Rightfully dubbed “one of the best horror films ever made” by many, The Exorcist goes above and beyond to make you terrified. The story about a girl possessed by a demon in need of an exorcism is unsettling, to say the least. Between the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack and the easy-on-the-eyes love triangle—Dustin Hoffman as a wandering college graduate, his married neighbor Mrs. Robinson, and her daughter—this film is hard to not immediately fall in love with.
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Where the French justice system tries to explain—and ultimately condemn—Coly for her actions, Diop works in the mode of observation. Leaning on long, expertly free movie sites composed takes, she emphasizes the richness and inscrutability of human faces. Maybe we can’t ever truly understand each other, but there are ways to try.
While there, Billi struggles to find a deeper connection to the country and tries to understand her family’s decision to keep her grandmother’s sickness a secret from her. This inspiring drama stars Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, a single mom who uncovers an environmental crime and goes after the huge corporation involved. Peele’s third film is his most ambitious and visually stunning, following a pair of horse-training siblings who discover a mysterious being has settled down near their ranch.
Robbed of a full cinematic release by Covid-19, it now shines as one of Netflix’s best films. Zombie movies often take themselves too seriously—but “serious” isn’t something the Zombieland franchise can be accused of. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s wry and self-aware script plays gleefully with the constraints of the zombie apocalypse, wringing laughs from Columbus’ narrated survival rules and Tallahassee’s obsession with Twinkies. But it’s an incredible cameo by Bill Murray as himself that elevates the whole film. Clever, funny, and just the right level of gory, Zombieland is a blast. But who’s using the town as a petri dish, and why is there a cloning lab buried underground?
Yes, it’s all a bit Wicker Man in places, but Apostle balances its gore and scares with slow-burn tension and a terror borne of its isolated setting that will have you thinking twice before you next venture into the countryside. Even given the darker tones of a few Key And Peele sketches, no one could have predicted that Jordan Peele would place himself on track to become a modern master of horror. And it all started with this, the Oscar-winning kick-off to his film career in which Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris meets his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents and discovers some truly shocking secrets. White guilt, specific racism, slavery and more blend into a socially conscious terror tale that rings every note with pitch-perfect accuracy. Richard Kelly’s time-looping, sci-fi-horror-blending high-school movie is the very definition of a cult classic. It was a struggle to get made, it flopped on release, then found its crowd via word-of-mouth and a palpable sense that its creator really, you know, gets it.
Amid their courtship, the movie tackles themes of consumerism, environmentalism, and nostalgia in a way that’s understandable for kids and engaging for adults. Clueless is just one of many teen movie adaptations of classic literature — in this case, Jane Austen’s Emma. Cher (Alicia Silverstone, who was perfectly cast) is our ’90s-era Emma Woodhouse who has to re-examine her selfish ways as her relationships become increasingly complicated. It’s sweet and satirical at the same time, and full of quotable lines and memorable outfits. The relationship between Cher and her former step-brother Josh (the ageless Paul Rudd) is totally not creepy when you remember that it’s based on Emma and George Knightley. The Princess Bride is one of those movies that you watch as a kid and keep coming back to again and again because of how warm and fuzzy it makes you feel.
Not just because the baddies win (temporarily), or because it Force-slammed us with that twist (“No, I am your father”). Empire super-stardestroys thanks to the way it deepens the core relationships — none more effectively than Han and Leia’s. When dinosaurs first ruled the movie-Earth, they did so in a herky-jerky stop-motion manner that while charmingly effective, required a fair dose of disbelief-suspension.
Juries most often amount to little more than set dressing in courtroom dramas. But Sidney Lumet’s film finds all its drama outside the courtroom itself and inside a jury deliberation room packed with fantastic character actors, who are forced to re-examine a seemingly straightforward case by lone-voice juror Henry Fonda. It’s all about the value of looking at things differently, and a reminder that nothing is more important than great dialogue. Spike Lee had already caused a stir with his first two films – She’s Gotta Have It and School Daze – but this was the one that changed everything, with Lee at full pelt, fully formed, in full command and full of fury. Over the longest, hottest summer’s day in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy, already boiling tensions between the African-Americans on the block and the Italian-Americans running a pizzeria eventually peak, erupting into violence.
Borgli, whose short films hit a similar caustic tone and clinical aesthetic, is a master of threading the line between body humor and body horror, between grotesquery and beauty, a cringe and a cackle. It’s hard to flat-out love a movie as bleak and tragic as the Dardenne brothers’ latest, but it’s even harder not to be deeply affected by it. Tori and Lokita follows a pair of African migrant children trying to survive and stick together, in modern Belgium. It’s about how they are failed by bureaucracy, taken advantage of by the underworld, and ignored by everyone else (implicating viewers, including all those who will skip this film because of its heaviness). The 11 year-old Tori and 17-year-old Lokita are forced to operate well beyond their years. In playing them, Pablo Schils (Tori) and Joely Mbundu (Lokita) achieve the same feat.
Winona Ryder’s always in her element in off-beat dark comedies, and this one sets her in the middle of a high school where her character Veronica gets invited to a join a popular clique of “Heathers” (literally three girls whose names are Heather) until they betray her. Dean (Christian Slater) set out to right all the wrongs made against her, in cruel and unusual ways. A technical marvel at its time and one of the most influential films ever, this 1937 film is definitely worth a watch for movie buffs, even if you’ve seen countless iterations of L. One of the highest-grossing Nigerian movies of all time, anyone interested in Nollywood should check out The Wedding Party. The film shows every aspect of the wedding day between Dozie (Banky Wellington) and Dunni (Adeusa Etomi), down to the families’ concerns and the planner’s antics.
Set at a New England private school in 1959, this movie follows an English teacher, played by Robin Williams, and his relationship with his students as he teaches them to live a little more through poetry. The movie gave Williams his second Oscar nominee, and Ethan Hawke said that working on this movie inspired him to continue to be an actor. One of the best crime thrillers of all time has to be David Fincher’s Seven.
This movie is trippy and a bit hard to follow, but it’s absolutely required viewing. Stanley Kubrick takes us from the dawn of the human species to the dawn of a totally new species in just a few hours, and his view of space and space travel set the standard for a thousand sci-fi films to come. This very dark comedy juxtaposes one woman’s insatiable quest to avenge her best friend’s tragic assault in front of a backdrop of all things frilly, pink, and sweet. That stark contrast only makes the movie’s incredibly intense climax that much more shocking. Promising Young Woman was nominated for five Oscars in 2021, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Carey Mulligan, and a history-making Best Director nod for Emerald Fennell. Julie Andrews plays an Austrian nun during World War II in the Academy Award-winning film.