Sunday, March 31, 2024

Crash of the Titans: GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE

Each installment in the ongoing Hollywood Godzilla series is a little worse than the one before it. Ten years on, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla looks all the better for its thundering portent and heavy sense of scale. He shoots with mystery and mass, letting the real terror of an enormous creature seep through each frame of its monster movie paces. Its direct sequel, Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, is a little less realistic in its dimensions, but the overstuffed apocalyptic mood gives a fine pulp jolt to its escalating cast of kaiju overshadowing an efficient cast of scientists and soldiers. Both are about families caught in the wake of these creatures’ paths, which gives just enough emotionality to hang on the shattering potential of such a monster mash. That’s the main inspiration that keeps writer-director Adam Wingard’s contributions connected—aside from the set dressing and proper nouns that knit the cinematic universe together—to the character strengths of its predecessors. Though finding some sentimentally in King Kong expert Rebecca Hall adopting an adorable deaf Skull Island orphan (Kaylee Hottle), his Godzilla v. Kong was generally cartoony. It’s drifting toward the outsized and preposterous, but enough of a colorful smash-em-up to be diverting. Give me a giant ape and a giant lizard fighting a giant robot and fill it up with a neon sci-fi light show and I’m reasonably satisfied, I guess. 

Wingard leans into the dumb cartoon qualities even further for the new Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. We’ve lost whatever felt even tangentially real or threatening in the earlier entries. Now it’s CG animation for long stretches as Kong meanders through the Hollow Earth fighting big wolves and munching on enormous worms, and Godzilla plays the burly kaiju bouncer for the world’s major cities, cliff jumping off Gibraltar or curling up in the Coliseum. Hall and Hottle return to wander down in search of a distress call from deeper into the Earth’s core—taking comic relief conspiracy theorist Brian Tyree Henry and swaggering veterinarian Dan Stevens for the ride. And then, once everyone’s assembled amid the special effects of a Hollow Earth within the Hollow Earth, a rumbling wrestling tag-team erupts when an evil big monkey riding an evil big lizard take on our eponymous monsters. It’s basically an effects reel staged with reverse shots of actors reacting. That the movie is essentially passable nonetheless says something about the enduring appeal of these beasties. When Kong picks up a Mini Kong and uses it as a club to smash other monster apes, there’s a certain lizard-brained appeal. Ditto the appearances of Godzilla collecting radioactive power-ups to fuel his big finale fight. But there’s no suspense or intrigue or awe—or any believable thin genre characterization to care about—left when it’s all pitched at the most extremely broad Saturday Morning level, with nothing to provide us but cartoons collapsing through skyscrapers.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

The Voracious Filmgoer's Top Ten Films of 2023



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Asteroid City
2. Killers of the Flower Moon
3. Oppenheimer
4. The Holdovers
5. A Thousand and One
6. The Boy and the Heron
7. Past Lives
8. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
9. How to Blow Up a Pipeline
10. Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Honorable Mentions:
Afire; All of Us Strangers; Anatomy of a Fall; Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret; Barbie; The Creator; Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3; The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes; The Iron Claw; The Killer; Knock at the Cabin; May December; Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros; Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One; Napoleon; Our Body; Poor Things; Renaissance; Showing Up; Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour; The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (and Three More); You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah; The Zone of Interest

Other Bests of 2023

Other Bests of 2023

Best Cinematography (Film):
Asteroid City
The Iron Claw
Killers of the Flower Moon
Oppenheimer
Poor Things


Best Cinematography (Digital):
The Creator
The Holdovers
Magic Mike’s Last Dance
May December
John Wick Chapter 4


Best Sound:
John Wick Chapter 4
Killers of the Flower Moon
Oppenheimer
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Zone of Interest


Best Stunts:
The Iron Claw
John Wick Chapter 4
The Killer
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Napoleon


Best Costumes:
Asteroid City
Barbie
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Killers of the Flower Moon
Poor Things

Best Hair and Makeup:
Asteroid City
Barbie
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
Killers of the Flower Moon
Poor Things


Best Production Design:
Asteroid City
Barbie
Killers of the Flower Moon
Oppenheimer
Poor Things


Best Effects:
Asteroid City
Barbie
The Creator
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Oppenheimer


Best Original Song:
“Camp Isn’t Home” — Theater Camp
“Dear Alien (Who Art in Heaven)” — Asteroid City
“I’m Just Ken” — Barbie
“Live That Way Forever” — The Iron Claw

Best Score:
Asteroid City
Knock at the Cabin
Oppenheimer
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Best Editing:
Asteroid City
The Holdovers
How to Blow Up a Pipeline
Killers of the Flower Moon
Oppenheimer


Best Adapted Screenplay:
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
How to Blow Up a Pipeline
Killers of the Flower Moon
Oppenheimer
The Zone of Interest


Best Original Screenplay:
Asteroid City
The Holdovers
May December
Past Lives
A Thousand and One


Best Non-English Language Film:
Afire
Anatomy of a Fall
The Boy and the Heron
Godzilla Minus One
Our Body


Best Documentary:
Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros
Our Body
Renaissance
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour


Best Animated Feature:
The Boy and the Heron
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
Elemental
Robot Dreams
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


Best Supporting Actor:
Dave Bautista — Knock at the Cabin
William Catlett — A Thousand and One
Robert De Niro — Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey, Jr — Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling — Barbie

Best Supporting Actress:
Emily Blunt — Oppenheimer
Hong Chau — Showing Up
Scarlett Johansson — Asteroid City
Rachel McAdams — Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
Da’Vine Joy Randolph — The Holdovers

Best Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio — Killers of the Flower Moon
Paul Giamatti — The Holdovers
Cillian Murphy — Oppenheimer
Joaquin Phoenix — Napoleon
Jason Schwartzman — Asteroid City

Best Actress:
Lily Gladstone — Killers of the Flower Moon
Margot Robbie — Barbie
Emma Stone — Poor Things
Teyana Taylor — A Thousand and One
Michelle Williams — Showing Up

Best Director:
Wes Anderson — Asteroid City
Christopher Nolan — Oppenheimer
Alexander Payne — The Holdovers
A.V. Rockwell — A Thousand and One
Martin Scorsese — Killers of the Flower Moon

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Borne Back Ceaselessly: TENET (70mm Re-Release)

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is forever a present-tense movie where its now meets the past. Talk about a temporal pincer movement. Here I am, in late February 2024, having just stumbled out of an IMAX theater where I saw Tenet on 70mm in its limited re-release. I’d seen the movie only once before, when it was freshly on 4K Blu-ray in late December 2020. But I feel like I’ve now really seen it for the first time. For a movie about heists moving forwards and backwards in time simultaneously, that seems fitting.

After my initial viewing I wrote: In Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, backwards run sequences until the mind reels. It’s a time travel thriller, but not like you’re thinking. It’s about a magic box that can reverse the chronology of an item—or a person. Reverse entropy, they say. Inversion. The plot concerns a secret agent (John David Washington) recruited to stop a snarling Russian arms dealer (Kenneth Branagh) from reversing the flow of time for the entire universe. That’d destroy everything, one reluctant ally (Elizabeth Debicki) is told simply and slowly. She considers it for a moment and solemnly intones: “including my son.” 

Yeah, that line’s still a clunker. But on a second viewing—and one on such a massive scale—it gets swallowed up in the massive machinery of the thing. I almost felt it as a small pang of the personal in the middle of the impersonal grinding inevitabilities of societal collapse. 

When first reacting to Tenet I wrote that it’s “simultaneously one of Nolan’s most logistically jaw-dropping and emotionally flimsiest.” I don’t agree with my past self’s math there. If anything the logistically jaw-dropping elements are even more apparent, stark and enveloping. Here it’sall go-go-go M.C. Escher timeline. Cause and effect are ruptured in boggling ways. There are stunts and combat and strategizing, with some elements of the action behaving unusually: a bullet hole filling up as the ordnance flies back into the barrel; tumbling fisticuffs that cartwheel with unnatural grace as one combatant flies backwards when they should be ahead; a car zipping the wrong way through traffic after rolling back over from a crash, windows reconstructing as tires squeal in reverse. 

This time, rather than straining against what I once took as the flimsy strains of emotionality within, I now found myself drug into the undertow of the sensation of all that dazzling craftsmanship and felt the animating melancholy under that surface chill. And the cool logic of its time travel convolutions are all the more compelling for the intuitive logic of it all. Why did I, along with the common critical refrain of late 2020, insist that the movie is convoluted or confusing? Maybe it just takes a second look to smooth out those wrinkles. The movie is nothing but logical, laid out on clear time travel tracks that need just a bit of mental energy to sort out—a bit of story problem graphing in the margins of your mind as the car chases and shoot outs rattle your senses. 

…there are agents rappelling up a building or spinning a sailboat or crashing a plane or maneuvering through a series or airtight vaults or hanging off the side of a moving firetruck to hop between cars. That’s all thrilling stuff. 

And within that logic, there’s that buried emotional core, contained in a glimpse of a future you’s freedom leaping into the ocean, or the hint of a beautiful friendship that may be ending with a violent abrupt foreshortening in the present, but the future will fill in the past. I found myself curiously moved by the movie’s consequences—rending cause and effect with regret, only to be joined again my the insistence of the montage, and its characters’ motivations. 

I came away from a first viewing with sheer admiration for its construction, its impressive scope, its grounding sense of tactile reality even as the effects slip sense away. This time, the sense was present. It’s perfect movie sense, one image and sound after the next building a persuasive fantasy vision of a twilight world, where time’s running out, and where the future grows dim but for the valiant efforts of those who hold out that dim distant flicker of hope. It’s strikingly photographed globetrotting, with the hero and his partner in spies (Robert Pattinson) dashing and capable in slick suits and big action beats. The pounding score and booming bass has a pavlovian effect—it’s exciting, and kicks up the energy of seeing a great Christopher Nolan movie… The me of 2020, with all the sociopolitical anxieties that assumes, and the lonely, isolated, individual TV viewing it implies, doubted it was a great Nolan film. The 2024 me, back in the world, in a crowded theater, before an enormous screen, and surrounded by massive sound, is sure it actually is. I felt like I met myself in the middle distance between then and now, on my way back to realize it then.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Coen South: DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS

Now that they’ve both made a movie without the other, we know exactly what each Coen brother brought to their 40-year filmmaking partnership. Joel took the somber philosophizing, precision image-making, and stark contrasts for his Tragedy of Macbeth. Ethan took the sprightly, irreverent, and capering plotting with oddball characters and eccentric details for Drive-Away Dolls. Smash the two together and you’d get a typical high/low, light/dark, serious/sentimental, exaggerated/realist Coen collision—a Big Lebowski or Serious Man or Raising Arizona or, you get the picture. Taken separately, we have an almost scientific accounting for the exact proportions each brought to the style. It’s even there in the literary sources within—Macbeth obviously springs from the Bard, while Dolls teases Henry James. Of course that means Joel does the spare koans and quotable soliloquies, while Ethan is clearly the side-winding sentences and idiosyncratic personalities. They each have a distinctive flavor that tastes better together, but separately make for fine filmmaking all the same.

Drive-Away Dolls is the self-consciously goofy side of the Coens, here represented by an erratic Elmore Leonard looniness of a caper that’s quick, slight, silly and strange, and full of clockwork naughtiness, cheerful vulgarity, and matter-of-fact sex and nudity. It’s a backwoods road trip from Philadelphia to Tallahassee on the eve of Y2K in which two squabbling lesbian besties (Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan) slowly fall in love while accidentally ferrying some pretty wild contraband a few goons are desperate to retrieve. Ethan Coen, co-writing with his wife Tricia Cooke, who also serves as editor here, is out to make a small, scrappy, bisexual B-movie and does it with dashed off delight and grinning desire. Every scene stretches for a punchline, every line chewed off with cynical charm and sneakily sentimental romanticism. He shoots simply, and juggles a small ensemble for maximum snappiness, with tight closeups and terse two-shots. It flatters his loquacious low-lifes and allows for a matter-of-fact build-up of specifics, from a basement make-out party set to a Linda Ronstadt record, to the mismatched thugs who sometimes sweet talk and sometimes punch their way to information, witty pleasantries and conversational roundabouts spiked with danger. (The ultimate MacGuffin reveal is a similar shock, equal parts John Waters and Carl Hiaasen and Burn After Reading.) Each scene is the sort of snappily delivered, sleepily paced oddities that let the figures on screen fizz and pop.

It’s a movie that loves its cast in that way, indulging a certain cartoony exaggeration and gleaming naughtiness. Qualley as a confident sexual dynamo brings a swaggering Texas accent through a Bugs Bunny smirk—her mouth goes off at such an angle that she might as well be chomping a carrot. Viswanathan makes a perfect slowly seduced foil of a friend as her buttoned-up partner in accidental crime. She’s all tight and poised until she eventually unwinds with a good kiss. Their chemistry is prickly and flirty—a center of the whirling chaos and satire that’s nicely off-kilter and inevitably lovely. The rest of the cast—a who’s who of one (or few) scene wonders including Colman Domingo and Matt Damon—is game for the regular bursts of violence and vulgarity, quickly sketching their silly, flimsy types and spicing them up with just enough exaggerated style. And Coen spices up his shaggy script with psychedelic flashbacks out of Roger Corman’s The Trip, references to classic novels and outsider artists, and a beating heart of genuine romance underneath a giggling cynicism. It may not get close to the heights of a Coen classic, but it’s a shaggy good-time genre groove.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

All Artificial, No Intelligence: ARGYLLE

Is this just what movies are going to be now? I sank in my seat as I asked myself that question while the deadening Argylle played out on screen. I dreaded the answer as my pessimism grew. The image was bright. The sound was loud. And I was entirely bored. The thing is just so phony I could hardly believe it as it grew worse by the second. The picture opens with an exaggerated goof on spy movie tropes as Agent Argylle (Henry Cavill) chases a bombshell villainess (Dua Lipa) down twisty Grecian streets while his partners in espionage (John Cena and Ariana DeBose) press buttons and sip coffee. Dua Lipa is on a motorcycle doing tight turns and Cavill is sailing over rooftops in a jeep. There’s not a single shot that doesn’t look sloppily green-screened or like the actor’s face hasn’t been plastered on a stunt person or the digital recreation thereof. The dialogue is all tinny and the scenario entirely prefab. At least when it cuts to Bryce Dallas Howard playing the author of junky spy novels, revealing this prologue was a scene from her latest book, one can briefly entertain the notion that the exaggerated falseness was the point. But then scenes of Howard’s quote-unquote normal life proceed with the same blatantly chintzy computerized backdrops and, as the movie progresses, not a single location appears real in any meaningful sense. Every sequence—dialogue and action alike—is shot with the same bland sloppiness as the opening. It gets less forgivable every time it shows a glitchy face-replacement or cartoon cat effect. When you can’t even get a real cat on set, or at least make a convincing digital double, something’s gone awry.

The movie ramps up into more silliness—dragging through 140-some minutes of plot structured as nesting dolls of stupid twists—as the author is entangled in real espionage as warring spies want her to write the next chapter of a real case. The supporting cast—Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine O’Hara, Bryan Cranston—gamely props up the silliness by snarling and chewing on every scrap of interest the dialogue manages to provide. (Not much; this is a movie that’s constantly, loudly grinning and nodding at its own misplaced sense of cleverness.) But with all this talent and potential, the movie is totally dead on arrival for its aesthetic sins. It’s a part of a mind-numbing trend of visual despair that finds the complete erasure of real things in head-scratching preference for the ugly fakery of pure digital mush. Real and talented performers are stranded with not only a nonsense plot pushed along by scenes of mindless exposition, but in entire worlds of falsehood. I’m sure it doesn’t help that every shot, every line, every concept, every twist is so totally overplayed and thoroughly cliched. It’s cluttered with noisy snark and pounding pseudo-ironic needle-drops and misfiring comedy and redirecting twists that all collide to undermine each other. In the end, Samuel L. Jackson spends half of the climax watching a Lakers game, and the other half watching a slow download’s progress bar, and that’s the fun part. Who cares about a floating CGI fortress blowing up in animated flames while our flimsy heroes speed off in a fake getaway boat into an unreal sunset? It’s witless fakery all the way down.

Used to be you could suspend your disbelief in a high-concept adventure movie because at least the cars and boats and landscapes and animals were real. And real things blew up in beautiful fireballs. And the effects served the story instead of feeling like a rich frosting that’s totally replaced the cake. Now we have this nadir of current trends, with a 200 million dollar movie from deep-pocketed studios, a name director, and a cast that’s cumulatively EGOTed, and it barely looks like a movie at all. It’s over lit, overwrought, computerized nothing. Not even scenes of people in a field or on a roof escape a completely disconnected physical space in front of computer-generated backdrops that make old-fashioned studio rear-projection look believable. Director Matthew Vaughn’s earlier works, like vulgar alt-superhero comedy Kick-Ass and the super-violent double-oh riffing Kingsman movies, are also hyperbolic and over-cranked works of excessive style in action and violence. But at least those have a kind of swirling CG coherence grounded in something pulpy and filmic. With Argylle it’s all frictionless digital blandness. For a big-budget spy movie, it doesn’t look expensive, or glamorous, and the action isn’t clever or exciting. It simply goes on and on, completely and totally alienated from reality and cinema alike. Of course it makes its main characters’ favorite song the new zombie Beatles track—they swirl down the same cultural gutter, amalgamated simulacrum of culture we used to enjoy. We’re in a time where cultural products can be all artificial, no intelligence.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Past Lives: THE ZONE OF INTEREST

Writer-director Jonathan Glazer’s project is taking sub-genres that have hardened into particular closed modes and pushing out the walls until we see them from fresh angles. From these unusual perspectives he keeps us somehow entranced and alienated at the same moment by the way the films, so simultaneously stiff and slippery, get away from the expected. There’s his gangster movie drilled down into intimate interior discomfort in Sexy Beast, the ghostly return of Birth refracted through haunted confusions and chilly melodrama, and the alien visitation of Under the Skin that pulses and squirms under haunted tactile exploration and bodily ambiguity. Now we have The Zone of Interest, a Holocaust movie kept entirely within the life of an Auschwitz commander and his family. We see the camp’s smokestacks, guard towers, and barbed wire just over the family’s brick fence that walls them off from the systematic murders with which they’re inextricably tied. Certainly we can load the outside edges of the frame with the weight of historical context on our own, but it’s the muffled hints of screams and shouts and gunshots on a near-constant distant background hum that really sell the horror we can’t see. He won’t let us forget. He makes the images deliberately still and ugly, the camera locked down in frames that are so transparently digital, photographed by Łukasz Żal with harsh lighting accentuating the hard-edged realism of the pixels. He makes us watch naturalistic domestic scenes, stuck with them as blood runs colder. Our only glimpse of life outside the family is shot in photonegative, fitting for a world turned upside-down.

The film frames the actors unflatteringly, with no sense of posing for a camera, in blocking that feels pseudo-documentarian. But it never once feels unplanned—the details of dust and teeth and water and snow and fog are so potent and poetically evocative of the unspoken. Glazer will occasionally let a black screen or quotidian detail linger—flowers blooming in the mud. This pushes against endurance, reminding us we’re trapped as witnesses in this historical nightmare. The spare, plunking, droning Mica Levi score further enhances that feeling of total envelopment in this ice-cold moment. Within, we see the daily struggles of family life—kids, parents, co-workers, bosses. A mother (Sandra Hüller) wants to build a nice place for her children, a garden, a birthday, a day at the lake. A father (Christian Friedel) hopes to get promoted. A sudden shift in bureaucracy threatens to transfer him away from his domestic comfort, and there the narrative logic of watching a movie might threaten to take over and cause you to root for him to figure this out and keep his family together. And yet the inescapable fact of what, exactly, his job details works to prevent that rooting interest. Such casual monstrosity, such normalized cruelty, such mechanical, technical terror, right next door: it’s all so routine. One day he dictates a letter to an architect, starting it with a tossed off “Heil Hitler, etcetera.” He speaks with his wife about their perfect family home. By night, the light of the crematorium illuminates his daughters’ bedroom. More than just an embodiment of what Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil, this becomes a film looking down the dark corridor of history and listening to the victims’ screams echoing across time and space.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Talking Head: GET ON YOUR KNEES

Early in Get On Your Knees, writer-performer Jacqueline Novak casually mentions that she used to write poetry in college. Based on the dense, surprising tangle of allusions and images in the 90-minute monologue that follows, she’s still writing it. In this case, it’s in the form of a one-woman show that’s an exhilaratingly literate example of the form. Neither stand-up comedy nor straight up lecture, Novak stalks the stage with an easy stride talking through a coming-of-age. Her footsteps’ pacing matches her rapid linguistic stylings. Thoughts tumble with studied casualness, barely keeping up with her delivery as if she’s just thinking of these writerly phrases. She looks casual—jeans and t-shirt—but in her grinning, bookish preparation, it’s clear she’s thought carefully about how to phrase these ideas and how best to present them. (A knowing detail comes when she describes not only reading Nabokov as a girl, but wanting to be seen reading Nabokov as a girl.) It’s no wonder this is a captivating monologue on stage, and the movie does well to capture its spirit. (That director Natasha Lyonne cultivates a similar aw-shucks candor in her own on-screen career makes for a simpatico pairing.) The camera tracks and pans as the spotlight roams, barely keeping up as Novak’s mind, and ours, are racing. She packs in literate references and spins elaborate metaphors—stacking quotations and adjectives until her points are vividly clear. It’s a look at an active mind spinning along and inviting us to join the ride. 

And now I see I’ve done a good job avoiding the animating idea of the show, something about which Novak certainly couldn’t be accused. She gets to the point in disarmingly direct, honest inquiry. She’s here to talk about genitals and her youthful explorations thereof, specifically as she learns to relate to the male anatomy. It’s a concept full of symbolic and experiential import, and she’s eager to draw out theory and anecdote. And yet she deploys this subject matter so intelligently and cleverly with good humor and bracing candor. She’s neither careful nor apologetic. Her presentation is so breezily, candidly, smilingly, matter-of-factly open about potentially vulgar material in witty paragraphs written and performed with a total command of her language and its effects. She expresses such simultaneous depth of feeling, lightness of touch, and frankness of spirit that it feels simply free, never grossly edgy for the sake of it. The show is ultimately an argument in celebration of human anatomy and the awkward, difficult, pleasurable things we expect it to achieve—the ways in which it is central and futile, fumbling toward profundity and intimacy and constantly falling short, except for the fleeting, beautiful moments of real connection. In expressing her particular intellectual and physical insights, she gives us a vulnerable, verbose, articulate work that’s carnal and emotional and expressive all at once. It’s sweet and sensitive—with a bit of a bite. It takes familiar ideas and erects new, personal insights, building blunt poetry out of it. There’s no wonder the movie’s triumphant climactic cut to credits is scored with a booming pop flourish that echoes that idea—“Like a Prayer.”

Monday, January 1, 2024

25 Favorite New-to-Me Movies of 2023

25. Ernest Borgnine on the Bus (1997, Jeff Krulik)
24. The Earth Dies Screaming (1964, Terence Fisher)
23. Shopping (1994, Paul W.S. Anderson)
22. Dolores Claiborne (1995, Taylor Hackford)
21. Age of Panic (2013, Justine Triet)
20. Lost and Delirious (2001, Léa Pool)
19. Light Sleeper (1992, Paul Schrader)
18. The Delta (1992, Ira Sachs)
17. The Last Run (1971, Richard Fleischer)
16. Grey Gardens (1975, Albert and David Maysles)
15. Once Were Warriors (1994, Lee Tamahori)
14. An Unmarried Woman (1978, Paul Mazursky)
13. Mister Roberts (1955, John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy)
12. The Cotton Club (1984, Francis Ford Coppola)
11. Theodora Goes Wild (1936, Richard Boleslawski)
10. Don't Bother to Knock (1952, Roy Ward Baker)
09. La Soufrière (1977, Werner Herzog)
08. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005, Cristi Puiu)
07. Wavelength (1967, Michael Snow)
06. Caught (1948, Max Ophuls)
05. Safe (1995, Todd Haynes)
04. The Letter (1940, William Wyler)
03. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, Peter Weir)
02. Summer of Sam (1999, Spike Lee)
01. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959, Alain Resnais)