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The King's Speech
Perfect 88 Points 2010

Who knew? The Brits no doubt, but we Yanks were unaware of the stammering tribulations that the current Queen Elizabeth’s father endured, let alone that England’s fortitude in World War II required him to overcome them. Most impressively, who would have guessed that this true story would make s…

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WikChip Video Brilliant and brilliantly entertaining.
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Double Indemnity
Perfect 66 Points 1944

Want to hear what perfect dialog sounds like? Listen to Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. Credit Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and director Billy Wilder, three legendary writers who didn’t get along but nonetheless birthed “the paradigmatic film noir.”1

A perfect…

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WikChip Video MacMurray & Stanwyck speak perfect di...
The Grand Budap...
Perfect 83 Points 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel flaunts a garden of cinematic delights. Deliciously deadpan and deliriously fun for those of us who love the cinematic art form, Wes Anderson’s brilliant confection works high and low. Well, not too low, as even the physical comedy and silly surprises take a bit of sm…

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WikChip Image Evildoers: Dafoe & Brody
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The Sting
Perfect 66 Points 1973

Perfection: The opening music sets a movielover’s heart aflutter and The Sting just gets better from there. A Scott Joplin rag – brilliantly slowed down by Marvin Hamlisch – leads to Robert Redford and Paul Newman, reunited a mere four years after they first got together in "Butch Cassidy and t…

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WikChip Video Best Movie Music Ever
The 39 Steps
Perfect 66 Points 1935

Delightful and gripping, this early Hitchcock gem became the model for fugitive hero thrillers ever since. Terrifically entertaining – albeit dated in dialog, edginess and production values – The 39 Steps is a must see for anyone interested in the original hero-on-the-run-from-the-good-and-bad…

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WikChip Image Something's going on here.
Bringing Up Baby
Really Great 66 Points 1938

Screwball romantic-comedies don’t get much better than Bringing Up Baby, “Baby” being a leopard and its adoptive parents a never better Cary Grant & Katherine Hepburn. Three quarters of a century after its premiere, Howard Hawks’ classic remains a delightfully ticklish cinematic confection.

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WikChip Image Kate & Cary as Susan & David
A Secret
Really Great 66 Points 2007

More a wartime romantic mystery than anything, A Secret is nonetheless as fine a Holocaust picture as you’ll find. Being French, it’s also a sensual love story, or two.

Let’s start at the beginning even though the movie starts in the middle. A supremely athletic and thoroughly assimilated …

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WikChip Image Cécile De France: lithe object of desire
King of the Hill
Really Great 66 Points 1993

King of the Hill is a real life Little Rascals, what with pipsqueak brothers living alone during the Great Depression. Amazingly it’s the truthy autobiography of A.E. Hotchner, Paul Newman’s pal and business partner. Even if fictional, it would still charm and enlighten, as it’s a perfect fil…

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WikChip Video Charming and Enlightening
Changeling
Really Great 83 Points 2008

Polish up the acceptance speeches. Changeling deserves a passel of trophies, though Best Picture isn’t one of them. The difficult story – while expertly told – ends up a mildly exhausting slog, one not worth enduring for anyone not wanting to visualize the most elemental of maternal nightmare…

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Cabaret
Really Great 66 Points 1972

This paean to lost licentiousness in the face of fascism won eight (8!) Oscars, losing out only on Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay (both to The Godfather for Pete’s sake). The movie that made Liza more famous for her talent than her…

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WikChip Image Sexy Brilliance.