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Sullivan's Travels
Perfect 69 Points 1941

When everybody rates a movie as Five Star, calling it one of the greatest ever made, the stakes are high. Expectations of perfection prevail. Expectations, meet Sullivan’s Travels, a perfect Golden Age movie.

Sullivan’s Travels is a movie about the movies, about comedies mostly, from whi…

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Good Kill
Really Great 83 Points 2015

Obama’s War on Terror comes alive in Good Kill. Set in 2010, after the second POTUS to prosecute the Islamist War dramatically escalated drone warfare, it unflinchingly portrays the toll on airmen and their families from a new kind of combat in an incompetently defined war. Albeit fictional, it…

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Eye in the Sky
Really Great 86 Points 2015

21st century war gets personal in the heart-pounding Eye in the Sky, one of the best 21st century war movies yet.1 Helen Mirren’s steely colonel directs a global military response to Islamist terror, adroitly coordinating activity in Kenya, Nevada, Hawaii, Bejing and Singapore from two rooms …

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Rain Man
Really Great 66 Points 1988

Who’s on first? Tom Cruise to start, until Dustin Hoffman outshines him in an acting duet for the ages. Rain Man is all that and much more, a wonderful movie full of charm, humanity and insight. It won the Big Four Oscars in 1989 – Best Picture, Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman), Best Director and Be…

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The Hangover
Great 133 Points 2009

Off-the-hook lunacy: 50% LOL, 40% WTF, 10% clunker. A solid set-up (three lifelong buddies and a misfit future brother-in-law engage in legendary Vegas mischief), clever dialog and highly accomplished filmmaking make for an embarrassingly entertaining movie. Deserving of its surprising populari…

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Great 66 Points 1991

A glamorous take on the gangster who gave us modern Las Vegas, Bugsy was Hollywood legend Warren Beatty’s last great role, complemented in no small measure by the potent chemistry he achieved with future wife Annette Bening.

Though a commercial disappointment, the movie has aged well, full of …

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Last Vegas
Great 66 Points 2013

Last Vegas nails its high concept to a T, starting with the T it nails to its ass, er Las. Vegas bachelor party, geriatric style sums it up. Low-brow formula doesn’t preclude accomplished execution however, especially given major star power, considerable chemistry and ample cheesecake – Kin…

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The Big Short
Great 66 Points 2015

The Big Short isn’t the Big Lie, but isn’t far from it either. The government hides just offscreen in Adam McKay’s seriocomic docudrama about the epic falsehoods that consumed the banking industry in 2008.

Falsehoods one and two were Washington’s ability to safely stimulate homeownership amo…

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Lay the Favorite
Very Good 66 Points 2012

True stories bear a burden when they get turned into movies. Stay true to the story and the movie will be less than spectacular. Punch it up and get accused of selling out.

Lay the Favorite falls prey to the former as it recounts a real young woman’s underground education. The indomitable…

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Very Good 85 Points 1995

A lesser Scorsese crime movie, Casino can’t shake the shadow of Goodfellas, especially given the central presence of De Niro and Pesci. Still, a good Scorsese crime movie with an A-list cast ain’t chopped liver.

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