Hunter has written 42 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ .

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Man uses media to build a false reality for himself. As true then as it is now.

  • The Exorcist

    The Exorcist

    ★★★★★

    Director William Friedkin describes "The Exorcist" as a film about "the mystery of faith." This description is accurate and does so by addressing the struggle between faith and reason that intensified in the Catholic Church in the wake of the cultural revolution of the sixties.

    Father Kerras (Jason Miller) is a priest with a modernist outlook and attitude, informed by his background in psychiatry, which erodes his faith in God. He sees everything supernatural as something that can be explained…

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    The Passion of Joan of Arc

    ★★★★★

    Carl Th. Dreyer masters the art of the close-up, using stark white sets to make the faces pop, and boy do they. Renée Jeanne Falconetti's face in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and as she receives the Eucharist is a thing of beauty.

  • Beau Travail

    Beau Travail

    ★★★★★

    Claire Denis takes Herman Melville's "Billy Budd, Sailor" and sets it in the French Foreign Legion against a hypnotic Djibouti backdrop, with jagged arid landscapes clashing into an azure sea. Likewise, scenes of legionnaires honing their physical discipline run up against carefree moments in a Djibouti disco, where the soldiers blow off steam dancing with the locals. The soundtrack's disco music in Djibouti clashes with opera in the desert. This contrast is what makes "Beau Travail" so intoxicatingly beautiful to…

  • The Big Lebowski

    The Big Lebowski

    ★★★★★

    For Labor Day, it seemed fitting to watch the movie about the laziest man in Los Angeles county, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide.

  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity

    ★★★★★

    A couple of thoughts I had while watching “Double Indemnity”:

    1) Insurance scams seem to be more trouble than they’re worth. Especially if Edward G. Robinson is the guy whose job it is to make sure you don’t get paid.

    2) Film noir movies are the mid-twentieth century version of manosphere blog posts from 2016.

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★★★

    Gloria Swanson watching "Queen Kelly" while its director, Erich Von Stroheim, gazes on at the flickering images that helped bring down his directorial career, is meta-movie perfection. "Sunset Boulevard" is a film about how cruel Hollywood is, not only to upcoming glory seekers, but to those who achieved and lost it. Yet the movie is also cruel in the way only Hollywood can be, as the scene described above demonstrates, as well as moments where legends like the great Buster…

  • Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole

    ★★★★★

    One of the great reminders of how craven and manipulative the media can be. Kirk Douglas' Chuck Tatum is the unrestrained id of the journalist, using human interest as a vehicle for self-promotion. Modern films about journalism seek to deify the profession, rarely admitting how media is just another (often malevolent) lever of power, rather than something that speaks truth to it.

    Something that isn't much talked about around this piece is that another theme of the film is alcoholism.…

  • A Man for All Seasons

    A Man for All Seasons

    ★★★★★

    A good film to watch every now and again as a reminder of how to conduct oneself in a world gone mad.

  • Twin Peaks

    Twin Peaks

    ★★★★★

    Every time I watch the pilot, I want to watch the entire series again.

  • They Shall Not Grow Old

    They Shall Not Grow Old

    ★★★★★

    Haunting and beautiful, the love and passion Peter Jackson puts into this dwarfs even his excellent Tolkien adaptations. While "big history" narratives are important to piece together, it's wonderful that this film never leaves the perspective of the everyman British soldier in The Great War. It really is a soldiers' history, full of violence, humor, death, it's more holistic in its outlook on war than most fictional films, and it all comes from the men who lived it.

  • Before Sunrise

    Before Sunrise

    ★★★★★

    More than any other film, "Before Sunrise" captures the dragon that serial monogamists chase when it comes to the intoxicating thrill of fresh romance, especially at a young age. Richard Linklater excels at conversations that are at once inane and interesting, "Before Sunrise" is as full of those as "Slacker", yet it's focused on a pair of characters falling in love, rather than an ensemble of prototypical Austinite conspiracy freaks. The movie seems to understand its sophomoric nature more than…