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Das Boot
Perfect 83 Points 1981

One of the all-time great submarine movies, so terrific it even had this Yiddish Yank rooting for the Nazi Navy.

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Gladiator
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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The White Ribbon
Perfect 66 Points 2010

This dazzling German movie shows the sociological antecedents of Nazism in ways both fresh and timeless. A penetrating societal examination unprecedented in its knowingness, it would be a landmark no matter which nation it examined. That it elucidates the generation of Germans who grew up to fo…

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WikChip Image Hand Kissing: Minimal Family Affection
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Operation Finale
Perfect 66 Points 2018

The banality of evil gets a powerful debunking in Operation Finale, an awkwardly if accurately titled docudrama about the Mossad’s 1960 capture of Final Solution logistics chief Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. Little Adolf was famously said to embody “the banality of evil” as he dissembled during …

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WikChip Video The (real) Man Who Got Eichmann
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.
The Desert Fox:...
Really Great 66 Points 1951

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel – the Desert Fox – was Nazi Germany’s national hero, their military icon. Hitler needed him, couldn’t kill him, so he had Rommel kill himself. Absolute evil, thy name is Hitler.

That and more make The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel a touchstone World War II movi…

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WikChip Video Start with the end: Churchill on Rommel
Inglorious Bast...
Really Great 131 Points 2009

Tremendously entertaining and TFB1, this über-ironic masterpiece proves that Tarantino remains a supremely accomplished auteur and that Brad Pitt has reached a superstar plateau occupied by few others. LOL funny, hugely charismatic and deeply thought provoking, Inglorious Basterds enters the…

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WikChip Image A new international star Waltzes in.
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The Debt
Really Great 83 Points 2011

A mashup of Israel’s bravura capture of Adolph Eichmann and the moral confusion of Munich, The Debt pays off almost completely, missing perfection by ceding reality. Well that and because the Mossad agents’ reluctance to kill the fictional Surgeon of Birkenau annoys as much as it galvanizes….

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WikChip Image The two visages of Rachel Singer.
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The Blue Angel
Really Great 66 Points 1930

Seminal movie, thy name is The Blue Angel, Der Blaue Engel in its native German. Josef von Sternberg was 36 when he paired unknown Marlene Dietrich with eminent Emil Jannings. Dietrich and von Sternberg rocketed straight to Hollywood. Jannings was left behind, kind of like in the story its…

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WikChip Video Falling In Love Again with Marlene
X-Men: Apocalypse
Really Great 66 Points 2016

Now this is what a marvelous blockbuster should be. No surprise, as Marvel Entertainment always delivers. And talk about a monumental origin story, one that also harks back to existing plots! Wow. Plus, given that all the X-Men come out to play – all of them – it’s also a sequel in a way. Double …

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WikChip Image JLaw's sexy mutant goes nightstalking.