Matisse has written 32 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2013.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    ★★★★★

    I was a little later than most in getting around to see The Wolf of Wall Street, but within the first 10 minutes, I already knew that it was worth the wait and that all the hype I'd been hearing (especially here on LB) was well deserved. I probably won't go into too much detail since I'm late to the party and don't need to repeat a ton of what's already been said, but the bottom line is that this…

  • Amélie

    Amélie

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #16 of 100

    I should start by saying that I've seen Amelie many times. It's one of my mother's favorite films and I remember watching it for the first time with her on VHS when I couldn't have been more than 9 or 10. It was one of the first DVDs she bought when we got out DVD player and I remember sitting next to her and…

  • Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Films to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #10 of 100

    I'm genuinely surprised how much I loved Apocalypse Now. War movies have never held much interest for me. They tend to suffer from endless tropes that don't offer much in the way of creativity or originality. This is not a problem that Apocalypse Now has. It's kind of hard for me to review because it's so dense and has so many layers of significant…

  • The House Is Black

    The House Is Black

    ★★★★★

    A beautiful and profoundly sad short documentary, The House is Black chronicles daily life in an Iranian leper colony in the 1960's. It gorgeously juxtaposes suffering and joy, as well as outer ugliness and inner beauty. This may be the most effective documentary I've ever seen, saying more in 20 minutes than some films can in two or more hours. Utilizing masterful cinematography and editing, overlayed with the director's own beautiful poetry, this film strives to humanize lepers in a…

  • Children of Men

    Children of Men

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Films to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #9 of 100

    Children of Men blew me away. What an absolutely gorgeous film. Having not yet seen Gravity, my only exposure to Alfonso Cuaron is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which I haven't seen in years, so his directing style was essentially new to me. The world he has created here in Children of Men is bleak to say the least. The entire population…

  • No Country for Old Men

    No Country for Old Men

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Films to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #8 of 100

    No Country for Old Men is my favorite Coen Brothers film. It's a masterpiece of both filmmaking and storytelling. This film is one of the best examples of the old adage, "less is more." It's incredibly minimalistic, relying on simple, yet strongly composed shots, concise dialogue, and no score to speak of. This gives it a sort of subdued atmosphere which just kind of…

  • Pan's Labyrinth

    Pan's Labyrinth

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Films to See Before You Die" Challenge.

    #7 of 100

    Still a truly beautiful film, and still one of my favorites no matter how many times I see it. Marvelous.

    Check out my full review for more.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    ★★★★★

    The Return of the King is a truly epic film on a scale unlike any other. I don't need to go into extensive detail about all the great aspects of this film since I've addressed most of them in my reviews of the previous two. I do think that in terms of story, this is the weakest of the trilogy but that's more than made up for in the sheer grandeur it provides. It also has some of the most…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    ★★★★★

    A lot of the things I mentioned in my review of The Fellowship of the Rings applies to this film as well, so there's not a whole lot to say. The second installment of one of the greatest trilogies of all time brings the same passion, emotion, skill, and talent in every its every aspect as its predecessor does. However, the biggest difference here is that now the Fellowship is broken, it has to shift between three simultaneous story lines:…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    ★★★★★

    Watched as part of my "100 Movies to See Before You Die" Challenge

    #6 of 100

    How do I even begin to review a film that has been a staple of not only my childhood, but also my teens and now my adult life? I was 8 when The Fellowship of the Ring came out and when I saw it in theaters for the first time, I was so overcome with the magic and the (dare I say it) epic…

  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★★

    Film #1 of my Cronenberg Compensation Challenge

    Wow. The Fly is a film I've been hearing about my whole life and the premise has always intrigued me. I love gruesome monster movies, and this always sounded like a great one. But this one had the critical acclaim most 80's creature features don't. So when I sat down to watch Cronenberg's classic tonight, I knew I was in for a treat. But man, oh man, there's no way I could fully…

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★★★

    It's always hard (at least for me) to write reviews of these genre defining films that really do them justice, because there is just so, so much to say, and it's hard to keep one's thoughts organized because of that. Ridley Scott's Alien truly is genre defining classic. Not only has it influenced countless aspects of modern horror, it is also the genesis of the sci-fi/horror genre. Unfortunately, very few, if any, sci-fi/horror films have been able to match up…