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The Second Mother

A domestic comedy-drama that starts off from a fairly pat premise but builds strength over the course of its careful, empathetic, and crafty unpeeling of…

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Z for Zachariah

Chiwetel Eijiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine star in this low-key post-apocalyptic drama about a Garden of Eden that's not big enough for three people.

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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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Moments Out of Time 2008

At MSN Movies, Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy continue their tradition of conjuring indelible cinematic moments of the previous year -- made all the more indelible by their luminous descriptions of them. A few samples, from some terrific movies, and some not-so-terrific ones:

• In "The Edge of Heaven," a brown ribbon of road glowing under the last shrinking patch of blue in a lowering, end-of-day sky ...

• "In Bruges": The twinkle and the glower: First views of the "Belgian s---hole" by, respectively, Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) ...

• In "Revolutionary Road," April stands in milky light with her back to us, gazing out her picture window as blood pools at her feet. Hats off to Douglas Sirk . ...

• As a hospital explodes in the background, a nurse sporting an obscene mask of white, black and red greasepaint totters in the street, gazing into the camera as though daring us not to get off on the way the Joker plays in "The Dark Knight" ...

• "I was a guard!" -- the courtroom profession that instantly defines the literal and moral limits of Hanna Schmitz's (Kate Winslet) imagination, and perhaps a nation's, in "The Reader" ...

• In "Che," the most romanticized revolutionary ever (Benicio Del Toro) staggers up a steep wooded hillside, wheezing with asthma. ...

• A scene of pastoral skinny-dipping suddenly turns cold and black with the threat of death, and in "Tell No One," nothing afterward is as it seems. ...

• Wendy (the superb Michelle Williams) gazes helplessly from the backseat of a cop car as her tethered golden Lab recedes from view -- the first in a cascade of losses in "Wendy and Lucy."...

• "The Happening": Mark Wahlberg delivering a monologue to a houseplant, just in case ...

• "Let the Right One In": At snowy evening, a man making his way home passes out of a tunnel, and the dark little creature Eli drops on him as if from above the screen itself. ...

• "Burn After Reading": Chad Feldheimer's last grin (Brad Pitt, sublime) ...

Many more here.

Care to contribute some of your favorite movie-moments from the past year?

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