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Freeheld stumbles over too many hurdles to recommend it. The film’s heart is in the right place, but its focus is not.



Cassel’s latest movie that smartly keeps his innate menace on a slow, low simmer, isn’t nearly as convincing or compelling as its star.

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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…


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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Which great director is not-so-great?

As part of the Contrarian Blog-a-Thon, here's a chance to really vent your spleen (in a rational and persuasive way). Please cast your vote below, and then elaborate on your selection in Comments. Give your reasons. Try to change our minds. I happen to have a great deal of affection for all of the below, but I chose these because they have passionate partisans and detractors. (And, besides, nobody doesn't like Howard Hawks... RIGHT?!?!) Defend your favorites -- or explain why you'd choose a filmmaker who's not on this abbreviated list. (BTW, although a valid e-mail address is required to post a comment, it won't be visible to the public and nobody will send you any mail as a consequence. It's just a way to help filter out some of the vast quantities of comment spam that comes in.)

P.S. Do you know which of the above is still alive?

UPDATE (3/19/07): I can't believe I forgot to include Ingmar Bergman, once considered the greatest living filmmaker by so many. I'm not so sure I know where his reputation stands at the moment...

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