Wick's Great American Movies (9)

  • Copy and paste the embed code below

    Copy and paste the embed code above.

Created Aug 13, 2014 06:00PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 11:16PM PST

It takes a special writer to produce the Great American Novel. The Great American Movie is a product of special filmmakers. Several have appeared, about 1/year. Here are my nominations.


  • Really Great
  • 82 Points
Title Released Trust Weighted Summary Viewable
1st Up in the Air
2009 Perfect 98 Points

Behold the Great American Movie starring American idol George Clooney flying on American Airlines. This All American trifecta makes Up in the Air an instant American classic. And a damn funny one at that: good thing, since we Americans love to laugh, especially when nursing a really f-ing bad economic flu.

Breezy, bracing, clever and surprising, Up in the Air earns many of its many laughs as a brilliant sex comedy, while finding significant emotional resonance by peering into not one psychological abyss but two: a man constantly flying away from human connection and white collar wo…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:00PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
2nd The Descendants
2011 Really Great 83 Points

Descendents descend from families. The Descendants is about concentric families in crisis: an exploding nuclear family, a feuding extended family, an enduring multigenerational family. They all center on George Clooney's reluctant patriarch, the trustee of a landed Hawaiian dynasty.

Clooney's clan is haole in the extreme, almost British in their emotional remove. They're even stiff jointed, never more than in Clooney's comic run to a neighbor's house. They're also contact avoidant in the extreme, with no hugging except in extreme circumstances. Make that super extreme circumstance…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:05PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
3rd Silver Linings P...
2012 Perfect 95 Points

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the Best Movie of the Year, indeed the Great American Movie of 2012. Silver Linings Playbook serves up a perfect stew of current American enthusiasms, including the NFL, psychiatric meds and Dancing with the Stars. Oh yeah, it's also an ultimate Philly movie. What's it to ya!

About the title, sometimes you need a plan to find life's silver linings. Presto. Silver Linings Playbook.

It's not surprising that SLP reaches perfection. David O. Russell has proven a great writer and director time and again. "Three Kings":http://www.viewguide.com/movie…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:03PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
4th Argo
2012 Really Great 83 Points

Two political movies were released this third weekend before the Obama retention election – one on heroic capitalism, the other recreating a little known cloak-and-dagger success during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, an otherwise dismal chapter in American history. The second movie – Argo – is the great one.

Tense and funny, it's nothing less than a Great American Movie, three decades removed yet timely as hell.

How timely? George Clooney and Ben Affleck – Left Wing royalty – premiered their movie1 exactly one month after the September 11th sacking of the American Consulate in Beng…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:03PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
5th Flight
2012 Great 83 Points

Flight is a heavily Hollywoodized Great American Movie, with a superstar anchoring a tall tale that apes an American triumvirate of powerful popular experiences. Denzel Washington's Whip Whitaker echoes Sully Sullenberger; the crash site of Whip's plane resembles 9/11's Shanksville field; and the phenomena of the modern insta-celebrity who wilts in the limelight is the crucible in which it all plays out.

It's also perhaps the most powerful movie about a hardcore alcoholic ever committed to the silver screen. The producers needed a powerful star to play the super-high-functioning alco…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:05PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
6th Inside Llewyn Davis
2013 Perfect 66 Points

The Coen Brothers latest is one of their best, strong praise indeed for the creators of classics that include The Big Lebowski, Intolerable Cruelty and Miller's Crossing. Yet their evocation of a fictionalized early Sixties folk scene is pitch perfect. Star turns, outstanding songs and more than a few laughs elevate Inside Llewyn Davis into their pantheon and easily make it one of "the great movies of 2013":http://www.viewguide.com/vulists/752-2013-great-movies.

Hear the whistle blow 500 miles, Inside Llewyn Davis is in the pantheon now, away from home no more.

Oscar Isaac cut…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:11PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
7th Boyhood
2014 Perfect 83 Points

Boyhood is the first Great American Movie of 2014. It profiles the emergence of a slacker, delivered as the insightful backstory of an aimless guy who ends up haunting the streets of Austin. Through that Texan lens, the great Richard Linklater has created a transcendent portrait of 21st century America – Obama's America.

First, the facts: Boyhood is a fictional drama featuring the same core actors all the way through – 12 years. Patricia Arquette & Ethan Hawke clearly aged over the dozen years they took to shoot it, but Ellar Coltrane literally grew up while playing their son, in 1st…

Full Review »
Added Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST • Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:13PM PST
8th Dope
2015 Really Great 83 Points

Dope is brilliant and features more fresh talent than any movie in years. Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise, Chanel Iman, Quincy Brown, Blake Anderson, Zoƫ Kravitz & A$AP Rocky are as attractive and compelling a cast as any comedy could have. Clemons & Iman simply sizzle.

The compelling aspect means that Dope is also a drama, one that sheds significant light on America today, in communities that pride themselves on being African-American above all else. It is an of-the-moment lens into urban America, hip hop style, where the N-word is used as the primary 2…

Full Review »
Added Jul 06, 2015 10:29PM PST • Updated Jul 06, 2015 10:29PM PST
9th East of Eden
1955 Great 66 Points

Great American Movies based on Great American Novels reveal new insights at increasingly greater remove. Dating from 1955 and set in 1917, East of Eden is greatly insightful about the changes in America in the near half century between when it was set and made, and the half century plus between then and now.

It was also the movie that made James Dean a star, the first of the three he made before his untimely death. And a star he was, jumping offscreen as a pretty-boy weirdo prone to acting out. His quintessential misunderstood youth led to his being cast as the ultimate misunderstood y…

Full Review »
Added Apr 23, 2019 04:47AM PST • Updated Apr 23, 2019 04:47AM PST


Subscribe to Great American Movies 0 replies, 0 voices
No comments as yet.