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  • Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    ★★★★★

    Francis Ford Coppola really didn’t need to carry on making films after Apocalypse Now. That’s not to say that the films he did make after Apocalypse Now are bad (though I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that I truly like any of the three that I’ve seen), but simply that, with the release of his 1979 Vietnam War epic, he amassed a body of work that secures his spot in the highest pantheon of filmmakers for all eternity.…

  • Exotica

    Exotica

    ★★★★★

    Nothing I’d seen from Atom Egoyan had prepared me for Exotica. No other of his films have hit me on such a visceral level - not even The Sweet Hereafter, which, considering how bereft of flaws that film is, says a great deal about this one. Both are films you encounter all too rarely as a cinephile, films that combine a range of ingredients in such a richly satisfying balance that you simultaneously treasure the works for their uniqueness and…

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  • Of Time and the City

    Of Time and the City

    ★★★★

    Terence Davies is one of the top 10 wittiest people alive.

  • Career Girls

    Career Girls

    ★★★★

    Initially distracting - the younger versions of the protagonists are among the most idiosyncratic characters in Leigh's filmography, and that's saying something - but, like most of his films, it hits achingly close to home. No other writer-director in the English language has such a firm grasp on the way real people talk, or what they talk about. His films are packed with the throwaway chatter most scripts wouldn't include in the first draft (but then Leigh doesn't begin with…

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  • Singin' in the Rain

    Singin' in the Rain

    ★★★★★

    I've been feeling pretty crappy lately, and I've decided that, from now on, I'll watch a favourite of mine whenever I'm like this to remind me that all is not lost. I'm going to have a hard time topping tonight's selection, Singin' in the Rain - a film I more or less grew up with, which is something I'll be eternally grateful for. I can't imagine my life without this film, one of the happiest there is. Nor do I…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★

    I rarely watch superhero films. With the exception of The Dark Knight, I've just never been able to find anything in them that remotely captures my imagination. Imagine my interest, then, when Joker was touted as being a character study as opposed to an action blockbuster - and imagine my lack of surprise when I discovered it to be a failure.

    Joker isn't a boring or unpleasant film, but it is a stupid one. The central premise alone is indication…