Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Movie tweets to February 14, 2024 (4 of 4)


Kuroneko (1968) – Shindo’s meeting of real and spirit worlds ranks among the most consistently striking of cinematic ghost stories


Poetic Justice (1993) – Singleton’s loosely-conceived drama maintains a likeably varied energy, but seldom feels very sturdy or credible


Mahogany (1975) – Gordy’s fashion-world opus lacks for both design and craftsmanship, partially compensated for by Ross and the bling


All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) – Berger’s handling is sufficiently vivid to surmount various aspects of excess and over-familiarity


High Noon (1952) – Zinnemann’s Western is dramatically far thinner and its allegory far less penetrating than its inflated reputation


Women (1985) – Kwan’s chronicle of bumpy relationships goes down very easily, but is recurringly laced with a keen sense of pain and anxiety


Lord Jim (1965) – notwithstanding the layered Conradian intentions, Brooks allows inauthentically exotic adventurism to swamp all else


The Troubles We’ve Seen (1994) – Ophuls’ underseen, at times stimulatingly peculiar study remains near-inexhaustibly fascinating & relevant


From Noon Till Three (1976) – perhaps Bronson’s most genial star outing, at the centre of Gilroy’s charming pitting of myth and reality


The Box (2021) – Vigas’ penetratingly sparsely-crafted exploration of economic exploitation’s ever-renewing societal and psychic toll


She Done Him Wrong (1933) – West’s one-track otherness isn’t particularly well-facilitated by the stodgy clutter of Sherman’s melodrama


Sweet Hours (1982) – one of Saura’s less satisfying films, its interrogation of memory overly labored and its psychology superficial


The Phenix City Story (1955) – Karlson’s earnest classic hardly avoids artifice & over-simplification, but still brutally connects at times


Martin Eden (2019) – Marcello’s near-thrilling adaptation, propelled by ceaseless intellectual and cinematic vitality and engagement


Capricorn One (1978) – Hyams short-changes the concept’s darker possibilities and implications, but delivers some lively writing and casting


Hit the Road (2021) – the varied serio-comedy of Panahi’s resourcefully simple set up gradually accumulates in cosmic & earthly implication


The Small Back Room (1949) – Powell/Pressburger’s customarily alert drama has some memorable set-pieces, but a rather rushed-feeling finale


The Invisible Frame (2009) – Beatt’s simple concept fruitfully represents & reflects on the persistence of a superficially-erased history 


Doppelganger (1969) – the film has lots of typically likeable Gerry Anderson trappings, but falls narratively and conceptually short


The Funeral (1984) – Itami’s painstaking, drolly ambiguous examination of ritual and ceremony is perhaps his most well-calibrated work


On a Clear Day… (1970) – Minnelli mostly fails to marshal the problematic material, and yet much about the film is stubbornly beguiling


Vortex (2021) – Noe’s is an imposing & gripping creation, although always conditioned by its aesthetically & sociologically rarified choices


Look Back in Anger (1958) – Richardson’s is one of the more faded of the “angry young man” cycle, now seeming drably contrived and flailing


Night Across the Street (2012) – one willingly submits to the masterly unmappable contours of Ruiz’s warmly finality-embracing late film


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) – Mamoulian’s fine filming has some sensational inventiveness and an acute sense of unbalanced carnality


52 Pick Up (1986) – Frankenheimer handles the sleazy manipulations with some expertise, but that only makes it all even less enjoyable


Someone Behind the Door (1971) – Gessner’s small-scale study in psychological manipulation doesn’t excite too much, convinces even less


Reality (2023) – Satter’s project is a near-perfect meshing of form and content, engaging as a human story, damning as a political one


Un homme de trop (1967) – Costa-Gavras provides much ambitious action and confrontation, and yet the cumulative impact is strangely flat


Starship Troopers (1997) – the astounding technical prowess of Verhoeven’s fantasy supports a mind-boggling array of historical resonances


The Blazing Sun (1954) – Chahine’s intense melodrama rapidly becomes over-extended, however empathetically rooted in sociological outrage


Dead for a Dollar (2022) – Hill’s old-style, overly synthetic-feeling Western hardly matters much, but it’s done with pleasing know-how


The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine (1974) – Grieco’s competent but gusto-lacking effort doesn’t even much seem to relish the sinning nuns


The Fantasist (1986) – Hardy’s up-and-down Irish drama does best when sinking into boozy eccentricity and abundant sexual repression


Youth of the Beast (1963) – Suzuki gives the film some major visual pop, despite the constraints of a fairly standard gangland narrative


Cryptozoo (2021) – Shaw’s transporting flight of fancy tempers its unbroken inventiveness with consistently adult seriousness of purpose


The Outlaw and his Wife (1918) – Sjostrom’s film grips and impresses, without fully cinematically tapping the rebellious passion at its core


Se7en (1995) – Fincher may overdo the portents of lurking hell, but even on repeat viewings, the film leaves you genuinely chilled & shaken


The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (1978) – Trotta’s progressive openness ventilates a potentially confining crime drama framework


Rye Lane (2023) – Allen-Miller’s other-side-of-London romance is likeable enough, but too synthetic to tap anything approximating realism


The War of the Gargantuans (1966) – Honda’s monster movie tramples through its shakily-crafted motions in consistently listless fashion


Last Night at the Alamo (1983) – Pennell’s often raucously funny, deeply lived-in examination of low-level Texas myths and realities


Les grandes manoeuvres (1955) – Clair is on pretty sharp directional form, but the material feels underexamined in various regards


Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – Kosinski’s movie taps and somewhat reinvigorates old-fashioned mechanics with grand, defiantly superficial style


Aguirre, Wrath of God (1971) – Herzog, at his unnervingly daring peak, feels as ever-present as the film’s unforgettably immersive imagery


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – Cameron oversees some terrifically muscular sequences, with some unimportant other stuff in between


A Flame at the Pier (1962) – Shinoda’s able if seldom too surprising, hopelessness-suffused drama, a Japanese On the Waterfront of sorts


You People (2023) – Barris’ unconvincing culture-clash comedy is disappointingly shallow, providing only sporadic laughs and little bite


Martin Roumagnac (1946) – Lacombe’s should-have-been-incendiary pairing of Dietrich and Gabin too often falls flat, if not outright botched


Valley Girl (1983) – Coolidge’s film holds up best when affectionately observing the central culture clash; otherwise it’s pretty sketchy


Madame X: an Absolute Ruler (1978) – Ottinger’s at times heavy-sailing odyssey does gradually elicit a sense of rewired, liberated delight


Nightmare Alley (2021) – del Toro’s inertly handsome but hemmed-in remake never seems remotely necessary, or very coherent on its own terms


Sissi – the Fateful Years of an Empress (1957) – Marischka moves the story on, but doesn’t expand the series much in tonal or other respects


Dick Tracy (1990) – Beatty’s peculiar take on the old-time material doesn’t really cohere, but provides all kinds of quirky pleasures


The Inheritance (1962) – a secondary Kobayashi drama, rather overdoing the tangled venality, but working well as a sleekly cynical yarn


The Eternal Daughter (2022) – Hogg’s small but effective film draws out the lurking eeriness and trauma folded within memory and creativity


Mr. Majestyk (1974) – a Bronson highlight (he just wants to get the melons picked!), expertly shaped, seasoned and visualized by Fleischer


A Closed Book (2009) – one of Ruiz’s more conceptually accessible films, for both lustily enjoyable better and rather rushed-feeling worse


The Suspect (1944) – Siodmak’s drama is elegantly and crisply executed in all departments, leading to a nicely modulated conclusion


Petite maman (2021) – Sciamma’s lingering, elevating film applies her finely-honed cinematic poise to a potentially eerily simple premise


China Doll (1958) – Borzage sustains the story’s idealistic core, albeit one highly dependent on superficial exoticism and rickety plotting


Bubble Bath (1980) – Kovasznai’s one-of-a-kind animation admits few visual constraints, while suggesting a primal desperation at its core


Brannigan (1975) – Hickox bludgeons noisily through the Duke-goes-to-the-UK set-up with an impressive absence of any higher ambition


Donbass (2018) – straddling documentary and satire, Loznitsa’s can’t-look-away film is shocking, disorienting and idealism-draining


Last Summer (1969) – Perry’s film ultimately amounts to less than one hopes for, given its languidly effective, vulnerability-laced build-up


Bad Luck Banging… (2021) – yet another astounding Jude creation, exhilarating even as it fairly comprehensively drains and depresses


Thirteen Women (1932) – Archainbaud’s drama has several creepy, resentment-charged moments, standing out from a rushed overall narrative


Full Moon in New York (1989) – one only wishes that Kwan’s delicately wide-angle study of intertwining female experience had been longer


Lord Shango (1975) – the mythology feels somewhat arbitrary, but Marsh and the performers sustain a feeling of anxious, bare-bones intensity


The Tsugua Diairies (2021) – Fazendeiro and Gomes craft a near-ideal Covid-era balance of languid torpor and small-scale boundary-pushing


The River’s Edge (1957) – Dwan’s fine little thriller is visually and narratively vivid at every turn, seeped in resentment and distrust


Ingrid Caven: Music and Voice (2012) – Bonello’s highly restrained recording of an often electrifyingly challenging, unbound performance


30 is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968) – McGrath’s variable film certainly works hard, sporadically capturing Moore at his multi-faceted best


Petition (2009) – Zhao’s must-see record of perseverance against institutional brutality and corruption rings a dark global warning bell


Coonskin (1974) – Bakshi’s exuberantly stereotype-embracing, disconcertingly aesthetically coherent odyssey evokes a crazily mixed response


A Taxing Woman Returns (1988) – Itami’s sequel is spirited enough on its own terms, but adds little to the first film’s themes and devices


Saludos Amigos (1942) – Disney’s complacent South American-themed portmanteau is at least less grating than might have been anticipated


The Load (2018) – Glavonic’s tight concept allows haunting glimpses of even a quasi-abstract war’s physical and existential disorientations


The Harder they Fall (1956) – Robson and the cast punch home some strong moments, within a nicely venal, if overly calculated narrative


Mountains of the Moon (1990) – Rafelson’s drama holds attention well enough, but seldom feels very inspired, or historically reliable


The Killer Nun (1979) – Berruti is no Borowczyk, no Argento, etc., but cobbles together an adequately frantic mishmash of sex and trauma


Babylon (2022) – Chazelle’s crazy epic is wildly variable in quality, tone, watchability, finesse, you name it, but well, it’s not nothing…


Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) – Kawalerowicz’s chillingly well-calibrated vision leaves few points of earthly or spiritual certainty


I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) – Rozema’s landmark Toronto film treads lightly, but with hugely pleasurable, lingering impact


The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) – Epstein’s hauntingly inspired silent telling sustains a heightened sense of near-inevitability


The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) – Showalter slogs through the material in just about the least imaginative, most irrelevant manner available


Attention, les enfants regardant (1978) – Leroy’s drama is seldom surprising but completely watchable, not least for its use of Delon


Impulse (1990) – the Locke/Russell pairing, intriguing in concept, yields an all-round unattractive, psychologically shallow drama


Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) – Honda oversees a more urgent narrative than many series entries, aided by some pleasingly whimsical touches


Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) – Miller’s improbably successful, narratively and visually sumptuous fusion of form and content


Two Men and a Wardrobe (1957) – Polanski’s eerily well-done short is a bitterly comic take on a cruel world’s thwarting of hope and optimism


Carbon Copy (1981) – Schultz’s lumpy satire, biting at times and cringe-inducing at others, at least evades being watched with indifference


Laocoon & Sons (1975) – Ottinger/Blumenschein’s playfully ruthless reconfiguration of cinematic structure and pleasure as we’ve known it


Licorice Pizza (2021) – Anderson applies his immense facility to deceptively light ends, richly flavored with unforced behavioral mysteries


Love Circle (1969) – Griffi’s ambiguously psychosexual complications maintain interest despite elements of stodginess and familiarity


Criminal Passion (1994) – Deitch ensures a general gender parity in matters of eroticism and messy psychology, but not too much else of note


Titanic (1943) – Selpin’s filming generally hits the requisite dramatic marks, while heavily emphasizing the capitalistic culpability angle


Empire of Light (2022) – Mendes’ astonishingly, bottomlessly deficient drama at least offers a few points of vague nostalgic recognition


The Ballad of Orin (1977) – Shinoda’s chronicle tempers its potential over-pristineness with a touching sensitivity to vulnerability


Grace Quigley (1984) – a few moments of relative emotional authenticity aside, Harvey leadenly squanders Hepburn & the blackly comic premise


Genocide (1968) – even making copious allowances, Nihonmatsu’s speedily ramshackle apocalypse opus fails to unnerve to the intended degree


The Harder they Fall (2021) – Samuel’s never-dull Western is too emotionlessly stylized to impress as meaningful genre revisionism/refresh


El vampire negro (1953) – Barreto’s ambitious, atmospheric “M”-channeling drama achieves much of interest, despite its recurring patchiness


An Awkward Sexual Adventure (2012) – Garrity’s comedy is no overlooked masterpiece, but has enough good-natured raunch to inhabit its title


The Police are Blundering in the Dark (1975) – Colombo’s poorly-integrated killer flick blunders also, albeit mainly in the sleazy light


Hustle (2022) – Zager’s movie works consistently well on its own propulsive terms, but a bit more analytical cynicism wouldn’t have hurt


A Garibaldian in the Convent (1942) – De Sica’s early film is lively and varied, while trivial in its treatment of enmity and death


Blaze (1989) – Shelton simplifies the personal and political alike almost to the point of idiocy, but Newman at least puts on a good show


So Sweet…So Perverse (1969) – Lenzi’s unimaginative narrative never acquires much steam, leaving one subsiding on scraps of forced decadence


House of Gucci (2021) – Scott’s movie is at best handsomely dull and often grating, with most of the actors at or near their all-time worst


Le navire Night (1979) – one of Duras’ most sumptuous works; a film formed of pervasive absence and lack, and yet of sumptuous immediacy


Shortbus (2006) – one ultimately feels a bit underserved by Mitchell’s film, despite its wondrous connectivity and celebratory energy


Sissi – the Young Empress (1956) – Marischka’s sequel reshuffles the first film’s elements, while boosting the humanity-eroding pageantry


The Northman (2022) – Eggers’ film is generally impressive, but allows wanton over-aestheticization to overwhelm most other considerations


Fanny (1932) – the second in the Pagnol trilogy often feels dawdling and histrionic, but one inevitably submits to its emotional high points


Chameleon Street (1989) – Harris’ remarkably nimble, provocative one-off – a scintillating character study loaded with broader implications


Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) – Fukuda’s poorly-executed, largely fun-starved entry in the series, any potential resonances by now flaccid


No Time to Die (2021) – Fukunaga’s handsomely fluid Bond film, as restrained and variedly seasoned as can likely be expected from the series


Carmen Falls in Love (1952) – Kinoshita’s high-pitched sequel, marked by bizarre directorial choices, rapidly exhausts the viewer


Dream Lover (1993) – Kazan’s suspicion-heavy but tone-deficient drama hardly infiltrates one’s subsequent dreams, waking or otherwise


Pale Flower (1964) – Shinoda’s crime drama may be slightly over-venerated, but maintains a sleekly unflappable mood of existential remove


Black Panther Wakanda Forever (2022) – Coogler’s sequel offers much forgettably high-end grandeur, seasoned with persuasive melancholy


Ned Kelly (1970) – Richardson’s telling is respectable but seldom too imaginative, not least in its literal-minded squandering of Jagger


Beauty and the Beast (2014) – Gans’ wantonly over-prettified telling is serviceable enough, but devoid of much emotional connection


Key Largo (1948) – Huston and the cast keep things expertly crackling within a confining set-up, with Bogart at his nuanced, watchful best


Diary for my Lovers (1987) – Meszaros’ full, constantly shifting sequel makes for heavier viewing than its predecessor (not inaptly though)


The Horse Soldiers (1959) – Ford’s drama, soaked in the unbearable frictions of civil war, falls somewhat short in too many key respects


Lost Illusions (2021) – Giannoli’s tremendously well-orchestrated, slyly prophetic Balzac adaptation sweeps one along, almost to a fault


The Seven-Ups (1973) – D’Antoni’s drama is a respectable French Connection adjunct, with generally comparable high-points and limitations


The Best Years of a Life (2019) – whatever its weaknesses, Lelouch’s nostalgic reunion is a staggering pleasure for suitably aged cinephiles


Safety Last! (1923) – the nerve-wracking climax remains the clear highlight of Lloyd’s crisply performed & presented, yet uninvolving comedy


Rouge (1987) – Kwan’s culturally contrasting ghost story is utterly beguiling in all respects, beautifully inhabited by its actors


Rachel, Rachel (1968) – Newman elevates the recessive (but choicely acted) material with surprisingly, even morbidly tough-minded direction


The Worst Person in the World (2021) – Trier’s fine character study achieves a high degree of imaginative, unforced verisimilitude


The Day of the Dolphin (1973) – one happily submits to the playful core of Nichols’ film; not as much to the rushed sub-Pakula melodrama


The Grief of Others (2015) – Wang’s sensitive, creatively bold drama achieves an unusual, sometimes eccentricity-tinged authenticity


Two-Faced Woman (1941) – Garbo’s last film lives down to its minor reputation, the star ill at ease under Cukor’s ineffective direction


Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (2000) – Hong’s formal mastery astutely facilitates his smoothly acute study of morphing exploitation


And Now Miguel (1953) – the simple focus of Krumgold’s scenically empathetic quasi-documentary feels rather ominously fragile in retrospect


Heller Wahn (1983) – von Trotta’s study of symbiotic female friendship is overly calculated at times, but laceratingly indicting at its best


What’s Up, Doc? (1972) – Bogdanovich’s film perhaps gets more classically cherishable as time goes on, and I’d say it gets funnier too


La verite (2019) – a graceful relatively minor Kore-eda film overall, immensely elevated by impeccably cineaste-friendly attributes


One Way Passage (1932) – Garnett’s fatalistic romance is limited by over-concision, but the absence-defined ending lingers in one’s mind


Parallel Mothers (2021) – one of Almodovar’s most richly echoing films, a multi-faceted joy to watch even when almost too tragic to bear


The Mind Benders (1963) – Dearden’s unshowy approach to a sci-fi-type premise builds promisingly enough, but then talkily fizzles out


Circumstance (2011) – Kesharvaz’s film feels overly calculated and compressed at times, but rings sadly, outrage-inducingly true as a whole


The Blue Knight (1973) – Butler’s arrestingly-cast drama, though plainly limited by network TV parameters, hits the mark pretty solidly


A Taxing Woman (1987) – Itami shows off his well-honed genre smarts and narrative prowess, applied to unusual (and quite educational) ends


He Laughed Last (1956) – Edwards’ peculiarly plotted early film doesn’t generate much laughter, maybe a mildly intrigued sense of blankness


Aferim! (2015) – Jude’s staggeringly well-realized historical recreation, its unflinching engagement often verbally and morally draining


Presenting Lily Mars (1943) – Taurog’s inspiration-challenged, often misjudged Garland vehicle at least offers a few musical highlights


Pink Floyd: the Wall (1982) – Parker and Scarfe bludgeon more than they seduce, likely leaving you in no hurry to ever hear the album again


The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) – nothing about Miraglia’s colorfully tangled gallop through plot points and murders cuts very deeply


Last Night in Soho (2021) – Wright’s colorful, nerve-janglingly propulsive (if inherently hollow) fantasia, packed with incidental pleasures


The Marked Eyes (1964) – Hossein’s drama doesn’t have much to it beyond the two central women, but adequately sustains its evasive moodiness


Lost Highway (1997) – Lynch’s brilliantly uncrackable and disturbed enigma, his structural and expressive mastery at their near-zenith


Wild Geese (1953) – Toyoda’s poignant tale of exploitation, marked by a deeply sympathetic sense of economic and emotional insecurity


The Woman King (2022) – Prince-Bythewood’s drama impresses as celebration of community, but too often falls short in much the same old ways


Extreme Private Eros (1974) – Hara’s essay film achieves a rare sense of unscrubbed, ideology- and convention-defying self-exploration


Cat People (1982) – Schrader’s fascinating if of course amply debatable remake viscerally pulsates with deviant sexuality and desire


Brainwashed (1960) – Oswald’s well-structured, physically and psychologically hemmed-in drama expertly maintains its slow-burning tension


Scarborough (2021) – even in its missteps, Nakhai and Williamson’s often heartbreakingly well-done social document grips and instructs


Marius (1931) – Pagnol’s inevitability-heavy tale yields the kind of film you find lodged in the memory, even if you’ve never seen it before


Amateur (1994) – the Hartley well started running dry pretty early on, with little sense of purpose or revelation to the attitudinizing


In the Name of the Italian People (1971) – Risi’s punchily enjoyable, optimism-challenged contrasting of personal and societal moralities


Sharp Stick (2022) – Dunham’s film might have been conceived as an exercise, largely successfully achieved, in redeeming a dubious premise


Love at Sea (1964) – Gilles’ poignantly searching little film glows with the love of Paris, of cinema, of its own sweet ephemerality


American Mary (2012) – despite inevitable excesses, the Soskas enjoyably maintain the governing icky/sexy/life-choice-affirming vibe


Beautiful Days (1955) – Kobayashi’s absorbing tale of intertwined lives, marked by existential & monetary post-war challenge & compromise


The Last Duel (2021) – Scott’s overdone, inauthentic artificiality is far less structurally and thematically provocative than intended


Arrebato (1979) – Zulueta’s wildly singular must-see work may possess a lifetime’s worth of vision, creative blood, and unifying conviction


Everyone Says I Love You (1996) – Allen’s baggy musical easily passes the time, but mostly strikes you as a clumsy, magic-deprived letdown


Waxworks (1924) – Leni’s silent semi-horror film has its stodgy passages, but also some lasting expressionist highlights (the Ripper!)


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022) – a solidly flavourful and nuanced telling, especially in its darker and more grotesque aspects


Carmen Comes Home (1951) – narratively trifling stuff even by Kinoshita’s frequent standards, but of mild interest as a color milestone


Frantic (1988) – among Polanski’s more minor exercises, but with good suspense mechanics, and ample points of tonal and visual interest


A Quiet Place to Kill (1970) – Lenzi’s paranoid drama offers standard-issue plotting, scenery, and somnambulant acting (especially Baker)


Mass (2021) – Kranz’s fine-tuned, astutely-judged  film is barely equal to the wasteland it surveys, but then that’s largely the point


Kill! (1968) – Okamoto’s somewhat overly-prolonged Samurai opus is stylishly sustained, but keeps within its knowingly derivative limits


Goodfellas (1990) – Scorsese’s overly affectionate, under-contextualized show of force frustrates about as much as it muscularly dazzles


Endless Desire (1958) – a fairly straightforward crime narrative for Imamura, but bitingly well-done at every cynically grasping turn


Don’t Worry Darling (2022) – Wilde doesn’t fully realize on the intriguing material, but enlivens the movie in various satisfyingly odd ways


Paper Moon (1973) – Bogdanovich’s period piece nicely hits all its intended marks, although Tatum O’Neal’s Oscar now looks wildly generous


Cinema Paradiso (1988) – Tornatore’s extended version makes for mostly soft viewing, peddling the most unanalytical, affectless nostalgia


Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – Minnelli’s classic is marvelously sustained, not least for the persistent veins of threat and disruption


In the Aisles (2018) – Stuber patiently and astutely explores the workplace as one’s primary structuring reality and point of connection


The Naked Truth (1957) – the darkly satiric concept and high-potential casting deserve livelier and sharper direction than Zampi can muster


Drive My Car (2021) – Hamaguchi’s extraordinarily rich and satisfying exploration of the creation of meaning and connection in art and life


99 and 44/100% Dead (1974) – one of Frankenheimer’s dullest and most perplexing failures, misjudged whether assessed as satire or otherwise


Joan of Arc of Mongolia (1989) – Ottinger’s mash-up of grand artificiality and sumptuous travelogue is improbably and winningly nurturing


The Appaloosa (1966) – Furie’s shambling border drama is pretty minor, when not cringeworthy, but Brando’s low-key masochism makes the show


Wondrous Boccaccio (2015) – the well-seasoned Tavianis’ delicately shaded anthology ultimately lands rather too fleetingly and familiarly


A Place in the Sun (1951) – Stevens’ tragic romance still penetrates, particularly in its doomed longing to transcend class and privilege


Bergman Island (2021) – Hansen-Love’s film provides constant stimulations and pleasures, but doesn’t connect as intimately as her best work


The Boys from Brazil (1978) – Schaffner’s heavy-handedness doesn’t do much to engender a real sense of threat, but it has its moments


Tampopo (1985) – Itami’s peppy novelty, propelled by quasi-Bunuelian structural fluidity and amusingly low-stakes Western-genre riffing


Jewel Robbery (1932) – Dieterle’s concise diversion sustains its air of cheerful high-life amorality (aided by the laced cigarettes!)


Night and Day (2008) – happily hanging out in Paris, Hong wanders smoothly through emotional, legal and other existentially liminal states


Written on the Wind (1956) – Sirk’s amazing compositions and jagged psychological structures may leave one feeling personally destabilized


Transit (2018) – in a work of crystalline poise, Petzold reinflates classic romantic structures with eerily contemporary anxieties & threats


The Sting (1973) – Hill’s Oscar-winner is a handsome but largely empty ride, declining to tap any possible profundity in its reality-bending


Summer Night…(1986) – offers passages of Wertmuller at her lyrical best, outweighed by exhausting dollops of her multi-faceted worst


Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967) – Rush’s film has a few raucously amusing moments, but not much in the way of penetrating perspective


Prayers for the Stolen (2021) – Huezo’s wrenching drama crafts an almost unbearably convincing sense of endemic threat and thwarted beauty


Alice in Wonderland (1951) – Disney’s version is too peculiar and literal to sustain the wonder, but has some sweetly trippy highpoints


Godard mon amour (2017) – Hazanavicius somehow converts aging film buff catnip into improbably well-functioning character-based comedy


Wattstax (1973) – Stuart skillfully places the concert in its complex social context (but, if anything, there’s not enough of the music!)


The Green, Green Grass of Home (1982) – Hou’s early film is a thoroughly winning human document, notable for its environmental concern


The Set-Up (1949) – one of Wise’s most satisfying pictures, dense in bleakly amused human observation and incisive cinematic smarts


I Do Not Care if…(2018) – a film of sensational, morphing relevance, driven by Jude’s torrential cinematic energy and intellectual dexterity


Summer Stock (1950) – Walters oversees some lasting peaks of the musical genre, pushing through a framework of extreme ramshackle corniness


Outland (1981) – Hyams executes the misconceived High-Noon-in-space concept in tonally dour, visually drab, all-round unstimulating fashion


Hunter in the Dark (1979) – an epically layered, fragility-laced narrative, overseen by Gosha with impressively varying compositional flair


Amsterdam (2022) – Russell’s unfairly ignored film is staggeringly flawed for sure, yet fascinating in its ambition, choices and resonances


Golden Eyes (1968) – Fukuda’s follow-up to Ironfinger doesn’t quite match the original’s peppily twisting energy, but it’s enough to get by


Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) – Mazursky’s facile comedy, largely disconnected from the real world, is a clear marker of decline


A Day in Court (1954) – Steno’s linked vignettes are brightly enough done, laced with an acerbic sense of the system’s puffed-up absurdities


West Side Story (2021) – the all-round craftsmanship astounds, & the film does have some bite, while bearing too little contemporary urgency


Death Walks on High Heels (1971) – by the standards of such twisting, tilltating thrillers, Ercoli handles it all with nice, nasty zippiness


Heart of Midnight (1988) – Chapman’s tinny-feeling journey through sleaze and trauma falls short visually, and on just about every level


The Baker’s Wife (1938) – Pagnol’s affectionate, leisurely observation feels over-indulgently uncritical now, but not without its rewards


The Menu (2022) – Mylod’s elegantly dark comedy is imaginative and well-handled, although all too easy to swallow, digest and move on from


Baaz (1953) – Dutt’s tale of female-led rebellion is stirring enough, despite much cursory storytelling and frequently rickety visualization


Jungle Fever (1991) – Lee’s over-extended drama is deeply, even wantonly, flawed, and also of course mesmerizingly stimulating and riveting


Goodbye CP (1972) – Hara’s documentary observes cerebral palsy with sympathetic realism, unsentimentally demanding the viewer’s observance


Red Rocket (2021) – Baker’s sympathetically disreputable, sociologically exacting high-concept comedy is grandly entertaining throughout


Spring Dreams (1960) – Kinoshita’s tragi-farce covers a lot of narrative, tonal and thematic ground, none of it completely satisfactorily


Aria (1987) – a somewhat goofy anthology project, hardly conducive to opera appreciation, but with ample variety and general panache


Sissi (1955) – Marischka’s opulent romance doesn’t challenge or critique on any level, but draws well on the young Schneider’s happy energy


The Inheritance (2020) – drawing on respectfully tended cultural and local roots, Asili crafts a thrillingly tangible form of presentness


The Castle of Sand (1974) – Nomura’s for a while seemingly overly-sprawling investigation yields a final stretch of considerable grandeur


Digging for Fire (2015) – Swanberg’s tale of marital renewal finds room for actors and situations to breathe, despite much over-tidiness


Prison (1949) – Bergman’s self-reflective hell-on-earth drama is somewhat over-extended, but always mesmerizingly ambitious and committed


White Noise (2022) – Baumbach’s stylistically all-stops-out existential investigation is improbably satisfying, even in its odder aspects


Sincerity (1953) – the title barely captures the well-worked weepiness quotient of Kobayashi’s class-conscious story of personal awakening


The Garden (1990) – Jarman’s astounding film feels torn from all corners of a despairing, furious, ecstatic, helplessly expressive psyche


The Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (1970) – after a zippy initial opening up, Lumet respectably works through Williams’ toxicity-infused play


Deception (2021) – Desplechin’s Roth adaptation is often exquisite, but by its nature eschews the rapturous tumbling energy of his best work


Woman of Straw (1964) – Dearden’s drama trudges through its suspense-starved plot with unaccountable dourness, the actors not helping much


La flor (2018) – astonishingly enough, Llinas’ staggering creation stimulates and rewards in generous proportion to its ultra-epic length


The Mad Miss Manton (1938) – Jason’s ponderous comedy-mystery doesn’t do much with its stars, and is sadly short on inspired madness


Diary for my Children (1984) – Meszaros’ absorbing personal and social document, exploring self-determination in the face of regimentation


The Molly Maguires (1970) – Ritt’s physically imposing, brute-force drama, righteously drawing on the eternal exploitation of the powerless


Great Freedom (2021) – Meise’s absorbing, moving, narratively and psychologically provocative study of institutionalization and its toll


Lonelyhearts (1958) – Donehue’s drama isn’t fully achieved, but has some eloquently searching patches, & the mesmerizingly vulnerable Clift


In Between Days (2006) – Kim’s intimate, unprettified study of immigrant experience channels some quietly mundane, too-seldom-told truths


To Sir, With Love (1967) – Clavell papers over the patchily underdone narrative with a thin veneer of dignity and social conscience


My Worst Nightmare (2011) – when not gratingly predictable, Fontaine’s comedic meeting of opposites is unconvincing and underdeveloped


Jabberwocky (1977) – the silly comedy often only gets in the way of Gilliam’s impressively detailed visual and logistical imagination


The Moon in the Gutter (1983) – Beineix generates some strangely lingering images & moments, notwithstanding the rather heavygoing narrative


The Maltese Falcon (1941) – the classic status of Huston’s debut is a little generous, notwithstanding some cracking presences and exchanges


Court (2014) – Tamhane’s depressingly well-done, class-attuned dissection of India’s grindingly unfit-for-modern-purposes judicial system


American Guerilla in the Philippines (1950) – Lang’s relentless, atypically sun-baked chronicle of entrapment and existential isolation


H Story (2001) – Suwa’s reflection on representation and engagement is never uninteresting, but most beguiling when at its loosest


The Killer Elite (1975) – Peckinpah’s lumpy drama is disarmingly rambling and eccentric in some respects, murky and disengaged in others


Seven Women, Seven Sins (1986) – an energetic themed anthology of satisfyingly varying peculiarity, if expectedly limited overall coherence


A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929) – Asquith’s silent film blends social comedy and stark thriller with sustained skill and imaginative fluidity


Psychokinesis (2018) – Yeon’s silly quasi-superhero movie, far inferior to his Train to Busan, is mostly just a cursory waste of resources


The Computer wore Tennis Shoes (1969) – a weak, low-conviction Disney entry that achieves little on its own terms, let alone anyone else’s


Where does your Hidden Smile Lie? (2001) – Costa’s mesmerizing, often revelatory study of the tetchily exacting journey toward sublimity


Foxy Brown (1974) – the opening credits and the occasional defiant flourish aside, Hill’s stilted effort doesn’t provide much to savor


And the Ship Sails On (1983) – Fellini’s spectacle sadly lacks much ongoing relevance, whatever one’s taste for its grand artificiality


The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – Lean’s epic now seems more calculated and less seeped in madness than the popular memory maintains


Scarred Hearts (2016) – Jude’s robust, empathetic chronicle of illness and slow decline, worthy of the defiant life force at its centre


In the Good Old Summertime (1949) – Leonard’s pleasant enough but distinctly underpowered (musically and otherwise) Garland vehicle


The French Dispatch (2021) – Anderson’s oddly Greenaway-evoking creation is almost oppressively breathtaking, only fitfully passion-forming


Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973) – d’Amato’s slack supernatural shocker ultimately acquires some kind of shape, but never amounts to much


A Chorus Line (1985) – Attenborough doesn’t do so badly, but the material inherently and stiffly resists any worthwhile cinematic treatment


Shozo, a Cat and Two Women (1956) – the climactic stubborn bleakness of Toyoda’s comedy surmounts its trifling and over-protracted aspects


Rifkin’s Festival (2020) – another minimal-effort, lost-in-the-past Allen work, playing more engagingly than it might have (but not by much)


Death Laid an Egg (1968) – Questi’s must be one of the most chicken-centric movies ever, and is quite a heady mix even aside from that


Silent Britain (2006) – Thompson/Sweet’s survey is enormously informative and persuasive, no matter its tonal and scholarly shortcomings


Eye in the Labyrinth (1972) – Caiano’s horror mystery keeps things lively and modestly unpredictable, but the overall effect is a bit thin


Crimes of the Future (2022) – Cronenberg’s amazing, implication-heavy film, if perhaps overly hermetic, astounds and chills throughout


Stolen Desire (1958) – Imamura’s full-to-bursting debut has a striking, ribald energy and an enjoyably pragmatic view of human behaviour


Trust (1990) – Hartley’s bumpy journey toward self-actualization is one of his best-realized works, while hardly evoking deep affection


The Portrait (1948) – Kinoshita’s genial drama isn’t a major work, but packs a varied range of human dynamics into its brief running time


Mogul Mowgli (2021) – Tariq and Ahmed’s case history draws on rich, sometimes harrowing layers of personal and cultural past and present


Sword of the Beast (1965) – Gosha sets out the tangled motivations, allegiances and inner burdens with admirable, body-count-heavy clarity


Quartet (1981) – Ivory’s film is well-modulated and artfully withholding, but you mostly watch with a feeling of blankly respectful distance


Une Parisienne (1957) – Boisrond’s slightly-better-than-average Bardot-showcasing comedy at least doesn’t dawdle (except when ogling…)


Relic (2020) – James’ use of horror devices and tropes ultimately yields a remarkable representation of fraught generational bonding


Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) – a bright and zippy, environmentally-charged entry in the series, worth it for the groovy opening credits alone


A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) – Spielberg’s film seems at times oddly simple, yet at others near-crazy in its conceptual grandeur


Ironfinger (1965) – Fukuda’s gadget-heavy, jauntily location-hopping quasi-Bond concoction is well-done in its unimportantly breezy fashion


Candyman (2021) – DaCosta stylishly maintains a pointed sense of multi-faceted contemporary relevance, even as narrative overload sets in


Summer Interlude (1951) – Bergman’s early-ish work is totally involving on its own terms, and dotted with glimpses of the heights to come


The Fugitive (1993) – Davis’ stretched drama benefits from sustained logistical prowess, and the patina of single-minded intelligence


Sisters of the Gion (1936) – one of Mizoguchi’s most concentrated, thorough and lacerating studies of engrained societal exploitation


Beans (2020) – despite various points of excessive tidiness, Deer’s melding of the personal and political is instructionally empathetic 


Il bell’Antonio (1960) – Bolognini and Pasolini’s impeccably crafted subversion of patriarchal structures, assumptions and hypocrisies


The Intern (2015) – Meyers does pretty well by the appealing concept, even if sentimentality and idealism gradually pushes out most else


A Street of Love and Hate (1959) – Oshima develops the fable-like core premise with incisively unsentimental clarity and social awareness


Glass Onion (2022) – there’s much pleasure in Johnson’s super-well-worked creation, although of course not so much broader implication


Shall We Go to Your Place…(1973) - Hallstrom’s well-observed hook-up journal is as much fun as any of his (far) more polished later works


Gorky Park (1983) – Apted’s drama doesn’t spark any great reaction, but then, national joylessness and drabness seem to be largely the point


Douce violence (1962) – Pecas’ sex drama has a few diverting, sadism-laced sequences, but for the most part it’s undistinguished stuff


4.44 Last Day on Earth (2011) – a near-perfect vessel for Ferrara’s tumultuously restless existential questing and experiential gleaning


Stakeout (1958) – Nomura’s impressive film, built on a top-notch suspenseful set-up, steers in surprisingly quiet, humane directions


The Sparks Brothers (2021) – Wright’s utterly enjoyable, eye-opening survey, well balanced between explication and wryly reverent distance


The Hired Hand (1971) – Fonda’s finely-crafted, often superbly visualized Western, its unshowy realism tinted by a sense of predestination 


The Home and the World (1984) – Ray’s blending of personal & political is somewhat over-isolated, but executed with exquisite, seasoned care


For Me and My Gal (1942) – Berkeley’s relatively unshowy, expertly-controlled musical contrasts vaudeville strivings and wartime upheavals


Karaoke Girl (2013) – Vichit-Vadakan’s perhaps overly discreet but absorbing chronicle of young female migration, adaptation and illusion


Wavelength (1967) – Snow’s (not boring!) landmark marries the infallibly all-seeing & the tangibly hands-on, even with traces of wry humour


Gabrielle (2005) – Chereau’s audaciously inspired dissection of marriage as personal and social construct is a success on every level


Don’t Play Us Cheap (1972) – van Peebles’ wildly iconoclastic, utterly resistance-busting celebration of Black resilience and joyousness


Lili Marleen (1981) – even if not among Fassbinder’s best, an enthralling mesh of Nazi-era ambiguities (of actions, motivations, impacts…)


Thunderbolt (1929) – Sternberg partially reworks the silent Underworld in a more stylistically restrained, still meatily enjoyable manner


Theo & Hugo… (2016) – Martineau/Ducastel’s quite winning nocturnal mini-odyssey spans unbound carnality, giddy idealism, stark realities


All About Eve (1950) – Mankiewicz’s breathtaking dialogue still sweeps one along, but at an elegantly-maintained, well-upholstered distance


No Place Like Home (2006) – Henzell’s likeable if bumpily-assembled Jamaican odyssey, contrasting manufactured illusions and lived realities


THX 1138 (1971) – Lucas’ debut has a conventional overall trajectory, but an astounding wealth of well-worked social & technological detail


The Movement of Things (1985) – Serra’s near-revelatory, deeply-present observance of (surely imperiled) lives, rhythms and rituals


The League of Gentlemen (1960) – Dearden’s fairly standard heist film, mildly elevated by military affectations & a few disreputable edges


Pulse (2001) – perhaps Kurosawa’s most lastingly threatening vision, evading simple explication, but ultimately chillingly all-encompassing


Easter Parade (1948) – Walters’ musical is bright and tuneful, but the plotting and much else are perfunctory even by genre standards


Jeanne (2019) – the inexhaustibly shifting Dumont expands the corpus of Jeanne d’Arc cinema in startlingly diverse and elevating fashion


Madame Claude (1977) – Jaeckin’s mixture of soft core and skullduggery has plenty of intriguing raw elements, but limited overall spark


Zeros and Ones (2021) – Ferrara more or less viably positions the pandemic-era as a murkily causation- and coherence-dissolving meltdown


Emotion (1966) – Obayashi’s wildly energetic early short film exudes the joy of collaborative cinema-making, at a giddy moment in time


A Different Image (1982) – Larkin’s lightly expressed but steel-willed, wide-angle assertion of Black woman as self-determined subject


The Snow Flurry (1959) – Kinoshita’s sensitive but not particularly notable, structurally over-extended study of loss and its long aftermath


Limbo (2020) – Sharrock’s deadpan premise and remote setting inherently entails a somewhat one-note (but consistently appealing) movie


The Demon (1978) – Nomura’s sad, incisive treatment of scalding family dynamics, rooted in parental inadequacy and financial hopelessness


In the Family (2011) – the naturalism of Wang’s patient story-telling sometimes wavers a bit, but overall it wears its length intelligently


The Witches (1967) – a pleasingly odd anthology, most notable for Pasolini’s segment and for a highly uncharacteristic Clint Eastwood!


The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) – McDonagh’s well-acted, considerate (if generally overpraised) movie ably works its odd central premise


Battleship Potemkin (1925) – Eisenstein’s tangibly powerful cinema still reverberates, even if as a cinematic road not often now traveled


Evil Under the Sun (1982) – Hamilton’s pedestrian mystery doesn’t even film the sun with style, let alone sink intelligently into the evil


Spiritual Kung Fu (1978) – much of Wei Lo’s fluctuating, often goofy actioner is simply Jackie Chan on display, so that’s good enough!


Let Them All Talk (2020) – Soderbergh expertly sustains a lightly intelligent air, showcasing actors and locations with equal aplomb


Son of Godzilla (1967) – Fukuda’s peppy entry in the series has some colourful monster action and a passable patina of “serious” science


Collective: Unconscious (2016) – a strongly-conceived, no-weak-link compilation film; Baldwin’s segment particularly lingers in the mind


This Can’t Happen Here (1950) – Bergman’s lurching allegorical thriller may be his most peculiarly misconceived and unrewarding work


The Humans (2021) – Karem’s strong filming of his genre-expanding existential investigation, done with tremendous visual & spatial assurance


The Scar (1976) – Kieslowski’s politically and existentially provocative film, set in the draining shadow of runaway industrialization


Love Jones (1997) – much about Witcher’s film remains irresistible (that soundtrack!), although the minor classic status is a bit overstated


Assassination (1964) – Shinoda’s narrative complexity and shifting technique draw (largely productively) on Japan’s draining modern history


Zola (2020) – Bravo realizes the oddball material with an imaginatively optimal combination of discipline, reflection and digression


Breakfast for Two (1937) – Santell’s comedy doesn’t really hang together, but has a few choice sequences, and the actors, and the dog!


I Wish I Knew (2010) – Jia’s typically graceful engagement with Shanghai, as cinematic myth, as visual wonder, as often-brutal lived reality


March or Die (1977) – Richards’ French Foreign Legion drama is a peculiar, if often impressively realized, meshing of moods and registers


Light Years Away (1981) – Tanner’s scenic, eccentric contrivance is hardly his most meaningful work, but it’s oddly cherishable even so


Carry on Regardless (1961) – a barely carrying-on early series entry, mostly just one under-developed, flatly handled bit after another


The Happiest Girl in the World (2009) – Jude’s irresistible set-up facilitates a poignant character study amid ample deadpan humour


The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) – Crichton oversees a most highly-functioning comic machine, in which realities are only passingly glimpsed


Chez Jolie Coiffure (2018) – Mbakam’s well-observed study of displaced community, insecurity and struggle never far beneath the surface


Tracks (1976) – arguably Jaglom’s most impactful film, his trademark conviviality yielding to reality-bending Vietnam-era paranoia


Passion (1982) – a work of stunning, ever-pivoting Godardian craft, crackling with disillusionment at its own visual sumptuousness


The Criminal (1960) – a highly superior crime drama, elevated through Losey’s dynamic feel for space, behavior, and broader implication                             


Cargo 200 (2007) – Balabanov’s missive from a cesspit-like Russia, all the more depressing for its formidable creative and formal strengths


Moontide (1942) – Mayo’s memorably-cast coastal romance doesn’t generally excel, but sustains an often lovely mood of threatened aspiration


Barrage (2017) – Schroeder’s largely unexceptional tale of tentative reconciliation, at its strongest when tapping into underlying traumas


Russian Roulette (1975) – Lombardo finds small ways to rise above the general pedestrianism, delivering a striking downtown Vancouver climax


Santa Sangre (1989) – Jodorowsky, in full showman mode, never crafts a dull scene, nor (luridness aside) a particularly penetrating one


Stereo (1969) – Cronenberg’s early film explores a bracingly strange, droll, cerebral and concept-heavy (if not yet fully navigated) space


Merci pour le chocolat (2000) – among Chabrol’s thinner works, notwithstanding its elegant toying with familial definitions and boundaries


The Crowd Roars (1932) – Hawks’ early racing car movie delivers well enough on the action, but is under-developed in most key respects


I Saw the Devil (2010) – Kim’s extended showdown is never dull, but it’s unedifyingly driven by relentless contrivance and wanton nastiness


Cooley High (1975) – Schultz’s engaging slice of life, focusing less on big laughs and set-ups than on challenged character and community


Tenue de Soiree (1986) – one submits to Blier’s aggressively assumption-baiting farce with amazement, and at least some form of respect


The Story of a Three Day Pass (1967) – the matchless Van Peebles channels Black experience, identity and insecurity with undiminished verve


Afternoon (2015) – a small delight, with Tsai’s unhurried formal simplicity facilitating a funny, revealing portrait of mutual dependency


Native Son (1951) – Chenal’s adaptation sustains a strong vein of brutalized authenticity, notwithstanding structural and other weaknesses


Bright Future (2002) – Kurosawa’s evasively ambiguous parable of modern directionless is hauntingly effective, with an oddly beautiful core


Radio On (1979) – Petit’s movie engages in unique (albeit heavily Wenders-enthused) manner with a fraying Britain’s bottomless confusions


You Will Die at Twenty (2019) – Alala’s absorbingly imagined and realized expression of mystical indoctrination and its consequences


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) – Neame’s mannered drama excessively prioritizes Smith’s performance, over almost all else of interest


I Want to Go Home (1989) – Resnais’ peculiar mix of elements and references is ultimately rewarding, if often rather grating along the way


The Harvey Girls (1946) – Sidney delivers a few lasting musical highlights, without seemingly trying to impose much stylistic or tonal unity


Happy Hour (2015) – one could almost limitlessly observe Hamaguchi’s painstakingly realized world, continually reconsidering & recalibrating


Drive, He Said (1971) – Nicholson’s absorbing directorial debut draws acutely and imaginatively on its people, place and social context


Daratt (2006) – Haroun acutely sifts the complexities of revenge and reconciliation through suspensefully intertwining characterizations


The Love Bug (1968) – Stevenson’s blithely disbelief-suspending, solidly-staged bit of silliness holds up better than might be expected


The Wonder (2022) – Lelio’s carefully considered adaptation is mostly satisfying, without transcending its inherent literary artificiality


Le jour se leve (1939) – Carne’s fatalistic landmark, with Gabin at his best, retains its exquisitely crafted, societally pessimistic grip


Rare Beasts (2019) – Piper’s distinctively intelligently debut provides a coherently off-kilter take on life & love & the whole f-ing thing


Benilde or the Virgin Mother (1975) – one of de Oliveira’s most accessible films, crafting an enthralling space of mystery and inquiry


The Father (2020) – Zeller crafts one of the most indelible recent actor-driven films, formally remarkable and at times sadly frightening


The Return of Ringo (1965) – Tessari’s crisply conceived and relishingly executed reboot/sequel improves on its flatter predecessor


Cop (1988) – the strained and grotesque aspects of the central narrative rather undermine Harris’ spiky facility with character and mood


Les dragueurs (1959) – Mocky offsets the relentless skirt-chasing with sometimes poignant casting and sufficient emotional flavour


C’mon C’mon (2021) – despite (or because of) its empathetic strengths, Mills’ under-involving film often feels like enforced therapy


Silence (1971) – Shinoda’s pained chronicle of faith and persecution engages no less fully and directly than Scorsese’s later telling


Voyage of Time (2016) – a somewhat typically unsatisfying latter-day Mallick, ravishing the eye more fully than the ear or intellect


Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968) – Sato throws in enough incident, spectacle and topical charge to surmount the often shaky execution


Minari (2020) – Chung’s film is rather too formulaic (not least Youn’s Oscar-bait character), but has an attentively pleasantly way about it


Marriage in the Shadows (1947) – whatever its deficiencies, Maetzig’s melodrama carries an immense, even overpowering historical immediacy


Green Card (1990) – Weir’s comedy eschews any hints of significance, but the well-matched actors and sustained amiability put it across


A Night Full of Rain (1978) – Wertmuller’s tone-deaf study of a turbulent relationship makes for monotonously unrewarding viewing 


Everything Everywhere all at Once (2022) – the Daniels’ imaginative tour de force is overwhelmingly impressive, and underwhelmingly trite


Night and Fog in Japan (1960) – Oshima’s dissection of complacency & culpability, at once intellectually exacting & cinematically liberating


Siberia (2019) – despite its unyielding and unreadable aspects, Ferrara’s odyssey sustains a strangely moving sense of questing penance


White Paradise (1924) – Lamac’s silent melodrama moves through various modes with appealing, if not always perfectly controlled, enthusiasm


French Exit (2020) – Jacobs’ oddity doesn’t ultimately amount to that much, but is sufficiently unpredictable and consistently likeable


Ai no corrida (1976) – at once emptying & exhilarating, Oshima’s is one of cinema’s most sustained studies of extreme, desperate sexuality


Sitting Ducks (1980) – Jaglom’s amiable but entirely unpersuasive comedy feels largely lazy and trivial in the wake of his preceding Tracks


Change of Life (1966) – an evocative study of personal and economic fragility, if the slightly more mannered of Rocha’s two fine early works


Summer of Soul (2021) – an animating gift from the archival gods, more than satisfactorily curated and contextualized by Questlove


Santa Claus (1959) – Cardona’s dawdling, distanced-feeling celebration does have the occasional touching or pleasingly whimsical moment


The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015) – Temple pulls out a few too many visual stops at times, but Wilko is unmatchable value for money


The Most Beautiful Wife (1970) – a potentially rich and bitingly comic battle of the sexes, handled rather too straightforwardly by Damiani


Sylvie’s Love (2020) – Ashe’s period romance doesn’t hit any huge heights, but is unassumingly and progressively pleasurable throughout


Night of the Bloody Apes (1969) – Cordona’s aggressively poor, barely-even-trying monster rampage doesn’t get the simplest thing right


A Stranger Among Us (1992) – Lumet’s well-honed judgment deserts him for long stretches here, with unconvincing, if not eye-rolling, results


An Old Gangster’s Molls (1927) – Innemann’s silent comedy, forgivably overstuffed at times, motors along in happily try-anything style


The Good Nurse (2022) – Lindholm’s overly tidy and linear drama is fairly well-attuned to human fragility, but distinctly short on surprises


The Debut (1977) – Van Brakel’s vital, even-handed study of a transgressive relationship, deeply attuned to youthful impulse and sensation


Fourteen (2019) – Sallitt’s film feels truthful & lived-in at every turn, with a beautifully crafted sense of personal shifts & evolutions


Les abysses (1963) – Papatakis doesn’t so much depict as ferally seep us in the madness-inducing wretchedness of domestic power structures


Falling in Love (1984) – Grosbard’s reticent drama is immeasurably lifted by, and utterly rewatchable for, the astounding star pairing


To Joy (1950) – Bergman’s early film has its conventional aspects, but its emotional core is often ruthlessly unsentimental and surprising


Worth (2020) – Colangelo’s empathetic treatment is more than respectable, but (probably inevitably) skips over much substance and complexity


Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) – Perry’s study is artfully excruciating on several levels, with an oddly haunting sense of futility


Angels Wear White (2017) – Qu’s incisively sad, hope-challenged film thoroughly dissects the commodification and exploitation of young women


High Sierra (1941) – Walsh’s classic of contrasting spaces, registers and moralities; a near-peak for Bogart, and for cinematic canines


Time and Judgement (1988) – Shabazz’s deeply personal, expressive journey through Black history, its prophecies seeming partly poignant now


A Man for All Seasons (1966) – Zinnemann’s unstirringly respectable study of principle gains modest resonance in an age of alternative facts


This is Not a Burial…(2019) – Mosese’s tale of resistance, suffused in steely urgency, deeply of (yet unconstricted by) its time and place


Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – Spielberg’s vision elicits lasting affection, for all its rigged build-up and pumped-up wonder


Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021) – the short-story format rather limits the possibilities of Hamaguchi’s patiently immersive explorations


Decision at Sundown (1957) – a second-tier Boetticher/Scott Western, perhaps most notable for its expectation-defying final moments


Train to Busan (2016) – Yeon’s isn’t the most thematically rich of zombie flicks, but hardly makes a wrong move on its own propulsive terms


Saturday Night and Sunday… (1960) – Reisz’s enduring blast of futile anger in the face of the inevitable, with Finney a mesmerizing centre


The Milk of Sorrow (2009) – Llosa’s small miracle of a film provides countless penetrating moments, underpinned by lingering trauma


Lovin’ Molly (1974) – a lesser-known but likeable Lumet work, charting the gently transgressive structures underlying small-scale lives


The Perfect Candidate (2019) – Al-Mansour’s study in determination hardly lacks for sharp truths, but unfolds a bit too tidily and brightly


Lights of New York (1928) – Foy’s early talkie holds up respectably enough, occasionally pushing (modestly) past the merely workmanlike


Blind Chance (1987) – reaching far above gimmickry, Kieslowski pessimistically surveys and analyzes Poland’s corroding complexities


Hell in the Pacific (1968) – Boorman and two ideally committed stars generate a satisfyingly propulsive, muscularly executed enigma


The Third Murder (2017) – the courtroom genre isn’t best suited to Koreeda’s skills, rendering the reflective ambiguities overly artificial


A Safe Place (1971) – Jaglom’s peculiar debut at least intrigues as a formal and tonal experiment, with flashes of greater magic 


Ils (2006) – Moreau/Palud’s supposedly fact-based terror exercise feels thin and fake, seldom jolting in its rhythms, tactics or reveals


The Clock (1945) – Minnelli’s utterly captivating, highly idealistic but wisely nuanced romance, with Garland at her most transfixing


Creepy (2016) – not Kurosawa’s most persuasive or resonantly implicative narrative, but of course compulsively watchable all the same


What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966) – Edwards’ conceptually amazing comedy is among his richest and most penetratingly-realized


The Photograph (1986) – Papatakis’ tense, stark fable, propelled by the futile dreaming of the relentlessly toiling, marginalized exile


Let Me Die a Woman (1977) – Wishman’s peculiar “documentary,” in its way sincere and progressive, while also helplessly stilted and prurient


About Endlessness (2019) – Andersson applies his weird but apparently inexhaustible aesthetic to all that obscures our sense of possibility


Ace in the Hole (1951) – Wilder’s conceptually evergreen film is a frequent logistical knock-out, but stumbles over the climactic turnaround


Porto of my Childhood (2001) – de Oliveira’s alchemical film of memory and loss, at once alluringly accessible and uncommunicably personal


Boom (1968) – the hectoring heaviness of Losey’s notorious, exotically disembodied spectacle perhaps makes it too easily dismissible overall


Jeanette (2017) – Dumont’s often (no surprise) quirky instincts create an oddly productive tension with the film’s visual & narrative purity


The Visitors (1972) – the film is effective enough on its own coarsely sparse terms, but one would strain to find Kazan’s signature on it


Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008) – an eye- & ear-filling, if inevitably selective, spotlight on a towering performer & presence


Discontent (1916) – Weber & Siegler’s compact morality tale is pretty straightforward, but crisply and often amusingly observed & executed


Grigris (2013) – Haroun’s story of urban survival beautifully explores modern dualities, yielding a strongly communal, woman-driven outcome


The Innocents (1961) – a work of polished distance and artful ambiguity, but quivering with deeply-felt corruption-induced anxiety


Mass Appeal (1984) – Jordan’s study of generational Catholic church conflict is far too glib and bland for anything to stick or penetrate


All Screwed Up (1974) – among Wertmuller’s best films, its teeming untidiness expressing modern life’s ceaseless traps and shortfalls


News of the World (2020) – Greengrass’ drama is rather conventionally impressive, but with no shortage of biting contemporary resonance


Berlin-Alexanderplatz (1931) – Jutzi’s potently condensed version provides great comparative viewing, with sensational on-location shooting


Malcolm X (1992) – Lee’s vital, daring epic is still high-impact viewing, its relevance and urgency shifting but perpetually undiminished


Les amities particulieres (1964) – within its constraints, Delannoy’s study of idealized same-sex love is relatively direct and moving


Night Raiders (2021) – Goulet injects some cultural and conceptual distinctiveness, but not enough to transcend familiar dystopian weariness


Brother Carl (1971) – for all its weaknesses, Sontag’s tale of dysfunction and transcendence has a strangely lingering cumulative effect


Saint Maud (2019) – Glass’s anxiety-ridden modern horror is smartly crafted throughout, with  more than a few flat-out awesome moves 


Godzilla: King of the Monsters! (1956) – a capably straight-faced Americanization, but thematically & tonally diluted from Honda’s original


The World to Come (2020) – Fastvold’s film is strong in all respects, with great attention to behavioural, visual and structural detail


Girl at the Window (1961) – Emmer’s undersung, structurally memorable, culturally astute chronicle accumulates surprising existential weight


Green Ice (1981) – Day’s would-be drama leaves about as little impact as cinematically possible, aided by utterly lazy lead performances


Gang War in Milan (1973) – Lenzi keeps the high-activity narrative moving, but it’s almost entirely as generic & surprise-free as its title


Apollo 10 ½ (2022) – Linklater’s dream-laced, reference-packed family memoir makes for utterly (arguably excessively) captivating viewing


J’accuse (1938) – Gance’s bombastically imagined film fascinates and compels, even as it marches on into simplistic self-congratulation


Appropriate Behavior (2014) – Akhavan’s well-judged, quite wide-ranging comedy, propelled by a pleasing sense of multi-faceted exploration


The Green Years (1963) – Rocha’s wondrous, socially-grounded delicacy ultimately yields to a shocking, almost Bressonian conclusion


Promising Young Woman (2020) – Fennell’s astute and stimulating film nails its strategies, even if one has a few reservations about them


The Mansion of Madness (1973) – Moctezuma’s chaotic drama provides some bizarre grandeur, with great dollops of interspersed clumsiness


Someone to Love (1987) – essential viewing for Frishberg and Welles, whatever one’s assessment of Jaglom’s formal and tonal mannerisms


Nazarin (1959) – Bunuel’s remarkably sustained, slyly balanced allegory, albeit perhaps not among his most vibrantly pleasurable works


The Green Knight (2021) – Lowery’s telling is structurally and visually captivating at its best, rising above some relative dull patches


The Sun’s Burial (1960) – Oshima’s early exercise in socially conscious nihilism, visually and narratively arresting at every corrosive turn


Domino (2019) – De Palma’s thrilling cinematic skills aren’t snuffed out yet, but have seldom felt as callously or indifferently deployed


The Sicilian Connection (1972) – Baldi’s drug-trade procedural is solid enough, in a mostly unexciting, sometimes haphazard-feeling way


In the Cut (2003) – Campion’s riskily vivid, darkly sexy genre piece pulsates with unconventional stylings, resonances and emphases


Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937) – Yamanaka’s deceptive study of community and honour lingers not least for its climactic cheerlessness


Nomadland (2020) – Zhao’s film is a virtuous but overly fragmented and depoliticized window on an admittedly barely explicable world


The Hero (1966) – Ray’s study of a disaffected film star is engrossingly detailed, while illustrating his work’s occasional insularity


One More Time with Feeling (2016) – Dominik is a worthy (if inevitably rather submissive) chronicler of Cave’s personal & artistic evolution


The Scarlet Letter (1973) – Wenders’ not entirely successful version does vividly draw on America’s formative hypocrisies and contradictions


Causeway (2022) – Neugebauer’s small-scale but overly calculated, straightforwardly acted drama doesn’t amount to much on any level


Thirst (1949) – a structurally and psychologically challenging Bergman, perhaps his strongest early film, infested with existential crisis


She Hate Me (2004) – Lee’s messy film doesn’t really pull its diverse elements into shape, but it’s oddly engaging and (mostly) rewarding


Cemetery without Crosses (1969) – Hossein’s bleak Western largely realizes the title’s haunting promise, although not without some strain


Let Him Go (2020) – Bezucha’s well-cast journey into familial nightmare largely sustains a fine line between sensitivity and grotesqueness


A Woman Like Eve (1979) – Van Brakel’s shockingly under-celebrated film comprehensively questions prevailing social and sexual assumptions


The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) – Iannucci’s wonderfully canny, affirmative adaptation is consistent light-footed pleasure


Do Bigha Zamin (1953) – Roy’s drama of fruitless striving increasingly impresses and chills as its full clarity of purpose becomes apparent


Shoplifters of the World (2021) – remove the Smiths and Kijak’s engaging little movie wouldn’t amount to much, but hey, you don’t need to!


Ceiling (1962) – Chytilova’s early short film has her uniquely recognizable sense of play, with its underlying interrogative seriousness


Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) – Joffe’s drama falls oddly flat, half-heartedly ticking off the minimum narrative and moral ingredients


Gloria Mundi (1976) – Papatakis’ almost frighteningly high-pitched drama of art and politics, savagely contemptuous of bourgeois pretensions


Alex Wheatle (2020) – an absorbing personal & social history, albeit probably the least relatively imposing of the wondrous Small Axe series


Pinocchio (1940) – Disney’s objectively bizarre classic holds the panderingly sweet & the deeply sinister in eternally finely-honed balance


To the Ends of the Earth (2019) – Kurosawa’s beguiling, observant odyssey charts a culture-crossing path to (relative) female empowerment


The Sea Gull (1968) – Lumet’s Chekhov adaptation is worthy and absorbing, while lacking much individual cinematic identity or presence


Woman on the Beach (2006) – Hong effects a unique marriage of straightforwardness and mystery, mesmerizing in every shift and detail


Firepower (1979) – Winner’s action romp is comprehensively misjudged and overdone from start to end, with clueless use of its high-end cast


Thelma (2017) – Trier’s attraction to such fanciful material is rather unclear throughout, despite his evident skill and thoughtfulness


Tea and Sympathy (1956) – Minnelli’s study of non-conformity as threat and disruption is, at least, richly analyzable in its hemmed-in-ness


DNA (2020) – Maiwenn’s examination of origins & becoming is fairly modest, but much lifted by well-observed ,conflict-ridden family dynamics


The Learning Tree (1969) – one might have forgotten the extent of bitterness, suffering and sin folded into Parks’ bucolically-titled drama


Boris sans Beatrice (2016) – Cote’s slyly-sculptured, sometimes inscrutably playful deployment of class- and power-based narratives


The Grasshopper (1970) – Paris’ never-dull chronicle of ups & downs bumpily combines relative progressiveness with much shallow contrivance


24 City (2008) – the perhaps all-seeing Jia once again arranges personal and collective story arcs into mysteriously beautiful formation


The Haunted House (1921) – Keaton’s short lets loose a truly impressive volume of gags, without rivaling his most coherent or elevated work


Leto (2018) – Serebrennikov’s inspired, vital dive into the 80’s Soviet rock scene is a galvanizing historical/cultural perspective-changer


The Swimmer (1968) – the intriguing concept and Lancaster’s poignant presence generally surmount Perry’s frequently overdone direction


In Search of Famine (1981) – Sen’s richly ambitious engagement with the moral complexities and obligations of historical filmmaking


Bronco Bullfrog (1970) – an appealing if mostly minor exploration of low-option lives, elevated by Platts-Mills’ taciturn romantic fatalism


After the Storm (2016) – Koreeda’s reflection on becoming & being is as finely calibrated as usual, but modest both in conception & impact


Five Graves to Cairo (1943) – Wilder’s under-sung early work effectively navigates its tense, morally-charged physical and narrative space


Still Life (2006) – Jia’s astounding marshaling of an almost incomprehensible modern history, a work of vast (& at times playful) witnessing


Candy (1968) – Marquand’s colourful comic odyssey hardly forms a satisfying whole, but at least you’re never waiting long for the next thing


The Halt (2019) – Diaz’s deeply relevant vision of darkness is relatively accommodating in some ways, overwhelmingly forbidding in others


Absolution (1978) – Page/Shaffer’s study of Catholic school manipulation and anguish is capably enough handled, while in no way excelling


Visit, or Memories and Confessions (1982) – de Oliveira’s long-hidden, poignantly tranquil document gracefully combines testimony & reverie


Island in the Sun (1957) – Rossen’s lushly race-anxiety-infused colonial melodrama is, at least, almost infinitely susceptible to analysis


Stray (2020) – Lo provides ample empathetic pleasure for dog-centric viewers; the returns for others are likely a little more limited


The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) – Stevenson’s comedy holds up pleasantly enough, while hardly putting the core concept to optimal use


Homo Sapiens (2016) – the terrible beauty of Geyrhalter’s witnessing of abandonment and decay acts as memorial, indictment and premonition


An Unmarried Woman (1978) – Mazursky’s appealingly lived-in film has some idealized and overdone aspects, but contains much that connects


Alcarras (2022) – Simon explores threatened physical & emotional topographies with equally memorable, socially-charged assurance & finesse


Honor Among Lovers (1931) – a fine, lesser-known example of Arzner’s pioneering intelligence, focusing on personal and professional ethics


Mind Game (2004) – Yuasa’s wildly unbound (and yet so delectably delicate and psychologically loaded) animation is an absolute trippy rush


The Great Escape (1963) – Sturges’ drama has too much cursory storytelling and characterization to remotely merit its classic status


New Order (2020) – Franco’s high-intensity vision is harrowingly accomplished at times, and productively debatable overall at the very least


Alex and the Gypsy (1976) – Korty’s bumpy romance makes one aggressively inexplicable choice after another, with keenly unenjoyable results


Sunset (2018) – Nemes’ outstandingly unpredictable study of historical turbulence, often hypnotically unprecedented both in style & content


The Westerner (1940) – Wyler’s well-balanced, forgivably history-bending, often memorably visualized drama, boosted by peak star charisma


I’m Your Man (2021) – Schrader’s lightly comic investigation is enjoyable viewing, while mostly skimming over its broader implications


The Lost Man (1969) – Aurthur’s drama is spirited enough when channeling righteous anger and action, but dissipates toward the end


Tom of Finland (2017) – Karukoski’s biopic is solid stuff, although less formally and visually daring than the subject might have allowed


The Squeeze (1977) – Apted and the actors squeeze plenty out of the material, while tending to the prevailing disreputable atmosphere


Epicentro (2020) – Sauper’s musings get a little strained at times, but even so help render his study of Cuba constantly fresh & unexpected


Park Row (1952) – one of Fuller’s most vital films, propelled by a passionate fusion of form, content, and directorial identification


As Tears go By (1988) – brasher than Wong’s later works, but dotted with early signs of his irresistible, searching lightness of spirit


Let’s Make Love (1960) – Cukor’s over-extended comedy endures better than it should, mostly of course for its sensational Monroe moments


Flee (2021) – Rasmussen’s considered use of animation both (necessarily) conceals and penetrates, yielding a rich, forceful testimony


Deadly Strangers (1975) – Hayers’ low-finesse thriller isn’t exactly dull, but labors heavily on its way to its epically predictable “twist”


State Funeral (2019) – viewed in an age of right-wing cults, Loznitsa’s magnificent assembly almost plays as warning-laden horror-comedy


Stagecoach (1939) – a lasting pleasure (albeit an easy one), with Ford’s multi-faceted finesse surmounting various less elevated aspects


Apples (2020) – Nikou’s wry, composed comedy falls prey to a sense of diminishing returns, despite its potentially sinister intimations


Twisted Nerve (1968) – Boulting’s manipulatively nasty drama works well enough overall, frequent eye-rolling pretensions notwithstanding


Ripley’s Game (2002) – Cavani’s is perhaps not in the top rank of Highsmith films, but it’s a well-judged, elegant yarn on its own terms


Convoy (1978) – Peckinpah’s messy spectacle, not without a certain brute-force beauty, gains oddly in resonance in warped Trumpian times


Cette maison (2022) – Charles’ oddly haunting, if not entirely stumble-free, meeting of commemoration & speculation, tragedy & celebration


The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) – Weber’s costume drama is certainly notable, but lacks the penetrating quality of her best surviving works


A Woman’s Life (2016) – Brise’s somberly hypnotic, finely etched study of a vibrant life force slowly ground down by patriarchal lies


The Sundowners (1960) – Zinnemann’s blandly episodic drama has little feel for the country, even less for the itinerant lives within it


The Words and Days…(2020) – Edstrom/Winter’s quietly paradigm-shifting study, transporting largely in proportion to its eight-hour duration


Executive Suite (1954) – Wise’s business world machinations still strike the occasional chord, when not reduced to mere speechifying


Judgement (1999) – Park’s drolly morality- and identity-questioning, apocalypse-tinged short film is as satisfying as much of his major work


Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) – Silver deftly explores an unusual central dynamic, drawing out the joy and pain of romantic preoccupation


Lingui (2021) – Haroun’s drama is hardly lacking in interest or impact, but feels less fully developed and immediate than his best work


A Taste of Honey (1961) – Richardson’s drama lurches around rather grotesquely, seldom now seeming very emotionally or socially truthful


Senorita (2011) – Sandoval crafts a compellingly honest human document, despite a recurring feeling of excessive narrative artifice


Nightmare Alley (1947) – Goulding’s floridly eventful drama doesn’t quite fully realize its various dark potentialities (hence, remake!)


Uppercase Print (2020) – another super-stimulating Jude work, its implications by no means consigned to the (almost hilariously drab) past


The Tamarind Seed (1974) – Edwards executes the seldom-surprising, dispassionately-acted material with counterproductively distanced skill


Repentance (1984) – Abuladze’s satire isn’t without its heavygoing aspects, but carries overall a laceratingly imaginative, possessed force


Comanche Station (1960) – the terrific Boetticher-Scott series culminates at its most starkly minimal and, ultimately, near-transcendent


The African Desperate (2022) – Syms’ fiercely intelligent and singular experiential blast is surely one of the strongest recent debuts


Yoshiwara (1937) – Ophuls’ culture-spanning romance has its uneasily dated aspects, but the fragile, doomed delight at its centre endures


The Burnt Orange Heresy (2019) – Capotondi’s take on art world ambiguities is elegantly if rather too archly done; the cast certainly helps


Lumiere (1976) – Moreau’s elegant study of friendship among female actors, its form elegantly open-ended, as light always slowly shifts


Shiva Baby (2020) – Seligman satisfyingly infiltrates a fairly standard set-up with multiple strands of dread and anxiety, even of terror


Is Paris Burning? (1966) – Clement’s rather bland epic dissipates its energy across star-laden vignettes, lacking sufficient overall force 


Love Affair (1994) – Caron’s remake is overdone in some ways, hardly done at all in others, far too dependent on its theoretical star power


Godzilla Raids Again (1955) – Oda’s sequel builds rather weakly and diffusively on the original, leaving a mostly deflated aftertaste


Old (2021) – the material mostly fizzles in Shyamalan’s heavy hands, yielding little suspense, tonal variation, or intellectual stimulation


Tauw (1970) – Sembene’s short (yet immense) film summarizes a nation’s devastating absence of social infrastructure & individual possibility


Lucky Life (2010) – Chung’s measured reflection on loss and endurance perhaps isn’t a major work, but leaves a gently haunting aftermath


Rabindranath Tagore (1961) – Ray’s too often just superficially informative summary illustrates the occasional limitations of his craft


Still Processing (2020) – relative to its brief running time, Romvari’s deeply personal film is astoundingly wide-ranging and fulfilling


L’inhumaine (1924) – L’Herbier’s silent classic is a feast of eye-filling design, narrative audacity and instinctive cinematic know-how


Urgh! A Music War (1981) – or indeed Whoa!, as Burbridge races through the highlights (Klaus Nomi, Steel Pulse) and the forgettable alike


Un homme qui dort (1974) – Perec/Queysanne’s study of withdrawal holds alienation and engagement in singularly heightened equilibrium


Men (2022) – Garland’s distinctive expression of trauma and reconciliation has its elements of weirdo, take it or leave it tour-de-force


Layer Cake (1968) – Wajda’s big-question-crammed short comedy is certainly energetic, although the ultimate impact is fairly fleeting


I Care a Lot (2019) – Blakeson disappointingly squanders a terrifying real-life premise with tedious gangster crap and other excesses


Bezhin Meadow (1937) – the fragmented remains of Eisenstein’s lost film suggest both forceful inspiration and aesthetic repetition


Falling (2020) – Mortensen works small, satisfying variations on largely familiar territory, occasionally unlocking something unnerving


The Prostitutes of Lyon Speak (1975) – Roussopoulos’s minimally intermediated record is both sociologically specific and bleakly timeless


Heat and Dust (1983) – Ivory’s ambitious film is (to say the least) interesting on all levels, but makes an oddly limited cumulative impact


A Bagful of Fleas (1962) – Chytilova’s early short film is a bubbling, limitation-busting assertion of feminine experience and perspective


King Richard (2021) – Green’s film doesn’t total to much more than the sum of its biographical parts, but it’s warmly likeable throughout


En cas de malheur (1958) – a somewhat peculiarly judged Autant-Lara drama, but near-compulsive viewing if only for the Bardot-Gabin teaming


Lilting (2014) – Khaou’s study of loss and acceptance is modestly scaled, but with a delicately impactful emotional and cultural breadth


One Day Before the Rainy Season (1971) – Kaul’s masterly tale of longing & separation sustains a quite extraordinary formal & tonal delicacy


The Devil all the Time (2020) – Campos delivers little more than an indigestibly lurid absurdity, marked by extensive actorly slumming


Mandabi (1968) – Sembene’s all-seeing study of a society overwhelmed by need and incapacity leaves one astounded, drained and humbled


Lair of the White Worm (1988) – Russell puts across his creation, about as absurd as England itself, with magnificently disarming conviction


A Story of Floating Weeds (1934) – Ozu’s beautiful tale of absence and acceptance lies among the most precisely eloquent of silent films


Emily the Criminal (2022) – Ford’s film is absorbing at its most socially grounded, dropping off a bit as the dramatic stakes escalate


Ticket of no Return (1979) – Ottinger’s wondrously outré, boozy fantasy of female self-expression, built on serious social underpinnings


The Changeling (1980) – Medak and Scott give the dubious narrative a solid veneer of class, but it’s inherently beneath them (and us)


Thanos and Despina (1967) – Papatakis’ unbound quasi-romance becomes a scorching Grecian microcosm, madness & liberation all but inseparable


Supernova (2020) – Macqueen’s relationship study is respectably touching, but it’s a small film in every respect (barring the title)


Boyfriend in Sight (1954) – Berlanga’s peppy youth-in-revolt comedy gradually reveals a quite expansively skeptical satirical bite


Sound of Metal (2019) – Marder’s film is often technically and empathetically enthralling, even if in some ways too conventionally shaped


The Wasps are Here (1978) – much of Pathiraja’s study is fairly elemental, but with ample fine points of visual and sociological observation


Dune (2021) – Villeneuve’s control and judgment increasingly impress as the film escalates, and moves past the initial hollow grandeur


La piscine (1969) – Deray’s abiding if modestly over-venerated, languidly gleaming drama, elevated by shards of masculine vulnerability


High Season (1987) – Peploe’s tonal and thematic mix doesn’t fully cohere or rise, but one appreciates the rather odd nature of its ambition


La revue des revues (1927) – the (mostly mild) interest value of the recorded performances barely surmounts the narrative & visual flatness


Tenet (2020) – a long string of expensively fleeting virtues, rendered mostly off-putting through Nolan’s humourless self-absorption


L’uomo senza memoria (1974) – Tessari’s amnesia-driven drama falls short in too many respects, but has its blood-spattering high points


The Hard Stop (2015) – Amponsah’s humanely outraged film, a deeply and vividly personal perspective on a gapingly unjust national wound


Signs of Life (1968) – Herzog’s feature debut remains haunting, for the stubborn, parched beauty of its vision of symbolic self-obliteration


Catherine Called Birdy (2022) – Dunham’s chirpy, nice-looking film is so thinly tethered to reality that it might as well be set on the moon


Kuhle Wampe (1932) – Brecht/Dudow’s engagement with societal shortfall exerts a sensationally confident intellectual and cinematic grip


Mommie Dearest (1981) – a major failure by Perry, with little sense of analytical prowess, critical distance, or basic wit and imagination


Visions of Eight (1973) – a variable, seldom entirely bland, seldom transcendent Olympic anthology: Zetterling’s segment probably takes gold


Miss Juneteenth (2020) – Peoples’ film is a pleasing observance of regrets and economic realities, but too constrained to hit major heights


All my Good Countrymen (1969) – Jasny’s beautifully measured, accumulatingly indicting study of ideology-ruptured lives, land and community


Motherless Brooklyn (2019) – Norton’s adaptation must have had terrific potential, but much of it ends up heavy-footed and flavourless


La bestia debe morir (1952) – Barreto’s drama is more propulsive and less piercing than Chabrol’s (overall superior filming) of the material


Spencer (2021) – Larrain holds mystery, deconstruction, wish fulfilment, psychological horror, fantasy and more in mesmerizing equilibrium


Maso et Miso vont en bateau (1975) – a sensational collective repositioning of a jaw-droppingly misogyny- and complacency-riddled TV show


Stardust Memories (1980) – Allen’s elegantly self-examining comedy now seems to foretell the receding creative horizons of his later years


A Pistol for Ringo (1965) – Tessari’s briskly twisting drama largely lacks the edge, dazzle or subtext of the Italian Western highpoints


The Nest (2020) – Durkin’s excavation of familial rot provides some classic throwback-type pleasures, its time and place perfectly judged


The Bank Dick (1940) – Fields’ brilliant, oddly lonely brand of otherness hits its zenith in Cline’s irresistible, reality-bending vehicle


The Children Act (2017) – Eyre’s film leaves a fairly reticent impression, despite much thematic interest, and the indispensable Thompson


May Morning (1970) – Liberatore’s authenticity-stressing university chronicle ends up as a peculiar, but not unseductive, time capsule


Blonde (2022) – Dominik’s project makes for overly heavy viewing, obscuring its resourceful playing with image-making and representation


Devi (1960) – Ray’s tale of idolatory and delusion makes a rather remotely cloistered impact, despite elements of implied social criticism


Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) – Lumet’s last film is a near-inspired drama of unraveling, propelled by some crackerjack acting


The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) – Shimizu’s unusual study possesses an exquisite sense of vulnerability, longing and pervasive absence


Education (2020) – one of the smaller-scale Small Axe films, and one of the most straightforwardly moving, outrage-provoking and inspiring


Borsalino (1970) – Deray’s eventful period gangster film never acquires sufficient heft or character, rather limiting its two great stars


Greed (2019) – Winterbottom’s satiric skewering of capitalist excess is over-stuffed and ungainly, but knowingly and mostly fruitfully so


Death Rides a Horse (1967) – notwithstanding Morricone’s all-out score, Sollima’s intense revenge Western falls in the middle of the pack


The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) – Coen’s reading is at the very least respectable, with various points of visual and actorly excellence


Wedding Ring (1950) – Kinoshita’s tale of suppressed attraction is sensitively done, but the overall trajectory is fairly commonplace


Maeve (1981) – Murphy’s amazing film, impacting equally as historical record, intimate portrait and philosophical/political reflection


Faro Document 1979 (1979) – Bergman’s island record, rather conventional in some ways, but marked by the personal depth of his engagement


Black Bear (2020) – Levine dives into creativity and human connection in all their wondrous, sexy, destabilizing, addictive slipperiness


Help! (1965) – the musical numbers aside, the Beatles (maybe excepting Ringo) end up rather lost amid Lester’s distancing inventiveness


A Season in France (2017) – Haroun’s fine study of crushing immigrant experience, suffused with the sadness of squandered human capacity


The Pirate (1948) – not Minnelli’s warmest or most psychologically acute film, yet near rapture-inducing in its ravishing artificiality


France (2021) – Dumont’s productively alluring semi-satire holds superficial transparency and conditioned inscrutability in fine balance


A Bridge too Far (1977) – Attenborough’s most watchable film embeds impressive set-pieces within broader strategic and moral failure


Francisca (1981) – a major example of de Oliveira’s fluidly rigorous sense of cinema, singularly blending interiority and expansiveness


The Day of the Jackal (1973) – Zinnemann’s largely empty suspense film, propelled by a near-bottomless succession of show-me moments


The Trouble with Being Born (2020) – Wollner’s haunting “anti-Pinocchio” is a deeply-considered meditation on identity and morality


5 Fingers (1952) – the indispensable Mason aside, Mankiewicz’s blandly authenticity-seeking espionage drama offers little of particular note


Dziga and his Brothers (2002) – Tsymbal’s too-brief overview goes little beyond scratching the (albeit abidingly thrilling) surface


Paris Blues (1961) – Ritt’s horribly overwritten drama has the actors mostly at their worst, and even short-changes you on Ellington’s music


Bardo (2022) – for all that’s stubborn, trifling and grotesque about Inarritu’s greedy opus, it holds the attention, and rewards it


Dracula (1979) – a few visual flourishes aside, Badham ticks off the requisite plot elements in dutifully dull, at times barely-alive manner


L’atelier (2017) – Cantet’s massively watchable drama stimulates & disturbs, even while leaving a sense of incompleteness & over-idealism


Suspense (1913) – Weber’s brief but highly assured prototypical woman-in-peril film remains both narratively and cinematically riveting


Isabella (2020) – Pineiro’s brief running time contains multitudes of gracefully ambiguous camaraderie and competition, creativity and doubt


Arabesque (1966) – Donen’s relentlessly superficial caper, almost poignantly inadequate in its “Hitchcockian” aspirations and contrivances


Freak Orlando (1981) – Ottinger’s super-queered spectacle elicits much conceptual admiration, but often feels like being lost at the circus


Lucky Lady (1975) – Donen gets bogged down in hollow spectacle, allowing too little sense of

overall purpose, style or (least of all) fun


Rien a foutre (2021) – Lecoustre and Marre’s astutely tuned-in workplace study, convincingly laced with contemporary existential drift


Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) – probably the shallowest & weakest of the Boetticher/Scott Westerns, narratively cluttered & tonally uncertain


Labyrinth of Cinema (2019) – Obayashi’s exuberantly singular last film unceasingly (albeit weirdly) reboots, extends & interrogates itself


A Kind of Loving (1962) – in their enjoyably desultory way, Schlesinger’s human dynamics now feel over-stylized, & ultimately overly hopeful


There is No Evil (2020) – Rasoulof’s film has impressive moral force, while not entirely avoiding narrative and tonal predictability


Catch-22 (1970) – Nichols’ film is a frequent logistical marvel, in the cause of confoundingly insufficient intellectual or comedic purpose


Poulet au vinaigre (1985) – far from Chabrol’s best work, dawdling in some respects and rushing through others, for a lumpy overall impact


The Lady from Shanghai (1948) – Welles’ indelibly peculiar drama, alluring in all respects, ranks among his most fully-realized notions


The Swimmers (2022) – however based in reality, El Hosaini’s glossily calculated treatment feels unconvincingly and unmovingly synthetic


The World of Suzie Wong (1960) – the copious travelogue virtues aside, Quine’s flat drama now hardly seems worth seriously critiquing


Suburban Birds (2018) – Qiu’s pensively charming, gently time-bending exploration of China’s ever-evolving denaturization and distanciation


Bone (1972) – Cohen’s daringly inspired debut startles, exposes, challenges and destabilizes at every relishingly visualized turn 


Riders of Justice (2020) – Jensen’s super-enjoyable saga goes robustly over-the-top, while seeming improbably thoughtful on multiple levels


The Daughter of Dawn (1920) – Myles’ indigenous drama is largely unshowy storytelling, but enormously buoyed by collaborative authenticity


Wolf’s Hole (1987) – Chytilova gives the generic material some visual and allegorical vitality, but it still falls far below her capacities


Gunn (1967) – Edwards’ film version systematically undercuts & weirdifies its genre mechanics, even as it discharges them with polished cool


Feast (2021) – Leyendekker’s formally & stylistically formidable film engages its real-life source material with startling adventurousness


Love and Bullets (1979) – Rosenberg’s low-excitement action film has some nice scenery, but not enough love (or even enough bullets)


A Girl Missing (2019) – Fukada crafts an alluring narrative and surrounding structural mystery, although the ultimate impact is fairly muted


Paths of Glory (1957) – a flawed but inescapable reference point in the cinema of wartime morality, indelible at its most Kubrickian


Dear Comrades! (2020) – Konchalovsky’s strong film overemphasizes personal over collective experience, but stimulates at every turn


Flower Drum Song (1961) – Koster’s constrained film does well enough by the music and choreography, but much else is dated and/or debatable


La vallee fantome (1987) – another bracingly unpredictable, thematically & geographically expansive reverie from the sadly undersung Tanner


Cross of Iron (1977) – Peckinpah’s war drama lacks the precision of his best work, but steadily grows in smoldering, sickened forcefulness


Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022) – Bhansali’s scrubbed and idealized telling has amply winning heart-in-the-right-place momentum and charisma


The Razor’s Edge (1946) – Goulding’s uninspired adaptation prioritizes tedious melodrama over the supposedly central philosophical inquiry


Barbara (2017) – Amalric’s bewitching exercise in evocation and representation, at once scintillatingly present and elegantly elusive


The First Time (1969) – Neilson’s horny-teenagers/Jackie-Bisset flick isn’t so bad on its own terms, but they’re not the most elevated terms


Wife of a Spy (2020) – Kurosawa’s delectable historical drama gradually eliminates almost any points of personal or national certainty


Plaza Suite (1971) – Hiller’s overly faithful filming of Neil Simon’s play is, at best, little more than a tolerably dated museum exhibit


Emporte-moi (1999) – Pool’s warm film is rather thin at times, but benefits from its various points of cultural and personal specificity


Twentieth Century (1934) – an ever-reliable, grandly acted pleasure, even if not quite equaling the depth and range of Hawks’ greatest works


Hive (2021) – the film has inherent anthropological interest, but Basholli’s narrative and cinematic instincts are overly superficial


The Lion in Winter (1968) – Harvey’s mostly heavy-footed filming of Goldman’s endlessly twisting archness gets tedious long before the end


Beanpole (2019) – Balagov’s arrestingly visualized, trauma-suffused study of post-war adjustment, marked by startling psychology & behaviour


The Song Remains the Same (1976) – an often eccentric, overreaching but have-to-see-once-if-you-care-at-all-about-Led Zeppelin concert movie


Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020) – Zbanic’s propulsive narrative bears witness to an almost unbearable weight of moral and individual failure


Cry Terror! (1958) – Stone’s hard-driving thriller has plenty of great sequences, and a cracking cast, but ultimately disappoints a bit


Apparition (2012) – Sandoval’s small but haunting study sets out the futility of idealized religion in the face of political brutality


The Naked Edge (1961) – a sad use of Cooper in his last film, cast adrift by Anderson’s cluelessly over-emphatic notion of suspense


Decision to Leave (2022) – Park’s best film to date occupies and ventilates its chosen genre with staggering control and imaginative panache


Cold Sweat (1970) – Young’s no-nonsense drama is at least cleanly done, benefiting mightily from a bizarrely classy cast (Liv Ullmann!)


IP5… (1992) – a mostly uncomfortable, mysticism-tinged amalgam of disparate elements, embodying the ebbing of Beineix’s creative energy


Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) – not Ford’s emotionally or thematically richest film, but one filled with ravishingly painterly compositions


The Swarm (2020) – Philippot’s well-ordered but limited quasi-horror falls rather short, whether narratively, thematically or emotionally


Grand Prix (1966) – Frankenheimer oversees a solid all-stops-out spectacle, seasoned with a requisite amount of melodrama and inner turmoil


The Body Remembers…(2019) – Hepburn and Tailfeathers’ deceptively simple film surveys a riveting myriad of personal and cultural imbalances


Still Life (1974) – Saless’ moving, unadorned examination of institutional indifference to small lives is resonant even in its limitations


Boiling Point (2021) – Barantini’s movie is super-entertaining, even if it feels more like a bunch of flashy appetizers than a balanced meal


Todo un caballero (1947) – Delgado’s modestly refreshing film places its central courtroom drama in laconically amused, reflective context


The Couch Trip (1986) – Ritchie’s shoddy comedy is a head-shaking low point for most concerned, the genial Akroyd partially excepted


La viaccia (1961) – Bolognini’s undernoted film, the central romance gradually overshadowed by a pessimistic dissection of venal capitalism


The Midnight Sky (2020) – Clooney’s end-of-the-world drama intrigues for its melancholy recessiveness, despite some exasperating elements


Be Pretty and Shut Up! (1976) - Seyrig’s likably inelegant, sometimes eccentrically assembled testimonies remain amply worthwhile overall


The Last Face (2016) – Penn attempts an ambitious fusion of registers and intents, but mostly only undermines the film’s primary strengths


Godzilla (1954) – Honda’s cheesy mayhem is diverting enough, but it’s the persistent nuclear-age anxiety and moroseness that lingers


Dog (2022) – Tatum/Carolin’s movie is supple enough, but with few narrative or sociological surprises, and even fewer emotional ones


The Confrontation (1969) – with almost Demy-evoking fluidity, Jancso challengingly represents a fraught modern history of corroded idealism


Harry & Son (1984) – Newman’s story of age and anxiety maintains a warm amiability, at the cost of pulling its social and emotional punches


La grande bouffe (1973) – Ferreri’s opera of imploding potency carries a weird, determined majesty, even if of a mostly alienating timbre


Ammonite (2020) – Lee’s drama feels overly dour at times, but grips for its alertness to class complexities & its multi-faceted physicality


Enthusiasm (1930) – Vertov’s escalating submissiveness in the face of industrial fervour seems tragically infused now with pending decline


Just Mercy (2019) – whatever its points of over-familiarity, Cretton’s focused study is frequently enormously and righteously moving


The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) – Lang’s massively enjoyable final film brings classic intrigues & threats into a new technological age


Cry Macho (2021) – Eastwood knowingly undermines the apparent road thriller premise, taking things slow and small and rather sweet


Property is no Longer a Theft (1973) – Petri’s acidicly unbending deconstruction of capitalism grows more discouragingly relevant overall


Chinese Boxes (1984) – Petit’s tersely-expressed, often amusingly withholding drama, built around layers of narrative and moral absence


Falbalas (1945) – Becker deftly evokes the setting in all its hectically layered complexity, even as the narrative becomes a bit overwrought


Possessor (2020) – Cronenberg’s creepy premise makes for rather narrow, but quite thematically fruitful, emotionally pained viewing


Zero Focus (1961) – Nomura’s rather too flatly revelation-heavy investigation is at least quite moving in its melancholy arrival point


Thirst Street (2017) – Silver’s amusing, unpredictable cross-cultural study of personal unraveling makes a satisfying if modest impression


Letter from Paris (1976) – Borowczyk’s noisily deglamorized portrait may be sort of a one-joke movie, but in its way a life-affirming one


After Yang (2022) – Kogonoda’s is among the most suggestively delicate of high-concept futuristic films, sometimes to a wistful fault


Poem of the Sea (1958) – Solntseva’s painterly but probing film constantly elevates and surprises, transcending its ideological constraints


Extremities (1986) – Young’s film of Mastrosimone’s play provides too little serious examination, but is certainly nerve-jangling at times


The Whip and the Body (1963) – Bava’s horror film well sustains its mood of heavy foreboding, supplemented by flashes of relishing sadism


Wendy (2020) – Zeitlin’s expansively imaginative sensibility is highly appealing, even if the film is often as confounding as it is magical


Come Have Coffee with Us (1970) – Lattuada’s musty, predictably under-examined sex comedy never works up much narrative or erotic energy


First Cow (2019) – Reichardt’s small treasure of a film, told with her customary all-round finesse and exquisite attention to detail


The Dybbuk (1937) – one submits willingly (if not always without difficulty) to Waszynski’s exacting stylistic, mythic and tonal severity


The Card Counter (2021) – one of Schrader’s major works, constantly surprising, yet suffused in lonely, quasi-ritualistic inevitability


The Holy Man (1965) – Ray’s minor tale of exploitation and gullibility is rather overdone in some ways and under-developed in others


Who is Bernard Tapie? (2001) – Zenovich places packaged biography within an ambiguously self-revealing (or self-mythologizing?) framework


Swept Away (1974) – Wertmuller’s most prettily streamlined, drainingly single-minded film wears down the viewer as fully as the characters


She Dies Tomorrow (2020) – Seimetz’s fascinatingly supple and allusive creation accommodates dread and wonder, defeat and transcendence


Hermoso ideal (1948) – Galindo’s melodrama creaks plenty, but briskly covers an impressive span of cultural and geographic territory


A Bread Factory, Part Two (2018) – Wang’s second part ramps up the peculiarities, but the cumulative result is nourishingly mind-filling


The Big Gundown (1966) – Sollima’s money-in-the-bank Western, powered by well-conceived stand-offs, twists and contrasting moralities


Elvis (2022) – Luhrmann’s frequently mystifying labors leave one feeling distanced and short-changed at best, actively hostile at worst


Downpour (1972) – Beizai’s vital snapshot of a lost-in-time Iran teems with creative zest, ranging from kookiness to existential despair


Light of Day (1987) – a rather flat Schrader oddity , not that strong on either the aspirational rock life nor the conflicting real one


In Spring (1929) – Kaufman’s all-seeing survey of Ukraine’s seasonal rebirth remains transportingly fresh, gracefully engaged, vital viewing


The Hunt (2020) – Zobel keeps things snappy and adequately inventive, but the vein of would-be satiric commentary is mostly eye-rolling


The Mercenary (1968) – a sweepingly confident Western, propelled by frenetic revolutionary fervour, but lacking the bite of Corbucci’s best


Waves (2019) – Shults’ emotionally ambitious drama has its problematic aspects, but even so is mostly quite shimmeringly compelling


What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) – Dallamano’s conventionally nasty scenario eventually runs out of narrative & psychological momentum


In the Earth (2021) – Wheatley blends science and myth with resourceful panache, generating a surprisingly coherent-feeling experience


Where to? (1957) – Nasser’s anthropologically valuable story of poverty, its authenticity-seeped modesty both endearing and limiting


Eye of the Needle (1981) – Marquand’s all-round expertise and a fascinating Sutherland consistently lift a potentially leaden thriller


Dutch Wife in the Desert (1967) – Yamatoya’s jazzy, oddly pleasing hitman flick busts through narrative, thematic and tonal expectations


Shirley (2020) – Decker’s darkly eccentric quasi-fantasia confirms her huge artistic vibrancy, although the film isn’t ideal in various ways


The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) – Hu again makes kick-ass, if not transcendent, use of colourfully confined narrative and physical space


A Bread Factory, Part One (2018) – Wang’s empathetic scope and odd humor wins one over, despite various stilted or unpersuasive aspects


Blind Venus (1941) – Gance’s undoubtedly sincere but convoluted and dated melodrama, best when busily surrendering to dreamy absurdity


Tribute (1980) – a mostly eye-rolling extravaganza of sentimental excess and overacting, overseen by Clark with no finesse whatsoever


Blue Film Woman (1968) – the stylistic peak of Kan’s chronicle is probably the opening credits; what follows leaves one largely indifferent


X (2022) – West works his enjoyably disreputable horror movie premise to the max, incorporating an unusual meeting of creepiness and longing


The Shadow Within (1970) – a secondary Nomura film, but illustrating his customarily skillful spanning of genres, moods and concerns


Guest of Honour (2019) – perhaps Egoyan’s smoothest and best recent movie, despite much that’s over-elaborate or just impenetrably peculiar


Walpurgis Night (1935) – Edgren’s overstuffed melodrama races (not unrevealingly) through everything from abortion to the Foreign Legion!


The Return of the Soldier (1982) – Bridges’ unremarkable heritage project, elevated by its strong cast and multi-faceted class consciousness


The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) – Pasolini’s deeply socially connective, dialectical witnessing of classic revolutionary myth


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) – the movie is funny, well-conceived and even kinda sweet in parts, but the formula rapidly stretches thin


Companeros (1970) – Corbucci’s revolution-charged Western, even if familiar in many respects, is never dull, plain or under-invested


The Party (2017) – Potter’s overwound contrivance goes down more than easily, but doesn’t hit any great heights, satirical or otherwise


Hotel des Invalides (1952) – Franju’s observance of imperial grandiosity and human toll may belong among cinema’s most staggering 22 minutes


The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021) – Sharpe’s freshly imaginative treatment makes for bright, if hardly very analytical, viewing


Bandini (1963) – Roy’s strong wronged-woman melodrama is empathetic and progressively charged, although not without its rickety aspects


New Year’s Day (1989) – Jaglom’s peculiar, untidy-seeming instincts do succeed in creating a distinct tonal and cinematic space of sorts


Fruit of Paradise (1970) – Chytilova’s aggressively inventive fantasia of self-discovery & resistance, exuberantly rooted in founding myths


1917 (2019) – for the most part, Mendes’ rather absurdly polished, pacey compression alienates & obscures as much as it compels & reveals


Crossfire (1947) – Dmytryk’s intriguingly structured, often potent thriller, unusually rich in memorable characterizations and interactions


This Much I Know to Be True (2022) – Dominik’s outstandingly-crafted performance film, seemingly all but psychically synced to its subjects


La visita (1963) – beneath a cringe-inducing romantic mismatch, Pietrangeli dexterously opens up layers of compromise and self-recognition


Chan is Missing (1982) – Wang’s film remains satisfyingly fresh and amusing, observationally and in its cultural and philosophical musings


The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) – Argento’s precariously stylish killer mystery, capped by some spectacularly twisted psychology


Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (2017) – Fiennes’ portrait is surprisingly candid at times, while preserving Jones’ uncrackable otherness


Flunky, Work Hard! (1931) – Naruse’s brief early study of economic insecurity, deftly anchoring its comedy within a broader desperation


Kajillionaire (2020) – by far July’s most appealing movie to date, its imaginative whimsy yielding a surprising kind of mini-perfection


A bout de souffle (1960) – one might respond forever to Godard’s inexhaustible film, whether in words or celluloid or gestures or dreams


The House of the Devil (2009) – West pulls off some very well-done suspense and switches of tone, but one ultimately just wishes for more


Night Train Murders (1975) – Lado’s dispiriting Virgin Spring appropriation is half-hearted even in its sleaziness, let alone anything else


Rocks (2019) – Gavron’s method yields some moments of uncommonly energetic authenticity, rather overshadowing the notional narrative


Devdas (1955) – Roy’s epic of caste-enforced separation and lifelong suffering, much of its impact lying in unsparing accumulation


The Lost Daughter (2021) – Gyllenhaal’s strong if slightly overly-structured debut, distinguished by its unusual complexity of character


The Virgin Spring (1960) – Bergman’s work of fearsome contrasts and conflicts, its unsettling mastery bordering on ruthless exploitation


Night Falls on Manhattan (1997) – a second-tier Lumet at best, its moral shadings undermined by overly compressed and linear plotting


Papa les petits bateaux (1971) – Kaplan’s stylistically and tonally exaggerated woman-takes-charge comedy rather wears out its welcome


The Great Buster (2018) – Bogdanovich’s rightly affectionate Keaton tribute is expertly and informatively curated and appealingly organized


The Victory of Women (1946) – not among Mizoguchi’s most emotionally galvanizing works, but utterly instructive even at its most didactic


The Batman (2022) – Reeves’ joyless take on the material is strongly done on its own preoccupied terms, if hardly a must-see at this point


Two Weeks in September (1967) – Bourguignon’s Bardot-adoring romantic travelogue is nicely pitched, but ultimately not very consequential


Talk Radio (1988) – the battering nihilism of Stone’s empty film distinctly misconstrues the medium’s real strategic insidiousness


Uptown Saturday Night (1974) – it’s fun to see Poitier in a looser vein, exercising a convivial, if forgivably haphazard directorial hand


Psychomagic, a Healing Art (2019) – Jodorowksy’s genially-presented case studies are often oddly touching, if at best only semi-persuasive


Dodsworth (1936) – one of Wyler’s more lasting films, for its steady contrasting of attitudes, cultures, and capacities for personal growth


Sun Children (2020) – Majidi’s overdone street-kid yarn packs in all manner of colour & social interest, but increasingly loses its bearings


if….(1968) – Anderson’s extraordinary survey of British inadequacy and structural porousness remains as ruthlessly unprecedented as ever


Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005) – Park’s drama eventually attains a near-grandeur equal to its sometimes rather distancing craft


Breezy (1973) – Eastwood shapes the somewhat risky material into a sensitively flavorful time capsule, run through with middle-aged anxiety


Celeste (1980) – Adlon’s study of devotion and interdependence constitutes a narrow but finely delineated dramatic and cinematic space


Crime of Passion (1956) – Oswald’s drama doesn’t entirely come together, but exercises some pull through its idiosyncratic tonal choices


Titane (2021) – the startlingly expressive, vulnerable physicality of Ducournau’s work makes much of cinema seem, well, staid by comparison


David and Lisa (1962) – Perry’s solicitous observation of fragile coping mechanisms surmounts the film’s various under-developed aspects


Beloved Sisters (2014) – Graf’s impeccably sustained, multi-faceted historical extrapolation, rich in compelling personal and social detail


The Nickel Ride (1974) – Mulligan emphasizes anxious character study over crime drama, with satisfyingly flavorful, albeit modest, results


Afternoon (2007) – Schanelec’s family portrait constructs a somehow (if ambiguously) perfect lattice from lassitude and ephemerality


Saboteur (1942) – one of Hitchcock’s more cursory works overall, but well-stocked with engaging peculiarities and striking characterizations


The Metamorphosis of Birds (2020) – Vasconcelos’ family memoir sustains a wondrously searching sense of connectivity and receptivity


Eye of the Devil (1966) – ritualistic horror claptrap, made all the more unpalatable by Thompson’s humorlessly bombastic direction


Collective (2019) – Nanau’s immensely, often chillingly implication-heavy uncovering of modern-faced endemic corruption and inadequacy


A Little Night Music (1977) – Prince’s disappointing rendering of Sondheim’s sublime musical, a glumly static, jarringly miscast affair


Tigrero: a Film that Was Never Made (1994) – Kaurismaki’s laconically pleasing, absence-haunted meeting of worlds, cultures and maestros


It Happened One Night (1934) – Capra’s classic works a treat of course, while lacking the acuity and finesse of the genre’s very best


RRR (2022) – you think of Jeanne Dielman, and then Rajamouli’s boisterously digitized, sadism-laden myth-making would be, like, the opposite


The Family Way (1966) – the Boultings’ comedy now plays like a catalogue of socially-imposed dysfunction, suppression and lurking anger


The Wild Pear Tree (2018) – Ceylan’s exacting cross-generational negotiation of the spiritual and material might just be his greatest work


Man on a Swing (1974) – Perry’s police drama is often tonally interesting, but the central histrionics pan out rather underwhelmingly


The Woman Next Door (1981) – a relatively minor Truffaut work overall, and yet enrichened at every turn by his empathetic resourcefulness


Niagara (1953) – Hathaway turns in some memorably imposing images of Monroe and the falls, but much of the rest is highly unremarkable


Fever Dream (2021) – Llosa has spellbinding capacities, but the material here is ultimately far less permeating than her Milk of Sorrow


Life at the Top (1965) – Kotcheff solidly extends the original’s tone & themes, although with a recurring sense of going through the motions


Honeyland (2019) – the film’s huge effectiveness as implication-heavy narrative somewhat works against that as instructive realism


Sparkle (1976) – O’Steen’s showbiz saga is overstuffed and/or sketchy at times, but has lots of sweetness and crystalline musicality


The Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion (1992) – with brash ruthlessness, Itami (rather chillingly ill-fatedly) nails the parasitical shitheads


The Big Steal (1949) – Siegel’s cracking early work plays and shifts and morally realigns while driving surely and sleekly ahead 


Undine (2020) – Petzold invests himself in a somewhat lame narrative, albeit skillfully positioned both emotionally and historically


Beat Girl (1960) – Greville’s wide-eyed mash-up of milieus and cultures teems with odd sociological interest, knowingly and otherwise


Dead Pigs (2018) – Yan’s likeable if familiar satire of contemporary China’s excesses and contrasts is ultimately a bit too reconciliatory


Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) – Davis’ irresistible, attitude-seeped drama provides an energetic mini-microcosm of urban Black culture


Inspecteur Lavardin (1986) – Chabrol makes it difficult to know where sly manipulation meets indifference, but it’s something to contemplate


The Mummy (1932) – Freund’s famous piece of creepy mythology has worn a bit thin by now, despite ample visual and mythological paddings


Argentina, 1985 (2022) – the strengths and limitations of Mitre’s treatment manifest largely as expected, but it’s a solid work even so


The Pink Panther (1963) – a potentially dull romp, elevated as much by some gorgeous Edwards scene-making as by the embryonic Clouseau


A Hidden Life (2019) – an (ever-timely) narrative of principled resistance, well-served by Malick’s perpetually questioning sensuousness


Pressure (1976) – Ove’s landmark film, as authentically revealing in its messy over-ambition as in its dramatization of relentless prejudice


Eros (2004) – Wong’s segment is the captivating highpoint; Antonioni’s is cherishable if overstated; Soderbergh’s is a bit of a throwaway


Black Widow (1954) – Johnson’s winding mystery is an adequate time-filler, while lacking in much vigor, bite or culminating surprise


What Do We See…? (2021) – Koberidze’s meditative movie gently tunes into infinite possibilities, while marked by a certain central avoidance


Hotel (1967) – it’s no Airport (!), but Quine keeps the pieces (albeit of varying interest & broader relevance) glossily & smoothly purring


La ultima pelicula (2013) – Martin/Peranson’s “last movie” is as beautifully, critically, wittily mind-bending as that appellation deserves


Nationtime – Gary (1972) – Greaves’ convention record is a mind-changingly vital, if imperfect record of emerging will and consciousness


The Professional (1981) – Lautner’s politically skeptical, proficient but not too noteworthy Belmondo-outsavvies-them-all action vehicle


Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) – Sturges’ rip-roaring classic keeps things pumping in inspired, if reinforcingly sentimental fashion


Athena (2022) – Gavras’ application of astounding technical virtuosity to alienatingly flawed content represents a modern pinnacle of sorts


The Servant (1963) – a dominatingly cerebral Losey/Pinter achievement, but one that now feels sociologically and cinematically distant


Corpus Christ (2019) – Komasa’s modern-day religious parable fuses the beatific and the feral with invigorating style and self-belief


Space is the Place (1974) – Coney’s wow-quality Sun Ra fantasia has one well-shod foot in the then-present, the other in the trippy beyond


Portrait d’une jeune fille…(1994) – Akerman’s lovely yet grave study of character in formation, a dance of indelibility and transience


The Hurricane (1937) – some expressive prison suffering aside, not too Fordian a Ford film, but with amply muscular conflict & destruction


My Little Sister (2020) – even at its most necessarily harrowing, Chuat and Reymond’s film maintains its cultural and behavioral freshness


Luv (1967) – Donner’s awful, brain-hurting film allows only the vaguest glimpses of how bitingly well the material may have worked on stage


The Lure (2015) – Smoczynska’s blissfully kooky but not unserious mermaid-themed quasi-musical, propelled by female desire and sexuality


Rage (1972) – Scott’s drama is most tonally and visually striking in its early stages, with interest waning as the revenge mechanics gear up


White Wedding (1989) – Brisseau’s tale of shocking attraction walks a fine line between compelling provocation & unconvincing arbitrariness


7 Men from Now (1956) – Boetticher frames a tightly anguished story of honor & venality against overwhelming, not-yet-conquered landscapes


CODA (2021) – Heder deploys many of the standard weaknesses of sentimentally formulaic moviemaking, but it adequately connects regardless


Paris vu par…(1965) – one of the best of the 60’s anthology films, with no real weak links; Rouch’s segment is perhaps the most penetrating


Sorry We Missed You (2019) – Loach’s pace and compression limit the sense of realism, but the thesis is as wrenchingly galvanizing as ever


Raining in the Mountain (1979) – Hu’s epic doesn’t rival A Touch of Zen, but provides stirringly mysticism-tinged colour and confrontation


Terminal USA (1993) – as per the title, Moritsugu’s uproariously cliché-splattering hour-long evisceration doesn’t leave much in place


Ghost of Yotsuya, Part Two (1949) – Kinoshita’s rushed, villainy-heavy conclusion doesn’t deliver on the first part’s intensifying promise


The Glorias (2020) – Taymor’s shake-up of the biographic form is engagingly enjoyable,

despite (or in part because of) its flaws and oddities


Katzelmacher (1969) – Fassbinder’s quasi-deadpan-comedy of cheerless lives builds to a strange kind of minimalist, marooned grandeur


The Nightingale (2018) – Kent marshals the hyper-dramatic elements with unnervingly dark and forceful, socially eviscerating sense of purpose


The Automobile (1971) – Giannetti’s lightly poignant film feels too slight both as character study (notwithstanding Magnani) and moral tale


Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983) – a loose, rather creatively under-nourished Jaglom romance, as the scope of his work starts to narrow


The Count of the Old Town (1935) – Adolphson’s comic slice of Stockholm life doesn’t offer much beyond jovial eccentricity and local colour


Deep Water (2022) – Lyne maintains a handsomely seductive, implication-heavy mood, but much about the film seems oddly under-developed


La boulangere de Monceau (1963) – Rohmer’s short film pulsates with the charmed sense of an astounding artist commencing his life’s work


Swallow (2019) – Mirabella-Davis’s film is effective, if artificial-feeling, for much of its length, although not ultimately very persuasive


Autostop rosso sangue (1977) – Campanile’s unabashedly venal road movie makes for sleazily compulsive, if spiritually draining viewing


Boogie Woogie (2009) – Ward’s plushly-cast art-world satire has its moments, but for the most part plays out too obviously and monotonously


Late Chrysanthemums (1954) – Naruse’s very fine study of contrasting post-war fates and economic stability, studded with unusual detail


Being the Ricardos (2021) – Sorkin’s relentlessly overstuffed (and centrally miscast) movie only sporadically hits a productive stride


The Basilisks (1963) – Wertmuller’s study of small-town dynamics is a bit over-insistent, but well-attuned to social and existential stasis


Flames (2017) – Throwell and Decker’s provocatively ambiguous self-exposure is a spikily and surprisingly elevating, creation-saturated trip


Prefab Story (1979) – Chytilova’s immersion into eye-hurting, identity-sapping would-be modernity, navigated with fantastic, swerving energy


Fearless (1993) – Weir’s film is visually and behaviorally riveting, even if ultimately rather too heavy on free-floating mysticism


Ghost of Yotsuya, Part One (1949) – Kinoshita’s drama is suffused in escalating pressure and anguish, building to a well-judged cliffhanger


The King of Staten Island (2020) – no doubt fated to stand as the emblematic Pete Davidson movie, but it’s adroitly unexceptional otherwise


La voglia matta (1962) – Salce’s lively, quite well-sustained, ultimately desolation-tinged comedy of escalating middle-aged humiliation


Frankie (2019) – Sachs’ knowingly incomplete-feeling yet often exquisite, precisely inhabited tour through internal and external landscapes


Charles and Lucie (1979) – Kaplan’s broad comedy of mishap and resulting renewal is appealingly unvarnished, but hardly very major stuff


Annie (1982) – a pretty consistently enjoyable, nicely cast adaptation, with Huston at the very least avoiding the most likely pitfalls


Las Hurdes (1933) – Bunuel’s study of utter dispossession establishes the utter conceptual clarity and seriousness of his wondrous cinema


Kimi (2022) – Soderbergh applies his formidable technical know-how to an effectively-conceived, very much of-the-moment tech thriller


Black Orpheus (1959) – Camus’ film endures less as myth or sociology than as a seldom-equaled explosion of sustained colour, rhythm & motion


The Assignment (2016) – under the absurd circumstances, Hill and the cast execute the mission with admirable straight-faced intensity


Il merlo maschio (1970) – Campanile’s sex comedy is a shameless morass of insecurity and objectification, but fairly inventive about it


Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) – Lin’s slick drama mildly subverts cultural stereotypes, while also jettisoning much flavor and plausibility


Take Aim at the Police Van (1960) –  Suzuki delivers complications worthy of that title in lean, no-nonsense, sleaze-seasoned style


Don’t Look Up (2021) – McKay’s satire is impressively conceived & controlled, although an ensuing sense of emptiness is all but inevitable


The Mill on the Po (1949) – Lattuada’s (sometimes overly) forceful contrasting of personal and collective drama yields some major highpoints


Ford vs. Ferrari (2019) – as technically impressive a vehicle as expected, aside from lacking any worthwhile spiritual or thematic engine


End of the Game (1975) – Schell’s existentially-charged crime drama doesn’t fully come off, but contains sufficient diverting oddities


Dangerous Game (1993) – for all the off-putting excess, Ferrara taps a grippingly intense, confessional sense of cinematic insatiability


Le bonheur (1965) – one of Varda’s most disturbingly beautiful works, contrasting socially-rooted pleasures with radical challenges to them


Red, White and Blue (2020) – McQueen’s involving study is a bit more conventional and less complexly textured than the best of Small Axe


Stromboli (1950) – Rossellini’s meeting of truths & artifices, its predominant visual barrenness yielding extraordinary underlying fullness


Kate Plays Christine (2016) – Greene’s investigation consistently intrigues, even as it establishes all too well its own ultimate inadequacy


Illustrious Corpses (1976) – if not Rosi’s finest film, perhaps his most emblematic; meticulously controlled and broadly indicting


Old Enough (1984) – Silver’s study of a class-crossing youthful friendship has enough truth and freshness to surmount its bumpy elements


Osaka Elegy (1936) – Mizoguchi digs into societal gender-based injustice with a breathtaking, ultimately near-defiant lack of sentimentality


tick, tick…BOOM! (2021) – Miranda provides sufficient performative highpoints to get through the overdone and/or repetitive passages


Diamonds of the Night (1964) – Nemec’s tight concept yields a terrifyingly virtuosic tapestry of experience, memory, and imagining


Dark Waters (2019) – Haynes’ uncharacteristic but very fine and humane, politically and morally relevant, sometimes Pakula-evoking drama


The Judge and the Assassin (1976) – Tavernier’s subtle yet often boldly surprising navigation through personal and collective morality


Teknolust (2002) – Leeson’s oddly overlooked high-concept film is a tonal and visual delight, light-footedly stimulating at every turn


L’ecole des facteurs (1947) – the kick-off to Tati’s indelible body of work, his behavioral mastery and cinematic precision already intact


The Sky is Everywhere (2022) – the suboptimal material pushes Decker toward multiple excesses, not that she doesn’t do it with major flair


Aparajito (1956) – Ray’s second film remains a key reference point, holding large and small things in impeccable, attentive equilibrium


Ray & Liz (2018) – Billingham’s laugh-or-you’ll-cry riveting, unsentimentally close-up observation of desperate parental inadequacy


The Murri Affair (1974) – Bolognini’s broadly satisfying historical drama, spiced by social tensions and ambiguously decadent implication


Working Girls (1986) – Borden’s revelatory workplace study, dense in character and incident, every moment fully inhabited and informed


Entranced Earth (1967) – Rocha’s fiery, restless vision encompasses pride & self-loathing, tapping a history of failed, out-matched idealism


Pig (2021) – Sarnoski works some amusing and adroit variations on vigilante-type structures, although it’s overdone in multiple respects


La cigarette (1919) – Dulac’s tender yet ominous story of melancholy misunderstanding, with notable use of contrasting perspectives


White Riot (2019) – Shah’s Rock Against Racism movie pleasingly tracks a progressive piece of drop-in-the-ever-troubled-ocean history


Lucky Luciano (1973) – Rosi’s artfully constructed, often unexpectedly indirect study, heavy in disillusioned political implication 


Babymother (1998) – Henriques’ slice of Black British life has an engaging general vibe & energy, but too often feels overstuffed & sketchy


Passing Fancy (1933) – Ozu’s cherishable silent film applies his customary visual delicacy to a story of initially deceptive simplicity


Pieces of a Woman (2020) – Mundruczo finds some unusually bracing perspectives on a wrenching physical and psychological experience


Doctor Glas (1968) – Zetterling’s fascinatingly unconventional, visually aggressive contrasting of a poised outer and a turbulent inner life


Dawson City, Frozen Time (2016) – Morrison’s merging of actual and dream histories utterly absorbs, if more as reverie than film scholarship


Les novices (1970) – a thin, under-invested Bardot comedy, with little sign of Chabrol’s reported shadow-directing, but the dog is great


Deal of the Century (1983) – Friedkin’s uncertain quasi-satire hardly lives up to its title, although in some respects it ages fairly well


I vitelloni (1953) – Fellini’s pessimistic study of hindered masculinity ages more gracefully than many of his grander subsequent works


The Power of the Dog (2021) – Campion’s seasoned powers are on full display, even if the film is a little less deft than her finest work


Port of Call (1948) – Bergman’s socially-critical drama, suffused in working-class physicality, typifies his sturdy, if narrower, early work


Seberg (2019) – Andrews’ well-intended but disappointing study is a lot of missed opportunities, including an atypically dull Stewart


Despair (1978) – Fassbinder dazzlingly orchestrates the enigma, but it’s one of his most conventionally tricky, somewhat sealed-off films


Ready to Wear (1994) – hardly Altman’s most major film, but it’s enormous fun, with reality and artifice persuasively inter-mingled


The Hellbenders (1967) – Corbucci’s vivid, incident-packed Western is no masterpiece, but enjoyably gleams with crazed, committed venality


One Night in Miami (2020) – King’s too-smooth drama has no shortage of isolated strengths, but never transcends its inherent limitations


Pillars of Society (1935) – Sirk’s early drama has its peculiarities, but bites with relish into small-town stuffiness and hypocrisy


The Ghost of Peter Sellers (2018) – Medak’s memoir provides irresistible cinema-geek pleasures, along with some seasoned poignancy


Dodes’ka-den (1970) – Kurosawa’s chronicle contrasts the naturalistic and the expressionist, its impact ranging from diffident to absorbing


Sharky’s Machine (1981) – Reynolds’ rather uncertainly-handled action drama manages an occasional flash of individuality, not too much more


La verité (1960) – an engrossing Bardot-centered courtroom drama, but impacting more straightforwardly than Clouzot presumably intended


In the Heights (2021) – Chu’s over-calculating musical, vibrantly uplifting in theory, displays a disappointingly bland form of proficiency


Nice and Friendly (1922) – a woodenly-executed, low-effort/low-reward Chaplin short, even allowing for the limited underlying ambition


The Traitor (2019) – one of veteran Bellocchio’s most classically enthralling works, darkly interrogating relative honour and morality


The Mutations (1974) – Cardiff’s bizarre spectacle tempers its rampant absurdity with heavy elements of misplaced-seeming authenticity


The Power of Kangwon Province (1998) – Hong’s fine early work, often playfully structured, but colored by dissatisfaction and misconnection


El Dorado (1967) – a deep abiding pleasure for Hawksian connoisseurs, brimming with perfectly pitched exchanges, shadings and fallibilities


Genus Pan (2020) – not Diaz’s strongest work, and yet an audacious expression of the chaos and carnage flowing from human desperation


That Uncertain Feeling (1941) – a happily peculiar, psychosexually infiltrated application of the high-functioning Lubitsch “touch”


Rodin (2017) – Doillon’s study withholds much, all the better to evoke the difficult contours of creativity, and attendant personal detritus


Jaws (1975) – Spielberg’s first huge hit barely seems dated, its impeccable technique supported by an alert sense of character and place


The Cool Lakes of Death (1982) – Van Brakel’s committed chronicle of repression and self-discovery largely achieves its epic ambitions


Modesty Blaise (1966) – beneath its rather heavy concept of stylishness, Losey’s movie primarily talks to and (one hopes) entertains itself


Earwig (2021) – Hadzihailovic’s highly singular vision, penetratingly present & utterly displaced, voyages toward the strangest of closures


Damn Yankees (1958) – Donen/Abbott’s irresistible musical has some distinctive texture, and fabulous (if barely integrated) Fosse routines


And then we Danced (2019) – Akin’s film is narratively fairly predictable, but has plenty of sociological colour and observational flair


Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) – Mutrux’s lassitude-heavy study of marginal lives is a peculiar, only fitfully effective category hybrid


Of Freaks and Men (1998) – Balabanov is a wondrously imaginative & controlled director, but the film often makes for near-loathsome viewing


Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) – beneath its light conventionality, Hitchcock’s atypical comedy casts a fascinated eye on twisted marital dynamics


The Human Voice (2020) – Almodovar’s high-panache, mega-designed short film expertly expands its constrained physical and thematic space


The Music Man (1962) – it’s pleasing to revisit Willson’s material once in a while, even in DaCosta’s deficiency-strewn filming of it


Penance (2012) – Kurosawa’s long, often rather peculiar, but thoroughly satisfying tale, a series of studies in relative power and capacity


A Doll’s House (1973) – Losey’s approach to Ibsen’s play hardly lacks compensations, but is far from ideal, flubbing some key moments


Letters Home (1986) – Akerman’s lovely film, based on Sylvia Plath’s correspondence, its theatricality facilitating as much as it constrains


Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) – a classic anguished noir set-up, evidencing throughout Preminger’s masterly control of tone, mood and pace


Introduction (2021) – the objective “smallness” of Hong’s film somehow allows almost limitless-feeling structural & observational capacity


Hands Across the Table (1935) – Leisen’s delicate comedy has some lovely scenes (and Lombard!), although gets a little plainer as it goes on


Vitalina Varela (2019) – Costa’s masterwork is a stunning communion of physical & spiritual states, of limitless light & intimate darkness


The Parallax View (1974) – among Pakula’s most lasting films, brilliantly placing genre heroics in outmatched, implication-heavy perspective


Katalin Varga (2009) – more sparely linear than Strickland’s later work, but marked by elements of comparably near-chilling authority


Guess who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) – Kramer’s trumped-up concoction is hardly lasting cinema, but at least it’s not like watching nothing


Another Round (2020) – Vinterberg ensures the premise goes down easily, although rather constrained both as social and psychological study


How Green was My Valley? (1941) – Ford’s gorgeous Welsh family drama is moving and meaningful, for all its idealizations and simplifications


L’homme fidele (2018) – Garrel’s slight but elegant, amusingly ambiguous exercise in emotional, sexual and psychological architecture

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) – a shallow, unexciting Bond effort, valueless except as a shrine to the dated and objectionable


Un jeu brutal (1983) – Brisseau is weirdly successful at making his film’s grotesque contrivances feel almost profound and elevating


Little Man, What Now? (1934) – Borzage’s soulful but socially-critical, perfectly pitched and acted story of young love’s financial struggle


A Hero (2021) – Farhadi’s finely-tuned work does evoke the sense of a recurring template, but one of seemingly inexhaustible adaptability 


What’s New Pussycat? (1965) – Donner’s antic comedy, seldom actually funny, is at least conceptually interesting, in a hollowing kind of way


Coincoin and the Extra-Humans (2019) – Dumont’s exercise in all-out apocalypse-heralding weirding is an improbably worthy Quinquin follow-up


The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970) – Billington’s often very funny wide-angle satire, forged in uneasily far-seeing datedness


Bye Bye Africa (1999) – Haroun’s engrossing (if perhaps over-calculated) film explores (and enacts) cinema as facilitator and destroyer


Three Cases of Murder (1955) – a seemingly mismatched and yet, in its variety and intermittent eccentricity, unexpectedly satisfying trilogy


Notturno (2020) – Rosi’s almost heartbreaking act of witnessing excavates humanity and strange beauty from within unimaginable chaos


Unfaithfully Yours (1948) – Sturges’ expertly conceived and structured comedy, perhaps as often disconcerting or chilling as it is funny


Blood of my Blood (2015) – Bellocchio’s sort-of nutty and yet rather masterfully executed angle on abiding governing perversion & corruption


The Homecoming (1973) – Hall’s valuable filming of Pinter’s sensational play, imposingly attuned to all its biting multi-faceted turbulence


Come and See (1985) – Klimov’s chilling, stand-alone vision, from the comprehension-dissolving boundary of wartime extremity & grotesqueness


The Cardinal (1963) – Preminger’s study of personal and institutional Catholicism is strong and wide-ranging (while hardly exhaustive)


The Hand of God (2021) – Sorrentino’s winning memory film is full of impressive showmanship, while seldom connecting very meaningfully


Born Yesterday (1950) – Cukor’s adaptation, constrained and stagy and dated in any number of ways, happily retains its central charm


Les miserables (2019) – Ly’s all-seeing, draining sociological survey is almost too cinematically exciting and sleek for its own deeper good


Coma (1978) – Crichton’s paranoid thriller is enjoyably well-conceived, and buoyed by its famously compromised “feminist” sensibility


The Lover (1992) – for all its care and handsomeness, Annaud’s adaptation too often feels emotionally and intellectually undercharged


The Broken Butterfly (1919) – Tourneur’s rediscovered silent melodrama has some lovely, pastoral elements, amid much mega-dated contrivance


Eureka (2000) – Aoyama’s pilgrimage-like drama contains much of impressive allure, even if it doesn’t entirely justify its epic length


The Boston Strangler (1968) – Fleischer impressively varies the approach, pace & tone, without generating commensurate impact or revelation


The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) – a slight, fanciful premise, but one explored by Takahata with an exquisitely sustained delicacy


Old Boyfriends (1979) – Tewksbury’s semi-comedic identity puzzle has, at the least, an intriguing structure and some striking tonal shifts


The Velvet Underground (2021) – Haynes dazzlingly establishes the group’s miraculously transporting singularity; any caveats are minor


The White Sheik (1952) – Fellini’s early, endearingly fantasy-propelled comedy, elevated by outbursts of broader energy and ambition


Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) – reliably easy-pleasure viewing, alertly charting the varied terrain of teenage self-mythologizing


The Night of Counting the Tears (1969) – Salam’s grandly singular film stands almost as unyieldingly outside time as its subject matter


The Assistant (2019) – Green examines the self-perpetuating, belittling wasteland of office culture with rare, smartly excruciating focus


Uski Roti (1970) – Kaul’s time-fragmenting, quietly existentially-charged study of distantly joined lives, spent fruitlessly waiting


The Trip to Greece (2020) – Winterbottom again adjusts the ridiculously satisfying formula just about as much as needed, so I’m all good!


Costa Azzurra (1959) – Sala’s sun-baked French Riviera comedy examines its own dated attitudes just enough to attain marginal respectability


Strange Culture (2007) – Leeson’s flexible investigative form skillfully illuminates and interrogates a startling real-life incident


Pirosmani (1969) – Shengelaia’s visually ravishing, studiously unconventional study of the Georgian artist is a small, immersive revelation


Chained for Life (2018) – Schimberg’s fascinating spanning of ideas & registers is never less than respect-inducing, often rather dazzling


The Long Farewell (1971) – Muratova’s wonderfully layered and attentive family portrait pulsates with intimations of ambition and constraint


Passing (2021) – Hall’s film has its debatable aspects, but there’s not a moment that doesn’t hold one’s aesthetic and thematic attention


On purge bebe (1931) – Renoir’s efficient, often highly theatrical laxative-driven farce plays a bit puzzlingly now, but not unenjoyably


Prizzi’s Honor (1985) – Huston’s late film at times seems cunningly and darkly wry, at others merely incomprehensibly and impenetrably blank


Berenice (1954) – Rohmer’s unadorned early short film is probably his most overtly horror-like, even vampiric study of attraction


Bombshell (2019) – Roach’s underwhelmingly efficient movie dangles a plethora of synthetic amusements, to overly bland and toothless ends


Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) – Fassbinder’s observance of movie-set disorder & torpor as exotically desolate, laughlessly comic wonderment


City Hall (2020) – Wiseman’s epic portrait of the city as aspiration and reality is grandly (if sometimes a bit hagiographically) satisfying


Il moralista (1959) – Bianchi’s comedy takes a few titillatingly satiric punches at censorious hypocrisy,  but is mostly just messy


…Two Girls in Love (1995) – Maggenti’s progressive romance isn’t particularly sophisticated overall, but certainly maintains a winning charm


The Artful Penetration of Barbara (1969) – Brass’s never-a-dull-moment London grab-bag throbs with sexed-up curiosity and engagement


Lovesong (2016) – Kim’s astutely-observed study of female friendship and its parameters is a pleasure, although restrained to a fault


Love in the Rain (1975) – Jeong’s romantic comedy draws only modest variations on a familiar premise, muting the class-driven implications


The Voyeurs (2021) – Mohan exploits some time-honoured cinematic mechanisms fairly effectively, but the impact rapidly diminishes


La vie du Christ (1906) – Guy’s simple but bustling history embodies the uncynical wonder of very early film, especially in its final scene


Trouble in Mind (1985) – for all its sometimes inspired oddities, Rudolph’s strangified modern noir leaves a rather flat overall impression


High and Low (1963) – one of Kurosawa’s finest films repositions a wrenching personal drama as a window on societal inequality & instability


Richard Jewell (2019) – Eastwood allows in too much cheap stuff and clutter, but the central study of overwhelmed decency is finely observed


Sunyeo (1979) – Kim’s tale of injury, striving and temptation isn’t perhaps his most piercing work, but engages spikily with conventions


His House (2020) – Weekes flirts with run-of-the-mill horror, transcended through compellingly unique articulations of displaced otherness


Music in Darkness (1948) – Bergman’s study of life without sight slowly transcends apparent predictability, in small ways and in larger ones


Chocolate Babies (1996) – Winter’s raucous slice of queer community is an exuberantly serious assault on conformity and complacency


Home from the Hill (1960) – Minnelli brings the narrative’s sensational primal melodrama to rivetingly visualized, deeply felt fruition


Amnesia (2015) – it’s good to see Schroeder still at it, but this meeting of disparate elements never fully coalesces or penetrates


I Walk the Line (1970) – Frankenheimer’s southern potboiler is under-developed in most respects, although hardly dull (if only for the cast)


Ste. Anne (2021) – Vermette’s film pulsates with openness to a land, a culture, to the inexhaustible seductiveness of cinematic exploration


The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1934) – Summers’ shakily get-the-job-done drama remains of modest interest for its time capsule elements


Un dimanche a la campagne (1984) – Tavernier’s skillfully recessive film is finely done, if relatively overrated among his very varied works


Freud (1962) – Huston’s impressively conceived if over-schematic project carries at times the feel of a preoccupied private tutorial


The Whistlers (2019) – Porumboiu delivers plausibly generic crime thriller pleasures, while also bending them with playfully astute rigour


From Here to Eternity (1953) – Zinnemann’s drama, potentially a compromised sprawl, displays an improbable array of individual strengths


Swimming out Till the Sea turns Blue (2020) – the great Jia places modern Chinese literature in warmly-evoked historical & cultural context


FTA (1972) – however rough-edged, Parker’s record of Fonda/Sutherland’s idealistic roadshow still hits diversely meaningful targets


On connait le chanson (1997) – Resnais provides endless formal pleasure, while remaining true to thwarted, weighed-down human experience


Kitty (1945) – not Leisen’s most substantial work, but with some sublime moments within the accomplished, often amusing superficiality


Mekong Hotel (2012) – Apichatpong’s brief, entirely beguiling hybrid of the startling and soothing, the placid now and the loaded then


Film (1965) – Beckett/Schneider’s short work hardly satisfies; what’s most debatable perhaps is the exact fashion in which it alienates


Annette (2021) – Carax’s intense, self-extrapolating opus is awe-inspiring at its best, easily surmounting various less persuasive aspects


Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) – Arkush’s happily Ramone-heavy (yeh!) extravaganza, with empowerment mostly winning out over ogling


Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) – Bong pretty much hits the ground running, with an amusingly shifting, lightly ethically-seeded narrative


Tevya (1939) – Schwartz’s filming of the Fiddler source material holds up well, risks of over-flavoring held in check by defiant stoicism


Bacurau (2019) – Mendonca Filho and Dornelles challengingly reposition nasty genre material in mostly compelling, culturally resonant ways


Ride Lonesome (1959) – another impeccable Boetticher/Scott contrast of condensed (yet richly-felt) tension and limitlessly open backdrops


I Was at Home, But…(2020) – Schanelec’s film holds sharply observed human truths in equilibrium with scintillating cinematic mysteries


A Bigger Splash (1973) – Hazan’s unprecedented, alluring David Hockney-centered reverie occupies all kinds of mysterious intersections


Success is the Best Revenge (1984) – Skolimowski’s deeply personal, lumpy yet possibly quasi-magnificent expression of exile and engagement


A Walk with Love and Death (1969) – Huston’s chronicle of purity in the midst of national nightmare sustains a fragile, doomed conviction


Manakamana (2013) – Spray/Velez’s film exemplifies structured denial as a route into somewhat rarified cinematic and sociological pleasures


The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1943) – Sturges’ pacey ingenuity coexists with too much repetition and indifference to real character


Azor (2021) – Fontana’s intelligently restrained, class-sensitive craftmanship dissects a society’s calculated moral and structural erosion


Farewell, my Lovely (1975) – Richards’ retro project is solid enough, but is tonally too unvarying, never feeling particularly vital


Irma Vep (1996) – Assayas’ captivatingly singular film about a film spans quasi-documentary, pointed satire, and wondrous abstraction


Sylvia Scarlett (1935) – Cukor’s remarkable comedy is as “queer” in its tone & structure as in the title character’s unfussy gender-fluidity


Agnes par Varda (2019) – only Varda could make a 90-year-old’s wander through the past feel like such a brightly forward-looking affirmation


The Alphabet Murders (1965) – Tashlin’s unconventional approach to Agatha Christie is more of a shaky peculiarity than anything else


Preparations to be Together… (2020) – Horvat places a classic modern-day enigma within acutely-observed social and personal realities


Three Women (1924) – Lubitsch’s melodrama provides ample evidence of the fabled “touch,” albeit applied here to often strained material


Spirited Away (2001) – for me anyway, this is Miyazaki’s most fully-inhabited, humorously singular, completely enthralling feast of a movie


Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) – Hancock’s drama is intriguingly evasive, navigating between sweetness and multi-faceted threat


A Woman’s Revenge (2012) – as its fierce central concept becomes clear, Gomes’ ethically considered theatricality grows greatly in power


It Should Happen to You (1954) – Cukor’s fame-for-fame’s-sake comedy has plenty of bright spots, although the satirical bite is restrained


Prime Time (2021) – Piatek’s drama isn’t that interesting as a narrative, but more so for its gradually-revealed vein of societal pessimism


Morituri (1965) – aided by the mercurial Brando, Wicki’s drama intermittently makes the prevailing murkiness into a moral and visual virtue


Clemency (2019) – Chukwu disinters the ritualistic machinery of death and its accumulating existential toll with draining brilliance


The Bandit (1946) – the initial atmospheric starkness and social grounding of Lattuada’s drama rather extravagantly dissipates as it goes on


Escape to Victory (1981) – Huston’s strange project, wildly fanciful and revisionist, but played mostly straight, to the point of dourness


The Nude Princess (1976) – Canavari affects a degree of political consciousness, but the movie is defined primarily by lewd exhibitionism


The Wedding Guest (2018) – Winterbottom’s injection of noirish plotting & terseness into an India/Pakistan travelogue comes off pretty well


El fantasma del convento (1934) – de Fuentes’ mysterious tale is atmospherically creepy, but narratively and thematically rather limited


Lovers Rock (2020) – McQueen’s elevating immersion into the joy of gathering, laced with the threats and irritants against which it rises


The Guerilla Fighter (1968) – Sen’s frustration-ridden political drama is a fascinating reference point, in its omissions & inclusions alike


Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Waititi’s Nazi comedy may be less dreadful than expected, but it’s hard to see the point or virtue of any of it


Los tallos amorgos (1956) – the strengths of Ayala’s sweatily noirish exercise in guilt & manipulation outweigh the over-emphatic weaknesses


Skin Deep (1989) – much underrated late Edwards rewardingly revisits “10” territory, studded with immaculate, desperation-fueled set-ups


About Some Meaningless Events (1974) – Derkaoui’s vivid, punchy, if work-in-progress-feeling political and cultural temperature-taking


Ingrid Goes West (2017) – Spicer’s film has its predictable aspects, but nicely channels a certain strand of contemporary desperation


Quai des Orfevres (1947) – Clouzot’s drama is a highly superior, atmospherically balanced marvel of characterization, incident & implication


Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990) – Ivory’s adaptation is carefully delineated to a fault, but crafts a moving portrait of quiet capitulation


Charles, Dead or Alive (1969) – Tanner’s wryly amusing study of rebellion, studded with personal, political and philosophical inquiry


Color out of Space (2019) – Stanley’s triumphant return is a crazed yet held-together spectacle of comprehensive destabilization & breakdown


I’ll Give a Million (1935) – Camerini’s consistently lively if not quite screwball-pace comedy, served with not-too-biting social critique


Children of a Lesser God (1986) – Haines provides some respectable observation and debate, along with much under-energized sogginess


Daughters of Darkness (1971) – Kumel’s uniquely-pitched vampire film embeds its chilly genre moves within greater psychological mysteries


Beirut (2018) – Anderson delivers the pictorial values and the requisite sense of chaos, but it’s all far more basic than the history merits


Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1954) – Becker’s colourful but mostly trite spectacle leaves its venal backdrop almost entirely unexamined


Color Adjustment (1992) – Riggs’ study of prime-time representation is a bit dated and hardly comprehensive, but full of shrewd reflection


Jeff (1969) – Herman’s concise double-cross gangster flick is pretty standard Delon fare, leavened with just a few eccentric touches


Queen & Slim (2019) – it’s not hard to reel off excesses in Matsoukas’ narrative & mythologizing, and yet the film rises and connects


Snow Trail (1947) – Taniguchi’s never-a-dull-moment (if elemental and ultimately oddly sentimental) escape-through-the-mountains drama


Special Effects (1984) – Cohen has a great core concept, but his race-to-the-finish-line approach doesn’t explore it very resonantly


Tomka and his Friends (1977) – Keko’s study of childhood during wartime charms and informs, despite a feeling of artistic tunnel vision


Nurse (2013) – Aarniokoski at least brings some style to the sleazy lameness, and especially to the bloody climactic high-absurdity mayhem


No Blood Relation (1932) – Naruse’s silent film is compulsive story-telling, if more visually and emotionally insistent than his finest work


The United States vs. Billie Holliday (2021) – Daniels’ wastefully unilluminating treatment verges on being a fuzzy one-note trudge


A Woman in the Wall (1969) – Park’s concentrated relationship-triangle drama is decently (even if not that memorably) positioned and crafted


Ad Astra (2019) – Gray’s introspective drama starts off tonally and visually strong, but the overall design ultimately feels insufficient


La sonate a Kreutzer (1956) – Rohmer’s jittery early work hardly matches his later serene assurance, but teems with historical interest


The Slugger’s Wife (1985) – one can vaguely see the possibility of a passable movie, but Ashby barely seems interested in drawing it out


The Howl (1970) – Brass’s sex-and-violence-stained odyssey bleeds brain-frying creative energy, earning an exhausted form of respect


Diane (2018) – Jones’ remarkable film masters the rhythms and textures of modest lives, and the existentially-charged complexity within


A Ship to India (1947) – Bergman’s semi-Bergmanish early melodrama blends noir-inflected romance with desperately toxic family dynamics


The Delta (1996) – Sachs’ early film is sociologically and behaviourally fascinating, although leaves a questionable final impression


El camino (1963) – Mariscal’s funny, tolerantly varied study of narrowly-defined lives is a consistent delight, if seldom too surprising


Little Women (2019) – Gerwig’s enormously skillful adaptation is a real elevating delight, even if perhaps too virtuously scrubbed in parts


I Was Born, But…(1932) – Ozu’s silent film is a fully-realized, subtly-observed delight, feeling entirely unconstrained by the lack of sound


Marvin & Tige (1983) – Weston’s pretty basic, sentimental story of an unlikely friendship, considerably elevated by Cassavetes’ presence


Gods of the Plague (1970) – Fassbinder’s assured but exploratory-feeling, noir-influenced early work, suffused in lassitudinous implication


The Story of Lovers Rock (2011) – in charmingly unpolished fashion, Shabazz’s cultural history steadily indicts an exclusionary mainstream


Throne of Blood (1957) – Kurosawa’s adaptation is often visually galvanizing, yet never completely banishes a sense of arbitrariness


The 40-Year-Old Version (2020) – Blank’s movie has much that’s engagingly authentic, mixed in with a few too many phony beats and set-ups


A Man and a Gisaeng (1969) – Shim/Shin’s brassy comedy intrigues for its gender-crossing moves, although it’s ultimately pretty conservative


Alice (1990) – Allen’s movie falls mostly flat both as character study and as magic-infused reverie, leaving just secondary compensations


Douce (1943) – among Autant-Lara’s most darkly sumptuously works, its romantic longings infested with bitterly class-based realities


The Mustang (2019) – de Clermont-Tonnerre’s study is narratively and metaphorically unsurprising, but scenically and sociologically winning


The Working Class Goes To Heaven (1972) – Petri’s fire-breathing drama of workplace action sees dehumanization & delusion in all directions


Puffball (2007) – Roeg’s last film plainly doesn’t touch his peak, but is intriguingly suffused in female biology, conflicts and affinities


Intermezzo (1936) – Molander’s pained love story only mildly satisfies at best, before ultimately entirely sinking into a melodramatic swamp


It Comes at Night (2017) – Shults’ minor but well-controlled threat- and mistrust-heavy drama benefits somewhat from Covid-era resonance


Lucia (1968) – Solas’ expressively & narratively bold (to a fault) trilogy pries open the painful intimate crevices of revolutionary change


Pale Rider (1985) – Eastwood delivers expertly-honed, righteously-fueled pleasures, notwithstanding mythological and egotistical excesses


Detective Story (1951) – Wyler’s practiced theatricality and actor-shuffling can hardly withstand the damaged intensity at the centre


An Easy Girl (2019) – Zlotowski’s pleasurable chronicle deftly represents female sexuality, alert to the ambiguities of choice and power


Black Girl (1972) – Davis’s modest but far-reaching family drama opens up wrenching layers of societally-imposed compromise and regret


The Color of Lies (1999) – one of Chabrol’s strongest and gravest late films, a sustained reflection on morality and accountability


To Each His Own (1946) – Leisen’s warm skill & de Havilland’s steady presence almost serve to completely extinguish one’s sense of absurdity


Before we Vanish (2017) – Kurosawa retains a great feel for metaphorically loaded concepts, but this lands more lightly than his best works


How to Steal a Million (1966) – handsomely unimportant Wyler fluff, even by the long-established standards of handsomely unimportant fluff


Raja (2003) – Doillon’s oddly persuasive study of turbulent obsession channels the distorting complacency of male colonial privilege


Full of Life (1956) – Quine’s slice of pregnant life lightly distinguishes itself through its ethnic flavour and range of thematic interests


Merveilles a Montfermeil (2019) – Balibar’s film sustains a kind of klutzy disorientation that viably probes progressive ideals & quicksands


Airport 1975 (1974) – Smight’s sequel has little of the original’s sprawling appeal and sporadic human interest, but it’s not dull anyway


Countryman (1982) – Jobson juxtaposes traditional, mythic & nastily contemporary notions of Jamaica, with lumpy but mostly appealing results


The Lion has Wings (1939) – the idealism is of course overdone, but it’s thoroughly interesting when considered in its historical context


Ash is Purest White (2018) – Jia’s work is limitlessly interesting, despite an increasing sense of sociological and thematic familiarity


It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) – Kramer’s epic is generally as gratingly over-insistent as that tiring title, rarely actually funny


L’enfer (1994) – Chabrol’s more quotidian but still expertly unnerving adjunct to Clouzot’s legendary unfinished version of the material


Remember the Night (1940) – Leisen’s lovely romantic fancy walks a touching, perfectly-played line between discovery and predestination


Family Romance, LLC (2019) – an easy treasure trove of modern ambiguities and poignancies, observed by Herzog with unusual self-effacement


10 Rillington Place (1971) – Fleischer’s ideally cast dramatization is an almost unbearably sad and creepy study in calculated malevolence


Le bal des folles (2021) – Laurent’s study of oppression is rather too stately & quasi-spiritual to fully realize its potent subject matter


Sebastian (1968) – Greene’s fizzily diversion-laden codebreaking yarn tempers its general nonchalance with shards of deeper implication


Rafiki (2018) – Kahiu’s Kenyan same-sex romance isn’t particularly sophisticated in many respects, but its very existence brings joy


The Wild One (1953) – Benedek’s once-disruptive drama retains shards of cultural significance, but feels under-achieved on its own terms


Joint Security Area (2000) – Park’s border-set drama grips through its bold-strokes occupation of political, geographical & narrative space


Murder at the Vanities (1934) – a silly hybrid of over-the-top musical revue and backstage mayhem, energetically held together by Leisen


Young Ahmed (2019) – both in what it includes and excludes, the Dardennes’ too-brief study of radicalized youth seldom feels ideally judged


The Andromeda Strain (1971) – Wise sets out the high-concept notions with admiring subservience, injecting an occasional overdone flourish


Marianne & Julianne (1981) – von Trotta’s study of turbulent sisterhood is an expertly practiced occupying of rather familiar thematic space


The Grass is Greener (1960) – Donen’s monied dud has a few passingly charming notions, but few signs of any life worth giving a damn about


A Silent Voice: the Movie (2016) – Yamada’s astonishingly impressive study of teenage pain & connection surely ranks with the best of anime


The Lady Eve (1941) – Sturges’ classic comedy is full of glorious notions & moments, shrouding a certain absence of central emotional truth


Oxygene (2021) – Aja’s accomplished but still rather deadening film never transcends the sum of its parts, which get flightier as it goes on


The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) – Yates’ excellent study of crime-world dependency and betrayal, a bleak tapestry of subtly tragic ironies


A Portuguesa (2019) – Gomes’ extraordinarily subtle exploration of a reflective female-written world sustained within a reckless male one


The Tall T (1957) – Boetticher’s incisive, expertly shaped Western, infiltrated with manifold questionings of frontier masculinity


Une semaine de vacances (1980) – Tavernier’s restrained but exceptionally smart and satisfying examination of youthful existential crisis


Once a Thief (1965) – Nelson’s relevance-aspiring crime drama has sufficient flavour and oddity to transcend utter conventionality


Somniloquies (2017) – corporeal solidity blurrily yields to ascendantly transgressive dreams, with destabilizing, boundary-crossing effects


In Name Only (1939) – Cromwell’s love vs. avarice melodrama isn’t particularly notable, but Lombard gives it a touchingly delicate centre


Center Stage (1996) – Kwan’s entrancingly well-judged intertwining of textured historical evocation & multi-faceted present-day perspective


Greaser’s Palace (1972) – Downey’s blissfully whacked-out allegorical grabbag is startlingly (if not completely explicably) fulfilling!


Wasp Network (2019) – Assayas’ intelligently expansive film both simplifies and obscures, appositely to the political chaos it charts


They Were Expendable (1945) – among Ford’s most complexly moving pictures, for its recurring offsetting of heroism with absence and loss


Red Moon Tide (2020) – Patino’s folk-tale-like reverie, in some ways localized simplicity itself, culminates in gorgeously eruptive imagery


The Dirty Dozen (1967) – Aldrich’s eye-poppingly-cast drama provides some dumb good fun, when it’s not in one way or another repulsive


The Hedonists (2016) – Jia’s tragi-comic short film (which you truly wish were longer) observes the bewildering transition to new paradigms


Shoes (1916) – Weber’s tough, observant social document, frankly surveying the reality of poverty, and underlying dreams of better lives


Rosa Luxemburg (1986) – von Trotta’s study conveys a moving empathy for the wearying toll of resistance, but too often falls rather flat


The Sugarland Express (1974) – Spielberg overplays things a bit, but is well attuned to the multi-level, quasi-prophetic (O.J.?) dynamics


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) – Sciamma’s instant classic places some absolutely electric moments within a near-swoon-inducing whole


The Marrying Kind (1952) – Cukor’s episodic marriage chronicle leavens its deft comedy with convincing economic and behavioral anxiety


De l’autre cote (2002) – Akerman’s border study identifies much parched, plaintive beauty, and contrasting institutionalized ugliness


Reflections in a Golden Eye (1968) – hard to look away from Huston’s drama, even (or especially) at its most adventurously questionable


Infinite Football (2018) – Porumboiu wryly positions a futility-marked conversation to accommodate social glimpses & philosophical shadings


Midnight (1939) – Leisen’s exemplary comedy seems virtually to float on air (expensively accessorized, eloquently twist-laden air, that is)


Les equilibristes (1991) – Papatakis’ unprecedented, destabilizing journey through possibility and destruction, love and exploitation


Shivers (1975) – Cronenberg’s early work has its ragged aspects, but they don’t much impede its central visceral and allegorical potency


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) – Heller likely makes the material as rewardingly & artfully multi-faceted as reasonably possible


Vendetta of a Samurai (1952) – Mori’s suspensefully legend-debunking perspective provides an intriguingly disillusioned genre counterpoint


Stripes (1981) – Reitman’s pallid creation provides familiarly under-examined ideological reassurance and few enduring comic highlights


Deadly Sweet (1967) – Brass’ cursorily plotted response to Blow-Up is impressively stylistically rapacious, but with scattershot results


Princess Cyd (2017) – Cone’s study of gradually accumulating awareness & sensation has a slender, but warmly & pleasurably inhabited frame


Paracelsus (1943) – Pabst’s rather histrionic but not unthoughtful drama stands in interesting relationship to its Nazi production context


Bowfinger (1999) – Oz’s pleasantly imagined and performed comedy is engaging enough, even if not often particularly funny (the dog aside)


Adoption (1975) – Meszaros’ unadorned but highly illuminating study of the wrenchingly shifting line between female freedom and constraint


Knives Out (2019) – Johnson’s satisfyingly intricate, misdirection-heavy whodunit, seasoned with a barbed take on privilege and entitlement


The Mission (1986) – Joffe arouses suitable anti-colonial and -doctrinal disgust, for all his film’s exoticism-seeking and other excesses


Siren of the Tropics (1927) – Etievant/Nalpas’ dated melodrama endures as an imperfect (but better than nothing) Josephine Baker showcase


Return of the Prodigal Son (1967) – Schorm’s study of disaffection is one of the Czech New Wave’s major, most lastingly questioning works


Welcome to New York (2014) – Ferrara, in relatively straightforward mode, relishingly sinks his teeth into the super-well-suited material


A Journey to the Beginning of Time (1955) – Zeman’s prettily-imagined, gently pedagogically-driven voyage through the glories of evolution


The Mauritanian (2021) – Macdonald’s drama is always solid and intelligent, if only occasionally moving past relative conventionality


The Crimes of Petiot (1973) – Madrid’s serial-killer flick, potentially preoccupied and trauma-inducing, mostly just feels flat and drained


Recorder: the Marion Stokes Project (2019) – Wolf’s intriguing study in intertwined vision and eccentricity, perspicacity and passivity


It Rains on our Love (1946) – Bergman’s early, socially-critical film is lastingly frank & intimate, even if overelaborate in some respects


Black is…Black ain’t (1994) – Riggs’ urgently visionary final work stands as a moving and ambitious memorial, however incompletely realized


La parmigiana (1963) – Pietrangeli’s open-minded chronicle of a young woman, smoothly contrasting relative moralities and states of freedom


A Quiet Place (2018) – Krasinski’s tight, creepy drama sits at the safe end of the horror spectrum, but still works well in most respects


I grandi magazzini (1939) – Camerini’s bustling comedy-drama is mostly light stuff, elevated by its acute sense of workplace power relations


They All Laughed (1981) – Bogdanovich’s connection-heavy comedy has a limited sweetness and panache, but feels strangely hollow and absented


The American Soldier (1970) – a decadent Fassbinder highlight: a displaced film noir skewering the allure & cluelessness of American swagger


Gemini Man (2019) – a total success, assuming Lee’s ambition was to sublimate himself in coldly alienating, concept-squandering nonsense


Huis-clos (1954) – Audry’s cinematic “opening up” is utterly worth seeing, even if it dilutes the force of Sartre’s text in key respects


Fear of a Black Hat (1993) – Cundieff’s affectionately undiluted rap mockumentary holds up well, not least the sharp musical parodies


Our Lady of the Turks (1968) – Bene’s fragmented expression of (I think) history’s traumatic legacy makes for difficult, withholding viewing


A Story of Children and Film (2013) – Cousins pleasurably, and sometimes relishingly, combines the personal and the wide-rangingly pedagogic


Secrets of a Soul (1926) – Pabst’s “psychoanalytical film” seems staidly over-literal now, but it remains fascinating in its ambition


No Sudden Move (2021) – Soderbergh’s drama never really breaks out, but becomes more satisfying as the scope expands & the twists accumulate


Crime and Passion (1976) – one can glimpse something complexly multi-faceted and darkly-charged, but Passer rather lets it get away from him


The Accidental Tourist (1988) – a few shallow diversions (mostly the dog) aside, Kasdan’s adaptation is somnolent and barely sufferable


Scattered Clouds (1967) – Naruse’s sweetly melancholy last film patiently explores gradations of conflict, regret and mutual understanding


The Vast of Night (2019) – Patterson’s retro-flavoured sci-fier is best when sinking into time and place, falling somewhat short plot-wise


Assunta Spina (1948) – Mattoli marshals classic melodrama both as a vehicle for and a social investigation of Magnani’s piercing affect


The Pickle (1993) – Mazursky’s satire has flashes of his warmth and skill, but overall seems like a severe lapse in judgment and inspiration


Baxter, Vera Baxter (1977) – a major, underseen Duras work: an investigation of a woman, and an investigation into investigations of women


White Boy Rick (2018) – Demange’s low-life odyssey, forgettable for much of the way, eventually reaches ethically stimulating territory


The Sign of Venus (1955) – Risi’s comedy has a notably sad but stoic female-driven core, surrounded by a gallery of flawed masculinity


Fear X (2003) – Winding Refn’s tale of loss and obsession doesn’t rank as much more than a curiosity, but a very skillfully calibrated one


Black Jesus (1968) – Zurlini overemphasizes white perspectives, but crafts a compelling, politically-charged study of principled suffering


Triple Frontier (2019) – Chandor expands with assurance into an old-fashioned adventure yarn; it’s a shame it all matters so little


Remontons les Champs-Elysees (1938) – Guitry’s priapic history lesson distorts & trivializes, yet not without a certain galloping grandeur


Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Murphy’s monster hit now plays very blandly, virtually all potentially sharp edges smoothed down to nothing


Yeong-ja in her prime (1975) – beneath the often brash pace and expression, Kim sets out a sympathetic and socially-revealing case history


Butter on the Latch (2013) – Decker’s first feature is enthralling both as psychological puzzle & as unfamiliar anthropological observation


Michael (1924) – Dreyer’s fascinating silent film finds a strange ultimate transcendence within recurring disappointment and exploitation


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) – Wolfe’s film is awkward in various ways, but preserves the central glory and agony of Wilson’s work


12 + 1 (1969) – an Italian “twelve chairs” romp, offering adequate variety and diversion (Sharon Tate!), but hardly satisfying overall


Conceiving Ada (1997) – Leeson’s high-concept cross-century female conversation impresses, but isn’t the overall equal of her Teknolust


Torna! (1954) – best approached from a Matarazzo-centric worldview, whereby the echoing of past films becomes a rather endearing strength


Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) – Gilroy (no Peter Strickland) scores some mild satirical points, but shows little flair for the giallo-type stuff


Comment ca va (1976) – Godard and Mieville delve exactingly, yet not hopelessly, into the latent oppressiveness of mass communication


48 Hrs. (1983) – Hill’s early distinctiveness is utterly lost in this brain-hurtingly banal stuff; even Murphy only provides minimal uplift


A Broken Drum (1949) – Kinoshita’s busy drama of family conflicts has some adroit moments, amid an often overly clunky overall framework


NOTFILM (2015) – Lipman’s careful explication of the 1965 Beckett/Keaton short as a locus of connections, complexities and reflections


Black Peter (1964) – in its deadpan observation of teenage directionlessness, Forman’s debut is among his funniest & most distinctive works


Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) – Jarmusch’s impeccably executed compilation, dotted with cool contrasts, correspondences and intimations


Mon pere avait raison (1936) – one of Guitry’s more intriguing films, for its probing of life passages and generational expectations


Dragged Across Concrete (2019) – in its weaving between forcefulness and evasiveness, Zahler’s drama approaches a blunt conceptual grandeur


Transgression (1974) – Kim’s probing take on monastic life is always arresting, often disorienting, somehow fusing irreverence and devotion


Slacker (1990) – with super-impressive use of limited resources, Linklater achieves a weirdly beguiling, philosophically loaded quasi-stasis


The Lower Depths (1957) – Kurosawa’s sense of desperate community leavens one of his most tough-minded, expressively heightened works


Louder than Bombs (2015) – for all its care and technical skill, Trier’s family drama feels disappointingly artificial and unmoving


The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (1962) – with eccentric courtliness, Zeman’s fantasy pointedly insists on narrative and formal variation 


Scanners (1981) – although hardly dull, it’s one of Cronenberg’s less penetrating early films, its themes and concepts rather too dispersed


You Only Live Once (1937) – Lang’s classic doomed-lovers thriller finds moments of fragile loveliness within a largely pitiless society


Take Me Somewhere Nice (2019) – Sendijarevic’s amused but mindful cross-border journey makes some easy moves, & several boldly resonant ones


Guru, the Mad Monk (1970) – Milligan’s extreme mismatching of style and content achieves a most artless form of deadened coherence


Abouna (2002) – Haroun’s mostly easygoing but quietly pleasing chronicle of preoccupying absences and unconventionally happy presences


The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) – for all its simplifications and contrivances, Quine’s film skips brightly through mildly unusual territory


The Fall of the American Empire (2018) – it’s easy enough to warm to Arcand’s ambition and sympathies, despite the movie’s copious obstacles


The Volunteer (1944) – only Powell and Pressburger would have made a military recruiting film that’s so whimsically and humanely engaging


The Swindle (1997) – Chabrol’s elegantly unimportant con man/woman drama is certainly skillful in its way, but it’s not much of a way


Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) – Mazursky’s highly appealing quasi-memoir is warmly dexterous throughout, within its knowing limits


Zombi Child (2019) – Bonello’s prodigous meeting of spiritual and national myths, of supernatural and personal confinements and escapes


Daydreams (1922) – episodic (and incompletely-surviving) Keaton short includes a few sublime moments amid a rather downbeat overall scheme


A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) – Kim’s dissection of familial damage makes for memorable, if hermetically constrained, cinematic architecture


Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – one might regard Polanski’s classic as a painfully intimate film within a sillier (but full-bloodedly handled) one


Loveless (2017) – Zvyagintsev’s calculated film punches a range of outrage-inducing buttons in expertly imposing, socially-critical fashion


Duck Soup (1933) – McCarey’s (let’s say) conceptually interesting Marx Brothers classic aggressively evades any kind of capsule summary


The Disciple (2020) – Tamhane’s painstaking study of artistic struggle, both illuminatingly hermetic and (a bit too smoothly) universal


Season of the Witch (1972) – Romero’s atypical but successful film, driven as much by sharp-tongued social critique as by horror mechanisms


Boat People (1982) – Hui’s pumped-up Vietnamese drama constitutes a problematically interesting blend of witness-bearing and artifice


No Man of Her Own (1950) – Leisen’s fateful noir-tinged melodrama is finely-handled, but thinner than his or Stanwyck’s greatest works  


Roubaix, une lumiere (2019) – Desplechin’s police drama, in no way limited by genre, rich in observance of place, chance and causation


A Song is Born (1948) – Hawks’ remake of his own Ball of Fire has far less energy & heart, notwithstanding various musical compensations


Double Edge (1992) – Kollek’s Israel-Palestine survey remains dispiritingly relevant, for all its unimpressive manipulation & sensationalism


Our Dancing Daughters (1928) – Beaumont’s silent contains lots of fizzy interaction, but with a surprising amount of cautionary perspective


Mia madre (2015) – Moretti’s observance of art and death gently satisfies, but doesn’t quite attain its sought-for revelatory synthesis


The List of Adrian Messenger (1963) – Huston’s amused, relaxed-feeling mystery, decorated with enjoyable if inconsequential trickery


The Lighthouse (2006) – Saakyan’s hypnotic study of life in war feels entirely real and rooted, and yet intensely imagined and painted


Modern Times (1936) – Chaplin’s instincts and affinities now often appear dated or hollow, but the moments of dexterous grace remain


Parasite (2019) – Bong’s film has elements of thematic and narrative inspiration, although it’s the initial exposition that engrosses most


Butley (1974) – Pinter barely “opens up” Gray’s play, but punches home the desperately lonely flailing underlying the bitter hectoring


Growing Up (1983) – Chen’s pleasant study of childhood is cleanly and crisply observed, while never penetrating to the extent of Hou or Yang


Loving Vincent (2017) – overall, a limitation-transcending expression of adoration for Van Gogh as artist, myth, transformer of sight itself


Phffft (1954) – Robson’s often dire, mechanically single-minded sex comedy at least has the odd lively exchange, and a nice dancing scene


The Paradine Case (1947) – a relative Hitchcock failure, its prevailing stiffness and propriety stifling the erotic obsession at its centre


The White Tiger (2021) – Bahrani unfortunately steers the culturally rich material perilously close to being a patchy, meandering slog


St. Louis Blues (1929) – Murphy’s showcase for Bessie Smith, as a zone of heavy lament within a happily hedonistic all-black world


Synonyms (2019) – Lapid comes at his themes with major intellectual resourcefulness, but it’s all a bit more fun in theory than practice


The Unforgiven (1960) – Huston’s tortured Western, its relish at a glimpsed American dream gradually devastated by lies, blood and prejudice


Plaisir d’amour (1991) – Kaplan’s comedy punctures smug male self-entitlement in elegantly varied, if not ultimately too revelatory fashion


Love on the Run (1936) – Van Dyke’s indifferently scripted and cursorily executed comedy, only intermittently elevated by star quality


3 Faces (2018) – Panahi’s meditation on confinement, transgression and continuance is an enveloping meeting of pleasure and profundity


The Witch who Came from the Sea (1976) – Cimber’s ill-fated-sexuality-studded film navigates pretty well between shock and poignancy


Naussica of the Valley of the Wind (1984) – Miyazaki’s debut is thematically engaging, but often crude and cluttered by his later standards


Stage Struck (1958) – Lumet’s creaky drama doesn’t really hold up, but provides plenty of incidental, time capsule-type amusements


Based on a True Story (2017) – Polanski expertly expands the parameters of the familiar core premise, but the ultimate impact is a bit light


Penny Serenade (1941) – it’s hard to warm to Stevens’ essentially coldly deterministic view of adult happiness, despite its strengths


La captive (2000) – Akerman’s study of thwarted male control over female narratives is formally seductive and strangely, tragically comic


Strangers when we Meet (1960) – Quine’s most enduring film, every scene channeling the period’s strange marriage of affluence & suppression


Joker (2019) – Phillips’ film is horribly effective, even impressive, in parts, but its would-be vision is laboured and vague at best


The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975) – Schlondorff/von Trotta’s drama impresses and informs, yet doesn’t fully land its ultimate punches


Staying Alive (1983) – Stallone’s thinly flashy, entirely unpersuasive sequel lacks any of the original’s relative sociological interest


Dollar (1938) – Molander’s arch comedy of interrelated couples is frequently grating, its commentary on values and priorities falling flat


Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (2014) – the extraordinary Decker weaves a sensuously full cinematic space, and then startlingly deconstructs it


The Wayward Girl (1959) – Karlmar beautifully observes evolving female sexuality & sensibility, but the film overall comes up a little short


Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – King’s absorbing, if imperfect, historical missive, from one era of calculated oppression to another


Road to Sampo (1975) – Lee’s film evolves from a wintry, absurdist comedy into a delicately poignant study of compromises and transitions


Hustlers (2019) – Scafaria’s film never feels really vital, notwithstanding its prioritizing of empathy & social awareness over exploitation


Women of Ryazan (1927) – Preobrazhenskaya observes rural community in all its hypocrisy, offset by a strong closing declaration of purpose


The Ploughman’s Lunch (1983) – Eyre/McEwan’s marvelously subtle, way under-appreciated personal, political and historical temperature-taking


Le mariage de Chiffon (1942) – Autant-Lara’s romantic confection is able enough on its own terms, but they’re distinctly complacent ones


It Felt Like Love (2013) – Hittmann’s extraordinarily tuned-in study of chaotic teenage sexuality, haunting both as cinema & social document


Nest of Vipers (1978) – Cervi’s period drama of intertwined desires is rather too tentative and underdeveloped to stir up much interest


Mangrove (2020) – McQueen absorbingly evokes time and place and the texture of threatened community, although pushes a bit too hard at times


The Cremator (1969) – Herz’s utterly ensnaring study of spiritual degradation and manipulation is impeccable in every twisted detail


The Lighthouse (2019) – Eggers’ possessed, often rollickingly hilarious, perfectly pitched vision of corroding identity and sanity


Dos monjes (1934) – Oro’s film lingers for its starkly pained, boldly expressed framing story, more than the rather florid melodrama within


The Killing Floor (1984) – Duke’s revealing piece of social & racial history makes for committed, if in various ways rather bare-bones filmmaking


March of Fools (1975) – Ha’s fascinating portrait of youth; spanning low comedy, tragedy, philosophical inquiry & militarized homoeroticism


The Great Pretender (2018) – Silver’s relationship study may be a small film, but smartly ventilated by mysterious glimpses of a bigger one


Scandal in Sorrento (1955) – Risi’s sun-baked, sex-propelled comedy is certainly handsome enough, but it’s mostly mechanical and trifling


The Last Seduction (1994) – Dahl’s shrewd and stylish manipulation doesn’t penetrate that deeply, but Fiorentino is a presence for the ages


O Ebrio (1946) – de Abreu’s film has patches of near-unhinged storytelling & uncertain handling, but an overriding conviction & sincerity


Honey Boy (2019) – the film has its familiar aspects, but also much authentic-feeling hurt & strange magic, beautifully modulated by Har’el


Vivre ensemble (1973) – Karina’s underseen, observantly personal, unpredictable directorial debut, vital to fully appreciating her legend


The Fly (1986) – a more conventionally audience-friendly Cronenberg film no doubt, but made with wittily top-quality control and calibration


Il maestro di Vigevano (1963) – Petri’s put-upon comedy is bitterly but sympathetically alert to class-based subjugation & infantilization


The 50 Year Argument (2014) – Scorsese’s most self-effacing work is a respectfully rarified immersion into engagement and contemplation


La souriante Madame Beudet (1923) – Dulac’s contrasting of a woman’s inner and external lives is a searing, much undersung silent classic


Time (2020) – Bradley’s film is as wide & deep & precise yet ungraspable as its title, closely personal and inherently, tragically political


Chung Kuo (1972) – Antonioni’s voyage to China is a humbly serene, deeply fascinated observation of (and self-acknowledgement of) otherness


Dressed to Kill (1980) – De Palma’s often sumptuous atrocity might simultaneously have you holding your breath and rolling your eyes


Intimate Lighting (1965) – the (then) radicalism of Passer’s film lies in its very uninsistence, its impact at once evasive and lingering


The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) – Talbot’s small miracle of a film captivates with each deeply-experienced, searching frame


Eva (1948) – Molander’s Bergman-written, death-dogged life chronicle is grippingly ambitious & assured, even if not consistently persuasive


The Day I Will Never Forget (2002) – a record of a terrible act, calmly placed by Longinotto within its self-perpetuating cultural context


Ici et ailleurs (1976) – the Dziga Vertov’s group’s from-a-distance reflection on Palestine, shot through with a sense of rueful limitation


London Fields (2018) – Cullen’s flashy adaptation has a rudimentary, diversionary skill, but feels persistently distanced and incomplete


Les espions (1957) – Clouzot’s initially cluttered-seeming drama gradually reveals itself as a sharp vision of pervasive threat and anxiety


Archangel (1990) – Maddin’s obsessively exacting aesthetic impresses & sometimes seduces, even as it remains largely distant & unyielding


Hotel du Nord (1938) – Carne’s emblematically idealistic, helplessly enveloping marriage of romantic fatalism and bustling proletarianism


Black and Blue (2019) – Taylor’s police drama has terrific momentum, laced with more than sufficient outrage-inducing social content


The Insect Woman (1972) – Kim’s delectable film holds a rather astounding number of themes and twists in darkly amused equilibrium


An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) – Hackford’s drama is at least somewhat personal-feeling in its recurring clunkiness and misogyny


Loves of a Blonde (1965) – if only in its understated unpredictability and humour, Forman’s study remains an endearing assertion of freedom


Starlet (2012) – Baker’s thoroughly winning modern fairy tale of sorts, laced with deadpan comedy and clear-sighted social observation


Army (1944) – Kinoshita’s episodic portrayal of Japanese lives molded by past and looming wars, notable now mainly for historical reference


Mank (2020) – Fincher’s pristinely-crafted film sounds in theory like a movie lover’s dream, but only intermittently connects or rouses


Diabolo menthe (1977) – the light touch of Kurys’ journey through teenage sisterhood shouldn’t obscure its range and quiet radicalism


The Brave (1997) – Depp doesn’t really justify the sad premise, but well-sustains a tone of doomed stoicism, sprinkled with varied oddities


Fools in the Mountains (1957) – Carlmar’s comedy has its bright aspects, but wears out its mistaken identity concept long before the end


The Twentieth Century (2019) – Rankin’s blissfully inventive, goofily inspiring vision of Canada’s definitional conflicts and confusions


Le nouveau testament (1936) – Guitry’s comedy is skillfully loquacious, but the life lessons (such as they are) barely register now


8 Million Ways to Die (1986) – Ashby’s crime thriller is flat and fuzzy stuff, lacking much critical perspective or notable creative energy


Ankur (1974) – with quiet fortitude, Benegal lays out the moral decay that underlies rural India’s tradition- and caste-driven structures


Sweet Country (2017) – Thornton’s (just a bit too) virtuosically-gripping case history of sparse yet already defilement-sodden society


Medea (1969) – an often-disorienting but bewitching, stunningly-designed telling, feeling almost as if directly dreamed onscreen by Pasolini


The Doctor (1991) – Haines’ taste-of-my-own-medicine drama may be more primally affecting than it objectively deserves, but what can you do?


Chains (1949) – Matarazzo’s drama is at its anxiety-stirring best when tightening the screws; less so in the (inevitably) liberating finale


Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019) – Linklater’s tale of regeneration often plays a bit flatly, but opens up winningly in the home stretch


Humain, trop humain (1974) – Malle’s now near-nostalgic observance of factory production is inherently but insufficiently political


Five Days One Summer (1982) – Zinnemann’s last film has much genuine, sometimes haunting, grandeur, but an overly restrained narrative core


Nana (1926) – a too-often dull silent Renoir, at its best at its most nakedly suffering, but damaged by Hessling’s unalluring presence


God’s Own Country (2017) – Lee’s engrossingly authentic-feeling, frank study, electrically attuned both to the scenic and the intimate


I Live in Fear (1955) – Kurosawa’s atomic-age drama is among his more low-key, brooding works, gripping for its central existential clarity


Phantom Love (2007) – Menkes’ astounding fusion of lived and imagined experience, of pain and rapture, resistance and transcendence


Dosuni (1963) – Park’s lightly-handled but meaningful chronicle of a determined young woman in an economically strained, hustling society


Sword of Trust (2019) – Shelton’s comedy becomes narratively over-stretched, but her relaxed way with interactions really shines at times


Thomasine & Bushrod (1974) – Parks’ enjoyable outlaw drama keeps things mostly loose and variable, with lightly norm-challenging results


Capitaine Conan (1996) – Tavernier’s artfully disorienting war film reverberates with astounding incident, implication and moral complexity


Hallelujah (1929) – Vidor’s all-black musical drama reaches numerous expressive heights, amid its largely unceasing anthropological interest


The Ornithologist (2016) – Rodrigues’ exceptional cinematic offering, a pilgrimage deep into nature & unnature, self-discovery & self-loss


Dancing Lady (1933) – Leonard’s musical skips along in snappily blissful implausibility, propelled by effortlessly elevating star quality


Soigne ta droite (1987) – a relative knockabout comedy from Godard, its virtues requiring (to me anyway) rather strenuous excavation efforts


Wait Until Dark (1967) – despite Hepburn’s touching centre, Young’s luridly over-elaborate exercise in terror is ugly and unappealing


Pain and Glory (2019) – Almodovar hardly challenges us now, but his cinema has become a painterly oasis of gracefully preoccupied serenity


The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) – an atypically straightforward Wilder exercise, executed with empathetic skill within its narrow parameters


Scarlet Diva (2000) – Argento’s quasi-self-portrait confesses, pleads and evades in an aggressively ambiguous, enjoyably in-your-face manner


Images (1972) – the spell of Altman’s breakdown movie lies less in its conceptual elaborations than in its physical immediacy and detail


The Daughters of Fire (2018) – Carri’s film lustily embraces pornographic elements, while bracingly complicating the mechanics and the gaze


Dead of Night (1945) – an ever-irresistible anthology, skipping through its flatter passages to culminate in pull-all-the-stops-out style


TGM the Liberator (1990) – Chytilova’s one-of-a-kind career ends with a lively but far from subversive, reconciliatory-feeling documentary


Blessed Event (1932) – Del Ruth’s newspaper drama has a fabulous line in fast-talking cynicism, dotted with surprisingly raw moments


Ema (2019) – Larrain’s fabulously seductive, fiery chronicle offers an almost frustratingly irresistible alchemy of giving and withholding


Accident (1967) – Losey/Pinter’s film may be the polished, implication-heavy apex of a certain (ultimately unproductive) cinematic strain


Castle in the Sky (1986) – Miyazaki’s wildly imaginative spectacle is fairly exhilarating, although not among his emotionally fullest works


The Red Kimono (1925) – Lang and Davenport’s highly sympathetic, quite cinematically engaging study of a woman’s shame and redemption


Non-Fiction (2018) – Assayas’ film deploys a super-smoothly retrograde approach to surveying the cutting-edge, or maybe it’s vice versa


Hell and High Water (1954) – one of Fuller’s less impactful films delivers fairly standard drama and crudely dated characterizations


Women Without Men (2009) – Neshat and Azari’s rather peculiar tale of lost possibilities is far from perfect, but maintains a glassy allure


Humanoids from the Deep (1979) – the monsters are OK, but Peeters allows the surrounding narrative and quasi-themes to mostly unravel


Staying Vertical (2016) – for every element of earthy rootedness, Guiraudie’s strange self-discovery odyssey throws in a bizarro provocation


Green for Danger (1947) – Gilliat’s whodunit rattles happily along, propelled by doses of comedy, romantic frustration and wartime paranoia


Malmkrog (2020) – Puiu’s brain-flooding film, a shiftingly doom-ridden comedy powered by imposing aesthetic and intellectual seriousness


Lawyer Man (1932) – Dieterle’s steadily unremarkable Powell vehicle breezes through a lifetime’s worth of ups, downs & degrees of cynicism


Casa de lava (1994) – Costa’s challenging, disorienting, lingering-in-the-mind expression of colonialism’s accursedly tangled complexities 


Only Two Can Play (1962) – Gilliat’s smutty comedy somewhat endures as a duly depressing window on its repressed, class-driven milieu


Climax (2018) – Noe comes on like a depraved Busby Berkeley, going from exuberant high to wrenching low with get-out-of-my-fucking way elan


The True Story of Jesse James (1957) – a solid telling, amply studded by Ray with arresting moments and stunning widescreen compositions


My Twentieth Century (1989) – Enyedi’s wide-angle historical fantasy thirsts after greatness, but its devices are too often twee or tiresome


The Velvet Vampire (1971) – Rothman’s (perhaps artfully) unpolished film works savvy, ideologically-charged variations on the vampire genre


J’accuse (2019) – Polanski’s examination of duty in the face of institutional resistance, executed with undiminished fluency and acuity


Black and Tan (1929) – Murphy’s short film preserves some classic Duke Ellington moments within an oddly disorienting comedy-to-tragedy arc


Ex Drummer (2007) – Mortier’s movie bites out its own sick-times-whimsical sorta-category, for unenjoyable yet damnably stimulating viewing


Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) – one of Ophuls’ loveliest films, drawing on cinema’s inherent play of permanence and transience


Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018) – one concludes Bi’s dream-noirish, boundary-transcending odyssey feeling transported, even transformed


The Balcony (1963) – Strick’s adaptation is a largely effective, memorably-cast artificiality, even if rather drained of its core power


Un jour Pina m’a demande (1983) – Akerman captures the expressive majesty of Bausch’s work, and its almost scary, destabilizing power


St. Louis Blues (1958) – the film is limited in all the usual Hollywood ways (and then some), but shines for its unique cast and musicality


Antigone (2019) – Deraspe’s excitingly tuned-in repurposing of Greek mythology, as a tragic study in complexities of immigrant assimilation


The Driller Killer (1979) – beneath the notorious “nasty” bits, a bracing early dip into the teeth-bared obsessive well of Ferrara’s cinema


Sicilia! (1999) – it’s an eternal Huillet/Straub mystery, how such precisely grounded calibration yields something close to bountifulness


Shoulder Arms (1918) – Chaplin’s enjoyably patchy, sometimes bleak-streaked soldier comedy aims both high and low, ending in dreamy idealism


Madeline’s Madeline (2018) – Decker’s amazing film, a delicately honey-gathering bee that pollinates the flower at the heart of creation


La francaise et l’amour (1960) – a love-at-all-ages anthology, with seven directors working in a uniformly unexertingly pleasant register


Saturn 3 (1980) – Donen provides a few striking visuals, and the cast is worth something, but the sense of possibility rapidly dissipates


Supermarkt (1974) – Klick’s in-your-face film works both as escalating crime drama and as exploration of social boundaries and affinities


Judy (2019) – Goold’s movie is one of conventional and not particularly exciting strengths, largely including Zellweger’s performance


Diabolique (1955) – Clouzot’s narrative trap, lubricated with humour, cruelty & transgression, barely rusts with time, however often visited


Clockwatchers (1997) – Sprecher’s enjoyably lingering film, starting as fairly easy parody, gradually takes on greater existential weight


Bicycle Thieves (1948) – De Sica’s film still holds truths, but they lie as much around its edges as in its limitingly structured centre


The White Crow (2018) – Fiennes’ time-shifting portrayal of Nureyev is finely-crafted in all respects, perhaps a bit counter-productively


When the Buckwheat Blooms (1968) – Lee’s epically-contoured tale of desire and separation is a restrained, often melancholy pleasure


Perfect (1985) – Bridges undermines his film’s plausible ambitions through persistent over-simplification and lack of critical distance


Vladimir et Rosa (1971) – Godard & Gorin’s mind-filling, often humorous, not-too-didactic engagement with representation in turbulent times


The Farewell (2019) – Wang’s charmingly light but well-considered film studies the loss & regret inherent in personal & societal evolution


I Am Waiting (1957) – Kurahawa’s noir-ish romance has little depth, but much capable low-life distraction and tapping of heavy emotion


Lolita (1997) – Lyne’s adaptation often feels like a rather distanced, academic achievement, although elevated in its climactic bereftness


Faisons un reve… (1936) – a knowingly minor Guitry set-up, but with a few stylistic flourishes and resistance-crushing performance moments


Rebecca (2020) – Wheatley’s scenically well-imagined version is certainly watchable, but doesn’t hang together particularly strongly


La prise de pouvoir par Louis XVI (1966) – Rossellini’s brilliantly-controlled, ever-relevant examination of ritualized image-making & power


Field Niggas (2015) – Allah’s deeply personal & respectful engagement with Harlem street life is immediate & timeless, beautiful & appalling


Passe ton bac d’abord (1977) – with unmatched empathetic clarity, Pialat dissects socially-determined, aspiration-stifling teenage lives


The Hot Stuff (1981) – Vadim’s bland caper doesn’t have much going for it, beyond a few glimmers of engagement with art world practices


Tormento (1950) – Matarazzo’s story of separation & suffering is rather less artful & fully developed than his other Sanson/Nazzari dramas


Never Really Sometimes Always (2020) – the amazing Hittman’s surface minimalism conveys enormous and sobering personal and social complexity


The Little Match Girl (1928) – Renoir’s early short film encompasses both observant emotional poignancy and exuberant visual experimentation


In Fabric (2018) – in Strickland’s hands, potentially trite horror notions acquire extraordinary, blackly amused multi-dimensional ceremony


The Two of Us (1967) – Berri’s balanced study of wartime relocation, crammed with behavioural pleasures and darkly pointed undertones


Housekeeping (1987) – Forsyth’s adaptation often seems defined as much by its absences as its premises, to mixed if quietly endearing effect


Why Does Herr R Run Amok? (1970) – Fassbinder and Fengler’s film may be among the most pitiless and withholding of (sort of) comedies


Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019) – perhaps Tarantino’s most visually and conceptually assured fantasia, teeming with tangible pleasures


The Hidden Fortress (1958) – it’s hard to rate the film as highly as many do, even while bowing to Kurosawa’s inventiveness and assurance


Husbands and Wives (1992) – Allen’s often anguished relationship chronicle is overdone in any number of ways, but connects even so


The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine (1931) – Gosho’s comedy (with jazz!) of a put-upon writer is a bit misshapen, but sprightly handled overall


The Man who Killed Don Quixote (2018) – Gilliam’s accomplished fantasia flamboyantly reflects & quite movingly justifies his long obsession


Season of our Love (1966) – Vancini’s rather ineffectual study of melancholy self-examination falls short of its evident sweeping ambition


Rita, Sue and Bob too (1987) – Clarke’s boisterously funny, grounded plunge into sexual self-determination, not without its overdone aspects


Fortini/Cani (1976) – Straub/Huillet counterpoint calmly observed surfaces with boiling historical stains & complex political hypocrisies


A Rainy Day in New York (2019) – Allen tries to put young faces on classical moods and situations, with often bizarrely misconceived results


Sun in the Last Days of Shogunate (1957) – an incident-packed, nuanced semi-farce, with Kawashima in his most confidently expansive mode


Little Buddha (1993) – Bertolucci’s most uninteresting, inexplicably soft film, suffused in merely superficial beauty and spirituality


Street Scene (1931) – a strangely lesser-known Vidor film, marvelously balancing God’s-eye expansiveness and careful close observation


The Image Book (2018) – Godard’s reflection (both celebration & confession) on cinema’s helpless beauty & intertwined ideological violence


Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – beneath Edwards’ romanticism and its “iconic” qualities, a relative minefield of insecurity and cynicism


Golden Eighties (1986) – Akerman delivers classic musical-genre pleasures, infiltrated with personal and political insecurity and fracture


The Nightcomers (1971) – an enjoyably peculiar brew, but a less superficial director than Winner would surely have extracted more from it


Buoyancy (2019) – Rathjen’s story of modern-day slavery is often disturbingly convincing, but limited by its “triumph of human spirit” arc


Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) – Siegel’s dynamically incisive drama, marrying hard-edged realities with muscular, no-nonsense storytelling


The River (1997) – Tsai mesmerizingly explores lives at odds with themselves & God, their emptiness occasionally touched by furtive rapture


Fort Apache (1948) – perhaps the summit of Ford’s particular exploration of ritual and duty, of the tragedy and glory of transition


Diamantino (2018) – Abrantas & Schmidt’s happily iconoclastic fantasy, its artisanal candy floss seasoned by a plethora of modern fears


The Birds (1963) – one of Hitchcock’s, and cinema’s, most mind-alteringly vast expressions of the terrible glory of seeing and desiring


Melo (1986) – Resnais’ film has the heightened emotional concentration of classical theatre, beautifully ventilated with cinematic allusion


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Kaufman’s remake has some terrific elements, although gets more conventional as it goes along


A Screaming Man (2010) – Haroun’s mesmerizingly delicate, personally and politically anguished film leaves one in various states of mourning


Utopia (1950) – Laurel and Hardy’s last film is ambitiously plotted, but often poorly realized, and poorly attuned to their advancing years


Beginning (2020) – Kulumbegashvili’s mind-filling film is often formally mesmerizing, and existentially and socially almost terrifying


You and Me (1938) – Lang’s socially-minded romance incorporates some highly striking emphasis, digressions and musical interpolations


Les confins du monde (2018) – Nicloux travels a wrenchingly original, unsettling route into the extremity of war, as breakdown and erasure


Village of the Damned (1960) – a few elements of Rilla’s drama hang around in one’s memory, despite the often rushed and cursory handling


No Fear, No Die (1990) – Denis’ powers of observation are unnervingly powerful here, although her greatest works reach more thrilling peaks


The Hospital (1971) – Hiller/Chayefsky’s harsh satire provides some lasting, penetrating pleasures, offset by some impassioned overreaching


The Staggering Girl (2019) – Guadagnino’s short film is rich in resources at least, placed in service of a forgettably enigmatic trifle


Rio Bravo (1959) – an abiding source of rich Hawksian pleasures, with some of classic Hollywood’s most easefully fulfilling interactions


The Misfortunates (2009) – Van Groeningen’s boisterous family memoir is quite subtle and reflective, but doesn’t always care to show it


Stormy Weather (1943) – the value and authenticity of Stone’s musical lies in the performances; the rest is, to say the least, interesting


Eter (2018) – Zanussi’s historical drama conducts a fluidly wide-ranging moral & ethical investigation, with a startling final embellishment


The Rain People (1969) – Coppola’s searching early film doesn’t feel quite fully achieved, but represents an appealing road not taken


Intervista (1987) – one of Fellini’s lightest & most purely pleasurable films, his self-mythologizing at its most graceful & least grating


Zorns Lemma (1970) – Frampton’s astonishing edifice emanates the sense of an exactingly structured private (but communicable) obsession


Domains (2019) – Kusano’s unique film immerses us in a behavioural & moral space both meticulously constructed & mysteriously transcended


Kansas City Confidential (1952) – Karlson at his lean and committed best, cleanly navigating through disillusioning layers of venality


Princess Mononoke (1997) – perhaps Miyazaki’s most claspingly direct vision, its beauty offset by discomfiting images of pillage & imbalance


Heaven-Bound Travelers (1935) – in its rough extant form, the Gists’ filmic proclamation is suffused in fervent, even hectoring conviction


Peterloo (2018) – Leigh challenges the viewer with immersively detailed interactions, all the better to establish the climactic injustice


Soleil O (1967) – Hondo’s vibrant, proud, furious anecdote of black experience surveys a whole infrastructure of injustice and condescension


Variety (1983) – Gordon’s exceptionally well-conceived, displaced noir-like journey through societal and cinematic power structures


La gueule ouverte (1974) – one of Pialat’s smaller-scale films, but fully possessed by his rare capacity for naturalistic frankness


The Owls (2010) – Dunye ably contextualizes the narrative and illuminates the project’s collective nature, but to rather arid and minor ends


Krane’s Confectionary (1951) – Henning-Jensen’s study of modest rebellion is well-attuned to individual and collective despair and toxicity


David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020) – Lee’s impeccable film is almost as joyous & fulfilling as the real thing (which I saw – second row!)


Women of the Night (1948) – Mizoguchi in his most indicting, unadorned mode, examining prostitution as a creeping, corroding social trap


Her Smell (2018) – Perry’s deep dive into a psyche and a milieu, infusing broadly familiar structures with jittery, close-up conviction


A Dream Play (1963) – Bergman’s record of Strindberg’s play, filmed with respectful theatricality in all its evasively troubled majesty


Tongues Untied (1989) – Riggs’ hypnotic declaration of presence, pain, pride, diversity, a film both besieged and poetically celebratory


Murmur of the Heart (1971) – Malle’s coming-of-age provocation blurs the line between non-judgmental reverie and soft-centered complacency


The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – Jarmusch, never having made an outright bad film, seems here to laconically tease us with the prospect of one


The White Angel (1957) – Matarazzo’s Vertigo-anticipating extension of Nobody’s Children, increasingly bathed in almost devout conviction


Wolf (1994) – Nichols’ spectacularly misjudged (but, of course, watchable) genre movie fails and bewilders on just about every level


Variete (1925) – Dupont’s almost prototypically ill-fated love triangle drama is absolutely studded with startling expressionist highlights


At Eternity’s Gate (2018) – Schnabel’s deeply-felt approach, both investigation and transmigration, transcends potential over-familiarity


The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) – Tarkovsky’s early work is his most gently accessible, allowing glimpses of greater complexities


The Competition (1980) – Oliansky’s piano-heavy drama is smart enough to maintain interest, despite various unconvincingly struck notes


Satan’s Brew (1976) – Fassbinder’s aggressively hard to take farce inhabits a sickly and soulless society, at the mercy of the ruthless


The Plagiarists (2019) – Parlow’s amusingly shifty, highly allusive film channels both transient preoccupations and classic inspirations


Ikiru (1952) – one of Kurosawa’s most lasting films, on the glory (and institutional rarity) of stagnation overcome through moral clarity


Collateral (2004) – only Mann could have elevated the improbable material so indelibly, with such sustained visual and tonal coherence


Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924) – the demands of Protazanov’s otherworldly dreams ultimately glumly yield to those of the Earthly revolution


Wild Rose (2018) – Harper deftly delivers formulaic satisfaction, while crafting a more individualistic portrait of artistic evolution


The Shop on Main Street (1965) – Kadar and Klos’s drama remains very moving in its final passage, surmounting earlier grating aspects


Streetwise (1984) – Bell’s wrenchingly classic social document continues to provoke complex reactions; pessimism and despair among them


Que la fete commence… (1975) – Tavernier’s teeming portrait of 18th century France is an extraordinary immersion into decadence-ridden chaos


An Oversimplification of her Beauty (2012) – Nance’s delicate self-examination within a beautifully inventive fantasia, and vice versa


Le coup du berger (1956) – Rivette’s early short film, and his first elegantly-observed filmic conspiracy, albeit a modest and schematic one


On the Rocks (2020) – Murray is the main show in Coppola’s slight (but not vacuous), retro-feeling comedy, and that’s basically good enough


La fille de l’eau (1925) – a somewhat choppily eventful Renoir silent film, most memorable for a no-limits expressionistic dream sequence


Buddies (1985) – Bressan’s film remains an affecting human and historical document, its relative weaknesses as endearing as its strengths


The Cow (1969) – Mehrjui’s heartrending story of madness in the face of loss, simply observed but carrying a deep, dignified forcefulness


Destroyer (2018) – Kusama’s gloomy drama has some solidly old-fashioned virtues, but with an escalating sense of existential overreaching


Moses and Aaron (1975) – Straub/Huillet’s near-humblingly great spanning of the representationally fundamental & the metaphysically epic


Q & A (1990) – another powerful Lumet tale of corruption and compromise, although somewhat undermined this time by melodramatic excesses


Hungry Soul, Part II (1956) – a bit more familiar than Kawashima’s key works, but still a finely-calibrated study of unfulfilled yearning


Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) – Zhao’s delicately mediated and balanced study, arising out of deep immersion in a culture and location


Burden of Life (1935) – an engaging family drama, although Gosho is less of a stylistic and analytical force than his great contemporaries


It’s My Turn (1980) – Weill’s reserved comedy of self-discovery is agreeably well-judged throughout, with a finely-tuned arrival point


Le caporal epingle (1962) – Renoir’s very fine late work is a renewed assertion of the drive for freedom, & exploration of its ambiguities


Hereditary (2018) – Aster’s commanding film spans agonizing, convincingly-inhabited familial trauma, and gleefully outlandish mythology


Goin’ South (1978) – Nicholson’s minor Western comedy rather allows his own overstated presence to swamp all other potential virtues


Vive l’amour (1994) – Tsai’s shimmering, hypnotically withholding study of emptying possibilities, of connection without connectivity


Angels Over Broadway (1940) – Hecht and Garmes’ baroquely-expressed redemption drama, aggressively seeped in masculine self-disgust


For Sama (2019) – Al-Kateab and Watts’ absolutely vital, often heart-rending documentary prompts a huge sense of respect and humility


Operation Petticoat (1959) – one of Edwards’ most classically well-functioning comic machines, escalatingly subverting the established order


Desordre (1986) – Assayas’ early work shows his facility for narrative & emotional shift, but lacks the overall fullness of his later films


The Assassination Bureau (1969) – Dearden’s plush period comedy too often takes its eye off the concept’s dark morality, and off the fun


An Elephant Sitting Still (2018) – with bleakly supple mastery, the tragic Hu Bo interrogates the unbearable heaviness of modern China


Town Bloody Hall (1979) – a rollicking record of ongoing, shifting relevance (e.g Mailer as seeming foreseer of Trumpian cultural backlash!)


Timecrimes (2007) – Vigalondo’s time travel flick marshals familiar paradoxes with relish, making a definite virtue out of its small scale


Rich and Strange (1931) – an early relationship drama rather more stiff than strange, but navigated with amused Hitchcockian skepticism


Shoah: Four Sisters (2017) – Lanzmann’s record is bottomlessly moving as oral history, endlessly fascinating as an act of witnessing


Kiss Me Deadly (1955) – memorable both for Aldrich’s mastery of genre attitudes and power games, and for the ultimate obliteration of them


Nenette et Boni (1996) – Denis applies her almost unmatched, allusively sensuous powers to a portrait of familial connection and fracture


Underworld, U.S.A. (1961) – Fuller’s comprehensive, astoundingly and intimately pitiless dissection of corporatized American exploitation


Zama (2017) – Martel’s complex, often ravishing film charts an indelible personal odyssey, against the devastation & upheaval of colonialism


The Eagle has Landed (1976) – the film’s virtues are mostly superficial, but Sturges handles the sprawling canvas with veteran know-how


Coup de foudre (1983) – it’s easy to undervalue the controlled scope of Kurys’ work; even so, one wishes the film were a little less studied


Ball of Fire (1941) – by no means the most penetrating of Hawks’ great comedies, but it’s sweetly irresistible in just about every respect


In Bloom (2013) – with devastating precision and finesse, Ekvtimishvili and Gross chart a hard-edged society’s unbalanced sexual politics


Autumn Leaves (1956) – Aldrich’s anxiety- and repression-infused drama, at once plain and yet (not least re Crawford) strangely abstracted


The Life Ahead (2020) – Ponti’s Madame Rosa remake has superficial polish, but is thinner & more sentimentally calculating than the original


The Group (1966) – Lumet’s film occasionally works as disillusioned social history,  when not falling uncomfortably between various stools


The End of Evangelion (1997) – Anno’s (in isolation) confusing narrative yields to turbulently-inspired, strangely mesmerizing expression


The Wild Geese (1978) – McLaglen’s coldly effective action film could have done with a bit more wokeness, even by then-current standards


I Lost My Body (2019) – Clapin’s wondrously singular, superbly realized animation, at once dashingly weird, & hauntingly intimate & lovely


Mercy, the Mummy Mumbled (1918) – Phillips’ sprightly (but sadly degraded) African-American short is as peculiarly inspired as its title


The Legend of Rita (2000) – Schlondorff handles his eventful chronicle of terrorism and its aftermath with veteran incisive confidence


The Brothers Rico (1957) – Karlson seasons his sharp portrayal of pervasive criminality with familial challenges and anxious domesticity


Manta Ray (2018) – Phuttiphong’s enormously allusive, often gorgeously imagined film draws on the multiple losses & atrocities of refugeedom


The Magus (1968) – Green’s dated oddity, somewhat more interesting than its reputation, but tonally mismanaged and ultimately unrevealing


Mauvais sang (1986) – Carax’s modern classic is a rare meeting of strange and lovely, forcefully present while infused with dreamy escapism


Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Romero’s scrappy classic remains among the most strikingly eventful, metaphorically provocative horror films


The Souvenir (2019) – Hogg’s riveting memoir film unfolds in exquisitely considered fragments, highly alert to class-imposed complexities


Redes (1936) – Zinnemann/Muriel’s starkly ravishing tale carries immense righteous power, even though constrained by narrative artifice


Ghost Dog: the way of the Samurai (1999) – Jarmusch weaves together wildly disparate cultural elements into a funnily coherent conversation


Le mystere Picasso (1956) – Clouzot’s cleverly navigated performance film advances to and retreats from revelation in largely equal measure


Gloria Bell (2018) – Lelio’s closely-tracking remake trades up on star-kissed charisma, overall enhancing the graceful existential mystery


Le farceur (1960) – De Broca’s high-energy farce is often quite distinctive in its eccentricity, seasoned by a chillier and lonelier streak


The Cotton Club (1984) – Coppola’s epic often enthralls as performance and showmanship, but falls narratively and emotionally a bit flat


My Name is Nobody (1973) – Valerii (and Leone’s?) Western seasons its applause-worthy myth-making with various downright goofy notions


Uncut Gems (2019) – Sandler’s committed presence and the Safdies’ breathless narrative make for an engrossing if rather empty-feeling ride


Apostasy (1948) – Kinoshita’s story of prejudice and injustice retains much social interest, despite evidencing no great directorial finesse


Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1981) – Jaeckin’s pretty enough but hardly earthy adaptation, its edges persistently softened for easy consumption


High Life (2018) – Denis supply molds the genre material in daring, often borderline-outrageous, if not quite masterpiece-generating manner


Olivia (1951) – Audry’s vital study of generation-crossing female desire weaves an intricately mutable web of emotions, moods & power games


Dry Summer (1963) – Erksan’s intense drama of greed, lust and betrayal, powered (sometimes excessively) by unwavering, tense physicality


A Dry White Season (1989) – Palcy’s film contains much that’s savagely agitating, but the dominant narrative too often just gets in the way


India Song (1975) – Duras’ film holds presence & absence in unique equilibrium, casting a spell both soul-sickened & implicitly empowering


Kill List (2011) – Wheatley’s brutally accomplished genre-crossing revel, studded with echoes of past cinematic oddities and swaggers


Aniki Bobo (1942) – Oliveira’s early work, atypical in its straightforward charm, is a well-observed, if sometimes over-emphasized pleasure


The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) – Sorkin’s packaged telling isn’t worth much, but has a definite right-movie-at-the-right-time vibe


La signora senza camelie (1953) – Antonioni’s sleek study of desolating fame builds to an ironic portrait of cushioned female surrender


Queen of Diamonds (1991) – Menkes incisively nails Vegas’s trashy emptiness, and yet in a film with a sense almost of divine ascension


The Law of the Border (1966) – Akad’s conflict-heavy drama straddles the ragged & the poetic, its genre-type moves pulsing with authenticity


If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) – Jenkins confirms his extraordinary delicacy and ease, in a gloriously balanced, searching adaptation


Duvidha (1974) – Kaul’s film occupies a hauntingly elusive, heightened space, as if directed by the ghost at the heart of its narrative 


Big Time (1989) – not quite the indelible Waits film that we one day deserve, but ably showcasing his unique persona and canny musicianship


An Inn in Tokyo (1935) – Ozu’s silent film is among his saddest, as poverty ultimately imposes a grim, almost self-obliterating morality


Midsommar (2019) – Aster’s stunning, anthropologically compelling waking nightmare grips in every detail, even as it perplexes and repels


Nobody’s Children (1951) – Matarazzo’s tightly-wound, deeply-invested, socially-outraged variation on his recurring themes and devices


Havana (1990) – Pollack aims all too obviously for iconic romanticism and spectacle, but everything about it feels artificial and labored


An Innocent Witch (1965) – Gosho’s sympathetically troubled, ambiguity-seeded tale of exploited female sexuality, desired and demonized


The Favourite (2018) – Lanthimos’s film teems with biting provocations, but is ultimately less involving than his (even) weirder works


Les orders (1974) – Brault’s superbly calibrated record of a modern Canadian atrocity, deeply attuned to the machinery of dehumanization


The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) – Weir’s drama covers the basics, but seldom feels like an optimal approach into the material


Swedenhielms (1935) – Molander’s stagy drama about an over-extended family’s self-centered travails now feels grating and complacent 


The Two Popes (2019) – Meirelles’ drama is plainly a fanciful artifice, but it’s conceived and embodied with pleasingly warm intelligence


Pickpocket (1959) – one of Bresson’s most mesmerizingly crafted inquiries and meditations, a film of almost unnervingly searching detail 


All the Vermeers in New York (1990) – Jost’s strangely haunting meeting of elusiveness & precision, contrasting the lasting & the ephermeral


Teorema (1968) – Pasolini’s inexhaustibly analyzable expression of the bourgeoisie’s unraveling, powered by a slyly seductive premise


Greta (2018) – a silly contrivance, establishing Jordan as a spent force, slightly redeemed by its take on a triumphing female friendship


The Traveler (1974) – Kiarostami’s chronicle of an errant child teems with life & insight, its ending foretelling the greater works to come


The Holcroft Covenant (1985) – Frankenheimer’s wildly unpersuasive high-concept thriller confuses & underwhelms in large & small ways alike


Poil de carotte (1932) – Duvivier’s masterfully-balanced study of an unhappy father and son remains chillingly raw and affecting at times


Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (2015) – Cone’s sociologically valuable slice of anxiety-ridden Christian life, observed with much dexterity


Spoiled Children (1977) – Tavernier’s early film has a wide thematic reach, strongly anchored in the problems of contemporary urbanization


The Half of It (2020) – Wu’s gentle comedy has scores of appealing traits, but is limited by its artificial premise, among other things


Hungry Soul (1956) – Kawashima’s study of transgressive female desire grows in restrained power, although leaves much for the sequel


Swing Shift (1984) – Demme’s amiably missed-opportunity “Rosie the Riveter” drama is largely drained of analysis, anger or implication


Machorka-Muff (1963) – Straub/Huillet’s “abstract visual dream,” at once hard-edged in its historical specificity, & timelessly liberating


Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – Singer’s movie rattles by in stilted, compromised manner, while inevitably hitting a few pleasurable marks


It Always Rains on Sunday (1948) – Hamer anchors the central drama within a realistically colourful portrait of unadorned post-war community


Nowhere to Hide (1999) – Lee’s goofily brutal, now-for-my-next-trick action flick is a most uninvolving brand of applause-worthy virtuosity


Silver Bears (1977) – Passer has to scramble to hold the international-finance shenanigans together, but his pleasure is rather infectious


The Aquatic Effect (2016) – Anspach’s last, somewhat over-abbreviated film has a nice line in odd affinities and slanted storytelling


Day of the Outlaw (1959) – De Toth’s raw end-of-the-world Western draws combustibly on primal conflicts, played out in shivery isolation


Kinetta (2005) – a rather arid viewing experience, but not inappropriately to Lanthimos’ exploration of joyless fixations and relationships


Where Eagles Dare (1968) – Hutton’s wartime drama is uninspired in large and small ways alike, heavily flaunting its flavorless silliness


Dogman (2018) – Garrone’s film is uncomfortably well-realized, particularly in its empathetically put-upon central character, and the dogs


They Might be Giants (1971) – Harvey’s fragile-cored, time-capsule-infused comedy is oddly & defiantly appealing, although certainly flawed


Pharos of Chaos (1984) – a somewhat overwhelmed-seeming German observation of the aging Sterling Hayden, in all his grandeur and banality


A Reckless Rover (1918) – notable for a lively depiction of a comedic African-American milieu, although one heavily conceived in stereotype


Elles (2011) – Szumowska’s highly satisfying and assured engagement with prostitution as threat, liberation and domestic reference point


The Devil’s Playground (1976) – Schepisi’s tension-permeated study of Catholic boys school admits a certain rueful, resigned admiration


Mignonnes (2020) – Doucoure’s cynically & carelessly maligned film is an essentially sad social study that’s ultimately too soft if anything


Rio Grande (1950) – the stirring conclusion of Ford’s “cavalry trilogy” at once retreats and eases up, for a tapestry of moods and registers


Malina (1991) – Schroeter’s amazing, fiery, jaggedly sexualized depiction of breakdown is both operatically excessive & hurtingly immediate


Inside Daisy Clover (1965) – the knowing artificiality of Mulligan’s drama is overall more weakness than strength, but it has its moments


The Event (2015) – Loznitsa’s fall-of-USSR record observes and shapes the premonitory mundanity that attends historical momentousness


Newsfront (1978) – Noyce provides an enjoyably episodic sweep of changing times, but at the cost of very much political or emotional depth


The Skin (1981) – Cavani depicts the end of war as a crucible of exploitation, lies and illusions, with often savagely impressive impact


Black Legion (1937) – Mayo’s lumpily flawed movie still fascinates for its ever-relevant angle on cynical manipulation and suckerization


How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal (2018) – Green’s “mini-film” comprises an ironically deadpan anecdote with a poetically evocative soul


Foul Play (1978) – Higgins’ peril-comedy isn’t boring, mostly just shallow & clumsy; the soft-balled Hitchcock references count for nothing