Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

The upheaval of the 1970s is the backdrop for Sidney Lumet’s brilliant Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 crime drama that is as much about the personal as it is about the political. The picture features a screenplay by Frank Pierson and is based on P.F. Kluge’s 1972 Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank,” […]

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The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is at once a scintillating form of entertainment and a dazzling historical document. The 1966 motion picture was shot on location by cinematographer Marcello Gatti and features a somewhat subdued score by Ennio Morricone, with the screenplay by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas.

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Sin City (2005)

A mean and brutal piece of work, Sin City introduces a hermetically sealed universe full of rain and blood. This 2005 film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and is based on the graphic novel of the same name, specifically Miller’s The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard.

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Ip Man 3 (2015)

The mythology of the Ip Man series has been paramount to Wilson Yip, but things are pushed in an exceptionally melodramatic direction with the third entry. 2015’s Ip Man 3 is decidedly sentimental and carries all the inflated wallop of a soap opera, complete with children in peril and enough domestic drama to fill a […]

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Ip Man 2 (2010)

Wilson Yip’s Ip Man 2 has many of the same goals as it 2008 predecessor. Its affection for the myth of its titular character is apparent, as it its desire to stand for the dignity of its characters. This 2010 picture is also fashioned as a tight, artistic martial arts epic and a historical stamp […]

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Ip Man (2008)

Wilson Yip’s Ip Man is compelling in that it has many goals. It first wants to cement the mythology of the titular character, Bruce Lee’s teacher and the grandmaster of the Wing Chun martial art. It wants to serve as a reminder of civility and a certain standard of morality. And it wants to unload […]

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Christmas Evil (1980)

Lewis Jackson’s Christmas Evil, originally released as You Better Watch Out, is a bizarre and chilling Christmas horror picture. Jackson’s screenplay is unexpectedly careful in its unwrapping of Christmas mythology, social concerns, psychological problems, and economic matters.

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Jack Frost (1997)

Given the catastrophic acid bath that has been 2016, it may be hard for some to get into the holiday spirit. 1997’s Jack Frost may be just the ticket, with its derision and weirdness and general disregard for Christmas cheer.

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The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

Tim Allen dons the red and white suit again for The Santa Clause 2, the 2002 sequel to the 1994 original. This outing is directed by Michael Lembeck from a busy by-committee screenplay. It is filled to the brim with stuff and often suffers under the burden of its multiple plots, especially when the movie […]

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The Santa Clause (1994)

John Pasquin directs The Santa Clause, a Christmas movie that from Disney that sits just on the edge of true curiosity. This 1994 film sprouted two sequels and plunked Tim Allen and his Home Improvement trappings in the driver’s seat, but it’s really more interesting to consider from an adult perspective.

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Fred Claus (2007)

Those with an aversion to schmaltz should steer well clear of Fred Claus, a 2007 Christmas movie so loaded with unstable sweetness it’s nearly unbearable. On the other hand, there’s somewhat of a remarkable quality to the David Dobkin comedy that suggests magic in the David Fogelman and Jessie Nelson screenplay and several surprises from […]

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Four Christmases (2008)

One of the more objectionable modern Christmas movies is the 2008 endeavour Four Christmases. This Yuletide rom-com is directed by Seth Gordon from a screenplay Matt R. Allen, Caleb Wilson, Jon Lucas, and Scott Moore. It is a vehicle for the homespun services of stars Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn and it has a lot […]

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