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Perfect 71 Points 2000

Hail the maximum sword and sandal movie. Gladiator tells a relatively unadorned story stupendously well. Its great star – Russell Crowe – fights above his weight class, delivering a superman performance while hewing to his characteristically understated readings.

Highly watchable then and …

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Roman Holiday
Really Great 66 Points 1953

“Introducing Audrey Hepburn” reads an opening credit. Yes, the elfin Screen Queen made her debut as a fairytale Princess in Roman Holiday, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar — a splash for the ages!

One of the best RomComs ever, Roman Holiday enchants to this day, utterly charming begi…

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WikChip Image Moviestar Princess wearing Edith Head
The Agony and t...
Really Great 66 Points 1965

Charlton Heston makes Michelangelo as operatic as Moses in The Ten Commandments. Facing off with Rex Harrison’s Warrior Pope in 1500s Rome makes The Agony and the Ecstasy a spectacle extraordinaire.

The 2¼ hour runtime wisely starts with a 12 min. intro that covers Michelangelo’s highlight…

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WikChip Image Charlton Heston with the Contessina
The Equalizer 3
Really Great 66 Points 2023

In Theaters Now

Formulaic sequels like The Equalizer 3 don’t get any respect. However, they make for immensely satisfying cinematic experiences when executed to perfection. E3 pretty much executes to perfection.

Indeed, it fires on damn near all cylinders: a perfect film led by a nonpareil moviestar, work…

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Great 66 Points 1959

More than just the chariot race, Ben-Hur virtually defines big screen epic. At three and a half hours, it’s a lot of movie, full of bravura performances, grand visuals, and tasteful religious symbolism. One of only three movies to win 11 Oscars,1 it deserves the acclaim that accompanies the…

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WikChip Image Ben-Hur: This, in widescreen Technico...
Great 66 Points 1964

Burton and O’Toole grandly declaim in Becket, a big historical drama and big hit from 1964. Two leading-men of the old school variety, with big voices, they’re more than capable of extreme declamation in a love story between two men – unrequited. The bromance ended badly after Burton’s great ma…

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WikChip Image King & Wingman, before it all went bad
Yesterday, Toda...
Great 66 Points 1963

Triple helpings of Sophia Loren & Marcello Mastroianni make Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow a triplo trattare of sexy Italian comedy. 1963’s Best Foreign Language Oscar-winner is a primo classico movie.

It’s like watching three 40-minute TV episodes performed by all-time great moviestars – a…

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WikChip Video Sophia turns Marcello into a puppy dog.
Barney's Version
Very Good 83 Points 2010

I find self-loathing shmucks more annoying than interesting. So Barney’s Version – about a dissolute TV exec played by the redoubtable Paul Giamatti – surprised me by deepening into an affecting and intriguing drama in its third reel. Based on Mordecai Richler’s final novel, its literary pedig…

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WikChip Video Solid acting enlivens a solid novel
Very Good 83 Points 2015

The tangled web of deception surrounding James Bond reaches its nexus in Spectre, a more than serviceable installment in the Blond Bond Era. Daniel Craig’s 007 is once again a stone-cold assassin, reprising the gritty killer persona he established in Casino Royale and has doggedly pursued in …

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WikChip Video Monica Bellucci is spectacular.
The 15:17 to Paris
Very Good 83 Points 2018

Clint Eastwood’s terrorist-on-a-train film unspools like a cinéma vérité home movie. Three yokels from Sacramento – California’s middle-American capital city – get the chance to be heroes and don’t blow it.

Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos & Anthony Sadler famously play themselves as the three du…

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WikChip Video Ellen interviews 3 American heroes.