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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
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 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.
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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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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O Brother, Wher...
Really Great 72 Points 2000

O Brother, Where Art Thou? looks stupid but is actually brilliant and brilliantly funny. Classic Coen Brothers is also what it is, a movie only their fertile minds and clever craft could conceive and consummate. For instance, George Clooney’s escaped con clambers aboard a box car and begins his…

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WikChip Video Constant Sorrow? More like Constant Joy.
The Aviator
Really Great 83 Points 2004

Howard Hughes is a name that evokes American mythos to those of us of a certain age. He made and flew the fastest planes, made and directed the biggest movies and was the world’s richest man. Most of us forget about the movies, enormous though they were. Martin Scorsese – cinema’s number one …

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WikChip Video Love Kate lovingly looking at Howard
Pan's Labyrinth
Really Great 93 Points 2006

A brave girl’s amazing fantasy, stupendously well told. Monumentally effective FX bring to life fauns, fairies and all manner of fantastical creatures, making Pan’s Labyrinth both technically and artistically engrossing.

Faced with a horrific family situation, the brave Ofelia (played with pl…

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WikChip Image Dali's war surrealism preceded del To...
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.
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