The Unbelievable Truth

BBB.5 (out of 5) Robert John Burke gets out of prison and returns to his hometown, getting a job at a repair shop and looking up a woman connected to his past. His boss’s daughter (Adrienne Shelly) is a rebel without a cause, constantly arguing with her father about future plans for university while rejecting…

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Nocturne Indien

BB.5 (out of 5) Jean-Hugues Anglade shows up in 1980s Bombay to do some research on a script he is writing but, of greater importance, to find an old friend who disappeared a year earlier under mysterious circumstances.  His journey takes him from a hotel in the city’s red light district to a luxury hotel in…

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The Killer (Dip huet seung hung)

BBBB (out of 5) A contract killer (Yun-Fat Chow) decides to do one last assignment before retiring from the job, but the shooting of an important crime lord ends up maiming an innocent waitress and blinding her for life. In order to pay for the operation that will save the woman’s sight, the killer decides…

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Cinema Paradiso

BBBB (out of 5) A successful, aging filmmaker looks back on his youth and remembers his life and the influence that movies have had on him throughout. He recalls his younger days as a child when we would pull the craziest pranks to see movies whenever he could, befriending the local projectionist (Philippe Noiret) while…

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The Tall Guy

BBB.5 (out of 5) Hilarious comedy makes up for its lack of strong plot with some very funny gags. Jeff Goldblum plays an American actor in London whose middling career has him playing straight man to comedian Rowan Atkinson, though it’s mostly just a job consisting of taking Atkinson’s abuse. Things start to change, however,…

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My Left Foot

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Growing up in dire circumstances in a poor Irish neighbourhood, Christy Brown (played superbly by both Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh O’Conor) is spurred on by his kindly, sensitive mother (Brenda Fricker) to not see himself as any different from his many siblings or the other children around him despite his cerebral…

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Roger And Me

BBBB (out of 5) Back before he was famous for taking on American gun culture and the president himself, Michael Moore was a complete unknown who stumbled into the world of filmmaking with this groundbreaking documentary. Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan is the film’s subject, a town rendered practically lifeless after GM closes countless car…

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A City Of Sadness (Beiqing Chengshi)

BB (out of 5) Overly convoluted plot is so confusing that even those with an extensive knowledge of Taiwan’s political history will have trouble following the action. The story focuses on a family of four brothers, one of them long-gone to war and presumed dead, the other three left to deal with the country’s turbulent…

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A Dry White Season

BBB.5 (out of 5) Donald Sutherland plays a schoolteacher in South Africa who is completely oblivious to the turbulence in his own country until it is pushed into his face: his gardener’s son gets viciously attacked by police during a demonstration by a group of black schoolchildren. Sutherland soon grows to realize the legal injustices that…

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The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover

BBB.5 (out of 5) Peter Greenaway’s popularity went well beyond the arthouse circuit when this outrageous combination of colourful beauty and grotesque humanity earned plaudits from critics and a damning NC-17 rating from the MPAA.  The incendiary impact of its content has definitely dwindled in the last couple of decades (full frontal penis, who cares),…

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Staying Together

BBB (out of 5) Enjoyable family drama directed by Oscar-winner Lee Grant has strong characters and an unsentimental but emotional story that overcomes its deja vu qualities. Three brothers experience instant coming-of-age when their restaurant-owning father announces that he has sold his establishment as he is sick and tired of it. The news comes as…

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War Requiem

BBB (out of 5) Those familiar with and fond of Derek Jarman’s experimental style of filmmaking will want to check out this meditation on the horrors of war; everyone else is advised to steer clear.  Using his favourite actress, Tilda Swinton, Jarman tells a simple story of an English soldier (Nathaniel Parker) and his nurse during…

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