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American Sniper

American Sniper proves the dictum “never count an auteur out” by proving itself as Eastwood’s strongest directorial effort since 2009's underrated Invictus pretty much right…

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The Interview

Opportunities at rich satire flatten out into Hangover dude-dope-doodoo jokes, where the premise is that there’s nothing funnier than watching over-privileged grown men act out…

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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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Jim's favorite movies of 2009: The movie

Once again, my favorite movies of the year engage in overlapping cinematic conversation with one another, blurring stylistic, thematic, national, linguistic, philosophical, theological and proprietary boundaries. No one is playing the blame game here. Happy new year!

(list and links after the jump...)

"A Serious Man" (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA)

"The Hurt Locker" (Kathryn Bigelow, USA)

"Liverpool" (Lisandro Alonso, Argentina)

"35 Shots of Rum" (Claire Denis, France)

"Goodbye Solo" (Ramin Bahrani, USA)

"The Headless Woman" (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina)

"Inglorious Basterds" (Quentin Tarantino, USA)

"The Limits of Control" (Jim Jarmusch, USA)

"Police, Adjective" (Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania)

"The Informant!" (Steven Soderbergh, USA)

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" (Wes Anderson, USA)

"Sita Sings the Blues" (Nina Paley, USA)

"The White Ribbon" (Michael Haneke, Austria)

"Summer Hours" (Olivier Assayas, France)

Other favorites regrettably left on the cutting-room floor: "The Brothers Bloom," "In the Loop," "Of Time and the City," "Still Walking," "Observe and Report," "Gomorrah," "Watchmen," "Anvil! The Story of Anvil"...

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