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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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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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A list of thank-you movies

From Scott Collette, Los Angeles, CA:

The summer of 94 took my family from video junkies watching everything at home, to seeing "Speed," "True Lies," "Clear and Present Danger," and "Forrest Gump" in theaters. We went to the movies every week after that, but the movies we went to see depended on what Roger said about the films. I was 12. I liked action and adventure and explosions and so quickly Roger became my enemy. I couldn't go see films I wanted to see because he said they were bad. The next year, when I saw "Pulp Fiction" and "Natural Born Killers," I loved them. I thought to myself, 'See, I bet that jerk Ebert doesn't even know how good these are.' I picked up my parents' copy of the movie yearbook. Not only were both four star films, but both were listed on the year's top ten list. I couldn't understand how I was so in line with Roger on these, but so far off before. I decided the only way to understand was to read the full reviews in the book. Not only did I understand why he disliked the films I liked ("Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," which I still like, and "Dumb and Dumber" which I've grown out of) but he allowed me to appreciate new things in his four star films like "Pulp Fiction" and "Natural Born Killers."

Please share with him this list of great films I would not have seen if it weren't for his reviews. Now Roger, these may not be the best of the best to you but they certainly are all significant to me and I owe you the thanks for helping me discover these: (in no particular order)

"Girl on the Bridge"
"Amores Perros"
"Being John Malkovich"
"Men with Guns"
"Lone Star"
"Santa Sangre"
"Dark City"
"One False Move"
"House of Games"
"Belle de Jour"
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie"
"The Exterminating Angel"
"The Battle of Algiers"
"Chinatown"
"Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia"
"El Norte"
"City of God"
"L'Avventura"
"Last Tango in Paris"
"The Dreamers"
"Mean Streets"
"Out of the Past"
"Paris, Texas"
"Walkabout"
"The Terrorist"
"Eve's Bayou"
"Exotica"
"The Sweet Hereafter"
"Everyone Says I Love You"
"The Last Seduction"
"Flirting"
"The Hairdresser's Husband"
"After Hours"

There are many more and there will be many more. Take your time, but I will be anxiously awaiting your return. Thank you very much for everything you've done.

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