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The Babadook

The finest and most genuinely provocative horror movie to emerge in this still very-new century

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The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

It’s a fascinating look into a creative process that has been essential to the history of animation, but it could have been tighter as a…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows

I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema. I am not at all interested in anything in between.--Francois Truffaut

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Belle de Jour

Belle de Jour

In the days after I first saw Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut," another film entered my mind again and again. It was Luis Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" (1967), the story of a respectable young wife who secretly works in a…

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Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove

Every time you see a great film, you find new things in it. Viewing Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" for perhaps the 10th time, I discovered what George C. Scott does with his face. His performance is the funniest thing in…

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Star Wars

Star Wars

To see "Star Wars" again after 20 years is to revisit a place in the mind. George Lucas' space epic has colonized our imaginations, and it is hard to stand back and see it simply as a motion picture, because…

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Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom

The movies make us into voyeurs. We sit in the dark, watching other people's lives. It is the bargain the cinema strikes with us, although most films are too well-behaved to mention it.

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The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The last words in David Lean's "The Bridge on the River Kwai" are "Madness! Madness ... madness!" Although the film's two most important characters are both mad, the hero more than the villain, we're not quite certain what is intended…

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Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever

"Saturday Night Fever'' was Gene Siskel's favorite movie, and he watched it at least 17 times. We all have movies like that, titles that transcend ordinary categories of good and bad, and penetrate straight to our hearts. My own short…

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Goldfinger

Goldfinger

Not every man would like to be James Bond, but every boy would. In one adventure after another, he saves the world, defeats bizarre villains, gets to play with neat gadgets and seduces, or is seduced by, stupendously sexy women…

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The Music Room

The Music Room

Satyajit Ray's "The Music Room" (1958) has one of the most evocative opening scenes ever filmed. A middle-age man, his face set into deep weariness, sits on the wide, flat roof of his house in an upholstered chair that has…

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Psycho

Psycho

"It wasn't a message that stirred the audiences, nor was it a great performance...they were aroused by pure film."

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Blow-Up

Blow-Up

Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow-Up" opened in America two months before I became a film critic, and colored my first years on the job with its lingering influence. It was the opening salvo of the emerging "film generation," which quickly lined up…

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The Up Documentaries

The Up Documentaries

The "Up" documentaries, they're called. Every seven years, the British director Michael Apted revisits a group of people whose lives he has been chronicling since they were children. As he chats with them about how things are going, his films…

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