Home V‑Z


V/H/S (2012)

It is hard to fig­ure out what it worse here: if the fact that this pile of crap forces us to be in the com­pa­ny of a bunch of ob­nox­ious peo­ple or that the sto­ries are all dull and lead nowhere, with the found footage ex­e­cu­tion be­ing so in­cred­i­bly pre­ten­tious and even in­co­her­ent.

V/H/S/2 (2013)

It is a plea­sure to see that this much su­pe­ri­or se­quel com­pris­es four ef­fi­cient sto­ries that can be quite scary and make use of their film­ing tech­nol­o­gy to their ad­van­tage. Still, it is a shame though that the wrap-around sto­ry is so aw­ful that it near­ly ru­ins the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.

Valery and Her Week of Won­ders (1970)

The sym­bol­ism is a bit too ob­vi­ous and cal­cu­lat­ed, with not much room for sub­tle­ty and be­ing a tad slop­py to­wards the end, but this im­pres­sive film re­lies on an ef­fi­cient sur­re­al at­mos­phere like Al­ice in Won­der­land in a Czech so­ciopo­lit­i­cal con­text.

Val­ley of Love (2015)

A clear ex­am­ple of nepo­tism at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val (it would have nev­er com­pet­ed if it were not French), and the beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and great ac­tors can­not do much to save a ter­ri­bly dull nar­ra­tive that re­lies on such an aw­ful amount of in­el­e­gant ex­po­si­tion.

Val­ley of the Dolls (1967)

A ter­ri­ble film that feels tremen­dous­ly dat­ed to­day, as I imag­ine it did just as well back in the 1960s (al­though ob­vi­ous­ly not from a the­mat­ic point of view), like a mawk­ish vin­tage soap opera that is not ashamed of its laugh­able di­a­logue and ab­surd sit­u­a­tions.

Vanil­la Sky (2001)

Pené­lope Cruz looks in­cred­i­bly bored, as if forced to be in this over­long re­make that seems more like an end­less se­ries of mu­sic videos with way too many songs and pop ref­er­ences all the time, while Crowe’s changes in the orig­i­nal sto­ry (de­spite his per­son­al style) only make it worse.

The Van­ish­ing (1988)

De­spite the fact that the char­ac­ters (as well as the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Rex and Sask­ia) are not so well de­vel­oped, this is a spine-chill­ing thriller that re­lies on a grip­ping mys­tery and lets us slow­ly grasp the mo­ti­va­tions of its fas­ci­nat­ing vil­lain to­ward a ter­ri­fy­ing con­clu­sion.

Van­tage Point (2008)

The premise is in­ter­est­ing, even if not orig­i­nal at all, and there are great ac­tion scenes full of en­er­gy here to hold our at­ten­tion, but the film re­lies on nu­mer­ous co­in­ci­dences and the ac­tors are most­ly wast­ed play­ing poor­ly de­vel­oped char­ac­ters.

Vazante (2017)

The di­rec­tor’s ap­proach may be deemed cold or un­in­volved with its gor­geous plas­tic rig­or, but it does evoke an al­most crush­ing sense of in­escapa­bil­i­ty that char­ac­ter­izes his­to­ry and a past that can­not be al­tered, even though the film could have ben­e­fit­ed from a clear­er fo­cus and pur­pose.

A Vel­ha a Fiar (1964)

Fun in its quirky repet­i­tive­ness and loony lyrics, this is a per­fect les­son in edit­ing that can be seen as one of the very pre­cur­sors of mu­sic videos back in 1964.

Vel­vet Buz­z­saw (2019)

Ob­vi­ous and pedan­tic like Gyl­len­haal’s char­ac­ter, this is a sil­ly hor­ror movie that be­lieves to be so clever but does­n’t even seem to grasp the irony of be­ing pro­duced by Net­flix, suf­fer­ing also from an ex­cess of char­ac­ters (what is John Malkovich do­ing here?) and ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue.

Ven­om (2018)

A lame and tire­some su­per­hero movie that does­n’t give a hoot about con­sis­ten­cy (the alien sym­biotes, for in­stance, can suc­cess­ful­ly pos­sess a bunch of peo­ple when­ev­er that is con­ve­nient to the plot), be­com­ing also weird­ly dis­gust­ing in the end with its fas­cist anti-hero moral­i­ty.

Venus in Fur (2013)

Polan­s­ki gives us a wel­come slap across the face with this provoca­tive and de­li­cious­ly anti-sex­ist cham­ber film that is su­perbly well writ­ten — adapt­ed from David Ives’ homony­mous two-per­son play — and di­rect­ed with the lev­el of au­dac­i­ty that it de­serves.

Ver­non, Flori­da (1981)

As an al­most fol­low-up to the strange­ly ap­peal­ing Gates of Heav­en, this is a sim­ple doc­u­men­tary that does have its mo­ments and yet seems a lot more in­ter­est­ed in mock­ing its ec­cen­tric sub­jects than hav­ing any­thing re­al­ly in­ter­est­ing to say about their mun­dane lives and ex­pe­ri­ences.

Veron­i­ca (2017)

I know that there is­n’t much here that we haven’t seen in so many oth­er hor­ror films about Oui­ja boards, in­vo­ca­tions and evil spir­its (down to the jump scares and an­noy­ing dreams), but this Span­ish movie works well enough and finds a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion to an oth­er­wise typ­i­cal ghost sto­ry.

Veroni­ka Voss (1982)

With a black-and-white cin­e­matog­ra­phy that em­u­lates the vi­su­al style of movies from the 1950s, this bleak sto­ry — the sec­ond of Fass­binder’s BRD Tril­o­gy — in­vests in a down­beat ap­proach, ici­er than the oth­er two, with an end that cu­ri­ous­ly par­al­lels the di­rec­tor’s own demise.

O Vi­a­jante (1998)

It looks and sounds like a pe­ri­od soap opera, with its ar­ti­fi­cial di­a­logue and peo­ple who con­stant­ly speak to them­selves in a cheesy, the­atri­cal way; but the main prob­lem is, even though we know what it is try­ing to say, it lacks fo­cus and some­times bor­ders on misog­y­ny.

Vice (2018)

De­spite be­ing a bit messy and ju­ve­nile in its first half — like some­thing made by that 13-year-old cousin of yours who just learned how to use Win­dows Movie Mak­er and is so full of him­self — the film gets con­sid­er­ably bet­ter lat­er, when the gim­micks be­come wit­ti­er and the sar­casm sharp­er.

Vic­to­ria (2015)

Splen­did from the first sec­ond to the last, not only be­cause of its mag­nif­i­cent sin­gle take, ex­cep­tion­al cam­er­a­work, charis­mat­ic ac­tors (Fred­er­ick Lau is fan­tas­tic) and large­ly im­pro­vised di­a­logue that al­ways sounds real, but also for the way that it stretch­es the ten­sion for much longer af­ter our nerves have been frayed to pieces.

Vic­to­ria & Ab­dul (2017)

There is noth­ing like a pa­thet­ic pe­ri­od dra­ma that ro­man­ti­cizes the pla­ton­ic re­la­tion­ship be­tween a con­de­scend­ing white queen and a sub­mis­sive Mus­lim who is loy­al to her like a pup­py; but then again, all is fine when you show that Mus­lims op­press their women too, right? Yeah.

The Vic­to­ry of Faith (1933)

Thought to have been lost for over six­ty years, this his­tor­i­cal­ly im­por­tant (but ter­ri­fy­ing) piece of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da was the first one made by Leni Riefen­stahl be­fore she re­placed it with Tri­umph of the Will fol­low­ing Hitler’s or­ders that all of its copies were to be de­stroyed.

Vic­to­ry Through Air Pow­er (1943)

An ex­treme­ly in­for­ma­tive piece of his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment that was es­sen­tial in the mak­ing of im­por­tant de­ci­sions dur­ing WWII, with a huge­ly de­tailed strat­e­gy that showed Amer­i­cans how to win (and end) the war in the short­est pos­si­ble time and with min­i­mum hu­man ca­su­al­ties.

Video­drome (1983)

There is a very thought-pro­vok­ing idea about mass me­dia con­trol and para­noia in this strange hal­lu­cino­genic film, but de­spite that and the ex­cep­tion­al vi­su­al ef­fects, it is rather con­fus­ing (not in a good way though) and does not flesh out (yes, there you are) its premise so well.

Vik­tor and Vik­to­ria (1933)

A hi­lar­i­ous mu­si­cal com­e­dy that amus­es us es­pe­cial­ly with the way the char­ac­ters speak in met­ric vers­es and ben­e­fits main­ly from two amaz­ing per­for­mances by Re­nate Müller and Her­mann Thimig, who are very fun­ny and have a fan­tas­tic com­ic tim­ing.

The Vil­lage (2004)

A mys­tery-dri­ven al­le­go­ry that will dis­ap­point those ex­pect­ing the fright­en­ing movie the trail­er wants to sell, but those more open-mind­ed may find an in­ter­est­ing film with an evoca­tive cin­e­matog­ra­phy, even if the main twist (two, in fact) does­n’t car­ry the same im­pact as Shya­malan’s pre­vi­ous films.

Vin­cent & Theo (1990)

De­spite an aw­ful score and how the nar­ra­tive seems some­times as frag­ment­ed as the char­ac­ters’ psy­ches, this biopic im­press­es us with a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and art di­rec­tion, as if seen from Van Gogh’s own eyes, and it has Tim Roth and Paul Rhys in fan­tas­tic per­for­mances.

Vini­cius (2005)

Any film about the po­et­ic ge­nius that was Vini­cius de Moraes will in­evitably feel in­com­plete when com­pared to such a long-lived life full of ex­pe­ri­ences, and yet this is a com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­men­tary that won­der­ful­ly cap­tures what made him such a fas­ci­nat­ing per­son and artist.

Vi­ra­mun­do (1965)

Rough­ly struc­tured in two parts, this is a thought-pro­vok­ing and beau­ti­ful­ly-edit­ed doc­u­men­tary that re­lies on com­par­isons and par­al­lels to ex­pose the sev­er­al types of con­trasts the ex­ist­ed in the post­coup Brazil of 1965, as well as the pub­lic alien­ation pro­vid­ed by re­li­gious hys­te­ria.

Virun­ga (2014)

An im­por­tant, eye-open­ing and in­fu­ri­at­ing doc­u­men­tary that shows the ef­fort that has been made by those who are fight­ing in Con­go for the pro­tec­tion of the wild life in the Virun­ga Na­tion­al Park against the un­scrupu­lous in­ter­ests of the re­volt­ing SOCO In­ter­na­tion­al com­pa­ny.

The Vis­it (2015)

Shya­malan’s finest movie in over ten years (which is­n’t say­ing much ac­tu­al­ly) is this at­mos­pher­ic low-bud­get found footage film that finds a nice bal­ance be­tween hor­ror and com­e­dy, grow­ing un­com­fort­able and creepy as the sto­ry pro­gress­es un­til it gets in­cred­i­bly nerve-wrack­ing.

I Vitel­loni (1953)

Hav­ing re­fined his di­rect­ing skills, Felli­ni de­liv­ered this lyri­cal au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal sto­ry with a great cin­e­matog­ra­phy and a breath­tak­ing cir­cus-like car­ni­val scene, but its qua­si-episod­ic struc­ture makes it feel a bit un­fo­cused, with un­equal screen time de­vot­ed to each of the “vitel­loni.”

Viva Maria! (1965)

Brigitte Bar­dot looks stun­ning (as usu­al) in this pass­able but un­re­mark­able film that seems like a mere French shot at a Hol­ly­wood­i­an movie in Panav­i­sion, with su­perla­tive pro­duc­tion val­ues and a harm­less, slap­stick sense of hu­mor that some­times bor­ders on the sur­re­al.

Viva Riva! (2010)

A bru­tal and grip­ping Con­golese neo-noir that does­n’t in­vest as much in char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment as it does in cre­at­ing a raw at­mos­phere, and so the re­sult is an ex­cit­ing and re­al­is­tic blax­ploita­tion movie that turns a gener­ic plot into an in­ter­est­ing re­turn to the grind­house days.

Vive L’Amour (1994)

Tsai is an amaz­ing­ly tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor and brings those themes that he ex­plored in his first film to a high­er lev­el with a near­ly silent tale of young Taipei adults who long for any spark of love or con­nec­tion as they en­dure the re­lent­less grip of ur­ban lone­li­ness and hope­less­ness.

The Voic­es (2014)

It is a rare find to see a film that works so (tonal­ly) well try­ing to be si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly hi­lar­i­ous, charm­ing, sur­re­al and grue­some, forc­ing us to share its char­ac­ter’s in­san­i­ty and the dis­turb­ing nu­ances of his ill­ness and thus be­com­ing a trag­ic and hor­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in the end.

Vou Ri­far Meu Coração (2011)

It may be a bit ir­reg­u­lar and feel some­times like just a lot of peo­ple di­gress­ing like “ex­perts” about bre­ga mu­sic in Brazil and their bro­ken hearts, but still the film ben­e­fits im­mense­ly from how in­spired and de­li­cious the in­ter­views that we see spread all over the movie are.

Vox Lux (2018)

Any pos­si­bil­i­ty this film might have of mak­ing its nar­ra­tive el­e­ments come to­geth­er and ac­tu­al­ly mean some­thing is tossed out of the win­dow once Na­tal­ie Port­man shows up play­ing a one-di­men­sion­al car­i­ca­ture that could­n’t pos­si­bly in­spire our sym­pa­thy (and the last scene is to­tal bull­crap).

Voyeur (2017)

An in­trigu­ing doc­u­men­tary that peeks at the creepy real sto­ry of a nar­cis­sis­tic voyeur who want­ed to be like God and have the pow­er to se­cret­ly watch oth­er peo­ple’s lives, and it be­comes fas­ci­nat­ing as in­con­sis­ten­cies be­gin to ap­pear and we won­der what is true and false in his claims.

The Vul­gar Hours (2011)

There is a great melan­choly dra­ma about de­pres­sion and hope­less­ness here, only dis­persed in a mud­dled nar­ra­tive that suf­fers from prob­lems of struc­ture, fo­cus and pac­ing, which could have per­haps been cor­rect­ed had the film been edit­ed down by about twen­ty min­utes.

W. (2008)

It does a pret­ty de­cent job in hu­man­iz­ing an im­be­cile and mak­ing us al­most sym­pa­thize with him as we see his ef­forts to prove him­self to his fam­i­ly, but Oliv­er Stone plays it too safe and this semi-satire is also harmed a bit by its per­func­to­ry jumps in time and ran­dom flash­backs.

Wad­j­da (2012)

Wad­j­da is not only a sur­pris­ing mile­stone for be­ing the first film shot en­tire­ly in Sau­di Ara­bia and made by a fe­male di­rec­tor, but is above all a mar­velous cul­tur­al record that al­lows us to peek into this very un­fa­mil­iar and op­pres­sive so­ci­ety in an in­cred­i­bly heart­felt and ab­sorb­ing way.

The Wages of Fear (1953)

There is noth­ing like hav­ing your nerves frayed to shreds by a bril­liant di­rec­tor who knows how to cre­ate some­thing so un­bear­ably sus­pense­ful (the mise-en-scène and edit­ing are phe­nom­e­nal) us­ing the frame of bit­ing po­lit­i­cal satire to tell an amaz­ing sto­ry of friend­ship and fear.

Wait Un­til Dark (1967)

This is such a well-made, ex­quis­ite­ly-di­rect­ed and nail-bit­ing thriller that we eas­i­ly over­look how con­trived the plot may be, while Au­drey Hep­burn and Alan Arkin el­e­vate this to a clas­sic and of­fer us a cli­max that should be re­mem­bered as one of the most ter­ri­fy­ing of all times.

Wait­ing for Godot (2001)

A sol­id adap­ta­tion of Samuel Beck­et­t’s “tragi­com­e­dy in two acts” that may be about noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar but even so in­spires a great num­ber of in­ter­pre­ta­tions and dis­cus­sions, while the film’s ex­pert cam­era work con­tributes to make this a true cin­e­mat­ic ex­pe­ri­ence.

Wait­ing for Guff­man (1996)

Adopt­ing the same mock­u­men­tary for­mat that he helped pop­u­lar­ize in the hi­lar­i­ous This Is Spinal Tap (but whose lan­guage is still a bit con­fus­ing), Guest cre­ates an­oth­er film that fans of dead­pan hu­mor will find ex­treme­ly fun­ny and also sur­pris­ing­ly touch­ing in the end as well.

The Walk (2015)

Ze­meck­is dis­plays his usu­al in­ven­tive­ness with breath­tak­ing vi­su­als in 3D and styl­ish cam­era move­ments, of­fer­ing us a nerve-wrack­ing cli­max that should cause a heart at­tack on any­one afraid of heights, de­spite an un­wel­come ten­den­cy to­wards corni­ness in the end.

A Walk Among the Tomb­stones (2014)

Tak­ing place in a pre‑9/11 NYC, this con­ven­tion­al and un­sur­pris­ing thriller seems dat­ed like a re­vival of the TV se­ries Mil­len­ni­um (de­spite its great cin­e­matog­ra­phy), and even the jux­ta­po­si­tion of freeze-framed ac­tion with a voice-over about the 12 steps of AA feels bland and ar­bi­trary.

Walk Run Cha-Cha (2019)

A del­i­cate look at what sep­a­ra­tion does to a re­la­tion­ship and to the feel­ings that two peo­ple have for each oth­er, as ex­pe­ri­enced by an el­der­ly cou­ple who’ve been danc­ing against time in an al­most des­per­ate at­tempt to re­con­nect.

The Wall (2012)

De­spite Gedeck­’s strong per­for­mance and a splen­did cin­e­matog­ra­phy that makes the most of its gor­geous lo­ca­tions, it rais­es sev­er­al ques­tions and ideas that are nev­er ful­ly ex­plored, while the un­nec­es­sary and an­noy­ing­ly in­tru­sive nar­ra­tion makes it seem like a filmed nov­el.

Wall Street (1987)

With Michael Dou­glas in a su­perb and un­for­get­table per­for­mance as the vo­ra­cious shark Gor­don Gekko, this is an ex­cel­lent film that re­lies on an el­e­gant di­a­logue to tell us a fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry about man’s greedy de­sire to score more and more in the stock mar­ket game of pow­er.

Wall Street: Mon­ey Nev­er Sleeps (2010)

A great se­quel about the en­durance of the mon­ey game and the plea­sure for some to be in the spec­u­la­tion bat­tle, with a sharp di­a­logue and an­oth­er amaz­ing per­for­mance by Dou­glas in this com­pelling sto­ry whose sole mis­step is a weak, un­nec­es­sary con­flict in the fi­nal act.

Want­ed (2008)

With an ex­hil­a­rat­ing plot that clev­er­ly mod­ern­izes the Greek Fates myth, this is a top-notch ac­tion-packed movie that de­fies the laws of Physics with a styl­ish di­rec­tion, great per­for­mances, a lot of class and end­less en­er­gy to of­fer us some­thing tru­ly unique.

A War (2015)

Af­ter a rather clum­sy first hour that feels a bit too sta­t­ic and even pre­dictable in its un­fold­ing, this great nat­u­ral­is­tic war dra­ma sur­pris­ing­ly grows in its sec­ond half to raise in­tel­li­gent and rel­e­vant ques­tions about the kind of ugly de­ci­sions a good sol­dier can make in the line of fire.

War for the Plan­et of the Apes (2017)

What a won­der­ful sur­prise to see how much this movie is cen­tered on its char­ac­ters when it would have been so easy to fo­cus most­ly on the ac­tion (af­ter all, there is a “war” in the ti­tle), be­ing in­stead an in­tel­li­gent and care­ful dra­ma that takes its time to earn our emo­tion­al in­vest­ment.

War Horse (2011)

Even if tech­ni­cal­ly ef­fec­tive, this aw­ful­ly heavy-hand­ed melo­dra­ma fol­lows a “mirac­u­lous horse” and his in­ex­pres­sive own­er in an ex­cru­ci­at­ing­ly long jour­ney to­ward mak­ing the au­di­ence cry at all costs, be­ing only an over­ly sen­ti­men­tal soap opera that lacks any real sen­si­bil­i­ty.

War Pho­tog­ra­ph­er (2001)

A pow­er­ful and in­sight­ful ex­plo­ration of Nachtwey’s work and mo­ti­va­tions that puts us right there be­side him in or­der to of­fer a glimpse of what it must be like to risk your life to bring those im­ages to the pub­lic, ar­gu­ing for the im­por­tance of small ac­tions if we want to change things.

War Witch (2012)

A sen­si­tive dra­ma that de­serves cred­it for ex­pos­ing a dis­turb­ing real sub­ject with­out try­ing to be shock­ing or melo­dra­mat­ic — and it finds a per­fect bal­ance be­tween po­et­i­cal mys­ti­cism and hon­est dra­mat­ic pow­er, while sur­pris­ing us with a del­i­cate and in­volv­ing love sto­ry.

War­craft (2016)

It seems like this lum­ber­ing adap­ta­tion was made ex­clu­sive­ly for fans of the game, since for the unini­ti­at­ed (like me) it will be re­al­ly hard to care about pa­per-thin char­ac­ters and a con­vo­lut­ed plot that feels more like the first chap­ter in an end­less saga of movies full of noise and CGI.

War­rior (2011)

A com­pelling dra­ma that de­vel­ops well the per­son­al­i­ties and mo­ti­va­tions of its two main char­ac­ters — and even though the plot is dri­ven by sev­er­al co­in­ci­dences and we know ex­act­ly from the start where it is go­ing, we end up root­ing and deeply car­ing for the both of them.

The War­riors (1979)

There will al­ways be some peo­ple out there say­ing that this movie is emp­ty, point­less and does­n’t have a “mes­sage” wor­thy of be­ing told, but they will be miss­ing the point — which is to en­joy the un­pre­ten­tious en­ter­tain­ment it of­fers and the styl­ish idea of a dystopia it de­vis­es.

Waste Land (2010)

A pro­found­ly mov­ing doc­u­men­tary that delves into the cre­ative process of an artist and shows how Art can tru­ly change peo­ple, and the most fas­ci­nat­ing is to see the deep and un­ex­pect­ed re­la­tion­ship that grows be­tween the artist and the peo­ple who are the sub­ject of his cre­ation.

Watch Out, Madame (1970)

The fake ketchup blood looked less ob­vi­ous and cheesy in Bres­sane’s black-and-white films, and to­day this can be seen more as fun cu­rios­i­ty than an ex­am­ple of sub­ver­sive ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, lack­ing the im­pact and hys­ter­i­cal mad­ness of his bet­ter works.

The Wa­ter Di­vin­er (2014)

Rus­sell Crowe’s per­for­mance is the only thing that pre­vents this from be­ing a com­plete dis­as­ter, since his aw­ful di­rec­tion and the lame script turn the film into a Mex­i­can te­len­ov­ela for al­pha males, with lu­di­crous sit­u­a­tions, cheesy di­a­logue and Olga Kurylenko as an ir­ri­tat­ing car­i­ca­ture.

Wa­ter Drops on Burn­ing Rocks (2000)

As a cu­ri­ous ex­ag­ger­a­tion of stereo­types, this film may be in­ter­est­ing at a first look, but the many at­tempts at a dark hu­mor are not fun­ny and only feel awk­ward and out of place — which can also be said about the sur­re­al tone that makes it all seem ster­ile and point­less.

The Wave (2008)

Even if based on real events, it is a bit hard to be­lieve that every­thing that we see here would hap­pen so fast; still, this is a thought-pro­vok­ing film about peo­ple’s ter­ri­fy­ing dis­po­si­tion to let them­selves be se­duced by a fas­cist-like au­toc­ra­cy that could take root in any so­ci­ety.

The Way He Looks (2014)

A del­i­cate and tremen­dous­ly sweet com­ing-of-age sto­ry that left me smil­ing the whole time thanks to its sen­si­bil­i­ty and adorable char­ac­ters — and Ribeiro di­rects it with an im­pres­sive con­fi­dence, ex­pand­ing the short film it is based on into a much more nu­anced nar­ra­tive.

The Way We Were (1973)

Streisand and Red­ford have no chem­istry to­geth­er, the di­a­logue is usu­al­ly awk­ward and aw­ful, the love sto­ry is com­plete­ly ar­ti­fi­cial and Streisand’s char­ac­ter is so in­suf­fer­ably anal that it al­most makes it hard to be­lieve that any­one would ever fall in love with some­one like that.

The Way­ward Cloud (2005)

At first, this is an un­fo­cused mu­si­cal dra­ma that shoots in every di­rec­tion to see what sticks, in­clud­ing some un­nec­es­sary mu­si­cal num­bers and ran­dom scenes that have no pur­pose, but that un­til it reach­es a strik­ing last scene that is provoca­tive, mean­ing­ful and touch­ing.

W.E. (2011)

Madon­na em­ploys her shal­low view of life in this self-in­dul­gent project of pure van­i­ty to tell two in­sipid sto­ries that hard­ly blend to­geth­er, cre­at­ing an ex­cru­ci­at­ing and un­fo­cused mess about two pa­thet­ic women full of self-pity and with no self-re­spect.

The We and the I (2012)

The kind of hon­est and out­spo­ken por­tray­al of youth that works quite well with its use of great non-pro­fes­sion­al ac­tors and loose sto­ry­telling, ram­bling on from one ca­su­al talk to the next while al­ways keep­ing our full in­ter­est in its re­al­is­tic, flesh-and-bone char­ac­ters.

We Are Not An­gels (1992)

This light and charm­ing com­e­dy may have been a great suc­cess in its home coun­try and be wide­ly con­sid­ered now as the fun­ni­est Ser­bian film ever made, but it is also a bit trashy, and the sense of hu­mor does­n’t trans­late very well to for­eign au­di­ences (some jokes fall real flat).

We Are Still Here (2015)

It is easy to see what Ge­oghe­gan is try­ing to do with this old-school throw­back to the hor­ror movies of the 1970s, but while it is creepy, well paced and re­al­ly scary, it is also very bad­ly writ­ten to the point that noth­ing makes sense and I can’t make heads and tails of it.

We Are the Flesh (2016)

The kind of crap that gives bad fame to so-called “art films” (a term that I hate, by the way), made by some­one who is clear­ly a fan of Gas­par Noé and David Lynch but who mis­takes shock for mean­ing, and so all he makes is trashy, dis­gust­ing porn dressed up as artis­tic.

We Are What We Are (2013)

An ef­fec­tive psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror film that works pre­cise­ly be­cause it avoids cheap scares, adopt­ing an op­pres­sive cin­e­matog­ra­phy to cre­ate a slow-burn­ing and dis­turb­ing ex­pe­ri­ence cen­tered on re­li­gion, tra­di­tion and pa­tri­archy, de­spite be­ing a bit pre­dictable some­times.

We Have a Pope (2011)

Even with Pic­coli in a strong per­for­mance, it does­n’t live up to the promise of its premise, of­fer­ing us an ef­fi­cient first half with good pac­ing but then be­com­ing dis­joint­ed and drag­ging with no di­rec­tion to­wards nowhere. Be­sides, Moret­ti’s char­ac­ter seems com­plete­ly use­less.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

A dis­turb­ing, ter­ri­fy­ing and emo­tion­al­ly dev­as­tat­ing dra­ma that ex­am­ines how evil can grow in­side peo­ple from the way they are raised — and Til­da Swin­ton is won­der­ful in an Os­car-de­serv­ing per­for­mance as a moth­er who does­n’t have any idea how to raise her son.

We Steal Se­crets: The Sto­ry of Wik­iLeaks (2013)

A fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary that sheds a re­veal­ing light on the largest whistle­blow­ing scan­dal of re­cent times, its reper­cus­sions and the moral dilem­ma in­volved, even though Gib­ney also has a bit of trou­ble edit­ing all this ma­te­r­i­al to­geth­er in a co­he­sive way.

Wed­ding Crash­ers (2005)

A very fun­ny com­e­dy that in­vests more in odd sit­u­a­tions than in punch line gags, with Vince Vaughn in a mag­net­ic per­for­mance and a price­less Will Fer­rell, but the film is un­for­tu­nate­ly about thir­ty min­utes longer than it should be, drag­ging a lit­tle bit in its third act.

The Wed­ding Di­rec­tor (2006)

Even if the in­com­pre­hen­si­ble last half-hour is a miss, this is a well-di­rect­ed and sharp com­e­dy with a great per­for­mance by Castel­lit­to — and the scenes in­volv­ing a film di­rec­tor fak­ing his own death are the high­light.

Week­end (2011)

A won­der­ful­ly hon­est and re­al­is­tic por­tray­al of a sex­u­al en­counter lead­ing to some­thing pro­found and un­ex­pect­ed, and it is in essence a uni­ver­sal sto­ry that makes it so easy for us to em­pathize with these char­ac­ters who are so three-di­men­sion­al, well con­struct­ed and com­plex.

Week­end at Bernie’s (1989)

Odi­ous and com­plete­ly un­fun­ny, it re­al­ly amazes me that this aw­ful movie has be­come some sort of trashy cult along the years, and it is near­ly un­bear­able to see a bunch of stu­pid char­ac­ters in­ca­pable of notic­ing that a man is ob­vi­ous­ly dead.

Wel­come Aboard (2012)

With a heavy-hand­ed di­rec­tion and ab­solute­ly no sub­tle­ty, this film starts well but soon turns into a cheap melo­dra­ma with a corny sound­track and an ar­ti­fi­cial end­ing. Be­sides, Ches­nais may be fan­tas­tic, but Jeanne Lam­bert is ter­ri­ble as an an­noy­ing car­i­ca­ture of a teenag­er.

Wel­come to Me (2014)

Kris­ten Wiig is tal­ent­ed and charis­mat­ic enough to sell us this un­even sto­ry and not alien­ate us from her self­ish, awk­ward char­ac­ter, al­though the film does­n’t re­al­ly find the best bal­ance be­tween com­e­dy and dra­ma.

Wel­come to the Ri­leys (2010)

Kris­ten Stew­art puts in a fine per­for­mance and is backed by two great per­for­mances by James Gan­dolfi­ni and Melis­sa Leo, in a dra­ma that be­gins very well but soon starts to lose mo­men­tum as it grad­u­al­ly ad­vances to­wards an op­ti­mistic res­o­lu­tion — al­though I do like the end­ing.

Wer­ck­meis­ter Har­monies (2000)

Bela Tárr reach­es the point of for­mal per­fec­tion with this spell­bind­ing al­le­go­ry about for­eign oc­cu­pa­tion com­posed of 39 mas­ter­ful long takes, a the­mat­i­cal­ly thought-pro­vok­ing film that is more well struc­tured than his pre­vi­ous works and has a won­der­ful score by Mi­há­ly Víg.

West of Mem­phis (2012)

As a fourth doc­u­men­tary about the sub­ject, it does feel like a con­densed (and, to be hon­est, un­nec­es­sary and jumpi­er) ver­sion of the oth­er three, do­ing a de­cent job in ex­am­in­ing the case but not of­fer­ing that much be­yond what we have learned from watch­ing the Par­adise Lost films.

West Side Sto­ry (1961)

A col­or­ful mu­si­cal ver­sion of Romeo and Juli­et in the 1960s New York that should al­ways be re­mem­bered for Bern­stein’s great score and its won­der­ful mu­si­cal num­bers and edit­ing, yet it is hard to over­look the pedes­tri­an di­a­logue, the corny ro­mance and Beymer mis­cast as a street gang kid.

West­world (1973)

It takes too long for things to start to fi­nal­ly hap­pen in this dull pre­cur­sor of Juras­sic Park (al­though every­thing is quite pre­dictable right from the be­gin­ning), with also a glar­ing prob­lem of fo­cus and ter­ri­ble pac­ing and edit­ing, but Yul Bryn­ner looks cool as a killing ro­bot-cow­boy.

What Ever Hap­pened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Davis and Craw­ford em­brace their roles with a tremen­dous in­ten­si­ty, de­liv­er­ing two spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mances like hor­ror queens in a campy, bizarre sto­ry and mak­ing this a hi­lar­i­ous psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller that is re­al­ly en­ter­tain­ing as far as clas­sic ex­ploita­tion goes.

What Hap­pened, Miss Si­mone? (2015)

A sad and mem­o­rable film that draws a re­mark­ably wide pic­ture of an ide­o­log­i­cal­ly ad­mirable (yet psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly un­sta­ble) woman who would use her sub­lime voice to sing her demons and not go crazy in an ugly time and world that could not ac­cept her and her free­dom.

What Hap­pened to Mon­day (2017)

For a sci­ence fic­tion film with such a nice premise, it is a pity to see it waste it with the kind of ba­nal rev­e­la­tion (about a cer­tain ma­chine) that di­lutes what could have been an in­ter­est­ing moral dis­cus­sion, but at least it is fun to see Noo­mi Ra­pace play­ing sev­en dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters.

What Hap­pens in Ve­gas (2008)

They hand­picked two of the most an­noy­ing (and ter­ri­ble) ac­tors to play these un­be­liev­ably de­testable char­ac­ters, in a loath­some rom­com that pan­ders to the low­est com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor with a lu­di­crous premise and a heap of clichés from the first scene to the last.

What If (2013)

Rad­cliffe and Kazan are ir­re­sistible and have a love­ly chem­istry to­geth­er in this sweet rom­com whose best as­set is its charm­ing, fun­ny di­a­logue; even so, the movie is also a bit too ob­vi­ous with the kind of pre­dictable sto­ry that we have all seen many times be­fore.

What Maisie Knew (2012)

A sen­si­tive and sad film that can be un­com­fort­able and in­fu­ri­at­ing some­times as we wit­ness a child get­ting caught in the mid­dle of a trou­bling di­vorce be­tween her piti­ful par­ents — and it knows how to tack­le this del­i­cate mat­ter with the sub­tle­ty that it de­serves.

What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004)

Don’t be fooled by this pseu­do­sci­en­tif­ic garbage that uses mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion of quan­tum me­chan­ics to sell some self-help pro­pa­gan­da for a cult with­out even hav­ing the good faith to tell us the iden­ti­ty of its “il­lus­tri­ous” in­ter­vie­wees be­fore the movie is al­ready over.

What Time Is It There? (2001)

De­spite its evoca­tive vi­su­als, it feels rep­e­ti­tious to see Tsai ex­plore once again his fa­vorite themes of lone­li­ness and empti­ness but in a film that is too puz­zling and lacks in con­sis­ten­cy — es­pe­cial­ly with re­gard to the char­ac­ter’s odd ob­ses­sion with clocks and a woman he bare­ly meets.

What to Ex­pect When You’re Ex­pect­ing (2012)

Apart from a few fun­ny scenes, this is a lame ro­man­tic com­e­dy that fol­lows five un­in­ter­est­ing cou­ples (some of them re­al­ly an­noy­ing) and has a ridicu­lous and em­bar­rass­ing sense of hu­mor in­volv­ing gas­es, urine and vom­it — which only shows how wit­less the pro­duc­ers are.

What We Do in the Shad­ows (2014)

This orig­i­nal one-joke com­e­dy is more im­pres­sive for its fan­tas­tic spe­cial ef­fects than for its plot, since it be­gins bel­ly-aching­ly hi­lar­i­ous but then starts to slow­ly wear off as the nov­el­ty gives place to fa­mil­iar­i­ty, prov­ing that some ideas work bet­ter when made into short movies.

What’s in a Name? (2012)

Even fun­nier than Ro­man Polan­ski’s Car­nage, this smart French com­e­dy (also adapt­ed from a play) is lift­ed by a very sharp cast and has a dy­nam­ic di­rec­tion that knows how to main­tain a good pace, fo­cus­ing most­ly on a well-writ­ten di­a­logue that is so hi­lar­i­ous.

What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)

An­gela Bas­sett looks noth­ing like the real Tina Turn­er phys­i­cal­ly, but it is re­al­ly im­pres­sive how she em­bod­ies her char­ac­ter so per­fect­ly, mov­ing, singing and danc­ing just like her in this in­spir­ing bi­og­ra­phy that also ben­e­fits from an as­tound­ing per­for­mance by Lau­rence Fish­burne.

What’s Up, Doc? (1972)

It does­n’t re­al­ly mat­ter that this amus­ing homage to the screw­ball come­dies of the 1930s and 1940s has such a loony struc­ture, since it is of­ten hi­lar­i­ous and has a su­per charis­mat­ic Bar­bra Streisand em­body­ing an ir­re­sistible com­bi­na­tion of Ca­r­ole Lom­bard and Bugs Bun­ny.

What­ev­er Works (2009)

Lar­ry David may not be the best choice for the role of Woody Al­len’s al­ter-ego, but the film’s script, writ­ten in the 1970s, is a re­fresh­ing re­turn to the first half of Al­len’s ca­reer and to his beloved New York af­ter the movies he made in Lon­don and Spain.

When a Stranger Calls (1979)

This is like two com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent movies in one, only the first and last 20 min­utes are much tenser and vast­ly su­pe­ri­or to the 60 min­utes in be­tween — which sad­ly shifts its fo­cus to the killer and clear­ly wants to be more like Peep­ing Tom than Hal­loween or Black Christ­mas.

When Har­ry Met Sal­ly… (1989)

Ephron’s screen­play is mar­velous, de­li­cious­ly fun­ny and de­serv­ing of every award — and much of the im­pro­vised di­a­logue in sev­er­al mo­ments fits so per­fect­ly that they seem script­ed -, but what makes the movie even more adorable is the chem­istry be­tween Crys­tal and Ryan.

When Marnie Was There (2014)

The an­i­ma­tion is gor­geous like every­thing Stu­dio Ghi­b­li makes (though this is per­haps its fi­nal pro­duc­tion, fol­low­ing Miyaza­k­i’s re­tire­ment), but the film is not with­out its flaws, such as trou­ble with pac­ing and a twisty plot whose rev­e­la­tions are more pre­dictable than in­sight­ful.

When They See Us (2019)

Du­Ver­nay does­n’t even try to con­ceal the ob­vi­ous way she mim­ics Bar­ry Jenk­ins’ di­rect­ing style (es­pe­cial­ly the aes­thet­ics of Moon­light), and while I see the im­por­tance of what is told here, the re­sult is over­tak­en by clichés and wants too des­per­ate­ly to make us cry at all costs.

Where Do We Go Now? (2011)

Laba­ki fails try­ing to com­bine in the same film a light­heart­ed com­e­dy and a se­ri­ous state­ment on in­tol­er­ance in the Mid­dle East, as her sto­ry moves with no tact from con­stant sil­ly jokes to tragedy to melo­dra­ma and ends with a naive last scene that is an of­fense to the view­er’s in­tel­li­gence.

Where Is the Friend’s Home? (1987)

Kiarosta­mi crafts an in­cred­i­bly sen­si­tive and de­cep­tive­ly sim­ple film that shows a lot about a strict so­ci­ety in which adults don’t lis­ten to chil­dren, cre­at­ing a lin­ger­ing im­pact on the view­er as we fol­low the ac­tion take place most­ly from the point of view of a gen­er­ous kid.

Where the Truth Lies (2005)

Al­though this un­re­mark­able film noir has good pac­ing and some­times even seems care­ful­ly elab­o­rat­ed, the sto­ry is not re­al­ly com­pelling or in­ter­est­ing, so you will prob­a­bly not even re­mem­ber it af­ter see­ing it.

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Spike Jonze’s au­teur­ish adap­ta­tion of Mau­rice Sendak’s clas­sic chil­dren’s book is dark, vi­su­al­ly haunt­ing and more adult in tone than the orig­i­nal sto­ry, tak­ing us on a melan­choly jour­ney into a kid’s in­ner self where his wild things are.

Where to In­vade Next (2015)

Moore’s films al­ways seem a bit too script­ed, as if draw­ing sim­plis­tic con­clu­sions from facts only to cor­rob­o­rate his points of view, but even so this is an in­trigu­ing doc­u­men­tary that should make Amer­i­cans have a look at what oth­er cul­tures around the world could teach them.

While We’re Young (2014)

Noah Baum­bach is be­com­ing an ex­pert in this kind of quirky lit­tle movie cen­tered on ir­ri­tat­ing char­ac­ters who are seen as in­ex­plic­a­bly adorable by the pub­lic (like Frances Ha), and even if it is fun­ny and en­joy­able, I re­al­ly can’t re­late to most of its ide­ol­o­gy that young peo­ple are id­iots.

Whiplash (2014)

An in­tense, nerve-wrack­ing and in­cred­i­bly com­plex char­ac­ter study whose main fea­tures are its out­stand­ing edit­ing and fan­tas­tic, Os­car-wor­thy per­for­mances by Sim­mons and Teller, who car­ry to­geth­er the sto­ry with sheer mu­si­cal pre­ci­sion to­wards a most ex­hil­a­rat­ing fi­nal scene.

The Whistle­blow­er (2010)

I don’t like that some actors/characters are wast­ed and dis­ap­pear with­out ex­pla­na­tion (like Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch), but still this is a riv­et­ing film based on a real sto­ry that is so hor­ren­dous (a huge stain in the his­to­ry of the UN) that it is even hard to be­lieve it hap­pened.

The Whistlers (2019)

Tense and al­ways com­pelling, this Ro­man­ian crime thriller can be very amus­ing when bor­row­ing el­e­ments from the clas­sic film noir genre, and it makes such fun use of a cu­ri­ous whistling lan­guage and a num­ber of in­spired twists that serve to test the char­ac­ters’ loy­al­ties.

White Col­lar Blues (1975)

Struc­tured as a se­ries of sketch­es that can be quite hi­lar­i­ous (even if also harm­less), this is a very fun­ny slap­stick com­e­dy that be­came a clas­sic in Italy, fol­low­ing an in­cred­i­ble amount of un­for­tu­nate events in the life of the un­luck­i­est white col­lar work­er you can imag­ine.

White Chicks (2004)

This aw­ful com­e­dy is not only de­riv­a­tive and ob­vi­ous (more than half of it is just a re­hash of Some Like It Hot) but seems made for the same sort of re­tards who can’t see through a ridicu­lous dis­guise that only makes the Wayans broth­ers look like hideous car­i­ca­tures.

White Dog (1982)

The ex­cel­lent edit­ing and grip­ping sto­ry (de­spite the ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue) com­pen­sate well for Fuller’s prob­lems in di­rec­tion — he re­al­ly knows how to work with dogs but has se­ri­ous trou­ble to ar­tic­u­late the ac­tion in the mise-en-scène with­out killing the ten­sion.

White Ele­phant (2012)

Trap­ero de­liv­ers an­oth­er hard-hit­ting dra­ma with many won­der­ful long takes and Darín in a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance (as usu­al), de­pict­ing with­out con­ces­sions a hard re­al­i­ty where faith and com­mit­ment seem fu­tile in a so­ci­ety dom­i­nat­ed by an en­dem­ic ne­glect and lack of care.

White Girl (2016)

Eliz­a­beth Wood dis­plays an enor­mous tal­ent be­hind the cam­eras of her first fea­ture film, al­most plac­ing us right there next to her char­ac­ter and man­ag­ing what is most dif­fi­cult: to make us sym­pa­thize with some­one in a spi­ral­ing de­scent into mad ob­ses­sion and drug ad­dic­tion.

White God (2014)

De­spite some poor nar­ra­tive choic­es (main­ly in the last half hour) and how it feels rather vague when it comes to its main state­ment, there is a grip­ping para­ble about op­pres­sion here and Mundruczó de­serves praise for his amaz­ing di­rec­tion, es­pe­cial­ly his di­rect­ing of the dogs.

White Ma­te­r­i­al (2009)

A thought-pro­vok­ing po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary in which De­nis sets out to ex­am­ine the white colo­nial­ist abuse and its con­se­quences in a French-speak­ing African coun­try, even if it does­n’t feel so well fin­ished, es­pe­cial­ly when it comes to Manuel’s er­rat­ic (and puz­zling) ac­tions.

White Out, Black In (2014)

I re­al­ly like how this film blends re­al­i­ty and fic­tion in a way you can’t see where one ends and the oth­er be­gins, but it also suf­fers from pac­ing is­sues and a tire­some lack of fo­cus, while its rel­e­vant so­cial com­men­tary be­comes pret­ty heavy-hand­ed af­ter a while.

The White Rib­bon (2009)

Per­fect­ly craft­ed in a gor­geous black-and-white and a more than ap­pro­pri­ate slow pace, this film is Haneke’s ab­solute mas­ter­piece, the­mat­i­cal­ly thought-pro­vok­ing and in­cred­i­bly nerve-wrack­ing and sus­pense­ful, even in small con­ver­sa­tions and long silent shots.

The White Sheik (1952)

Fellini’s first solo ef­fort is this love­ly gem that al­ready show­cased his tal­ent for com­bin­ing a ne­o­re­al­ist struc­ture with de­light­ful touch­es of farce and fan­ta­sy, es­pe­cial­ly in those hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments when Leopol­do Tri­este is des­per­ate to find his miss­ing wife.

Whit­ney: Can I Be Me (2017)

An­oth­er of those pass­able but unin­spired doc­u­men­taries that feel more like a re­portage, as they set out to tell us about some­one’s life and yet in the end we have only the strong im­pres­sion that we did­n’t learn much about who that per­son was, felt or even thought.

The Wick­er Man (1973)

Ex­treme­ly au­da­cious for the time it came out, this creepy cult clas­sic should be re­mem­bered for the many in­tel­li­gent ques­tions it rais­es about re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance and blind faith, while of­fer­ing us also a mem­o­rable per­for­mance by Christo­pher Lee and a ter­ri­fy­ing, un­for­get­table end­ing.

Wid­ows (2018)

While mak­ing it al­ways clear that this is in essence a heist film, Steve Mc­Queen finds space for an in­tel­li­gent com­men­tary on race, gen­der and so­cial class here as well, cre­at­ing a taut com­bi­na­tion of en­ter­tain­ing thriller and se­ri­ous dra­ma that ben­e­fits from great per­for­mances.

Wiener-Dog (2016)

Solondz is ex­treme­ly ar­ro­gant to think that only he knows what “real art” is, prov­ing only the op­po­site with this mediocre film that is ar­ti­fi­cial as a bad the­ater play and so tonal­ly aw­ful that it feels way too bleak for a com­e­dy, no mat­ter how dark it is sup­posed to be.

The Wife (2017)

De­spite two strong per­for­mances by Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, this is a frus­trat­ing dra­ma that starts well enough but soon gives in to clichés and un­nec­es­sary melo­dra­ma be­fore go­ing as far as to re­move the pro­tag­o­nist’s agency with plot choic­es that are in fact quite re­volt­ing.

Wild (2014)

With a very sol­id per­for­mance by With­er­spoon and gor­geous land­scapes that re­flect all the stren­u­ous­ness of her char­ac­ter’s jour­ney, this re­ward­ing and im­pec­ca­bly-edit­ed char­ac­ter study shows how try­ing to es­cape one’s own life can be a pow­er­ful door to self-dis­cov­ery.

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Ini­tial­ly panned by the crit­ics due to its graph­ic amount of vi­o­lence, this is an ex­plo­sive and un­for­get­table West­ern clas­sic that de­picts with bru­tal in­ten­si­ty the last breath of an era, when out­law gun­fight­ers were fi­nal­ly be­com­ing ob­so­lete for a new, mod­ern gen­er­a­tion.

The Wild Goose Lake (2019)

Most of the scenes we find here are ef­fec­tive when seen iso­lat­ed, if only for their tech­ni­cal ac­com­plish­ment; when they are put to­geth­er, how­ev­er, it is hard to care about any­thing that hap­pens to any of these char­ac­ters, and so the film be­comes en­gag­ing only when bru­tal­i­ty fi­nal­ly kicks in.

Wild Grass (2009)

Alain Resnais proves at 87 years old that he still has a lot of imag­i­na­tion, de­liv­er­ing this cu­ri­ous non­sen­si­cal fa­ble that plays with the con­ven­tions of the genre and with our ex­pec­ta­tions, and the re­sult may feel like not much but is dar­ing enough to be worth our time.

Wild Mouse (2017)

Al­though it is ob­vi­ous­ly sup­posed to be a com­e­dy, the film is only un­fun­ny and un­for­giv­ably dull, suf­fer­ing main­ly from a glar­ing lack of struc­ture and with too many char­ac­ters in a plot that does­n’t know what to do with them nor has any idea where it wants to go.

Wild Rose (2018)

With won­der­ful per­for­mances by Jessie Buck­ley and Julie Wal­ters (who play two char­ac­ters that are more three-di­men­sion­al than I would have imag­ined), this film is sin­cere enough de­spite giv­ing in to some clichés and end­ing with a scene that spits out so un­nec­es­sar­i­ly what it wants to say.

Wild Tales (2014)

A hi­lar­i­ous satire that pokes fun at so­cial class­es, bu­reau­cra­cy and the le­gal sys­tem with six wild sto­ries in which the char­ac­ters face ex­treme, ab­surd sit­u­a­tions and are tak­en by in­sane im­puls­es of vi­o­lence and re­venge in what seems like the best de­f­i­n­i­tion of cathar­sis.

Wild Wild Coun­try (2018)

What I love about this doc­u­men­tary is that it presents two very flawed sides of the same con­flict and makes it near­ly im­pos­si­ble for us view­ers to de­fend ei­ther of them, as they each end up rep­re­sent­ing the dan­gers of or­ga­nized sects and the tri­umph of xeno­pho­bia and in­tol­er­ance.

Wildlife (2018)

All three main ac­tors are ex­cel­lent, and I re­al­ly ad­mire how Dano avoids any temp­ta­tion of defin­ing his char­ac­ters by their ac­tions and choic­es, but I also can­not help think­ing that the film plays too safe and feels a bit forced in its de­pic­tion of the sud­den col­lapse of a lov­ing fam­i­ly.

Willard (1971)

If you read the rats as a metaphor for a mis­fit’s in­ner­most dark im­puls­es (like Psy­cho with ro­dents), then you will find more to en­joy in this trashy, clum­sy and poor­ly-di­rect­ed movie that can’t even make sense of how Willard learns to com­mu­ni­cate with his dis­gust­ing lit­tle friends.

Willy Won­ka & the Choco­late Fac­to­ry (1971)

Gene Wilder is a ge­nius, and he makes us love this mag­i­cal film that may not be as well pol­ished as it could have been but has a love­ly charm of its own and has be­come a cult child­hood fa­vorite for so many peo­ple — like a younger sib­ling of The Wiz­ard of Oz and Mary Pop­pins.

Wil­low Creek (2013)

It may be “The Blair-Squatch Project” but I haven’t seen a found footage movie this well made and scary in a very long time — and it is so great to see how it takes its time to bring us close to its char­ac­ters be­fore throw­ing them (with us) in such a ter­ri­fy­ing sit­u­a­tion.

Wilsin­ho Galiléia (1978)

I’m not so sure this doc­u­men­tary is en­tire­ly suc­cess­ful in its at­tempt to de­con­struct the pub­lic im­age of the evil crim­i­nal with­out hu­man­i­ty, but it de­serves cred­it for prob­ing into Wilson’s life and lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple who knew him to show that a crim­i­nal is also a hu­man be­ing.

The Wind Ris­es (2013)

Miyaza­k­i’s farewell is this lyri­cal, more adult and very per­son­al project that, though tech­ni­cal­ly splen­did and pay­ing an in­cred­i­ble at­ten­tion to de­tails, may be more ap­peal­ing to him­self as an artist than to most peo­ple, with also too many dream scenes that make it feel a bit repet­i­tive.

Wind Riv­er (2017)

Tay­lor Sheri­dan is an ex­cel­lent screen­writer but here di­rects a bare­ly av­er­age ef­fort that, de­spite Ren­ner’s sol­id per­for­mance, fails to be co­he­sive enough and of­fer com­pelling mo­ti­va­tions for Olsen’s char­ac­ter, who is most­ly wast­ed and does­n’t have that much to do in all this.

The Wind Will Car­ry Us (1999)

The film is light, fun­ny and very amus­ing in the way it shows the pro­sa­ic every­day life of com­mon peo­ple as wit­nessed by an idle and in­creas­ing­ly im­pa­tient man vis­it­ing a Kur­dish lit­tle vil­lage in Iran, even if the poignant re­sult ranks among one of Kiarostami’s mi­nor works.

Win­dow of the Soul (2001)

A cu­ri­ous doc­u­men­tary that feels greater than the sum of its parts — some of which are quite in­ter­est­ing while oth­ers may seem more ba­nal or ran­dom when viewed sep­a­rate­ly; the whole, how­ev­er, of­fers an ab­sorb­ing, fun­ny and even po­et­ic look at this fas­ci­nat­ing or­gan.

Win­nie the Pooh (2011)

Every­thing that made the first Win­nie the Pooh an­i­mat­ed fea­ture so adorable (the of­fi­cial one, also by Walt Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios) is found here too, from great songs to adorable sto­ries, and it is a de­light­ful re­turn to the tra­di­tion­al hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion of the old days.

Win­ter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Free­dom (2015)

A riv­et­ing and es­sen­tial ac­count of an in­spir­ing rev­o­lu­tion, or 92 days that changed His­to­ry in 2013 and 2014 when peo­ple brave­ly went to the streets in Ukraine to fight for their civ­il rights and free­dom of ex­pres­sion and had to face the cru­el vi­o­lence of the Berkut po­lice to si­lence them.

Win­ter Sleep (2014)

An en­thralling and chal­leng­ing dra­ma with a won­der­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy, beau­ti­ful­ly com­plex char­ac­ters and thought-pro­vok­ing dis­cus­sions about mat­ters like re­li­gion, moral­i­ty, res­ig­na­tion and con­science, in ways that would leave In­g­mar Bergman and An­ton Chekhov proud.

Win­ter’s Bone (2010)

With an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance by Jen­nifer Lawrence, this is a haunt­ing and ex­treme­ly dis­tress­ing dra­ma whose down­beat at­mos­phere feels al­ways suf­fo­cat­ing and real as it drags us into this bleak uni­verse filled with dread­ful peo­ple liv­ing in so much mis­ery and pover­ty.

Wish I Was Here (2014)

An in­die lit­tle movie full of in­die clichés and in­die songs to fill an in­die sound­track — just what Zach Braff loves -, but the worst is that he does­n’t even care to wrap up the loose ends of his sil­ly nar­ra­tive re­plete with corny “life lessons” and give it a de­cent con­clu­sion.

The Witch (2015)

The very de­f­i­n­i­tion of ter­ror in the purest sense of the word — a dis­turb­ing and nerve-wrack­ing slow burn whose pro­found­ly an­guish­ing at­mos­phere made my skin crawl and left me al­most squeak­ing in pan­ic, and I don’t think I will ever want to see this hor­rif­ic night­mare again.

Witchfind­er Gen­er­al (1968)

Vin­cent Price em­bod­ies with per­fec­tion the hor­rors of re­li­gious big­otry (a sub­ject that is still not out­dat­ed), but the strength and bru­tal­i­ty of the sto­ry get a bit di­lut­ed by its lack of a clear­er di­rec­tion and peo­ple who keep run­ning around back and forth search­ing for each oth­er.

With­nail & I (1987)

What el­e­vates this British com­e­dy above be­ing a mere se­ries of fun­ny sit­u­a­tions is Richard E. Grant, who em­braces his role with a hi­lar­i­ous per­for­mance and makes this a hys­ter­i­cal film full of mem­o­rable lines and mo­ments, even if some of the gags lack a prop­er punch line.

Wit­ness (1985)

Even if it feels like the plot drags for too long in an ef­fort to build a bu­col­ic ro­mance in its sec­ond act, this is a en­gag­ing thriller that of­fers a very re­spect­ful look at a se­clud­ed com­mu­ni­ty, with a sus­pense­ful cli­max and Har­ri­son Ford in one of his finest per­for­mances.

Wit­ness for the Pros­e­cu­tion (1957)

The star here is def­i­nite­ly Charles Laughton, who steals the show and makes each one of his lines sound mem­o­rable in this de­light­ful­ly wit­ty and clever plot by Agatha Christie adapt­ed by Bil­ly Wilder into a near per­fect piece of thought-pro­vok­ing en­ter­tain­ment.

The Wiz­ard of Oz (1939)

Con­ceived by MGM as an an­swer to Walt Dis­ney’s Snow White, this sweet and col­or­ful fa­ble full of mu­sic and ad­ven­ture will al­ways be a plea­sure to chil­dren every­where due to its re­lat­able char­ac­ters and uni­ver­sal mes­sage, though it may prove a bit slow for adults nowa­days.

Wolf at the Door (2013)

An en­gross­ing film made by a film­mak­er in ab­solute con­trol of the sto­ry he wants to tell (it does­n’t have a sin­gle shot or cam­era move­ment out of place), mov­ing with a care­ful, de­lib­er­ate pace to­wards a shock­ing con­clu­sion and with Le­an­dra Leal in a top-notch per­for­mance.

Wolf Chil­dren (2012)

Hoso­da wants to tell an hon­est sto­ry us­ing a sim­ple art­work, but he also tries too hard to make us cry at all costs, with many clichés and a con­clu­sion that begs for our tears. Be­sides, the film is too long and many scenes could have been left out.

Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

While the grip­ping orig­i­nal movie took its time to de­vel­op its char­ac­ters and make us care about their fate, this ef­fec­tive se­quel takes the risk of fo­cus­ing on peo­ple we know al­most noth­ing about but is able to cre­ate a lot of ten­sion in an ex­treme­ly nerve-wreck­ing sec­ond half.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

With this mor­da­cious biopic full of nu­ances about a true Gor­don Gekko dis­ci­ple, Scors­ese takes us into an in­cred­i­ble uni­verse of over­whelm­ing am­bi­tion, helped by a top-notch cast and mak­ing bril­liant use of a hys­ter­i­cal hu­mor to ex­pose the lu­di­crous­ness of his de­spi­ca­ble pro­tag­o­nist.

The Wolf’s Call (2019)

It is quite rare and im­pres­sive to see a French thriller that looks like an ex­pen­sive Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion, of­fer­ing us enough ten­sion to mer­it com­par­isons with Das Boot and re­ly­ing on the kind of dif­fi­cult moral dilem­mas that made Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca a tele­vi­sion clas­sic.

Wolfhound of the Grey Dog Clan (2006)

This big bud­get, post-So­vi­et Russ­ian fan­ta­sy epic em­braces all clichés of the genre and comes up with a for­mu­la­ic plot, sim­plis­tic di­a­logue and a ter­ri­ble end­ing.

The Wolver­ine (2013)

The ac­tion and fight­ing scenes are ex­cit­ing enough to save this movie from be­ing a com­plete dreck, but even so the script is bad­ly writ­ten and with many ir­ri­tat­ing clichés. At least Hugh Jack­man has a mag­net­ic pres­ence that makes it gen­er­al­ly en­ter­tain­ing.

The Woman in Black (2012)

The tech­ni­cal as­pects are im­pec­ca­ble and Rad­cliffe puts in an ef­fi­cient per­for­mance, but the un­o­rig­i­nal script is un­fo­cused and full of clichés, with more cheap scares than gen­uine ten­sion. Be­sides, the pseu­do-op­ti­mistic con­clu­sion is lame and an­ti­cli­mac­tic.

Woman in Gold (2015)

De­spite Reynolds’ strong per­for­mance, this film can’t make up for the poor, un­con­vinc­ing mo­ti­va­tions of its char­ac­ters; a struc­ture that re­lies too much on usu­al­ly hap­haz­ard flash­backs; He­len Mir­ren as a car­i­ca­ture of the “ec­cen­tric old lady;” and a sen­ti­men­tal end­ing.

The Woman in the Win­dow (1944)

Lang di­rects this sol­id film noir with in­tel­li­gence, build­ing ten­sion with­out hur­ry and re­ly­ing most­ly on a clever script full of nu­ances, an in­spired di­a­logue and great per­for­mances, even if he dis­ap­points with a con­ser­v­a­tive end­ing that feels more like a cheap cop out.

A Woman Is a Woman (1961)

While it is true that not every­thing here works and the end re­sult is ob­vi­ous­ly im­per­fect, see­ing how Go­dard plays with the con­ven­tions of film lan­guage and the mu­si­cal genre can be great­ly amus­ing, es­pe­cial­ly as he looks for new ways to sub­vert the view­er’s ex­pec­ta­tions at every turn.

The Woman of Every­one (1969)

It is def­i­nite­ly poor­ly made and screams of am­a­teurism (even in the poor dub­bing), which feels in­ten­tion­al and adds to the au­dac­i­ty the film is aim­ing for, but the only prob­lem is that it does­n’t of­fer much (in terms of plot and lan­guage) and be­comes rep­e­ti­tious af­ter a while.

The Woman Who Left (2016)

Diaz cre­ates a com­pelling and trag­ic re­venge tale de­spite its long run­ning time, with a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and great per­for­mances, even if he con­tin­ues to show a dis­dain for pac­ing and makes his film seem un­fo­cused be­fore Ho­ra­cia and Hol­lan­da be­come friends.

Women on the Verge of a Ner­vous Break­down (1988)

A hi­lar­i­ous farce by Pe­dro Almod­ó­var with over-col­ored kitsch vi­su­als and a hys­ter­i­cal sto­ry full of ec­cen­tric char­ac­ters in ab­surd sit­u­a­tions — and it is im­pos­si­ble not to laugh at that ex­trav­a­gant taxi and the many times that some­one throws some­thing out of the win­dow.

Won­der (2017)

The cast is great and the film has a nice mes­sage about ac­cep­tance that should be ac­ces­si­ble to all ages, but the prob­lem is that it lacks fo­cus and does­n’t seem to be able to es­cape its share of un­nec­es­sary sap­pi­ness, reach­ing a sen­ti­men­tal end­ing that al­most ru­ins it.

Won­der Wheel (2017)

The di­a­logue is a bit too heavy-hand­ed and ex­pos­i­to­ry, as though Woody Allen was in a hur­ry to write and pub­lish a the­ater play in about five days, but the film does have its mo­ments and ben­e­fits from a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and good per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly by Kate Winslet.

The Won­der­ful, Hor­ri­ble Life of Leni Riefen­stahl (1993)

An over­long but fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary about this re­mark­able film­mak­er who mas­tered her tech­niques bet­ter than many di­rec­tors, yet not only was lim­it­ed as an artist (in terms of ideals) but also spent her life deny­ing her guilt for col­lab­o­rat­ing with a geno­ci­dal regime.

The Won­ders (2014)

The telling scene of Gel­som­i­na star­ing with eyes full of sad­ness at a tied camel (as well as a more mag­i­cal mo­ment that takes place in a cave) per­fect­ly en­cap­su­lates what this del­i­cate film is about, or what it is like to be con­fined in a dy­ing way of life with hopes that can only die with you.

Won­der­struck (2017)

The cross-cut­ting be­tween the two dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods of time, to­geth­er with the em­u­la­tion of the lan­guage of silent films, may be in­trigu­ing for a while (how­ev­er tir­ing as well), but then they are brought to­geth­er in a frus­trat­ing, ma­nip­u­la­tive way that does­n’t jus­ti­fy the ef­fort.

Won’t You Be My Neigh­bor? (2018)

Fred Rogers was sure­ly one of the most beau­ti­ful hu­man be­ings I can think of, and this is a won­der­ful doc­u­men­tary that brought me to tears just by re­mind­ing us that peo­ple like that ex­ist — which is per­haps the most im­por­tant mes­sage any­one can of­fer in a world so full of mad­ness.

Woody Allen: A Doc­u­men­tary (2012)

An en­joy­able bi­og­ra­phy that is also, quite un­for­tu­nate­ly, too safe to be mem­o­rable, and it does­n’t help that the sec­ond part skips many of Al­len’s films to fo­cus on his “best mo­ments” af­ter 1980, pre­vent­ing this from be­ing an es­sen­tial doc­u­men­tary about him.

The Words (2012)

There is vir­tu­al­ly noth­ing that works in this con­vo­lut­ed, non­sen­si­cal and ter­ri­bly-writ­ten dra­ma in which not even the vi­su­als es­cape the ar­ti­fi­cial and clichéd, and so every­thing is a com­plete fail­ure, from the ex­pos­i­to­ry nar­ra­tion to the ridicu­lous sto­ry-with­in-a-sto­ry-with­in-a-sto­ry struc­ture.

World on a Wire (1973)

An in­trigu­ing film of philo­soph­i­cal ideas that could have only come from Fass­binder — his style is all over it, in­clud­ing daz­zling vi­su­al com­po­si­tions that re­flect with el­e­gance what he wants to say (like with the mir­rors) -, but the nar­ra­tive is a bit rep­e­ti­tious in its ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue.

World War Z (2013)

A for­get­table and un­o­rig­i­nal zom­bie movie in times when the theme has al­ready been ex­plored and re-ex­plored ad in­fini­tum, and it can­not even jus­ti­fy its ex­is­tence, be­ing com­plete­ly un­clear about its ac­tu­al pur­pose — hell, it hard­ly man­ages to be en­ter­tain­ing.

The World’s End (2013)

An ex­hil­a­rat­ing and hi­lar­i­ous com­e­dy that is a lot smarter and more com­plex than it seems at first, as it even sur­pris­es us by turn­ing into some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent when you least ex­pect it and whose bril­liant edit­ing and price­less lines make it a true win­ner.

World’s Great­est Dad (2009)

This touch­ing dra­mat­ic com­e­dy has a hi­lar­i­ous sense of hu­mor that fits in­cred­i­bly well with the sort of thought-pro­vok­ing char­ac­ter study it wants to be, and it is even more heart­break­ing when you see that Williams could­n’t take to heart his film’s own re­flec­tions on sui­cide.

Wrath of the Ti­tans (2012)

Even worse than the lame first movie, with the same taste­less hero, hideous di­a­logue, end­less ac­tion scenes with no en­er­gy or ten­sion and a ter­ri­ble script full of mytho­log­i­cal el­e­ments with­out any co­her­ence — and it is sad to see Ramirez to­tal­ly wast­ed in this mess.

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

It is not al­ways that we see a vi­su­al­ly stun­ning an­i­ma­tion with such a well-writ­ten script full of orig­i­nal­i­ty, wel­come ref­er­ences and dozens of nar­ra­tive el­e­ments that are brought to­geth­er so bril­liant­ly into a very fun­ny, en­ter­tain­ing and also in­cred­i­bly mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Wreck­ing Crew (2008)

A fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary — es­pe­cial­ly for those who love mu­sic — that sur­pris­es us as we see that so many of those well-known songs were arranged by a group of peo­ple that the pub­lic had nev­er heard about, and it is all the more ab­sorb­ing when show­ing how hard it can be to have your work rec­og­nized in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

Wrong (2012)

The sil­ly plot re­mains most­ly in­trigu­ing, with a pile­up of Lynchi­an and Kauf­man­ian non­sense that proves to be quite amus­ing and hi­lar­i­ous, even if it does­n’t have any­thing in­tel­li­gent or con­sis­tent to say and ac­tu­al­ly feels a bit longer than it is.

Would You Rather (2012)

It is al­most fun­ny how Jef­frey Combs, eter­nal cult star of trashy B movies, seems to be the only one hav­ing a lot of fun pret­ty much like his char­ac­ter, while every­one else — all oth­er char­ac­ters and also us view­ers — are forced to par­take in this point­less tor­ture porn de­riv­a­tive of Saw.

Wuther­ing Heights (1939)

With a gor­geous cin­e­matog­ra­phy that uses strong black-and-white con­trasts, this is an ab­sorb­ing clas­sic that es­chews most of the crush­ing dark­ness and evil found in Bron­té’s nov­el (to be more ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic) and yet man­ages to move us with its own dra­mat­ic pow­er.

Wuther­ing Heights (1954)

De­spite its weak per­for­mances (es­pe­cial­ly by Irase­ma Dil­ián) and the sad fact that this, like oth­er adap­ta­tions of Bron­të’s nov­el, is only a par­tial retelling of the sto­ry, the Goth­ic at­mos­phere is un­re­lent­ing and Buñuel seems to cap­ture the soul of the orig­i­nal nar­ra­tive.

X‑Men Ori­gins: Wolver­ine (2009)

De­spite the gen­er­al­ly good di­a­logue and ex­cit­ing ac­tion scenes, the script is an ir­ri­tat­ing mess full of in­con­sis­ten­cies and plot holes, es­pe­cial­ly re­gard­ing Vic­tor Creed’s mo­ti­va­tions and the stu­pid plan con­ceived by one of the most in­ept vil­lains ever cre­at­ed, Col. Stryk­er.

X‑Men: First Class (2011)

The great­est achieve­ment of this film is how it makes us care so much about its char­ac­ters even though we know be­fore­hand that they are not go­ing to die — the big curse of pre­quels -, while bal­anc­ing a lot of ac­tion and an in­tel­li­gent so­cial com­men­tary with ab­solute per­fec­tion.

X‑Men: Days of Fu­ture Past (2014)

An ex­hil­a­rat­ing, ur­gent and bold new chap­ter that does­n’t shy away from the pos­si­bil­i­ties and con­se­quences of its time-trav­el premise, and Singer keeps the stakes al­ways at the high­est while main­tain­ing the fo­cus on the mul­ti­lay­ered as­pects of the “mu­tant rights” bat­tle.

X‑Men: Apoc­a­lypse (2016)

It is hard to shake the feel­ing that, how­ev­er sat­is­fy­ing this chap­ter is, it is in fact un­nec­es­sary and not very well-in­spired, as it suf­fers from clum­sy di­a­logue, flat char­ac­ters de­fined only by their pow­ers, an un­in­ter­est­ing vil­lain and many gaps in the in­ter­nal log­ic of the se­ries.

X‑Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

As a ridicu­lous and ob­vi­ous re­hash of the crim­i­nal­ly un­der­rat­ed third X‑Men movie, this is a point­less se­quel that fails in ab­solute­ly every­thing it sets out to do, es­pe­cial­ly in its messy ex­plo­ration of Jean Grey’s per­son­al­i­ty or when try­ing to hit us with an un­nec­es­sary tragedy.

XXY (2007)

It is quite nice to see how this in­ti­mate and poignant hu­man dra­ma about in­ter­sex­u­al­i­ty ap­pro­pri­ate­ly avoids easy an­swers and res­o­lu­tions, be­ing most­ly sub­tle, del­i­cate and silent in its ap­proach, with out­stand­ing per­for­mances by Ri­car­do Darín and Inés Efron.

Xanadu (1980)

This hor­ri­bly dat­ed 1980 fan­ta­sy is such a trashy mess with no struc­ture that it does­n’t sur­prise me that the script was writ­ten dur­ing film­ing, and even if it has some (few) nice songs, it is shock­ing how they threw so much mon­ey into some­thing that looks so tacky and cheap.

Xica da Sil­va (1976)

Diegues has a poor sense of mise-en-scène, the act­ing is de­cid­ed­ly the­atri­cal and no­body cares about the ac­cents (I mean, look at all these Por­tuguese char­ac­ters speak­ing like Brazil­ians), but still it is quite amus­ing and fun­ny to see a woman make a man go crazy for her.

Yakuza Apoc­a­lypse (2015)

I don’t think I will ever un­der­stand what makes a tal­ent­ed di­rec­tor like Mi­ike em­bark on this kind of dis­as­ter, a colos­sal piece of garbage that is com­plete­ly un­fun­ny in its baf­fling stu­pid­i­ty and made me only stare at this mess of gang­sters, vam­pires and gi­ant frogs in to­tal dis­be­lief.

The Year My Par­ents Went on Va­ca­tion (2006)

Re­ly­ing on sol­id per­for­mances, this is an en­joy­able com­ing-of-age dra­ma that touch­es us and amus­es us in the same pro­por­tion, even if it does­n’t stand out as par­tic­u­lar­ly out­stand­ing or po­lit­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant de­spite tak­ing place in this par­tic­u­lar mo­ment of Brazil­ian his­to­ry.

Yes Man (2008)

Jim Car­rey is hi­lar­i­ous with his cus­tom­ary phys­i­cal hu­mor, but he can’t do much to com­pen­sate for gags that are most­ly poor­ly con­ceived or just ridicu­lous, not to men­tion a plot that bor­ders on com­plete im­plau­si­bil­i­ty and is all about ar­ti­fi­cial con­flicts.

Yes­ter­day (2019)

Ir­reg­u­lar as it can be, this com­e­dy is ini­tial­ly amus­ing but then sinks in its sec­ond half when de­cid­ing to fo­cus on an in­suf­fer­able lit­tle ro­mance and com­ing up with tons of clichés (in­clud­ing a ridicu­lous dream scene) to jus­ti­fy a moral dilem­ma that is only dumb from whichev­er an­gle you look at it.

Yes­ter­day, To­day and To­mor­row (1963)

I find the ti­tle of this film a bit puz­zling, since the first two sto­ries pre­sent­ed (“Yes­ter­day” and “To­day”) may be quite ef­fec­tive and straight­for­ward about what they want to say but the last one (“To­mor­row”) could take place any­time and pales con­sid­er­ably in com­par­i­son.

Yo­jim­bo (1961)

Kuro­sawa’s clas­sic film that served as a ma­jor in­spi­ra­tion for oth­er di­rec­tors like Ser­gio Leone and Quentin Taran­ti­no, em­ploy­ing a cu­ri­ous, dark sense of hu­mor in a very en­ter­tain­ing samu­rai sto­ry that also fea­tures a great per­for­mance by Toshi­ro Mi­fu­ne.

Yos­si & Jag­ger (2002)

An in­ept ro­mance that mis­takes am­a­teur­ish for nat­u­ral­is­tic, look­ing like a cheap movie made for TV and with ac­tors who are be­low the lev­el of mediocre — and it works bet­ter when fo­cus­ing on the dai­ly life of the sol­diers than on a corny gay love sto­ry that goes nowhere.

Yos­si (2012)

Re­ly­ing on a big­ger bud­get and on Knoller’s su­perbly un­der­played per­for­mance, this su­pe­ri­or se­quel works per­fect­ly on its very own as a rich char­ac­ter study about grief and self-ac­cep­tance, even though it makes the mis­take of end­ing in an im­plau­si­ble and easy way.

You Ain’t Seen Noth­in’ Yet (2012)

The the­atri­cal­iza­tion of Cin­e­ma as in­tend­ed by Resnais may be ab­sorb­ing at first as it ex­plores a touch­ing sense of nos­tal­gia from the characters/actors, but this scene play is not com­pelling enough to de­serve two hours, be­com­ing ar­ti­fi­cial and va­pid af­ter a while.

You and the Night (2013)

An aes­thet­i­cal­ly gor­geous film in­fused with in­tense eroti­cism in its “sen­so­ry juke­box” and with a sur­re­al at­mos­phere high­light­ed by M83’s trip­py score, al­though it goes a bit too far in its ef­forts to be pro­found and po­et­ic, be­com­ing in­stead pro­lix and self-in­dul­gent.

You Don’t Mess with the Zo­han (2008)

My eyes and ears bled as I suf­fered through this ex­e­crable, vul­gar, of­fen­sive and ap­palling­ly stu­pid pile of turd that made me only feel pro­found­ly ashamed for every­one in­volved in it, pos­si­bly the worst “movie” of San­dler’s ridicu­lous ca­reer.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)

Allen could have come up with some­thing a lot more in­ter­est­ing to say than that il­lu­sion is al­ways bet­ter than re­al­i­ty; and so this is only a very soul­less tale of sound and fury that sig­ni­fies noth­ing and nev­er knows if it wants to be a com­e­dy, a ro­mance or a dra­ma.

You’re Next (2011)

A stu­pid slash­er that tries to be mod­ern with a hero­ine who can fight back and not only scream and run, but noth­ing can re­al­ly make up for how most of the ac­tors are aw­ful, the char­ac­ters a bunch of freak­ing mo­rons and the plot so ridicu­lous and hard to buy.

Young Adult (2011)

Char­l­ize Theron is per­fect once again af­ter shin­ing as Aileen Wuornos in Mon­ster, mak­ing it easy for us to feel sym­pa­thy to­wards a char­ac­ter who is so im­ma­ture and self­ish — thanks also to Di­a­blo Cody, who wrote a smart script and re­al­ly knows how to blend dark hu­mor and bit­ter­ness.

Young & Beau­ti­ful (2013)

Ma­rine Vacht gives shape to an enig­mat­ic char­ac­ter that re­mains fas­ci­nat­ing dur­ing the whole time even if we don’t un­der­stand what dri­ves her to act and be­have the way she does — which makes for en­gag­ing view­ing de­spite the fact that she nev­er opens up to us.

The Young and Prodi­gious T.S. Spivet (2013)

A vi­su­al­ly gor­geous fa­ble (even the 3D is amaz­ing) that Je­unet re­al­ly knew how to make en­tire­ly be­liev­able, but still it feels like a first draft with struc­tur­al prob­lems and in need of a bet­ter treat­ment. Be­sides, Catlett is pret­ty ter­ri­ble at times, while only Carter and Davis stand out.

Young Her­cules (1998)

Some­times it seems like every scene in this movie is tak­ing place on a boat, with the cam­era con­stant­ly tilt­ing side­ways on its roll axis as if han­dled by a drunk per­son, and it is sad to see the ma­jor myth of the Arg­onauts re­duced to a group of teenagers fac­ing a cou­ple of sil­ly dan­gers.

The Young Vic­to­ria (2009)

An en­gag­ing and sump­tu­ous roy­al dra­ma that fea­tures an ex­quis­ite art di­rec­tion and cos­tume de­sign, but still the very best about it is both Emi­ly Blunt and Ru­pert Friend, who shine to­geth­er as Vic­to­ria and Al­bert and re­al­ly make us care about their char­ac­ters.

Youth (2015)

Sor­renti­no de­liv­ers a beau­ti­ful film clear­ly in­spired by Felli­ni and touch­es upon so many themes (like life, love, mem­o­ry and de­sire) that any brief com­ment would­n’t be suf­fi­cient to de­scribe it. Be­sides, it looks gor­geous and has spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mances by Caine, Kei­t­el and Fon­da.

Yu­goslavia: How Ide­ol­o­gy Moved Our Col­lec­tive Body (2013)

A po­et­ic re­mem­brance con­struct­ed as a col­lage of archive footage, and an im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment that re­flects on the pow­er of col­lec­tiv­i­ty, but the re­search feels a bit in­com­plete as it con­cludes too pre­ma­ture­ly, about fif­teen years be­fore the mak­ing of the film.

Yves Saint Lau­rent (2014)

Niney is out­stand­ing, but in a weak biopic that fails to ex­tract any mean­ing from the char­ac­ter’s life sto­ry, and it has a cli­max con­ceived to give us view­ers the il­lu­sion of a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion when in fact it only makes ev­i­dent the lack of di­rec­tion and res­o­lu­tion.

Zabriskie Point (1970)

What ir­ri­tates me about this film is how pre­ten­tious it is, with An­to­nioni com­plete­ly out of his league try­ing to make an anti-Amer­i­can, anti-es­tab­lish­ment de­nounce­ment that nev­er rings true and feels only sil­ly, heavy-hand­ed and overblown with its ridicu­lous sense of pac­ing.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

What makes this movie so ir­ri­tat­ing is Kevin Smith’s lack of dis­ci­pline, as he ba­si­cal­ly shoots in every di­rec­tion like a ma­chine gun and does­n’t know when to stop; of course, some­times he hits, but most of the time he only em­bar­rass­es him­self with crude jokes that are not fun­ny at all.

Zama (2017)

Those who have seen The Head­less Woman will be able to iden­ti­fy Martel’s re­cur­ring themes and sym­bol­ism in this one as well, but while they can be as pow­er­ful as in that film, the struc­ture and nar­ra­tive el­e­ments this time don’t ac­tu­al­ly amount to some­thing so co­he­sive in the end.

Zardoz (1974)

An un­der­rat­ed fu­tur­is­tic so­cial satire that is def­i­nite­ly self-in­dul­gent but also more thought-pro­vok­ing and smart than it ap­pears to be, while its mind-blow­ing vi­su­als and bizarre di­a­logue con­tribute to give shape to a sur­re­al­is­tic al­le­go­ry that is both fas­ci­nat­ing and orig­i­nal.

Za­to­ichi (2003)

It is eas­i­er to ap­pre­ci­ate this very fine samu­rai film due to its for­mal rig­or (es­pe­cial­ly with such a great cin­e­matog­ra­phy and score) than to en­joy it, since its nar­ra­tive struc­ture suf­fers from be­ing a bit over­plot­ted and has too many char­ac­ters in con­stant fight for screen time.

Zeit­geist (2007)

Poor­ly struc­tured, self-im­por­tant and aw­ful­ly dis­hon­est in its ar­gu­ments, this un­for­tu­nate­ly com­pelling movie is how­ev­er con­vinc­ing when try­ing to sell us so many lu­di­crous con­spir­a­cy claims us­ing fal­lac­i­es, false his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences and plain lies that have al­ready been de­bunked. (If you want to know more: read this.)

Zeit­geist: Ad­den­dum (2008)

Pe­ter Joseph calls peo­ple stu­pid but can’t even make a ba­sic re­search be­fore com­ing up with an­oth­er rep­e­ti­tious pile of lies, fal­lac­i­es and inane con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry — now to ad­vo­cate an in­ter­est­ing pos­si­ble so­lu­tion (tech­noc­ra­cy) that how­ev­er gets lost amid so much bull crap. (If you want to know more, read this.)

Zelig (1983)

A de­light­ful, orig­i­nal and fun­ny Woody Allen mock­u­men­tary that is most im­pres­sive due to Gor­don Willis’ spec­tac­u­lar cin­e­matog­ra­phy and the tech­nique em­ployed to make it look like old film from the 1920s, with even the ac­tors in­sert­ed into real archival footage from back then.

Zero Dark Thir­ty (2012)

Some of the di­a­logue may be a bit rep­e­ti­tious, but Bigelow’s di­rec­tion is very ef­fec­tive and she knows how to main­tain a con­stant lev­el of nerve-rack­ing ten­sion in this de­scrip­tive (and es­sen­tial­ly ob­jec­tive) ac­count of a his­tor­i­cal op­er­a­tion whose end is al­ready known.

The Zero The­o­rem (2013)

The pro­duc­tion de­sign is im­pres­sive, as well as the use of tilt shots and wide an­gle lens­es to dis­tort what we see, but still this is a sil­ly and frus­trat­ing film whose in­ter­est­ing ideas get re­duced in the same way that sci­ence is por­trayed as a video game of fit­ting blocks.

Zo­di­ac (2007)

David Finch­er builds a dense­ly over­whelm­ing, al­most un­bear­able sense of dread in this steadi­ly sus­pense­ful thriller, recre­at­ing with such a clin­i­cal, di­a­logue-dri­ven ap­proach each step tak­en in a real-life in­ves­ti­ga­tion that spanned decades in the lives of so many peo­ple to­ward a dead end.

Zom­bi Child (2019)

For a film that be­gins and un­folds timid­ly, of­ten sug­gest­ing the in­ten­tion to dive into the ef­fects of colo­nial­ism while be­ing rather dull when fo­cus­ing on the school girls, it is re­al­ly sur­pris­ing to see how bizarre and ter­ri­fy­ing it turns out to be­come, de­spite lack­ing a more sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion.

Zom­bi 2 (1979)

There is ab­solute­ly no point in try­ing to make any sense of this ridicu­lous, trashy movie (which is not even a se­quel of any­thing de­spite its ti­tle), and so I guess the best thing to do is just en­joy the great score (re­al­ly, it is great) and those laugh­able gory scenes.

Zom­bieland (2009)

A high­ly en­joy­able and fun­ny zom­bie road movie that blends iron­ic com­e­dy and gore fest in a way that will make you laugh out loud in many im­prob­a­ble mo­ments. Also, Bill Mur­ray and Woody Har­rel­son are hi­lar­i­ous, and I re­al­ly love the sound­track.

Zo­olan­der (2001)

A sol­id and en­ter­tain­ing satire that makes fun of the fash­ion world and the peo­ple in­volved in it (even though in a very ob­vi­ous way) with many in­spired mo­ments, in­clud­ing a hi­lar­i­ous gas sta­tion ex­plo­sion and a price­less “walk-off” scene with David Bowie as judge.

Zootopia (2016)

An ex­cel­lent Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion that of­fers us a very well-writ­ten and en­ter­tain­ing sto­ry about di­ver­si­ty, tol­er­ance and the im­por­tance of be­ing who you want to be no mat­ter what oth­ers tell you — an al­ways im­por­tant mes­sage for both chil­dren and adults, to­day still more than ever.

Zulu (2013)

An ex­treme­ly in­tense, grip­ping and bru­tal crime dra­ma with two pow­er­ful per­for­mances by Bloom and Whitak­er — the lat­ter play­ing a man run­ning away from his past but forced to face his own sense of for­give­ness in this bleak post-Apartheid South Africa where so­ci­ety still strug­gles in an in­for­mal war.

Zuzu An­gel (2006)

It could have been amaz­ing, of course, con­sid­er­ing the im­por­tance of the sto­ry it wants to tell, but the film strives to be over­dra­mat­ic and suf­fers from a jumpy struc­ture full of ran­dom flash­backs (and flash­backs in­side flash­backs) that are only dis­tract­ing and con­fus­ing.