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Casablanca
Perfect 73 Points 1942

The best movie ever is still fresh, funny, romantic and captivating after all these decades. Try it as a date movie, perfect for him and for her. After all, “we’ll always have Paris.”

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Sunset Blvd.
Perfect 66 Points 1950

Hollywood’s greatest confection is and has always been Hollywood, a reality that the fabulous imagery of Sunset Blvd. celebrates better than any movie before or since. Oh yeah, it’s also a hell of a lot of fun, a black & white cauldron of irony, ambition and beauty, full of devilish turns and …

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WikChip Video A Hyperbolic Trailer That Doesn't Ove...
Slumdog Million...
Perfect 72 Points 2008

Slumdog Millionaire couldn’t be more of the moment if it was named President-elect Barack Obama: a Mumbai movie that delivers world class entertainment about a Muslim media sensation. The three kids at its center aren’t religious or radical, though their profound victimization makes it easy to…

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WikChip Video Slumdog Millionaire: Trailer
Not Fade Away
Perfect 66 Points 2012

David Chase & Little Stevie should’ve released Not Fade Away here in January, instead of at the October film festivals. It coulda been the first great movie of 2013. Instead it’s yet another great movie from 2012.

OK, that ain’t chopped liver. Still, it coulda set the pace for the New Yea…

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WikChip Video What the kids wanted to be: Stones
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Dangerous Liaisons
Really Great 67 Points 1988

Five big-names starring in “the best period film”1 make Steven Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons really great. Frears, he of The Queen, employs Michelle Pfeiffer, Glen Close, a nubile Uma Thurmond and a horny John Malkovich in bringing Christopher Hampton’s …

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WikChip Image They are impressive. The cast, that is.
Shakespeare in ...
Really Great 66 Points 1998

Delicious fun this Elizabethan confection, a Shakespearean extravaganza just this side of full Disnefication.

Superior cast, especially Joseph Fiennes & Gwyneth Paltrow as Romeo & Juliet, er, Will & Viola.
Which Will? Will Shakespeare, sometime actor, full-time rake and pageman for hire.

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WikChip Image The Bard – As You Like It, er, Him
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
Punch-Drunk Love
Really Great 66 Points 2002

At first blush, Punch-Drunk Love presents as merely a high-toned Adam Sandler movie. But hold on Sandler haters, this movie is celebrated by people who wouldn’t be caught dead watching Happy Gilmore. Why? Because it’s a great Hollywood romance, a symp…

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WikChip Image From SNL nebbish to bona fide moviestar
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Mud
Really Great 86 Points 2013

Joe Morgenstern declared Mud an instant classic in the Wall Street Journal. Not sure why, but hell yes.

You almost want to ding Mud for being such a classically terrific movie, but damn if it doesn’t play out as monumentally cinematic yet nearly natural. Kind of a crime caper involving b…

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WikChip Image Leading men, now & then: Matthew & Tye
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Sydney White
Great 66 Points 2007

Girl gets guy in Sydney White, an entirely winning collegiate comedy starring the entirely winsome Amanda Bynes as Sydney White. Focusing on a coed, partially set in a sorority, it provides a cheekily distaff view of campus life – on and off Greek Row.

Indeed, Joe Nussbaum’s film catalogs c…

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WikChip Image Opposing Angels in a Collegiate Dream