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Widows

McQueen’s masterful film is the kind that works on multiple levels simultaneously—as pure pulp entertainment but also as a commentary on how often it feels…

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The Girl in the Spider's Web

The cinematic equivalent of a clip-on version of the nose ring that its central character famously sports throughout—a simulacrum that tries to evoke the edge…

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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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#318 December 26, 2017

Matt writes: For our final newsletter of 2017, we are providing a round-up of the RogerEbert.com lists ranking the best films of the year. The cumulative top 10 list from the writers at our site placed Greta Gerwig's sharply insightful directorial debut, "Lady Bird," at the top of the heap, while each of our writers provided their individual lists separately. Our publisher, Chaz Ebert, revealed her picks for the year's best films in an extensive list that was headed by a four-way tie: Jordan Peele's "Get Out," Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water," Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me by Your Name" and Ruben Östlund's "The Square." She also presented her favorite documentaries of 2017, spotlighting such essential titles as Amanda Lipitz's "Step," Agnès Varda's "Faces Places," Ben Lear's "They Call Us Monsters" and Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis' "Whose Streets?"

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60 Minutes on: "Get Out"

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As soon as I heard that Jordan Peele's debut feature had the plot of an edgy indie romantic comedy but was in fact "a horror movie," I knew it was going to be terrific. There was just no way it couldn't be. I rarely feel this confident about a film sight-unseen, but as a longtime fan of Peele, it seemed clear that he knew exactly what his movie was about a deep level. "A black man meets his white girlfriend's parents for the first time; it's a horror movie" is the kind of pitch that might earn a delighted "I'm down, brother!" chuckle from the father of said white girlfriend, a brain surgeon played by Bradley Whitford who tells the hero Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that he would vote for Obama a third time if he could. But for all its laughs, both subtle and broad—and for all its evident familiarity with crowd-pleasing yet grimly clever '80s horror comedies like "They Live!", "Fright Night," "Reanimator," "The People Under the Stairs," "The Hidden," "Child's Play" and other movies that people in their 30s and 40s saw multiple times at dollar theaters and drive-ins and on cable—"Get Out" is no joke. It made all as much money as it did because everyone who saw it, including the ones who only went because everyone else they knew had already seen it, instinctively sensed that it was observing this moment in American history and capturing it, not just for posterity's sake or for perverse entertainment value but as monument and  warning.

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