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Perfect 66 Points 2000

Deeply, floridly Italian, Malèna is a sumptuous WWII find, a Sicilian movie extraordinaire and a devastating depiction of Italian machismo reacting to the hottest signorina since Sophia Loren.

Monica Belluci plays the title character, a gorgeous war bride living in a small Sicilian town, bro…

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WikChip Image where Malèna went, the town followed
A Royal Affair
Really Great 83 Points 2012

A Royal Affair is truly regal, with a King, his Queen, their courtiers, grand councils and balls in castles.

  • Infidelity so grand – so right – it was ultimately forgiven by the cuckold King of Denmark.
  • History made, the Enlightenment brought to the Danes and their colony of Norway.
  • Roma…
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WikChip Image Mads Mikkelsen Moviestar
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Great 68 Points 2002

M. Night Shyamalan peaked with Signs. Wonderfully creepy and magnificently manipulative, it’s a self-consciously old-school scary movie. Even this non-horror fan enjoyed it.

Mel Gibson’s Muted Max performance anchors writer-director Shyamalan’s achingly heavy story. Leading a great cast…

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WikChip Image Charismatically great acting: Gibson ...
Sarah's Key
Great 17 Points 2011

Kristin Scott Thomas is an investigative reporter who moves in to a Paris apartment with a history rooted in the holocaust. Done in a flashback style, switching between the experience of Sarah’s family – hiding thier little son before being whisked away by French police in a sweep of Jewish peo…

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The Burning Plain
Great 83 Points 2008

A woman on the edge propels the oh-so-smart drama in this almost too clever movie. The story turns back in on itself time and again, not fully revealing its convergence till the end. An ultimately satisfying twist does come, though not before we’re asked to hang in through lots of puzzlingly se…

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WikChip Image OK, not from the movie, but Jennifer !!
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End of Watch
Great 83 Points 2012

I avoided End of Watch when it came out in 2012, thinking it was just a steroidal TV Cop Show, moviestar Jake Gyllenhaal notwithstanding. Then David Ayer’s movie demanded attention, given BrianSez’s effusive review and Ayer’s recent mas…

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WikChip Video Cop Dogma in Outstanding Open Scene
Rails & Ties
Great 83 Points 2007

Sad, sweet and ultimately redemptive, Rails & Ties uses two tragic turns of event to trigger an ironic story about how character and hope can win out in the end. Likely to find an audience over time, this soulful movie is deeply cathartic for those touched by cancer, childless marriage, suicid…

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WikChip Image Like Father, Like Daughter
Only God Forgives
Great 66 Points 2013

Blood begets blood as a Bangkok blood feud drives waves of retribution in artistic director Nicholas Winding Refn’s crime thriller Only God Forgives. Think Drive crossed with Bronson, set in Asia.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, imagine Ryan Gosling in a savagely violent, brooding…

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WikChip Image Makes the Wicked Witch seem nurturing
Manchester by t...
Great 83 Points 2016

Deaths in the family surround Casey Affleck’s New Englander, dragging him down and knocking him around in Manchester by the Sea. Kenneth Lonergan’s latest fractured-family film has been highly praised at film festivals and has Oscar buzz around it, especially for Affleck’s tortured performance….

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WikChip Video Before it all went to hell
Great 66 Points 2020

Greyhound delivers naval battle action that will likely never be topped. USN Captain Tom Hanks orders his men to General Quarters more often than you’ll go to the fridge for refills. Torpedoes get fired and outmaneuvered, depth charges deployed and cannons barraged at levels rarely seen and nev…

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WikChip Video Naval battles don't more intense than...