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  • Detroit

    Detroit

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Kathryn Bigelow cemented her place as one of the most talented directors alive with the award winning film The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Her most recent film addresses police brutality against people of color in America. Detroit (2017) is based on the real life incident at the Algiers Motel during the 12th Street Riots in 1967. The film introduces three storylines converging on the Algiers Motel. The first characters are two women, Karen and Julie, who…

  • Chi-Raq

    Chi-Raq

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Chi-Raq (2015) is most certainly a ‘Spike Lee joint’. Spike Lee has been a prolific African-American director for more than 20 years creating a growing cannon. Chi-Raq is Spike Lee’s newest film and probably his most outgoing. The film is a musical concerning gang violence in the south side of Chicago, dubbed ‘Chiraq’. The story is about two rival gangs, The Spartans and The Trojans, that are waging war on the streets. Inspired by a recent string of deadly shootings…

  • Inglourious Basterds

    Inglourious Basterds

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Quentin Tarantino is one of my least favorite people and, most likely related to that, a director which I am possibly growing tired of. Despite that he has created some of the best films during my life and others before me. Inglourious Basterds (2009) was one of the few films on this list that I got to watch in a theatre. The film is about a group of Jewish-American soldiers dubbed ‘The Bastards’, who aim to kill as many Nazi’s…

  • Oldboy

    Oldboy

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The work of the South-Korean director Park-Chan Wook in Oldboy (2003) should never be confused with Spike Lee’s 2013 remake, not because Lee is a poor director (which he is not), because the mainstream American audience is not nor may ever be ready for some of the content that makes the original great. Oldboy is about an alcoholic business man, Oh Dae-su, who, on the way to get his daughter a birthday present, is arrested for public drunkenness. While in…

  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Studio Ghibli made anime an accessible and accepted form of film worldwide, though it had been a thriving industry in Japan and other parts of Asia as early as 1958. Hayao Miyazaki is a co-founder and the most notable artist in Studio Ghibli. Though Miyazaki deals in animation not live-acting, as most of the directors on this list, his work deals with many of the same themes as other directors. Miyazaki, unlike other directors, is able to create worlds that…

  • The Departed

    The Departed

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Martin Scorsese’s movies are some of the most recognizable in modern cinema. All of his films feature strong, violent men who exact revenge mercilessly through a complex series of events. The Departed (2006) is possibly his most celebrated work. The two main characters of the film are Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) and Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio). Sullivan has been introduced into the irish mob at a young age and at the request of his father figure and local leader of…

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Ang Lee has recently directed some very high grossing, highly praised films such as Brokeback Mountain (2005) and The Life of Pi (2012). However, Lee is most recognizable in the 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film follows a great warrior who is looking for a disciple to teach the vast knowledge of combat that he has. When his famous sword is stolen by a ninja while en route to one of his friends as a gift, his lover…

  • Lost in Translation

    Lost in Translation

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Written, directed, and produced by Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation cemented Sofia’s place in the Coppola dynasty. Her father, Francis Ford Coppola, was the driving force behind three of the greatest films of all time: The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Pt. II (1974), and Apocalypse Now (1979). Lost in Translation bears no resemblance to her father’s work in narrative or even directorial style; Sofia Coppola (the Coppola to which the rest of the article will refer to) creates a unique,…

  • Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I will preface this by saying that Apocalypse Now (1979) is possibly my favorite film of all time. The film is based on the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, in which a trader travels deep into the Congo to find a manager of one of the trading stations who had disappeared. After a perilous journey, the trader finds the manager, however he has become the leader of the natives of the Congo and is revered as a god.…

  • Small Change

    Small Change

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    L’argent de poche, or Small Change, was written and directed by François Truffaut. Small Change is in many ways a french Boyhood (2014), in that it is it about boyhood and coming of age. The film shortly dips into the lives of a classroom of boys in Thiers, a small city in the middle of France. There is no main character in the film, rather the viewer is briefly allowed to see small snippets of the lives of some of…

  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Alfred Hitchcock remains one of the most respected directors almost 80 years after his Hollywood directorial debut Rebecca (1940). Hitchcock has directed films that have become vital in any education of cinema such as Rear Window (1954), Psycho (1960), and The Birds (1963), among many others. Vertigo stands out from the rest in its simplicity. The film is about a John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (James Stuart), a detective who retired from the force after his vertigo (a fear of heights associated…

  • Breathless

    Breathless

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Jean-Luc Godard is one of the most prolific directors in the history of cinema. Breathless (1960) is possibly his most celebrated work. The film begins with the main character, Michel, shooting a police officer while driving a stolen car across the French countryside. Feeling safe, Michel returns to Paris and begins his courtship with an American women he meets on the street named Patricia. Michel hides out in her apartment while he makes gathers enough money to escape to Italy…