When it all boils over, you’ll understand why Clint was always the consummate movie cowboy. The joke in most teen movies is that the stories tend to feel a lot like they were written by older people looking back at high school fondly (or not), and the casts usually feel a bit too old to be hanging around lockers and gym classes. What makes Fast Times at Ridgemont High such a classic is how young it feels. It actually has the messy, sporadic vibe of teen life, jumping between subplots with energy and unfocused angst. There’s a reason Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli is still an iconic character. Inception is the kind of movie you don’t really “get” the first time you see it, but it lingers with you and rewards repeat viewings.
But we’ve arguably already lived through 100 years’ worth of upheaval, progress, pain, destruction, hope and heartache in the world — not to mention the film industry — since 2000. We thought it as good a time as any to look back at the films that have, to us, stood the ever-unfolding test of time. Variety, which recently celebrated its 117th anniversary, is a publication as old as cinema. (We invented box office reporting, in addition to the words “showbiz” and “horse opera.”) And in making this list, we wanted to reflect the beautiful, head-spinning variety of the moviegoing experience. We don’t just mean different genres; we don’t just mean highbrow and lowbrow (and everything in between).
The quips come so fast—apologize to your closed captioning system now. A stop-motion musical fairy tale about Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King” of Halloweentown, who, bored with scaring people, stumbles on the concept of “Christmas” and tries to step into Santa’s boots. Featuring some of the best songs—”This is Halloween” and “What’s This? ” are definite standouts—and a slew of ingeniously unique characters and designs, this is like literally nothing else you’ve ever seen. Oh, and for the record, we’re on the “This is a Halloween movie” side of the “Halloween Movie” vs. “Christmas Movie” debate about this one, but make your own call. Based on the memoirs of the former British soldier, Lawrence of Arabia tells the story of how T.E.
The very spirit of cinema is that it has long been a landscape of spine-tingling eclecticism, and we wanted our list to reflect that — to honor the movies we love most, whatever categories they happen to fall into. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) escapes her reality as the stepdaughter of a violent Falangist officer in 1944 Spain by entering a dreamy, but also nightmarish fantasy world in Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous 2006 hit. The genre-bending film mixes fantasy and historical drama with a side of creature feature and horror to make something truly unique. Bo Burnham’s painfully accurate depiction of middle school can be difficult to watch, but it’s so worth it. The film is an honest and respectful look at modern adolescence, as it follows Kayla (Elise Fisher), an awkward and sweet eighth grader struggling to keep up with her classmates and find her own way. When you hear movie buffs talk about the performance that should have won Amy Adams an Oscar, odds are they’re talking about Arrival, the sci-fi drama about a woman recruited to help find a way to communicate with aliens who inexplicably land on Earth.
I Carry You With Me exudes empathy for these individuals’ plights, which includes suffering sidewalk beatings from random homophobes and the slings and arrows of their disapproving clans. Ewing shoots their travails in warm hues and with handheld camerawork that often spies them through barriers, suggesting their imprisoned condition. Those circumstances don’t completely change once they reach the United States, as conveyed by late non-fiction passages that address the real Ivan and Gerardo’s present-day trapped-between-two-worlds situation.
What they discover is a massive, horse-eating UFO that has staked a claim somewhere in the skies around their home. Peele yet again manages to deftly weave his distinct sense of funny into the script, and Kaluuya and Palmer make those words sing. It’s a given that money is always part of the equation, as much of the discussion around the future of moviegoing underscores. Most of the chatter about moviegoing these days often devolves into journalists and industry types parroting the logic of capitalism, i.e., whatever industry power dictates. Netflix and other big streamers have had a huge impact, no question, and we can chat about what it all means in a few years. But whatever the rationalization, the reasons there’s so much intense focus on Netflix and Disney is their monopolistic grip not simply on the entertainment industry but also on the hive mind of the mainstream media.
And of course, debating the “best movies ever” has enlivened dinner party conversations and social media feeds for decades—in fact, we guarantee the following list will have overlooked at least one good movie you’ll be shocked wasn’t included. Not only do you not need to be a fan of Sparks–the L.A.-via-London band led by siblings Russell and Ron Mael–to enjoy The Sparks Brothers; you don’t even have to know who they are. Edgar Wright’s enthusiastic non-fiction portrait of the group provides a chronological rundown of their unkillable career, which has continued to thrive despite failing to achieve the household-name status that often seemed to be its destiny. Cleverly edited archival-footage montages and diverse animated sequences are instinctively attuned to Sparks’ all-over-the-place wavelength, expressing the joyous anything-goes attitude that has long guided their music.
- The movies are always turning into something else, even as they drag their history along with them.
- Sometimes when you watch old comedies, you can appreciate their place in history but don’t find yourself laughing all that much.
- It’s surprising now to look back and see the utter anarchy that was the Brothers’ comedy—they have a “mess with everyone at all times” ethos that keeps their comedy from feeling stale or corny even many decades later.
- When Gladiator hit theaters in 2000, there hadn’t been a serious “sword-and-sandals” epic in a long, long time.
It may be dedicated to the Communist Revolution, but its real heart belongs to classic Hollywood. Since then, I have watched many more new releases in person, including at two festivals where I gorged like a famished person (so many thanks to both the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival). I had spent the first part of the year on book leave, and while I’d streamed plenty of new and old films then (hello, Marie Dressler!), I missed going out (anywhere). I missed really, really big bright images http://cricnewsonline.com/ and I missed the rituals, including the quick search for the most perfect seat and the anticipatory wait for the movie to begin, for someone to hit the lights and start the show. There are many classic boxing movies, but none have brought the genre into the 21st Century quite like Creed. Though it’s technically a Rocky spinoff, writer-director Ryan Coogler completely reinvigorated the franchise by focusing on Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), a young boxer desperate to honor his father’s legacy and forge one of his own.
Felix Kammerer offers an impressive performance as Paul Bäumer, a young soldier whose excitement about fighting for his country quickly turns to anxiety, exhaustion, and disillusionment. Perhaps most impressive is cinematographer James Friend’s jaw-dropping camerawork, which puts you right in the trenches. Like all the movies I love, “The Power of the Dog” got under my skin. And like all the movies I care most about, it is far more than the sum of its finely shaped story parts. I admire its narrative ebb and flow, but the movie’s meaning extends beyond its chapter breaks and dialogue. In Campion’s aerial shots of an arid, lonely land and in the anguished close-ups — in backlighted bristles of horsehair and in the rhythmic rocking of a strand of braided leather on a man’s body — she sets loose a cascade of associations.