘US’ is mak­ing this red chain of mad­ness all the more pos­si­ble.

Utopia e Bar­bárie (2009)

An im­pres­sive­ly af­fect­ing doc­u­men­tary that took 19 years to be made and feels like one of Tendler’s most per­son­al films, as he of­fers a com­pre­hen­sive overview of our world’s mod­ern his­to­ry with utop­ism and op­pres­sion and ex­am­ines what has re­al­ly changed ever since he start­ed the project.